A/N: Not mine
Caroline wondered aimlessly around the streets of New York City, sniffling occasionally as she tried to calm herself down. It was freezing out, but she was numb to the cold and rain. Her feet hurt, and she couldn't even imagine how dirty they were from walking around without shoes. It was 1:30 in the morning, and she knew Nik was going to be beyond furious when she got home, but she wouldn't bring herself to stop walking.
She had been with Nik for almost a year now as a couple, two years as companions. While they argued on occasion, even had little spats, they had never gotten into an actual fight before and it upset her. Her perfect, idyllic existence was brought to a halt by the realization that they weren't perfect. She and Nik were both overly stubborn people, both insecure in their own way, and both had trust issues. So, needless to say, when she walked into their apartment to find some beautiful skank with her arms wrapped around Nik, Caroline freaked the hell out on them.
She couldn't believe she found it, the perfect slip of lace to wear for Nik when she gave him her anniversary gift, which was something he had been bugging her about for months: the chance to paint her naked. She wasn't ready for the naked part, the thought of a picture out there with her sans clothes freaked her the hell out. And though she was pretty sure Nik had a sketchbook full of naked pictures of her, that was different than actually modeling for him. She knew Nik would never let anyone else see it, but it still freaked her out. So, her in skimpy, barely there lace was her compromise. It took her forever to find the perfect shade of blue, the same blue as the first article of clothing that Nik ever bought her. It was beautiful in its simplicity, a lace slip that cupped her breasts in the most flattering way, flowing down to end a few inches below her butt.
It was late, close to 9pm when she finally got back to the penthouse Nik bought when they moved to New York. The doorman greeted her with a smile, he was a nice older gentleman that always seemed to happy to see her. She smiled and waved at him as she headed to the private elevator that would take her to the 80th floor.
Like she always did when she got home, she dropped her stuff to the floor and ran into Nik's office to see him, once again surprised by how much she missed him while shopping. She had gone with one of Nik's hybrid, a quiet girl named Natalie, whom Caroline knew Nik compelled to protect her at all cost, even her own life. She hated the idea that some nice hybrid would take a hand to the heart for her without hesitation, she never wanted to be responsible for someone dying. But she also knew that Nik wouldn't let her out unprotected, it was something they had argued about in the past multiple times, and it took her a while to realize he didn't do it just because he was a controlling alpha male. He did it because he couldn't fathom the idea of something happening to her, he wouldn't be able to deal with that. So, she accepted the guard detail on the grounds that it didn't seem like a guard detail. Her and Natalie were actually friends, they saw movies together and did a lot of shopping. Natalie was the closest thing she had to a girlfriend since leaving Mystic Falls.
"Nik, what are we doing…" Caroline's words died on her lips, her mouth dropping open at the sight in front of her. Nik was in his study, and there was some beautiful, skanky girl wrapped in his arms.
It was like being shot in the gut with a wooden bullet. Her heart thudded, her hands started sweating immediately, and she couldn't breathe.
"Caroline," Klaus untangled himself from the brunette's arms and took a step towards her.
"Don't," Caroline held up a hand, barely noticing how the girl faded into the background of the room, most likely into the bathroom off the study. "Don't even…how could you do this to me? In our home?"
"Caroline, sweetheart, this isn't what…."
"What it looks like, it never is," Caroline bit her lip to keep from crying. "I never thought you would do this, I thought that what we had was enough, that I was enough."
"You are being over-dramatic, love," Klaus growled, his hands fisting at his sides.
"Of course it's my fault, it always is," Caroline sneered at him, her fangs pushing through her gums. "Was this the first time or have you been fucking other girls the whole time we've been together?"
"You dare question my integrity, my word?" Klaus shouted. "You know how I feel, you should trust my word."
"I did trust you," Caroline yelled back. "I trusted you more than I have anyone before, right up until I saw you with that skank."
"Apparently you never trusted me, not if you think I would hurt you this way."
"No, apparently I was an idiot to think you were any different than Tyler," Caroline wiped furiously at her eyes.
"Really, Caroline, you compare me to that mutt," Klaus growled. "You need to grow up, Caroline, and stop acting like a teenager."
That hurt almost more than seeing him with another girl, and Caroline could tell by the look in his eyes that Nik regretted the words as soon as he said them. He tried to take another step forward, but she stepped backwards, her arms wrapping around herself to try to hold herself in.
"Anything else you want to add?" Caroline whispered, not even attempting to stop the tears from falling. "Maybe call me shallow and useless."
"Sweetheart," Klaus's voice softened, his eyes tortured as he started into hers.
"I can't…..I can't breathe in here," Caroline shook her head. "I need some air."
"I will come with you," Klaus said.
"No, if you really care about me at all you will let me get air by myself," Caroline said.
"You will not leave the building," Klaus said, his hands fisting at his sides. "I will tell Charles that you are coming downstairs for a few minutes but you will not leave the building."
Caroline nodded and then ran out, a sob choking her as she fell into the elevator. She leaned against the wall, the heels of her hands pressing against her eyes in an attempt to erase what she saw from her memory. But it didn't work, she would always remember seeing Nik with someone else.
Charles greeted her with a concerned smile, and Caroline could tell by his stature that he would not let her leave. But he was human and she knew he wasn't on vervain. She hadn't done it in so long but she didn't think twice about compelling him to let her leave.
Klaus paced the length of the penthouse, his body tense and furious. He knew he was too harsh on Caroline, but he did not like hearing her accusations when nothing could be further from the truth. He would not cheat on her, would never even think about it. She was all that he needed, she was so much his entire world that it actually scared him. If anything were to happen to her, everyone human, vampire, werewolf, and witch he came across for the foreseeable future would pay the price.
Despite how he felt about Caroline, he didn't always know how to say it, and he didn't know how to act in a real relationship. He was controlling and extremely over-protective, possessive and jealous. He was used to people doing what he said, and Caroline did not do anything she didn't want to without questioning it. He adored that about her, adored how she wasn't scared of him, but it was hard for him to adapt to talking about something, rather than ordering.
He still could not believe that Caroline actually compelled Charles. She detested compulsion and only used it when necessary. He knew she would feel horrible about her actions later on, even though no harm had come to Charles. He had his two local hybrids searching the city for her, along with a few NYPD detectives that owed him a few favors. He wanted to be out searching for her himself, and he would if she wasn't found soon, but he also wanted to be here when she came home. And she would come home. Caroline loved him, he knew that as much as he knew he loved her, and she wouldn't run. He knew she needed time to compose herself, to come to grips with what she thought she'd seen, but he did not like the way she went about doing it. Had she told him she wanted some space away from him, he would have had Natalie go with her.
The intercom buzzed, and Klaus raced over, growling into the speaker. "Is she here?"
"Yes," Charles said. "She has asked that you bring money for her cab."
Klaus ran out the door before Charles had finished, taking the stairs instead of the elevator because he was faster. He had the stairwell camera's disabled when they moved in, not wanting any recorded records of their life. He slowed his movements when he entered the lobby, stalking past an anxious-looking doorman, and outside. Caroline was standing next to a cab, her arms wrapped around herself. Her hair was soaking wet, goose-bumps covering her skin. She didn't have a coat on, or even shoes, her bare feet dirty and caked with dry blood. He stalked over to her side, tossing a few bills at the cab driver, not caring what they were, and then gathered Caroline up in his arms. She didn't protest, her arms circling his neck as he swung her up into his arms bridal style. He nodded to Charles as he passed, running upstairs and into their flat.
Caroline looked completely numb, making his heart drop at the thought that she might have turned her emotions off. He wouldn't allow it, if she had, he would do the one thing he promised to never do and compel her to turn them back on. He couldn't imagine living one day without seeing Caroline's sunshine smile, didn't want to fathom the darkness he would live in without her light. He lived in darkness for over a thousand years until she came along and bathed him in her unique light. And having experienced it, having soaked his soul in her radiance for two years, he wouldn't know how to go back to living in darkness again.
He stripped her clothes off, sitting her on the counter as he stripped off his own. He moved them into the shower, letting the hot water warm her cold body and clean the dirt from her skin. Once clean, he dried her off and tucked her slim body into one of his Henley shirts, her favorite thing to wear around the house. Forging clothes, he preferred to sleep naked, her carried her to their large bed and moved them under the covers, cuddling her against his side.
He sighed with relief when Caroline's hands reached up to tangle in his necklaces, something she always did when she was nervous, upset, or scared. While he didn't want her to be any of those things, it was a sign that she hadn't turned it off.
"Who was she?" Caroline whispered against his chest. "Do you love her?"
"Sweetheart, you know better than that," Klaus pushed himself up until he was sitting, his back against the headboard and moved her body so that she was straddling his lap. "You know you are the only one I am in love with, the only one I will ever be in love with. Alicia is a witch, a friend of mine from years ago."
"No," Klaus cupped her face, his thumbs rubbing her cheekbones soothingly. "While Alicia is attractive, I've never been one for mixing business with pleasure; it causes too many problems. And even if I had been so inclined, I have never been Alicia's type."
"Yeah, right," Caroline grumbled.
"Sweetheart, I am not her type," Klaus repeated, a smirk covering his lips when she finally understood what he meant.
"Why didn't you just say she liked girls?" Caroline demanded, hitting his chest with her little fists.
"Love, you didn't give me a chance," Klaus reminded her with a growl. "You automatically assumed the worst of me."
"I'm sorry," Caroline whispered, looking down at her hands. "I just…seeing her in your arms, it was worse than being shot. I couldn't see anything past that."
"You know how much you mean to me," Klaus said. "I think I more than proven that over the last two years. The fact that you automatically assume I would cheat on you makes me believe that you don't trust me."
"If you had walked in and seen some guys with his arms all around me…"
Klaus growled, his fingers digging into her hips. "I would rip his heart out."
"So you don't trust me," Caroline said.
"Yes, I trust you," Klaus assured her. "I just will not allow some other man to put his hands on you."
"Just like I won't let some skanky chick put her hands on you," Caroline said. "And I do trust you, I trust you more than I've ever trusted anyone else….it's just…"
"Just what, my love?"
"I've never thought I would be enough for you," Caroline whispered, her face pressing against his chest. "I've never been enough."
Klaus sighed, his lips pressing against her hair while his arms wrapped around her. He longed to kill every person that made her feel insecure, made her feel like she wasn't enough. He would do so if she only asked, though he knew she never would. He hated that she didn't see what he saw when he looked at her, his complete and utter salvation. She was a balm to his soul, one that he would never grow tired of, nor want to replace.
"You are more than enough for me," Klaus assured her. "You will always be enough for me. I will never grow tired of you nor will I ever want someone else. You are my mate, Caroline, and nothing will change that."
"I know that, in here," Caroline touched her heart. "But sometimes I start to doubt myself up here." She touched her head. "I'm trying, Nik, I'm trying so hard to see myself like you do but it's hard."
"I know you are, love," Klaus kissed her forehead, his hands slipping under the shirt she was wearing. "I am sorry for what I said, I was angry. I do not think you are immature. You are not shallow and you are not useless. I hate that you think that way about yourself."
"You make me feel like I'm so much more important and valuable than I know I am," Caroline cupped his face in her small hands, a smile crossing her lips as rubbed his cheeks. She had a deep fascination with his stubble, and was prone to throwing dramatic fits when he fully shaved. "You make me feel like it's okay to just be me."
"Love, you are the most important thing in the world, and more valuable than anything," Klaus turned his head to kiss her palm, and then nip it lightly, chuckling when she giggled. "I love you, you do know that, correct?"
Tears filled Caroline's eyes, a few slipping past her lashes and down her cheeks as she nodded. "I love you too, so much."
"I know, Caroline," Klaus pulled her in for a deep kiss, his hands bracing on her hips. "Now, reach over to the bedside table, cara, I have a surprise for you."
"You don't have to buy me things, Klaus," Caroline shook her head, a fond smile crossing her lips. She reached over and grabbed the jewelry box sitting on the table, excitement lighting up her face. While he knew she didn't expect or demand expensive trinkets from him, she always got excited when he bought her something, whether it be jewelry, clothing, or a book she really wanted. She liked that he knew what she liked and that he thought about her.
He adored watching her get excited about anything, whether it be her favorite show, a new country they visited, or a piece of chocolate. After a thousand years, he was jaded about the world. Then Caroline came along and it was like looking at the world anew.
"Ohh, Nik," Caroline whispered, tears filling her eyes, her hand hesitantly reaching out to touch the contents of the box. "It's the same one.'
"Yes, the bracelet I gave you for your birthday," Klaus pulled it out of the box and clasped it around her wrist.
"There's a necklace and earrings that went with it?" Caroline touched the other objects within the box, the jewelry matching the bracelet.
"No, I had these custom made for you," Klaus said, smiling as she touched the jewelry lovingly. "I had some alterations made to all the pieces, and they will now work to protect you from the sun."
"Even the bracelet?" Caroline studied it, her eyes narrowing as she tried to find the lapis lazuli stone.
"It's on the clasp," Klaus showed her. "That was why Alicia was here, she just finished the spell on the pieces a few minutes before you came home."
"So you hugged her?" Caroline arched a brow.
"No, love, she hugged me," Klaus said, smirking at the pout that crossed her lips. He didn't mind her little bouts of jealousy, he was prone them himself, as long as it didn't get to the point that it did today. "As I paid for her little brother to tuition to MIT."
"For spelling jewelry, isn't that a bit steep of a price?" Caroline frowned. "I'm fine with just my ring."
"I'd feel more comfortable if you had multiple pieces, Caroline," Klaus said. "And I do not like the fact that your friend is the one that did the spell on your ring, if she chooses too…"
"Yeah, I got the warning, the witch that makes the ring can take it away," Caroline interrupted, making him grind his teeth. It was another reason he wished to kill her so-called friends, the fact that the Bennett witch threatened Caroline's safety in such a way did not sit well with him. "Aren't you worried that Alicia might do that too?"
"No, I trust her to a point," Klaus said. "And as I'm paying an enormous price for her brother's schooling, and I also know where every member of her family is, she would be extremely stupid to attempt to cross me."
"You didn't have to threaten her," Caroline tapped his nose.
"When it comes to your safety, I will make as many threats as I deem necessary," Klaus nipped her finger with his human teeth, and then lathed the sting, smirking when Caroline's eyes dilated, her sweet arousal filling the air. "But just to ease your mind, I didn't threaten her. Alicia has no desire to get involved with vampire drama. I keep other vampires off her trail and in exchange, she does a few smaller spells when I need them done."
"I need to apologize to her, she probably thinks I'm a crazy psycho bitch."
"She does not think that," Klaus assured her. "She scolded me for not warning you beforehand. But I will pass along your apologizes if you would like."
"Why can't I apologize for myself?"
"Because while I may not be her type, you very much are," Klaus pulled her closer.
"But…but I like girls now," Caroline feigned to the right, giggling happily when he pulled her back and flipped her under him. "Can we have makeup sex now?"