Title: Nothing's Ever Lost Forever
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries
Author: darkmagic-luvr/thecunningcock
Pairings: Klaus/Caroline, Kol/Anna, Jeremy/Rebekah, Elijah/Katherine
Rating: Another thank you to everyone who's read and reviewed this fic so far, and to Kady for being a lovely beta! Also thanks tumblr for listening to me complain. Hope you all enjoy this chapter, it's longer to make up for how much I suck :)

"Are you sure you want to walk me home in this?"

They'd been on seven dates in two weeks; Caroline had no idea where she found the time between putting the final touches on the party she was organizing and sleeping, but somehow she'd been on seven dates with Klaus. She probably knew him better than she knew her mother by now! And he knew everything about her. She'd never felt more comfortable talking to another person like she did with Klaus. Words just fell out of her mouth when she was around him and...she felt interesting. He listened and asked questions about what she was saying and he was the perfect gentleman. He never said a word about himself unless she asked but she could live with that for now.

But just for now.

Klaus squinted out of the window from where he was standing beside her, grimacing at the sheets of rain falling on New York from the comfort of the dry, warm restaurant they had just finished eating at. It had only been sprinkling when they'd left the sculpture exhibition they'd been at earlier; Caroline touched her hair as she thought about the frizzy, ruined state it would be in when she got home.

"There's no way we're gonna find a cab in all this," he murmured, his breath fogging up the glass. Klaus glanced at her and shrugged, his eyebrow lifting suggestively. "Wanna run for it?"

Snorting, Caroline pushed the door open and stepped out into the downpour, shouting to be heard above the storm. "Fine! But if I fall on my ass you'd better not laugh!"

She slipped and nearly fell into a trashcan, and Klaus laughed so hard at her she couldn't tell if the water streaming down his face was from the rain or his tears. But before she could even snap something at him he'd swept her into his arms and jogged the last two blocks to her building.

"So worth it," giggled Caroline, tightening her hold around Klaus' neck as he spun her around a few times before setting her on her feet. He grinned back, his blue eyes lit up like they were on fire, smoothing his rain soaked curls back as he caught his breath. Caroline's breath hitched in her throat as she took in his drenched appearance, shaking her head with concern because he was going to get pneumonia if he stayed in them for too long.

"Wanna borrow a towel?" she asked cutely, lifting one shoulder and shooting him a sweet smile. Klaus' mouth quirked and he leaned down to press a quick kiss to her lips.

"I'd love to," he said, his voice low. Caroline shook her head, grinning at the ceiling as she turned and beckoned him after her with her hand. He slipped on the tile just as he stopped next to her in front of the elevator, and Caroline pressed her fist to her mouth to keep from laughing. He mock glared at her, keeping one hand against the wall as he regained his footing.

"You're laughing at me."

"I'm not," insisted Caroline as strongly as she could, pursing her lips to keep from doing just that.

"Is this payback for the trashcan? Because if it is, I demand a piggy back ride."

Caroline laughed loudly, unable to keep it down anymore. The elevator doors opened and Klaus shook his head as he slung an arm over her shoulders and steered her inside. She snorted a little as she pressed the button to her floor before turning to him, pointing her finger just under his nose.

"You'll get a towel. And tea!" she added quickly as the cold of the elevator suddenly hit her wet clothes, making her shiver. "If you're lucky."

His arm was radiating warmth through her, but it wasn't enough to stop her teeth from chattering as they waited to reach her floor. Klaus stepped closer to her, his cold, wet clothes only bothering her for a moment before his body heat started to leak through. "God, you're like a heater," she said, pressing closer to his side. Klaus grinned down at her, but before he could say anything the doors opened and Caroline practically dragged him out, walking quickly down the hall to her door.

"Have you lived here long?" asked Klaus curiously, stepping behind her as she fumbled with her keys to get her door open. Caroline shrugged, shouldering into her apartment and shrugging off her coat. She turned, letting Klaus inside with a grin.

"A couple years," she said. "I used to live with a friend of mine, Bonnie, I told you about her."

"You did," said Klaus, his fingers ghosting over the statue of a horse she had sitting on her kitchen counter that doubled as her key holder. Klaus turned back to her, rubbing his hands together for warmth. Outside the window of her balcony lightning flashed across the sky, the rain pelted harder against the glass. Caroline shut her door slowly, realizing that Klaus was in her apartment for the first time. It had been a long time since she'd invited someone into her home, she had zero clue what she was supposed to do. Did she give him a tour? What if he didn't like anything she had?

Taking a deep breath, Caroline turned with a bright smile to find Klaus examining her bookshelf with interest. She exhaled slowly, relaxing her posture as she let her gaze fall over his profile. She glanced in the direction of her bathroom, chewing on her lower lip for a moment and folded her coat on her arms before she spoke. "I'll get you that towel."

Klaus looked up, eyebrows raised, and smiled. "I'd appreciate it."

Caroline nodded, stepping awkwardly in her wet heels and trying not to slip. "Make yourself at home."

She was still in her wet clothes, and Caroline considered briefly changing out of them. She had some stuff that old boyfriends had left behind, but she didn't exactly know how to approach that question with Klaus. She had a feeling he might be a little offended with the knowledge that she kept things from her ex's. Deciding against it, Caroline grabbed a towel to take care of her hair first, glancing in her mirror absently (mostly to make sure her makeup wasn't completely ruined) on her way out. Klaus had taken off his jacket and laid it over the back of a bar stool she had, currently undoing the top buttons of his shirt when he turned to look at her as she walked in.

And Caroline suddenly realized why she hadn't invited him into her place before. His eyes were intense, and his gaze burned into her, heating up her insides and making her catch her breath. She hadn't invited him up because she wasn't sure she would be able to stop; she wanted things to be real with Klaus, she wanted a real relationship with a man (not a boy, she'd gotten so used to boys). He was staring at her like a wolf, with hunger in his eyes; almost like he was coiled to strike if she moved too quickly.

Caroline tossed the towel she had against her hair onto the counter, her heels clicking against the flooring as she moved closer to her boyfriend, holding out a clean towel and quirking one corner of her mouth up when he took it. His eyes never left hers, but he swallowed when her fingers brushed against his. It was a little thrilling for her, to know that she had that kind of effect on a man like him.

"I think I also promised tea," she said, her voice low like a hum. She shivered this time as Klaus lifted his hand to brush her wet hair off her face, flicking rainwater off his fingers.

"Are you cold?" he asked, ignoring the offer for tea and instead taking her hand. She hadn't realized how cold she really was until his hands were on her skin. She swallowed as he covered one hand with both of his, bringing it up to his mouth and breathing hot air against her palm.

"I am a little cold," Caroline heard herself say, her heel sliding against the floor as she moved closer. Her dress unstuck from her thighs briefly, causing cold air to hit her damp skin, watching every crease in his face and the way his eyes darkened, just before they flickered down to her hand.

Caroline watched Klaus press his lips to her cold fingers, palm, and wrist, his breath ghosting across the sensitive skin. Caroline leaned closer, pressing her body against his, her hand trailing down his stomach and feeling him shiver beneath her. She watched his neck pulse beneath his skin through hooded eyes, her breathing becoming heavy when he turned his eyes onto hers.


She was undone. Listening to her name fall from his lips and she couldn't take it anymore. Caroline raised her hand to his neck, rose up on her toes and kissed him, feeling his hands drop from her and move to her waist, grinding her hips into his. She was on some sort of high as Klaus' tongue invaded her mouth, his teeth sharp as he raked them over her lips, her nails scraping over his collarbone and grabbing the collar of his shirt. She tugged hard and heard the rip of seams as she tore the fabric, pulling away long enough to pepper kisses down the column of his throat. Klaus' hands slid down her hips and over her ass, pulling and lifting her until she was flush against him.

Caroline had always liked using her nails, and she trailed them down Klaus' stomach and heard him hiss in her ear. She felt him tug hard on her hair, gasping as Klaus pulled her head back and covered her lips once again with his. She was ready this time, and fought back, taking control of the kiss and sliding her hand through his short hair. Klaus pushed her backwards, keeping her weight in his hands and steering her in the direction of her bedroom. Her back connected with the wall and Caroline let out a gasp, pulling back to breathe and giving Klaus the opportunity to shake off his shirt. Caroline ran her hands down his chest, feeling his muscles jump at her touch. His hands fell back to her waist, skirting up her ribs lightly and cupping her breasts in his hands. He leaned back down, his breath hot against the slope of her neck, and Caroline's fingers curled under the waistband of his slacks in anticipation.

Caroline arched into his hands. "Take it off," she whispered, her voice catching as Klaus bit into her shoulder gently. He did as he was told, moving his hands off her chest to the hem of her dress, fumbling to gather up the flowy material in his hands; Caroline unzipped her dress at the side just in time for Klaus to pull it over her head. He brushed her hair out of her face, leaning in close and cupping her cheek as he kissed her again heatedly. Caroline wrapped her arms around his neck, stepping out of her heels and onto her toes, pressing her chest against his. Klaus snarled softly against her lips as her cold skin hit his, and in an instant lifted her into his arms. Caroline squeaked in surprise, grinning as he walked them into her room.

"Watch out for shoes," mumbled Caroline, just in time to hear one of her heels go clattering across the floor. Klaus pulled away, glancing down to make sure nothing else was in his path.

"And I thought Elijah had a lot of shoes..." chuckled Klaus, dropping Caroline onto the edge of her bed and kissing her briefly before pulling away to kick off his own shoes. Caroline frowned at him, her lips twitching as she fumbled with his belt.

"Your brother?"

He hummed. "I'd call it a fetish, really."

Caroline tossed his belt away, grinning up at him as he shucked off his pants, popping his knee on the bed beside her and covering her lips once again with his. He pushed her back onto the bed with his body, running his hands into her hair and down her neck as Caroline moaned into his mouth. Klaus trailed kisses over her jaw, down her neck, slipping the straps of her bra off her shoulders and once again biting the slope of her shoulder. Caroline bit her lip, jerking beneath him as a jolt of pleasure shot through her, but before she could get ahold of herself again his mouth had attached to her breast and his hand was kneading the other. His tongue swirled around her pert nipple, his teeth grazing the areola as he sucked hard on her breast.

Caroline tugged on his hair, a stray thought of how it had gotten there passing through her mind before she didn't care anymore and Klaus' mouth was on hers again. His hips rocked into hers, and the hard solid weight of his cock against her thigh started to make her head spin. Caroline bent her leg, digging her heel into the bed to get some leverage as she wiggled her arms between them to try and pry the band of his underwear past his hips. Her cold hands slipped against his hot skin, brushing against the coarse hair trailing down his skin. Caroline twisted her hands inside his pants and grasped his hot length between her fingers, squeezing gently but surely until he was growling in her mouth. He might have said something around her tongue, but the sudden noise brought Caroline back to earth, and she stopped trying to multitask and focused on getting him inside her.

Klaus bit at her lips, her jaw and then all at once he pulled away, sitting back on his heels and gazing down at her with hooded eyes and a dark look on his face. Caroline heated under him, he was just close enough to touch, her fingers brushing over his cock as he slid the tips of his fingers down the inside of her leg. He had slipped her underwear up to her knees and down her calves quickly, disposing of them like he'd done with her bra - which she realized was just as gone, sneaky bastard - and Caroline watched as he leaned down to follow the path of his fingers with his lips. Caroline fisted her comforter as Klaus' hot breath hit her thigh, feeling the tilt of his lips as his tongue darted out to lick the soft skin near her center.


She felt more than heard him chuckle, it vibrated through her core and made her eyes roll. Klaus was a tease, she should have known, but he must have been wanting this just as much as she had (it had been a long few dates, with nothing but lingering kisses and a few gropes before they said their goodbyes, both of them trying to outlast the other) because he ran the tip of his tongue along her outside folds only a few times before plunging straight in and making her cry out. Caroline hummed low in her throat, pressing the heel of her hand to her eyes as she tried to get herself under control. Klaus held her hips steady as he worked his mouth on her clit, building her high up with his tongue and teeth.

Too soon she felt her release drawing closer, like taunt rubber bands snapping apart as she came around his tongue. Caroline choked for air, her grip relaxing on her comforter as she struggled to get her heart rate down. Her palm was still pressed to her face, covering her eyes, so she jumped in surprise when she felt Klaus brush his lips against her bare ribs, the stubble on his chin scraping along her navel. Peering at him from underneath her hand, Caroline watched him trail kisses up her body, lingering on her neck for a moment before nudging her hand from her face with his nose and kissing her heatedly. She could taste herself on his tongue, which thrilled her. The kiss was languid and hard, and before long Caroline felt herself warming for him again. Like he was reading her mind, Klaus teased her entrance with the head of his cock, his thumb pressing against her clit as he pushed inside her and exhaled against her lips.

Caroline moaned, her eyes fluttering closed as she lifted her hips to meet his; when she opened them again he was staring at her, gaze hooded and lips parted as he thrust into her. It was mesmerizing, intense; Caroline reached up to run her fingers through the back of his hair, gripping at the short curls and holding on, encouraging him to go faster and never breaking eye contact. Klaus made a sound in the back of his throat that could have been a snarl or a moan, but before Caroline could decipher it he had lowered his head and was kissing her. Caroline gasped into his mouth, remembering to breathe, and he took the chance to slide his tongue along her teeth, kissing her slowly as he drove into her. The contrast made her head spin; she hooked her arm across the back of Klaus' neck, pulling him closer as his movements became erratic. Caroline could practically taste her impending orgasm.

Klaus came with a low, muffled roar into her shoulder, pushing Caroline to the edge soon afterwards. For a moment he let his weight settle on her in a cocoon of sweaty, heated skin, just breathing into her neck as she shook beneath him. He pressed his lips to her temple and rolled off her, settling beside her on the bed. Caroline felt her eyelids droop, but she startled back to reality when she felt Klaus' fingers brush through her hair. She turned, shifting onto her side and snuggling up next to him with a content smirk on her face.

"I finally get you into bed," she purred, eyes falling shut. She felt Klaus chuckle through his shoulder as she pillowed her cheek against him. He didn't say anything, and Caroline was halfway asleep when she heard him mutter into the darkness of her room.

"You're wonderful, Caroline."

three days later

"- I have no time for your pathetic attempts at flower arrangements, Sarah! Caroline Forbes here, magician under pressure and expert organizer; make it snappy or hang up now. I have shit to do."

Chuckling on the other end of her phone sent her heart fluttering, and Caroline pulled her cell away from her ear to grin at the name on the screen. She was so busy she hadn't had time to check who was calling. Sleeping with Klaus had not been a mistake, it only solidified the feelings she had for him. He was smart and fun and sexy, he snuggled in his sleep but completely denied it when he was conscious, and somehow he had talked her into letting him stay at her apartment for the entire weekend. Bastard knew how to work those dimples.

Now she was standing in the middle of her impending party, directing the caterer and wait staff and generally being the boss; the 120 guests invited to the damn thing would fall over their asses with how fucking fantastic this thing was going to go, and she really, really didn't need a distraction.

"Baby, you have five seconds to say what you need to before I hang up on you." Even if that distraction was her boyfriend, Caroline smirked into her phone nonetheless, not really peeved by Klaus calling her at work. She listened to him sigh in mock exasperation, hearing the grin in his voice when he finally spoke.

"Hello to you too, sweetheart," he said politely. Caroline's eyes narrowed on a passing shot-girl and snagged the hat she was supposed to be wearing out of her hand and smacked her on the ass with it before handing it back with a warning look, coming back to her conversation with Klaus at the tail end of his sentence. "-What do you say?"

"I'd love to!" said Caroline brightly, pausing for a moment hesitantly, chewing on her bottom lip. "What am I agreeing to?"

"I can call back, you know," said Klaus, chuckling. "I've exceeded my five second limit."

"I was exaggerating," said Caroline, rolling her eyes to the ceiling. "I have time for you."

"Will you have time tonight?" asked Klaus suggestively.

Caroline quirked an eyebrow at his tone. "What'd you have in mind?"

"Dinner at my flat. I'm cooking for you."

"You are? That's...kinda sexy."

Klaus snorted on his end, and Caroline heard the sound of a door opening in the background. "Is that a yes then?"

She smiled to herself for a few moments before answering. "I think I can manage it, yeah."

"Good. How's six o'clock?"

"I'll be there."

"Can't wait. See you later, sweetheart."

Caroline ended the call and held her phone to her chest with a thoughtful look. An intimate dinner date with Klaus sounded more than perfect; a little food, a little wine, then going to bed and never leaving again. Caroline barely managed to suppress a squeal as she spun on her heel to take command of the people around her once again.


When Caroline was finally able to leave her party it was 6:15 and she was mildly jittery. Klaus wasn't a big fan of tardiness, and when she texted him explaining her lateness as she climbed into a cab all she got back was a single 'k'. She'd frowned at the letter the entire way to his apartment, trying to decipher the hidden meaning behind the obviously out of character response. Klaus wasn't usually so...short with his communication, and by the time the cab finally pulled up to his building Caroline felt like she was close to tears. It had been a long and stressful day for her, an important one, and surely Klaus would understand that?

Some of her anxiety ebbed away as the doorman standing in front of the building stepped up and tipped his hat. He was in his late seventies at least, probably older than the apartments themselves; but Caroline smiled back politely as he pulled the door open for her and swept his arm in the direction of the elevator's.

"Mr. Mikaelson is on the twelfth floor, apartment 1205, Miss Forbes." Caroline spun around, her mouth hanging open with all kinds of questions flying around her head, but the old doorman had already shut the door and resumed his post.

Slightly unnerved, Caroline turned around and headed toward the elevators like she'd been instructed. "Klaus must have told him I was coming," she rationalized to herself, glancing over her shoulder to sneak another look at the doorman. She started as the elevator pinged its arrival to the lobby, slipping in as quickly as she could without looking like she was fleeing. The desk manager glanced at her, but went right back to her computer before Caroline could send her a disarming smile. Her embarrassment had at least shoved Klaus' text from her mind, and it wasn't until she was standing outside his apartment did she remember it.

"You're overthinking it, Caroline," she muttered to herself. "Just like you do everything else. It's cool, he's cool, everything's frickin' fine and dandy." Taking a deep breath, Caroline closed her eyes and knocked.

When she opened them the door was just swinging open, and the man on the other side was not her boyfriend. A tall, dark haired man gave her a once over before bracing his forearm on the corner of the door above his head, smirking at her like she was dinner. Caroline's mind went totally blank for a split second, snapping out of it just in time to stammer something about getting the wrong door.

"You're exactly where you need to be, darling," drawled the stranger, his accent only adding to the cockiness he was portraying. Caroline took a step back, grinning nervously.

"No, I really think-"

He interrupted her with a snort, turning his head to shout over his shoulder. "Oi, Nik! Your girlfriend's here." Turning back to Caroline with a shit-eating grin on his face, he cocked his head to the side and clicked his tongue at her. "Shame on you for not knowing your boyfriend's family, Caroline."

And it clicked. "Kol," she said, pointing at him as the realization dawned on her. "You're Kol Mikaelson."

Kol made a face at her, drawing back from the door. "Duh."

Speechless, Caroline followed him inside; he wasn't anything like she expected him to be, not like Klaus talked all that much about his brothers in the first place (it was mostly Rebekah and Henrik he would tell her about, she had a feeling he played favorites). Kol stopped suddenly, turning back to face her with a puzzled look on his face. "Seriously, who were you expecting?"

Caroline shrugged, put on the spot by the question. "Klaus?" she guessed. "Maybe in an apron? With flour on his face, and noth-"

Kol held up his hand, his eyes narrowing a little in what looked like disgust. "Please keep your fantasies involving my brother and the kitchen to yourself."

Caroline giggled before she could stop herself; for a spontaneous introduction to Klaus' brother she didn't think she was doing too badly so far. They were still standing in the hall, the grey walls opening up to what looked like a spacious living room with richly decorated furniture and plush rugs laid across the dark bamboo floors. There was artwork professionally hung and lit along the walls, and the smell of garlic and pasta filled the air, making Caroline's stomach growl (which Kol either didn't hear or pointedly ignored, Caroline couldn't tell which). It was surprisingly homey, Caroline noted as she glimpsed a few surprisingly metrosexual touches to the place - the magazines on the coffee table being one of them, scented candles on the side table next to the door being another.

"Are you done harassing her yet, brother?" came Klaus' voice, followed by his upper body appearing from around the corner. Kol grinned at her, not acknowledging his brother at all.

"Almost," he said brightly, winking at her. Caroline rolled her eyes, sweeping past him to say hello to her boyfriend. Klaus grinned down at her, wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her close to place a light kiss to her lips.

"Find the place alright?" he asked, stepping away. Caroline followed him into the kitchen, leaning against the counter as he stopped at the stove to lift the lid off a pot of red sauce bubbling in the center.

"About that..." started Caroline carefully, folding her arms over her chest and staring at the side of Klaus' face with narrowed eyes. "Did you tell the doorman I was coming?"

Kol snorted behind them, and Caroline turned her head to see him standing in the living room, arms folded on top of the counter separating that room from the kitchen. He didn't answer her though, and when she looked back at Klaus she could see a smirk gracing his lips. "Don't mind him, love," said Klaus. "He makes it his job to know everything about everyone. I mentioned I was having a guest to him and he assumed the rest."

"He knew my name though."

"Like I said, Caroline, don't mind him," said Klaus, still smirking as he turned his head sideways to look at her. "Don't mind Kol either."

Kol tsk'd as Caroline snickered, sneaking a glance as Klaus' younger brother turned up his nose and headed toward the couch, collapsing on it dramatically and pulling out his phone. Caroline stared at him thoughtfully, trying to remember everything Klaus mentioned about Kol to her; there wasn't much, just that he was engaged to someone and worked with Klaus. What he was doing here now...

"I know you don't like to talk about your family, but I think you need to start," said Caroline, her voice tinged with warning as she turned her eyes onto Klaus. He made a face, glancing over his shoulder at Kol as he picked up on her meaning.

"Kol and Anna live here with me," explained Klaus, talking about Kol's fiancé. Caroline's eyebrows shot up, feeling like that should have been something he had opened with on their first date. He continued hurriedly before she could interrupt. " They needed a place to stay after their flat burned down last year, and after our father basically kicked them out."

"Why didn't you tell me?" asked Caroline softly, feeling hurt; it was like Klaus didn't trust her. "How long have they been here?"

"About three months," said Klaus, sighing. He turned away from the stove to face her, mirroring her by crossing his arms over his chest. "I honestly had no idea he would even be here tonight, we rarely cross paths at home because of work at the company; and Anna works nights, she's finishing up her pathology internship and the hours are hellish."

"Klaus, this kind of stuff is important. Why didn't you tell me?" asked Caroline again. Klaus didn't break eye contact with her, something she appreciated and was slightly unnerved by.

"Because I don't trust people easily and you scare me," Klaus admitted, catching Caroline off guard. "There's a lot you don't know about me, sweetheart, and I'd rather you don't know all of it at once."

Caroline stared back for a moment, struggling to just accept that she couldn't drag information out of Klaus like she wanted too. "Fine," she conceded, poking him in the chest when he relaxed. "But I really don't see what the big deal about living with your brother is! He seems nice."

Klaus laughed. "Kol's a twit," he said loudly, earning a rude gesture from his brother across the room but no other retaliation. "And like I mentioned, my life's a bit of a mess," he continued at a lower volume. "Please don't fault me for trying to keep you from it for as long as possible."

He looked so sad and sincere that Caroline couldn't help but nod, placing her arms against his side and pressing a kiss to his cheek. "Can't keep it from me forever," she whispered teasingly, spinning away and out of the kitchen with a grin on her face. "Smells awesome by the way."

Kol glanced up at her as she wandered into the living room, her grin softening as she took a better look at Klaus' apartment; knowing that he lived with a woman, everything made a little more sense now in terms of decoré. Caroline could feel Kol's eyes on her as she wandered around, looking at the artwork on the walls.

"It's about time Klaus brought you around," came Kol's voice. Caroline turned her head, finding his eyes on her backside, flicking them up to meet hers with narrow eyed interest. "I was starting to think he was making you up. So glad to be proven wrong."

Caroline frowned at him, but ignored the comment. In fact she ignored what he had said completely. "You work with Klaus, right?"

"You could say that," said Kol with a cheeky grin. "I wouldn't, but only because I loath to associate myself with him too often."

"That's not very nice."

Kol shrugged. "Nature of a sibling relationship, darling. But let's start over, I never did introduce myself properly. I'm Kol."

Chewing on her lower lip, Caroline didn't answer for a moment. There was a good chance Kol could help her learn more about Klaus, then again he seemed like a complete ass (just like Klaus had said). But what did she have to lose? "It's Caroline, not darling," she said finally, turning back around to take one last look at the painting on the wall. "Did Klaus paint this?"

"He does have some artistic gift," said Kol, and Caroline heard him get off the couch to move beside her. She tensed slightly when he brushed against her shoulder. "Helps with his 'talent scouting'."

She glanced sideways at him. "You don't sound too impressed with what he does."

Kol snorted. "My father's given us all roles to play in our families little club, I'm not very impressed with anything that man comes up with."

"You were living with him for a little while until recently, right? Klaus mentioned..." Caroline trailed off, wondering if she was allowed to know stuff like that. Maybe it was one of the reasons Klaus was so secretive about his family. But Kol was nodding like it was no big deal that she knew, gesturing over his shoulder at Klaus.

"We're not on good speaking terms at the moment, and Klaus has never really gotten along with him. It still came as a surprise when Klaus offered to let Anna and I live with him for a while."

"Why don't you just get your own place?" asked Caroline curiously. The Mikaelson's seemed to be loaded, and there shouldn't be any reason why Kol and his fiancé couldn't get another place.

Kol suddenly looked serious. "It's not any of your business, Caroline," he said tightly. It was gone in an instant though, and Caroline mused with the idea of emotional whiplash. "What do you think, Klaus? Should I tell her about your Indiana Jones phase?"

Caroline spun around, eyebrows shooting up as she found Klaus leaning over the countertop mock-glaring at his brother. She pursed her lips, pressing her hands to her mouth to keep from giggling. "You had an Indiana Jones phase?"

"I think the whip is still around here somewhere," said Kol helpfully, making Klaus roll his eyes and Caroline dissolve into laughter.

"Thank you, brat," grumbled Klaus, beckoning them to the kitchen while Caroline tried to breathe. "Dinner's ready. Kol, are you staying or do you have to get back to work?"

"I'd love to stay and get to know Caroline better," said Kol suggestively. Klaus wasn't even fazed by it as he turned back around. Caroline shot Kol a look as he passed her on his way to the kitchen, which he ignored. For an engaged guy he seemed like a pig; she wondered if he was actually cheating on her.

"Caroline," said Klaus, walking out of the kitchen with two plates in his hands, holding one out for her. She took it with a smile, her stomach growling from the yummy smells as Klaus placed his hand on the small of her back, leading her over to the beautifully set table in the corner of the room.

"Is Kol gonna stay the whole time?" Caroline hissed in Klaus ear as he pulled out her chair for her. Klaus glanced over her shoulder, back at the kitchen where Kol was fixing himself a plate of food.

"I doubt it," Klaus murmured back. "He just wants to embarrass me for a little while, then he'll shove off."

"I heard that," said Kol, sliding into the seat across from Caroline with a grin at his brother. "Now I'll never leave."

"He's kidding," said Klaus, shooting a warning look at his brother, setting his plate down on the table and sliding into the chair next to Caroline. He opened his mouth to say something else to Kol, when the sound of a key in the lock caught everyone's attention. All heads turned toward the front hall as the door opened and closed, keys were tossed onto the side table and a heavy bag dropped onto the floor.

"Something smells amazing," said a female voice, and Caroline watched as a petite girl with Asian features and long curled hair walked it.

Both Klaus and Kol perked up immediately. "Anna!" Kol exclaimed, getting out of his chair and jogging across the room to pull his girlfriend into his arms, interrupting her hello with a sound kiss.

"Hey, Klaus?" piped up Caroline, swinging her head around to look at him; he flicked his eyes onto her, looking happy to see Anna. She danced her fingers across his wrist, fluttering her eyes innocently. "Remember when I said that I wanted you to tell me about important stuff?"

"That was earlier," Klaus pointed out.

"Yes it was," Caroline simpered, nodding along.

"What about it?"

"Telling me that your soon-to-be sister-in-law is pregnant would fall into the category of 'important stuff'."

Klaus frowned, nodding thoughtfully. "Noted."

Caroline shook her head, rolling her eyes in mild humor and looking back at Anna and Kol as they said their hellos. Anna caught Caroline staring and cleared her throat, taking Kol's hand in hers as she pulled away. "Hi, you must be Caroline," she said, swatting at Kol's face when he tried to kiss her again. He managed to distract her for a minute, sliding his hands over her hips before she could pull away again. Klaus brushed his fingers against Caroline's wrist, leaning closer and breathing against her ear, making her shiver.

"First impression?"

"He really loves her," replied Caroline wistfully, turning her head toward Klaus. She brushed her nose against his, closing her eyes as a small smile pulled at the corners of her mouth. "I wasn't expecting that."

Klaus pressed a kiss to the bridge of her nose but didn't say anything; Anna had managed to shoo Kol off of her and had headed toward the table, wrapping her arms around Klaus's neck from behind and hugging him briefly before she straightened and held her hand out for Caroline.

"I'm Anna," she said, grinning at her in a way that almost reminded her of Kol (without the sexual undertone, all that remained was cocky indifference. Caroline wondered how long they'd been dating if they could mirror each other's expressions so well.). She circled the table, placing a hand on her slightly swollen belly as she sat down in the seat across from Klaus, grinning and propping her elbows up on the table.

"I think this is the first time I've seen you in a week and a half," said Klaus, grinning back at Anna as she nodded, stealing Kol's plate of food and digging into it with gusto. "How'd you manage it?"

Anna rolled her eyes, swallowing a mouthful of food as Kol took the seat next to her, tossing his arm across the back of her chair and playing with the ends of her hair. "They sent me home," she said. "Autopsy I was working on was ruled a murder and the Head of Pathology took over," she said dramatically, with an over the top roll of her eyes.

"Murder, really?" said Klaus conversationally, not looking all that concerned. "Who was the victim? Anyone we know?"

"I'm sure you've heard of him," said Anna, shooting Klaus a look that Caroline couldn't decipher. Kol was shaking his head, chewing on his food with amusement in his eyes. Anna turned to Caroline. "So," she started brightly, turning the conversation around and engaging Caroline while Klaus smirked and looked away, "You might have noticed that Klaus doesn't have many social skills," (Klaus flicked a piece of bread crust at her, earning a vicious kick to the shin from Kol. Caroline snickered and agreed with her completely.) "So all I know about you is your name."

"And that you're 'magical'," added Kol. Klaus frowned into his food, glaring at his ravioli as he speared it ruthlessly.

It went on like that for ages; Anna and Kol mocking Klaus as they learned more about Caroline and she learned more about Klaus. More things about his childhood, mostly embarrassing things, and a surprise appearance by Klaus' Indiana Jones hat that Kol managed to dig out of a box in the empty spare bedroom. Caroline had officially decided that Anna was her new favorite person; she had Kol's humor without the underlying innuendos, and she knew Klaus as well as any sister could.

"He was sort of hitting on me, you know," said Caroline suddenly, after Kol and Klaus had cleaned off the table and started bantering in the kitchen as they did the washing up. Anna raised her eyebrows over her glass of water, finishing it off before setting it down in front of her and blinking at Caroline in confusion.

"Come again?"

"Kol," Caroline said, lowering her voice a few octaves and leaning over the table slightly. "He's kind of a flirt."

Anna shook her head, gesturing absently in Kol's direction as she spoke. "That's just Kol," she explained. "He's like that with everyone, plus he wants to piss off Klaus."

"But..." Caroline trailed off, glancing toward the kitchen where both men were talking in low tones. When she looked back, Anna was still shaking her head.

"I've been with Kol for about seven years," Anna continued. "We've been friends since we were in school together; I've known him forever. He's a dick, but he'd never cheat on me."

Caroline's eyes narrowed a fraction, her heart rate picking up slightly as she leaned closer, the table cutting into her chest. "And did he learn that from his...brothers?"

Anna's eyes narrowed back, although she looked like she was about to laugh in Caroline's face. "If you want to talk about Klaus we can, Caroline," she hissed, a grin cracking across her face. "I think you're great for him, honestly," she said almost-seriously, leaning back in her chair and tucking a piece of hair behind her ear. "Getting his brooding ass out of the office every once in awhile, you're almost a miracle worker."

Anna was grinning at her, and Caroline couldn't help but return her amusement. Kol suddenly swooped in out of nowhere and pressed a kiss to Anna's cheek, and Caroline watched them with some fondness as Anna's expression softened when she turned her head up to look back at him.

She felt Klaus slide up behind her, turning away from Kol and his displays of affection (obviously the man didn't care that Caroline and his brother were still in the room), and Caroline let her eyes flutter shut as Klaus bent down to whisper in her ear.

"Join me for a glass of wine," he said, temptingly, sending shivers through her as he brushed his hand lightly down her arm. Caroline nodded, not bothering to say goodbye to Anna as she let Klaus lead her out of her chair and out onto the balcony.

"Damn," breathed Caroline, stepping up to the ledge with wide eyes as she took in the view of the city spread out in front of her, lit up with orange and yellow lights, smattered with reds and blues. "This is beautiful."

"New York City at night," mused Klaus, stepping close to her back, reaching around her to hand her a glass of red wine. She turned her head toward him, pressing her nose to the side of his neck and just breathing in the smell of him. She was so tired, and she'd been so busy; it would be nice to just relax with him for a while until she had her next job to take care of.

Klaus brushed his lips across her nose, curling an arm around her shoulders and letting her relax against him. They stood in silence for a few minutes before Klaus shifted on his feet and raised his glass to his lips, pausing to mutter, "So, how do you like my family so far?" before he took a sip. Caroline smirked into his shirt collar, keeping her eyes closed.

"Anna I love," said Caroline. "I think we could really get along." Klaus hummed, but didn't press her to say anything about Kol, and Caroline exhaled silently. His family was important to him, he tried to hide it but Caroline could see that they were his weakness. Whether or not she liked them actually meant something to him; and the same went with their opinions of her, she realized with a frown, pulling away from Klaus to look up at him. "Not sure about Kol yet," she said seriously, turning the corner of her lips up and tilting her head to the side thoughtfully. "He's charming and - you were right - he's a twit…" (Klaus chuckled, a bit of tension falling out of his shoulders that Caroline hadn't known he was holding) "You don't have to be afraid of me not liking your family, Klaus," she finished, a bit lamely, raising her wineglass to her lips and taking a sip.

Klaus ducked his head, grinning at himself while Caroline watched him. "You figured me out, huh?" he asked, looking up at her from under his eyebrows guiltily. She shrugged. "Alright," he continued, straightening up and steering her back toward the balcony. "Anna's good enough for now, she's practically my sister. And Kol's a difficult man to get along with even when he's not being an ass. FYI, they both like you."

Caroline laughed loudly, turning around to look at him. "How can you tell?"

Klaus chuckled, shaking his head. "Trust me, you'd know if they didn't."

Caroline hummed, satisfied with the answer. "What were you and Kol talking about?" she asked, suddenly curious to know what the two of them had in common besides a business.

Klaus shrugged, not looking swayed by her question. "Zach Salvatore," he stated simply, causing Caroline to pause. "His death was officially ruled a murder tonight."

"That's what the two of you were talking about while you did the dishes?" asked Caroline skeptically, quirking an eyebrow. Klaus shrugged again, this time not answering. "Did you know him?" she was curious, for what she'd known of Zach he hadn't done a terrible thing in his life, not the kind of guy you would expect to be murdered.

"The Salvatore?" asked Klaus, looking genuinely confused by her question as he swung his head around to look at her. "Not at all." There was a moment as he looked away that Caroline caught a flash of something dark in his eyes that told her Klaus did know Zach. She kept her eyes on him, waiting for another crack in his barrier, but it never came. "I know the name, it's practically famous," (which was true, Caroline mused, suppressing an eye roll. Damon never let her forget it, but that was when they were almost-friends, practically a lifetime ago.) "But I've never found anything remarkable enough about the Salvatores to interest me in paying them any attention."

"Burn," stressed Caroline, shaking her head absently as she choked back a laugh. "The guy just died, don't be so insensitive."

"I've been through a lot worse, sweetheart," said Klaus, grinning at her good humoredly. Still, it reminded Caroline that he had been through so much loss. She slipped her free hand into his, reminding herself to drink her wine, and changed the subject.

"So...do you have a whip to go with that Indiana Jones hat?"