It's time I open up,
and let your love right through me

It was still dark out when Caroline finally stirred, blinking away the last remnants of sleep. She half expected Klaus to be drawing again or elsewhere in the bedroom busying himself with some important matter. He had meant it when he'd told her that he didn't need sleep like she still seemed to. Though maybe it was less that she needed it and more that it was still something she was used to. Another piece of her human life that she would eventually come to terms with not needing any longer. Sleep was something vampires did need, but the nightly stretch for eight hours seemed like something in the distant past for the Originals.

Klaus hadn't left the bed, fingers still brushing gently through her hair, his other arm holding her close and locking her into place curled against him. She didn't make a sound, didn't dare move as she didn't want to end that particular moment with him. Once she let out a sound they would eventually need to start moving again, to face the oncoming day and even though the moon was still in the sky and dawn wouldn't be for another hour or so, Caroline wasn't quite ready to go back into the world.

She wanted to enjoy this small piece of time with Klaus before the rest of the world seeped into their lives and perhaps there would be countless more moments exactly like this one in a thousand years and apparently a thousand years after that, but that didn't mean she was going to take this particular one for granted. Especially not when she had been without his presence for nearly a week, fearful of how long the curse would actually last.

They had come a long way from her absolutely dreading being in the same room with him, scoffing at his presence, being the little distraction to keep him occupied while her friends worked on whichever scheme they were currently trying to complete. It wasn't that she wanted to spend every hour with Klaus. She still needed her own space at times, needed her own dreams and honestly being around anyone 24/7 would become grating, but considering she had only just gotten him back, she really wasn't in the mood to share him with anyone else yet.

"I know you're awake, love," Klaus informed her, and she could hear the amusement in his voice, his grip tightening around her.

Caroline shifted, pressing a finger to his lips and trying to stop him from continuing to speak. It would be just their luck that someone else in the house would hear them stirring and want to start addressing concerns over what had happened the night before. Not that she could deny that they did need to make sure all their ducks were in a row in regards to the chaos and aftermath that had been her welcoming soiree, but it could at least wait until the sun rose. She was confident that the others had handled the aftermath just fine. After all Elijah and Rebekah had been cleaning up Klaus' messes for nearly one thousand years. They were old pros at it.

Klaus arched a brow as he looked down at her, curious as to why she was silencing him. He may have heard all of what was happening when they had been near him in his stone form but it wasn't the same. Their voices had almost had a hollow sound that distorted them a degree and he wanted to hear her voice. He opened his mouth to speak again but Caroline shook her head, sliding up a little to press her lips to his, cutting off whatever he had been about to say.

There was so much that she was trying to put into the kiss, her hands moving to his jaw, trying to hold onto him as she deepened it slightly, but didn't hurry it. This wasn't a time for urgency that she experienced so often when they went to bed, her desire for him overriding any sense to slow down and take her time. She'd been letting her predatory side out with him, taking as much as she gave, but this time she wanted it to be different.

Caroline Forbes was baring her soul in that moment, trying to show Klaus what she'd already told others, those deep feelings that she had for him, the love that she was still working on actually putting into words for him. She had grown up watching every TV and movie couple bare their souls in such thoughtful and endearing ways, memorized Scarlet O'Hara's speeches about it from a young age-both movie and book-experienced telling Matt those words and Tyler as well. She knew she had loved them both, but there was something very different from the way she had loved them compared to how she loved Klaus.

She couldn't put it in words no matter how hard she tried and as someone who was constantly talking; she decided to show him through her actions. The gentle caress of her hand against the stubble on his cheek couldn't be construed as a lie. Her bare body pressing against his skin wasn't something he could have doubts about.

At least she hoped not.

The words were there to say on her tongue, quickly swallowed whole as Klaus deepened the kiss, maneuvering them so that she was laying beneath him. Her hands moved from his face to the nape of his neck, sliding along the skin there and down his back as Klaus reached between their bodies, fingers brushing against her nipples. Caroline gasped, breaking the kiss as he moved to kiss her neck, no doubt wanting to pay special attention to her again, but like hell was she letting him take over. She couldn't help but close her eyes as he sucked on her pulse point, humming at the sensation, and she could feel him smiling as he continued playing her body like a finely tuned instrument, one he was taking great care to memorize.

Caroline pushed him away, offering a reassuring smile at his confusion and she hated that she saw a split second of fear flash in his features-no doubt worry that she was putting a stop to what was transpiring between them-before they became stony. "Klaus," Caroline started but he was already rising, pulling away from her, and she reached out, grabbing onto his arm to try and stop him.

She could almost see the internal struggle that was going on inside of him. The warring parts that on one side wanted him to lash out at her before she could potentially hurt him and the other not wanting to cause her any sort of pain, attempting to trust that she wouldn't inflict pain on him either. Klaus didn't move from where he was. His expression still as closed off as it had been, watching her carefully, but Caroline figured it meant the trusting part of him was winning out for the moment.


I love you.

Just three little words.

They should have been so easy to say but she couldn't seem to get them to leave her throat. Telling Klaus that she loved him meant that what they had between them was forever. Caroline wasn't stupid, she knew those three words would finalize who she was to him for both of them. And if she thought Klaus would never let her go before those three words would only cement that fact. Not that she wanted him to let her go. She very much wanted to be there beside him.

Forever was a hard concept to accept though.

It was one that she still had a hard time even thinking about. She had been a vampire for a little over a year, a Harbinger for a little over a month. She couldn't even contemplate what a decade was like, a century. It was so far out of her realm of reality, of what she knew, that it frightened her, worried her, but like hell was she going to let that worry cause Klaus pain.

Caroline shifted, sitting up as well, and slid her hand up his arm as she tugged on his necklaces to bring him closer again. I love you, said the slow kiss she gave him. I love you, was in the way she pulled him even closer, hand raking down his back and leaving already healing scratches. I love you I love you I love you, her body continued with each gentle caress that turned heavier, each kiss that went deeper, each time she met his thrusts as they moved together. It was in the way she bit down on his neck, taking the blood he offered with the tilt of his neck and a deep, "Have at it, love."

The unspoken words were there as she laid curled up against him afterward, tracing circles along his bare chest, and pressing kisses to it. It nearly came out of her mouth, so close to being said, but she remembered how cringe worthy she had always found it being said on TV shows after sex. The last thing she wanted was for Klaus to think she told him it because she was high off bloodlust and her orgasm.

She frowned, annoyed with herself for not having said it earlier. "Rather bruising to my ego that you're not blissfully happy, Caroline," Klaus informed her and while she could hear the laughter in his voice she also noted the worry.

"I don't want the sun to come up," she groused, which was the truth. There was just the whole anger at not having voiced her own thoughts earlier too but she'd focus on the sun part. "It comes up and we'll need to get out of bed and face the day. Get the massive list of things done that needs to be taken care of before we can relax again."

Klaus ran his hand down her spine, smirking at how sensitive she was to his touch and loving the fact that she not only moaned at the contact but arched into him further. "Or we could waste the day away in bed," he pointed out. It wasn't as though his siblings or Stefan would come barging in if they heard Caroline moaning in pleasure.

"Nuh uh," Caroline shook her head, trying to extract herself from Klaus' grip but that only seemed to have him hold onto her tighter. "I have to meet with Caleb today. He's got some potential witches he's thinking of contacting to join the Coven and wants to share them with me."

To her surprise, Klaus actually released his hold on her and sat up. "Ah." Caroline followed suit, sitting up as well and watching him, uncertain as to what was going on inside of his head at that moment. Well, aside from the way he was looking over her naked body and the desire clearly shining in his eyes, the way he licked his lips. "I am going to need to see that list."

Caroline arched a brow. "Oh?"

"These are witches who will be coming into my…" Klaus paused, slightly bowing his head to her as he amended his statement, "Our city and there are a number of witch families around the world that I either want nothing to do with or have, shall we say, dark intentions when it comes to me. I need veto rights to that list."

He watched her frown, knowing she was going over all he had just told her. No doubt playing out the ramifications in her head, and he reached over, pushing a curl behind her ear. "I believe this would be a good time for a compromise."

The arch of his brow with that ridiculously smug grin on his face had Caroline wanting to hit him and she pressed her lips together, trying not to laugh at how nicely he had played that hand. How could she deny his compromise when he'd had to do so for her only a few hours ago? His rationalizations on why he wanted veto rights were pretty compelling as well. She couldn't discount that the last witches she'd want anywhere near her Coven would be ones that wanted Klaus' head on a stick.

"Seriously?!" Caroline asked, shaking her head as she tried not to smile, avoiding his gaze. "You've been waiting for this one, haven't you?"

Klaus tipped her chin up so she could look at him. "Does that mean you accept my need to have veto power?" he inquired, already knowing her answer. He could tell she would accept it because she hadn't started immediately coming up with reasons against it.

"Yes," she nodded, finally allowing a smile to grace her lips.

"Now, I believe I have another matter we should compromise on," Klaus told her, pressing his forehead against hers. "One that I think you'll find to be mutually beneficial."

"Oh?" she asked, arching a brow at him as she started toying with his necklaces again.

"I highly doubt the witch boy will be ready to discuss any matters with us until at least eleven. Which gives us a few more hours to enjoy the comforts of this bed," Klaus pointed out, and Caroline tried to purse her lips as though she was contemplating the idea.

"I may need to be persuaded," she informed him as she lay back on the bed, tugging him down with her. Caroline was certain Caleb could wait more than a few hours if it meant she got to continue to see Klaus' victorious smile before he kissed her.

There was a knock on the bedroom door that they both ignored, barely paying attention to the world around them. The second knock was louder and it almost pulled Caroline out of the moment, but Klaus' mouth on her breast instantly extinguished that idea.

"Caroline?" Davina called, knocking again and Caroline froze underneath Klaus, trying to still his movements. "I'm hungry."

"You're old enough to put something together yourself in the bloody kitchen," Klaus called out, shaking his head at Caroline who was giving him a pointed look. Like hell he was letting her out of bed to go make the girl the something to eat.

"There's only blood bags left and I don't drink that," Davina replied, her lilting voice getting on Klaus' last nerve.

"Get Rebekah to bring you out," Klaus snapped. No doubt the little witch was doing this on purpose. She didn't like him and what a perfect opportunity to grate on him without him being able to do a thing in retaliation.

"They're not here," Davina laughed which only made Klaus angrier. "I believe they're still getting rid of the bodies."

"We'll be right out, Davina," Caroline called out, trying not to laugh at the murderous look on Klaus' face. Caroline brushed her hand against his cheek, watching his expression soften as he focused on her. "She helped me get you back. The least we can do is get her some food."

Klaus pulled back, muttering to himself and Caroline chose not to listen to what exactly was being said in that moment. "The sooner we get through everything we need to get done today, the more time we'll have left for other activities," Caroline pointed out.

"I thought we only had Caleb to deal with today?" Klaus narrowed his eyes, wondering exactly how many items were on Caroline's list for that day. He honestly wouldn't be surprised if she'd created a list of items for him to accomplish as well. No doubt his siblings and Stefan already knew what their agendas were for the day.

"Caleb. The wolves. And human council wants to see us. I was going to come up with a reason not to see them because I didn't want to do that one without you." At least not if she didn't have to, but if his stone state had gone on too long, Caroline knew it was something she would have needed to do. "But we're both here so we might as well check that one off the list."

Klaus perked up at that news. The human council was something that needed to be dealt with, its members culled if they were too bothersome to deal with and if not then their loyalty to him needed to be sworn, to be ensured through hopefully compulsion. But if not that then threats to loved ones always did work quite nicely. He looked over at Caroline, watching her stretch as she got out of the bed, unable to help his gaze from traveling down her body.

He would rather her not be at that meeting but unless some matter came about during the day that he could hand off for her to deal with, Klaus knew she wouldn't be persuaded not to go as well. Which meant she would see him in all of his ruthless glory and he wondered exactly how she would react to that, what her response would be afterward.

Would she be joining him in their bed tonight or seeking refuge in the room he had prepared for her, far away from him? He didn't doubt that she would stay in New Orleans and that she would stay at his side, but that didn't mean she'd sleep peacefully in his arms again once he reminded her of how much of a monster he could be.

Caroline was smiling at him and Klaus quickly reciprocated the smile, watching as she walked away to pick out clothes to wear. There wasn't any use dwelling on what might happen. It wouldn't change what he would need to do in order to assure order in the kingdom, even if it did mean he might lose the embrace of the woman he loved for a significant portion of time.

No one ever said it was easy being King.

The amount of witches in the world was something Caleb had never really concerned himself with before. Though there was honestly a lot he hadn't ever really considered or taken into account until recently. But the number of witches in the world, the newer ones blessed with magic from other witches and not actually descended from any particular line to the families who'd had magic in their veins since practically forever. It was a lot to take in and while his own bias leaned toward those descended from magic considering he and the rest of the current Leseid Coven were all from long running lines, he couldn't discount the new blood. Maybe adding in some of them would benefit Caroline in some way.

It was always possible that those newer witches wouldn't have the same biases toward vampires. Though he saw pluses and minuses in regards to that. It might mean they didn't have a healthy dose of fear for the Originals either, that they wouldn't know what Klaus was capable of, and might be more easily manipulated by the Hybrid. That was definitely something Caleb didn't want happening.

He knew Klaus would always be in the picture, even long after he was dead and while he trusted Caroline with all of his being, knew she would be able to hold her own against the Hybrid, Caleb didn't trust Klaus even a tiny bit. He believed without a doubt that Klaus would try to use the Coven or individual members of it for his own purposes, and while maybe those reasons would be to protect Caroline, Caleb couldn't help but feel it'd end in a lot of needless bloodshed.

Sighing, he looked back at the laptop screen, adding in the last bit of information that he knew about his current list of potentials. Some he'd gotten from his grandmother, others from an online forum he'd frequented about Wicca, and even more from one of the books he'd found in the study in the house. There had been an almost never-ending list of names for different witch lines, some going back thousands of years, and after some googling and fact checking Caleb had managed to locate the current descendants.

Now it was just figuring out which ones to actually get to know better and eventually extend an invite to. He wanted the rest of the Covens input in case they'd had any dealings with any of them as well as Caroline's input. He rubbed his hand against his neck, trying to relieve some of the tension, and hoped it wouldn't be too difficult of a process to undertake. Didn't they deserve a break after the last few weeks?

"I'm back!" Davina sang, breaking Caleb from his thoughts and he glanced up from the computer to spot the girl dancing into the room. She was smiling and looking like she didn't have a care in the world as she plopped down onto one of the couches, waving at him. She leaned forward, pursing her lips together as she tried to hold back a laugh. Caleb wasn't sure what the girl was finding to be so amusing in that moment, but he figured he would never understand half of the things that went on in Davina's head. "Caroline needs you at the door."

"Glad you're back with us," Caleb told her as he pushed himself up.

"I know," Davina told him with an all-knowing smile curling on her lips. She pointed behind her toward the hallway that led to the front door, reminding him where he needed to go.

If Davina was back that meant that Klaus was probably also back. Either that or the girl had decided not to break the curse and Caroline had come to try and figure out other alternatives. But that really wouldn't make sense as for why she'd be waiting for him at the door. She could come and go as she pleased and Caleb doubted she would have waited to enter before asking him about other methods to free the Hybrid from his stony state.

His suspicions were confirmed when he spotted a very non-stone like Klaus standing on the steps with Caroline on the other side of the door. "Ah, if it isn't the head of the Coven that we need to speak with," Klaus commented as he neared, and Caleb couldn't help but bristle at the Hybrid's voice. They were never going to be pals. Especially when Caleb could see how much Klaus enjoyed irritating him.

Caroline glared at him before turning to look at Caleb. "I have to invite him in, don't I?" Caleb asked, sighing as he looked between the two of them.

"No. I'll never make you do that." Caroline shook her head. She truly wouldn't, wanting her Coven to have a place they could feel safe among everything else that happened in the city. It was why she had signed the deeds of all her homes to her mother at first, making it so no other vampires could cross the threshold without the woman's permission, but once her mother had died she'd put this house in Caleb's name. No matter what, she wanted her new friend to be safe and in the middle of all the chaos that was one thing she'd made certain to do. "We do all need to talk though and I was thinking we could talk out back on the patio place."

Was it a deck? She wasn't sure what terminology was supposed to be used. But Klaus would be allowed to travel to that part of the estate. "Or we could go out for brunch?" she suggested, trying to make the whole thing as painless as possible.

"I vote brunch!" Davina replied, dancing back down the hallway toward them and linking arms with Caroline. "I'm still very hungry."

Caleb frowned, having a feeling that was because of the lack of eating over the past few days and didn't want to be the one to deny her more food. "I thought you said you were full?" Caroline asked, looking the girl over, her concern obvious.

Davina shrugged, laying her head on Caroline's shoulder. "I want to go too."

"I believe she simply wants to tag along to be a further irritation," Klaus murmured, glaring over at the girl who had kept Caroline at her side ever since they had gotten out of bed. From Davina's smug look he knew he was right in that assessment.

"Let's just around to the back. Davina can get whatever she wants to eat from the kitchen," Caleb suggested, not really wanting to venture out into the city for whatever conversation was about to happen.

Davina pouted but released her grip on Caroline and walked away from them to get her own meal together. Caroline followed Caleb through the house while Klaus flashed around to meet them at their destination. "I'm not going to like whatever this is. Am I?" Caleb asked with a sigh, watching Caroline carefully.

"No, probably not," she admitted, and glanced over at him. "But you trust my judgment, don't you?"

Caleb didn't hesitate as he nodded. "Of course I do." Even when it came to the Hybrid. He didn't always agree with it, but so far Caroline's assessment of any situation with Klaus had been pretty spot on so he couldn't discount that she knew what to do in regards to him.

"Just keep on remembering that," Caroline suggested as they joined Klaus outside.

He was already sitting at the table, watching them with an irritating smirk, and she knew he was thoroughly enjoying himself and no doubt anticipating the conversation that was about to occur. She could practically feel Caleb's tension as the two of them sat down. "Just rip the band aid off and tell me what's going on," Caleb told them as he leaned back in the chair.

"You're looking into possible new witches to join the Leseid Coven, yes?" Klaus asked, still smiling. Caleb hated the Hybrid's smiles, at least the ones he directed at people aside from Caroline. They were insufferable, grating on his last nerves.

"Do I really need to answer that?" Caleb frowned, really not liking where this was conversation was headed. "It's obvious you already know the answer."

"No doubt you have already picked out a number of candidates to show Caroline and what remains of the Coven," Klaus continued, ignoring Caroline's pointed look at his obvious amusement with the situation. "I need that list."

"Why would I be giving you the list?" Caleb asked, narrowing his eyes as he looked at Klaus. Caroline would forgive him if he caused the Original just a little bit of pain, right? "You're not part of this Coven."

Klaus glanced over at Caroline, motioning for her to speak. "There are certain witches that Klaus would rather not be allowed permanent residence in the city as he's had most likely murderous encounters with their lineage at some point or other," Caroline told Caleb, watching her friend process that information. "And I'd personally like not putting anyone in the Coven whose sole goal is to try and murder Klaus. I'm fine if they just have a severe distaste for him but it's the whole revenge plot schemes that I really don't want letting into the Coven."

Caleb sighed, hating that she was right. The last thing they needed was to invite witches in who would be trying to bring down the Hybrid. They didn't need another war brought on so soon after the last battles. "He only gets say on who can't come though. Not final say in which we choose out of the rest of the potentials?" Caleb asked, wanting the specifications explained.

Caroline nodded. "Yes. He only gets a say in who can't be in it because of specific reasons. You and the Coven get final say on who out of the rest of the group is allowed in the Coven."

No doubt it would limit the list of potential members and Caleb didn't doubt that Klaus would try and manipulate it to work in his favor somehow, but that just meant that Caleb would be very picky in who he finally did choose. He'd make sure that whoever was chosen in the end would have the nerve to stand up to the Hybrid, that they wouldn't be so easily manipulated, and that they would respect Caroline, that they would do whatever it took to protect her. Shouldn't be too difficult a task to complete.

"Alright," Caleb said, nodding. "I guess we can work with that. I'll send you a list as soon as I'm done finalizing it." He wanted to give the one he had another look through before sending it off now. Make note of who he thought would be most susceptible to the Hybrid and make sure not to pick them.

"Splendid," Klaus replied as he rose. "I suggest we leave now unless you'd like a Davina-like appendage strapped to you again while we see the wolves, love."

Caroline shrugged. "I'm not the one who has issue with her coming along," she pointed out, smiling at Klaus' annoyance as the girl came out carrying a bowl of fruit.

"Oh, are we leaving?" Davina asked, and Klaus glared at the girl, only becoming further irritated by Caleb's laugh.

Klaus took hold of Caroline's arm and flashed the two of them away from the house. Davina sat down next to Caleb, smiling wickedly. "You had no intention of going with them, huh?" Caleb asked, snagging a strawberry from the bowl.

"No," Davina replied with a shrug. "I just like irritating him."

Caleb laughed again, shaking his head as he rose, and headed back inside to get some more work done. He couldn't blame Davina, irritating the Original was fun. He just hoped the girl was smart enough to not get herself killed in the process.

Klaus stopped flashing once they were near where the building of wolves that they were going to see lived. He did not have the patience to deal with Davina's constant presence and no doubt the girl was simply doing all she did in order to irritate him, to try and get a reaction out of him, but she was an insignificant ant compared to him. Albeit one with powers and potential to be useful when he needed her so while it was tempting to stomp on her and squash her out for annoying him the last few hours, he knew it would be beneficial in the long run to keep her around. Now that she was back at the Coven's place the chances of him having to deal with her except in passing were slim.

He offered Caroline his arm as the two started toward the building, pleased when she accepted it without hesitation. It was such a simple gesture but significant as to how far they had come since they had known one another. Perhaps she would have accepted it a month ago, but there would have been stiffness to her body, an uneasiness at the level of touch passing between them. There was none of that now. Caroline walked beside him with the ease and grace he had come to associate with her, her natural beauty accentuated by the way the sun reflected off her golden curls.

"So which of the wolves are we meeting with today?" Caroline asked, pulling him away from admiring her and she arched a brow at him, wondering where his mind had been in that moment. She was still getting used to the intensity he always seemed to have when he looked at her. She'd seen it before, but it had always been in random moments throughout the week. Now though, she saw it all the time and she didn't think Klaus would ever stop looking at her as he did then. Caroline hoped he wouldn't. She really did love the way he regarded her. It made her feel powerful, sensual.

"Cristiano was able to locate the wolves that had been kidnapped my Malachi. We'll be seeing him and the girl," Klaus nodded toward the building across the street. "Tabatha, I believe is her name. I'm sure you remember her."

"Of course I do," Caroline murmured, wondering how the young werewolf was doing. Being pregnant and having lost the father of her unborn child must have taken a toll on her and Tabatha had been one of the wolves Caroline had wanted to check in on. To see if there was anything else that could be done for her.

"Only one of the wolves died in Malachi's torture chamber. The others will take some time to rest and heal but they'll live," Klaus informed her. He was still furiously annoyed that the vampire had gone directly against his orders. Death would have been too swift of a punishment for him. Torture at Rebekah's hands was much more fitting.

"So I was thinking that after we deal with the Council tonight we should go out. Just you and me," Caroline suggested, and Klaus forced himself not to react to the idea.

"I think that can be arranged," he agreed, even if he doubted she would want to still do so once their meeting with the Council finished.

Klaus let go of Caroline's arm as he stepped forward to knock on the door. He never would have thought about setting the wolves up in houses, of getting them settled into actual lives without Caroline's initiation of the idea. He'd considered crowding them into the apartments scattered in the city as a good enough way to ensure their loyalty. It was better than the squalor they had been living in, uprooting themselves every few days and surviving only in tents that had been falling apart.

But he wanted their loyalty, he had their loyalty, and Klaus had seen that it wasn't out of fear for what he might do to them, something he hadn't ever truly experienced before. They were loyal to him because he had taken them from the life they had known, that they had accepted as their lot in life, and given them the chance of something greater. Klaus wanted to cultivate that loyalty and have it running through the future generations of the pack and perhaps Caroline had been correct in her honey and vinegar assessment. No doubt he would need to instill fear in them at some point, but it seemed by helping them to build lives in the city was working at the moment and Klaus figured he might as well continue to do so.

There were always the witches to terrorize.

Tabatha opened the door and smiled when she saw who they were, stepping back to let them inside. "Please, come in," she remembered that she needed to invite them. Or well, Klaus needed an invite.

"How are you feeling?" Caroline asked, stopping to talk with the girl as Klaus continued on toward the room the others were in.

"Morning sickness seems to be a thing of the past so I'm doing better," Tabatha told her as she shut the door. "And I think that this house will be a wonderful place to raise the baby."

"If you need anything," Caroline reminded her, pleased when the girl nodded.

"You both have already done so much," Tabatha pointed out, but still smiled, grateful for the thought.

"Well, pack, right?" Caroline asked, trying not to think about how weird that was for her to say. "I'm pretty sure that's what's supposed to happen?" Maybe? She wasn't all that caught up on werewolf pack procedures.

"It is. We help one another, look out for one another," Tabatha replied, watching Caroline for a moment. It looked like there was something else she was trying to come out and say and Caroline wanted to give her the chance to do that. "I don't know what would have happened if you hadn't been there when we came out and said I was pregnant. I know I had a number of fears over what might have occurred, but I am very happy with where am I right now. So thank you."

Caroline nodded, not sure what to say to that. She didn't know what would have happened either, a million horror filled outcomes flashing in her head over what Klaus' reaction and solution might have been, but she pushed them to the side. What mattered was what had occurred, not the what ifs. There was no point in wasting time on all the what ifs. She could go crazy if she focused on those. Just because some of her thoughts of what might happen swayed toward the darkest possibilities didn't mean that was what Klaus would have done either. He was a monster, she did know that, but there was no use in adding misdeeds to his list when he hadn't even committed them.

"And I found out I'm having twins."

"Seriously?" Caroline grinned, unable to believe that news. "Congratulations."

"Thank you," Tabatha told her, reaching over to grab Caroline's hands and give them a squeeze. Then she nodded toward the room that Klaus had headed into. "I think you're needed in there as well."

"Probably," Caroline admitted, giving the girl one last smile before heading over to join Klaus.

There was no irritatingly smug smile on his face during this meeting even if he did sit in the chair as though he owned the place. Technically, he did. He treated the wolves differently than he did her Coven. It was in the way he actually seemed to be listening to what they were saying even if he might not do what they asked. It was in the way he paid attention to them as they talked instead of waving them off or butting in at any moment to state his own opinion or give a smartass remark. He only stopped looking at the man speaking when she entered, motioning for Caroline to come sit by him.

Caroline walked through the room, still surprised by the fact they all bowed their heads to her as she passed by. Most wolves wanted nothing to do with vampires, but these ones looked to her differently, reverently, and they had been since she'd first come to the city They looked at her with the same significance as they did Klaus, their leader, and Caroline realized that the wolves saw her as their leader as well, that they seemed to think of the two of them as one.

Klaus took hold of her hand, lacing their fingers together as he held it, still listening to what the wolves had to tell. Caroline looked down at their entwined fingers, smiling at the sight. She had dreamed of being a princess when she was little. Had the whole tiara and pretty pink dress ensemble, watched countless Disney movies, and imagined what it would be like to be royalty. The parties and the dresses, the jewelry, the horses.

It had seemed glamorous and she thought it would be a fun life back then when she didn't realize what an undertaking the whole process would actually be. Having others depend on her, the intricacies of the politics that she was still learning even if the situations did remind her a lot of the politics of high school. She'd battled successfully in that world, managed to make a name for herself, had her share of people quaking in fear as she walked by them in the halls, as well as those who looked up to her and valued her opinions. Maybe she had always had that sense of royalty about her and never really known it.

Why would she in Mystic Falls?

Maybe she would have been happy as a human, eventually fulfilling her dream of getting married probably to Tyler, having a few kids and planning town events for the rest of her life. She thinks she might have been. It's a question she will never really know the answer to, a what if that will never be known. It doesn't matter though, not when she's no longer human and fifty more years is a drop in the ocean compared to the length of life she'll lead. What Caroline does know is that settling down in Mystic Falls and planning the town events for the rest of her existence won't ever make her happy now. Just as she had outgrown her shoes and clothes, pink unicorn bedspreads for something more sophisticated, she had outgrown her earlier dreams and replaced them with something else.

Sitting in the room, listening to the others talk to them, and noticing that they wanted her opinion as well as Klaus', Caroline realized she'd been thinking too small when she was little. Why long to be a princess when she was already a queen?

"I always found it rather fitting that you lot met in a church," Klaus started as he and Caroline entered the church, grinning as the council gathered within rose from their seats at the pews. "I believe the first council thought we might burn up at the sight of the cross. Or if a bit of holy water touched us. Have to admit my brother Kol helped perpetuate that myth for a while. Enjoyed the reaction of surprise and terror from his attacker when they realized their little flask of water did nothing."

He looked over each of the men, noting who all of them were from his own research as he stopped in front of the group, Caroline still at his side. "I'm fairly certain that we need no introductions," Klaus continued, the terror in the men's eyes as they looked between the two of them confirming his suspicions. "Now, I'd be more than happy to dispose of you all, destroy this little council's mere existence and be on my merry way. Alas, Harbinger duties inform me that a council for the humans is needed."

Klaus looked over at Caroline who was shaking her head at his speech. "Isn't that right, love?"

"Yes, and I'd much prefer having one who would look out for the humans best interests," Caroline conceded, glancing over at him. He already knew that about her. They had discussed it on the way over, but it would be good for the Council to know her feelings on the matter as well, right?

"She's a bit optimistic in her outlook," Klaus informed the others, turning his attention back to them. "I blame youth."

"Hey," Caroline protested, but Klaus wasn't done with his speech.

"Fortunately for the humans of New Orleans I enjoy giving into some of her whims and this is one I'll happily acquiesce to," Klaus continued, stepping away from Caroline and toward the others. He knew she wouldn't like him saying that, even if it was true.

Klaus clasped his hands behind his back as he walked, delighting in the fear that was invading his senses. "After all it does me little harm to see to it that there's someone out there making sure my future dinner is being well looked after." Caroline's scoff brought a smile to his face, even if the others only seemed to gulp at the meaning of his words.

"I suppose now we go over what you all will be doing for me-or, excuse me, I meant we." Klaus motioned toward Caroline who still stood in the same spot, arms crossed now and looking unimpressed with him. Her pointed look directed at him clearly indicating that he needed to get to the point already. "I'm not seeking to change anything that Marcel had you lot doing. It seemed to be a mutually beneficial relationship and I see no reason to destroy something that's already working so well. So, you'll continue to cover up any vampire related deaths at the coroner's office, sweeping them under the rug as you did for Marcel, informing me if any of the corpses suddenly wake up in transition. I do believe that you're on your own now for the homeless population though."

He looked back at Caroline for confirmation on that one. She nodded, her expression showing her distaste for the previous vampires feasting on the homeless of the city. "You're going to need to come up with another means of dealing with them," Klaus told the members of the council as he sat down on one pew. "I don't actually need a cut from all the various dealings he had with some of you, but I see no reason not to take your ill begotten earnings."

"We could always donate them to like the children's ward at the hospital," Caroline pointed out.

"There's that youthful optimism again," Klaus replied, amused by her glare. Though he didn't doubt that was exactly what she would do with that money. "Now, I'm sure I'm forgetting a number of items but you'll adapt. Humans are quite good at that when they need to be. So now, I need a swearing of loyalty and we can all be on our merry way for the evening."

A pin could have dropped, the members of the Council looking at one another, then at Caroline, before finally looking at Klaus. He could see them thinking of taking him up on the deal, of making an oath of loyalty. "Of course," Klaus continued, steepling his hands in his lap. "There's the slight problem that I don't trust any of you to actually keep your word." He rose, pleased when the Council members all took steps back, Caroline watching him carefully, unsure what he was about to do.

"But don't worry, chaps, I've come up with the answer to that slight problem," Klaus informed them, grinning like a madman. "And no, it doesn't require any of your deaths." He pressed his lips together, before sighing. "Well, not now at least. There is the fact that I heard the murmurings happening through the city before I left. My own informants telling me how you think you'll be burning down my house, driving stakes through my body and those of my siblings, of Caroline?" He may have been smiling, but his gaze was full of fury. "I thought of simply killing all of you. It would be easier, but cut the head off a hydra and it only grows more. So. I believe it's time for my surprise to come in."

Klaus let out a whistle and the church doors opened again, Stefan and Rebekah walking in with some terrified women and children following behind. Chaos reigned for a moment, the Council members clearly not happy with the fact their families had been brought into it all, the family members crying from the methods used to corral them across the city.

"I can expect that you've done as I asked, Rebekah?" Klaus inquired, looking over at his sister who nodded in reply. "Splendid. I'm sure you all know one another. Now, if any harm is to come to me or mine your families have been compelled to kill themselves in the most gruesome ways possible. Even your children." The sobs from the family members seemed to confirm his words for the Council who all looked at him with hatred mixed with dread. There was no doubt in their minds that such a compulsion had been created. "I'd offer a demonstration but…"

Klaus stepped back away from the remaining members, hands outstretched in victory. "I believe we'll have a lot of fun working together, gentlemen," he told them, smirking at the despair and animosity directed toward him as he turned to face Caroline.

He couldn't read her expression, couldn't figure out what was happening inside of her head. He almost didn't offer her his hand, not wanting to taste the rejection, but did so out of habit. Klaus couldn't believe it when she took hold, linking their fingers together and walked out of the building at his side; Stefan and Rebekah following on their heels.

"Next time you want twenty plus people compelled, have the decency to do it yourself," Rebekah groused, glaring at her brother. "Especially when they're all living at different places."

"I'm sorry; did ensuring your safety interfere with your plans?" Klaus asked, arching a brow at her, unable to help but grin at her annoyed flounce.

"I don't know how Caroline puts up with you," Rebekah told him, smirking at Klaus' annoyance at that particular statement.

"Same could be said for Stefan in regards to you," Caroline teased back, trying not to laugh at the other girl's indignant expression.

"Well, if we're only going to be insulted, I think it's time to leave. I'd like to get back to torturing Malachi some more," Rebekah informed them, huffing in annoyance. "Coming, Stefan?"

"It sounds like more fun than being stuck with these two," Stefan agreed, and Caroline gasped at that, reaching over to push the other vampire.

"You are so losing best friend points for that comment," she told him, but was pleased to see that he was still in good spirits.

Stefan flashed her a grin before heading off with Rebekah. Caroline shook her head, looking over at Klaus as they resumed walking, heading nowhere in particular. "So, I have to ask. When in the world did you even have time to plan that?" she asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.

"When you and Davina were ordering food at the restaurant I excused myself to answer Elijah's call," Klaus reminded her, watching as she nodded, clearly remembering the moment. "After speaking to him about the successful cleanup of yesterday's incident, I spoke with Rebekah and informed her of what I needed done. It was compulsion of their families or kill the entire Council."

"Wouldn't killing the entire Council have been easier for you?" Caroline asked, looking up at him as she stopped walking, causing him to falter his steps as well. She had a feeling she knew why he hadn't resorted to a death sentence for each of them, but she wanted to hear him say it.

"Perhaps," Klaus admitted, reaching out to stroke a strand of her curls. "Then I'd have needed to break in a new one though and this one was working out quite fine for Marcel. I see no need to fix what isn't exactly broken." He smiled as she rolled her eyes before she turned to start walking again, but he stopped her with a gentle touch to her arm. "You said you tired of all the death."

Caroline sighed at that. "I am," she told him, unable to deny it. "I know there will be more along the way. I'm not that naive, you know? But I appreciate the whole other approach you did today." She paused, frowning slightly as she scrunched her nose. "Which, actually, might be even more diabolical than simply killing them."

Klaus laughed at that, it was true. Forcing their hands with their families lives was probably more nefarious a deed than killing the lot in one fell swoop. "We're quite a pair," Caroline continued, taking hold of one of his hands as she tugged him down the street and toward where the music and laughter could be heard.

Caroline stopped walking again and Klaus arched a brow, wondering what she was needing to say then and why it couldn't be done as they walked. He didn't like the seriousness of her expression, wondering again what she was thinking about.

"You told me once that we were the same, do you remember that?" Caroline asked, and Klaus nodded, remembering the events that had led up to that moment. "I didn't believe you then. I was so mad at you. Obviously I was. It was a chaotic time for everyone. But you were right. We are the same in a lot of ways and we're different in others and I never really expected this to happen. Or maybe I did expect it? But not like now. Not this soon, you know?"

From his confusion she had a feeling that he didn't know. "Like, okay, it was nice to have attention that was solely focused on me and not to try and win favor Elena in some way. And you're easy to talk to and you help me be...I don't know if it's better. I don't know the word I want to use there. But I like who I am with you. I don't feel like I'm second best. I feel like I could take on the entire world if I had to. I kinda did. A little. Silas wasn't really the world and neither was Marcel, but…." She sighed, letting go of his hand and raking her hands through her hair as she tried to get her thoughts to be more coherent.

"Caroline," Klaus started, and she shook her head at him.

"I need to say this, please," she pleaded, taking a deep breath when he nodded for her to continue. "We're all monsters. We've all done horrible, terrible, awful things. Sometimes to each other. We've all got darkness to us and we all have light-even if some of us try to hide that part of ourselves. And you're going to keep on doing terrible things, I know that. But I remember what Stefan said when we were talking about you once. The difference between you and us then was we had a family we could always rely on."

Caroline took another breath and a step toward Klaus. "And I guess what I'm trying to say in my own convoluted way is you can rely on me," she continued and offered up a small smile. "I love you."

Caroline didn't think she would ever be able to adequately describe the pure happiness that seemed to envelope Klaus' expression in that moment. It was a mix of excitement, of fear, and victory all rolled into one that seemed to just spread out all over his face, through his body, and he pulled her to him, kissing her as though he would never get enough of her. Caroline wrapped her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss and letting him hold her tighter against his body. She laughed as they broke apart, both smiling as their foreheads touched.

"Say it again," he implored, his expression growing serious. He needed to hear it again, needed to know he hadn't imagined her saying it.

"I love you," Caroline told him, pressing a kiss to his jaw. She giggled when he growled, nuzzling at her neck and making her eyes shut at the sensation. "I love you."

Klaus pulled back, hands cupping her face. "I love you," he told her before devouring her mouth again. His kisses seemed to burn her skin, his touch igniting a fire within her as he pulled her hard against his body, needing her to be as close as possible to him. Forever, they seemed to say. Mine, they seemed to echo.

Caroline kissed him back just as hard, crushing him to her as well, wanting him to realize that her own touches reciprocated those meanings. "I believe you told me that you were going to show me some great art and music," Caroline reminded him as they broke apart, still holding onto another, foreheads touching.

"And food," Klaus added, pressing a kiss to her forehead as he steered her toward the French Quarter, keeping one arm wrapped around her waist to keep her close.

Caroline grinned as they stepped nearer to the music. Maybe she didn't know what the future held. Maybe there would be as many ups as there were downs, but walking with Klaus into the frenzy that was Bourbon Street, Caroline couldn't help but think she finally wasn't scared of what forever meant anymore. She was looking forward to it, anticipating what they might face next, where the road might lead. It wouldn't be perfect, nothing ever was. There would be fights and hardships, many tears and anger along the way. But there would be good moments as well and maybe it was naive of her, but she really did think their love for one another would help them get through the darkest times.

It was a time for a new chapter of her life to start, a new journey to begin, and maybe she wouldn't have her mother there in her corner anymore. There would be no Bonnie and probably no Elena. But she had others. Caleb, Davina, Stefan, Rebekah, even Elijah. The wolves of the city. The witches and the rest of her Coven.

She had Klaus.

And Caroline thought that made her luckier than countless others.

"What is going on in that head of yours?" Klaus asked, looking down at her as they were swallowed by the crowd making their way down the street.

"I was just thinking that this is the part where the king and queen get into the horse drawn carriage and ride off into the sunset," Caroline informed him with a wink.

"No carriages or horses around right now, love, but I think I could slaughter that young man over there and take you around on the Vespa he's riding," Klaus told her, pointing over to the young man in question.

"Seriously?!" Caroline shoved him in the shoulder at his answering laugh.

"I'll take that as a no," Klaus replied, grinning as he pulled her close. "How about that one for his Lamborghini?"

Caroline rolled her eyes at him, not at all surprised by his joke. "Just shut up and kiss me."

And he did.

The world didn't stop spinning, there was no big musical swell like in the movies, but it was enough to be standing there together, listening to the heartbeat of New Orleans and knowing they had both found someone they could rely on, someone they loved until the end of time. And wasn't that something for a man who was thought to be incapable of love and a girl who was always believed herself to not be good enough for it?

A/N: So right, this is the end. I know it's not like this big amazing ending or anything, but this is where I felt this story should end. Klaus and Caroline together. Ready to take on their new roles together. And they finally both admitted exactly how they feel for one another and will go on to have some amazing lives together. They've both been through a lot of ups and downs and they've both out stronger, a little different, and together.

I just really like the fact that they're together.

Thank you guys so much for reading and enjoying the story. Its been a long fun journey and I've met some really amazing people because of it.

I kept forgetting to do this in like every other part. My tumblr is the same as my fanfic name. So feel free to check me out there if you'd like. :)

I hope everyone has a fabulous rest of the weekend! And thanks again so much for reading this crazy story that I put my heart and soul into.