Dissipating Darkness

Chapter Seventeen

I can't help but smirk as Elijah's eyes turn glassy.

"I hope you rot in Hell, Niklaus!" He manages to croak out his last words as he stares at me.

"I can't wait to see you there, dear brother." I let my smile widen as I see his skin start to desiccate. I feel the warmth building rapidly around my fingers, and I quickly let go of the White Oak stake. Fire quickly engulfs him before he can even utter out the scream that is precariously on the tip of his tongue.

"What did you do?" I hear the trembling, yet oddly powerful, voice question from behind me. I turn my head slightly so that I can see her.

"I simply finished what you started, mother." I state.

"This isn't what I wanted, Niklaus." She whispers coldly. I quickly turn around.

"Is it not?" My voice seems to boom throughout the room. "Was murdering your own kids not a part of the plan?"

Her jaw clenches at the accusation.

"You all are not my kids anymore--"

"Then what are we?" I can hear my mother's back crash against the wall as my hand wraps itself around her neck. She struggles to inhale.

"You're monsters," She pauses. "Especially you. You were the first one I should have killed myself! I should never have trusted Finn to do the job properly."

"Well, he's long dead now, mother. And you aren't that far behind." I softly rest my fingers over her chest as I feel her heart beating; something she had long ago forced mine to stop doing. I flex my fingers and hear her gasp at the feeling of my finger nails indenting into her skin.

"Rebekah is going to leave you one day, Niklaus. Forever. You're destined to be alone."

"You're wrong about that, mother." I twisted my hand slightly as she hisses through her teeth. "I've been alone ever since you brought that knife up to my throat." In one swift move, I hear her rib cage shatter as I feel the warm, quickly beating organ in the palm of my hand. I look into her eyes, emotionless, as I bring my arm back quickly and let the vise grip I have on the object go. Her heart falls silently to the floor.

"Mr. Mikaelson?"

An angelic voice immediately brings me back to the present, and I quickly take in the boring white walls of my classroom. I can feel the wood of the cheap desk under my forearms. I look out further to see my right hand lightly holding a pen over a stack of papers I had been grading earlier. My eyes immediately dart toward the congregation of the classroom. All the desks are empty.

"Klaus, the bell rang about five minutes ago, and you've been staring down menacingly at the papers in front of you long before then." Her annoyed tone almost makes me smile. Caroline has been a vampire for two months now, and it has only been two more months that I have fallen deeper into my denial of love.

"Sorry, love. Didn't know you were waiting on me."

"I wasn't." Caroline's eyes quickly look down to the books pressed against her chest. "I just wanted to let you know that there's a mandatory meeting at my house after school. Be there."

I can feel myself staring at her, but I can't care enough to stop. She meets my eyes, then quickly turns her head to look toward the door.

"And don't even think of being late!" Her high heels click on the tile floor as she bustles her way out of the door, and before she exits, I can see her trying to fight giving me a second glance.

She's perfect.

"So, Blondie, care to tell us why the messages you sent, which were teetering on psychotic by the way, insisted that we all be here at four o'clock on the dot?"

"Well, first of all, Damon, I don't remember even sending you a text." Caroline pauses to glare at Elena. "But since you've decided to tag along anyway..."

Caroline trails off as she fluidly moves across the room to the table holding a rolled up piece of poster board. I can tell she is trying her hardest not to use her vampire speed in front of Matt and Jeremy.

"As you all know, I'm the reigning Miss Mystic Falls, and with that title comes great responsibility."

I fight a smirk as I hear the whole room let out a groan. Caroline ignores them and picks up the poster board. She quickly unrolls it with a flick of her wrist.

"All right. Here we go, people. Saturday morning, eight am sharp! We all show up at Klaus' house and--"

"What?" I quickly interrupt. "What about my house?"

Caroline looks like a shy lamb as she looks up from under her eyelashes at me.

"I may or may not have forgotten to ask you to hold the competition in your backyard this year." As I open my mouth to deny her, Caroline quickly continues. "I mean, of course since I am Miss Mystic Falls, I'll be the host, but I'm sure it couldn't hurt to have you as a co-host."

Hosting a party with Caroline sounds inviting. I don't need to think about my answer.

"Of course, Caroline. I have no problem opening up my home."

"I can't thank you enough, Klaus!" Her brilliant smile in return is thanks enough, though. "Now, everyone, be at Klaus' house Saturday at eight am sharp! Also, starting today, through Friday at one pm, I will be available to approve your outfits. After one pm on Friday, if you haven't shown me your outfit, don't even bother showing up on Saturday! By the way, Elena stick to dresses in different shades of red because they don't make you look blisteringly tan, and Bonnie which ever color you choose, make sure it's a deep form of that color. You're skin will shimmer; unlike usual."

Caroline ends her rant in a smile as everyone else just looks down at the floor with wide eyes. I hear Matt whisper to Jeremy.

"Is it me, or has Care been more of a control freak than usual?"

"I don't know, dude." Jeremy responds. "They all seem a little off lately. Even Bon. She's just--"

Stefan, Damon, Caroline, and I all make discreet eye contact with each other, and Caroline turns her attention to Matt and Jeremy; abruptly ending their conversation.

"I cannot stress this enough to the males! It is black tie formal only. If I see any bow-ties, so help me--"

"Caroline, love, take a few deep breaths." I get up and walk slowly to where she is clenching the poster board tightly in her hands. "Everything will fall perfectly into place."

"Everything is a disaster!" Caroline aggressively whispers to me as she angrily grabs my wrist with her hand and drags me behind her. The contact almost spurs my heart to beat again.

"Literally everyone here has one job! One job, and they can't seem to do that correctly!"

As we walk, Caroline seems to only get angrier.

"Hey!" She lets go of my hand as we pass a waiter. "I said no empty glasses, and what the Hell am I seeing? Empty glasses. Fill them up!"

She walks toward the medium sized stage with several musicians playing a slow song. "Speed it up! I want people to be dancing, not taking an afternoon nap!"

I continue walking behind Caroline; not sure if her gesture of pulling me with her earlier is still valid. We pass a group of girls that were in the running for Miss Mystic Falls. They have all put their hair up into messy buns, and have removed their high heeled shoes. Caroline immediately plasters a smile onto her face as she approaches them.

"Hello, ladies." She smiles at each of them separately. "Although none of you won Miss Mystic Falls, which saddens me deeply, I'd appreciate it if you still held the class you held while in the competition. So, please, keep the hair neat, and the heels on the feet!"

I watch wide-eyed as one of the girls steps toward Caroline.

"Excuse me, but who--"

"Caroline. How about we get a drink and go for a walk?" I intervene. Her head snaps toward me, but she reluctantly agrees. I hold my arm out so that she can interlock her arm with mine, and my breathing stutters when she does so.

After about ten minutes of walking, we're clear of all eyes and ears.

"I thought you said we were getting a drink, too?"

I smirk as I remove the blood-filled flask from my jacket pocket and hand it to Caroline. She unscrews the lid and brings her lips up to the spout for a drink. Her control is all ready impeccable.

She hands me the flask back and plops down in the grass in front of the small pond that inhabits my backyard. She pats the grass beside her, and I sit.

"So, how am I doing today?" I smirk as she makes eye contact with me and allows her shoulders to slump.

"You're doing," she pauses for a moment, "Perfect." She rolls her eyes in mock annoyance as she laughs awkwardly.

It's very silent for a few moments as the sounds of the fish blowing bubbles in the pond, and the small birds calling out for their mothers, invade the space around us. Caroline is looking across the pond, and from here, I can still see Sheriff Forbes guarding the punch bowl; as if spiked punch is the worst thing someone could be drinking at the moment. I smoothly take a sip from my flask as Caroline follows my gaze and chuckles; her mind agreeing with mine.

A slight breeze bristles the low-cut grass, and I see Caroline tuck a stray strand of her blonde hair behind her ear. It isn't curled today, but it isn't straight either. Even the shortest disappearance of her wavy curls makes me long for them to reappear.

"Klaus?" I look into Caroline's blue eyes as she gets my attention, and I nod for her to go on. "Rebekah didn't just go on vacation did she?"

I'm actually surprised it has taken Caroline two months to ask. I could see the curiosity in her eyes the night she had spent at my house in Rebekah's room and clothes before I had helped her go home the following day.

"She left." I quickly state.

"She left? What do you mean?"

"Caroline, don't take this the wrong way, but you're young. You haven't lived through much of life, yet. I've lived through centuries. I've seen so many things during that time, and as time has lapsed, I've seen Rebekah. Or rather, Rebekah has seen me."

"What does that mean?"

"Over time, Rebekah has had this obsession with being human, and fitting in, but then when something interferes with that, for example our lack of aging, she decides to turn her focus onto me. Well, getting away from me."

"So, she'll be back, right?" Caroline's expression almost saddens me.

"This time, I'm not so sure."

"Is it because of me? Because I chose to become a vampire?"

I skip around Caroline's question. "I've done some horrible things in my past, Caroline. I knew there would come a day where Rebekah wouldn't be able to accept those facts anymore." I look down as a small blade of grass lands on my leather dress shoe. "But that doesn't stop me from waiting around for her with open arms; whether she chooses to return a week from now, or another century, or even never, I'll be waiting."

"In Mystic Falls?" Caroline asks.

I let out a small chuckle. "Of course not. Sure, I may return here some day, but there's a whole world out there, Caroline. Do you really plan on staying here for the rest of your existence?"

I almost laugh again, but the look on Caroline's face stops me. Had she really planned on staying here forever? Her voice is low as she responds.

"I—I wouldn't know where to go if I left here."

I say my next words before I can think.

"You could always come with me."

Caroline's moist blue eyes flick up to my face, and down to my lips. She slowly leans in, and I can feel her hand cover mine on the grass.

"Caroline! Your mom's missing!" Bonnie's voice rings through my ears as she stops a few feet away from us. Her eyebrows raise a little as she sees our positions, and Caroline quickly gets up. We both look toward the empty spot where her mom was guarding the punch bowl.

"Missing?" She asks Bonnie as she uses vampire speed to get over to her.

"Yeah! We've searched the whole house for her. Stefan could smell her blood, Caroline."

I use my vampire speed to quickly get up, and go over to Bonnie as soon as I hear Caroline's gasp.

"Guys!" Elena Gilbert quickly runs over to us as she ends a call on her phone. "Damon just called."

She stops beside Bonnie as Stefan catches up to her.

"It's Alaric." She says as she looks down.

Stefan puts his hand on her shoulder as he looks around at the rest of us.

"He's missing from the Salvatore dungeon."

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