New Orleans – Spring 2019
"All right, where are we with the collections?" Marcel asked. He sat in his office with his second in command and lieutenants.
"Everyone is paid up for this month." Thierry told him. "You do have that meeting with the mayor next week to discuss and increase in 'donations'."
Marcel smiled. "I don't see that being a problem. He won't forget who put him in office in the first place." He sat up. "Ok, well, we have a big night tonight, so we should go get set up for that."
Everyone looked around confused.
"What?" He asked.
"The place is rented out tonight." Thierry told him.
"Rented out? What do you mean? We don't rent out our space. We've never rented out our space."
They all looked confused.
"But it's rented tonight." Thierry insisted.
"WHO rented it?" Marcel demanded. "And WHO ok'd this?"
Again they all just looked confused. Marcel stood up getting frustrated. "What the hell is going on here?!" He demanded.
"Oh Marcel, calm down." Rebekah said as she walked into the room as if she owned it. "Surely you can spare the space for just one evening."
"Rebekah?" Marcel was shocked and looked slightly alarmed before a large smile was plastered over his face. "What are you doing here? I didn't know you were in town."
Rebekah just smiled at him. Her smile had a tinge of….something to it. Marcel came around the desk and gave her a quick peck on the cheek.
"You are looking good." He commented. "If I had known you needed to throw a party tonight it wouldn't have been a problem, but last minute like this…." He looked back at his people and realized they had obviously been compelled.
"Marcel, you won't begrudge us a wedding celebration, will you?" She said almost pouting.
"You got married?" Marcel laughed. "Of course not! Congratulations!"
"Oh. Yes, I got married, but the celebration isn't for me." She looked behind her. "Have you ever met Stefan?" At that Stefan walked into the room, with a slight smile.
"I don't think I've had the pleasure." Marcel stuck out his hand to greet Stefan. "It's great to meet you, man. Anyone who could capture Rebekah's heart has got to be a great guy."
"You always were so good with the flattery, weren't you?" Rebekah said. "Let me show you how I want everything set up."
She turned and motioned with her hand for Marcel to follow. He looked back at his men. "Guys?" He said when they didn't move.
"Don't worry, they can stay here." Rebekah said meaningfully. "We won't need their help for this."
Marcel started to look very worried before pushing the smile back over his face. He swallowed and then followed Rebekah out, very aware of Stefan behind him.
"It's going to be classic and tasteful, not one of your techno blood baths." She wrinkled her nose. "Did you get that from the movie Blade or something?" She continued on as they walked down the steps to the open courtyard. "I've hired a jazz band, and there will be a caterer."
"Rebekah, I'm not really comfortable, with you taking over my house like this." Marcel tried to say.
"Your house?" A voice came from across the room and Elijah stepped out. "I seem to remember it started as our house, once upon a time."
Marcel's fake smile started to look a little sick. "Elijah! Wow! You're in town too. That's great." His tone indicated it was anything but great. Marcel paused. "So wait, is the wedding for you? You tied the knot?"
"Actually, yes I did. Several years ago, in fact." Elijah smiled at him. "You remember Hayley, the werewolf who was staying with us?"
"The one who was carrying Klaus' baby?" Marcel forced a laugh. "Keeping it in the family, I see." Elijah's smile tightened and his eyes narrowed at the joke. "Sorry, probably in poor taste." Marcel looked at the three of them; they seemed to be surrounding him. He was getting very nervous. "So who is this wedding celebration for?" He asked.
"Why for me, of course." Klaus' voice rang out. Marcel closed his eyes and forced himself to remain calm and not panic, even though he was aware the three surrounding him could see it plainly.
"Klaus!" His voice was way too bright with forced cheeriness. "You're back!" He let himself force out a chuckle. "Not going to start another war are you?" He asked through gritted teeth.
"No, I'm not here to start a war." Klaus stood at the entrance. "I'm actually not here for any bloodshed, at all."
Marcel let out a sigh of relief and his smile got a bit more relaxed. "You're getting married? I would never have guessed that in a thousand years. Who's the lucky lady?"
"Why you've already met her." Klaus said, with a mocking look to his eyes. He looked behind him and Caroline walked calmly into the room.
"Hello Marcel." She said.
Marcel turned a sickly shade of grey and lost any hope of a smile fake or otherwise. There was no mistaking the panicked look or the guilt on his face.
"Klaus, man, it was a war. I was fighting for my home, my people."
"I understand." Klaus said walking further into the room with Caroline by his side.
"No, we didn't know what else to do. I had responsibilities. I needed a way to make the war stop." The five vampires were circling him now like sharks, while he gasped. "Davina, she said that this would stop the killing. One life for so many."
"Ah yes, Davina." Klaus smiled. "Unfortunately, she has had her powers stripped and will be going off with a rather powerful coven to face crimes against her own kind."
"What?" Marcel spun around trying to keep his eyes on everyone at once. He looked desperately to his office, but knew if they were compelled, there was no way his men could be any help to him.
"Personally, I wanted to make Davina suffer the way Caroline suffered. I wanted to make you bleed the way she bled." Klaus gave an exaggerated sigh. "But my wife is a soft hearted creature, even after your treatment of her. She came up with a much better idea for you. I must admit, it took a while to come together, but what is that expression? Oh yes, 'revenge is a dish best served cold'?" His smile got very predatory. "Sweetheart, would you like to do the honors?"
Caroline had remained calm through all of this, she just watched Marcel with a critical eye, but no other emotion on her face.
"You took my sense of self." She stated to him.
"I'm so sorry…" He interrupted. She narrowed her eyes and he quickly went silent.
"You destroyed my innocence." She said matter of factly. She tilted her head at him. "Do you know what a Hunter is?" She asked.
Marcel didn't answer; he just looked around frantically, hoping for an escape. Klaus barely had to move to slap him across the face to get his attention.
Caroline shot Klaus a look. "I didn't draw any blood. I just smacked him like the bitch he is." He stated. "You have his attention now."
Marcel focused on Caroline, but she doubted he was paying attention to anything but his fear. "Do you know what a Hunter is?" She repeated to him slowly.
"I've heard the tales." Marcel was almost yelling with the panic in his voice. "That's it? You'll send a Hunter after me, so you don't have to get your hands dirty?"
Caroline let out a light laugh. "You sent minions after me, so you wouldn't have to get your hands dirty." She reminded him. "But no, we aren't going to kill you." She smiled. "Do you know what the Hunter's Curse is?" She asked.
Marcel looked at Klaus with a glare. "Madness." He said.
"Pretty much. Madness and despair." She came closer to him. Klaus watched carefully to make sure Marcel didn't make any sudden moves towards her. "It took quite a while, but we found some witches who could replicate the Hunter's Curse." She smiled at him coldly and then pulled out her hand and blew some dust directly into his face. Surprised by the move, Marcel breathed in. He tried to cough it out but it was everywhere, his nose, his mouth, his eyes. He stumbled back wiping at his face. Caroline studied him. "It will take effect soon." She walked over to Klaus and he put his arm around her.
Marcel looked up at her, his eyes running from fear or the dust. It wasn't certain. "Please." He begged.
"Normally, the Hunter's Curse serves to make its victims kill themselves, but we don't want that for you. I've heard you have a place called 'The Garden'?" Caroline continued. Marcel's men walked down the stairs, obviously still compelled. "You will be interred there, perfectly safe, well cared for, and able to live a long life lost in the madness."
Marcel's men grabbed him by the arms and started putting chains on this.
"KLAUS!" Marcel shouted. "Don't do this. Please, don't do this. It was war! You would have done the same thing!"
For the first time, Caroline's voice took on an emotion, one of disgust and hatred. "No, he wouldn't." She said flatly. "Take him away." She ordered. They drug Marcel out, he screamed and begged the entire way out of the building.
"Are you all right?" Klaus whispered to her. She looked up at him with a soft smile.
"Yeah. I came to terms with what happened a while ago. This was just the final piece."
He nodded and looked to his brother. "Congratulations Elijah, you've just acquired a kingdom."
Elijah sighed. "Actually, I think I just acquired a lot of work."
Klaus smirked. "Marcel's kingdom practically ran itself. You are the one who is listening to his wife and trying to draw up treaties and peace between the witches, vampires and werewolves."
"She is right. There is no need for us to be at odds anymore. We'd do better to have a united front and someone in my position can set the precedence for this country and maybe other places in the world."
"Blah, blah, blah." Rebekah said. "Enough with the politics. We have a party to get ready for." She looked at Stefan. "You are picking up Liz and Matt at the airport, right?"
"Yup." Stefan agreed. "Their plane lands in about an hour."
"Well, then you need to get going. Traffic at this time of day will be horrible around Causeway." She ordered before looking at Caroline. "I need you to help get the rest of this set up."
Klaus wrapped his other arm around Caroline's waist and pulled her against him. "Rebekah, are you trying to steal my wife away from me?" He asked.
She rolled her eyes. "Please, you two had a six week long honeymoon. Aren't you sick of each other yet?"
Caroline giggled. "Not even close."
"Like bloody rabbits." Rebekah muttered, but her eyes were twinkling with amusement. "Fine, go off you two, but don't blame me if we have lilacs in the floral display instead of lavender."
Caroline's eyes widened. She glanced up at Klaus. "Um, maybe I should stick around for a bit and just help her with the details." Her OCD would not let her just relax and let Rebekah handle this, especially with a threat like that.
Klaus sighed. "Barely married and you are already running off with my sister to plan parties. I'm feeling extremely unloved and neglected right now." He fake pouted. Caroline smiled up at him and kissed him deeply. Rebekah made gagging noises in the background.
"To be continued later." Caroline whispered to him. She pulled away from Klaus and glared at Rebekah. "Would you grow up?"
"No." The Original girl told her before pulling her away, going on about decorations and floral arrangements.
Elijah and Stefan walked over to Klaus and they watched the two women walk away. "You sure you have no interest in being king?" Elijah asked.
"No." Klaus answered. "I have everything I need."
The three men shared a smile.
A/N: Wow, um, I have no words for all the reviews for the last chapter. I'm completely humbled and in awe. Thank you so much for all of your kind words and support. I'm just in total shock right now. Anyway, here is the Epilogue. Some people wanted more to this story and I am sorry they will be disappointed, but to me it feels like a logical conclusion. Also this story had kind of been an obsession for me and trying to get inside it has had me neglecting a lot of things in my life. I need a break.
I hope the revenge against Marcel was adequate. I really didn't think more violence was going to be the answer that he needed a much more psychological punishment to fit the crime. I also know some people were looking for some emotional sex scene but that just didn't feel right. I alluded to their sex life, anything else just kind of felt gratuitous in this story. I hope you understand.
I can't take credit for the analogy in the last chapter about the 'tickling'. That came from a forum I was directed to online. I want to give a shout out to my friend who convinced me to post the last chapter. She spent many years as a rape counselor and she has helped me so much with research and writing this.
Right now, I don't have any plans for any other stories. I know I was supposed to be working on a sequel to Selective Memory when I started this. That still may happen, but for right now, I've got nothing. Plus, I don't know that anything will be able to compare to what this was.
Anyway, this is it. For everyone who has read and reviewed and followed and favorited, thank you so much. I really appreciated every comment and the time people took to read this. Thank you.