the click of heels and press of a knife
The bar is dimly lit, the soft glow of antique lamps enveloping all who enter in a rush of warm light. The ambiance is quiet, only the soft clink of wine glasses and hushed chit chat of the patrons cluttering the air. Caroline finds herself right at home, tall black heels clicking against the wooden floor as she heads across the establishment and eases onto one of the many bar stools. She smiles at the bartender, a handsome blond with impossibly blue eyes. "What can I get for you?" he asks, eyes twinkling as he grins.
Caroline smiles, slow and relaxed. "A nice vacation house in the Bahamas," she replies, being careful to say the exact words, "and a glass of Cabernet."
The bartender's face shifts in a way that is only noticeable if one is looking for it. His smile twitches and the blue of his eyes grow darker in muted recognition. "I can get you the Cabernet," he replies awkwardly, bumbling through the practiced script, "but I don't know about the vacation house."
She laughs. "Too bad," she says with a flirty undertone, the anxiety in her chest increasing tenfold.
Caroline has spoken with the contact, now all she has to wait for is the sign. Her eyes follow the bartender from beneath her lashes, appearing to any onlooker as a harmless and flirty gaze. The bartender grabs a bottle of red wine appropriately labeled Cabernet from the middle shelf and pops the cork expertly. He snags a glittering wine glass from its upside down perch and lets the crimson liquid spill into the glass with a splash.
He slides it across the mahogany bar with practiced ease. "Cabernet," he says with a jitter, strained half-smile quirking upwards on his lips.
"Thank you," she returns, bringing the glass to her lips. She spies his name tag just before he turns. Matt, it reads; such a normal name for an extraordinarily brave soul. She sets her glass back down on the wooden bar and relaxes her shoulders. It is time. Matt saunters down the length of the bar with quick, even steps; he stops in front of an impeccably dressed gentleman, whose look is thrown off by the stubble adorning his chiseled face. Caroline watches from beneath her lashes, tilting her head just so.
Matt gulps. "Would you like another scotch?" he asks, slight shake to his voice, "sir?"
The man looks up from his half-finished glass of scotch, eyes narrowed dangerously. "Not quite yet, mate," he comments, British accent thick.
"Yeah, sure," Matt replies before slinking off awkwardly. The man brings the glass of scotch to his lips, dark gaze following Matt as he meanders back towards Caroline. She continues to watch him, surprised when his sea green gaze meets hers; his eyes burn into her with such ferocity her wine glass almost slips out of hand. The gentleman smirks, the curve of his plump lips twisting upwards suggestively. She has caught him.
Caroline turns away from him, crossing her legs and downing the rest of her Cabernet. She is acutely aware of the warm, male body that joins her, slipping onto the bar stool next to her own.
"Another drink for the beautiful lass," he articulates, the deep timbre of his voice sending shivers down her spine.
She spares him a sidelong glance and scoffs. "No thanks," she brushes him off, "I don't accept drinks from strange men."
The man grins at that, looking down briefly and then back up again, catching her defiant gaze with his own determined look. He extends a hand. "Niklaus Mikaelson," he begins, name rolling off his tongue as if it holds the weight of importance. "You may call me Klaus." Caroline continues to stare at him, pretty lips twisting into a practiced scowl of indifference. Klaus chuckles, eyes alight at the challenge she presents. "This is the part where you tell me your name, sweetheart."
Caroline smirks and takes his hand, shaking it dutifully. "Candice Accola," she replies, enunciating her alias perfectly.
"Candice," he repeats, the corner of his lip twitching. His eyes darken considerably as his eyes narrow. "Interesting," he continues, downing the rest of his scotch.
"If you say so," she muses, waving her hand and signaling for Matt-the-bartender's attention. "Two scotches," she requests when he approaches.
"Coming right up," Matt replies before whirling around and serving up two glasses of scotch in record time. The man is good at what he does, she'll give him that.
"So, Klaus, now that we're no longer strangers," she purrs, leaning towards him, placing her free hand over his, "what is an obviously wealthy man such as you doing in Mystic Grill?"
There is that damnable smirk again. "I could ask the same of you, Miss Accola." His tone is dangerous and even a bit sexy, much to her chagrin.
"I am a woman of many mysteries," she quips, winking and taking a sip of her scotch. She winces as it burns the back of her throat. She is a bit out of practice, it would seem.
This only serves to amuse Klaus. "That you are," he replies ambiguously, tapping the rim of his glass and wracking his eyes over her body. From the slight bob of his adams apple, she gathers he likes what he sees. Her heart flutters in her chest, but she quickly quells the feeling. She is here for work, not to get a crush on the man's whose death certificate she is all but about to sign.
"Come here often?" she inquires.
"First time, truly," he says, his gaze once again burning into her very soul. She finds it quite disconcerting. "New to the area."
"Oh?" she prods.
"Mmhm," he hums, downing another swig of scotch. "Family matters I must attend to."
Her eyebrows shoot up to her hairline. "You have family here?"
He nods. "Rebekah, my sister. She gets sentimental, you see."
Ah, yes, Caroline knew the name. It was in the case file. His younger sister, a brash young woman, but nowhere near as lethal as her brothers but double the trouble. She hadn't made it on the hit list quite yet, luckily for her.
"Is your family from around here?" she asks, even though she already knows the answer. The Mikaelsons' were nomadic in lifestyle, but Mystic Falls would always be their home.
"So many questions, love," he counters, threading his fingers through hers, "and all I want to hear about is you. Your hopes, your dreams…"
This startles her slightly, the odd flutter of her chest returning. "That'd make it too easy," she replies, "you have yet to take me out for dinner, after all."
It is Klaus' turn to show surprise. "I didn't take you for the dating type."
She leans forward. "There are a lot of things you don't know about me," she husks into his ear, her smile downright sinful as she pulls away.
His eyes settle on her lips as want swims within his green irises. "So it would seem," he drawls, savoring the words.
A quick glance at the crooked clock hanging innocently on the wall affirms her suspicion; she has talked for far too long. It is time to mark him. "Perhaps one day," she begins, "you can take me on a proper one. For now, I'll leave you with my number." She digs the fake business card from her purse and gets to her feet, heels clicking against the floor. She leans into him, placing a soft, wet and chaste kiss on his parted lips whilst slipping the card between his fingers. As she pulls back, his gaze has changed from friendly to horrifyingly blank, and it scares the holy heck out of her.
Klaus exhales, the moist heat of his breath wafting over her lips. "Oh, Caroline," he says, "I was rather hoping you wouldn't do that." He moves so quickly she doesn't even have time to register he's called her by her real name and not her alias. Caroline. The next thing she knows, he is on his feet and there is a very sharp, very real knife being pressed into the small of her back. "This way, love," he chirps, pressing her on forward and smiling darkly at those who have dared to start staring.
Caroline's heart is racing, fear pulsing through her at a manic rate as she wracks her brain for something in her training that will help her. She comes up empty, damn it! Now is really not the time for her to have selective memory loss. "How did you…" she begins, face red with embarrassment and mingled fear.
Klaus laughs, his voice hot on her ear. "I make a habit of checking up on my enemies, sweetheart. And a man doesn't simply forget a face as lovely as yours." He throws open the front doors to Mystic Grill easily, hauling her across the parking lot quickly. He snaps a pair of hand cuffs on her before slinging her into the passenger seat of his ordinary white, four-door civic.
Caroline closes her eyes. This is it. She is going to die. Why on earth did she ever let Elena and her smarmy boyfriend Damon trick her into this?
"Don't worry," Klaus says from her left, "I don't plan on killing you." He leers at her. "Yet."
Caroline is so very, very screwed.
She prays there is a body left for her mother to bury.