(A/N): Thank you all so much for sticking with me as I wrote this... It's been a pleasure and a joy sharing it with you all. Happy New Year!

Epilogue: Something Wicked This Way Comes

She watched the scene roll out before her like some sort of supernaturally twisted happy ending of a Hallmark movie.

Damon and his little wife were walking a bit ahead of Stefan and Elena. There was a new tension between the foursome evident in Stefan's frown as he stared at his brother's back and Elena's wide, doleful stare at the little wife. It was something she planned on exploiting very soon. Stirring up some drama was always a good way to distract from her ultimate goal.

For the most part, Damon and his missus acted unaware of the dagger stares piercing their back. They huddled close together, the length of her body pressed into Damon's side as if they were two halves of a whole attempting to meld together. Every once in a while, the casual arm Damon had slung around her shoulders would slip down to her hip and pull her into him, his hand trailing lazy circles up and down her side.

It was a painful reminder of what she didn't have – of what she was determined to get.

Even as she watched, she heard the end of a witty quip from Damon and his baby vamp wife dissolved into giggles, tripping over her feet as she laughed.

Pathetic, really. What kind of a vampire – new or not – actually tripped over themselves?

While Damon wasn't the brother she even wanted, it was hard for Katherine draw her eyes away from him. She'd kept tabs on her faithful puppy throughout the years, but had never seen him smile quite like he was currently. He even laughed lightly as he clutched Isabella's elbow to keep her from tripping again. Genuine, Katherine decided was the right way to describe it. The air of sarcastic wit was still there, but as he looked down at his wife, Damon practically oozed genuineness. For her alone, though, it would seem as Damon caught Stefan staring and gave him a glare that mentally shouted fuck you.

Damned if that didn't piss her off even more than she already was. If she couldn't have Stefan at the moment, then she at least wanted Damon panting after her. A girl's ego needed to be stroked, after all.

She continued to watch them from afar as they approached the Mystic Grill. Damon and his precious Bella appeared to be in high spirits, something that was like adding salt to an open wound. Katherine had wanted to shake them up by paying the girl a little visit but she'd underestimated Damon's attachment to her. The girl had reeked of Damon, true, but she'd thought it to be from sex, not his blood. The girl was suppose to die, not turn. Blondie was the only one she'd killed with that intention.

She'd just wanted to see Damon's new toy die.

Which is why when her phone started buzzing, Katherine turned away from the group disappearing into the restaurant and took the call.

"I see you've managed to screw things up," the woman on the other line sassed, her sweet voice grating in Katherine's ear.

"Such big words when you're so far away," Katherine narrowed her eyes. "I have to wonder what your tone would be if you were here in front of me."

"I'm not stupid, Katherine," she said. "I know if I come anywhere near you then you'll kill me. I'm a loose end, but I can still help you. You won't kill me as long as I'm valuable. I told you I'll help you – I even told you about Victoria and kept you aware of when Bella would be left alone," she said, sounding like an overeager teacher's pet.

"Right you are, little Alice," Katherine hummed, not even remotely perturbed by the Cold One's posturing. "Now go ahead and give me the news – and it'd better be good."

"The Volturi will not interfere," she announced. "The affairs of your kind are not under their domain, as you well know, so they will not concern themselves with your plans."

Katherine nodded. "That's a start," she allowed. "Continue."

"I have information for you that will prove a better bargaining chip when Elijah or Klaus eventually arrive."

There was a heavy pause.

"I'm listening," Katherine prompted coolly, unwilling to let the pixie know how eager she was for her information. Elijah she was sure she could handle, but Klaus... She'd spent centuries running from him and she knew it would take something big in order for him to let her off the hook from ruining his plans all those years ago.

An annoyed sigh sounded and Katherine smirked. "Well for your information," Alice began with a huff, even as she obediently replied. "I happen to know for a fact that Klaus is not the only hybrid in existence."

Another long, dramatic pause.

Katherine growled. "Spit it out, you silly girl."

"Bella," she breathed.

Katherine frowned. "Damon's little bitch? She's not a hybrid."

"Not in the way your thinking," Alice allowed. "She was bitten by one of our kind. To keep her from turning, Edward sucked the venom out, but I have it on good authority that though the venom was removed from her system, it is impossible that it wouldn't have left it's mark. She may not have fully changed, but some trace of the venom lingers in her scar, minute though it is."

"And now she's a vampire," Katherine finished, her mind racing at the implications as new plans started to take root.

It was impossible to know if the girl was truly a hybrid between the two vampire species, but Katherine had done her homework on Isabella Swan... A silent mind to the Cold Ones and impossible to compel. And that had been while she was still human.

She could only imagine what she was capable of now as a vampire...

Maybe nothing – but maybe something.

Yes, Katherine decided, unceremoniously hanging up on the pixie vampire. Originally she'd planned to barter for her life by helping Klaus finally complete the ritual – killing little Elena in the process which left Stefan free for the taking. But even she knew the chance of Klaus letting her go even with her help was slim to none...

But if she had something to offer to sweeten the deal? If she could hand over the first known Cold One/Vampire hybrid – well, that'd be the icing on the cake then, wouldn't it? A deal too tempting she doubted even Klaus could pass it up.

There were still i's to dot and t's to cross, but Katherine walked away from the grill, her mind spinning as she smirked to herself. She'd do whatever was necessary to survive... to get Stefan and come out on top.

Mystic Falls wouldn't know what hit it.

(A/N): Thank you all so much for reading. A sequel is in progress, but won't be posted immediately. Please visit my profile and like me on facebook in order to get teasers and follow my wordpress as that's where I'll be posting the sequel first.

Thanks for going on this journey with me – I've loved every minute of it!