Hey everyone, and welcome to my new story! Don't worry, Light The Way will still get regular updates. I have just been playing around with this idea for some time now and finally got around to writing it! This story is a little different, since it is placed in present time and is AU. Everyone is human... well, as human as humans can be with super powers!
Don't own. Never will. Anything you don't recognize is mine.
Special thanks to Tanya, Lulu and Kat for all of their help. You guys are incredible.
Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.
The elevator dings and the doors slide open with a silent whoosh, revealing a woman. She is tall, lithe and dark-haired with almond colored skin that looks almost radiant in the dim lightening. A soft smirk dances across her lips as she strides forward, her heels clicking against the marble flooring. She walks with purpose; a woman on a mission. She takes a deep breath and rounds the next corner with a clumsy calculated misstep, colliding with a firm, male body.
The man falls to the floor, his files scattering everywhere.
"Oh my gosh," she gushes, dropping down beside him. "I'm so sorry!"
The man's face flushes a light scarlet as he rushes to collect the files. "It's okay," he mumbles, avoiding eye contact.
"Let me help you with those," she says, voice sickly sweet. She moves forward, thin fingers reaching for one, thin, black folder in particular.
The man swats away her hand. "No, I got it," he says with an irritated edge.
The woman's lips twist downwards into a displeased scowl. "Well then," she snaps, rolling her eyes. "I suppose I'm going to have to do this the hard way."
Confusion flits briefly across the man's face as he brings his eyes to meet hers. He gasps audibly.
She flashes forward then, quick as lightening, grabbing the man tightly by the chin and forcing him to hold her gaze. "Katerina Petrova," she says, voice like silk. "A pleasure, I'm sure." She laughs lightly and cocks her head a touch to the right. "Now," she breathes, her pupils dilating slightly, "you will do exactly as I say."
The man relaxes, his iron grip on the files loosening ever so slightly. He nods as a sort of fog overcomes his senses. "Exactly," he mimics.
Katerina's smile is downright predatory. "Wonderful," she purrs as she helps the man to his feet. She leans up close to him, pressing her curvaceous body into his. "Isn't there somewhere more private we could go?" she asks, sliding her hand up the side of the man's face, keeping his eyes firmly trained on her.
He gazes at her as if she is his whole world. "My office," he supplies softly.
Katerina laughs and pulls away from the man, but not before clasping his hand in hers. "Don't just stand there," she sing-songs, "lead the way."
The man nods obediently. He leads her to a secluded office. The hour is late, leaving the office building nearly devoid of its loyal employees. Katerina follows the man into his personal office, locking the door behind her. She watches silently as the man places the important folders on his desk. When he turns back around, she is mere inches from his face. "What are those lovely files you have there?" she asks seductively as she leans up towards him, only stopping when her lips are a breath away from his.
"Mr. Mikaelson requested them," the man replies dutifully.
"Did he now?" she breathes. "And which Mikaelson brother would that have been?"
"Of course," she whispers with a scoff, "he always was the curiously clever one." She smirks. "No matter. You'll give me the file I want, won't you...," she glances down at the nameplate placed prominently at the head of the desk, "Mason? Hm?"
Mason's head bobs up and down in affirmation.
Katerina smirks and separates herself from Mason, walking around him to plop down in the desk's lavish chair. She reaches forward eagerly, threading her fingers through the multitude of files until she comes to the one she has sought out. She separates it from the rest and brings it to the edge of the desk. Sliding her index finger inside of the flap, she flips it open briefly. Her eyes scan its contents with a scowl. "My, my," she utters in distaste, "it seems someone has gotten a little too curious for his own good."
Katerina gets to her feet then and tucks the folder safely under the left side of her jacket. She turns her attentions back to Mason, cupping his face in her hand and forcing him to face her. Her pupils dilate once again and her voice takes on a fairytale quality, "I am going to leave this office now. Wait five minutes before you pull your pistol out of the bottom most drawer in your desk," Katerina stands on her tip toes and brushes her lips against Mason's right ear, "Let it sit in your hand for a moment. Memorize the way its weight feels clasped in your hand. Then, I want you to place the gun in your mouth and pull the trigger."
Numbly, Mason nods. His eyes are devoid of true understanding.
"Good bye," she whispers, "you were most helpful." Katerina waits a beat. She looks at Mason one last time before she leans up and places a swift and chaste kiss on his lips.
Without another word, she turns by her heel and exits Mason Lockwood's office. The door closes with a soft click behind her.
Five minutes later a loud bang echoes throughout the empty offices.
Klaus frowns, furrowing his brows in frustrated displeasure. Only hours before, he had arrived at Mikaelson Corporation to the grim discovery of Mason Lockwood's lifeless body. The man had put a bullet in his brain and it didn't make any bloody sense. He'd been put on a top secret assignment by Elijah; even Klaus was unaware of his duties the week before he died. Though, as it were, whatever Elijah had him doing ultimately ended in his death.
After the swarms of police vacated the building and the coroner had claimed the body to run more definitive tests, Klaus had retreated to his office. The beginning of a migraine was starting to take hold on the edges of his consciousness. In his hand are clasped five thin black folders. The folders he had found lying innocently atop of Mason's desk. As Klaus sits back in his chair, he opens the first one curiously.
A familiar face stares back.
The photo was obviously taken from a distance by the horrendous quality of it. But she looks radiant as she ever did; the elusive heir to Petrova Incorporated and Mikaelson Corporation's main associate. Klaus' frown deepens. The rest of the file is written in some sort of code he does not understand. Without a cipher it could take him days to decode it. Still, it is suspicious. Mason's untimely demise makes it even more so.
Narrowing his eyes, Klaus turns his attention to the second file. As he reaches for it a loud disruption erupts in the hallway outside his office.
"LET ME IN THERE TO TALK TO THE BASTARD—"
"Mr. Lockwood, please, calm down!"
"YOU CALM DOWN, MY UNCLE WAS MURDER AND THAT BASTARD COVERED IT UP—"
"Tyler," his secretary laments softly. "Your uncle killed himself. Mr. Mikaelson had nothing to do with it."
"Just. Let. Me. See. Him."
Klaus hits the speaker on his phone and speed dials his secretary's extension. "Send him in," he says curtly right as she answers.
The next moment, his office door swings open and all one hundred and sixty-five pounds of Tyler Lockwood comes stomping towards him. He slams his fists down on Klaus' desk. "What did you do to my uncle," he snarls furiously in accusation.
Klaus peers at the man for a moment. He had heard of Tyler, Mason's hotheaded nephew. He was a violate youth and a celebrity. He was quite the well-paid actor in Hollywood, which no doubt explained his brashness and the attitude that rules didn't apply to him. He was an inconvenience and an annoying one, at that. Klaus places the files down gently on his desk and calmly leans forward, clasping his hands together. "I did nothing to your uncle," he says indifferently, "he was the one who shot himself."
Tyler's face contorts with rage. "You fucker," he growls, looking ready to launch himself at Klaus. "You know very well that Mason would never kill himself."
Klaus grits his teeth in irritation. "While Mason Lockwood was in my employment," he begins professionally, "he was not acting under my assignment when he decided he wanted to stick the end of a gun into his mouth and pull the trigger." He stands then. "Good day, Mr. Lockwood. It is the police you will want to discuss this matter further with," he continues, gesturing towards door.
"I'm going to rip you to pieces, you emotionless bastard," Tyler growls suddenly and launches himself at Klaus, fist aimed at his face.
Klaus catches Tyler's arm by the wrist, effectively stopping the blow. "That, Mr. Lockwood," he says dangerously, "was a very stupid thing to do."
An inhuman snarl escapes Tyler's lips as he attempts to swing his opposite fist at Klaus' chest. Klaus deflects the blow, drops his grip on Tyler's wrist and surges forward, wrapping his hand tightly around the younger Lockwood's throat and slamming him up against his office wall. He uses his other arm to pin Tyler's arms at his side. Klaus leans in close, lowering his voice to just above a whisper. "Listen very closely Mr. Lockwood," he hisses, "your uncle's death was unfortunate. It was regrettable no one saw the signs … but your accusations will stop. It would be unfortunate if next time you are the one with a bullet in your head; and, unlike your uncle, you shan't have put it there yourself." He pauses, letting his threat sink in. "Have I made myself clear?"
"Fuck you," Tyler spits.
"Fantastic," Klaus glowers, releasing his hold on Tyler after he knocks him to the floor. He saunters carefully back to his desk, hitting the intercom and once again dialing his secretary. "Send security. Tyler Lockwood needs to be escorted from the building," he says nonchalantly as he falls back into his desk's chair.
Tyler rises from the ground with a glare. "I will get to the bottom of this," he promises.
Klaus meets Tyler's glare with an impassive stare. "It has been a pleasure," he says condescendingly.
Security comes sauntering into the room then, grabbing Tyler by the shoulders and forcibly removing him. The door slams behind him. Klaus relaxes only slightly. His gaze falls once again on the files lying haphazardly on the top of his desk. He narrows his eyes.
It is time his brother gave him some answers.
Klaus grasps his phone in his hand and brings it up to his ear. He dials Elijah's personal number quickly and waits as it rings. Unsurprisingly, it goes straight to his voicemail. Klaus finds himself mildly irritated.
"Elijah," he says into the receiver. "You have a lot of explaining to do."
Mystic Times Headquarters
Caroline Forbes hates mornings; especially early mornings. She is quite convinced they were created as some sort of twisted joke on the universe. Her only saving grace? Coffee; hot, sugary and creamy coffee. She clutches the warm concoction in her hands and inhales the tempting fragrance. After a moment of pure bliss, she shifts her gaze to the glaring green numbers on the break room microwave.
Someone shoot her now.
"Please tell me these muffins are fresh," Bonnie's says suddenly from her right, startling her.
Caroline eyes the offending muffins. They look a bit moldy. "Not unless fresh means there is tiny civilizations growing on them," she replies with a cringe before taking a sip of her coffee. Oh god, she needed that…
"Ugh," Bonnie grimaces as she scoops the muffins up in a paper towel and throws them into the neon yellow trashcan. "I'll take my chances with the bagels…"
"Oh," Caroline hums, advancing on the last cinnamon bagel, "didn't see that…"
Bonnie hits her hand playfully. "Back off, bitch," she says, "I saw it first!"
"Hmph, fine," Caroline retorts, rolling her eyes and taking a seat at the nearest table. "This job is going to be the death of me," she moans dramatically.
"Oh quit your complaining, Caroline," Bonnie chastises as she takes the seat opposite her, bagel in hand. "This is your dream job, remember? It's all you could talk about in college: how you were going to be the hottest, cleverest undercover journalist this side of the east coast."
"How the young can dream," she mocks loftily.
"Besides," Caroline complains, "you get all the good assignments. I get to infiltrate beauty parlors and answer gossip columns while you're off changing the world."
"You'll get your chance," Bonnie says encouragingly before she promptly inhales the rest of her bagel.
Caroline sulks as she takes another sip of her coffee.
"Your last job went well, maybe Alaric will promote you to something more… world changing?" Bonnie offers, faux smile in place.
"When pigs fly…"
"… and the fat lady sings."
"So, a snowflake would have a better chance in the fires of hell?"
"I hate you."
"Love you too, Care."
Caroline stands and chunks her empty coffee mug into the work dishwasher. "Well," she grumbles, "off to another boring day here at Mystic Times. Hopefully the gossip column churns out something interesting today."
Bonnie's laughter is light. "Nothing will ever be as bad as the gonorrhea question."
"God, don't remind me," she sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose at the memory of it. "I was paranoid for weeks. Weeks!"
"See you at lunchtime?" Bonnie inquires with a soft chuckle.
"If I survive that long."
"Always so dramatic."
Caroline scrunches up her nose. "I'm being serious. Today is the day I finally kneel over and die."
Bonnie shakes her head and disappears from the break room swiftly, leaving Caroline behind to rue the day she was born. Begrudgingly, she too shuffles out of the room and makes her way over to her neat, pink cubical. Bless Mystic Times for encouraging individualism.
"Good morning, Caroline," Matt Donovan says from the cubical opposite of hers. And gosh, could his blue eyes get any bluer? Seriously, the guy could have been a model. Caroline quite thinks life dealt him a cruel set of cards because here he resides, Mystic Times' economic and financial consultant. He has the ill-fated job of writing all the dreadfully boring columns.
"Morning, Matt," she returns, flashing her pearly whites. "How's the economy fairing?"
He laughs. "Terrible. In a recession, you know? And your ladies?"
"Oh, you know, trouble in paradise, all men are pigs … the usual."
Matt smiles. "Don't lead them astray now," he says as he pushes his spectacles up on the bridge of his nose. A touch of scarlet warms his cheeks as he averts his gaze from hers.
"Never," she replies with a gasp, mock horror dancing across her features.
Matt turns back to his computer with a soft chuckle. Their morning exchange is over. Caroline cannot help but feel a bit sad. After all, if she wasn't such a commit-a-phobe she might have dated him. She sneaks one last glance at him before she sighs and boots up her computer.
Her work day has begun.
Caroline stares at the clock on the upper right corner of her computer screen, willing it to go faster. The instant four o'clock rolls around she is so out of this dreary excuse for an office. After all, there are only so many emails a girl can answer before she starts to lose faith in all of womankind. God, I hope I was never that trivial, she thinks, or stupid. She scrunches up her nose at the last one. Well, perhaps a man or two had made her go a little crazy, but that is all part of being a woman, right? Caroline shakes her head and lets out a loud sigh as she slumps forward in her desk, bemoaning her existence.
Matt chuckles from across the way.
She turns a sharp glare on him. "Don't pretend the stock market is more interesting," she snips before sitting up in her cubicle and turning her chair to face him.
Matt simply smiles and shakes his head, not uttering a word.
Tapping her pen restlessly, Caroline leans just far enough out of her cubicle that her line of vision lines up with Alaric's office. The door is ajar. A slow, mischievous grin takes to her lips. She gets to her feet swiftly, startling Matt. He sends her a questioning glance.
Her smile is faux. "Bathroom break," Caroline whispers with a wink before dashing off out of sight. She steps into the little girl's room and, after she deems herself alone, slips into one of the empty stalls. Caroline exhales, shakes her arms and hops from one foot to the other. The tingling starts in her fingers and toes before it crawls quickly up her extremities, meeting at her heart and then flowing to the back of her eyes. Her heartbeat quickens for a moment and she flexes, calming herself. She unlocks the stall door and her eyes flash to the mirror opposite her.
Empty space reflects back.
She is now invisible to the human eye.
It is an ability she has had ever since she was a little girl and it is her most guarded secret. Her father had told her she was special once before; and then he abandoned her mother for a different man, leaving her behind to think perhaps she wasn't so special after all.
Caroline places her translucent hand over her beating heart and sighs, banishing the thoughts. She has snooping to do. After all, invisibility does have its perks. And, really, it was quite the deciding factor in her decision to become an undercover journalist.
With a quiet whoosh, she exits the women's bathroom and heads sneakily towards Alaric's office. She lets out a soft sigh in relief that the door is still ajar. Her feet pad against the carpet softly as she advances towards her boss's desk. She looks around for a moment before spotting a mundane looking file cabinet.
Employee records, reads the top most drawer in bold black letters. She pulls it open with ease and begins flipping through the myriad of files until she comes to hers.
She pulls it free and places it on the desk, opening it quickly. After a quick scan words like inexperienced, inefficient, and spacey stand out like a sore thumb. She feels her heart tighten in disappointment. She had known she wasn't exactly Alaric's favorite employee but… that stung a bit. Her eyes water and her heart falls into the pit of her stomach.
I am never going to be good enough, am I? She wonders as she lets the file fall from her fingertips back on to the desktop. She moves to exit the office and wallow in her own despair when she hears the familiar timbre of Alaric's voice. For a moment she panics, until she realizes he will not be able to see her. She walks calmly across the room and stands next to the file cabinet, waiting with baited breath.
"Mr. Lockwood, I'm glad you came to us with this," Alaric Saltzman says, gesturing for Tyler to take a seat as he shuffles around his desk and plops down in his chair.
Tyler Lockwood sits opposite of Alaric, irritated expression in place. "The police are useless," he says, glaring out the open office window. "I trust this newspaper could be much more helpful?"
Caroline can barely contain herself. The Tyler Lockwood is sitting in her boss' office talking about the police and holy mackerel this may just be the juiciest gossip she has ever come across. Mystic Times is a huge newspaper, sure, but didn't celebrities usually go to the press?
Alaric nods. "We have many talented and resourceful journalists. All of which would be able to infiltrate Mikaelson Corporation with ease and discover what you wish. Though, I must warn you, it would take time. These things do not often come to light quickly."
A grimace takes to Tyler's face. "Yeah. Whatever. I just want the truth found out about my uncle. There is no way Mason killed himself. Those damn Mikaelson's had to of killed him."
Caroline slaps a hand over her mouth, effectively quelling the gasp that threatened to escape. She has heard of the Mikaelson brothers, who hasn't after all? Not only are they young and the heads of Mikaelson Corporation, they are also very adept in the Mystic Falls social circle.
Alaric frowns as though he does not fully believe his prospective source. On the same note, should it turn out that Tyler's accusations are in fact valid, it would be the sensational story of a lifetime. After all, it is not every day a celebrity comes knocking on a newspaper's front door, offering some sad story about a corporation covering up the murder of his uncle.
"Our best is Bonnie Bennett," Alaric supplies, pushing a picture of Bonnie forward; she is smiling in the photo, looking radiant as ever.
Caroline scowls. Of course.
Tyler frowns. "She has been on many assignments?"
"Yes, she is quite good at what she does, Mr. Lockwood."
His eyes narrow. "Then no."
Caroline cannot help but grin.
Alaric frowns. "Would you like to tell me why?"
Tyler leans forward. "If she is as good as you say, then you must use her skills frequently. I want someone with less of a chance of getting found out."
Alaric grits his teeth. "Very well."
Tyler peers across the desk and his eyes fall on Caroline's file, still lying open where she left it. Her breath catches as he reaches forward and snatches it up into his grip. "And who would this Caroline Forbes be?" He asks causally, a glint in his eye.
"No," Alaric says automatically, eyeing the file suspiciously. "She's too inexperienced."
"Oh?" Tyler murmurs, tracing his fingers over the front of her photo. "She's a pretty one."
Caroline's cheeks, had they been visible, would surely have been a bright crimson.
"A pretty, inexperienced, off limits journalist," Alaric reminds, snatching the file back.
Tyler glares. "Either you use her or I will take my story elsewhere."
Alaric pauses. "Mr. Lockwood, I don't think you unders—"
Tyler gets to his feet. "Later," he snaps and he turns to go.
"No, wait, wait!"
Tyler pauses with a smirk and turns back around. "So you agree?"
Alaric's mouth twists into a displeased scowl. "I will ask her."
"Good," Tyler chimes. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have other things to take care off."
Alaric nods and gestures for him to leave.
Caroline follows after Tyler as he opens the office door, a pep in her step.
Finally, her day has come!
Thoughts? Comments? Loved it? Hated it? Should I quit while I am a head? Hahaha! Reviews are greatly appreciated it.
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