Hey guys!

So here we are again! I'd like to say thank you to all of you who reviewed the last chapter, I know it stirred up quite a lot of questions and confusion, but I don't know how much of that will be cleared up in this chapter, we'll just have to wait and see. Thank you to everyone who reviewed;

Element Siren, Crazygirl8243, Mytery Girl3, Sam0728, justine, drewwnesss, Pinkgem22, angel1725, .167, PsychVamp, Emmy16, crystalhoney, Deena, brighteyescoldheart, black111star, and starangel.

So thank you for all of those. I love getting reviews, it really helps to know that you guys are still reading.

Before we start, I have to talk about that other Klaus/Caroline fic I had planned. I don't think I'm going to be writing that now, sorry. I did try, and I almost got the first chapter done, but it wasn't really working. Anyway, so I've scrapped that, but don't worry, I have a lot of ideas just waiting for me to write them! So, follow me if you're interested in some other fics I will be writing soon!




Also, Happy New Year, everyone!

Caroline tried to act calm, as she returned to the ball. She didn't want to arouse any suspicion, or to make Katherine think that her compulsion hadn't worked. Caroline was a smart girl, and although she'd never been in a situation like it before, she knew she had to be careful. She had to keep her head held high, and act like nothing was wrong. And so she did. She lifted her skirts slightly, making it easier for her to walk, and tried to walk at a considerably normal pace, back to the ball.

She had no idea what she was going to do, of course. Should she tell Klaus? Or keep it to herself? Maybe she should tell Elijah, as he seemed more trustworthy, and more likely to think before acting. She would have to tell someone in private though, because out in the open, they could be heard by anyone. And Katherine or one of her "friends" could get suspicious. Still, that didn't make it any easier. She didn't know who to turn to. But she probably didn't have a lot of time. Caroline had been told that some guests were going to be staying in the castle for a while, and she had no doubts that Katherine was one of them.

She made it back inside, closing the huge, wooden door behind her. The ball was still going on, everyone was dancing, and talking, and laughing. Nobody had any idea of the dark plots that were being made by some of the guests. They were so naive, just as Caroline had been less than half an hour ago. She was so lucky that she had taken her vervain that morning. But then, she still couldn't decide what to do. Should she tell Klaus? Or Elijah? Should she tell anyone at all?

It wasn't really something that she could keep to herself though. If she did, and the Originals were killed, she'd never forgive herself. Yes, nobody would even know that she knew, but she would know. She would never be able to live with the guilt, especially as Klaus had been so nice to her. She couldn't just stand back and watch whilst somebody tried to kill him. It would be wrong, and he would never do the same to her. If she were in danger, he would risk everything to save her. Not that she could do the same, but she could at least tell him.

She looked around the room, searching for Klaus, but she couldn't see him anywhere. The room was so crowded, it was hard to pick anyone out, especially with all the dancers twirling around the middle of the room. So she tried to look for anyone that might know where he was. She could see the King and Queen sat on two thrones near the back of the Hall, engrossed in a conversation. Elijah was dancing with another young lady, and Caroline thought it best not to interrupt his dance, as it might cause too much suspicion. She could see Prince Finn in the corner, but she didn't know him that well at all, and what she had to tell was not really a conversation for first meetings.

Lady Katherine was in another corner, talking with two men that Caroline had never seen before. They were both incredibly handsome, and dressed very finely. They were so heartbreakingly handsome, Caroline could not believe she had never noticed them before. And it was quite obvious to her that they were the "friends" Katherine had spoken of.

The taller of the two had quite long, light brown hair, that he had to keep flicking out of his eyes. His eyes themselves were dark, and green, and mysterious. He had a scowling look on his face, and his mouth seemed to permanently be in a straight line. He was looking at Katherine intently as they spoke, and his hands kept twitching, as if they longed to hold hers. There was obviously something going on between the two of them, as Katherine was looking at him the same.

The other man was equally as handsome, but in an entirely different way. He was darker, even more mysterious. His hair was dark, almost black, and slicked back from his face, revealing his piercing, ice-blue eyes. His lips were pulled back into a big smile, showing off his perfectly white teeth, but he wasn't smiling at Katherine or the other man, he was looking somewhere else. Caroline followed his eyes to the other side of the room, where . . . Lady Elena was stood. She saw the same look in his eyes that she did when Klaus looked at her.

Lady Elena did look beautiful. She was wearing an amazing, dark blue dress, with long sleeves, and little ruffles on the shoulders. It was pulled tight to accentuate her tiny waist, and the ruffles and neckline were lined with small, shining pearls. Her long, straight, brown hair ran smoothly down her back, a few strands framing her face perfectly. She certainly looked very different from Katherine, though not in a bad way, and Caroline could see why this mysterious man's eyes were drawn to her.

Caroline turned her eyes back to the group she had been watching, trying to focus. Her heart stopped when she saw that they were all looking right at her. She knew she should look away, but something in their eyes kept her rooted to the spot. She was frozen. And they weren't looking away either. They must had realized she'd been watching them, and now they were looking at her suspiciously, especially Katherine. Great, thought Caroline, now you've done it! She was still unable to look away as well, which annoyed Caroline, because she didn't know why. She just kept staring and staring, and could not, for whatever reason stop it. There was something about the three mysterious strangers that caught her attention.

However, in a blink, Caroline noticed that one of them was gone. The shorter of the two men, with the dark hair and piercing eyes, had disappeared. Caroline thought at first he had gone off to find Lady Elena, but she was wrong. She felt someone tap her on the shoulder, and as she spun round, she found herself face-to-face with aforementioned mysterious stranger. Up close, his eyes were even more striking, and Caroline was once again finding it hard to look away. She could hear her heartbeat in her ears, and felt extremely nervous. She could feel someone watching her, and she knew it was Klaus. She'd have a lot of explaining to do later.

"Good evening . . . Caroline, is it?" the man asked, and Caroline was finally able to look away. She looked down at the floor, and took a step back, realizing how close together they were stood. There was something about this man that scared her, but it wasn't in the obvious way, like Kol. It was something hidden, deep beneath the surface. Something just out of the corner of her eye. Something she couldn't quite put her finger on. But she knew he was dangerous. And she knew she shouldn't be standing near him, but something about his presence was telling her that, even if she tried to run, he could catch her. "I'm Lord Damon. Damon Salvatore. Over there, is my brother Stefan, and Lady Katherine Pierce. May I have the pleasure of a dance?"

"I'm sorry," Caroline began. Sure, there was something about this man that was dangerous, but that didn't mean she had to do whatever he said. She was still her same old stubborn self, and a strange feeling that she had wasn't going to stop her. Unfortunately, she had a feeling that this Damon was going to be just as stubborn. "But I don't - "

"Let me be clear," Damon cut her off, by stepping in closer, and gripping her upper-arms tightly. Their faces were now so close, that if he were breathing, Caroline could have felt it. If he were breathing, Caroline noted. Obviously, he was a vampire. It explained his handsome good looks, and how he had been able to get to her so fast. And also the force with which he was gripping her arms. "That wasn't a question."

Caroline was silent, as Damon lead her to the middle of the room by the hand, and took her waist. Another song began, and they started to dance. When she looked off to the corner of the room, she saw Klaus watching them. So now he decides to appear, thought Caroline, as Damon whisked her around the floor. No matter how many times Damon spun her around, Caroline was always able to find Klaus in the crowds of people, and he didn't look happy. She tried to convey with her eyes that she wanted help, but all she saw in his was jealousy.

Damon didn't talk to her as they danced, but his thoughts were clear. He was telling Caroline to stay away, to leave them to it. To just walk away from that dance, and never bother them again. She got the message, she understood that he was trying to scare her away. And she could pretend like it was working. He didn't know she knew what was going on. He didn't know that Katherine's compulsion hadn't worked, and she knew exactly what they were going to do. He didn't know she was going to run off after their dance, and tell Klaus exactly what they were thinking of doing.

"So, what were you doing, dancing with the likes of Damon Salvatore?" Klaus asked, as he lead Caroline down the halls of the castle. She had eventually managed to get away from Damon, and had ran to Klaus straight after the dance. Klaus had said he had something to show her, and he was now taking her to it. There was a hint of jealousy still in Klaus' voice as he asked about Damon, though Caroline had already assured him she hadn't liked dancing with him any more than Klaus did.

"I . . . well, I have something to tell you. But . . . not here," Caroline muttered. She had no idea who might be listening to their conversation, and wanted to tell Klaus privately. She couldn't risk anyone else overhearing. Klaus simply nodded, and continued to lead Caroline, though he started to walk a little faster, obviously eager to hear what Caroline had to tell him. He took her hand, and picked up some speed.

Caroline didn't know what to say, as she looked down at their intertwined hands, so she didn't say anything at all. She didn't notice the huge grin that had taken over her face at the contact though. And thankfully, neither did Klaus. She didn't pull her hand away, as she liked the feeling of his hand in hers, and she lifted her skirts slightly, so that she could walk faster. She didn't know where they were going, but she followed Klaus anyway.

"So do you like the dress?" Klaus whispered, as he continued to lead her down numerous hallways. Since it was going to be a little while longer until Caroline told him what she knew, he might as well try a little small-talk to pass the time. And besides, it had taken him a lot of time to get that dress made, he wanted to know if she liked it.

"Um . . . I love it, yes. Thank you . . . very much." she mumbled, obviously very distracted. She looked down at the floor, as they continued walking, and Klaus gently stroked her hand with his thumb. She blushed a little at the gesture, but did not say or do anything about it, and still didn't pull away. Klaus was glad that she liked the dress, but he could tell that she was somewhere else. Whatever it was that she wanted to tell him, it was important. And he needed to know urgently.

And Caroline wanted to tell him so badly. She wanted to tell him, and then he would hold her, and say that it wasn't her fault. He would say that it was all going to be alright, and he could stop it. He would banish the Salvatores and Lady Katherine, and they would all be safe. And they could be tog - well, Caroline could continue to ponder her feelings for him. She knew she shouldn't be feeling the way that she was. She knew it was wrong to want him to hold her. But then, how could it be wrong, when it felt so . . . right? God couldn't be so cruel as to pull her towards the devil, when he looked so much like an angel. It would be too cruel.

In all the time she had been at the castle, he had never hurt anyone, as far as Caroline was aware, and he had never hurt her. In fact, he had saved her life. But did that then mean that he was a good person? Was he even a person at all? Not really, he was a vampire. He was dead, or, he was supposed to be. He defied the laws of nature, he shouldn't really exist, none of them should. They should have died, thousands of years ago. But did that mean that they deserved to die now? By someone else's hand?

Caroline had never thought that murder could do any justice. But maybe . . . . maybe it could . . . . maybe it would help them? They had lived long enough, surely? They had lived more lives than a single person could even hope for. They had caused so much death, so surely by killing them, so many would be saved? Did that justify it though? Did two wrongs really make a right? Caroline had always been taught from a young age that they didn't, but then, this wasn't really some trivial little childish problem. People could die. So many lives could and already had been lost, and Caroline just had no idea what to do.

Nobody had ever prepared her for these things growing up. When she was a child, she had been taught how to sew, and to cook, so that she could eventually settle down with a husband, and have children. She had been told that her life was going to be simple, and relaxing, and easy. Living in the castle, Caroline had already been faced with the hardest decisions she had ever had to make, and she was sure there was more to come.

All of a sudden, she was pulled from her thoughts. Or rather, she was pulled, by Klaus, behind a tapestry on the wall. She was about to ask him what the hell he was doing, when she realized there was a hidden passageway behind it. She gasped in amazement, and followed Klaus down the stone passageway, until they reached a corner. They stopped there, and Klaus dropped her hand. It fell back to her side, and Caroline tried not to think about the disappointment she felt when he let go.

"Now, Caroline." Klaus whispered, as he leaned against the wall. He folded his arms across his chest, and he looked entirely relaxed, though Caroline had reason to believe otherwise. She could see the anger in his eyes, the anger that hadn't left since he saw her dancing with Damon. "What is it that you wanted to tell me?"

"I thought you wanted to show me som - " Caroline stalled, trying to change the course of the conversation. After she'd thought about it, she was now becoming increasingly unsure of whether she should tell Klaus or not. What if she did tell him, and he went after Katherine and the Salvatores? And what if he failed? Katherine would know that her compulsion had failed, and Caroline had told Klaus. Caroline was taken aback by how selfish she was being. The man stood before her could die in the next few weeks, if she didn't tell him about Katherine's plan, and all she was doing was thinking about herself. No, she had to tell him.

"Forget about that!" Klaus yelled, and Caroline had to take a few steps back. Klaus had only ever shouted at her once before. Once, when she was very young. If she was being honest, it shocked her. Klaus had always been so calm, and collected. Of course, she had heard from other people that he could be cruel, but he was never like that with her. Whenever he was around Caroline, he was kind, and honest. Caroline supposed the only reason it had shocked her was because the way he acted around her normally, had made her completely forget about the monster that lay beneath the surface. She realized now how little it took to bring that monster out.

When Klaus saw Caroline's scared expression, his features softened, if only a little. His eyes and voice were still full of anger, but his tone was a little softer. "Caroline, please . . . . tell me."

"Damon, Stefan and Katherine are planning to kill you and your entire family." Caroline muttered, quickly and quietly, as she looked at the floor. So quickly and quietly, that, at first, she wondered if Klaus had even heard her. But, looking up into his eyes, and seeing the absolute fury there, she knew that he had. She even saw that he was shaking. And there was a definite difference to how angry he was before, as to how angry he was now. His eyes had darkened several shades, and his lips were pressed into a thin line. He had kicked himself off the wall in a swift movement, and now stood, rigid, and still. His hands were balled up into fists, and Caroline had never been more scared.

In one sudden movement, before Caroline even realized what was going on, Klaus had her pinned against the cold, stone wall. His face was inches away from hers, and their bodies so close. A few hours ago, even the idea of Klaus being that close to her would have made her heart skip many a beat in excitement. But now, Caroline was almost sure that her heart was going to stop altogether. Her breathing was coming fast, and hard, and the tops of her arms were hurting, where Klaus was gripping them. And although she wanted to fight, to kick, and to scream, she was paralyzed, frozen. She tried to scream, she really did, but no noise was coming out.

"Say that again," Klaus said, so fiercely, that Caroline could feel tears starting to form in her eyes. The pressure on her upper arms only became worse, and she could feel her bottom lip beginning to tremble. Still, she tried to remember one of the promises she had made herself upon coming to the castle. She was never going to let him see her cry, especially not now. She was stronger than that, and if he thought he could hurt her like this . . . "Say that again, and know that, if you're lying to me, I will rip out your throat, without a second's thought. Do you understand me?"

Caroline straightened, his bitter and vicious words giving her the confidence that she needed. She had been right all along. He was nothing but a monster. A cruel, cold-hearted monster, who killed without mercy, and had no compassion or emotions. She couldn't believe she'd been so stupid. All that time, she had allowed him to be near her, to touch her. And she'd liked it. She couldn't believe she'd never seen how sick that was. But now she knew. And she was not going to be making that mistake again.

"I'm. Not. Lying." Caroline spat back, and Klaus stepped away, seemingly stunned by what he had done. She felt herself breathe a sigh of relief, as the pressure on her arms lifted. She knew they were going to be bruised later. As Klaus opened his mouth to speak, to apologize, or whatever, Caroline didn't care anymore, she slapped him across the face. Hard.

And she left him standing there, in the passageway, all alone.

Esther Mikaelson watched the ball before her. She watched the people dancing, and talking, and laughing. And she pitied them. They had no idea, the wonders, and the pain, that life had to offer. They had no idea what was waiting for them, or what death felt like, or loss. It was sad really. Human lives. Human lives were like candles, you lit them, and they were beautiful, like dancing flames. But then, they burned out, just as quickly as they had been lit. And they were gone. How anyone could want that life amazed her. It didn't make any sense. They were so young when they died. Still just children, in what they knew. They knew nothing of the world. Of it's beauty. Yet, immortality was not much better. Once you'd seen the world, and all of it's wonders, there wasn't much else. Once you'd seen it all, what was there to do then?

Still, Esther knew she was to die eventually, and she would welcome that day. She'd seen enough. Her children, however, she wanted them to live forever. They, like the humans, had barely seen even a glimpse of the world. They had so much life left to live. That was why she wanted to find Niklaus a wife. Yes, he was not the oldest of her children, but he was the most likely to be about to protect his people, and be a firm and honourable King. Speaking of her son, Esther couldn't see him anywhere.

"Mikael," Esther whispered, leaning over to her husband, sat at her side. "Where's Niklaus?"

"I saw him run off a few hours ago, with that human girl," Mikael replied, his voice full of hatred, and disgust. "Caroline, is that her name?"

"What does her name matter?" Esther spat back, as the King and Queen turned to look out, over the hall. They spoke quietly, and didn't make eye-contact, not wanting people to overhear. "We can't allow Niklaus to marry her. If he chooses her in the next few days . . . something has to be done."

"What are you suggesting?"

"She's a human girl, so fragile so weak. It would be so easy to just . . . "

"Kill her"


Yeah, cliff-hanger, I know. You must know by now though that I love to end chapters on cliff-hangers, it's not my fault, honestly! The plot bunnies, they just . . . take over!

Anyway, please review, they are much appreciated!