The Feared Estate

XI

CAROLINE

I stepped under the natural canopy sheltering myself from the light trickling of rain. Only a few drops met my skin, dribbling down my face and dress.

There was a slight breeze flowing through the forest, blowing the odd water droplets onto the skin of my forearms. I tried to avoid brushing the white fabric of my gown against the clear icing on the trees to keep myself dry.

The thick layers of clouds in the sky hid the sun from my view, causing the forest grounds to darken. I reached the familiar tree and I extended a slender digit to trail over the meaningful dents.

I continued my known journey deeper into the woodland grounds finding the light fading as I stepped further from my home. Eventually, my orbs could only just make out the nearby trees and muddy terrain with the given light.

A loud howl echoed through forest. I halted as my eyes widened searching around for something in the shadows. Nothing.

I silently debated my options for a moment before turning to head back. Instead I was faced with two glowing golden eyes watching me through the darkness. I screamed at the sight, rushing into sprint for my life.

I kept my eyes focused straight ahead too frightened to look behind me. I could hardly see the trees before me causing me to crash into one creating a gash across my forehead from my speed. I fell to the ground darkening the gown I wore with mud. A bramble acted as a seat tearing the fabric and cutting my skin.

I quickly pulled myself up stepping around a little from feeling dizzy. My head pounded from the wound, causing my blood to dribble down my face. Once I regained my balance I ran again in fear of the monster reaching me. The bright eyes haunted my mind.

I bumped into yet another tree, except I found myself tangled in the branches unable to break free. I squeezed my eyes shut worried of what I would see before me. I wriggled and squealed until I heard a recognisable tone.

"Shhh, it's me, you're safe." I opened my frightened eyes finding Klaus, encircling his arms around my waist tightly.

"Klaus?" I whispered in shock, my hues gazing at the man before me. He wore a smart fashionable suit and bow tie, similar to the one he wore at my birthday ball. The scene had lightened and the sun glistened through the trees onto our faces.

"Attempted to steal my brother and now you've stolen my wife." I turned my head finding Damon standing a few feet away. I recognised his exact words from the time when he discovered I had a new fiancé. The elder Salvatore wore a similar suit as the man beside me with an uptight expression on his features.

"Listen to me Caroline, he is not who you think he is. I know this for a fact." Tyler's growling tone rolled down an aisle from where I stood with Klaus and Damon. It was then I realised, I was wearing a wedding gown; a muddy, torn and bloodstained wedding gown.

Tyler's suited figure was at the end of the aisle, lined with wooden benches filled with my family and friends.

Soon enough every single guest began to pale and wither before my eyes in seconds, until each and every one of them laid dead on the seats. I tried to pull from Klaus' grasp but I could not break free. I was trapped, forced to watch my parents', relative's and friends' death.

Before my tears could fall, Klaus pulled my gaze towards him by cupping my chin. I obliged, my orbs filled with sadness and despair.

"You're so beautiful," he whispered, caressing my cheek with his thumb. I shook my head within his hold. "Look," he insisted pulling my eye line back towards the dead crowd, but instead I was presented by a large lake, catching our reflection perfectly.

We were alone; Damon was not standing across from us and neither Tyler. Klaus' hand returned its position around my waist as my orbs were glued to the clear mirror of the water.

The skirt of my wedding dress was in tatters, as it hung to the floor. It was covered in red and brown streaks as it hid my feet from view. The gash on my forehead seemed to have healed and the blood trail had faded except a large crimson droplet that hung from the corner of my mouth...

My eyes jolted open as I awoke from the nightmare. A shiver ran down my back as the covers seemed to be scrunched up around my fists. My fingers were entwined in the sheets while I laid on my side in my soft pale night gown.

I slowly sat up bringing my palm to my forehead wiping away the sweat that had formed in my sleep. It was then that I noticed the window was wide open, the curtains flapping in the night breeze. I slid from my bed towards the window closing the shutters against the wind. My eyes caught sight of a human silhouette in the distance by the woodland edge.

I repositioned the drapes over the closed window. After the nightmare, cold breeze and the mysterious figure I felt rather uncomfortable. I wished for morning to arise soon as I dragged myself into bed wanting to try and sleep once more.


KATHERINE

As the morning sun entered our bedroom I awoke to two strong arms holding me to a very naked chest. I ran my fingers over his stomach as I remembered the activities of the night before.

Elijah was not mad at me for keeping my daughter a secret. I expected him to leave me and never want to see my face again. Instead he simply kissed me and carried me to our chambers.

Now here we are naked under the covers in each other's arms.

"Good morning, Katerina," Elijah's warm voice filled my ears. My dark orbs raised their view towards his angular features. His hazel brown eyes were watching me closely.

"Good morning," I smiled softly still unsure whether last night meant goodbye or I'll love your forever. "Do you...I can..." I stammered. In response, Elijah raised his hand to push some stray curls behind my ear before gently caressing my cheek with his rough digits.

"Katerina," he murmured. "Everything I said last night was the truth. I love you, and one secret could never keep me away from you." He paused, moving his fingers to grasp around my left hand. My wedding ring was on show between his hold. "I married you and I turned you so that I could spend the rest if eternity with you." His lips kissed my palm gently before he continued once more. "I mean it when I said I would help you find your daughter if you wished."

"You seriously want to be a father?" I breathed, remembering his declaration last night.

"After being a vampire for centuries you live with the fact that you will never bare a child. She may not be my daughter, but I will treat her as my own."

"Thank you Elijah!" I grinned, ecstatic at the outcome of it all. I sat up a little and leaned over him, placing my lips on his.


CAROLINE

Today was my final day as Lady Caroline Forbes. During the past week the designer had finished his final fittings on my wedding dress, the bridesmaids' dresses and to Klaus' suit. Rebekah kept us apart for the time that Antony was at the Mansion. We also had many rehearsals in the city cathedral for the wedding ceremony. Rebekah and I also organised the reception together, figuring out what food and music we wanted.

More of my relatives and friends had arrived for my wedding, meaning several meals were held introducing my fiancé to them all. I questioned Klaus on who were his guests, including his distance parents. I had yet to meet the true Lord and Lady Mikaelson.

Whenever I brought them up Klaus swiftly shut me down. I hardly knew anything about them. I asked Rebekah a few things on the topic one time but she just clarified what I secretly knew; Klaus did not have a good relationship with his parents. Early on in our relationship he mentioned that he was a bastard child, a product of his mother's affair. Even so, I thought it was not right for them to miss his wedding day.

Two days ago Klaus took me out for the day, spoiling me over many new dresses and accessories that would be there for me once we were married. Rebekah had tagged along that day in search of some new gowns herself but after spending half an hour as the third wheel she split off on her own.

Ever since the night after my birthday ball I kept on having similar nightmares. Each time it would begin in the woods; have some sort of wedding scene before ending with me as some monster with all my family dead. I probably did look like a monster with the huge eye bags that hung beneath my ocean orbs. I could hardly sleep after closing the, somehow open, window. I thought I could see the man by the woods once again but after a while I assumed it was just my imagination.

I had only told Elena privately of my night experiences when her parents invited my parents, Klaus and I over for Sunday lunch. Elena just thought it was nerves for the wedding and nothing to worry about. She seemed a little more understanding about Klaus that day but whether or not she still wanted us together, that was unknown.

Early afternoon Elena, Rebekah, Katherine and surprisingly Bonnie decided to come over and celebrate my last day as an unmarried woman, as Katherine had put it. Bonnie contradicted that by saying it was some time for them to see their friend before I disappeared with my husband for a few weeks.

Without my knowledge the kitchen maids had prepared for us a high tea for the five of us to share in the front room while we giggled and gossiped over things.

"I am really pleased for you Katherine," I smiled upon hearing the news of Elijah wanting to find her child. Rebekah obviously envied Katherine of her having a child as she always wished for a family herself. What was certain was that the child would have a very loving Auntie Bex. "Hopefully your parents will assist you in the search." My words slurred as another yawn left my lips. "Sorry, I have not been sleeping well."

"Are you still having the nightmares?" Elena inquired, forgetting the others were unaware. I nodded.

"Nightmares?" Rebekah asked reaching for a macaroon. "You never told me."

"Every night she dreams about the wedding and things," Elena added. "I think it is just nerves, or maybe your subconscious telling you not to marry him." Here we go again, I thought.

"I want to marry him, Elena," I sighed, placing my cup onto the table.

"It is probably just the inevitable stress causing them," Bonnie smiled comfortingly. "I am sure I have some herbs at the Estate that could calm them down."

"I would like to try, thank you Bonnie," I beamed at my recently new friend.

"So Caroline and I are the only ones hitched so who will be next?" Katherine smirked. "Has Stefan mentioned anything about tying the knot, Elena?" Her tone was slightly mocking.

"He has been courting me for a few years now, so I do not know." She shrugged. I noticed a glare forming from Rebekah's eyes. "Are you with anyone Bonnie?" Elena asked kindly, the two of them had never met until today.

"That depends on whether you think Kol is courting you," Rebekah smirked.

"You and Kol?" Elena raised a brow, unaware of their activities.

"Yes, it's a well known fact in our household," the tanned girl giggled slightly. "I do not know if it is serious but I really like Lord Kol." Her cheeks flushed a little as her lips curved. It was blatantly obvious that she was in love.

"It seems Rebekah is the only one without a man on her arm," Katherine pointed out. A prominent smirk still settled on her glossy lips. "Unless you are hiding him from us."

"I do not mean to snitch, my lady, but Lord Kol mentioned you were with a man the night of Lady Caroline's ball," Bonnie added. It was obvious she was from the downstairs community with the formalities she spoke of.

"No, I was just getting some air," Rebekah sighed in annoyance. "Which is what I told my annoying brother."

"My mistake, my lady," Bonnie bowed her head slightly.

"Think nothing of it Bonnie; Kol cannot keep his trap shut when it comes to spreading lies about me." Rebekah shrugged. "But do not panic ladies; my sisters will be the first to know if I feel like I should be the next bride."

"Good, it is about time you moved on from Stefan. I did. Who knows if Elena will…?" Katherine pondered, fiddling with her skirt a little.

"Hey, Caroline, throw your bouquet at Bonnie. I want to see Kol's face when he thinks they need to marry," Rebekah whispered loudly over the gap between the two sofas. Everyone giggled besides Bonnie who blushed. This was going to be a good evening.

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