Hey guys! Here's an update just for all of you! Special thanks to Tanya, Lulu & Kat for their continued encouragement and support!
Don't own, never will.
This chapter is not beta'd. I apologize for any errors.
Three calls and two voicemails later, Klaus is ready to murder Elijah in cold blood. It is not unlike him to become consumed by work, but to downright ignore his own flesh and blood for more than a day is inexcusable. Especially the after one of their employees decides to off himself the day prior. Klaus is not good with the press or the public eye. He is charismatic enough to run his section of the corporation, but his anger always gets the best of him when nosy reporters come poking around. He is quite known to the press for his sharp tongue and the fact that he has no problem breaking a few expensive cameras.
Klaus dials Elijah's number again. It takes all he has not to throw his phone at the wall when it goes straight to voicemail again. Quickening his pace, he rounds another corner and spots his brother's office up ahead. His secretary, a pretty redhead looks up, startled by his sudden approach. "Niklaus," she says politely, a nervous twinge to her voice. "Elijah isn't expecting you."
"No," Klaus all but growls at the woman, "he wouldn't be."
She shrinks back into her chair, fiddling with the loose fabric on the right armrest. "He's a bit preoccupied at the moment," she begins, "I'll tell him you stop—wait, wait you can't just—"
Klaus glares at the woman and stomps past her, swinging his brother's office door open with an angry slam. Elijah looks up from his desk, impassive expression in place. He doesn't seem surprised in the least to see him. "Niklaus," he greets, "take a seat."
"I've been calling you," Klaus snarls, striding forward and slamming his hands palm down on top of the desk.
Elijah arches a perfect brow and spares a glance at his cellphone. "That is unfortunate," he says coolly. "I was regrettably forced to turn my cellphone off after the fifth incessant reporter called me this morning," he looks back to Klaus and adds, "I do have a company extension, you know."
The rage billowing off Klaus like a flame cools slightly at this information. "Then you know," he hisses, pointedly ignoring Elijah's last comment.
"About Lockwood?" Elijah questions. "Of course," he confirms offhandedly as he shuffles through the rather large pile of paperwork on his desk. "Take a seat, Niklaus," he repeats sternly, gesturing to the leather padded seat just to his right. "We've something to discuss judging by the obvious anger behind your visit."
Begrudgingly, Klaus eases into the chair, his gaze never leaving his brother. After a moment of silence he reaches into the right inner pocket of his suit jacket and pulls out Katerina's black folder. He tosses it onto Elijah's desk. "Explain why that was in Mason's possession. And why it is written in code."
Elijah pauses, his fingers moving to deftly open the folder as he scans the contents swiftly. His face hardens and he presses his lips into a thin, hard line. When his eyes meet Niklaus', his gaze is serious. "You will leave this alone, Niklaus," he says evenly, "if you know what is best for you."
"You dare threaten me?"
"No," Elijah replies with a shake of his head. "It is merely a warning."
"You know that will not detour me," Klaus snaps, snatching the file back.
"Perhaps not," Elijah says nonchalantly. "Though, you may not like what you find."
"You will regret keeping this from me," Klaus growls, the anger returning, bubbling within his chest and making it hard for him to breathe. His hands begin to shake and the back of his teeth start to ache.
Elijah's gaze sharpens. "Niklaus, calm yourself," he demands, slight apprehension flooding his features.
"I will not," comes Klaus' reply, the words ripping from his throat with an animalistic roar. The sweet metallic taste of blood fills his mouth as he gives a low growl. He lurches forward, his back distorting unbearably as every bone in his body breaks, sounding with a horrible crack. As he opens his mouth to let out a pathetic half whine, half growl, his human teeth fall onto Elijah's desk in a bloody mess. Long, thick claws sprout from his nail beds and amber fur begins grow, forcing itself through his ripped and ruined suit.
"Niklaus," Elijah rumbles as he gets to his feet, hands flashing forward to hold his brother still. "You can stop this," he reminds calmly. "Remember. You control this."
But it is no use. Klaus' vision has already gone red. He can feel the animal in him taking over, the instincts rushing over him in a mad wave. He falls to the ground, the pain becoming too much for his mind to handle. Hot, angry tears of pain rush down his face as tuffs of amber and white hair grow outwards from his skin. "He…lp… me," he struggles to say, blood pouring form his mouth as his new, sharper canines rip through his gums.
Pity consumes Elijah as he steps back, opening a drawer in his desk and pulling out a syringe containing a bright blue substance. He crouches down, stabbing the needle into Klaus' neck, injecting the blue antidote.
With a strangled whine, darkness takes him.
The warm scent of tea lulls Klaus into consciousness. He sits up with a groan, his whole body aching something awful. The first thing he notices is that he is on the floor and that his three thousand dollar suit has been ripped to shreds. He looks up, his eyes immediately coming to rest on Elijah. He is sitting in the leather chair Klaus had previously occupied, a cup of tea in his hand and a deep frown etched into his lips.
Klaus grips at the carpet angrily. "It happened again, didn't it?"
Elijah sets the teacup down on his desk and gets to his feet. "I had Rita bring a teapot and a spare suit," he says as he pours another glass. He sets the teapot down and turns to face Klaus who is dressing quickly, scowl in place. "You told me you had it under control."
"I do have it under control," Klaus snarls as he buttons up his shirt.
Elijah sips his tea and doesn't say a word edgewise.
"Our wolfsbane stock is quite low," Elijah says casually, pushing the other teacup towards Klaus.
Klaus stills. "What?"
Elijah's smile is tight. "It seems Petrova Inc. was able to secure all of our sellers. Now they are refusing to sell to us. Leaves you in quite a pinch, now, doesn't it Niklaus?" He leans forward, expression knowing. "So tell me brother, do you have it under control?"
Klaus' silence is all the affirmation Elijah needs.
"If you insist on making denial your friend, then by all means," Elijah says cavalierly, pausing only to take another sip of his tea. "However, there are only three syringes left. It is all good and well when you can control it—but when you can't? It would be a shame to add more body bags to your every growing pile."
His eyes darken, but Klaus manages to remain composed. "I will find out what you are hiding from me Elijah," he sneers, "and what Katerina has to do with it."
"Ah, Katerina," Elijah muses as he reflexively straightens out the front of his suit jacket, "I do so very much doubt that."
With a glare and the turn of his heel, Klaus storms out, slamming the door behind him.
He is in need of a run.
And a bottle of very expensive whiskey.
Mystic Times Headquarters
Caroline sits there innocently, clacking away at her keyboard when Alaric approaches her cubicle, displeased grimace in place. "Miss Forbes," he greets, an agitated edge to his voice.
She looks up, doe eyed and the picture of innocence. "Yes, Mr. Saltzman?"
He places the simple manila folder on her desk and leans in close. "You've been requested," he says through gritted teeth. "Don't screw it up."
"Requested?" she questions idly.
"For some undercover work," he supplies tensely. "Read the file and report to my office tomorrow morning for briefing." With that, he walks off with an angry gait.
Caroline can barely contain her happiness. Once Alaric rounds the corner, she shoots up out of her chair and twirls, jumping up and down, her cheeks flushed. "Yes!" she chimes, giggling maddeningly. Her heart is bursting with excitement and oh, just can't wait until Bonnie hears the good news! This time it will be she that is bragging and Bonnie who's playing the ever dutiful friend.
"It isn't time to go home yet, is it?" Matt says sheepishly from his cubicle, eyebrows raised comically.
Caroline's face flushes darker and she quickly falls back into her chair, thoroughly embarrassed. "Not yet," she replies, "I suppose I just got a little excited."
Matt laughs. "A little?"
"Okay, well maybe a lot excited," she corrects. "But, hush you."
"Say, Caroline," he begins, and she can just feel her heart drop into the pit of her stomach as she recognizes the look that takes to his face. "Wanna get a drink after work? Mystic Grill?"
She purses her lips together. "Sorry Matt," she begins diplomatically, "I already have—"
"Plans, right," he finishes for her, wincing in humiliation and averting his gaze.
Caroline smiles softly, trying to ease the burn. He's an attractive guy, really but she has some personal issues that need a serious look over. And besides, some relationships are better left in the what if pile of life. "Another time?"
"Yeah, maybe," comes his rigid reply.
Caroline sighs and turns back to her computer, happy moment successfully ruined. Why couldn't she have said yes? Her personality is so terrible she really just can't with herself sometimes. She returns to her task of answering emails whilst wishing fervently it was four o'clock.
The moment the clock hits four o'clock, Caroline heads straight for the door, shrugging on her warm white winter jacket and pulling her phone from her purse. She is eager to call Bonnie and set an afternoon gossip date. Instead, she finds an incoming text message from her friend.
Congrats care. busy tonight! will tell you about it later! xoxo bonnie, the text reads. Caroline huffs. There goes her well-earned bragging hour. Well, might as well go with Plan B. If she's going to infiltrate the Mikaelson Corporation she's going to need a lot more than her university training and her invisible talent. Caroline grins, skimming through her contacts list until she comes to the name she was looking for: Salvatore, Damon. She presses call, holds the phone up to her ear and waits.
"Damon Salvatore. If you're hearing this message, I'm probably ignoring you," the voicemail says in Damon's characteristic sardonic tone.
Caroline rolls her eyes. "Typical," she groans, tossing her cellphone back into her purse. She will have to show up unannounced then. It isn't like she hasn't before. Though, knowing Damon it is highly probably she may walk in on something she would really be better off not witnessing.
It takes her fifteen minutes to reach Damon's family home, the Salvatore Boarding House, right outside the city limit. It is tucked away in a nice wooded area and is quite homely. She parks her car and saunters right up to the door. The sound of drilling greets her ears. She knocks.
And then knocks again.
He obviously cannot hear her over the sound of his drill. Well, if that isn't inconvenient. Giving a huff, Caroline leans down, moving the fake rock to the right of the door, and fetching the spare key. She slips it into the keyhole and twists; the door unlocks without much trouble. Inside she waltzes, closing the door behind her with a silent click.
She glides through the hallway with ease, following the sound. As she walks closer, a devious plot forms in her mind. She sets her purse down on the coffee table in the living room and sighs, feeling the familiar tingle disperse throughout her body. Her heart shudders and her eyes burn; she knows she is now translucent. A playful smile on her lips, she pads into Damon's workshop.
There he resides, hunched over his wooden work table, wielding helmet in place and drill drilling away at some gadget should can't, for the life of her, discern what it is. Several other items line his work space, all in difference stages of completion. Caroline glances at Damon and, with a devilish smirk, she begins to pick the items up one by one, inspecting each. He doesn't notice at first, but when he does she knows. A slew of curses leave his mouth as he abruptly lets go of the drill, which spins horribly on the work desk knocking all sorts of things over.
Caroline laughs hysterically, loses her concentration and slowly fades back into visibility.
"Oh, it's you," Damon drawls in irritation, pushing his wielding helmet up on to the top of his head. "Christ, Barbie," he continues, snatching up his drill, "use the doorbell next time, will you?"
She leans up against the work desk, laughter still light on her lips. "You wouldn't answer your phone," she accuses.
Damon does that infuriating eyes movement of his before snapping his helmet down in one fluid motion. "Perhaps that has to do with the fact that I'm oh, I don't know, busy," he says, revving the drill in emphasis. "Now get out."
Caroline rolls her eyes. "You're infuriating."
"And you're annoying," he returns. "Glad we can finally agree on something."
"Whatever," she snaps, narrowing her eyes before adding, "nerd."
She cannot see his face, but she knows he is frowning. She's struck a chord. "Says the materialistic, neurotic control freak," he quips, starting up the drill again and beginning in on his project once more.
Caroline snatches the drill from Damon's loose grasp. "Would you quit with the insults for two seconds?" she asks. "I seriously need your help."
Damon sighs exaggeratedly. "Every time you say that sentence I end up barely escaping the full extent of the law."
"You do not."
"Name one time you asked me for a favor that the cops didn't come aknockin'."
Caroline opens her mouth to retort and then closes it, frowning.
"That's what I thought. So whatever it is you're going to ask me, the answer is no. Go find yourself another wealthy genius."
Caroline snorts derisively. "You're really going to turn down your oldest friend?"
"Hm, let me think about that," a beat, "yes, yes I am."
Caroline chunks a small gadget at Damon's head. He dodges.
"Violent woman!" Damon exclaims dramatically with a shake his head. "You're never going to find a husband the rate you're going!"
"Oh shut up, Damon. I haven't even told you what I need help with."
"The answer is still… yup, still no, no, no, and did I mention no?"
"Even if I'm going on a super-secret undercover job that requires me to infiltrate the Mikaelson Corporation, the pompous bastards you claim to hate?"
Damon frowns. "That is just not fair," he complains, once again flipping his wielding helmet upwards onto his head.
Caroline smirks. "So you'll help me?"
She grins. "I knew you would!"
Damon saunters over to the loveseat by the window seal and sits down. He pats the cushion next to him. "Start from the beginning."
Caroline whistles to herself as she walks to her car. In her hand is clasped a bag filled with all sorts of patented gadgets Damon had personally selected for her. He'd promised to be available to her at all times via earpiece in case she found herself in a tight situation. Placing the bag in her passenger side seat, she slides into the driver's side and heads home.
Tomorrow is a big day for her, after all.
Mystic Times Headquarters
Caroline squirms under Alaric's intense gaze.
"You read the files?" he asks skeptically.
She nods. "Of course," she begins nervously. "I will be working as Niklaus Mikaelson's temporary personal secretary," she rattles on, "seeing as his currently secretary has won an all-expenses-paid trip to Europe."
"Discover the working relationship Mason Lockwood and Niklaus maintained previous to his death. I shall try and uncover if Mr. Mikaelson was in anyway directly responsible for Lockwood's death earlier this week," she regurgitates perfectly, smiling towards the end.
Alaric grunts in reply.
Caroline clears her throat and continues. "Today will be my first day. I will keep a low profile, find what I need, and then return home. This will be my routine until I recover new information or you pull me."
Alaric leans forward. "You are expected to arrive at seven AM. From there, you will be on your own," he pauses. "Are you sure you're up to this, Miss Forbes?"
She nods resolutely. "Yes sir."
Alaric sighs. "Please, for the love of god, don't screw this up."
Her mouth forms a hard line. "I won't." She gets up at once and exits the office, a bit miffed. She would show Alaric. She would be the best damn undercover journalist this city had ever seen, so help her.
It is exactly six forty-five AM when she arrives outside Mikaelson Corporation. She has donned a pair of black-rimmed glasses and braided her hair into two braids that hang on each side of her face; inconspicuous, she is so on top of it. After a sharp inhale of air, she scurries in to the skyscraper. As she makes a b-line for the only open elevator, she slips her credentials over her neck. "Hold the elevator!' she calls, quickening her pace.
The man standing in the elevator sends her a cursory glance but makes no move to hold the elevator. She grits her teeth and all but throws herself in the elevator as the doors close behind her. She huffs, leaning against the metal bar at the back of the small enclosed space. She glares sharply at the man as she fixes her stray strands of loose hair. "I asked you to hold the elevator," she huffs angrily.
The man doesn't even look at her. "You did," he replies matter-of-factly, his deep British timbre taking her by surprise.
She can feel irritation bubbling in her chest. "Then why didn't you hold it?"
He spares her a glance, soft smirk pulling at the edges of his mouth. He shrugs. "Seemed like a lot of effort for so little an award."
"Are all British men this rude?" she snaps crossly, folding her arms across her chest.
He raises an eyebrow in amusement. "Are all American women this brash?" he counters.
She whips around to face him, sticking her finger in his face. "You, sir," she snarls, "need to learn some manners."
The elevator dings and slides open right on cue.
"Well, aren't you just the regular spitfire, love," he remarks with a smirk as he steps out of the elevator, leaving her behind fuming.
Her morning isn't going quite as she planned. Mood now soured, Caroline stomps down the hallway towards the direction she has been told Niklaus Mikaelson's office is located. She somehow manages to get all sorts of turned around and has to be redirected. When she finally reaches her destination, she is red-faced and out of breath. She glances at her wristwatch. She's five minutes late. Alaric is going to murder her.
Straightening out her suit, Caroline walks into the office with purpose, hand held out, and brilliant smile in place. "Caroline Forbes, I'm your new...," she trails off, her mouth falling agape as she takes in the man before her.
The man from the elevator.
The one she yelled at.
Klaus smirks back at her. "Yes, I know," he supplies with an amused edge. "You're to be my new secretary. Fantastic." He gets to his feet and walks over to her, grasping her hand in his and bringing it to his lips. He kisses the top of her hand softly as he looks up at her through half-lidded sea green eyes. "Niklaus Mikaelson. A pleasure, I'm sure."
Caroline has the sudden urge to throw herself from the building.
Below Petrova Incorporated
Katerina walks down the long, dark, and damp passage, her heels clicking against the stone flooring. She comes to a stop in front of a barred cell and crouches down, peering in at the figure hunched in the corner. She wraps her hands around the rusting bars and leans in, her breathe visible in the cold air. "It seems one of the Mikaelson boys know about you," she says in that same sultry tone she always uses. "Elijah, to be precise; I'm impressed, honestly. Don't worry though," she purrs, "I will remedy that soon enough."
The figure stirs slightly, large brown eyes weary.
Katerina laughs, the sound manic and cruel. "This will all be over soon enough," she promises.
After one last lingering stare, Katerina gets to her feet and saunters away, knowing smirk resting upon her blood red lips.
Thoughts? Comments? Constructive Criticism? I'd love to hear it! Drop me a lovely review if you are so inclined. Now that Klaus and Caroline have finally met, things can start to heat up. ;)
Follow me on tumblr for updates and teasers. URL is: candisaccola.