Fallen

Chapter Nine

A.N.: Hello again, my lovelies! Have I mentioned how much I love reading all your wonderful reviews and hearing your ideas of where the story is going? Because I do. I really do.

Here's hoping this update finds you all well, and that you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing.

Thanks to my wonderful beta team: Miranda, Katie, and Becky.

Happy reading, and I'll catch you again at the bottom!

xxxxxxx

His hands were gliding across her sheet covered hips, his breath hot against the nape of her neck as he moved closer behind her. A hand brushed the hair off her shoulder, lips making a wet trail across her skin.

"You're mine, Care," his voice whispered huskily into her ear, causing her to shiver. "Every inch of you...every thought. Every feeling. It all belongs to me." One arm wrapped around her chest, fingers tickling the skin of her collarbone before tracing the curve of her breast. "You have to know I love you...that's why I fight so hard."

Her breath shuddered as his touch slid slower, hovering over the sensitive skin of her ribcage.

"I'll always find you, Caroline. No matter where you go. How far you run."

She bit back a cry when his hand clamped down across her chest, her broken rib sending an excruciating jab of pain through her entire being, the smell of diluted whiskey clouding her senses as he leaned over her.

"You belong to me."

xxxxxx

Caroline jolted awake, the breath halting in her throat as she tried to calm her racing heart. She could feel the sweat dotting her skin, her body still wired with panic, and she jumped when she felt a hand stroke her disheveled hair.

She pushed away from the body next to her, skittering to the opposite side of the bed, her eyes frantically searching the room for any escape they could find. Her heart was hammering against her ribcage, the remnants of her nightmare-her memory-still lingering in her mind, and she barely registered Klaus' confused and tired face staring at her until she remembered the events of last night.

Their date. Klaus cooking for her, and making her feel special. Their fevered kissing, and Klaus' assurance that he would wait as long as she needed him to for her to be ready. Him walking her home and climbing into bed next to her, holding her until she fell asleep, the warmth of his embrace making her feel more comforted than ever before.

He was looking at her now, his confusion merging into concern, and he pushed himself up onto his elbows, turning his body towards her and slowly reaching out a hand. "Caroline," he said quietly, as if he was trying not to spook her more than she already was.

She shook her head, letting out a weary sigh, pulling herself into a sitting position and covering her face with her hands. She could feel him shifting next to her, his body moving closer, and then his hands were pulling at her own, gently tugging them down until they rested next to his on the bed. She sighed again, fighting back the tears she could feel welling in her eyes. "I'm sorry," she whispered, shaking her head. "I'm sorry, I was having a nightmare and you...you scared me."

Klaus reached up slowly, brushing his knuckles across her cheekbone before gently cradling her face in his hand, bringing her head forward and resting his forehead against hers. She closed her eyes as their skin touched, and he sighed quietly. "Are you alright?"

She nodded against him, her hand wrapping around his wrist, holding his own in place.

"What were you dreaming about?"

The image of HIS hands traveling across her body-HIS voice and scent, his threats and his charm-invaded her mind, and she let out a shaky breath, forcing a sheepish smile and opening her eyes, staring into his. "I don't even remember now."

He nodded after a moment, returning her smile, and leaned forward to brush his lips against hers, but she pulled back, laughing when he looked at her quizzically.

"Morning breath," she laughed apologetically, reaching up to her cover her mouth with her hand.

Klaus rolled his eyes, smirking, and quickly wrapped his arms around her waist, delighting in her surprised squeal when he tossed her back against the pillows, leaning over her and crushing his lips against her own, muffling her giggles with his kiss. He grinned against her mouth, feeling her hands wrap around his neck, her fingers tangling in the curls at the base of his neck. He was oddly aware of her curves pressing against him; the way her hips seemed to cradle him, her legs curling around his own.

Caroline sighed as Klaus' lips pressed a trail of kisses across her jaw and down her throat, the feel of his stubble tickling her skin and making her shiver. His hands slid down her sides, tickling the exposed skin of her abdomen. His fingers dug into her hips gently, and she closed her eyes, delving her own fingers into his hair.

She was on fire it seemed, everywhere his lips and hands touched. Every inch that his body touched-the weight of him, the feel of him-it all consumed her. She bit her lip when she felt him press himself closer, and she mentally shook herself out of her euphoria, gripping his face in her hands and pulling his lips back to hers. She kissed him gently chastely, and felt him smile against her.

Her own smile was bright when they pulled away, her eyes following the trail of his hand as it gently tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, his touch lingering on her cheek.

"Not a bad way to start the day," Klaus teased, smirking down at her before glancing at the clock on the bedside table, sighing when he caught the time. "Though I should be going. I shudder to think the shenanigans my son was able to get into with Katherine and Elijah keeping guard." He smiled down at her, pressing a kiss to her lips once more before pulling himself to his feet, stretching his arms out at his sides as he stood.

Caroline pulled herself up after him, sliding to the edge of the bed and tucking one leg underneath her while the other dangled off the bed. She placed her hands in her lap as she watched Klaus reach for his shirt and shrug into it before slipping into his shoes, draping his belt across his arm.

She was nervous, she realized as she watched him. She could feel the tightening in her belly, the fear and paranoia of what happened now. They hadn't slept together-he hadn't even pressured her into trying anything. He hadn't left in the middle of the night, or made an inappropriate pass at her while she was sleeping. He'd been there when she woke up.

He'd told her there was no rush. That he wanted things to work with her-that she was worth that wait. So why did she worry that he thought she was nothing more than a tease or a harlot or a-

Her train of worried thoughts broke off when he turned back around to face her, his face breaking into a small smile when he saw the obvious distress on her face. She looked up at him as he crossed back to the bed, placing his hands on either side of her on the mattress, leaning down until his nose brushed hers.

He pressed a gentle kiss to her lips, murmuring against her, and rested his forehead against hers when he pulled away. "If I could wake up like this every morning, I would be one happy man."

Caroline couldn't stop the grin that spread across her face, giggling quietly as her hand trailed up his chest, tangling in the collar of his shirt. "You're still not getting lucky," she joked, smiling when he chuckled softly and kissed her once more. He straightened to his full height and she slid to her feet, running a hand through her disheveled hair with a smile as she followed him to the door.

His steps slowed as they reached the door, a heavy breath leaving his lips as he looked at her. "I suppose we should brace ourselves for the onslaught of Kol commentary awaiting us."

She laughed, glancing over her shoulder at her alarm clock. "Bonnie has class in twenty minutes. Kol's usually gone by now, per Bonnie's rule. He tends to distract her otherwise, so I think we're fine."

His hand slipped into hers as he pulled open the door, the smiles falling from their faces as they crossed the threshold and froze in their steps.

Kol and Bonnie were standing by the front door, Kol shrugging into his jacket as he brushed his lips against Bonnie's cheek. A backpack was flung across one of Bonnie's shoulders and her keys dangled from her fingers. They both looked over when they heard her door open, however, and Caroline bit back a sigh at the sheer look of glee that overcame Kol's face when he spotted them.

"Well, well," Kol crooned, an ecstatic grin taking over his face as he pulled away from Bonnie. "What. A. Scandal!" He shook his head as he looked at Bonnie. "Didn't I tell you that we should have waited up, darling? Look at what obscene interludes have been afoot while we were sleeping soundly in our bed."

"Kol," Bonnie chastised, though by the smirk on her lips and the gleam in her eyes, Caroline wondered about her sincerity. She crossed her arms over her chest, shifting on her feet as she eyed the couple with a smile. "Though this is very damning evidence."

"Damning or not, it's not really either of your business," Klaus reprimanded quietly with a lift of his eyebrows, rolling his eyes when the two just grinned at him like the cat who ate the canary. He was smirking when he turned to Caroline, his eyes softening when he saw her flustered face hidden behind the back of her hand, her blue eyes laughing up at him. "I'll see you soon, love," he said softly, leaning down and pressing his lips against her cheek.

She nodded at him, lowering her hand until it rested on his bicep, her teeth capturing her lower lip as she smiled.

"Ooooh, I'll see you soon, love," he heard Kol mock from across the room, and he sighed, smiling down at Caroline once more before making his towards the door, his arm shooting out to grip the collar of his brother's jacket, dragging the younger man along after him. "So rough, Nik! Don't tell me this is how you manhandled Caroline last night!"

The door slammed shut after them, leaving the two women in an awkward silence.

Caroline slowly let her gaze lift back up to Bonnie's inquisitive eyes, and she shrugged, lacing her hands behind her back. She crossed her legs in front of her, her feet ankle to toe, and she sighed as she shifted slightly, only smiling when she heard her friend laugh.

"Oh, don't even think you're getting out of this one," Bonnie said, pulling the strap of her backpack higher on her shoulder as she snatched her keys off the table, pointing a finger in her direction. "We are so talking about this when I get home tonight."

Caroline laughed as Bonnie turned and followed the path Klaus and Kol had, pulling open the door and shooting her a look over her shoulder. "Not if I'm not here," Caroline sang after her, bringing her hand back up to her lips to smother the giggles she couldn't quite contain.

She grinned as she made her way into the kitchen, pulling her coffee mug from the windowsill, unable to even fight against the giddy lightness she felt in her chest.

xxxxxxxx

Mystic Falls, Virginia didn't hold much to boast about.

It was a small town, barely a blip on the map. They were home of the Timberwolves, a somewhat decent high school football team that hadn't won any championships but made it far enough to be noticed. They were known for their yearly Decade Dances at the high school, and the Miss Mystic Falls competition was heralded as the small town Miss America pageant.

The Mystic Grill was in the center of town, the only decent place to populate, according to more than half of the town's population. It was part sports bar, part family restaurant, and tended to be overly crowded on the weekends and evenings for the dinner rush. Such was life in a small town, and it was a life that Matt Donovan had come to accept as his.

Draping a white dish towel over his shoulder, he sighed as he crossed his way to the bar, gathering the discarded beer mugs and wine glasses that littered the surface. The glass clinked and clanked as he moved them onto an empty tray, his hand quickly whipping the rag off his shoulder and swiping it across the crumb infested countertop, watching with a smirk as the small morsels slid to the floor. Little things, he guessed, shaking his head.

"Matt."

The grin slipped from his face at the sound of the voice speaking from behind him. It was an all-too familiar voice, one that he'd known since he was a preteen, scrawny and all limbs on the football field in junior high. It was a voice he'd listened to over the years, and trusted with everything he had.

It was a voice he thought of differently nowadays.

He schooled his face into a neutral expression as he glanced over his shoulder, lifting his chin in recognition as he spotted the dark haired man making his way towards him. "Hey, Ty," he said, tossing the rag back across his shoulder as he turned to him. "What's up?"

Tyler Lockwood was Matt's oldest friend in Mystic Falls. They'd met the first day of football training when they were 13, and they'd bonded over their dysfunctional families and equal appreciation for the cheerleading squad that practiced across the field. They'd been star athletes together, gone to college, got jobs...moved on from their high school careers.

Matt tried to remember the fun times they'd had as Tyler lifted a coffee thermos to his lips, raising his eyebrows as he took a long sip and shrugged. Matt noticed the slightly fading scar above his left eye, the jagged cut slicing into his brow, and he swallowed down the lump in his throat, trying to keep his attention from focusing on it for too long. "Nothing much, man," he replied, walking down the small stair that led to the bar floor. "You know, just doing a perusal around town." He shrugged again as he slipped his free hand into his trouser pocket, his arm pushing his open jacket to the side and revealing the detective shield that attached to his belt. "Thought I'd stop in. See how you were doing. We haven't talked in awhile."

Tyler's dark eyes were taking in his reaction as he spoke, and Matt sighed, shaking his head as he turned back to the bar. "I haven't talked to her, Ty."

Tyler watched him as he slid the tray off the counter and into his hands, the blue cotton of his shirt stretching across his broad shoulders. "You sure about that?" he inquired, following the blonde man's steps as he moved towards the back of the restaurant. "I mean, you guys are close. She just skips town and that's that?"

"Yeah, that's that," Matt replied over his shoulder, stopping to gather another few glasses off a corner table before continuing his trek towards the kitchen. "I don't know why you keep asking. I told you months ago I'd tell you if I heard from her, and I haven't."

Tyler nodded. "Yeah, I remember," he said, lifting his hand to his forehead and absentmindedly scratching at a spot by his temple. "And I believe you, man. But, I mean...you've gotta know that she's in a lot of trouble. And if you have heard from her and it's just slipped your mind, that kind of equals out to you being a lot of trouble too. And that's not something I want, man."

He stopped in his steps when Matt slammed the tray down onto an empty table, turning around to face him, a hard expression on his face as he held his hands out at his sides. "What are you getting at, Tyler?"

Tyler shrugged, pursing his lips. "She's your sister, Matt."

"Yeah, and she's your wife," Matt replied, not missing the way the other man flinched and something flashed across his eyes. "She has just as much a reason to contact you as she does me, so I don't know why the hell you're on my case about it." He stepped towards him, staring into his best friend's eyes as he leveled his voice. "I haven't seen her. I haven't talked to her. Not since she skipped town that night, and I really doubt I'll be hearing from her anytime soon. She seems pretty content to forget me too."

The two men stared each other down, neither willing to break their gazes first. Matt could feel Tyler's eyes evaluating every twitch of his face, every flicker of emotion, and he forced himself not to waver. His heartbeat was pounding in his ears as his hands clenched into fists at his side, and he finally blinked when Tyler smirked, dropping his gaze as he nodded and took a step back.

"Fair enough," he said, shrugging his broad shoulders once more. He lifted his thermos to his lips again, pointing at Matt with one finger as he started to walk backwards towards the door. "Make sure you let me know if you hear from her, Matty. Make it easy on both of you."

Matt watched him turn on a polished heel and begin his stride towards the entrance to the Grill, noticing him stumbling up the step slightly as he went. He shook his head as he crossed his arms over his chest. "Had a little coffee with your Jack there, Ty?" he called towards him, smirking when the other man stopped and turned to him, his gaze narrowed and his lips pressed into a thin line. "Oh. Sorry, I meant a little Jack with your coffee."

Tyler scoffed as his grip tightened around his thermos, nodding once as he shrugged. "Easy mistake. I'll be seeing you soon, Matt."

Matt stood tall as he watched the man storm from the restaurant, holding his breath until the doors swung shut behind him. His shoulders slumped as he ran a hand through his short cropped blonde hair, his blue eyes closing as he turned back towards his forgotten tray, the worry pecking away at his mind with every second that passed.

xxxxxxx

"Look at them."

Bonnie looked up from her phone at her boyfriend before sliding her gaze in the direction his own was staring, her lips quirking up into a smile. "What about them?"

Kol shrugged, his lip curled up as he tilted his head, observing the couple at the bar with mild distaste. "They're just so...revolting."

Bonnie laughed, shaking her head as she watched the couple who stood at the bar, Klaus leaning against it on both elbows as Caroline stood behind it, her blonde hair pulled off her face in a high ponytail, her face bright as she laughed at whatever Klaus was saying to her. "They're cute," she disputed, looking back down at her phone.

"It's been a month, darling," Kol groused next to her. "A whole month of their touchy feely moments. Their whispered endearments. And don't even get me started on their over nighters. His place, your place-Hell, I'd bet they'd even snogged in the backseat of his car with all their loaded glances." He cringed when his brother leaned across the bar to press a kiss to Caroline's lips. "Oy, get a room, you two exhibitionists!"

He barely had time to see the two of them turn to look at him before he felt a sharp tug on his ear, a startled groan escaping his lips as he was roughly tugged further into the bar. "Ow, bloody hell, woman," he cried, yanking his head away from Bonnie's prying grip and glaring down at her. "We've talked about your horrid mistreatment of me."

The brunette was glaring up at him, sliding her phone into her back pocket as she crossed her arms over her chest. "Lay off them, okay?" she hissed, her gaze darting over to Klaus and Caroline who stood watching them in amusement before turning back to each other. She sighed, looking back at Kol. "They haven't even done it yet."

Kol stared at her, his lips slightly parted, his left eye twitching as he took in what she had said, and she sighed as she waited for the cogs in his head to catch up with her words. "They haven't…"

She shook her head.

"Huh," he said, leaning back on his heels and crossing his arms over his chest, his eyes searching the ceiling as he contemplated. His lips pursed for a moment before he glanced at her again. "At all?" When she shook her head again, he nodded. "And how do you know that, my Bonnie lass? Standing at the door with a glass pressed to the wood?"

Bonnie glowered at him, shaking her head with a smile. She wouldn't tell him that Caroline had confided in her the night they'd caught her and Klaus coming from her bedroom. Bonnie had cornered her the second she made it home from her day of classes, pinning the blonde on the couch with a meaningful stare before grabbing the bottle of wine from the fridge and joining her. She hadn't been able to stop the love struck smile that spread across her face when her roommate had told her to story of their date-their makeout session against the counter and Klaus' heartfelt declaration towards her right afterwards. "I just do, okay? They've both got a lot of baggage, and Caroline is still kind of finding her footing. Klaus just doesn't want her to feel pressured into doing anything she's not ready to do."

A smirk slowly spread across Kol's face as she spoke, and he chuckled as he glanced back at the couple in question. "That chivalrous wanker," he murmured. "Oh, I can't wait to egg him on about this."

"Kol, no, don't you dare!"

xxxxxxxxx

"You know, it never fails to amaze me that this city is always this busy."

Klaus wondered if he'd ever get tired of seeing the slightly mystified gleam in Caroline's eyes every time they walked the streets of the city. Her gaze would travel across the rows of vendors and musicians as if she'd never seen anything like them before. He remembered her mentioning that she came from a small town somewhere, and he wondered just how small it was. He watched her cross her arms over her chest, her hands absentmindedly running up and down her arms as she shivered in the cool night breeze.

"It's a city that never sleeps," he said, shrugging out of his jacket and draping it across her bare shoulders, his fingers grazing the nape of her neck as he pulled her hair from underneath its collar. He let them linger there for a moment before trailing down her back, her own hand capturing his when it reached her hip and linking their fingers. He couldn't help but smile, her hand heavy in his, and they continued on in silence.

Over the last month they'd fell into a comfortable routine together. They'd go dinner or a movie. Sometimes they'd bring pizza back to Klaus', and they'd sit while Declan regaled them with random sloth facts-an obsession that had only seemed to intensify after the zoo trip-or they'd all camp down in the living room and watch mindless Disney movie after mindless Disney movie, the sound of Declan's laughter and Caroline's quiet singing along with the songs relaxing him more than anything ever could.

He'd lost count of the amount of times they'd fallen asleep in each other's arms. They'd talk into the wee hours of the morning, sharing soft kisses and caresses, and Klaus wondered if he'd ever get tired of her having her in his embrace. She was so light, so beautiful. She filled him with this indescribable desire to be better. A better man, a better father, a better everything.

"Hey," Caroline said, halting his train of thought as she pulled them to a stop. He followed her gaze, surprised to see that they were now standing in front of his art gallery. He hadn't even realized they'd been walking this way. "Isn't this yours?" she asked, turning to him. When he nodded, she smiled, shrugging. "You know, I haven't been in there since the day I threw your present back in your face."

He laughed. "Ah, yes. I'd almost forgotten that day." She rolled her eyes, and he grinned, stepping towards the door, tugging her hand after him. "Come. I'll give you a proper tour that hopefully doesn't end with you yelling at me."

Caroline laughed as he unlocked the door and pulled her inside, punching a code into the alarm system on the wall while simultaneously flipping the lights on.

She hadn't gotten a good look at Sire Studios her first time here-her vision had been clouded with her "righteous" anger and determination to put Klaus in his place-but it looked much like she recalled. There was white from floor to ceiling. Their shoes clicked against the marbled floor as they traveled further inside, Caroline slipping her hand from Klaus' as she moved towards one of the displays.

It was an array of photographs propped up on easels, each of them framed by a simple black frame. They didn't seem to hold any kind of series or pattern. One was a black and white portrait of a young boy's silhouette as he stared at an empty carousel. Another portrayed a city street at sunset, a shadowed figure standing in the middle of the road with their hands held above their head, an abandoned umbrella resting behind them as the rain poured down. One was simple picture of an apple core, sitting on a table in front of a mirror, though its reflection was of a untouched apple.

"Conceptual photography," Klaus said as he came up next to her, his own eyes on the portraits displayed in front of them. "Trying to portray a message or concept through a simple photograph."

"They're beautiful," she replied softly, leaning closer towards one of them with a furrowed brow. "How do you know what they're trying to portray though?"

Klaus shrugged, smirking at her. "Well, that depends on your interpretation, love. Everyone sees things differently. The way you see these photographs may be different from the way the artist did. Where she captured the loneliness of childhood," he said, pointing towards the black and white photograph. "Perhaps you see a darkness of mystery. Or a happy, lighthearted photo to you," he pointed to the rain filled photo. "Holds a deeper meaning. A triumph against a devastating depression. Or one of a simple apple seeing its opposite reflection is nothing more than an entertaining pun, whereas other could see it as how they see themselves when they look in the mirror." He looked at her, seeing her gaze fixed on him. "It's all a matter of perception, Caroline."

Caroline stared at him for a long moment, the passion with which he spoke overwhelming her. Did she ever love something as much as he loved art? She cleared her throat before smoothing the hair at the back of her head, her eyes traveling across the various paintings that adorned the walls before falling on a display cabinet in the corner. Her eyes widened at the sculptures she saw sitting on the shelves, and she quickly made her way towards them, concious of Klaus following closely behind. "Wow, these are amazing...are those beer caps?" she asked, resting her hand on the edge of the shelf that held a figure of a winding snake.

"The artists takes every day items that one might say is garbage and...uses them to create something more," Klaus said. "Things people throw away every day. Crafted into something new. Something haunting and beautiful. Unlike anything you ever could have imagined."

"How do you find them," she asked, turning towards him. "The artists. These don't seem like the kind of pieces you'd find in museums or other galleries, you know?"

Klaus shrugged, pursing his lips. "New Orleans is a city of art. It's filled with blossoming artists who all just want a chance to be heard. They all see the world in a different way than everyone else. I just...give them a way to share it."

Caroline smiled at him, noting the nostalgia in his voice. "Speaking from experience?" She laughed when his face split into an embarrassed grin, his gaze dropping to the floor. "Come on, you totally are! So what are you? Photographer, sculptor, painter? I'm guessing painter. You've got that whole moody, 'I'm-so-tortured' vibe down pat." She smiled, reaching over and grabbing his hand, leaning against him. "Is any of your work in here?"

He shook his head, running a hand through his hair. "No, I make a point not to display my own work in the gallery. I have a, um, small studio in the back. I'll work there if it's slow or if inspiration strikes."

"Will you show me?" Caroline asked, looking up at him with a smile, and he knew in that moment that he'd give her anything if she just never stopped looking at him like that.

He took her hand again, leading her towards the opposite end of the gallery. They made their way down the hallway and into his office, bypassing his desk with it's paper strewn surface. He led her towards the only other door in the room, and she watched as he pushed it open slowly, flipping a light switch, and her eyes widened as they took in the room.

There were dozens of canvasses propped against the wall, some empty while others displayed various landscapes and intricate designs. Sketches were pinned to the white washed walls, and a small desk was shoved into a corner, an array of paint canisters, pencils and brushes crowding its surface. There was a small cot in the opposite corner, white sheets pulled tightly across the mattress, and she found herself wondering how often he'd lost track of time and ended up falling asleep in this room.

She walked towards an unfinished painting that resting in the easel, a splash of bright colors and sharp patterns. She couldn't discern if it was abstract or held a purpose, but swirls of yellow jutting out from the center of the canvas, mixing with vibrant blues and greens and reds to create an effigy that nearly left her gasping with its beauty.

She shook her head, a small sigh escaping her lips, and from the corner of her eye she could see him standing in the doorway, eyeing her with an almost uncertainty that tugged at her heart.

Her fingers reached out to run across the surface of another painting, one that was so different from the other. It was a lone snowflake that rested in a bustle of branches. It was a small fragment of light against the dark.

Her eyes were still scouring it when she felt him come up behind her, his arms snaking around her waist and his chin resting on top of her head. She rested her own hands over his against her stomach, her fingers tracing the grooves of his knuckles and the length of his fingers.

"Analyzing my inner psyche, love," he whispered into her ear, causing her to smile.

"No, there's just...there's just something so lonely about this one," she said quietly, tilting her head so he could rest his chin on her shoulder.

"It was painted a long time ago," he replied, pressing a kiss to her cheek. "Before I met you."

He spoke with such conviction, as he tended to when it came to her. She took a breath as she turned in his arms, his jacket sliding off her shoulders and pooling around her feet as his hands settled against her hips. She peered up at him, her hands sliding up his stomach until they came to rest against his chest.

He was looking down at her curiously, a small smile playing on his lips. The sharp planes of his chest were underneath her fingers as she pressed herself closer to him, leaning up on her tiptoes, her lips pressing against his gently. She let out a breath when his lips parted and moved against her own, and she slid her hands further up his chest, resting against his shoulders. His grip tightened against her hips as he pulled her closer, his lips parting from hers as he stared down at her, his eyes darkened with lust she knew was mirrored in her own. "Caroline," he said in a whisper, a question in his voice.

She stared up at him, a small pulling at her lips as she lifted a hand and rested it against his cheek. The stubble on his face tickled her fingertips, and she met his gaze, offering a small nod, a sigh escaping him before his lips met hers again.

She gasped against him, her lips parting, and he took the opportunity to curl his tongue around hers, his hand diving into the curls at the back of her head. He pulled her further against him, moaning lowly at the feel of her body pressing against his. The thin fabric of her dress did little to hide the swell of her breasts or the curve of her hips, every inch of her a perfect masterpiece in his mind.

Caroline gasped as she tore her lips from his, sucking in a deep breath as his lips moved to the column of her neck, his teeth nipping and his tongue lapping at her skin as his arms tightened around her waist. Her head fell back, granting him further access, and she gasped when his hot lips trailed across the cleavage that was visible above the neckline of her dress. Her hands grasped at his arms, holding herself steady as her head grew fuzzy and she swayed on her feet, the feel of him overwhelming.

Klaus kissed his way back up her neck, peppering a trail across her jaw before capturing her lips again, a quiet growl reverberating deep in his chest when he felt her hands sliding beneath the hem of his blue Henley. His stomach clenched with every caress of her fingers. She lifted the fabric inch by inch, and he pulled back to pull it over his head, letting it drop at his feet, his eyes sliding closed at the feeling of her hands splayed across his lean abdomen. His lips pressed into a thin straight line when she leaned forward and pressed an open mouthed kiss to his chest.

He felt himself harden under her ministrations, and he gently cupped her chin, pulling her face up to his and capturing her lips once more. His hands slid down to her shoulders, dancing across the thin straps of her dress before sliding to the zipper in the between her shoulderblades. He heard her breathing quicken as he slowly slid the fastening down, his thumb grazing the soft skin of her back with every inch, leaving a trail of goosebumps in its wake. His hands slid under the thin fabric, peeling it off her shoulders, and he watched as she slowly pulled her arms free of the straps, stepping back as the dark red fabric pooled at her feet.

His eyes raked her over, his mouth going dry as he took in her scantily clad form in front of him. The hot pink push up bra and panty set were a stark contrast against her creamy white skin, and as his eyes scoured her chest and up her neck, he noticed the blush that flooded her face as she dropped her gaze, laughing softly as her hands rested against his chest. He smiled, craning his neck to press a kiss to her lips. "You're beautiful," he whispered, his lips trailing to her cheek. "Stunning." He pressed a kiss to her temple, his lips grazing the shell of her ear. "Everything I imagined and more."

Caroline could feel her heart swell at his words, a warmth spreading through her even as the smile tugged at her lips. Her hands slid up his chest until they cradled his neck, her lips brushing hers as she giggled. "You're so cheesy," she said, stepping out of her shoes when she heard him chuckle, his hands wrapping around her waist and pulling her against him.

Their lips met again and again, hot open mouthed kisses that stole her breath, and she felt him move her backwards, the back of her knees brushing the edge of the mattress. She sank down onto it, Klaus' hands flying to the mattress on either side of her to steady himself. He pushed her back, covering her body with his, his hands traveling down her sides.

Her heart thudded against her ribcage, her skin tingling with every brush of his fingertips. She'd never felt something like this before. Such a complete and utter feeling of abandon. Like she could lose herself and never regret a moment of it, because he was just as invested as her. He cared just as much as she did, she had to believe that, because feelings like this didn't happen everyday, did they? Things like this happened in movies and books, but did feelings like this really exist in the real world? Caroline knew she was falling right here and now, with Klaus' lips trailing wet kisses across her collarbone and his hands skimming the smooth skin of her stomach.

But there was still that small pit of fear deep inside her. That niggling doubt that was still telling her to run, and she wondered if she would ever not have that little voice in her head. She sighed when he lifted his head to gaze up at her, his eyes a stormy blue, dark and enticing, and the breath caught in her throat as she looked at him.

His brow furrowed, and she could feel the tightness in her throat as she let out a mix between a sob and sigh, shaking her head slightly as she lifted a hand to rest against his cheek. "Don't hurt me," she whispered, cursing the small break in her voice and silently wishing that this fear didn't exist for her—not with him.

Klaus frowned at the vulnerability he saw on Caroline's face. The haunted brokenness he saw in her eyes, and the way her lip seemed to quiver as if she was staving off a flood of tears that were threatening to pour forth. He took a breath as he crawled back over her, cradling his face in her hands, his thumbs caressing a soft pattern against her skin as he pressed a kiss to her lips. He tried to convey everything he felt into that kiss. He tried to assuage her fear and worry. Tried to tell her just how much this moment meant to him. Her lips moved slowly beneath his own, and he pressed his forehead against hers when he pulled away. "I'd die first."

Caroline smiled at his words, her doubts and fears disappearing in the back of her head, and she pulled his face back to hers, crushing her lips to his and moaning softly as his arms wrapped around her again. She felt him pushing her gently back, and their lips separated with a pop. His lips were quirked up in a seductive smirk as he pushed at her shoulders, pressing a kiss to the skin below her bra reverently. "Lie back."

She did as he asked, her breathing shallow as she settled her head against the mattress. His breath was hot against her skin as he kissed down her chest, stopping to nip at the skin around her navel, and she giggled as his stubble tickled her. She felt him smile against her, and then her giggles caught in her throat when his fingers began to toy with the hem of her panties. Her fingers gripped the sheets beneath her as he continued his trail of kisses, his tongue darting out to lick the skin above the fabric. She closed her eyes when his fingers hooked themselves beneath the edges of her panties and began to pull them down her hips. She clenched her thighs together and lifted herself up, releasing a shaky breath as he tugged them down her legs.

Klaus was on his knees in front of her, his hands tracing the arch of her right foot. His eyes were hungry as they feasted on her. She was exquisite. He slid forward, gently spreading her legs in front of him, pressing a kiss to her ankle as he hooked her leg over his shoulder. His lips trailed up the curve of her leg, his teeth nipping at the skin behind her knee, across her thigh before stopping short of her core. He glanced up, watching the way her chest rose and fell sporadically, and he caresses her thighs gently. "Relax, love," he said huskily, pressing a kiss to her inner thigh.

He smiled when she nodded, leaning forward and placing a kiss on her outer lips. He heard her gasp, and from the corner of his eyes he saw her fingers clench the sheets tighter in her grip. His tongue darted out to trace the length of her slit, and Caroline moaned, her leg shaking as she draped it further over his shoulder. His lips closed around her, his tongue swirling around her clit in an agonizing rhythm, and his name tumbled from her lips in a desperate plea.

Her legs quivered with every movement of his tongue, and when he slid two fingers into her heated core she cried out, arching her back and pushing her hips closer to him. His tongue continued its torment against her throbbing clit, his fingers moved at a steady pace, curling and thrusting and causing her to see stars behind her closed eyelids. He was murmuring against her, the vibrations only adding to the pleasure, and her hands snaked up to tangle into his hair, pushing him closer. "Klaus," she moaned, her toes curling into the skin of his back, and her breath came out in sharp pants at the pressure between her legs grew. "Oh, God, please don't stop."

Her voice sounded wanton to her own ears, but she was far past the point of caring or being self conscious. All she could concentrate on was the swirling of his tongue and the thrusting of his fingers, and the unbearable pleasure that came with them. Her breathing was sporadic, her fingers clawing at his scalp as she pulled him closer. She could feel the familiar tremors of release just on the horizon, and she whimpered under his ministrations, the sound only seeming to spur him on as his fingers curled and quickened their pace.

Her body tightened as her orgasm rippled through her body, her back arching as she cried out, stars dancing in her eyes and her hands clutching at hair, holding him in place as he continued to ride out her release.

Caroline collapsed against the bed, her hands falling to her sides as she gasped for breath. Her chest was heaving, her skin slick with a thin layer of sweat, and she felt Klaus move from between her legs. She opened her eyes to see him grinning up at her as he crawled up her body, and she felt her own face split into a smile even as she felt the heat of a blush tint her cheeks. She laughed as he buried his face in the curve of her neck, his lips trailing across her skin and up her jaw, and she scooted further back on the cot until she could cradle him between her thighs.

Klaus' lips met hers, his hand wrapping itself into her hair, and she slid her hands down his chest until they met the hem of his dark jeans. Her fingers traced a teasing trail along the skin above the denim, and she grinned against him when he moaned lowly into her mouth. She quickly worked to undo the buckle of his belt, the metal clanking as she tugged it free from his belt loops, undoing the zipper in one quick motion.

He stood to remove his jeans, and she took the moment to slide further up the bed, reaching behind her and unclasping her bra, sliding the straps down her arms and letting it drop to the floor next to the bed. She raised her head and met his gaze, her heart pounding at the hunger she saw in his eyes as they feasted on her exposed chest.

She pulled her legs up to her chest, smiling at him softly, her chin resting on her knees. He smirked at her, pushing the denim down his legs and stepping out of his shoes, but not before digging his hand into his back pocket and pulling something from his wallet. Her brow furrowed when she spotted the familiar plastic wrapping, and she arched a brow at him when he smirked.

"Kol chucked a handful of these at me the day after he caught us coming from your room," he explained, crawling onto the bed. "Advised me to 'keep it wrapped' if we didn't want another little Declan running around just yet. He thought he was being funny." He pressed a reassuring kiss to her lips, not wanting her to think he had expecting this to happen tonight. "Truth is it's been quite a while."

Caroline's bright eyes blinked at him, her face softening. "Yeah?" He met her gaze and nodded, reaching out to brush a strand of hair away from her face. She smiled, leaning forward and brushing her lips against his. "Well, joke's on him them," she said, taking the foil packet from his hands and tearing it open carefully. She pushed herself onto her knees in front of him, meeting his eyes once before dropping her gaze to his well endowed manhood. She bit her lip as she carefully slid the condom onto his shaft, feeling his heated eyes on her. Her fingers brushed against the sides of his erection, and she lifted her gaze when she heard his sharp intake of breath.

Klaus' hand cupped the back of her neck and brought her lips to his once more, and she felt herself falling back onto the cot, shifting until her legs rested on either side of his hips. Their lips continued to meet as he propped himself up one forearm, his free hand grasping his cock and guiding it to her entrance.

She felt his tip enter her slowly, barely penetrating, and then he pulled back before sliding in a bit further. Inch by inch he entered her, his jaw clenched tightly as he fought back the urge to slam into her and have his way. He wanted this to last.

They both gasped when he was completely sheathed in her wet heat, and Caroline's hands clutched at his shoulders as she lifted her knees to hug him, one leg wrapping around his hip to pull him closer. He rested his forehead against hers as he slowly began to move, pulling all the way out and then thrusting back in, his lips swallowing her gasp as his tongue warred with hers.

His hand skimmed across her chest, tracing the delicate curves of her breasts before sliding down her stomach and coming to a rest against her hip. His fingers dug into her skin, his thrusts quickening as her thighs squeezed him tightly. Her walls were slick and tight around him, pulling him deeper and deeper, and knew he could lose himself in her again and again and never tire of it.

His mouth slid to her cheek, his breath crashing against her ear, the sounds of her moans and whimpers a glorious melody in his mind. She was whispering his name, and he felt the growl growing in his chest as his hips began to thrust sharply against her, eliciting a sharp cry from the writhing blonde beneath him.

Caroline was lost in the feel of him. Every thrust brought her closer, every caress stole her breath, every murmured promise he whispered into her ear made her heart soar. He whispered that she was beautiful and vibrant, a ravishing goddess he could continue to make love to until the world ended. She was incoherent, unable to form a solid word other than his name as his pace quickened.

Suddenly she felt herself rising, and she snapped open her eyes to see Klaus rising to his knees, wrapping his arms around her to pull her up with him. Her hands flew to his shoulder to steady herself. Their eyes met, their breath mingling as their foreheads touched, and he guided her hips down until she sank down onto him. She moaned at the feeling of being so filled, her nails digging into the skin of his shoulders as his grip tightened around her hips.

"Oh, God," she whimpered, feeling his hands guide her into a steady rhythm. "Oh, God, please don't stop," she begged, throwing her head back as he thrusted hard up into her, groaning through clenched teeth as his hand slid up to cup her breast, her nipple hardening under his firm grasp. His other arm wrapped tightly around her back, pulling her closer against him, and her cries grew louder.

She could feel herself tightening around him, every nerve her body firing, and then she was exploding, gasping for breath and clutching at his shoulders as if they were a life line. Through her blissful cry, she could hear his own moan of release, feeling his hips jerk against hers sporadically as he climaxed, pulsing inside her.

She collapsed against him, feeling his arms cradle her close as she buried her face in his neck. Their chests heaved as they both fought to catch their breath, and Caroline shivered as his fingers stroked a nonsensical pattern against her back. She murmured softly when his lips pressed against the side of her neck, and she smiled, raising her head and kissing him deeply.

He eased them back down until she was lying on the mattress once more, sliding out of her slowly and quickly disposing of the condom in the waste basket at the foot of the bed. He crawled back towards her, kissing his way up her delectable body until their lips met again. He settled down next to her, pulling her against his chest and tugging the sheet up around them.

Her fingers danced across his chest as she sighed contently, her lips pulling up into a smile as he pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "Thank you," she whispered quietly as her eyes drifted shut, cuddling further into his chest.

Klaus chuckled beneath her, his arm wrapping around her waist. "My pleasure, sweetheart," he replied, listening as her breathing evened out and she fell asleep, cradled in his arms.

Her intoxicating scent surrounded him as he slowly started to drift off, images of her face in the throes of passion clouding his mind, and he pulled her closer against him, exactly where he could imagine her for the rest of his days.

xxxxx

Ahem...well. **wipes brow** Now that THAT is out of the way...

We got a little glimpse into Caroline's life back in Mystic Falls. Married to Tyler! Sister to Matt?! Whaaaat? All will be answered soon, but do tell me all your theories!

Hopefully you all enjoyed this. I was super stressed out about this chapter, and I loved how it turned out, so I hope you all do too. For sure let me know what you liked best-or didn't like at all-because I love hearing your feedback!

For anyone interested in the artwork Caroline was looking at in Sire Studios, there's a link to them on the my blog on Tumblr, so feel free to check them, or follow me for all kinds of crazy fun: klarolineepiclove.

Until next time, dearies!