Chapter Eight - Playing with Fire
Come and hold my hand
I wanna contact the living
Not sure I understand
This role I've been given
I sit and talk to God
And he just laughs at my plans
My head speaks a language
I don't understand
I just wanna feel
Real love feel the home that I live in
Cos I got too much life
Running through my veins
Going to waste
I don't wanna die
But I ain't keen on living either
Before I fall in love
I'm preparing to leave her
Scare myself to death
That's why I keep on running
Before I've arrived
I can see myself coming
I just wanna feel
Real love feel the home that I live in
Cos I got too much life
Running through my veins
Going to waste
And I need to feel
Real love and the love ever after
I can not get enough
- Feel, Robbie Williams
Hope opened her eyes and immediately ripped of her headphones from her ears. It was a dangerous thing for her to do, listening to deep music with lyrics that made her heart beat faster. Music made her to the person she was, she loved music, it cured her.
But singing out loud with Robbie William's song Feel playing on her new iphone hadn't been in her mind when she started listening to the track. It was an amazing song, that she could admit, its words described her situation perfectly and his voice made her think everything would be fine if she only had music to listen to in her life.
"At least you didn't inherit my brother's singing voice," Kol said. He leaned toward the wall right beside her poster with the band Simple Plan on it.
"Shut up, jerk," Hope said throwing her pillow at his smirking face. Of course he managed to catch it before it hit him.
"Such harsh words you use," Kol said playing hurt of her comment. "I don't usually give compliments, but it's quite a voice you've got there."
"Thanks," Hope muttered, she didn't like compliments, she didn't believe the people who said them to her. She got up to her feet and walked past Kol toward the stairs.
"I'm serious, darling!"
Hope rolled her eyes. "Whatever."
"You're not nice," Kol pointed out walking after her into the kitchen. Klaus, Hayley, Rebekah and Elijah were out, which left Kol in charge. Hope couldn't decide if that was good or bad, probably a bit of both.
She found it hard to believe that it already had been over a month since she had gotten to New Orleans, she adjusted better than fine in school and did her best to keep herself out of trouble. Although it wasn't easy, as late as yesterday she had been close to remark her biology teacher's lack of teaching ability. But luckily for her, Trip had been able to stop her.
Trip had become Hope's new Sam, they were like best friends and she felt like she could tell him almost everything. He was the one that cheered her up when she didn't feel well, and the one that always was there for here. Summer, Bradin and Sly of course were also there, but not in the same way.
Hope had also started her training in magic, for almost two weeks ago. In the beginning she had thought it would be impossible, but her teacher was a patient woman and she had already taught Hope a lot of different tricks. For example how to light a candle with her mind.
"Surprise, surprise," Hope said rolling her eyes.
"You know you should be nicer to me, I am your uncle after all," Kol said with a smirk all across his face.
"Look, this is how this is going to work," Hope said leaning onto her elbows over the table. "I'm going out with my friends and you will stay here and do whatever you're keen on doing. Are we clear?"
Kol mirrored her actions. "I am in charge, darling, I call the shots."
Hope frowned. What was she supposed to do? She had to go to this party, otherwise she wouldn't have any idea of what her friends talk about in school. It was an important party, with her appearance being mandatory
"What do I have to do to convince you to let me go to this stupid party?" Hope asked. If there was something she knew about Kol, it was that he could be bought. He always came up with something that he wanted, which only made the 'babysitting' easier for Hope.
"No hard feelings, mate," Kol said stepping forward. "But if I let you go, then my brother Nik will put a dagger through my heart and I just came back to life so I would rather avoid that kind of treatment."
Hope sighed, she would have to come up with some more drastic arrangement. "Nik will listen to me, I will say that I blackmailed you and broke your neck before you noticed anything."
Kol raised his eyebrows, not convinced.
"Hayley thought me how to do it," she explained. "I did practice on Elijah."
"Bekah would laugh herself to death if she knew about it," Kol said. "And I don't like being teased with."
It was hopeless, which sounded rather ironic in her head. And now when Kol knew about the party, it was no way he would let her out of his sight so she could sneak out. Besides, her parents, Rebekah and Elijah could be back any minute, they had said that they would only be out for a short while.
Obviously they had gotten trouble with the new pack of werewolves that were passing by, they were convinced that they should stay in New Orleans for the nearest future. Klaus wasn't too pleased about their decision because of their lack of respect. He was after all the king of New Orleans. His pack of vampires that were walking around in the compound every now and then never spoke to Hope, but she knew they all wondered about who she was because she didn't believe her father had told them.
When it came to the witches, they all were as good as gone. Except for the ones who were allied with Klaus, with that said meaning the one teaching Hope magic and the one keeping her grandparents locked in the basement.
She had overheard Hayley and Elijah speaking about a new area of witches that had been seen in the French Quarters, but they had disappeared before anyone of them had the chance to react. And since nothing had happened for the last couple of days, they assumed the witches only fastly passed by.
Turning back to Kol, Hope whined. "You're supposed to be the fun uncle."
"I am fun, darling," Kol said with a wide smile. "But I choose my life over your party."
"Then why don't you come with me?" she said. "If you come with me, then you don't break the deal with my parents and we both stay alive and happy."
"To a high school party?" Kol snorted. "Are you serious?"
"There will be college girls too, you know."
Kol raised his head, his facial expression exited. "Well, let's go then."
They arrived at the house when most of the guests already were there. It was filled with people, both from her high school, other schools around New Orleans and as Hope had promised, college girls.
Kol parked the car down the street so they walked the last bit. At once as they got to the house, Kol disappeared to make himself heard of a group older girls, while Hope disappeared into the house. Sly had been the one to arrange this party, because it was his house and he was on top of the social events in school.
"Hope!" Summer called out and waved at her from the living room where a game of beerpong were held. "You showed up."
"Of course, I wouldn't miss this for anything," Hope answered before taking a cold beer from the freezer on the table beside her. "Where's the boys?"
"Sly is upstairs trying to get some idiots out of his parent's bed," Summer explained. "Bradin should be here any minute and Trip is over there talking to James."
Hope let her gaze catch Trip's, he immediately smirked at her and excused himself from James, who was the captain of the school basketball team.
"Hey," he greeted. "How did you convince your uncle to let you come?"
"College girls," she laughed and pointed out the window where Kol stood, he had one of his arms around a girl's shoulders and probably tried to get her with him somewhere. "He is a one-of-a-kind guy."
Summer slowly nodded. "And hot."
"Do you seriously think all of my family members are hot?" Hope asked before taking a sip of her beer. She had planned of being sober this night, but since she already had broken that thought she didn't see any reason to stop.
"Not my fault your family is attractive, speaking of, how about that older brother of your father? He is really handsome, is he always wearing suits?"
"Get a life," Hope grimaced.
"Fine, let's get drunk."
About two hours later, Hope could feel how her head were spinning. She had lost count on how many beers she had drunk, but she was almost sure Summer had drunk as many. Trip had also disappeared somewhere, again, he had told her to wait in the kitchen and so she did.
She sat on the counter with a glass of water beside her, she had decided to stop drinking after she had felt like throwing up. Kol had disappeared too, probably somewhere with that blonde girl he had found.
"I know what you are."
Hope's gaze shoot up from her feet and she met Bradin's eyes. He was soaking wet, making a line of water follow his every step.
"You're wet. What did you do?" she asked amused. "Fall into the pool?"
He didn't change his pale look when he stepped toward her, making the space between them only a couple of inches.
"I've been watching you ever since you got here, it should have been obvious that the Mikaelson family wouldn't let their daughter die for real, that they would fake her death to keep her out of danger."
Hope swallowed, making her gaze become blur again. Why hadn't she stayed sober? She couldn't think straight and Bradin's voice was more like a annoying sound of whispers.
"What are you talking about?" she asked.
Bradin laughed, a heartless, dark laugh that made her shiver. "I know what you are, I know who you are and now that I've found you, me and the ancestors can complete the sacrifice."
Hope's heart stopped inside her chest when reality struck her. Bradin was a warlock! No wonder why he had asked her questions about her past, remembering that a baby Mikaelson had died and being so interested in who she was. How could she had been so stupid?
"You're wet," she repeated, feeling more dizzy. She couldn't think straight, she just wanted to close her eyes and fall asleep. Sleep for an eternity.
"You're coming with me," Bradin said before taking a strong grip around her arm, dragging her down from the counter.
"Let go of me," she said, but she was too drunk to be able to rip herself out of his grip. "You don't know what you're talking about."
Bradin stopped, but instead of letting her go, he smashed her up against the wall, making pain run through the back of her head. "You're the tribrid, if you complete your transition to a hybrid then it means the death to the witches."
Hope shook her head, it wasn't true. It was a lie that her grandmother Esther had come up with almost seventeen years ago so they would have a reason to kill her. But there was no way that he would believe her, so why even try?
"You're wet," she said again, making herself look down at his right wrist. He had a scratch there, making blood pour out of his vanes. She could smell it, it had an euphoric smell, she needed it. Her body wanted it and she knew it was now or never.
Suddenly her mind became clear, she finally saw the fear in Bradin's eyes. He was scared of her. What a mistake. The smell of his fresh blood made her feel sober again, everything she could focus on was to make him bleed even more, to drain him of it and not caring for the consequences.
She bit her lip, trying to make herself control her thirst, but it was too much. Bradin wanted to kill her and she knew that he would if he got her out of the house. Where most of the students now were outside to watch two guys fight in the pool on the backyard.
Then she realized, Bradin had caused a distraction so no one would notice him dragging her out of there.
"Let go of me," she repeated, but this time her voice was calm, yet hard and determined. "Or I will rip your heart out with my claws."
Bradin's eyes switched in fear, she didn't care. Instead she pushed him away from her with all her strength. His way of treating her had been enough.
Bradin stumbled back. "I'm a witch, I can make you feel more pain than you've ever felt before."
"I'm not afraid of dying," Hope said, making his eyes widen. "Besides, you already called me a tribrid, which means I'm part witch and I have some tricks of my own."
The next second, she had raised her hand on her sides, mumbled a couple of words and made the water on his clothes burn. She could hear his screaming when the fire reached his eyes, the fear in his ice-cold gaze, but she didn't care. She felt nothing.
It took quite a while before the people outside noticed the fire and before any of them had a chance to throw water or a blanket over the remainings of Bradin, he was already dead and Hope was gone.
She took a deep breath, letting the cold autumn air fill her lungs before letting it out again. She watched the stars upon heaven, what if people who died actually became stars and watched over them?
Hope shook her head, she had just made her first kill. She had killed Bradin and she didn't even feel anything because of it. His death had made her feel more powerful, he had been the one attacking her and still she didn't do anything to try and stop him from burning up. He hadn't even defended himself, because of what? Was he still so incapable of magic that he couldn't defend himself? Or was it just a trick from the older witches to see what she could do? Was he just a victim ready to be sacrificed for their own good?
But it had been the first time she had smelled blood, felt the craving for it. She had wanted it so bad, to taste it against her lips and drink until he didn't have any more to give. Still she had been able to control herself, her sober-self had been able to control her feelings instead of letting the monster inside of her burst out and drink the poor boy's blood.
Yet she now knew that she wouldn't be able to control herself much more, she now knew the scent of blood and how much she wanted it. How much she needed it. The witches wouldn't leave her alone until she was a hybrid, and even then they probably would try to get rid of her. She wouldn't let them, she had proved her point.
People started to walk out of the house, most of them sobbing or with shocked looks in their faces. None of them had been able to believe that one of them would get burned to death. Summer, Sly and Trip would be devastated, they had known Bradin since they had been in kindergarten together. But she didn't feel sympathy for them, Bradin had wanted to sacrifice her, she had done what she had to to stay alive.
"There you are," Trip said as he approached her. He had a unexplainable look on his face, his eyes empty and face spooky white. "D-did you hear? A-about Bradin?"
She nodded, hugging herself. "Did anyone see what happened?" She was afraid someone had seen her being in there with him. But she had only been there for a second, to make sure he wouldn't be able to get saved, before she had escaped the house by the kitchen door.
"No, but people think he fell asleep on the couch and somehow lit himself on fire with a candle," Trip explained. To her surprise he didn't sound too upset about Bradin's sudden death, did he know something? Or maybe she was just so exhausted that she didn't notice his real feelings, he was probably in shock and didn't know how to deal with it.
"Are you okay?" Hope asked with concerned voice, believe it or not, but she had grown to care about the blonde boy in front of her. She didn't know why, but he was different than the others, he was stronger and didn't give up on things he believed in. She was impressed.
"Yeah, surprisingly enough I feel fine," he said honestly. "I didn't know Bradin that well anyway, he almost never talked to me, only when Summer was around."
Summer! Hope felt a sudden impulse of sympathy going through her, Summer and Bradin had pretty much been together. They had had an on and off relationship ever since they were seven, or at least that had been what Sly had told her.
"Let me walk you home," Trip said when most of the cars and students were gone from the house. "Before the cops comes and ask us questions."
Hope nodded, not being sure about what to say. Trip didn't seem to care, because he started to walk toward the French Quarters. Kol was probably at home already, where her parents would be filled with anger because she had snuck out again.
But maybe they wouldn't care to punish her when she would tell them about Bradin and what he had said to her. Because he couldn't possibly be the only witch around, he had talked about his ancestors, who probably was looking for her as well.
She felt a bit scared, she had hoped that all the witches would be gone by now. That she would be safe and didn't have to be afraid to be sacrificed. She had been wrong, just as Klaus had been. But then again, how could anyone get rid of a bunch of angry witches anyway? She had learned a lot from her magic teacher about witches, they could be slightly unpredictable.
"Your phone is ringing," Trip said. Hope shook her thoughts out of her head and grabbed her phone from her jeans pocket.
Ten missed calls and fifteen new messages, her parents were definitely home by now.
"Finally! Where are you?" Hayley said with both relief and anger. "Do you have any idea about how worried we have been? Kol just got home and he didn't know where you are because he lost you! How could you do this again and I swear that if you-"
"Bradin died," Hope cut her mother off. She hadn't heard a single word her mother had just said.
"Wait, what?" Hayley asked, before her voice turned irritated and it sounded like she tried to hit someone. "Shut up, Nik! Sorry, what did you just say, Hope?"
Hope swallowed. "Bradin died, we were at a party and he fell asleep and somehow got himself set on fire."
"Oh my god," Hayley exclaimed. "Are you okay? Where are you? We can come and pick you up."
"I am fine, seriously, I just want to walk for a while. I will be home within an hour."
She didn't bother wait for Hayley to answer before she ended the call and put her phone back into her pocket. She was completely sober again, how could the smell of blood make her head so clear again within seconds? She didn't understand.
"Everything okay?" Trip asked. He kicked a stone from the ground, it sailed across the street and hit the wall of a bar.
"Yeah, they were just wondering where I was," she answered. She could see the entrance to the compound already, but she wasn't ready to face them. They wouldn't know how to react with her when they met her, she didn't know what to say to them.
So instead of walked right home, she stopped and leaned toward the wall beside her. Trip had stopped walking too and leaned across from her against a wooden pillar.
"You're different, aren't you?" he said showing his hands down his pockets. "I mean, different from the human kind."
Hope's eyes widened, was he a witch too? She wouldn't be able to kill him, he was her friend. Her real friend, she wouldn't stand herself if she had to take his life too. She needed him, he was the only person who made her feel human. The one person that made her believe in not only herself, but in others too.
She shook her head, already giving her away that he was right. She wasn't human, not anymore.
"Don't be afraid," he hurried to say and raised his hands as a defense. "I'm not here to either scare you or hurt you."
Hope swallowed. She didn't trust him. "What are you? A witch?" Trip shook his head. "A Werewolf? A vampire?"
There was no way that he could be human, or yes he could but that didn't seem likely since he had been the one to bring the subject up. Of course, he could be a hunter, but then he would probably had killed her already.
Trip smiled, shaking his head. "No, my mom was turned into a vampire last year, so I know everything about the supernatural things in this town."
"Oh," she gasped. It was the only thing she was able to say before clearing up her mind. "I'm sorry, I guess."
"It's okay," Trip said. "She's doing fine."
Hope nodded, not knowing how to pursue a conversation about stuff she didn't know that much about anyway.
"So what are you?" he asked, taking a step forward.
She contemplated not to tell him, but she had already given away that she was supernatural by not reacting in another way when he brought the subject up. "I'm a tribrid, which means I'm a witch and a hybrid. But my hybrid side hasn't been triggered yet."
"Sounds complicated," Trip smiled.
Hope frowned, looking away from his eyes. "You have no idea." She had thought that if people knew about her, they would be scared of her. Why wasn't Trip shaking his legs already, running away from her with fear in his eyes?
"Aren't you afraid of me?" she asked.
"Not really," he said. His head tilted to the side as he took slow steps toward her. Hope pushed herself as close to the wooden wall as she managed. "Otherwise I couldn't do this."
He looked her in the eyes, he could see that he was nervous, just like she was. Sure, she had kissed a lot of boys before but she had never really meant a kiss. She had never had a real boyfriend, only hook-ups and friends that happened to be boys that she now and then could make out with. She didn't really believe in love.
Trip closed the gap between their lips, kissing her with a gentle touch. His hand reached up to cup her cheek and by the touch of his hand she allowed herself to kiss him back. Her mind became dizzy, she didn't know how to keep herself on her feet, so she tied her arms around his neck, dragging him closer toward her.
Trip let his hands down her sides, taking a grip around her hip. It was a kiss she had never experienced before, a kiss with meaning. It was slow, simple but perfect, she felt like she didn't need anything else than this. And it scared her.
It was the clue to bring her back to the present. What was she doing? Why would she kiss her friend? Let alone Trip? Immediately she broke away from the kiss with her eyes wide open. This wasn't love.
"I-I'm sorry, I-" she didn't know what to say, she didn't regret it and yet she felt like she did. She shook herself out of his embrace and walked past him, inhaling the cold air into her lungs. "What was that?"
"A kiss, I believe," Trip said. He didn't sound hurt because of her reaction, but she could read in his eyes that he was.
"Look, I need to go, figure stuff out. I've got so much going on right now and I have to clear my head."
Before he had a chance to answer, she had ran across the street and entered the compound. That couldn't happen again, not ever.