Really sorry for the slow update. There's been a lot going on recently. And I know what you're thinking, what could a fourteen year old girl have going on? But, yeah. I stayed off school yesterday, so . . . at least it means I get to write more for you guys! I'd like to thank these guys for reviewing the last chapter, it means a lot;
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Caroline took a deep breath, as she strolled around the gardens that lay before her. Only a few hours ago, she'd had her first meeting with the Mikaelsons, and her "competitors". It hadn't been as bad as she'd thought. Nobody had been killed, and as far as she could see, they hadn't been drinking any blood at the table. Although most of the Mikaelsons were hostile towards her, the other girls had seemed nice. Lady Elena had been the only other human at the table, and Caroline hoped that they could be friends.
As Caroline walked gracefully between the trees, she could feel that someone was watching her, but after glancing around quickly, she saw that there was nobody there. So she carried on walking, and tried to keep a normal, upright composure, but she still knew that there was somebody there. She'd always had a good sense when it came to that sort of thing, and she was almost certain that there was somebody watching her. She was a very alert person, and always had been. It was down to her being so smart and brave.
Taking some more deep breaths, Caroline turned a small corner around a patch of flowers, and looked back at the castle. Then she knew who was watching her. Looking through the windows, she could see him. He was stood in what she presumed was his room, looking right at her, with his piercing eyes. As he saw Caroline realize that he had been watching, the corner of his mouth turned up in a smirk.
He didn't even seem to be ashamed at being caught. And he certainly didn't look away. He stood his ground, his hands folded behind his back, and chin up. But Caroline wasn't giving up either. She was known for being terribly stubborn, and just because Niklaus was a prince, it didn't make much different in her eyes. It was all just a game to him, and she was just another piece. The only thing that didn't make sense to Caroline was who the other player was. Still, she wouldn't let him treat her as a possession. Which was exactly the way that he was looking at her. Like she was just something that he owned. And a phrase she had used quite often when it came to Prince Niklaus; she was nothing but a toy, a plaything. She was only there for his amusement, until he was bored, and decided she was no longer of use to him.
Just as Caroline was debating running back to the castle and giving him a piece of her mind, she felt a warm hand on her shoulder. Immediately, she whipped round, ready to try and escape if it were once of the Mikaelsons. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw that it was Lady Elena.
"Good evening, Caroline. I don't believe we've properly met," Lady Elena began, extending her hand to Caroline. She was wearing a very fine, lilac dress, with short, capped sleeves, and white lace pattern down the front. Her small, delicate hands were covered with white gloves, and she wore a beautiful, silver necklace around her neck. Her long, brunette hair ran straight down her back, and she had an incredibly kind face. Caroline shook her hand, and smiled widely.
"No, I don't believe we have." Caroline replied, and Elena gestured for her to walk with her. They linked arms naturally, as if they had been friends for years, and they knew straight away that they were going to be. Both of the girls walked incredibly gracefully, but Elena was definitely far more delicate. Caroline was, and always had been, incredibly feisty. True, she could be quiet sometimes, but only when she wasn't interested, and very rarely, when she was scared. Elena seemed very composed and polite to Caroline, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Caroline often found it helped to be around people that are different to you.
"So what brings you to the evil lair of Klaus?" Elena asked, and Caroline found herself laughing at her phrasing. It was true though. It wasn't just a castle that they were staying in, it was a trap. A trap set up by Niklaus. A trap that one of them was never going to escape. She found though that she was stuck on the fact that Elena had called him Klaus. And not Niklaus, or Prince Niklaus.
"He came to my village yesterday, and he could choose one of the girls in the village to be his wife. Or, one choice for his wife, anyway, and . . . he chose me." Caroline muttered the last part, as if it was only just dawning on her. Out of so many girls in her village, Prince Niklaus had chosen her. Probably the only girl that had seen his true face. There had to be some sort of plan there. He could have chosen any girl in the village, one that would have been much more willing to marry him than Caroline. There were plenty of girls more beautiful, and plenty more willing. It didn't make any sense.
"It's strange, really," Elena mused, looking up towards the window of the castle Niklaus was still watching them. He was still in the same position, and his face still held the same irritating smirk. Now, though Caroline was feisty and stubborn, she had never been one for violence. She believed it was never the answer. Though, in that moment, she wanted nothing more than to slap that arrogant smirk right off of his face. At the same time though, she felt like that was what he wanted. He wanted her to be mad at him. He was practically waiting for her to step out of line, or to break a rule. Or maybe he was just sick enough to find it funny. "I've never seen Klaus like this before . . . "
"What do you mean?" Caroline asked, turning her head back to Lady Elena. They continued walking, as Niklaus' gaze was starting to give them both a very uncomfortable feeling. "Do you know Prince Niklaus?"
"Yes, unfortunately," Lady Elena laughed, and then saw Caroline's horrified expression. "Our families are . . . friends of some sort. I was brought to this castle a lot, growing up. When my parents died a few years ago, me, my brother and sister still came here. Believe it or not, the Mikaelsons looked after us. And, I know this may be even harder for you to believe, but . . . Klaus isn't all bad." Elena could tell from Caroline's face that she did not believe that at all. "I know he's a vampire, and he does have a horrid temper, but . . . he has good intentions, Caroline. And . . . I can honestly say that I have never seen him like this before. The way that he looks at you, it's like . . . it's so full of passion, and . . . and . . . he really cares for you Caroline. Dangerously so. I only hope that you will be careful with him."
"Careful . . . how?" Caroline replied. Although she did not agree with Lady Elena, she still wanted to know what she was talking about. She seemed to be quite wise, and even though she could be wrong, it couldn't hurt to hear her advice.
"Don't hurt him." Elena said sternly, trying to make it very clear to Caroline how important it was. Whenever Niklaus got hurt . . . many people followed. Except their hurt tended to end in death. Elena had never seen Niklaus show love before. Except, of course with his family. And when it came to family . . . Niklaus became even more dangerous than ever. And if love for his family was anything to go off . . . . then they were all in danger if Caroline ever hurt him. "I don't think he'd take it very well. Although you may see a cold-hearted beast on the outside, he would surprise you. He is actually quite full of compassion, and is very weak emotionally. It just takes the right person to see it."
Caroline didn't know what to say. Although she did know that Lady Elena was very smart, and probably had known Niklaus all her life, which meant she knew him a lot better than Caroline, she still didn't quite believe her. Obviously, there was a little good in everyone, but maybe Elena just tried a bit too hard to see it in Niklaus? Caroline was sure though that Elena had completely misunderstood the way that he looked at her. He saw her as food, or a pointless possession, nothing more. She was a fly caught in his trap, that was all. But as she looked up at the window, she saw the intensity in his eyes. So intense that she had to let go of Elena's arm, and run back to the castle. She had to get away from those eyes.
Caroline's breaths were coming hard and fast, as she ran up the stairs. She grabbed her dress in trembling fists, so that she wouldn't trip. Her hair was flying out behind her as she ran up the spiral staircase. It was making her dizzy, as she went round and round, but she didn't care. She had to get away from those eyes. She had felt them on her all day, and it was already making her feel sick. And she wasn't even aware that she was crying until she began to taste her salty tears in her gasps.
Every time she closed her eyes, or even blinked, she could see his eyes. She didn't know why, but there was just something about the way that he looked at her . . . it was probably just the pressure and the fact that she was away from home that was getting to her, but she just couldn't shake it. No matter where she was, she always felt like he was watching her. Even then, when she was running to get away, she could still feel him, watching. She knew he probably wasn't even anywhere close, but she just had a feeling. And it was a terrible . . . maddening feeling. It made her want to tear her hair out and sob. It made her head spin, and she could feel cold sweat on her forehead.
There were so many stairs. She assumed she must be in one of the castle's towers, which explained why it had taken her so long to get as far up as she was. She stopped just before the top, and sat a few steps down. She brought her knees up underneath her chin, and tried to calm her breathing. Of course, that only resulted in Caroline collapsing into sobs. Her whole body shook as she cried. She could feel shivers running up and down her spine, and it was obvious that she was making herself hysterical. She felt like all she'd done for the past few days was cry.
But no matter how many times she told herself not to let Niklaus win, she still couldn't stop herself from crying. It was like, once she'd started, she just couldn't stop. Every teardrop turned into a waterfall. And what made it worse was that the feeling of his presence still wouldn't go away. No matter how much she cried, it didn't go away, and in fact, it was getting stronger. She could feel his gaze so strongly, it was if he was stood right behind her. And when she felt someone sit beside her, she didn't even turn to see who it was. Her eyes were closed at this point, and she just let the stranger take her into their arms.
She could tell, as she cried, that this stranger beside her was obviously male. He had very strong, and muscular arms, and he could hold her with ease. Caroline could feel the fabric of his jacket, which was a soft velvety material, and she suddenly felt very conscious of ruining it. It was obviously quite expensive. But she felt so comfortable with this man. He stroked her hair gently, and made quiet, comforting noises. Caroline felt safe in his arms, and she turned her head upward, to thank him.
As soon as she saw who it was, she jumped up immediately. Niklaus. Caroline felt rage bubbling up inside her. She wiped away her tears on her sleeve roughly, and ran her fingers hastily through her hair. She sniffed angrily, and she wasn't sure who she was more angry at, herself, for letting her guard down and being so stupid, or Niklaus, for what she thought of as taking advantage of her. She prepared herself for another argument, but was surprised to see only concern in the Prince's eyes.
"Are you alright, love?" he asked her, standing up, and taking a few steps down towards her. Caroline just held up her hand, telling him to stay where he was.
"I'm fine," Caroline spat back, reverting back to her stubborn and feisty self. She knew it had been a stupid thing to do, but she also knew that she was never going to let it happen again. "And don't call me love."
"Alright, sweetheart," Niklaus replied, making sure he put extra emphasis on the 'sweetheart'. Now that he could see Caroline was back to herself, he began to tease her again. He found it incredibly amusing, his little 'spats' with Caroline. She challenged him, and he liked that. "But you were the one sat outside my chambers."
Caroline sighed. Of course the tallest tower in the castle would have to lead to Prince Niklaus' chambers. It made sense, he was quite isolated. At least, that's what Anna had said. As Caroline walked back down the staircase, she shouted back over her shoulder, making sure that Niklaus heard;
"Well, now that I know where they are, I'll be making a note not to come here again."
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