Dissipating Darkness

Chapter Eight

My hand grips the rough sharpened wood as I approach Alaric. His back is to me, and he is hovering over his less than mouth-watering dinner. I give him the benefit of the doubt as I bring the stake up and hold it to his back.

"Talk. Now."

"I realize now that I must've told you to open the left closet instead of the right one," He lets out a hollowed laugh. "But, I can explain-"

"You have ten seconds before your heart is impaled on this stake, and sitting in my foyer for your family and friends' viewing pleasure."

Alaric turns his body slowly to face me.

"Klaus, you have it all wrong. I would never do anything to you or the Salvatores."

"I am not an idiot, Alaric. If you humans have the courage to stand up enough to kill one vampire, you have the courage to stand up and try to kill more. Who am I to trust you? Why should I not take this stake," I adjust the stake firmly against Alaric's heart, "And shove it right through you like the flimsy plastic bag you are? Simply blowing in the wind."

"If you took that stake and killed me with it, then I would say I'm not surprised. I know what you did at the game." My grip slackens a little at this statement.

"I have no idea what you're referring to."

"Oh, come on! You know exactly what I'm referring to. How'd it feel to know you were ripping that girl away from the life she had ahead of her? To know that because of you, she'd never get to live? To get married and have kids? You ended her family tree; dozens of people who won't ever exist. Tell me, Klaus, which was more satisfying: The taste of her blood, or the feeling of her lifeless body in your arms?"

With as much force as I deem necessary, I strike the stake into Alaric's heart. His scream is cut short as blood gurgles from his mouth. I begin to walk out of the apartment, but stop short at the doorway. Alaric's eyes are on me as blood continues to flow out of him.

"You know, there's one thing you should know." I open the door and keep my back to him as I take a step out of it. "The blood is never as satisfying as the kill."

I walk into my living room, and for a moment, I appreciate the silence. As soon as that moment passes, the reality of Rebekah not being here hits me. I must remind myself that she is returning home later tonight.

"I will not eat dinner until Nik arrives!”

My family does not know I am listening to them as I stand out on the balcony connected to my room.

"Rebekah, stop being silly and eat." I can hear the annoyance in Elijah's voice. "Finn will arrive at any moment with Mother, and I would like for at least four out of five of us to put on a nice, believable show for her."

Rebekah sighs deeply.

"I don't understand why we must still lie to her about what we are. She made us. What did she expect? For us to be vegetarians?" I smirk a little at my sister's defiance. She's learned well.

Kol isn't as pleased.

"Bekah, that could be exactly what she expected. She damn sure didn't expect her kids to be blood thirsty, heartless beings, now did she? Well, she may have expected that of Niklaus." Kol laughs as I'm sure Rebekah is glaring at him.

A blood thirsty, heartless being. That is all I'll ever be to them.

The way the dark charcoal contrasts with the white cardboard slab is intriguing to me. Watching the white background disappear as the black lines take up more and more space is like a form a therapy; a way to take my mind off of the reality that haunts me.

I am so engrossed in my work, that the ringing of my phone almost startles me.

"Yes, Rebekah?"

"Would you be opposed to coming over to the Forbes' household for dinner?"

"I don't know, little sister. I'm rather bu-"

"Caroline asked me to invite you."

Silence overwhelms me before I answer with little reluctance.

"What time should I arrive?"

Parking on the curb outside of Caroline's house, I realize how absurd this is. More importantly I start to realize what I'm doing.

What my sister and I are doing.

Trying to fit in here is like looking up at the sky on a bright summer day and seeing a dark, storm cloud on the horizon. I can clearly see it. I know it can only bring in a storm, but another part of me seems to dwell on the fact that the storm can be a good or bad thing; depending on who you are. Some may run from it, others may chase it, and on some brief occasions, some may even choose to play in it.

As I shut my car door and start to walk down the cobble stone path leading to the Forbes' front door, I can only imagine what Caroline would do during a storm. Playing in it isn't something I see her doing. Taking shelter, and staying away from it; that is what I see her doing.

"Uh, Mr. Mikael-Klaus?"

Caroline looks stunning in a dark blue cardigan and black jeans. It is so simple compared to her usual attire, but still extravagant. I quickly look down and notice she is barefoot. Her toenails are painted a soft, blush pink. I'm not quite sure why I'm so interested.

"Caroline. I was about to knock." I smile a little.

"Yeah, Rebekah and I saw you pull up. I was just heading out to turn on the sprinklers. Mom's obsessed with her flower beds' health. I sometimes think she's more interested in their health than my own." She lets out a light laugh. "But come on in. Rebekah's in the kitchen. Excuse me."

I feel the heat radiating off of Caroline's body as she squeezes through the doorway passed me. The fact that she probably feels nothing radiating off of me is nothing short of a disappointment.

But why do I care?

Photos line the walls of the Forbes' hallway. It is the photo closest to the dining room that catches my attention.

"That's her dad." Rebekah appears my side with a mixing bowl in her hands. I smirk at her.

"What?" She asks.

I incline my head toward the bowl in her hands.

"What? I can't make brownies, Nik?"

"I mean sure you can. But the question is if you should."

Without a response, my sister hits me firmly on the shoulder and walks back into the kitchen. I focus my attention back onto the photograph of Caroline and her father.

Caroline clears her throat behind me. "Dinner should be ready."

I have a feeling she doesn't talk about her father much as she walks past me and takes a seat at the head of the table. Rebekah is already at her right, so I sit on her left.

"My mom said she apologizes for not being able to be here. She had already made plans with Tyler's mom."

"Tyler?" I ask before I can stop myself.

"Her boyfriend."

"My boyfriend."

Rebekah and Caroline answer at the same time, and I almost choke on the food I'm currently swallowing. They look at each other and laugh, then Rebekah motions for Caroline to go on.

"Tyler Lockwood. We got together about a year ago. Carol Lockwood is his mother and the town Mayor. And also my mom's best friend. Speaking of the Mayor, you two should come to the party next Saturday that she's hosting in honor of Tyler's senior year."

"I think we're busy."

"Of course!"

Rebekah and I make eye contact after our answers contradict one another immensely. Caroline senses the hostility.

"Well, you have a week to think on it. It'd be nice if you two were there though. You each can bring a date, too."

I nod my head as I take another forkful of food into my mouth.

"Oh, I hope Matt says yes tomorrow!"

I roll my eyes as Rebekah flips through a formal attire magazine.

"I wonder if he would be willing to color coordinate?

I get up from my seat and begin walking toward my room.

"Goodnight, Rebekah." I don't bother looking back at her as I finally turn into my room and close the door behind me. There is a strong feeling I can't shake that is telling me that Rebekah and I's stay in Mystic Falls is only going to get more complicated from here. A part of me hopes that feeling is wrong.

But another part of me is begging for that feeling to be right.

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