chapter 10


“Woah Tyler, um h-hi, w-what are you doing here?” Her fingers were gripping the side of the door so hard, there were indentations in the white washed wood in the shape of finger prints and blood was starting to pool behind the white of her nails. Her heart pounding rapidly in her chest, she could feel the boom boom in her ears, oh my god, shi..

“Hey Caroline” His smile was wide and bright but also unsure and something uncertain lay hidden behind it, his eyes shone with something like regret, curiosity and disappointment. They stood for a few awkward sentences, staring at each other blankly.

“You gonna invite me in or?..”

No, I don’t want to, I can’t, Oh my god…before she could formulate and articulate an answer he was slowly pushing the door back with his hand and already stepping inside.

“I’m gonna take the stunned silence as a sign of being pleasantly surprised and come right on in anyway.”

He grinned at her and walked towards the living room and further into the house. She stood stock still, her gaze hard and following after him, her throat working hard to swallow the dry lump, she allowed the door slide from her grasp and quietly click closed and started to follow the new house guest. Do not look up, do not look at him, do not look, do no.. as she made her way into the living room and shut the door leading to the front entrance, the door between them and him, she pretended she did not hear the muffled the growl coming from the other side and hope and preyed nobody else could hear it too.

She was suddenly filled with guilt and dread and regret, they were soul mates now, she should tell Tyler, Klaus should come down and…no that’s a terrible idea. She wasn’t going to lie about it or deliberately hide their bond, she wasn’t ashamed, she just needed to diffuse the situation before it even began, not make a big thing of it, Tyler and Klaus are both already abrupt and conflicting personalities and one wrong word or move could be a huge mistake.

Tyler was in the kitchen and by the sounds of the clinking she could tell he was wasting no time in making himself at home. She gave herself a few seconds to think and recuperate. The familiar pull in her veins, settled her slightly but also made her heart ache slightly, she could feel him above her, pacing, no doubt wearing the upstairs carpets and rugs into nothing and trying really hard not destroy the contents of Caroline’s room in fury. She tried to hide the slight growing smirk at how well she knew him, how she could predict his next actions, and the fact that he was maybe not so patiently waiting but waiting none the less for her to speak to Tyler first made her stomach swoop, he was trying, for her.

She knew she was on limited time, he will not stay up there for ever, she also knew she had to control her emotions and feelings, the slightest hitch in her breath or extra beat in her heart rhythm and he would be down here and she did not want to consider the after math. He will also no doubt be listening to every single murmur and sound made. Ok Caroline you can do this, just make up an excuse as to why he has to leave, meet up with him later with everyone, somewhere very public, take Klaus, and then hopeful…

“You like to drink the hard stuff now then huh?” Tyler came from the kitchen with two tumbler glasses and the bottle of brown substance already open, the one from last night, the one that was discarded when she and Kl… no don’t think about him, not even his name, control Caroline.

Tyler came towards her, passing a glass after pouring some of the liquor to the half way point and sitting down in an arm chair. Good move Tyler, I Don’t, Can’t be sitting to close to you right now.

Caroline put the glass down on the coffee table with an un-amused sniff and sat on the sofa opposite, facing and watching the werewolf.

“It’s a little early for drinking don’t you think?”

“I’ve had a hard night, hard past few weeks..”

“Where have you been?”

“So we’re starting with the hard questions already huh?” He gave her a nervous, unsure grin and shuffled slightly in his chair, passing the glass from hand to hand before taking a big gulp.

“I’m not really in the mood right now for humour Tyler..”

“And why is that Caroline?”

“Just, because..well…you left Tyler, you left without telling anybody, without telling me, I didn’t know where I stood with you and now you’re here acting like you’ve been here all along?”

“I’m sorry I did that Caroline, I’m sorry I left with no explanation and didn’t answer your calls or messages, I- I was running you know? In wolf form, trying to find a pack..”

“Why? We’re your pack, your friends and family, you didn’t need to go run off and..”

“I needed answers Caroline, research, experience..”

“Why are you back then? What did you find?”

“I’m back because instincts told me to come home, to you..”

“Tyler th-theres nothing…”

“I have my mark, well the start of it anyway..” He pulled his collar down on his shirt to reveal a small plain letters on the side of his neck, she could just make out an A, E and L. They were evenly spaced, ready more letters to join them, it looked like something was starting to form just before the A.

Her breath caught for a second and she focused on breathing deeply and steadily, keeping her face soft and neutral with a small sigh she pulled her eyes away from the mark on his neck and up to his steady gaze, he was staring back, determined and also something else that she couldn’t put her finger on. She was suddenly thankful for the robe she was wearing that was wrapped carefully and tightly up to her neck. He watched her carefully, searching for something, awaiting a hopeful reaction, he drained his glass and immediately refilled it from the bottle he had placed by his feet.

“Tyler, I-I’m happy for you, r-really I am, but it’s, it’s not me..”

“You know that for sure? Do you have a mark too?”

“U-um, look we should talk about this at a better time, I have to go..”

“When is better than now? It’s just the two of us right? Come on you have yours too right? Show me.” He stood abruptly and took the few short steps the cross the room and sat beside her, knees brushing, gaze unwavering, he drained the glass a second time and put it down then reached out to take her hand.

Strike one!

She flinched away, and tried to ignore the sudden thrum and vibration in her skin, pulsing deep to bones.

“Tyler you should go, really I do have…”

“What is it Caroline? What are you not telling me? Come on it’s me..” and in that moment she couldn’t think of a reason why not to tell him, now, to get it out of the way, he had to find out at some point, she wouldn’t keep Klaus hidden away forever like some shameful mongrel, she wanted to be, she was proud that he was hers, her friends be damned. The way Tyler was looking at her now, longingly and waiting, she thought maybe, maybe this wouldn’t be so bad, maybe he would understand, he’s surely not that stupid and assumes his mark will be her name. She squared her shoulders and looked the boy right in the eyes, took a deep breath and..

“Tyler, it’s um, I..”

A shrill ringing filled the air as Tyler leapt to his feet to retrieve his vibrating phone from his pocket, he looked at the screen and let out a juicy curse under his breath as he tapped at it and held it up to his ear.

“Hey mom, yeah I’m home, I’m with Caroline, yea..sure ok yeah, see you soon..bye.” He swiped the screen hurriedly and dropped it back into his pockets, he paced the floor for a few small quiet steps, clearly thinking something over in his head, he was torn about something, he looked back at Caroline, his face filled with torment. She was looking up at him from her place on the couch, watching him carefully, sitting still, like prey trying not to disturb it hunter.

“I um, I have to go, I haven’t seen my mom yet, I came straight here, but um, t-the Grill later yeah?” She watched and listened intently waiting for more, but when none came she stood and crossed the room to him, he didn’t deserve the cold shoulder or confrontation when he gave no reason to receive it, yet. She carefully placed a hand on his arm, ignoring the wave of anger she felt flood through at that instant.

That was strike Two, but it was her doing and he would have to get used to it, general rules were still to be discussed and set between them.

“Sure Tyler, lets meet later, with everyone and we’ll talk, there, t-there is something I’d like you to know but we can’t do that now, later.” She gave her best reassuring smile and started to walk away towards the door, a sharp tug on her hand pulled her back, she couldn’t help the small startled shriek as she found herself spun around facing the boy head on, mere inches away.

Shit, please no, not now. That was definitely strike Three and there would be no more, she was sure of it. The tingle on her skin and underneath was growing more powerful, she could sense him, see him in her mind, gripping on to the bed frame above, pinning himself down, she could feel his presence, heavy and strong, one more move and he would pound right through the floor boards and the downstairs ceiling and would rise up through the mess on his heels like the predator he was.

“Tell me now Caroline, my mom can wait..”

“No Tyler no she can’t, come on it’s your mom, she’s missed you more than anyone..” She let out a breathy giggle and tried to retreat again but stopped when she noticed his expression, something she had just said did not sit well with him.

“Yeah clearly, I haven’t been missed by anyone else.” He looked her over once, his expression pained, his eyes starting to glow dangerously, brows knitted together, then he stalked past her and out into the entrance. She let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding and followed him to the door, trying to hang back a few steps. She stopped abruptly when he came to halt, right in front of the staircase, his back was to her and his head tilted ever so slightly, shit. She couldn’t see his face but he looked like he was trying to peer up the stairs with his eyes only to the first floor as subtle as he could. She couldn’t stop herself, she quickly glanced in that direction herself and relief washed through her when she couldn’t make out anything, or anyone.

He turned to her then slowly and cautiously as he reached out to grab the door handle, his eyes searching, body rigid, he was almost vibrating. His voice was so small, like a broken whisper, she almost didn’t catch his next words.

“Please Caroline, tell me..”

She huffed out a frustrated sigh, her voice starting to rise in annoyance, he needed to leave.

“No Tyler I sai…”

“Please tell me that it’s not true” His words, those unexpected words, cut her deep and sent a shiver down her spine, vibrating through her bones, even the sharp tingle through the bond eased slightly.

“Wh-what are you..”

“Come on Caroline, no more lies god damn it.” His anger spiked slightly and he stepped away from the door slightly but held himself, firm and ready, ready for something sudden and both expected and unexpected.

“Did you not think I couldn’t sense him when I came in, I can smell him Caroline, I even heard his idiot growl like a petulant puppy..”

And there it was, no more strikes, like a whirlwind, fast as lightening and thundering growl rippling through his throat and slightly extended fangs, he was there towering over Tyler, pushing him up against the door, there was no extra force or even violence apart from the obvious hybrid traits, his eyes were still his own, normal beautiful blue, piercing, his presence alone was enough to state that Tyler should not try to out-do him in this game.

Caroline stood in the doorway of the hall and front room, watching, wordlessly and carefully though she wasn’t about to jump in the middle of what may or may not go down. She couldn’t blame Klaus, he had been perfect, respecting Caroline and listening to her silent pleading of staying out of the way and letting her deal with Tyler alone, but she knew he wouldn’t hold off for long, he had showed a lot of restraint and her heart ached at his efforts.

Part of her blamed Tyler for this, what was happening now, he knew Klaus was here all along and still he continued to stay, and push, he was wanting Caroline to admit, she realises that now, but Klaus, is..well Klaus, not to be tempted or tested at the best of times, and throughout the past months had already shown protection and feelings for Caroline, even when Tyler was present and also showing his advances towards the blonde vamp.

And bonded Klaus? Well lets just say, you may as well dig your own grave if you try to head down that road.

As she stood back watching the silent, deadly exchange of super charged testosterone, a thought suddenly came to her, Tyler could sense Klaus in the house, but did he know he was here before? Did he know about the bond? Why would he show her his own mark if he already thought that about her Klaus? As the cogs started to turn in her head, she carefully stepped forward, ready to say something, but before she got the chance, Klaus silently backed away just a step from the younger wolf and reached to the side to pull the door open, his body still firm and menacing, gaze still dark and deep as it bore into Tyler’s.

Tyler stepped forward when he was given no other choice by the door that swung open into his, with a slight sag of his shoulders he glanced at Caroline one last time but was interrupted by Klaus’s head tilting and leaning into his line of vision with a dirty look and a low warning grumble that was forming in his chest and up his throat. Tyler simply and silently turned around and ran off into the morning light in a messy blur.

Caroline was in complete and utter shock, she stood dumb founded, her arms wrapped around herself as if holding herself up and keeping her torso together. She gazed at nothing but the air swirling around the small hall, warm with heat and need and frustration as Klaus gently closed the door behind the retreating the werewolf and came to stand right in front of her. His arms reached out and carefully unfolded hers and replaced them with his own as he watched her silently, observing her, waiting for something. Her hands landed on his shoulders and easily she fell into his embrace, her forehead coming to gently rest against his, eyes closed, allowing the bond and the closeness of them together to wash through her, easing her troubles.

Klaus nuzzled his nose against hers, his eyes unwavering, peering into hers, asking silent question, and making silent statements, mute understandings passed between the two pairs of blue orbs. He quietly walked his mate backwards through to the living room and down onto the sofa where his embrace never softened or loosened, his presence remained strong both physically and emotionally.

Is this it? She thought to herself, he couldn’t possibly be changing, could he, already? Where was the Klaus who would have thrown Tyler through the closed front door out, shards of glass and wood flying with him into the front yard and tore in to him for all to see? What does this mean? Does she actually miss that side to him? And where was that Lockwood feistiness that Caroline is more than aware that Tyler possesses?

She mulled everything over, as Klaus sat silently, actually too silent, his breathing heavy as he rubbed circles into her back with his hands and his chin rested firm and warm on top of her head. It was then she realised his body was still rigid as it clung to hers, his muscles still flexing at nothing, and veins pulsing, she felt his throat working silently against her head, swallowing nothing, silent words forming and dropping unspoken from his lips and he moved them wordlessly. Eventually she felt him calming, relaxing, his voice coming out tense but low and calm and quiet.

“House rules number One, If young Tyler Lockwood should ever attempt to touch or look at you like that again, he will have no head to even allow the thought process to begin.”

Aahh there he is….

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