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You show the lights that stop me turn to stone

You shine them when I'm alone

And so I tell myself that I'll be strong

And dreaming when they're gone

Ellie Goulding

Rebekah liked to collect pretty things.

With Mikael dead, the doppelgänger in her gilded cage, and his curse finally broken, Klaus was mostly indulgent of her whims.

Sometimes she wanted jewelry, sometimes artwork and then sometimes people. Her little menagerie had always been filled with her lovely little pets, with hidden blades. Fashion Week was a perfect opportunity in all her favorite hunting grounds. London. Milan. Paris. New York. Amusingly, Berlin. All hotbeds of fashion and decadence; vices that killed as often as they satisfied, a deluge of pretty faces and waif like bodies.

Klaus was bored.

Hunting didn't really start to become fun until they were a little further into the week, when indulgences just started to become desperate vices. When the night life became a touch feral, the ruthlessness of the business on full display. It was amusing, to watch the rat race, too see the new 'it' girls clash with the 'has beens', all polite smiles and blunt predators teeth.

Usually he just ate a few, to watch the chaos explode around him. But he'd inadvertently eaten a favorite of Rebekah previously, and she'd retaliated by devouring the minions he'd been so carefully cultivating with their werewolf connections. More of an annoyance than a true blow to his plans, but he had no mood to sift through her bloody wake to do damage control

So he'd sat and studied the colors and styles with a bored, yet critical eye. Until something caught his attention. As Klaus watched the tall, leggy blond walk down the runway, it wasn't the sharpness of her cheekbones or the figure that reminded him of years past that caught him. The fire behind her eyes, that drive that burned and could catch flame.

He ignored Rebekah's commentary about the colors and model choices, her irritation at being bothered by minions. Lips curling, Klaus tilted his head as the girl spun, the sway of her hips enticing. What a pretty little thing she was, but he was most curious - what was a girl with that face doing with those eyes.

He intended to find out.

God, she'd kill for a cigarette.

Stepping onto a balcony for a bit of cooler air, Caroline set down her tumbler of club soda and wished not for the first time that she could afford the calories of a good whiskey. She didn't care if it wasn't a sensible or fashionable choice. She'd learned to drink and smoke in the heart of the land of tobacco, spent the later years of her teens learning the art of cigars in Richmond.

What a different world, that'd been.

In three days, she returned to reality, and it was back to the grind of head shots and casting calls, debates over her ass and tits; balancing on heels as she raced through the subway, dodging the NYC crowd. Screw the gym she went to three times a week rain, snow or hail, just her daily trek was a massive workout.

Her ass was great though.

Glancing back at the party that was in full swing, Caroline took a step to the side and let the rigid set of her shoulders relax, just a little. She was supposed to be mingling with the crowd, up and coming faces, financial backers and the occasional designer scouting for a new muse. Her agent had given her strict instructions, hastily texted her a list of names she needed to know to network with.

And she would.

It was how she'd gotten this gig in the first place. A white hot designer had fallen in love with her eyes, declared them "positively feral, beautiful. You will walk for me." So she had, much to the surprise of the other girls. Her figure wasn't quite thin enough for the usual runway model, and she wasn't quite tall enough. Most of her steady paychecks came from print ads and commercial work. She very determinedly balanced the constant grind with part time classes at NYU, determined to complete her marketing degree before she hit twenty-five.

But this was her first trip to Paris.

And Caroline was just as determined to absorb the skyline, even if her dream of eating her weight in French baguettes had to wait.

"Do you have a light, love?"

Caroline turned with a little frown, disappointed that her one moment alone had been interrupted. Head tilted, she gave the lovely specimen of curls and dimples a once over. Definitely not a male model, not with that suit; it was a touch too expensive, even if his face was unfairly attractive. The jacket fit him to perfection, and the clean lines did wonderful things for the leanness of his body. She gave his stylist full mental props, before shaking her head.

"My agent has very particular opinions about smoking."

His mouth lifted higher on one side, shoulder shrugging. "Ah, the price of beauty."

Amused at his slightly dramatic tone, she arched a brow in return. "The price of rent."

Something behind his gaze turned intent, and her breath caught. She pitied anyone who let this man's dimples and angelic curls fool them; the angle of his head, that hint of arrogance to the set of his mouth told her was dangerous.

Probably loads of fun, but certainly wicked and regardless, she'd a job to do.

"A bit passe, the topic of money."

Something about his tone, it irritated her. Caroline didn't like being corrected, had several sharp reminders on her phone to watch her usually acerbic tongue from her agent. But as those glittering eyes dared her, she mentally shrugged.

"So is rudeness," she returned bluntly, picking up her glass. "Good luck finding that light."

A hint of what might have been genuine amusement turned his gaze vivid, as she brushed passed him. Dimples smelled faintly of an expensive cologne she couldn't place, and she let it linger in her lungs for a moment. Her steps faltered, as he murmured a low sentence just as she slid back into the noise of the party, running through her mental list.

"I'll be seeing you around, sweetheart."

Rebekah was such a peach, in the mornings.

Sitting down across from him, gaze narrowed, one would think she was recovering from a bender, instead of checking her lipstick for blood. Motioning the waiter, Klaus let his lips curl into mocking amusement.

"Did your breakfast not agree with you?"

Tossing blond waves, she huffed. Clearly Rebekah's newest acquisition hadn't gone nearly as well as she'd hoped. Jaw set, she stared at Klaus, as if just recognizing his amused mood.

"Where were you last night?"


And hadn't that been fun. A quick little pre-dinner slaughter, a little networking and Caroline Forbes. As lovely as she'd been on the runway, he'd been pleasantly surprised to find her as enchanting in person; regardless of the shortness of their conversation. Her rebuff had excited him, as had her dismissal of his looks. Those eyes of hers had dissected him neatly, and he was curious at the thoughts that had turned blue eyes faintly wary, behind that quick bite of temper.

What shade, he wondered, did the blue darken to, when aroused? How lovely was the perfection of her face as she shuddered through an orgasm? What would her blood on his tongue taste like?

What sort of predator lived beneath her skin?

Klaus intended to find out, before Caroline left Paris. Oh, he could find her easily enough in the rush of New York, he just didn't intend to wait; he'd already dug up a bit of information - her apartment address, her class schedule, her medical records. All the curious facts of her life: mother murdered at thirteen, raised by a struggling single father who was openly gay. It intrigued him, that she was from originally from Mystic Falls, before her mother's death; how much of the supernatural did she know?

Eyes like hers, they weren't for the weak of heart. They spoke of nightmares defeated and he wanted those details. Maybe he'd keep her, if she ended up being interesting enough. It'd been sometime since he'd been intrigued by a human, and he could be generous when the mood struck him.

And the little smile, the wide eyes as she'd drunk in the Parisian skyline told Klaus that there were cards yet to play, with Ms. Forbes. Until she was hot and wet beneath him, a perfect canvas for his greedy hands and eyes.

Caroline was tipsy and couldn't find it in herself to care. Tonight was her last night in Paris and today had gone so well, she was allowing herself to indulge. The photo shoot had been amazing, the makeup brand had expressed significant interest in using her face in their upcoming marketing campaign, and she'd gotten the invite to this party where there'd been actual food.

They might've been bite sized treats, but she was dying for carbs, so she snuck one each time the waiter roamed by.

Tomorrow she'd crawl out of bed, stagger into street clothes, and spend the four measly hours before her flight exploring. She had a list, tucked in the tourguide she'd picked up weeks ago, and she was going to fit in whatever she could in that short window. But that was tomorrow.

Tonight she was feeling a little reckless, and seriously pumped. The paychecks that had landed in her account meant she could afford rent, her upcoming textbooks and still tuck a little back for her travel budget.

And that pretty male model with the green eyes had been making eyes at her all night. Not that she blamed him. This dress made her boobs look amazing and she was showing a lot of skin. Lowering her lashes, she smiled and made eyes back, biting down on her straw in a clearly flirtatious manner that should've translated over any language barriers.

"You should throw that one back, sweetheart," a rough, accent voice cut into her eye flirting. "He looks like the selfish type, I'm not sure he'd know how to handle you."

His voice should have killed her buzz, the arrogance of his words a major turn off. Instead, that hint of danger, the way he stood close so she could just catch that lingering scent of his cologne left her mouth dry and skin hot. Twisting her head, she arched both brows, as she took him in.

He'd forgone the tie, his collar open at the throat, and if he'd shaved, it'd been that morning. The slightly rumpled, scruffy looked worked for her and she managed to avoid reacting in any obvious way by stubbornness alone.

His pupils went dark and wide anyway.

"Oh, it's you. Come to harass the little peons tonight?"

A wicked curve of his lips that did nothing to hide the danger she'd sensed last night. "I'm only interested in one."

"Don't let me keep you."

A laugh, low and rich, and he gracefully snagged two glasses of champagne, offered her a refill for the empty one she held. Instead of looking insulted as Caroline simply pursed her lips, his smile widened. "Come now, love. I dare you. It's just a drink."

She accepted the new glass, only because she had a weakness for dares. "Is this the part where you regale me with tales of your sexual prowess? Because I'm going to be honest, the guy who was eye fucking me had a much better approach."

"False promises?"

"Lack of hot air."

Another low laugh, and he stepped closer, voice lowering to nearly a murmur. "I admit, sweetheart, if all I wanted from you was a quick exchange of favors, I'm fairly confident that I could convince you that it'd be worth your time."

"Really?" Caroline drawled, letting the caustic edge of her words bite. "Are you?"

A glimmer of something she couldn't read sharpened his gaze, the lights reflecting strangely yellow against the blue of his eyes. Heat pooled in her stomach, as he deliberately traced her mouth with those eyes, before lowering to take in the rest of her.

"Of course."

She sipped her drink, needing to cool the flush she could feel in her chest. "Arrogant."

"I like a challenge," he murmured, dimples on full display. "A dare then?"

Her gaze narrowed, finger tapping the side of her drink. "I think you've met your quota of dares for the evening."

He moved, so that his lips brushed tantalizingly against the ridge of her ear. "Oh, but love, I've only gotten started. What's the harm in indulging a little tonight? Your eyes hint at your secrets, and they tell me you aren't as unaffected as you'd like to pretend."

Oh, it was so utterly tempting to bite down on that lush lower lip, to chase that smooth tongue with her own. But it wasn't in her to give up control, to let someone else have the upper hand. So she matched his pose, pressed her mouth near his ear.

Her voice was huskier than she'd intended, when she answered him. "I'm not sure you're worth it."

Calloused fingertips trailed down her spine, the open back of her dress giving him easy access to skin. She couldn't help her shiver, or the way her thighs clenched at the delicate caress.

"I'd be delighted to prove myself," he murmured, voice full of suggestion. She pulled back and frowned at him, but all he did was continue to smile, exchanging fingertips for the flat of his palm on her lower back. "How would you like to come? On my fingers? Against my tongue? I'd offer my cock, but you've expressed some reluctance there."

She gaped at him, even as her body throbbed. The last few days had been chaotic and stressful, and her celibacy streak before this trip was longer than she'd like to admit. But what this man was offering didn't fit with the sense of who and what he was that she'd gleaned last night. Lowering her lashes, she reached up to fiddle with a button just below the opening of his shirt, felt him go still beneath her hand.

"And what is in that little exchange for you?"

She waited for the standard line, some useless charm about a beautiful woman coming on his tongue. That wasn't what she got. Pupils wide, eyes devouring in a way that stilled her lungs, heart thumping in her throat, he smiled with teeth.

"Oh, I've every intention of having my share of indulgences, love. I'm not so selfless as to deny myself what I want, but I am willing to be patient." Her eyes widened, when his hand lowered, running over the curve of her ass, to settle against the back of her thigh, reeling her closer. "So I'll make you come, all pretty tension and greedy demands, and then you'll let me feed my curiosity by telling me all about yourself. And later, when I take you back to my bed, I'll let your body tell me the rest of your secrets."

Yes or no. That reckless part of her so high on success claimed for yes, as did her libido. Head tilting to the side, Caroline let her lips curve upwards just a fraction.

"Well, that depends on how talented you are with your tongue, doesn't it?"

Which was how she somehow find herself in an office, back flat against a wall with a thigh hitched over his shoulder. Her dress was rucked up over her hips and her fingers were ruining his hair; he didn't seem to mind the bite of her nails or the clench of her fist, based on the low moan he made at each rough pull. The door had a lock, which ended up being a bonus, because no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't quite muffle her cries.

Talented wasn't a strong enough word.

Caroline came with a muffled scream, hard enough that it was only his grip holding her lax body from sinking to the floor. Chest heaving, she finally tipped her chin down to meet a pair of dark, triumphant eyes glittering in the light. His mouth was wet, and as she watched, he licked her lingering arousal from his lips; a satisfied noise vibrating against her thighs.

"So," she managed, voice faintly raspy, "I'm Caroline."

His smile was as wicked as she'd suspected, dimples creasing his cheeks as he lowered her leg and stood, hands helping her straighten as well. She was surprised, when her knees held. His thumb traced along her mouth, and Caroline jolted when she realized he'd given her the best orgasm of her life and they'd never kissed.


Her brows arched, not bothering to hide her curiosity as he looked at her. "That's a different name."

Amusement curled his lips. "Blunt little thing aren't you?"

She straightened her skirt, before shrugging. "I like to think of it as honest."

"Well, Caroline, let's see how honest you'll be for me," Klaus murmured as he unlocked the door, offering her the crook of his right arm. The strange, old world mannerism made her pause, and she sensed a weight to him, that she hadn't expected. Lip catching between her teeth, she finally shrugged and accepted his gesture.

"You may regret that."

A hint of a predatory gleam, before he pulled her into the dimly lit hallway. "I doubt that, sweetheart."

Amusement had her grinning. "Uh huh, well, in that case, I'm hungry and if I don't get real food that isn't liquid, I'm going to be hangry."


She glanced at him, curious. "Do you live under a rock?"

"Not quite," he murmured. "But I believe it's my turn, to ask questions?"

Eyes swinging to his gaze, she sighed before giving him a game smile. "And what's your first question?"

"Tell me about yourself, Caroline." He smiled, as he opened a door to lead her outside. "Tell me everything."

Klaus ignored the near silent vibrations from his phone, the only other sounds in the room were his pencil against the sketchpad and the slow, even breathing of Caroline. Glancing back towards the bed, he studied the pretty little human who was unexpectedly sweet, under the bite of her tongue.

Caroline Forbes had somehow morphed from a intriguing amusement to an unexpected distraction. Her refusal to take his bait, her suspicion when he'd finally sweetened the deal enough for her interest, had been delightful. More of a surprise was how much he'd enjoyed listening to her ramble, hands moving as her eyes brightened from a combination of excitement and the champagne he'd bought on a whim. He'd been unable to resist tasting her lips after watching her teeth catch her bottom lip repeatedly.

She was a glorious kisser.

And that sweetness, that unexpected gift of her acceptance as he took her on his sheets, surprised him. Caroline Forbes had not flinched away from his greed for her, had given as fiercely as she took. He rolled his shoulder, remember the way she'd bitten down in pure frustration when he'd refused to let her orgasm, cock working too slowly to bring relief.

The taste of his blood on her tongue had nearly wrecked his self control.

When she'd finally sunk into sated exhaustion, grumbling out words into the pillow she'd rolled into, her fingers had fumbled across the sheets to curl loosely around the bones of his wrist before she'd gone soft and limp. And Klaus had found himself unable to move.

Hours later, and he had a sketchbook filled with half completed images. The tumble of her sex rumpled curls. The line of her spine and curve of her arse.

The long, delicate lines of her fingers.

He wasn't satisfied. Not with the stories she'd told him of her life, not with what her body had shown him as she came apart under his hands and cock, repeatedly. As Klaus studied the mess of sheets and pale skin visible to his gaze, he shifted around the plans in his head.

Realigned his chessboard, to make room for her.

He glanced over at his phone and sighed, reaching for it as it started to ring for the fourth time. "Yes, Rebekah? In a bit of a tizz?"

"Dear Katerina is in town." Rebekah snapped down the line. "And she has her little menagerie in tow."

Klaus arched a brow and worked to shade in his sketch. "How unfortunate for her. Is she still breathing?"

Rebekah snorted. "Would I be calling, if she was dead? I'd bother Elijah, and let him deal with the trash, but there was an interesting story going around the party I was at. Regarding a white oak stake."

"There are no more stakes."

"Are we going to risk that?"

Closing his sketch book, he set it down and stood, heading for his clothing. "I'll be there shortly. Text me your location."

Caroline would sleep for several more hours, and Klaus had every intention of being there when she woke. A quick text insured that the room would be guarded, while he completed his errand. Pausing to take one more, lingering glance, he headed out to hunt a rat.

It was time to end that particular amusement.

He had other, more interesting pursuits ahead of him.

Caroline woke with a whine, trying to bury herself further into the covers, her body sated and sore in ways she hadn't known were possible. It was too early to live, darkness in the room telling her it wasn't yet dawn. Her phone was buzzing, the endless vibration that was her alarm. Rolling over, she twisted her head and couldn't explain the disappointment at finding the sheets empty.

The best night of sex ever, hands down, and he'd done a walkabout. Not surprising but she wished fervently that it bothered her less. The urge to find the blankets, to catch a few more hours of sleep disappeared. With gritted eyes, Caroline staggered to her feet and searched for her purse. Flicking off her phone, she paused, at the sight of a sketchbook.

Deciding that she didn't care about Klaus' privacy, since he had the bad manners to bolt she headed to the table. She'd have considered running when she woke, but she'd a legitimate excuse. Flights waited for no one.

Huffing, she flicked the cover open, and froze.

That was her profile, her hair. The line of her spine. Her fingers and palms. Carefully, she touched the charcoal sketches and didn't know what to think. He'd sketched her.

Someone didn't take that kind of time, detail, just to run. Unless she'd slept with a serial killer. But she'd have expected to wake in a far less comfortable place, if that's been the case.

Bewildered, she looked around.

Where was he?

She blinked, at the sound of the door beeping as the locks were disengaged. Caroline scanned the ground for some kind of clothing and moved to grab the white, button up shirt she'd tugged off Klaus.

Pulled it on hastily and tried to find the buttons.

"Oh, what do we have here? Take out?"

Caroline's gaze snapped up to the sight of a lovely brunette, quickly followed by two men. All of them were attractive, but something about their eyes left her uneasy. The way they looked at her, as if she was so easily dismissed.

"Who are you?"

Did Klaus know these people? The brunette scanned her, clearly dismissive, until her eyes landed on the sketch pad. Sauntering over, she made a little noise.

"Oh, how cute. He still sketches his meals. Tell me, has he given you blood yet?"

Eyebrows bunching together, Caroline took a half step back. The blade behind her eyes, it set off every alarm she had. "Blood, what? Who are you?"

"Oh, I'm an old friend of Klaus'. He killed me. I came back kicking and he's been trying to finish the job for the past five hundred years or so." She shrugged, pushed glossy curls over her shoulder. "It smells like you're his next little conquest. Tell me, did he show his monster's teeth?"

Caroline nearly bit through her tongue, to keep from scrambling back as those brown eyes went black, veins crawling into her eyes. Smiling, fangs sharp, and the monster laughed.

"Klaus didn't mention his more, monstrous side, before he bedded you?" She motioned with her hand and smiled. "Pity. But that works out for me. I do enjoy ruining Klaus' plans. Damon be a dear and kill her, would you?"

Caroline screamed and staggered backwards, but it did no good. Monstrous eyes and hands in her hair, and then the world went black.

Klaus' mood had deteriorated as it became clear that Katerina had given his sister the slip long before he'd joined her. A quick visit to a witch had produced no results, resulting in a late night snack that did little to ease his irritation. The only reason he wasn't out causing far more mayhem was the approaching dawn and Caroline asleep in his bed.

But as he stepped off the elevator, his plans for waking his little human with his tongue died a rapid death as he smelled blood. Scanning the hallway that led to his suite, he moved on near silent feet to his room. Both guards, vampires some five centuries old, were dead in the entryway. He stared at the way they'd been positioned, their tongues and eyes laid out on the coffee table near their bodies. It looked like the Ripper had made an appearance, and his nails dug into his palms as he turned to the bedroom.

She was crumpled in an inelegant pile by the window, wearing the remains of his dress shirt. Hair tumbling around her face, she'd been left like trash. His temper turned incandescent in his chest. Klaus hissed out a long breath before walking to her side to kneel.

Broken neck.

There were none of the taunts here. Katerina had no concern for women, and Damon Salvatore was known for his very particular appetites, but for whatever reason, it appeared her death had been quick. Klaus stared down at her motionless body, the clouded eyes that were still open. Had she woken to the entrance Katerina made or had she already been awake, finding him gone? There were no signs of a struggle, but human Caroline would have stood no chance.

Carefully, he scooped her stiffening body and returned her to the bed. Smoothing her hair, he closed her eyes and headed to close the heavy curtains. The sun would be a problem, for a few hours after she woke. Dialing a number on his phone, he scanned the room for whatever Katerina thought she'd find.

He stared at the torn pages of his sketchbook with narrowed eyes.

"Niklaus, this is a surprise."

"You have twenty-four hours to deal with Katerina," Klaus told Elijah bluntly. It was unfortunate, that'd he'd be unable to kill her himself, but Caroline would require his attention. Once she'd transitioned and accepted her new station in life, if Katerina was still alive, he'd make her fervently wish she wasn't.

It was lucky for everyone involved that Caroline had drawn blood with her frustrated bite.

"What happened?"

"Twenty-four hours, Elijah." Klaus repeated. "Then Kol will join the hunt. But the Salvatores are mine."

Disconnecting the call, he turned on his heel. Snarling, he reached for the couch and let his temper free, and systematically destroyed it. Then he moved to the recliner, the coffee table and the desk. The bloodless destruction did nothing to satisfy his fury. For moment, he considered what it meant, that he'd given up Katerina so Caroline would not wake alone. Debated finishing her, instead of helping her transition. Dismissed the thought, almost as quickly as it appeared. Caroline was his and he'd not allow anyone - himself or otherwise - interfere with keeping her. She'd need a human to make the transition with and he was in the mood for a little terror. Closing his eyes, he listened for the sounds of people moving and smiled.

Laughter. Good natured complaints. Soft murmurs.


Caroline was so thirsty.

Eyes snapping open, she stared at the girl sitting so complacent next to her. There was a slow drum beat in her ears, and Caroline had never smelled anything so amazing as the smear of red across her throat. Smiling, eyes blank, the girl angled her head in invitation and Caroline didn't remember moving.

Just a sudden explosion of flavor against her tongue and the terrible thirst eased with each gulping mouthful. The drumbeat started to slow, and Caroline became aware of what exactly she was doing. Blood. She was drinking blood.

With a wrench, she dropped the girl and scrambled backwards, panic turning her breathing harsh. Instead of finding the headboard, she slammed into something far warmer. Before she could even react, a bloody wrist was pressed forcefully against her gasping lips and Klaus' voice was in her ear.

"Shhh, Caroline. Have a little more, it'll help."

She wanted to argue, to push back as her mind scrambled in terror, but his blood was in her mouth and so much better than even that girl's. Her hands clenched against his arm, and she drank heavily, until the tightness in her lungs eased and something in her veins felt sated.

"There you go," Klaus murmured as he gently tugged his arm free, shifting to turn her face so he could look at her. Caroline stared at him, utterly bewildered beneath a rush she couldn't have explained. His thumb brushed beneath her eyes and his smile was nearly feral.

"What a lovely monster you make, sweetheart."

Just like that, her contentment disappeared and her head snapped around to the stare at the body. "Oh God, I killed her, I…"

"She's not dead." His chin brushed against the fall of her hair. "At least, not yet."

She froze, at the murmur against her ear. "What?"

His hand slid up the shirt she was still wearing, to rest against her abdomen. "You didn't kill her, love. A surprise, as most newly transitioned don't have the control to pull back. I'm impressed."

Her skin shivered, at the caress of his thumb, the cadence of his words. Whatever was in her veins now stretched, and the rush of arousal was so completely unexpected that she went stiff. "Let me go."

She had no idea what to think, when he did as she asked. Caroline scrambled off the bed, looking around the room as memories came rushing back. The woman. The male vampires. Her neck being snapped. She hugged herself, eyes darting back to Klaus as she tried to fight down her terror.

"What happened?"

Head tilting, his gaze bled yellow and she had no idea how to handle how she went immediately damp, at the veins that crawled into his gaze. "You were murdered."

"How did… I ate… I…" her voice rose in pitch and Klaus stood.


She stared at him. "What am I?"

"A vampire." Klaus watched her with calculating eyes. "You died with my blood in your system, Caroline. You completed your transition with your little meal a few minutes ago."

Her mouth opened and closed, and when she finally found her voice she spluttered. "What do you mean, I transitioned? She was bleeding when I woke up! You…"

His smile shifted into something so predatory, six hours ago she would have run. Instead, she caught her lip between her teeth and stared at his mouth with hungry eyes. "Did you think I'd let you go so easily? My pretty little Caroline, with her fierce eyes and love of life?"

She pointed at him, temper roaring to life. "I'm not a thing, to be owned. You don't get to make that choice!"

Klaus laughed and was suddenly so close, her palms were pressed against bare skin. The tattoo she'd been so fascinated by the night before close enough to taste. "You'll find I can do whatever I want."

Her gaze shot to his, eyes narrowing. "Arrogant."

His smile softened, a wild sort of affection in his gaze. "You're going to love being a vampire, Caroline."

She shook her head, lips parting, but he shushed her.

"You are strong enough, sweetheart, to survive the centuries," his eyes took on a gleam, head dipping so that his lips nearly brushed hers. "You can now eat whatever you want. Explore any vice. As you are now is how you'll be for our eternity."

She stared at him, as his words sank in. "Are you seriously using my love of food against me right now?"

"Is it working?"

Caroline hesitated and licked her lips. "If I can eat, why do I need blood?"

"Food is a indulgence, not a necessity. Vampires require blood for survival." He nudged her cheek with his nose and made an appreciative sound as he dragged in a breath. "Disease and time cannot touch you."

"I don't want to kill people."

Klaus shrugged, hands sliding along her bare arms. "Killing is not always necessary, but death is part of you now, sweetheart. There is no hiding from that."

She stared at him, arousal clawing at her gut as he watched her back. Caroline had never been on the receiving end of something this possessive, and whatever was in her veins loved it. But it was that faint edge of softness, the part of him that admitted she didn't have to kill that tempted the rest of her.

"Okay, so let's say I agree to this," she said raggedly, as his fingers traced the curve of her hips. "How does this work? Those veins have to be super creepy, and I haven't been this horny since I was a teenager, which wasn't all that long ago, so it's seriously ridiculous…"

Kissing Klaus like this was so much more than anything she remembered. It was even better, when he scrapped her lower lip with his teeth, cutting his tongue on the fangs she couldn't control, so that all she could taste was the ambrosia of his blood. Head spinning, she clutched at his shoulders and hair, whimpering as he lifted his head. The world suddenly whooshed by and then the cool marble of the bathroom counter was under her palms.

Caroline froze, at the sight she made. Hair a wild mess, the thin white dress shirt mostly unbuttoned did nothing to hide the taunt points of her nipples. Her makeup was a disaster, but the eyeliner only highlighted the darkness of her gaze, the veins crawling into her eyes. Klaus smiled, as he pressed against her spine, hand skimming up her abdomen to cup one pert breast, and her lips parted with a gasp at the sight and sensation.

"Don't be afraid of your monster, sweetheart. She's lovely, as are you." He kissed the bare skin of her shoulder, eyes bleeding to a strange gold, veins as dark as hers. Arousal turned her cheeks and chest pink, at the sight of him touching her. "I want you to watch, to see exactly what I do as you come for me."

Klaus' hands were partially hidden by the shirt, but it did nothing to blunt the impact of watching. Long fingers teased her breasts, cupped and shaped the flesh until her spine arched, lashes fluttering as Caroline tried to focus. His gaze flickered between her face and her chest, lingering as as he tugged on her nipples. It was unfair, how after a single night he knew how to easily easily play her body; a rough pinch had her fingers leaving imprint on the counter as she gripped hard.


"Look at yourself, Caroline," Klaus rasped as he tugged her away from the counter; until she could see the ends of his shirt. Klaus encouraged her to lean against him as he ran a hand possessively across her torso. He tugged one hand free, to carefully unbutton the rest of her shirt, so that the fabric framed the lines of her. Wild curls, black eyes, flushed skin and slick thighs and she moaned as his knee parted her legs that much wider.

"Tell me what you want," Klaus ordered, voice rough as she rocked into the line of his cock. "Tell me what you need."

"I want to come," she replied immediately, memories from the previous roughening her voice. As much as Klaus had indulged her by murmuring filth and praise in her ears, he'd wanted her to verbalize her needs just a often. Had left her riding a near painful edge, until she gave him exactly what he wanted to hear.

"I know," Klaus agreed, fingers skimming down to delve playfully through her folds. Her back arched, breasts pushing forward as one hand flew to his hair, the other gripping the side of his thigh. "Do you see this pretty flush, can you hear your heartbeat? Open your eyes, Caroline, and I'll let you come just like this, all over my fingers. Then you'll come again, with my blood on your tongue while I fuck you."

A tweak of her nipple, just as his fingertips grazed her clit stole any chance she'd had of responding. A whine escaped her, as he pressed two fingers inside her, his palm rubbing firmly against her clit. Heavy lidded, Caroline struggled to keep her eyes open, as Klaus angled his hand to hit that perfect spot inside her. Hand tightening in his hair, she rocked against fingers, whimpering at the sight they made gliding in and out of her pussy.

"So pretty."

Her gaze flickered up, catching sight of the dazed expression behind her eyes, lips parted for her pleas, just as Klaus bit into her shoulder. The unexpected jolt of pain, the sight and smell of her blood, sent her tumbling over the edge as her back bowed sharply.

Klaus didn't give her time to recover, ripping the shirt free and pushing her against the counter. She braced herself on the counter with her elbows, looking at him through the mirror just as he sucked his wet fingers into his mouth, making a pleased noise. He pulled her hips back, spread her thighs and sheathed.

Caroline clenched down, the tips of her breasts swaying above the cool counter. Klaus pressed his wrist to his mouth and it came away bloody. Her gaze locked onto it, lips parting hungrily.

"Oh, how I'm going to enjoy you," Klaus murmured, as he let her grip his wrist greedily, sucking strongly at the wound. His hips moved roughly, and the angle and blood had her chasing another orgasm. "The suffering, that I'll inflict on those who nearly took you from me will last centuries. You will be here, with me, for years beyond their meaningless existence, coming just like this. With my blood in your mouth and my cock deep inside you."

Her body locked up, her orgasm leaving her with no air to cry out as the rough adoration and dark promises sent her over he edge. A few moment later, and he followed her with a curse, face pressed against her hair. Knees wobbly, she had no complaint as he pulled out and sank to the ground, arranging her comfortably across his lap. Tilting her head to look at him, she swiped her tongue across her lips.

"You can't mean that."

He arched both brows. "I rarely say things I don't mean."

"But…" Caroline stared at him, shaking her head. "You haven't known me for forty-eight hours! You can't imagine centuries! I mean, the sex has been great, but seriously?"

Klaus eyed her, gaze calculating. "Why not?"

She spluttered. "Because!"

He touched her chin, head tilting. "I don't hear you asking to leave, Caroline."

She swallowed, catching her lower lip tightly with her teeth before replying. "I don't know where to even begin with this whole vampire issue and what if I try to eat the other models and…"

His kiss was light and surprisingly chaste.

"Greece or Rome?"

Caroline blinked. "What?"

"Would you like to see Greece or Rome first? You're going to need a daylight ring; Kol has a few witch contacts that he won't mind losing. Both cities have a lovely number of tourists you can learn to hunt on."

"I…" She stammered. "I don't understand?"

He cupped her face. "Did you want to return to the States? There is a whole world out there. So where shall we go first?"

Caroline knew her face was bewildered, but she couldn't reign in her emotions. Everything she'd felt since waking up seemed amplified, but Klaus didn't seem to mind. A smile curling the edges of his lips, his blue eyes so intent, and she found one hand curling around his wrist. "Why?"

"Well, sweetheart," Klaus told her, a wicked dare glittering behind his eyes. "If you won't believe me, then I must start somewhere, must I not?"

It was a risk. The sense of danger that had left her wary was more than teeth and eyes, this monster's face. But his hands were careful, as he touched her, and there was more than just possession in his gaze. And their was a monster in her blood now, too.


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