The Feared Estate

VIII

CAROLINE

Weeks had passed by being full of dress fittings, rehearsals, friendly occasions and private moments with my husband-to-be. Time had gone so fast, it was hard to describe every single event that had happened.

One moment, my mind had refused to ignore. It happened a week ago, once my final wedding dress fitting was complete. I was surprised the gown was ready so soon, without us even announcing my engagement to the public. Only our close families and friends knew of the commitment we were making. It all began when Rebekah left me alone in search of Klaus' study. I had been there many times and I assumed I could find my way there from Rebekah's oversized dressing room. Instead I found myself heading down a set of stone steps.

My inquisitive nature took over as I found myself entering the incorrect location of my fiancé. Instead of turning around and searching in another room, I walked along the candle lit passage way, treading carefully down the wide steps.

The dusty staircase ended in a wide room, still only lit by a few flickering candles. Cobwebs glistened in the corners of the rooms with their creators perched patiently waiting for their prey. I was half expecting a small dark rodent to scurry across the floor by my feet. The main centre of attraction was five coffins, placed neatly in line with each other, showing off their dark mahogany exterior.

I took a few steps forward, nervously. I was unsure of why I actually decided to let my curiosity take over. My ocean orbs caught hold of the unsealed latch on the nearest coffin. I reached for it, deciding to see for myself what was kept inside. Both my hands held the lid as I pulled it up revealing the contents. I immediately dropped the top causing a loud crash to echo through the walls, as I gasped in horror.

It should have been obvious, coffins are for dead bodies. Inside was a young man lying dead with grey skin covered in veins fixed on his skin. He looked to be in his late twenties with dark hair. The worst thing of it all was a dagger was set in his chest. I felt sorry for the stranger.

I held my hand over my mouth when I heard quiet footsteps travelling closer down the stairs. I moved as quietly as I could towards the wall, in hiding. I did not want to be caught snooping but there was no exit.

The figure stepped around the corner before her olive green eyes searched the room until they settle on my nervous figure. Her long wavy raven black hair hung around her heart-shaped face as she sighed when she saw me. It was Bonnie.

"Lady Caroline," the servant greeted me in whisper. Thankfully I had grown closer to her over the previous weeks. I did not know her position in the quarters below but I was aware of her affairs with Kol. When I realised it was her, I relaxed slightly, knowing that she was a friend and hopefully not a snitch. "What are you doing here? This room should be locked." She questioned, her tone kind and calm.

"Er, I got lost," I admitted, sheepishly.

"Never mind, let us get you to where you are supposed to be," her dark olive skin tone gestured for me to come.

"Why...why is there a…daggered…man?" I mumbled hesitantly, unsure if I should be asking this question.

"Shh," Bonnie pressed her slim finger over her lips before turning to face me instead of heading up the stairs. "Do you know about the Mikaelsons?"

"What do you mean?" A confused expression was presented to my friend. "I know they are not what people say they are." I answered, uncertain of what Bonnie was hinting.

"I cannot answer your question, but in time I am sure Lord Klaus will explain everything to you." With that she walked back up the stairs. I followed her upstairs with questions flooding my mind. What did she mean 'know about the Mikaelsons?'

From that moment, I knew there were things that Klaus was keeping from me. Part of my mind told me that I knew this already, but I could not think why.

I found myself waking up on my eighteenth birthday like it was a dream. A massive breakfast was served in my honour. Pancakes, fruit and those delicious toasted items that our head cook downstairs had invented.

During the morning my Parents had offered me a few new exquisite gowns with additional hair equipment. My Mother hoped my new maid would use the pins and brushes so I would wear my hair like a grown woman should now that I was eighteen.

In the afternoon we were headed to the Mikaelson Estate for my birthday ball. It was also the place that my engagement to Lord Niklaus Mikaelson would be announced.

We had become incredibly close over the previous month. I found that I could trust him for my happiness and safely and I honestly could not wait to marry him. Only a few insecurities and experiences held me back. I still had questions circling in my mind that begged for answers. My future home was becoming more familiar to me as Klaus insisted we met each time in his house.

My friendship with Elena and Stefan had grown even further as well. They constantly invited me around for lunch for afternoon tea. They always asked about how I felt about my marriage as it slowly crept closer, even though there was no official date set yet, that I was aware of. I could sense their protectiveness in the questions and I was glad to have it. I would always know they were there for me.

Inside the Mikaelson Estate was a large gathering of residents from upstairs and downstairs that all wanted to offer their wishes.

"Happy Birthday my love," Klaus whispered in my ear as we shared a rather public embrace. I smiled at him when I felt a long box placed in my hand.

I looked to find a dark navy velvet box with a pale ribbon wrapped around the middle. I eagerly pulled off the accessory and opened it to find a bracelet inside. Small diamonds were encrusted into small bows, joining together. I could not hold my mouth shut as my mind was in shock while my fingers traced the outline of each bow. I had never seen such a beautiful thing.

"Thank you," I whispered, moving my gaze to Klaus as he watched me.

"I would like it very much if you wore it tonight, along with my other gift to you."

"The dress," I remembered.

"Yes, I see Bekah has not managed to keep her mouth shut completely then," he muttered glancing over his shoulder at his smirking sister.

After receiving a few more gifts from my future in-laws I made my way to a room that was new to me.

Klaus opened the wooden door inviting me inside. It was a bedroom with a huge four poster bed against the largest wall. The decor was dark in colour but the window forced plenty of light, brightening it up. Leading out into other rooms were three doors, of the same wood as the entrance.

"This is my room," Klaus announced. "Will be our room." I nodded with a joyful smile as he squeezed his arm around my waist. "Anna should be here to assist you with your dress, which is through there." He pointed to one of the doors. "I will just see where Anna is." He murmured, kissing my forehead before he exited.

"Okay." I moved to step into the room my dress was waiting in, when my eyes saw that the door just along from here was open a crack. My curiosity took over, when I moved to open it wider.

Inside were several paintings either hung on the wall or resting in rows on the floor. Before I could take another step I heard Klaus calling my name.

"Sorry," I apologised for snooping. "I was just interested in the paintings you have. Whoever did these is quite talented." He chuckled, leaning on the doorframe with my arms folded.

"Thank you." I turned around finding that beautiful smirk again. I walked closer to the nearest one and glanced at the initials: KM.

"You did these?" I asked with a huge grin. He nodded. "Wow, why did you not tell me you could paint like this?"

"I am not one to brag," he smirked. I pulled a face; I knew that was not true. "Anyway you must get ready, Anna is here now." He gestured for me to leave, what I guess you could call, studio.

"Lady Forbes," Anna curtsied to me when I moved into her sight. "Happy Birthday."

"Thank you Anna," I smiled.

"I will see you later, Sweetheart," Klaus kissed my forehead again, squeezing my hand gently before he left the room.

Once I was alone with my future maid, I walked towards the now open middle door. I could see inside was a huge closet, mainly full of Klaus' clothes. An almost empty stack of hangers covered one side the room. The only thing that hung there was a covered gown. All I could see of it was the deep blue hem, leaking out the bottom.

After finding myself mesmerised about another outstanding gift, Anna applied additional makeup and restyled my golden locks before helping me into the dress. I felt a little uncomfortable having assistance from someone other than Amelia but Anna seemed calm and reassuring throughout the whole thing.

In the huge closet was a full length mirror that allowed me to see myself completely. My hair was held up by many pins securing it in place. My curls hung loosely around my slightly roses cheeks. A thin chained necklace hung from my neck, it was a gift from Rebekah. Who, as she had predicted, has become quite the sister towards me.

The star of my appearance made me feel like royalty. The low cut top of the gown was held by light meshed straps revealing plenty of my shoulders. The bodice was encrusted with more diamonds in a pattern before cascading down to the floor with more of the light meshed material pleated through. White gloves reached from my elbows to the very edge of my fingertips. I wore the diamond bracelet over the glove on my right hand, just as Klaus had asked.

"You look beautiful, Lady Forbes," Anna complimented me.

"Thank you, Anna," I smiled at her through the mirror. "Please, call me Caroline."

"As you wish, my Lady."


When my time had come to walk down their grand staircase into the open main hall. The suited male announcer spoke.

"Presenting Lady Caroline Forbes! On behalf of everyone here we would like to wish you a very happy eighteenth birthday." Cheers erupted and my eyes glanced around the faces, some familiar and some unknown.

Klaus found me once I reached the final step. His expression was blatantly star-struck at my sight.

"Good Evening," he greeted me with a smile, offering his arm. I took it.

"Are you alright, sweetheart?" He spoke softly; he felt how tense I was. I nodded.

"Yes, just a little nervous. I have never had so many eyes on me." I admitted.

"Well let me comfort you by telling you how ravishing you look in that dress."

"I feel like a Princess."

"You look like a Queen," he smirked. His words always cheered me up. I felt slightly more comfortable with his arm around mine.

"Well then, my King, will you accompany me around?" I asked. His smile faltered.

"Sadly, I must leave you to our guests until our announcement is made. Save me a dance, Lady Forbes." And with his last words he left me to fend for myself.

"Caroline, my dear, it has been so long happy birthday!" An old family friend greeted me. This was going to be just the beginning of a very tiring evening.

Keeping away from Klaus was harder than I thought. As much as I enjoyed being the centre of attention I wished for his accompaniment.

Between conversations, my eyes always found his suited figure. Similar to his other brothers, he wore a traditional black tux except his bow tie was white, instead of black. It seemed to me that he was secretly trying to stand out. Whether anyone noticed or not, I was unsure.

After chatting with a distant relative and I had not seen since I was a little girl, the Lockwoods found me. Lord Richard and Lady Carol offered me their wishes before heading straight for my parents. From Lady Carol's tone when she spoke I could hear her judgement on being on friendly terms with the Mikaelsons. I am sure this would be something she would like to spread gossip about.

After his parents, Tyler greeted me with a kiss on the cheek. I was not comfortable with his over-friendly gestures.

"Happy Birthday Caroline," he murmured as he leaned away. "You look beautiful today." His dark chocolate orbs gazed deep into mine.

"Thank you," I smiled kindly.

"Dance with me?" I nodded, feeling obliged to accept. He led me to the dance floor, holding my gloved hands.

As we swayed to the music and stepped with the surrounding dancers, Tyler kept a firm hold on my waist. I lightly placed my hand on his shoulder and hand, so we were able to do the routine. I enjoyed dancing, but Tyler's strong grasp made me tense up.

"I heard about your engagement," Tyler whispered in my ear, his nose gently touching my curly strands. My eyes widened at his words, I wished to know how but before I could speak my partner opened his mouth again. "Are you sure you want this? It is not too late to change your mind."

"I want this and even if I did not, I would not have had a choice." I whispered back. I was grateful Tyler kept quiet as we spoke of the topic.

"But you don't. He will hurt you Care. I will not see you get hurt" Tyler's grip increased on me.

"Tyler," I whimpered quietly not wanting to cause a scene.

"Listen to me Caroline, he is not who you think he is. I know this for a fact."

"You do not know anything Tyler," our voices continued to whisper not wanting things to get out of hand.

"You are wrong. Remember when you did not see me for at least a month? My mother said I had flu?"

"Yes, of course. I sent you letters." I recalled, as he spun me around quickly.

"I was not ill. I was in my…transformation into a werewolf and then Klaus hel-"

"A what? Tyler that is impossible. Do not bring stupid folklore stories into this." I insisted into his ear.

"No, and we are also va-"

"Lockwood," the deep voice was like music to my ears. Instantly Tyler released me from his grasp, dropping his arms to his sides. "You do not mind if I cut in, do you?"

"No, it is fine," Tyler sighed. I glanced behind me finding Klaus' strong hard gaze on my childhood friend.

"Are you alright, Sweetheart?" Klaus murmured into my ear after he pulled me into hold. We swayed gently and I found myself settling as I was surrounded by his strong aroma. "I am sorry I did not get here sooner."

"Yes," I smiled sweetly. "Thank you."

"Anything for you, my love," his dimpled smile made an appearance causing my curving lips to widen.

As we danced, I had an inkling that whatever Tyler was insisting was the truth. Werewolves were not real, I was sure. They are just in myth…right?

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