"Blondie, all the stories the Sheriff used to tell you as a kid for shits'n'giggles at bedtime was the truth."
My head snaps toward Stefan as the same scolding leaves our lips at the same exact time.
"Oh, come on."
Damon strolls closer to Caroline. Too close for my liking.
"Stefan, the heated arguments have increased ten-fold lately about whether Elena should tell them or not. So, why not I just do it for her?"
Caroline looks brokenheartedly bewildered.
"Tell us what? Stefan, what's he talking about? Elena's been keeping something from us?"
I look over and see Stefan look down. I can tell he isn't going to tell her.
"Klaus? Do you know what's going on?"
The pathetic sound of her voice rips me in half. I am so close to telling her, but there is no way I will be the person who tears away her bliss. Ignorance is bliss, and she is ignorant to us. Ignorant to me.
I try to remember the time before the beast took over. I can't. I just remember flashes and tidbits. But something deep within me tells me that it's a good thing I can't remember that time. Lack of remembrance means that nothing actually worth remembering happened. In a time where I remember every second of every day simply because I hate living through it, not remembering is a good thing. It gives me hope that at one point in time, I had actually lived a good life.
I can't be the one to make Caroline remember every single day from here on out. I want her to be able to stop and look at a simple, wispy cloud, then not remember that cloud a week later. I want her to be able to walk down the street, and smile her beautiful smile at a passerby without remembering she's done it a year from then.
She's going to remember the day she finds out her boyfriend is a hot-blooded, wild killer. Everyday, her thoughts will recede back to the day she found out that everyone around her could've easily killed her without a second thought. She will never forget the time the monsters out of children's bedtime stories became the people she had known as her friends.
"Of course he knows what's going on, Blondie."
Damon's voice sounds like a bomb slowly ticking in the dead silent room. Caroline looks up at him expectantly.
"He knows what's going on, because he's the start of it all. The big, bad wolf, and the cold, hard, vampire. Isn't that right, Niklaus?"
I grind my teeth together silently. I can feel Stefan lightly place his hand on my shoulder. I'm not sure why he thinks his silly little hand could keep me from pulling his brother's head off of his shoulders.
"Klaus, what is he talking about? Please, just tell me what's going on." Caroline's eyes are pleading with me. I don't want to do this to her, but I know if I don't, Damon Salvatore will.
"Caroline. You have no reason to fear us after I tell you this. We are still the same individuals you've known all this time." I let out a deep breath.
"Except, that's a lie." Damon interrupts. "We are in fact not the same people you have known, but the killers you probably wish you had never met."
Caroline's mouth opens and closes as she lets her eyes sweep across the room. They pause on Alaric. He has been so silent, I have almost forgotten he's there.
"Alaric?" Caroline's voice falters.
Alaric makes eye contact with her for just a second before he finds his shoes much more interesting. The room is deathly silent.
The doorbell rings, and of course, Caroline is the only one to jump. Stefan makes his way out of the room in a speed that isn't quite vampire speed, but it isn't a human's normal pace either. Seconds later, Elena Gilbert's voice is heard. Damon seems drawn to it as he doesn't look anyone's way as he dashes out of the room. Caroline's confused eyes reluctantly meet mine.
"Elena's here, " I start to inform her. "You can go talk to her in the living room if you want." I feel as if I have to add in the last part so that Caroline knows she isn't a prisoner in this room.
She isn't a prisoner anywhere.
I watch Caroline slightly shake her head as she gets up and walks toward the living room where I already can hear a distressed Elena. It seems like Elena is the one who has lodged herself into this difficult situation in the first place.
Although, I can understand why she felt the need to keep the existence of us away from her friends. Unlike Elena, others won't understand. They will see us as monsters, and that is all. I can't help but wonder if Caroline is one of the others, or if she is an Elena Gilbert. Part of me wishes she were one of the others, but deep down I can't help but suspect that she is an Elena. That feeling relieves me, but it also angers me.
I look over at Alaric who is picking with a gaudy ring on his finger. It's similar to the Salvatores' daylight rings. I've noticed him fiddle with it on occasion, but for some reason, curiosity hasn't struck within me until now.
Alaric looks up at me, and for an instant, I swear I see pure rage in his eyes.
"Two years?! You've known about them for two years and didn't bother to mention it to anyone?"
I stand by the dining room table as Elena and Caroline are head-to-head in the living room.
"Care, it wasn't as simple as 'mentioning it' to anyone. Think about it. How would you feel if you realized one day that Tyler was a vampire? Would just go yelling to the mountains about it?"
"Okay, for one thing, this was more than a day. It's been two years! And secondly, this was not the mountains, it was your friends!"
Stefan uncrosses his arms as he stands on the left side of Elena as Damon stands on the right. Alaric has kept his presence scarce as he sits on the arm chair.
"Caroline, just take a few deep breaths. I'm sure this comes as a shock to you, but we're still--" Caroline cuts Stefan off abruptly.
"No. You're not. Do not say you're still the same people you were before because you're not. You will never be."
Caroline hurriedly gets up and heads for the door. She pauses.
"Especially you, Elena. I thought you were my best friend."
The door slams behind her as Elena looks like she's about to cry. I can't find it in me to feel sorry for her as Damon wraps his arms around her waist.
After a few minutes, Stefan becomes the voice of reason once again as he addresses me.
"Maybe we should head back over to Elena's and prepare Bonnie for what we have to tell her. The truth will effect her the most."
Alaric stands up.
"If it's alright, I'd like to speak to Klaus for a little bit. Damon and Stefan, do you mind riding with Elena?"
Damon's eyes are curious as he meets mine.
"Sure, Alaric. I have time to talk." I answer.
"Okay. Well, let's go, amigos." Damon snaps his fingers as he drapes an arm over Elena and Stefan's shoulders.
The group of three make their way to the door after bidding their goodbyes. As I push the door closed behind them, I can hear the faint sound of thunder. I can feel a thunderstorm brewing in my bones. A perfect ending to a night like this one.
"Gloomy night, isn't it?" I turn toward Alaric's voice. It sounds different.
"I rather like thunderstorms." I respond coolly.
"You would." A hollow chuckle lightly shakes Alaric's frame as he turns his back to me, and walks toward the sofa in the living room. He motions for me to sit with him. I clear my throat as I do so.
"So, what brings on this meeting?"
His left hand subconsciously starts twisting the ring on his right ring finger.
"Two hundred years ago, a witch cast a spell on a ring to protect its wearer from, well, supernatural hardships."
"Supernatural hardships?" I inquire.
"Those hardships meaning murder. Something you know a lot about, Klaus."
I smirk a little to lighten the situation.
"I'm not sure I know what you're talking about, Alaric."
"Oh, really? Because I clearly remember Stefan Salvatore thinking he had actually compelled me to forget that the all powerful Original had just brutally ran a stake through my chest."
"You're imagining things."
Alaric abruptly stands up, and walks toward the front door.
"You know, on more occasions than one, I wish that were the case, Klaus."
Without another look or word in my direction, Alaric leaves; leaving an eerie silence behind him.
"You have no idea what you're unleashing upon the world, dear Esther. If you start this now, you will never be able to end it. They will take over. They will become more powerful than any being should ever be. You--"
"I don't believe I asked you for your opinion on the matter, Ayana. I'm simply protecting what is mine."
"Protecting? Or cursing?"
The voices of my mother and her best friend echo through my head as though it were the day I had accidentally eavesdropped on them speaking to one another. I can feel the venom in Ayana's voice as she spits out her last question. I would give anything to answer her question. My mother cursed us.
The sound of my phone vibrating on my nightstand seems to almost merge into the sounds of the rain tapping on my window. I reach over and pick up the phone at vampire speed without glancing at it.
"I, uh, is this Klaus?"
Although I haven't been exposed to the voice on the other end of line much, my heart almost starts to lurch out of my chest at the sound of it. I can't understand why.
"Yes. It is. Is this Caroline?"
"Yeah. I hope I'm not bothering you or anything. It's just, I didn't know who else to call."
I sit up straight in my bed.
"After I left your house, I remembered that my mom is working the night shift tonight. So I decided to spend the night at my dad's old cabin. You have to take a winding, dirt road--"
"Caroline. Tell me what's wrong."
"Something ran out in front of me, and I veered off of the road into a deep ditch. I don't want to call the towing company or my mother because doing either of those things would make my mom more protective than she already is."
Before she even finishes the explanation, I am putting on my jacket. I can't let her know that, though.
"What about Matt?"
I hear her sigh.
"Matt can't always be my Savior. Or at least I don't want him to be."
"Well, regardless of that, are you asking that I come and help you?"
She breathes out a sigh of relief that she probably thinks I don't hear as I open the door to get into my car.
"Only if you aren't too busy."
The words leave my mouth before I can even regret thinking them.
"I will never be too busy for you."
"Are you sure I can't get out and-"
"Ask me that again, Caroline, and I will push your car back into the ditch."
I look up at Caroline's face sticking out of her driver's side window. It's etched in worry as I push her car toward the cabin a few feet away. We would have been safely inside all ready if I had not decided against pushing her car out of the ditch, and then using vampire speed. There's only so much I'm sure she could take in such a little amount of time.
Finally, I bring the car to a stop right in front of the cabin's front door. I quickly help Caroline out of the muddy car and shield her from the rain as she makes her way inside.
As she steps over the threshold, I feel the invisible barrier push back against me.
"Klaus? Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. It's just a...thing. You have to invite me in."
She doesn't even pause to think about it.
As I shut the door behind me, a weight seems to be lifted off of my shoulders for the time being. I watch as Caroline makes her way across the cabin's open floor plan and goes into the kitchen.
"There's no perishable items here, but there's some hot chocolate mix. Want me to make you a cup?" Her muffled voice is clear in my ears as she has her head stuck in a cabinet.
I go to the living room and take a seat on the brown, suede sectional as a clatter of pots and pans and running water fills my ears. A few minutes later, Caroline sits down on the sectional; a little too far away from me for my liking.
"Thanks again for tonight, Klaus."
"Don't thank me. You needed help. Maybe one day I'll need help, and the favor can be returned."
She smiles in response. "Of course it will be."
A few more minutes later, my hand brushes against Caroline's as she hands me my mug of hot chocolate.
She nods as she sits down.
"I can't believe I veered off of the road like that."
"You said something ran out in front of you?"
I can see her face visibly pale in color.
"Yes." Her eyes become distant. "As soon as I had stopped in the ditch, I heard this low, long howl and--wait. It was a werewolf. Wasn't it?"
She takes my silence as confirmation.
"Earlier when I interrupted you and the other guys' conversation, you were talking about Tyler being one. Is he?"
"Caroline, it's getting late. I should be heading back home."
"Please, Klaus. If Tyler is a—a werewolf, then I need to know!"
"Okay. He's a werewolf." I reply bluntly.
"How? Has he always been one?"
Her face looks pathetic as she tucks her legs under her body as a way to feel secure. I decide to answer any questions she has truthfully.
"No. We believe he became one while he was in Colorado. Which leads us to think his uncle is a werewolf, also."
"You can become a werewolf?"
"Yes. Well, technically you have to be born with the gene, then trigger it."
"It's a long story."
"I have time."
This was it. The moment that the fate of her life lay in my hands. Caroline Forbes deserved a life filled with human ambiguity. Nothing should ever be set in stone for her. She should be able to leave Mystic Falls and explore the world. She should have the power to choose who she wants to start a family with and how many kids they would have together. She needs to have the choice of life, but by telling her my story, I'm giving her something that she should never have to choose.
We have all died to get here. Even the human Elena Gilbert. A part of her died the day she was introduced into our world. She will never be just a human again. She will always have a certain part of her that she will never be able to get to again.
Against all that I see as right, tonight has to be the night that the old Caroline Forbes ceases to exist.
"You need sleep, Caroline." She starts to interrupt me, but I continue. "Go get ready for bed, and I'll tell you everything."
As Caroline hurriedly goes into the bathroom to take a shower, I can't help but feel like the old Caroline Forbes is long gone already.