Chapter One – Some Nights
Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights, I call it a draw
Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights, I wish they'd just fall off
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord I'm still not sure what I stand for.
"Not having second thoughts, are you, Stefan?" Klaus asked as they walked up the steps to the private tarmac his plane was sitting on, waiting to taxi. Compulsion was great, but sometimes money worked as well. Once inside, he watched as Stefan gently set the incapacitated blonde down in one of the seats with great trepidation.
"She's going to hate me when she wakes up," Stefan said, tucking a curl behind Caroline's ear as her body slumped into the plane seat. The regret was evident in his face, but he had his own reasons for doing this. Caroline would benefit from this trip as much as he would. "You promise nothing is going to happen to her while you are gone?" he asked, his eyes not leaving her.
"She doesn't have to remember you were the one who did this if you'd like," Klaus offered up, a smirk present on his lips as his hands remained clasped behind his back. "You said it yourself, with Connor's miraculous escape, Caroline being gone is one less person for you to protect. You've got enough on your plate with the newborn doppelganger, her brother, your brother." He reached a hand over and buckled Caroline's seatbelt for her under Stefan's watchful eye. "Besides, she's been putting so much energy into avoiding Tyler since his missteps with the werewolf came to light-"
"Since you arranged for her to catch them in the act," Stefan cut in.
Klaus shrugged his shoulders, "Details," he said dismissively, "It will be a much needed break for her. No one regrets Italy. Give her a day, she'll be quite happy with her surroundings. Now if you'll excuse me. The plane needs to get in the air and unless you've decided to make this a threesome, you'd better be on your way." He motioned for Stefan to leave, watching him do so reluctantly before leaning back into the remaining seat in the cabin.
The majority of the flight was quiet. Klaus found that his sketch pad and Caroline's sleeping form was providing all of the entertainment he needed on the international flight. He was used to sketching from memory, having her there in person made things much easier for him. He expected her to wake earlier, but that didn't stop the smirk from forming on his lips when she began to stir. He set his pad and pencil aside and turned to watch her, "Morning, Love."
Her eyes shot open, a hand curling around the back of her neck, trying to rub away the soreness from the break that Stefan had issued earlier. She was so going to get him back for that later. She took a moment to take in her surroundings, cursing under her breath when she realized they were on a plane. There was no simple escape route. For a moment, she briefly considered jumping, but decided even the temporary pain wasn't worth it. She was stuck for the time being. She sat up straight in her seat before turning towards Klaus. "Where are we? Where is Stefan?"
"I would say we just passed the midway point on the Atlantic, give or take a few miles. Stefan is most likely attending to Elena back in Mystic Falls, unless Damon has tricked her into believing he's the better choice. Either way, I suspect his hands are full." He stood from his chair and walked over to the ice chest on the opposing side of the cabin. He pulled a blood bag from it and handed it to Caroline. "I know coming back from the dead must be exhausting."
She took it without much hesitation, her eyes never leaving him as if he would try something the moment she looked away. "So where are we going?" She asked, unbuckling her seat belt and getting more comfortable. "Please tell me you didn't convince Stefan to break my neck just so you didn't have to eat baguettes by yourself at the Eiffel Tower?" she asked as she fussed with the tubing on the blood bag until it acted as a straw.
"That was not part of the plan, Sweetheart, but if you'd like to make a stopover in Paris, I'm sure that can be arranged."
"Where are we going?" She asked again, more firmly this time. She didn't want to dance around it. If he was going to force her to tag along on this little adventure then the least he could do was keep her informed
"Italy. I have some business to attend to, I thought you might enjoy accompanying me. Get out of Mystic Falls for a few days. It might be slightly easier for you to avoid my hybrid with an ocean in between you."
Her eyes flickered with excitement for just a moment before she masked it, but Klaus caught it before she pushed it aside. That flicker was all he needed to know the battle wouldn't be completely uphill. "And what business would that be?" She crossed her arms over her chest once the blood bag was finished.
"In due time, Sweetheart. Just enjoy the ride. We should be landing in a matter of hours."
The remainder of their flight was quiet. Neither wanting to break the delicate silence they had fallen into, but it appeared the spell was broken when they landed in Florence.
"I sincerely hope you booked up separate rooms because there is no way in hell I am sleeping in the same hotel room as you. I cannot believe I am even here. I should really march back to that ticket counter and compel myself a seat on the first plane back to Mystic Falls. I don't even have any clothes. What am I supposed to wear while we're here?" She rambled until he hailed a cab outside the airport and motioned for her to get inside.
"I own a home here so a hotel room would be quite unnecessary. There are many rooms for you to choose from. You are more than welcome to ask for a plane ticket back to the states, but I think you will find that they are all unfortunately booked to capacity," he told her instructing the driver where to take them. "I would much prefer you wear nothing at all, but I believe Rebekah's clothing would suit your needs while we are in Italy if you would prefer."
"Ass." He heard her mumble under her breath. He only responded with a smirk and settled into his seat for the remainder of the ride through the country side.
He pretended not to notice Caroline's reaction when they pulled up to the large Tuscan estate. She marveled out the window at the sprawling grounds and the grand arches and pillars. The stone covered complex was perched atop a hill, offering a complete view of the city below and Caroline was certain she had never seen something so painfully beautiful in her life.
When she realized she was staring, Caroline cleared her throat and glanced back over at Klaus, "Well at least the house isn't a dump." She pulled open the car door, not waiting for Klaus as she walked towards the front door and walked inside.
By the time he got inside, Caroline had disappeared within the depths of the house and he allowed her to. She needed to feel like she had control over the situation and he had business he needed to attend to. Had he been alone, he simply would have found the location in the woods, retrieved the sword, and returned to Mystic Falls, but Caroline's presence made the trip much more than one of business. They only had a few days here and he intended on showing her what Italy had to offer. First things, first, the sword.
It didn't take him long to find it. Rebekah had been quite forthcoming to Stefan on the location of the burial site. The body was nearly completely decayed, but the sword was very much intact. With that out of the way he could focus on more pressing matters. Caroline to be more specific. Under any other circumstances, he would have sent someone else to do his dirty work, but this matter was a bit more delicate. The less people who knew of the swords existence, the better. It was nearly dark by the time he returned to the manor, caked with dirt from a day spent digging. He was quite surprised when he was met by a frustrated looking Caroline standing at the top of the staircase, towel wrapped tightly around her petite frame.
"I would have been home sooner if I knew this was the welcome that awaited me."
She glared, "You forgot to mention that none of Rebekah's clothes are from this century."
"Ah yes, Rebekah was in a box from 1929 until just a few months ago. The clothing in this house might be slightly out of date. You are an industrious young woman. I trust you can come up with something." He leaned over pulling off the mud coated boots and glancing back up at her. "And you better do it quickly, we have dinner reservations in an hour." He walked up the stairs towards her.
"We? What makes you think I'm leaving this house with you? You already kidnapped me and brought me to another country. Now you want me to play honeymoon with you?"
"Now that's the spirit. Playing honeymoon sounds lovely," his lips curled into a smirk as he began peeling the soiled Henley from his body, before starting on his belt buckle. "If it's games you're into there's no reason to leave the house." He raised his eyebrow suggestively.
She deadpanned, "I'll be ready in a half an hour." Dinner with Klaus wasn't an ideal way to spend her evening, but it was better than sitting around this house listening to him try to flirt with him. She turned on her heel and headed back to the bedroom she had found Rebekah's clothes in earlier that evening. There wasn't much to work with. Even with Klaus around, she didn't wish to be buttoned up to her neck, but she wasn't about to don a corset either. Feeding into whatever sick fantasy he had in mind for this weekend was not part of her plan. If she couldn't get home, she was going to take advantage of her time in Italy.
She was halfway through tearing the sleeves off one of Rebekah's dresses to update it into this century when her phone began to sing "Some Nights" from within her purse. She had gotten so wrapped up in the idea of being in Italy, she had nearly forgotten that there were probably people back in Mystic Falls wondering where she was. Fishing the phone from the depths of the bag, she brushed her thumb across the screen to answer.
"Hello?" She questioned, pulling it away from her face enough to see Elena's name on the screen before pressing it back to her ear.
"Where are you?" Elena demanded, but Caroline could hear the worried undertones. "I've been trying to call you all day. Your mom is worried."
Caroline bit her lip, looking down at the shredded dress in her. "I'm fine. Tell her I'm fine." She said, battling with guilt over giving into the idea of enjoying Italy while she was there. She had probably given her mother a heart attack disappearing like that with a hunter on the loose. She had just told her she was hanging out with Stefan, but that had been nearly twelve hours ago.
"Where are you, Caroline?" Elena persisted.
Caroline took a deep breath, knowing she was going to have to get this all out in one breath if she was going to keep Elena from jumping to conclusions. "I'm in Italy with Klaus. He sort of kidnapped me, I guess. He had some business to take care of here, but he won't tell me what it is. I'm not quite sure what's going on, but everything is going to be okay. He said we'll be home in a few days so just try not to worry." She closed her eyes tightly, hoping for the best reaction possible from Elena, though she wasn't sure what that was.
"Klaus kidnapped you and left the country and you are telling me not to worry?"
"Really, I'm okay, Elena. I promise. He said we'll be home in a few days so I'm just going to try to make the most of it. He compelled all the seats on all the planes going home for the next few days so it's not like I have much of a choice." She sighed. "I'll find out what he's up to and let you know."
"So you are totally okay with the fact that he kidnapped you? Bonnie is going to have a field day with this."
"Can we just leave Bonnie out of this?" she asked hesitantly. "And no I'm not totally cool with it, but there's nothing I can do. It's a few days. I'll live. Besides, I've never been outside of Virginia and I'm in Italy right now. Why not enjoy it on Klaus's dime?" she gave a small laugh, looking around the room.
"Care, does this have anything to do with what happened with Hayley and Tyler? I'm worried about you."
"No," Caroline replied quickly. She couldn't deal with Tyler right now, even the idea of him. The betrayal was still fresh in her mind and she couldn't afford to crumble right now. She needed to focus, get through the next few days. Once she got home she could cry on the couch with Elena to their hearts content. Right now, Tyler didn't exist.
"Really? Do you need to talk about it? I know I've been kind of busy with vampire stuff, but Tyler cheating on you is no reason to go running to Klaus."
Caroline huffed into the phone, "Really. I'm fine. I need to go. I have to find something wearable. Tell my mom I'm fine and not to worry. I'll be home in a few days, I love you!" She hung up the phone call before Elena could respond. The conversation had only increased her resolve. She was going to enjoy herself while she was here. Tyler did not exist. Klaus might not have been the greatest company in the world, but it was Italy and she was going to see what it had to offer.
More determined than before, she turned her attention back to the pile of fabric in her lap. Once she was done, she held up the red dress she had refashioned into something resembling a wrap dress. Diane Von Furstenberg would have been proud. She would make sure to pick up a few things to make it through the weekend, but it would to for tonight. She tightened the tie on the dress, ensuring that it would not come loose before stepping into the heels she had been wearing on the plane. She checked her appearance in the mirror once more before letting out a small laugh, wondering why she cared so much about what she looked like when she was about to have dinner with the devil.