Chapter Two - Road Trip with the Buzzkiller
Elijah stayed silent as he drove away from Central Park and toward
her home in Brooklyn. She had her gaze outside the window without as
much as giving him a little of her attention. She didn't want to.
"Turn right here," she said and straighten up. "You can park over there."
The houses there were high, with most of the windows either broken or boarded-up. Hope filled her lungs with air before letting it out slowly.
"Wait here," she said unbuckling her seat belt and getting out of the car. "Promise me that you will stay here and not follow me in."
Elijah studied her face and was just about to answer when she cut him off.
"I don't want mother to worry, I'll be back in a sec." And before he had the chance to answer she had run off toward the staircase in front of the car.
Hope took two steps at a time as she ran up to the third floor. She picked up the key from her jeans-pocket and unlocked the door. She stayed silent for a moment to make sure that her mom was asleep before she pushed some advertisement papers from the floor and closed the door behind her as silent as she could.
The apartment smelled like a locked-up basement mixed with smoke and alcohol, she couldn't breathe in there. Slowly she tipped over to the kitchen slash living room where she also found her mother lying on the couch head-down and with a bottle of scotch on the table.
"Not again," she whispered.
Without as much as a second look at her mother she walked over the room and through a door into her bedroom. Papers, books and clothes were lying everywhere around the floor. A mattress were on the floor together with a dark piece of paper that she had read through every night since she could remember.
She had read it so many times that she had memorized the words, but it still made her heart break every time she read it. It made her angry, disappointed and sad. The three feelings she hated. She picked up a pair of clean clothes from the floor and pressed it inside her backpack together with her headphones and the small amount of money that she owned, before walking over the room and picking up the paper.
It was a miracle that she still could read the words on it, she had ripped it in piece's several times and fixed it with tape over and over again. The dark ink was almost impossible to read, but it didn't stop her from scanning it with her eyes.
Dear Zoe... or Kaitlyn... or Angela.
To my little girl:
Your dad just asked if this was a love letter. I guess it kind
I never got to know my mother. I have no idea what she must have felt when she carried me.
So I thought I'd write to you, so that you could know how happy I am at this very moment.
How much your father and I can't wait to meet you.
And I want to make you a promise, three things you will have that I never did.
A safe home. Someone to tell you that they love you every single day. And someone to fight for you, no matter what.
In other words, a family.
So there you go, baby girl. The rest we're gonna have to figure out together.
I love you,
"You lied," she said with broken voice as she folded the letter and put it in her pocket. She didn't bother looking back twice as she stepped out of the apartment, neither did she leave a note to her mother. She wouldn't notice her being gone anyway.
For the first time in a while she actually felt relieved, she finally got to leave New York and her so-called home. She smiled to herself as she imagined her classmates faces when she wouldn't walk into class the next day. Hope Jones, the one that never skipped classes, but still managed to get more detentions than anyone else. Or was it okay to call herself Hope Mikaelson already?
Hope shook her head, no it was not.
She couldn't resist to feel a little bit surprised when she found Elijah inside the car as she got down from the staircase. Maybe she could trust him after all.
She got into the car and tossed her bag in the back of the car. "You did as I said."
"You sound surprised," he remarked before starting the car and driving off.
"That's because I kind of am," she honestly answered. "So how long will this road trip take?"
Elijah turned to her. "Road trip?"
"Yeah, or whatever you like to call it," she said. "I've never been on a road trip before."
Elijah chuckled and Hope let herself to smile so her dimples showed.
"About a day, depending on how many stops we make," Elijah told her. "Talking about making stops, I have to make a call when we get outside of New York."
Hope nodded before watching the clock on the screen right in front of her, she had never sat in a car this nice before. Her mom had sold their old car, to pay for some drugs she had taken for a while. It was only six in the afternoon, which meant they would be in New Orleans about the same time tomorrow.
Hope sighed as she leaned back in the leather seat, the view outside the window of buildings passing by made her sleepy. She closed her eyes only to rest for a moment, but found herself falling asleep.
About three hours after Hope fell asleep Elijah pulled over by a small grocery shop to refuel the car and make the call he had talked about.
Hope somehow managed to surprise him, she refused to show herself scared or even a bit confused. She hadn't even ask any questions about him or her family. It had been fifteen years since he had seen her the last time. She had been almost two years old and about to get shipped off to someone else who would take care of her.
That thought still made him angry, seeing the place where she had grown up – in the slum, without any proper parents around. Klaus would be furious when he found out, he probably would seek Hope's adoptive parents one by one and kill them. Elijah himself had felt an impulse of anger as he had stopped in front of her home. But he had kept his nerves in place, mostly because he didn't want to scare Hope, but also because she didn't seem to mind the area she had grown up in.
After he had filled the car with fuel he parked it beside the grocery shop and stepped out of the car. Hope was still deeply asleep, with the beautiful face she had inherited by her mother facing the window. Hayley would be thrilled to finally meet her long-lost daughter.
It was hard to know who to call, Klaus was probably busy keeping Marcel from doing something he would regret, Hayley would get so thrilled that she wouldn't be able to listen to him. So that left him with one option.
"Brother, I was wondering when to hear from you. How's business going?" Rebekah answered. To the background of her voice it sounded like she was walking outside.
Elijah gazed back at his sleeping niece to make sure she hadn't moved before answering his baby sister. "Changed plans, Bekah."
"What do you mean? Didn't Harry say-"
"I found her, sister."
"I found Hope."
"Oh my god," Rebekah breathed. To the sound of her voice she had stopped walking. "I don't believe it, how-"
"She tried to steal my watch," Elijah chuckled.
"She tried what? Oh that little ... I'm not going to say the word devil but she is Nik's daughter." Rebekah said. "How is she? How did you get her with you anyway? You didn't compel her did you?"
"She is fine, I'll tell you everything once I get back home with her. Could you do me a favor and tell Nik and Hayley about the news. I have to keep driving, we should reach New Orleans by the evening tomorrow."
"Of course, oh my god I still can't believe this," Rebekah whispered more to herself than to Elijah.
"Neither can I, dear sister."
"Have you told her about us? You know, what we are?" Rebekah asked with sudden serious voice.
"No, I-" He froze in the middle of his sentence when he heard the car door open. Immediately he swung around to find Hope in the driver's seat instead of the one next to it.
"What are you doing?" he asked Hope with Rebekah still on the other side of the phone.
"I've never driven a car before and you have taken the car keys," Hope said disappointed. "Such a buzzkiller."
"Get out of there," he sighed shaking his head.
"Fine," Hope muttered.
"What was that?" Rebekah asked with irritated voice. "Seriously, Elijah. If you lose her Nik and Hayley will kill you!"
"I know, sister," Elijah said. "Now, go talk to our brother and Hayley, I've got everything under control here."
"Right, like I'm supposed to believe that ... Bye."
Elijah rolled his eyes but ended the call and put his phone back into his pocket. Hope leaned against the car with her hood on her head and her hands deep inside her jeans pockets.
"Who was that?" she asked at once Elijah looked up to meet her eyes.
"My sister," he answered.
Hope nodded before turning her attention toward the grocery shop and taking a couple of steps in its direction.
"And where do you think you're going?" Elijah asked. For some reason he felt tired now that she had woken up, it had been much easier when he had known that she was safely asleep.
"I'm hungry, I'll be right back."
After Elijah had insisted to give her money to pick herself something to eat, she had rushed inside the grocery store and came out of it a couple of minutes later with a bag in her hands. Then they could finally continue their way to Hope's new home.
After she had eaten her so-called food, which by the way were a bunch of candy and one sandwich with a bottle of Coke, Hope turned her gaze at Elijah and studied him for a moment.
"What is it?" he asked trying not to sound annoyed by her staring at him.
"How come you gave me up in the first place?"
Elijah didn't know how to react, he hadn't been ready for this question considering she hadn't asked him about it before. Sure he knew that she would ask it sooner or later, but not to him and definitely not now.
"We didn't have much of a choice, we didn't want to do it. It's complicated," he tried to explain hoping she wouldn't ask him more questions about that exact subject. Then again, maybe it would be better if he told her everything about vampires and werewolves before they arrived to New Orleans.
"How complicated?" Hope pushed. "Look, Elijah, I'm not a kid. I've taken care of myself ever since I was seven years old and my parents got a divorce. I know how to look after myself."
Elijah sighed and took a stronger grip around the wheel, he could break it right here and now. But instead of doing it, he took a deep breath and tried to relax. "Do you believe in supernatural creatures? Like vampires and werewolves?"
She raised her eyebrows without giving him an answer, so he took that as she did.
Then he started telling her about her parents, how Klaus and himself had lived for the past thousand years and how their mother had turned them into vampires, how their father had made Klaus suffer as a child and how it had turned him to the violent person he is. He told her about Klaus' obsession for becoming a hybrid and how he had managed to become one, how he had craved for becoming that supernatural being for a thousand years. He told her about their time in Mystic Falls and how they had come to New Orleans and how the witches had gotten them around their fingers because of Hayley's pregnancy. Their battles and their losses until Hope finally was born and had to be sent away for her own protection.
Hope sat quiet the whole time he was explaining to her, why everything her father had done had led them to their hard decision of finally giving her to Klaus' sister Rebekah.
"But as you were about to turn two, the witches got a hold on your existence and tried to find you," Elijah explained. "We saw no other choice than to send you away as far as possible, and it worked."
"What happened to the witches?" Hope spoke up for the first time in an hour.
"Klaus killed them," Elijah answered with hesitation. "When we finally had gotten the French Quarter under control and we were ready to bring you back home, we couldn't find you. We have been searching for you for over five years now." He made a pause to make sure she still understood what he was talking about. "We had a witch cast a cloaking spell over you, which also made it harder to find you. But I guess it most have worn out since I did find you."
Hope leaned back in her seat and nodded, speech less. Not many people had managed to get her to shut up, she always had something to say back.
"Family above all," Elijah added. "Always and forever."
They sat in quiet for a long time, it had already darkened outside and the time had passed midnight. Elijah found it odd that neither Klaus nor Hayley had called him, maybe Rebekah hadn't told them the good news yet. Or maybe she had been able to keep them calm and told them to leave Hope alone for a while.
Elijah on the other hand felt relieved, the part about her supernatural being had been covered, the part which he himself had thought would be the toughest. But it seemed like Hope could handle it pretty well, whether she would be able to forgive them or not was another unanswered question.
"Can you show me?" Hope suddenly asked. "Like your fangs or something? Vampires have fangs, don't they?"
The next second Elijah's face had turned from its usual firm and calm gaze to a monster's. His eyes got a darker shade, vanes appeared underneath his eyelids and fangs pointed out of his mouth. Hope couldn't keep herself from flinching.
Elijah turned his facial expression back to normal and tried not to laugh at her surprised look.
"Wow, that was amazing!" she exhaled. "Can you do that again?"
"You don't like it when people tell you no or what to do, am I right?" Elijah asked with a small grin on his face.
"Who does?" was her answer. "Besides, when my hybrid-supernatural-side-thing trigger, then no one can tell me what to do."
Elijah watched her satisfied face, it scared him. She was after all the original hybrid's daughter, who knew what kind of genes she had gotten from him. Hope might appear as a normal sweet girl, but Elijah didn't buy it. She had, just as Klaus and Hayley, grown up in the belief that no one loved her and that she was abandoned. He knew what kind of scars that could leave on a person, he only wished it hadn't gotten too far in Hope's case.
She soon fell asleep again, so Elijah kept on driving in silence with only the darkness that embraced him. He couldn't help but wonder what she had meant earlier, when she had said that she didn't have a mother.
Did she blame Hayley for what had happened to her? Or had she meant her adoptive mother? Elijah couldn't tell.
It didn't seem like Hope was too angry with her biological father, or did she decide not to show her emotions towards Klaus to him? He could have asked her about it, what she had meant, but he had been afraid that it would make her upset just like the last time.
Hope turned in her sleep to face the window with her mouth halfway open, Elijah smiled. She would finally be home. Hopefully it wouldn't be a mistake of him to bring her to New Orleans, because who knew what kind of trouble a teenager could bring?