SPECTRUM

A/N: Okay you hate me and I'm sorry. If you didn't know already, my laptop is fried – brother spilt hot chocolate and I found out I've lost all my stories and chapters. Had to start all over again so I apologise for the long wait. Hopefully I'm forgiven after this chapter.

Upon deciding that it was time to stop forcing the sleep to return, I rolled over, my eyes still closed as I tried to reach for him. However, my palm simply landed onto the empty pillow. So, for a few more seconds, I continued to fumble around for his bare and shirtless form but still came up empty-handed.

Opening one eye, I was disappointed to find that he wasn't there.

I pushed myself up and hoped to hear the cluttering in the kitchen or the living room but there was no sound. It was an eerie silence that only perturbed me further.

With a disappointed sigh, I pushed myself off the bed, picking up my phone as I padded out of the room. Before heading towards the kitchen, I pushed Rebekah's bedroom door slightly and found that she was still sleeping so I closed the door and spun back around.

Once I was in the kitchen, I switched on the coffee maker and set out two bowls and took out the cereals available. The task helped in ignoring how angry I was that Damon had simply left without an explanation.

Last night…

…Well last night was…

No words.

Rebekah's footsteps pulled me away from my reverie and I realised that I was still in Damon's shirt. I acted quickly in tightening the robe around myself to cover up any of her suspicions.

I greeted her with a nervous smile, "Morning"

"Morning sister" she gleamed.

While she looked through the fridge, I then glanced at my phone and checked for any messages but found none – much to my disappointment.

Rebekah already caught me, "Waiting on someone?" she questioned.

"No" I shook my head and slipping the phone into the robe's pocket. I then tried to divert her train of thought by distracting her, "Breakfast?" I gestured towards the three cereal boxes I had laid out.

She grimaced when picking up the red box, "Lucky charms?"

"I think you'll like them" I smiled and poured us both a cup of coffee while adding, "You always had a sweet tooth"

When turning around to place the mug before her, I found that she had ripped the box open and was now pulling out a handful of lucky charms. I watched in amusement as she stuffed her face and her curiosity soon transformed into utter fascination and delight, "Mmmmm" she murmured and swallowed quickly so she could ask, "What is this?"

"Cereal" I explained, enjoying how her eyes brightened at the discovery. "Try them with milk" I suggested and handed it to her. Of course, she accepted it eagerly and I saw that she was about to pour it into the box so I snatched it out of her hands. "Here" I laughed, "Let me do it for you"

With her encouraging nod, I took a bowl and prepared the cereal for her before handing it back to her, with a spoon in it.

It wasn't long before the silence was filled with her appreciative moans. "We should have these for breakfast, lunch and dinner" she exclaimed but was once again silenced with her eating.

I shook my head at her but then pushed myself up on the counter as I took a bite out of my toast. "So what are your plans for the day?" I asked but then interrupted whatever she was going to say, "Oh wait, let me guess – more shopping?"

She rolled her eyes, ate another spoonful before informing me, "I'm actually planning on going to school today"

"School" I snorted which then erupted into giggles.

Rebekah was confused as she placed a hand on her hip, "And what is so funny about that?"

After drinking my coffee, I replied, "You're a vampire which means you've got eternity and you've only awaken a few days ago" she frowned at the reminder so I hastily continued, "…and the first thing you want to do is enrol into a school"

"I want normal" she argued, pouting a little with this.

"Normal", I nodded, trying to keep myself composed but it became too much that I couldn't help but laugh again. She was a force to be reckoned with and seeing as she liked competition, it was actually the perfect place for it. Mystic Falls High School would need to be prepared for her.

"Stop laughing at me" she whined.

I hopped off the counter with another chuckle as I said, "I'm going to go shower now"

"And I'm going to have another bowl of this – this cereal of Lucky Charms?" she pronounced it strangely as it was still a foreign concept to her.

I grinned and skipped towards the bathroom.

-XxxxxxX-

When I tried to call Damon again, he still didn't pick up. After three more tries, I gave up the jealous desperate girlfriend act and slipped the phone into my back pocket.

I had other matters to attend to.

Slumping my shoulders in defeat, I began to trail down the steps and walk down the narrow space of the Lockwood Cellar estate. The pungent stench of blood, sweet and overgrown moss made my stomach churn but I ignored it and continued until I found the familiar metal door. The red paint was already peeling, leaving it to a rusty brownish orange.

"How's the prisoner…?" I sang happily, almost masochistically when reaching out and turning the large handle, releasing a resounding creak that made me wince.

When I heard no reply from Stefan, I pulled it back further and grimaced at the sight of an empty chair. The loose chains now scattered on the ground below and his daylight ring was gone too.

Now what do I do…?

Obviously this is what had Damon so occupied and explained why his phone was on voicemail.

My phone rang again so I pulled it out and answered, placing it to my ear. "I'm guessing you found the empty cell" he spoke and I could detect the smirk underlying his tone.

"You could've told me before I dragged myself down here" I argued, looking around the deserted and cold room.

He breathed out a sigh but kept himself calm and collected. "I was a little…preoccupied"

"Where are you?" I questioned his vague attitude.

"I'm using a different tactic"

Once he confirmed my suspicions, I exhaled, trying to relax the furrowed eyebrows and creased brow. "Well then good luck"

"Sorry for leaving early" he apologised but tried to remain nonchalant.

Regardless of how amusing it was to hear him voice a shred of regret, I knew I would need to "Its fine. You were stealing all the blankets anyway" I mused.

"So you didn't mind?"

"Nope" I claimed, hoping my voice sounded as confident as I imagined it to be. "I didn't even notice"

"You sure?" he quizzed and I felt apprehensive with the tone in his voice and I seemed to be right for being worried. "Your seven missed calls and three texts say otherwise" he countered.

I crossed my arm over my chest "I was just wondering where Stefan was"

"Didn't you just arrive at the cellar?" he cleverly deuced so I chose silence over making up an excuse. "You know I wanted to stay" he finally spoke in a husky seductive tone. "….but as irresistible as you were, I needed to leave" he said and I could hear the sound of him drinking something. It was then that I noticed the static background noises and it sounded like he was in a bar. Before I could question him, he proposed, "We could meet up again tonight – eight?"

"Maybe"

He was taken back with my noncommittal reply. "Maybe?"

"You know, I have a life" I replied, stepping out of the cell and walking back up the steps. "I have things to do, people to see" I lied while heading back down the forest path that would trail back to the main road.

He chuckled down the line, "Fine" he replied, not buying into the lie at all. "Call me when you want me" he quipped.

"Sounding a bit desperate" I mocked.

He laughed again and tried to defend himself. "I was going for romantic"

"See you Salvatore"

"Bye Isabella"

-XxxxxxX-

When I finally reached the main road, I slipped into my car but when switching on the engine, my phone rang. I reached back and pulled it out, smiling as I saw my sister's name pop up on the screen. "How's school?" I grinned, pulling the key out from the ignition.

"Oh I left" she answered distractedly but there was something off about her tone.

"Already...?" I mocked.

I had expected her to reply with a snarky comment or a sarcastic laugh from her but instead her voice broke when she said in a barely audible whisper, "Y-you ne-need to come here now" she sobbed.

Suddenly, I was alerted and worried about what had transpired. "What? Where are you?" I fretted while fumbling for the keys again and began to start the car again.

"At the Salvatore house" she cried.

I frowned with how hoarse her voice and being the sister only made me overprotective over the little family that I had left. "What happened?" I demanded, slamming my foot on the accelerator as I raced down the road.

"Just come over"

Knowing that there was nothing else, I could say or ask, I turned off the call and threw my phone to the passenger seat when speeding towards the boarding house.

Different scenarios played through my thoughts.

At first I had suspected it was Nik but she mentioned she was at the Salvatore house. I doubted that Nik would even go there or even step foot into the town again with the threat of Mikael still hanging around. Or maybe it actually was Mikael – could he have actually found us?

For a second, I thought about turning the car around and simply driving away but I knew that I couldn't just leave my sister behind.

My worry had accumulated so much that I didn't make a move to knock. Instead, I pushed it open and rushed inside to the living room, where I found my sister with tears trailing down her cheeks as she blinked up at me. Elena was next to her on the couch but she was the only one in the room.

Just to be sure, I glanced around, searching for anyone else but I found no one or heard anything around the house. "What is it? What's wrong?" I gulped and grimaced at the sight of the scattered indecipherablephotographs covering the tables and the floor. "What is this?" I cautiously moved towards them.

"Look at this" Elena passed me one.

I accepted it and then looked down, my confusion transforming into a pleased smile. "The cave writings" I grinned and collected more of the pictures, "I remember that day" I murmured when I was suddenly sixteen again, going against father's wishes and using a knife to carve out our names. Rebekah, Klaus and Kol had joined us while Finn, Henrik and Elijah stayed inside.

"Look at this picture"

The seriousness in Elena's noise had me worried as I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. With great hesitance, I reached over and took the photograph she held out to me.

Rebekah finally lifted her flushed face, wiped away her tears to glare at Elena when she spat, "She just has theories"

"It's not a theory Rebekah, it's true" Elena proclaimed fiercely but I could detect the worry playing in her dulled gaze. "Klaus killed her" she added, warily meeting my eyes.

"Oh, who has he killed now?" I chuckled nervously.

Elena reached over to place finger to the photo she handed me. "That is the symbol for the hybrid"

"Yeah, so" I nodded in confirmation when recognising the two marks.

She brought up another photograph while saying, "And that is the original witch" she informed me.

"This better have a point" I stated, not understanding what was so bad that they had to draw it out. Couldn't they just grow a pair and tell me.

Elena took the photographs from my hands and laid them out on the table in a certain sequence, gesturing for me to look again. "W-we found out that Klaus killed your mother" she finally sputtered out and I suddenly wished that she had just kept quiet.

"What?" I laughed at the ridiculousness of her statement.

She continued to stare at me so I looked back at the pictures. I looked at the symbols and how the arrow fell down on the Original witch but still I remained stubborn, fighting against the notion. "NO!" I screamed, wondering just how dumb Rebekah was to easily believe this foolishness. "NO! NO" I shot up from the seat, taking the pictures in my hands and anrily tearing them. "THESE STUPID PICTURES MEAN NOTHING!"

"Bella, you-"

The sound of Elena's annoying voice made something within me snap and I whipped around, grabbing her shoulders and slamming her onto the wall as I growled, "You don't know my family. Y-you don't know anything about us"

Rebekah's arm reached out to me but with a flick of my palm, she landed on the other side of the wall. My attention now invested on the human girl that was now vulnerable before me. "P-p-ple-please – don't" she pleaded but the fear only made me more bloodthirsty.

"BELLA STOP!" Rebekah shouted at me and I blinked.

With a rough shove, Elena slid down the wall, her head limply falling to the side as she rubbed up her arms.

Instead of apologising, I knew it was unnecessary so I turned to convince Rebekah. "He wouldn't do this." I pleaded for her understanding and for her reasoning. "The Nik wouldn't do this"

"Well then you don't know him – none of us do" she brought herself up and steadied herself. "We don't know what he is capable of anymore"

"He wouldn't do this…" I shook my head and backed away from her and from the rush of thoughts that sailed through my erratic mind. "…not to me"

She continued to reach out for me. "He's daggered our whole family without a blink. Who's to say he didn't kill our mother?"

I was not listening.

I was not moving.

I just wasn't there…

He couldn't do this – he wouldn't do this.

Nik loved her.

What I has assumed was merely a fleeting thought, turned out to be something that I had voiced because Rebekah was suddenly directing her burning anger onto me. "So what? He didn't love me?" she spat out, challenging me. "He is capable of anything"

Finally I met her gaze with my own angered eyes. "Not this"

…And with that final say, I left.

A/N: So the cat is out of the bag. Nik will be back in the next chapter – how will Bella react to this? (CLUE) I'm missing bad Bella…

Please review.

…And before I forget, I posted my first challenge up on the new story/challenge – 100 Theme Fanfiction Challenge. Check it out and tell me what you think. Also give suggestions – welcome all of them.