Chapter Ten - The Things I Hate
Hope stared at the ceiling in her room. Making her brain inhale
every single corner of the room and then gazing back at the bedroom
door. It was almost five in the morning and she couldn't sleep, she
had actually been awake for at least two hours already. Listening to
the sound of the rain that hit against her window, which Klaus now
had sealed with a lock from the outside to make sure she wouldn't
sneak out again. On Hayley's demand, of course.
It was weird, thinking back at her life a month ago when she stumbled around on the streets of New York only to find something to eat. Now, she was living around vampires and werewolves with a huge family that claimed they cared for her. She had to admit it, her life had made a huge turn. She hadn't even called Sam yet, who probably had either taken his life of anger or got a heart attack for worrying about her.
She had wanted to call him, but didn't really find an excuse for leaving New York. What was she supposed to tell him anyway? That she now was living in a town filled with vampires and that her family was trying to make up their mind to make her a hybrid or not? No, she couldn't do that to him, it was for the best that she just disappeared from his life anyway.
Speaking of boys, she had done an extraordinary good job with avoiding Trip lately. He had both called and texted her, which she had declined every time. Why couldn't people just leave her alone? She was used to it and not having people around her shooting questions at her from every corner.
She let out a sigh, moving her gaze toward the second door in her room, the door she hadn't managed to open yet no matter how many times she had tried. This family frankly drove her mad, no one knew what they wanted and all of their opinions was based on anger. Did they actually believe that after their rough past, it would be a good idea to raise a daughter? And that it would happen without pain or consequences?
Hope sighed before throwing the sheets away from her and getting up to her feet. Dressed in her black, running shorts and a hoodie, she tip toed down the stairs toward the kitchen. If there was something she had learned, it was that the food in this house was always fresh and with a huge pile of options. And since Hope both liked exercising and eating, she found herself harmlessly eat as much as she wanted.
Her heart skipped a beat when she saw a big silhouette standing beside the counter as she walked into the kitchen. Fast, she grabbed the broom that was beside the door and turned on the lights.
"I warn you, you big ass fat- … oh, it's you. What the hell are you wearing? It's the middle of the night, do you sleep in that?"
Elijah turned his gaze at her, with a coffee cup in one of his hands and the other one resting on the counter beside him. "Language, Hope. And what are you doing with that broomstick?"
Hope looked down at the broom in her hands before she pointed with it at Elijah. "Well, I was planning on hitting you in the head with it, but since it's so early I changed my mind." She smiled before putting down the broomstick on its usual place. "So, about your clothes."
Elijah didn't seem to catch why she was so surprised by his outfit, including a pair of suit pants and a buttom-up shirt. It was five in the morning, who wore that kind of clothes at that time? Elijah, of course, because he was all noble and stuff. But still.
"I never went to sleep," he answered, making Hope nod and feeling dumb for her impulsive choice of question. She should have seen that coming, considering what kind of family they were. "Now, what are you doing up so early?"
"I couldn't sleep," she shrugged. She walked around the table and pulled up the refrigerator door. She could just eat a sandwich, but she wasn't in the mood, so she just closed the door again without taking anything out of it.
"Is everything okay?" Hope asked when she saw Elijah's wrinkled forehead.
He turned his eyes to hers. "Depends on how you define okay."
Hope raised her eyebrows, this would probably be a deep talk. "Okay, tell me what's on your brooding mind before you think yourself to death."
"Always a level of sarcasm," Elijah sighed. He put down the cup of coffee on the table beside him before meeting her eyes. "There is something I can't quite understand."
Hope raised her eyebrows as a gesture for him to continue.
"You said you didn't feel anything when you killed that boy, and I was wondering if it has something to do with your hybrid side. As a vampire you can turn off your emotions, but since you haven't completed your transition yet, it wouldn't be possible."
"So, you're saying that I'm a freak," Hope said. "Relax, I'm only kidding. The truth is I don't care about anything, whatever happens – happens and I can't do anything about it. But I know that in that exact moment when I saw Bradin in the eyes and decided to lit him on fire, I felt a wave of rage come over me. I couldn't control it, everything I could think about was to kill him. To see his last breath and the light of his eyes disappear. No regrets."
Elijah didn't show any sign of what he was thinking about, he was probably scared of her now. She was kind of scared of herself, she hadn't been able to stop herself from killing Bradin. But the worst part must be that she didn't feel anything. Not regret, not sadness, nothing. All she could think about was the satisfaction that he no longer was a threat.
"I think we've got a problem," Elijah finally said after being silent for a long while.
"What do you mean? So, you people get to kill whoever you want, but the second I even think about it – it's the end of the world? Come on, give me a break!" She jumped down from the chair and threw her hands in the air. She was no better than them and she didn't want to be.
"You're only sixteen!"
"Seventeen tomorrow and since when does age make a difference anyways? Listen to me, I will become a hybrid tomorrow, whether you like it or not. End of discussion."
She turned around and walked out of the was the thing that he had been so worried about? That she killed people? Who cares? Everyone would die someday anyways, life was pathetic. This level of drama was almost too much for her, they were adults for god's sake! Couldn't they stop treating her as a child already?
Elijah walked after her and reached out an arm to stop her before she had any chance to run up the stairs back to her room. She gave him a dark look and took a step backwards. She wouldn't let anyone control her, not even Elijah.
"You're so blind that you don't even see how your choices affect your family, let alone your own mother who is devastated because of what is happening to this family! This kind of selfishness reminds me of Niklaus' way of behaving before you came in to the picture, and I want it to stop before you hurt anyone else, especially Hayley."
"My way of behaving is my own concern, not yours or my mother's!"
"See, that's where you're wrong, Hope! You might be used to make your own decisions, but you have a family now! A family who would do anything for you, stop acting like a child!"
"You're the ones treating me like a child!"
Hope clenched her fists and stared into her uncle's eyes. She was furious with him, but not because he was telling her what to do. But because the words that he said were the truth. She wanted to be the one to be right, what would be the fun with this otherwise?
"What do you want me to say?" Hope suddenly sounded tired, she relaxed her fingers and leaned back at the wall beside the staircase. Her head was spinning, she had had trouble sleeping the last couple of days. She just wanted to shut her eyes and never open them again, never have to think about anything else than sleeping. It felt so nice. "That this is working? Because that would be a lie and I don't do well with lies."
Elijah's face expression went from angry and hard to calm and empathetic. He knew this was hard for her, just like for everyone else.
"You can't have both," Hope slowly said, shutting her eyes and breathing heavily. "You can't have both me and the Quarters. I'm the one tearing this family apart, but let's be honest, it wouldn't be different if I wasn't here. You all would live as ghosts around this place, facing each other with nothing else than a mask. This isn't a place for a family reunion and you know it as well as I do."
She had been thinking about it, what if they settled down somewhere else? Somewhere they could be a normal family and not have to care about the vampire's safety, the werewolves to make a move on them or the witches to find them? If the only thing they would have to care about was their own health and trust? It might work, but not like this.
Sooner or later this family would be torn apart, they would stare each other down and fall down one by one until there was only one person left. And that person wouldn't be able to live with itself and then it would be to late.
"We will have to talk to the rest of our family members," Elijah stated when he let the words of Hope sink into him. "It won't be easy, you know."
"Yeah," Hope sighed. "I know."
"Remind me to never agree to this again," Hope said before she reach out to the table and moved one of her pieces. Elijah smiled when he moved his piece to the place she had put hers and took it in his hand. Playing chess with her noble uncle this early in the morning wasn't the most wise choice she had ever made.
"I have a thousand years of experience, don't be too hard on yourself," Elijah said amused.
"You sound like your brother, and I'm referring to the exaggerated, overenthusiastic, alcoholic-wannabe, immature and energetic one."
Elijah chuckled and watched her in the corner of his eyes. "Fancy adjectives?"
"I write a lot," Hope shrugged.
Elijah raised his eyebrows. "Like a diary?"
Hope snorted with a wide smile. "Of course not! I'm not some sort of depressive barbie or anything. No offense, I know you write daily updates in your leather covered books."
"You would be surprised with what kind of difference you can make with your life with only a couple of words written on a piece of paper." He moved his queen and looked at Hope again. "By writing what you're feeling you can get yourself out of depression."
"I know, I've tried it and it worked. I'm only being the sarcastic person that I am," Hope answered like it wasn't a big deal.
"You've been depressed?" Elijah sounded surprised as he leaned back in the chair.
"Yeah? So what? Almost every kid these days are." She smiled in victory as she managed to take his queen. "Ha!"
"How did you get out of it? Did you talk to someone?"
"Like that would help? Come on, a teenager doesn't care about anything else but herself, talking to someone would only make it more depressing. If you ask me, all you have to do is to take the first step. Which happens to be to stop feeling sorry about yourself, if you keep thinking that 'Oh my god, poor me, why me, what did I do to deserve this?'then you won't get anywhere! Trust me, I have a lot of experience."
"So you stopped feeling sorry about yourself?" Elijah asked. "How?"
"I changed my way of seeing things," Hope explained. "Like, every time something bad happened to me, I wouldn't allow myself to start crying over it and think about what would have happened if I had made another choice. I can't change what I've done, simple as that. You either let it eat you up or you get over it. That's why I can't stand people who feels sorry about themselves, it's stupid."
It was the truth, she didn't feel sorry about herself if she failed with something. Of course things scared her and she could have second thoughts, but she never regretted anything. No matter how dark it seemed, she wouldn't let herself back down. Feeling sorry about yourself only make things worse, it won't get better if you cry yourself to sleep at night thinking that you're stupid or you could have done something another way.
"So, what's up with you and my mom anyways?" Hope continued. She had had enough talk about depression, it made her mind go into thinking-mode.
Elijah choked like he had swallowed too big piece of meat. "What do you mean?"
"Isn't it obvious? You two are like made for each other, don't let me stand in the way for you. Klaus thinks you're ridiculous for not making a move on her yet."
"He has said that?" Elijah questioned. He was apparently not aware of his baby brother's thoughts about their relationship.
"Not in so many words, but I know that's what he thinks."
Elijah didn't believe her, she could tell by the way he was looking at her, like he didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
"Come on, you two should so get together already. You drive me crazy when you're both in the room. It's like a tension of awkwardness."
"You really do like to use words, don't you?" Elijah sighed and turned toward the chessboard again.
"Yes. And it helps me a lot, checkmate!" Hope smiled and grabbed Elijah's king from the board. Elijah's expression was unable to explain, he looked like a child who didn't get what he wanted for Christmas, on the line of either crying or screaming.
"Wha- … Did you just … "
Hope laughed louder than she had done in a while. "You should see your face!"
"You distracted me!" he accused her. "That's cheating."
"No it's not!"
"Nope, you're just grumpy because you got beaten by a girl."
"I am not."
"Yes, you are."
"Sod off," he mumbled.
"I heard that," Hope pointed out. "Language, uncle Elijah."
He shot her a killing gaze before shaking his head like he didn't believe he had lost. To be fair, Hope had cheated her way into winning. She had changed the positions of the pieces when he hadn't looked at the table, talking about deep stuff always helped. She was kind of a natural at the subject already.
Of course she wouldn't tell him that, she was too satisfied with the fact that he thought he had lost.
"Speaking of bad language and stuff," Hope announced with a playful grin on her face. "Why are you coming home so late?"
She looked at her father with an amusing gaze as he turned around after closing the door behind him. She could tell he was in a good mood, though, considering that he didn't give her on of his killing looks.
"Having a rough night, brother?" Elijah asked without looking at Klaus. He dragged his hand through his hair without taking his eyes off the chessboard. Hope almost felt sorry for the guy, just almost.
"On the contrary, Elijah," Klaus smirked and poured himself a drink from the table behind the couch. "You don't seem to be in the best mood, though."
"He lost in chess," Hope shrugged. "And now he believes his life is over."
Klaus laughed. Laughed! Hope wouldn't believe her eyes, what was happening?
"Are you high?" she asked her father with a serious voice. "You never laugh, not like that. What have you been taking?"
"Relax, sweetheart," Klaus said. He walked over to them and kissed her on the top of her head. "I've been out with a friend."
Hope wasn't convinced. "I thought you hadn't got any friends."
"Do you always have to know everything?" Klaus sighed and threw himself down in the sofa next to her chair.
"Yes, I'm a curious teenager, feel free to blame me," Hope said. "Now, tell me."
"She will get her way, brother. There is no use for resisting it," Elijah mumbled and covered his face with his hands. He really did look like it was his worst nightmare, which made it only harder for Hope not to tell him how she had managed to win.
"I met up with an old friend," Klaus explained. "Caroline Forbes, from Mystic Falls."
Hope's eyes flashed open, Kol had been complaining about Klaus' obsession with a girl from that town. But with her knowledge, she thought Caroline hated her father because of his selfish ways of acting.
"Wait, what?" she spit out. "She hates you."
Klaus turned his gaze towards her, obviously not keen on her choice of describing their relationship.
"Believe it or not, but she has decided to forgive me for all my actions," Klaus said with a smirk that meant that they had done more than just talked.
"That's the hint for me to get out of here before I get the images of reading Fifthy Shades Of Grey back into my head," Hope announced as she got up to her feet. "I believe it won't help me pass the math test I have today."
She winked her eyebrows at Klaus and patted Elijah on his shoulder, before running upstairs into her room. She hadn't really started studying to her mathtest yet, mostly because she didn't care about the geometry they were trying to be taught at the moment.
Her way of seeing school had changed a lot since she had gotten to New Orleans, she didn't have as much interest in it as before. Maybe because she unconsciously knew that she had a family that never would let her go now. A family that actually cared for her. But did they really care for her enough to let their kingdom fall?
Hope shook her head violently to get the dark thoughts out of her head, she wouldn't get anywhere by thinking like that anyways.
Instead she picked up her backpack from the floor of her room. It had only been about a month and her room was already a mess. Clothes, books and papers were lying everywhere and made it almost impossible to cross the room without touching it. Rebekah had told her to clean it up, which she stubbornly had decided to ignore considering that the rest of the house was cleaned by their compelled maid.
It wasn't fair to be the youngest one in the house, although she did understand their way of seeing it too. She had her responsibilities, though she didn't want to admit it sometimes.
After reading to the mathtest for about fifteen minutes, she slammed the book shut and threw it into her bag. It was no use for her to read, she couldn't concentrate because of the subject she and Elijah had been talking about.
There actually was one thing she wanted, besides from getting the family of this compound to actually become a family, and that was to move to the West Coast. She had thought about it through the last couple of years, that she would move to California the second she had enough money.
Hope spun around to find her mother leaning against the door frame. She was dressed in a long, dark rope she always wore in the mornings at breakfast. It had actually turned out to work well their time together as a 'normal' family. The dinners and breakfasts weren't as stiff as they were at the beginning of their try to become a normal family.
"You tell me," Hope answered with hesitation. She had had trouble to bound with Hayley, at least if she compared it with her relationship with Klaus. She and him could talk about everything that came into their heads, it was easy with him. With Hayley she had some problem with how to act, like she didn't quite get how to get her mother to approve her as she was. She did know that Hayley loved her for the person she was, but to Hope it wasn't enough.
"What do you mean?" Hayley asked and took a step forward into her room.
"I don't know. I just- … It feels like the two of us don't really connect and I don't know why and it's making me go crazy and I- … Is it because I want to become a hybrid?"
Hayley shook her head with a sad smile covering her face. "Absolutely not, sweetie. I know you have to trigger it sooner or later, I just think you should wait a bit longer because of the long hybrid life you have ahead of you. But I do respect your choice and I will support whatever you decide to do, okay?"
Hope swallowed and nodded. She didn't really buy what her mother was telling her, something told her that Hayley still wasn't keen on her choice even though she said she supported her. Things wasn't as easy with her as it was with Klaus, and it sort of bothered Hope. Why couldn't everything just become easier for once?
"Now come on, let's get you some breakfast," Hayley said and led the way down to the kitchen. Hope picked up her backpack from the bed before following her to the kitchen, where they found Klaus and Elijah already sitting by the table. She didn't hesitate before sitting down next to Klaus with a deep sigh.
Hope noticed the awkwardness that spread between Elijah and Hayley at once their eyes met each others. And they were supposed to be the adult ones. The next moment, a very tired Kol walked into the kitchen with Rebekah shortly behind him.
"Oh look at this, the story of the awkward lovers continue," Rebekah said when she caught Elijah's look. "Can't you two just get on with it already? Before you stare each other down and take this compound with you?"
"It's none of your business, sister," Elijah spoke up with dark voice. Hope covered her face with her hands, this seriously tore her apart from the inside and out.
Before any of them had a chance to continue the argument of whether Elijah and Hayley would confess their love for each other or not, Hope got up to her feet and grabbed her backpack.
"I'm just gonna eat on the way to school," she said and picked up a muffin from the table. "Bye, see you later."
She hurried to exit the compound before anyone had a chance to stop her, she didn't want any of them to try and explain why they were acting so weird and completely insist that it had nothing to do with her. She wouldn't know, though, because she hadn't been around for the last fifteen years. What if it was all because of her that Hayley and Elijah wouldn't let themselves enjoy their lives? She couldn't bear the thought that was tearing her apart, she actually wanted the two of them to live happy. Even if is sounded kind of smooth for her.
Both Hayley and Elijah deserved it and she knew it because of the loss they both had suffered from. Believe it or not, but Hope did care a lot for her family and what they wanted. They had sacrificed a lot for her, and she wanted them to feel something more than the need to keep her safe.
"Something bothering you, lass?"
Hope raised her gaze to meet the eyes of a tall, middle-aged man wearing a black suit. He had dark-blonde hair and icy blue eyes. She tried not to flinch when the accent of his words spoke to her, it was the same kind of accent that the Mikaelson's were speaking.
"No, nothing," she lied and took a step backwards from the man. She was only halfway to school, at the short-cut she had found through a small alley. This time she really regretted for taking this way, because there was not another soul nearby except for her and the man.
As the man looked into her eyes, she noticed how his face turned into a grimace. Like he was disgusted with the sight he was seeing.
Hope felt her pulse heighten inside her chest as she clenched her fists. "Who are you?" She didn't want to sound frightened, but she failed not to. Her voice sounded weak, almost shaking.
The man smiled, a wide, joyless smile that made her shiver. "My name is Mikael and I believe you can help me kill my son."