TITLE: Bathsheba
Fandom: Twilight and Vampire Diaries
Pairing(s): Bella(Bathsheba)/Kol, past Bella/Edward, possible Bella/Marcus
Summary: As soon as he saw her, Kol wanted the Volturi servant and soon to be guard member Bathseba Everdeen, formerly Bella Swan.  What they didn’t count on was falling in love.

Warnings: Torture, Pimping, Humans as Snacks, Blood Drinking

The castle was full of talk.  An Original had come to speak with the Volturi kings.  At first Beth hadn’t paid attention.  Why should she?  She doubted she would see him.

She was to be seen but not heard.

When Beth (then Bella Swan) had flown to Italy to rescue Edward, Aro had given Edward Cullen a choice: his death or Beth’s next three hundred years as a member of the Volturi guard.

Edward had chosen death.

Alice had been given the same choice.  Beth had been given into the Volturi hands.

Since she was young by modern standards, she was allowed to age and grow.  Aro was intrigued by her gifts and Marcus had taken a liking to her.  The nearly silent vampire had begun tutoring her.  He’d even renamed her when he discovered the one possession she had brought with her had been Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd.  She was now Bathsheba Volturi.  Everyone except for the kings called her ‘Beth’ for short.

Isabella Swan was dead.

That was just how Beth liked it.

It was with surprise that Beth had been called into one of the small dining rooms when the Original was staying.  She was carrying a pitcher of warm blood, dressed in a flowing black velvet dress that was reminiscent of the 1900s, her hair down, a large V around her neck to symbolize whom she belonged to.

There were two ornate goblets and she carefully poured the blood into them.

“Thank you, Bathsheba,” Aro said, dismissing her before she moved to the Original.

She glanced at him through her eyelashes.  He was certainly handsome.  This nightwalker had a cocky smile, brown hair that flopped into his blue eyes that seemed to suck her in.  When she realized she was staring, she was startled to realize he was staring back.

Looking down, she served him before setting down the pitcher and making to leave.

“You have a human servant,” the Original stated.

“She is not a servant,” Aro countered.  “She is to be a member of our guard.  It is among discussion whether we turn her later this year at the age of twenty-one or if we wait until she is twenty-five.  Even as a human, her innate abilities are quite the gift.”  He took a sip of his blood.  “Bathsheba, you may go.”

“Bathsheba may stay,” the Original countered.  He looked between her and Aro.  “I would take it as a great kindness if she were surrendered to me during my stay.  No harm will come to her.”

Aro’s red eyes flashed.  “There is some—expectation—that she will be made queen within the next fifty years if she proves herself.”

This was certainly news to Beth.  Her eyes whipped to Aro.  The only king who did not have a bride was Marcus, who was more like a father figure to her—a teacher, a friend, a protector—not a lover.

“Should this king not want his wife to be experienced?  I can smell her virgin blood from here.  Also, fifty years is a long time for her to wait, especially if she is to be a wife in name only.”

The Original didn’t even look at her, his eyes focused on Aro.  Beth leaned up against the wall in complete shock. 

“We’ve upset Bathsheba,” the Original mused, finally turning to her.  “Forgive me, love.  We haven’t been introduced.  I am the youngest of the Original brothers, Kol.”

She tried to clear her throat without it being obvious.  “Bathsheba Everdeen,” she said, nodding her head, her hands still pressed behind her back against the wall.  The emphasis was placed on the first syllable of “Bathsheba.” 

“After the character in Far from the Madding Crowd,” Kol noted.

“Yes.  I had a copy on me when I first came to Volterra.  My death was traded for another’s life that day.”

He looked at her searchingly.  “I am certain there is a story behind that, one that I hope you will tell me over the next week.  Lord Aro, what say you?  I have been told I can make women uncommonly happy.”

Aro looked at her with those strange, red eyes.  “You will not miss lessons,” he told her firmly.  “Apart from that, I entrust you to Prince Kol’s care.”

She curtsied in recognition and then accepted several hundred euros he gave her. 

“Go with Gianna and find something suitable to wear for tonight.”

Beth curtseyed again.  “Of course,” she murmured.  “Lord Aro, Prince Kol.”  She slipped out of the room and as soon as the door shut behind her, she breathed in heavily. 

She wasn’t very daring when it came to negligees.  In the end Gianna despaired over her when she chose a black gown that fell to the floor, with off white lace covering the bosom and forming the straps.

“It’s a bit demure.”

“I’m demure,” she argued, “and I look beautiful in it,” she decided.

After collecting a few dresses from her chambers, she was shown to Prince Kol’s room.  Beth had picked up a bottle of champagne with the money she had left.  She’d heard a rumor that nightwalkers ate and drank, and it wasn’t difficult to come across goblets. 

It was clear that when Kol came through his door, he had not been expecting what Beth had prepared for him.  “Trying to calm your nerves?” he quipped.

“Yes, actually,” she replied honestly, as she handed him his goblet.  “Also, despite discovering that I may be queen material today, I haven’t had anyone express interest in me in about four years now.”

“That’s probably because you’re a potential queen,” he smirked, taking a sip of Champagne and drinking in her form appreciatively.

“You are most likely correct.—Also, I am a human among cold ones.  The two generally don’t mix.”

“It’s not like that with nightwalkers,” Kol admitted, sitting on the bed and motioning that she should sit beside him.  “We often take human lovers.”

“At first glance, you appear more similar to humans, so I am not surprised,” she answered carefully.  “Only the kings call me ‘Bathsheba,’ by the way.  I’m otherwise known as Beth.”

He shook his head.  “To me you are Bathsheba.  Wildly independent, intelligent from what I hear, and with more suitors than you know what to do with.  Uncommonly beautiful, as well.”

“I take it you like to flatter.”

He pushed a piece of hair behind her ear.  “Generally,” he agreed.  “But you prefer honesty, it would seem.  I could tell from your breathing how upset you were when you were told indirectly of this king’s interest in you.”

“Well, to Aro it seems I am nothing more than a whore.”

He cupped her face gently with his free hand, and brought his face to hers, kissing her gently until it turned passionate.  “You are no whore,” he whispered, “otherwise you would have been lying naked on my bed when I entered.”

Blue eyes met brown.  Closing her eyes once more, Beth reached forward and kissed him again.  She felt her goblet being taken from her hands and arms wrap around her back, hands twirling into her hair.

She was uncertain what to do at first, but then she gripped his shoulders as she let him pull her closer. 

When they pulled away for air, their heads rested together.  “Is,” she began.  “Is Kol short for anything?”

He smiled to himself.  “No.  It’s Norse.  We were Vikings.”

She nodded.  “I’m nothing quite as exciting,” she admitted.  “I used to claim I was an albino because I was from Arizona but so pale.”

He laughed before pulling her into another passionate kiss.  Beth felt like she was falling and then realized that she was.  Her body connected to the bed and her hand snaked its way to his face and she could feel his jaw working as he kissed her. 

Beth’s skin felt aflame and soon she was pulling at the strange tunic he was wearing, which he quickly pulled over his head.  When skin finally met skin, she curled around him while he kissed her shoulder, his hands skimming the sides of her breasts and down her side. 

She gasped when they joined and when he had made love to her; she lay in his arms, sore yet completely tranquil.

Kol had retrieved and filled their goblets and Beth sat against the pillows, staring ahead and drinking her champagne. 

“You seem—lost.”

Beth turned to him.  “I suppose I am, a little.  Before I came here, I used to beg my boyfriend to sleep with me, but he never would.  It’s strange that it’s been three years since then and I’m no longer the girl I once was and I can’t imagine performing such an act with him now, even though he is dead and gone.”

Kol ran a hand down her cheek.  “It wasn’t an act,” he argued.

She looked at him, her eyes wide and confused.  “I thought I was an amusement.”

“Hardly,” he disagreed, not elaborating before taking her goblet again.  “You, Miss Everdeen, are in much need of loving.  It seems like you haven’t been appreciated enough here—and probably during your life before.”

“Kol,” she gasped, before he kissed her again and she fell against the pillows, her hair falling around her shoulders.

Usually there were no windows in the castle, but Kol had been given a lavish suite in one of the castle’s towers.  Beth awoke to the sun shining in through the window and looking to her left, she saw Kol, asleep, as beautiful as a fallen angel.  She reached out to touch him, surprised that he wasn’t sparkling, but thought better of it. 

Looking at the clock, she quickly slipped from the bed, at first not realizing that Kol’s arm was wrapped around her waist.  Fortunately, he quickly relinquished her in his sleep.

He slept, she realized.  How peculiar.

The thought made her smile.

Beth took a quick shower and braided her hair before putting on one of her dresses and the Volturi crest.  She checked her appearance in the mirror and then, after leaving a note on her pillow, she grabbed her shoes and slipped out the door. 

“I’m sorry I’m late,” she told Marcus, the shoes now on her feet.  “The alarm did not go off.  I did not even have time for breakfast.”

“You should have stopped and acquired sustenance,” he argued.  “Your health is of importance, Bathsheba.”

She gave him a small smile.  “You are too kind, Marcus.  I will grab something once our lesson is complete.”

Marcus looked at her sadly.  “I am sorry that you had to hear of my intentions as you did, Bathsheba.  I am also sorry that Aro gave you to the Original.  In our treaty it states clearly that—“

She held up a hand.  “There will be enough time to learn of our treaties later,” she said crisply.  “What is done is done.  I only wish that you had told me and had played the lover or even the friend instead of the father.  What am I to think, Lord Marcus?”

“Only that I admire you and care.”

“You wish to play Mr. Boldwood, then.”  She sighed, placing herself in the world of Far from the Madding Crowd.  “It would have been interesting to see you in nineteenth century clothing.”  Beth got up.  “Not today, Mr. Boldwood,” she stated.  “I think it would be better if I go find food and read in the garden.”

She didn’t make it to the garden.  She didn’t even make it to the kitchen.  Instead she found her small, little room and threw herself on the bed, crying.  This wasn’t happening to her.  This simply wasn’t happening.  She wished she were still bumbling Isabella Swan.  She would still be depressed by Edward leaving, off to college somewhere, maybe she would be engaged to Jake, she didn’t know.  But this—this—caught between an Original who lusted after her and a Volturi King who wanted to make her his queen in fifty years.  This was unbearable!

Beth must have fallen asleep because she found herself being awakened by the feeling of a familiar hand in her hair and the smell of freshly baked bread and cheese.

“You haven’t eaten, love.  It’s nearly nightfall.”  Kol.

She breathed in his intoxicating scent.

“I’m sorry,” she said out of habit.  “I had an argument—“

“I can only imagine.  It was bound to happen after the revelation of yesterday.  Now, sit up.”  He helped her up until they were side by side.  He broke off a piece of bread and handed it to her.  “I won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

“I gathered as much,” she said, chewing, and reaching for a glass of red wine that was on her bedside table.

When she had eaten her fill, he had carefully undone her hair and had brushed it away from her face.  “Here?” she asked in confusion, looking at the small dark room.

He answered only by going for the buttons on her dress and kissing her heatedly.  Her Volturi crest ended up clattering on the ground and she swore she accidentally ripped his tunic, not that it much mattered considering everything. 

They lay awake afterwards.  He drew patterns on her hip and she listened to the beating of his heart.  His heart.  It was simply unbelievable. 

“Do you have a castle?” she asked.

“Not at the moment,” he told her.  “We’ve had castles at various points of time, but they’re no longer en vogue.  My family currently resides in a mansion in Virginia.”

“I’ve never been to Virginia,” she murmured.

“You seem to like the sun, although you may not get out of this castle often.  Perhaps you’d like it there.”

“Perhaps when I’m a member of the guard, I’ll travel to the American South,” she mused.  “Jane is currently Aro’s favorite, but I have little doubt that I will at least rival her for the title.”

“Is that all you have to look forward to?  Being in the guard and trying to play favorite to a king who likes to play God?”

“Apparently I could be a queen,” she quipped.  “Let us not forget that.”

“No, let us not,” he growled dangerously, as if the thought personally offended him.  He took in a deep breath.  “You wear too much black.  I’m taking you into town tomorrow.”

“Kol, it is forbidden for me to wear any other color.  I am of the House of Volturi.”

He gritted his teeth.

Beth didn’t really notice.  “To be entirely honest, I associate colors with the tourists that come in for the Volturi ‘feasts.’  Even when I leave—if I leave—I assume I will wear black or at least dark colors.”

“Then I will get you an outfit in black,” he decided, “and we will go dancing.  The night is still young.” 

“What?  I—“

But he had already draped her in a sheet and carried her off to his rooms where they redressed and walked from the castle.  He had her attired in black leather pants and a tank top, he was in a similar outfit, and then they were somewhere miles away, underneath strobe lighting, taking shots.  The music pounded in her head, but she couldn’t seem to care as Kol taught her how to dance, his hands on her hips as she ran hers through his hair.  And then they were kissing, kissing, and kissing again.

They didn’t arrive back at Volterra until after ten in the morning.  Beth was still drunk and couldn’t help laughing as they tiptoed in.

Caius, of course, found them.  “She’s drunk,” he stated, looking between Beth and Kol.

“Clubs are open late around here,” Kol replied, unrepentant.  “But I really should get her to bed.  I don’t think she’ll be having lessons today.”  He picked her up.  “The future Original Princess must get her beauty sleep.”

On some level, Beth understood what he was saying, but it didn’t quite process.  When he lay her down on their bed, she felt light kisses trailing down her neck, and her top being pulled over her head. 

“You’re beautiful,” he murmured against her lips, and, suddenly wanting him more than she had ever wanted Edward, she pushed herself into his arms and gave herself fully into the feeling.

She was surprised when she was called into the throne room the morning Kol was set to leave.  They had hardly been apart, but she had already said her quiet goodbyes.  Beth had her hair in a twist, the same black nineteenth-century velvet gown on, the Volturi insignia draped around her neck.  The guard was strangely absent.  She saw Kol standing to the side and the three kings sitting on their thrones.

She curtseyed deeply.

Aro was the one to speak.  “There have been two claims to your hand in marriage, Bathsheba,” he began.  “As a member of the Volturi guard, you would have little choice than to accept Marcus’s offer of marriage when he made it to you in the next fifty years or so.  However, Prince Kol of the Originals has spoken for you.  Our treaty dictates that an unturned human must be offered in tribute to the Originals if so requested.”

Tribute, Beth thought.  Now she was tribute.  The thought pained her as her eyes cut to the vampire who had been her lover for the past week.

“Prince Kol has kindly allowed to let you decide, provided that, if you choose Lord Marcus, you not be forced to serve him as an inferior member of the guard before you marry him.”

Beth looked between the four vampires.  “Am I to make my decision at this very moment?” she asked carefully.

“I would like to take you home with me,” Kol offered, “for about a week to meet my family.  Then you shall return here for a week, go into seclusion for about a month, and then announce your decision.”

“Is this acceptable, Isabella Swan?” Aro said a little cruelly.

“I don’t know who you mean,” she stated quite firmly.

He stood and came down the steps toward her.  “I remember a scared young girl, with brown hair and brown eyes.  No one could read her mind.  Her name was Isabella.  Her boyfriend gave up his life for her freedom, but his sister and coven member—well—she left you here with us, Isabella.  You were to serve three hundred years.”

“Blame your treaty, not me, Lord Aro,” she said icily.  “I know I’m something special for you to collect.  You need not remind me by bringing up the past.”

They looked into each other’s eyes before he clapped his hands and turned toward Kol.  “I trust you’re packed.”

“We’ll be leaving Bathsheba’s clothes here,” he informed him.  “She mainly wears the same black dress.  We’ll purchase her new clothing once we reach Virginia.”  He looked at Beth.  “Black, I know.”  They shared a small smile that couldn’t help but not go unnoticed by the Volturi kings.

“Then we wish you farewell,” Aro said.  “I’ll see you in a week, Bathsheba.”

“My lords,” she said curtseying, before she accepted Kol’s arm and headed out of the throne room.

“This is Virginia,” Beth said as she stood in her new black top and skirt, the Volturi medallion packed safely away in her new suitcase.  She was staring out the window and Kol looked over to her and smiled.

He turned to her from the driver’s seat and grinned.  “I’m going to introduce you to the town and then take you to Charleston.  I hope you don’t mind.  There’s a bit of politics going on right now and I’d rather Mother not find out and ruin everything.  She has a habit of doing that.”

“Mother?” Beth inquired.

“The Original Witch,” he sighed.  “She’s up to something.  It’s why we sought the Volturi’s assistance.”

Beth nodded, not quite understanding.

She was taken to a bar-grill, and looked about anxiously.  “Relax,” Kol told her, motioning to the bar.  “Do you have that I.D. I gave you?”

“How could I forget?” she quipped.  “Bathsheba Everdeen in the flesh.  You even got my birthday right.”

“Well, you did tell me,” he offered, “when you mentioned that horrible eighteenth birthday party before you were taken in by the Volturi.”

“Too true,” she murmured, walking away from him and heading for the bar.  She took a seat next to a man, also completely in black, and smiled at the bartender.  “Your house red,” she asked, sliding her I.D. forward.

He took one look at it and then handed it back.  “I don’t even know how to pronounce that,” he admitted, placing a glass on the bar.

“I’m called ‘Beth’,” she offered.  Beth watched as her drink was poured and she took a sip of it.  It wasn’t half bad.  All it needed was blood.  For whatever reason, the Volturi put blood in their red wine, and Beth had rather gotten used to it.  She rather liked A positive.

The bartender nodded and moved on.

“He couldn’t pronounce Elizabeth?” a sultry tone asked from her left, and she turned to see stunning baby blue eyes that belonged to the man in black.

“I never said my name was Elizabeth,” she countered, taking another sip of wine.  “I just mentioned that my nickname was ‘Beth’.”

“Bethany, then,” he tried.  His eyes dilated and she wondered at it.

She squinted her brows.  “Are you all right?  It’s just—the lights haven’t changed, but your pupils—“

He looked shocked.  “It’s nothing,” he said, before holding out his hand.  “Damon Salvatore.” 

Beth knew that name from what Kol had told her.  They were rather the annoying bane of the Originals’ existence here in Mystic Falls.

She ignored the hand.  “You already know my name,” she told him smoothly, taking another sip of wine.  Beth was distinctly not looking at him and swiveled around her chair to find Kol.  He was talking to a blonde girl in a booth and they seemed to be waiting for someone.

It seemed like she would be meeting all of the siblings at once.  She wasn’t sure if this was a good or a bad thing.

Then again, she was used to meeting several people at once with the Volturi.  Sometimes they brought in entire covens to be wined and dined before passing sentence on them.  She thought it was rather medieval of them.

“Are you new to town?” Damon tried.

“I’m passing through,” she answered honestly.  “I’m being taken away for a romantic getaway.”

“And who’s the lucky guy?” he asked, still flirtatious.

“Someone who could tear your arm off, vampire,” she answered, looking him dead in the eye.  They held each other’s gazes before he quickly looked away, turning back to his amber liquid.

“I wouldn’t be so sure about that.”

A man in a suit entered who looked a great deal like Kol and he sat with the group she had been watching.  Now, only one more brother was needed.  It seemed he was already here.  A man with short, curling blond hair kissed a blonde girl’s cheek and made his way from the pool table to the booth, sliding in next to the girl.

Wait, weren’t there five Originals?

She turned to Damon.  “Did one of the Originals go somewhere?” she asked carefully, and he looked at her in shock.

“Rumor has it Finn is hiding under a rock, pining for his love Sage.”

“Poor Finn,” she murmured, once again taking a sip of her wine.  “I really wish they put blood in this.  It tastes so much better that way,” she said more to herself than to anyone in particular. 

She put down a ten dollar bill and left her wine where it was.  Carefully making her way over to the table in her black heels, she came and stood before it and curtseyed deeply, “My lords, my lady.”

“We haven’t been addressed as such, Lady Beth, for several hundred centuries,” the vampire who looked like Kol uttered.  “Won’t you be seated?”

Kol had saved her a place and she smoothly slid into it.  He looked over at her lovingly and took her hand on the table and laced their fingers together.  Beth tried to will down the fact that among the Volturi, it wasn’t proper.

“I hear my brother wishes to marry you for all of eternity, love,” the blond haired vampire said.  “The question is, are you using him for his power?”

“I could be a Volturi Queen,” she answered, “with everything that comes with it including court manners and a throne.  If I truly wanted power, then I would use the option that I am most familiar with, —”

“Klaus,” he supplied.

“Klaus,” she answered.  “Currently I am a human being used as tribute.  I have no power.”

“You have a great deal of power,” the first vampire said.  “You’ve made our brother forget himself.”

“I was not aware,” she answered truthfully.  “All I know is that he’s been kind.”

“He seduces women for his amusement and then leaves them broken hearted.  I’m curious as to what you’ve done.”

Kol was clearly getting angry.  “She gave me a glass of champagne and did not play the victim or the whore, but instead remained true to herself.  The situation was entirely against her and yet she acted within the constraints of it so that she would neither be taken advantage of nor harm me in the process.”

The blonde girl’s eyebrows rose.  She quickly held out her hand.  “I’m Rebekah,” she introduced.  “Or Bekah.” 

Beth took the hand.

“I hope we become sisters.”

“You hardly know me.”

“You seem loyal and true, and yet independent.  You wear Volturi black and yet you come with my brother to America for a week to see if you could possibly spend forever with him as a nightwalker.  I like that in another woman.  You don’t see such a balance.”

Beth found herself smiling at Rebekah.

“Now, if the interview is over, I’d like to get her away from Mother.  I have much planned for us in Charleston.”

The unnamed vampire spoke.  “She wears a chain around her neck.”  It was true.  It held the locket her grandmother had given her.  “Give her a vial of your blood so that she can save herself if anything unwarranted happens to her under the protection of the Volturi before she makes her decision.  We would not want her to die if she is to become a member of our family.—She might also carry a signet ring there, as well.”

“Thank you, Elijah,” Kol murmured as he helped Beth from her seat and led her toward the door.—“They loved you,” he told her once they were in the car.  “Truly, they did.  They may not have completely shown it because they were a bit wary, but even Elijah was impressed.”

She smiled at him.  “A vial of your blood, is it?”

“You drink it and then, if you die within the next day or so, you resurrect into a transformative state.  If you then drink from a human within twenty-four hours of your death, you become a vampire.”

Beth nodded.

She lay in his arms, looking out at the sea when he slipped the blood on her chain.  The signet ring, black since she only wore that color because of the Volturi, was placed on the chain as well when they were preparing to go out.  Finally, lapus lazuli earring were placed in her ears the night she boarded the plane to return to Volterra.  “They will keep you safe if you transform,” he murmured.  “They will protect from the sun so you will not burn.”

Beth nodded and lightly kissed him before smiling sadly.

He reached up and touched her cheek.  “I know it’s foolish, but I pray he does not kiss you.”

“I try not to think about it,” she answered.  “It would feel like incest.”

Her answer seemed to bring a light to his blue eyes.  “I hope to see you soon, after your seclusion.  Do you know where it is?”

“One of the summer palaces in Northern Europe?” she guessed, half shrugging, once again in her nineteenth century style gown, the medallion in place.  “I honestly don’t know.”

“Come and visit me, even if you are a queen.”

“I think it far more likely if I’m not your princess, that I would be of the guard,” she told him truthfully.  “At least then I would not be tied to a man who saw me more as a daughter.”

She grasped his hand before boarding the flight.  When she looked out the window, it was to see that he was still standing there, watching her silhouette.

Beth was placed in a more lavish room and the guards now bowed to her.  She dined with the kings and queens and was allowed into Marcus’s personal library and study, where he spent most of his time.

At first he did not try to engage her in conversation, but then he would take her out into the winter garden.

His skin sparkled in the sunlight, and it reminded her of Edward.  How long ago that was, it now seemed.  They talked of philosophers and her favorite books and she laughed when he told her of the nineteenth century theory that Jane Bennet would have been a better match for Mr. Darcy than Elizabeth, since she was the ideal woman.

Then came the night when he invited her into his bed.  She didn’t even realize it was happening until she left his study late one night, having had a glass of her favorite merlot with blood mixed in, and tried his suite door only to find it locked.  She couldn’t figure out how to open it.

“Marcus?” she called out and, after several long moments, he stepped out in trousers and shirtsleeves.  “Your door,” she explained.  “It seems to be stuck.”

“It’s not stuck,” he explained, motioning toward two chairs by the fire.

Beth looked at him oddly, before walking over to one of them.  He poured her a drink.

“Isabella,” he began.

“Bathsheba,” she corrected.

He sighed, but then whispered, “Bathsheba.”

“I am not a whore,” she quietly announced.  “I may have been paid in tribute, but this is beneath you, Marcus Volturi.”

“I am not an unattractive man.”  His voice was quiet and sure.

“I never claimed otherwise,” she murmured, looking him directly in the eye.  “However, you are my friend, my father.  You are not my lover or my husband.”

He sighed.

“You can see the bond between us.  Surely you see that it is hopeless.”

“I thought I had fifty years to remedy the situation,” he confessed deeply.

She looked at him, comprehending for the first time.  “I remind you of Didyme.  How?”

“You look so much like her.”

“But I am not her,” she argued.  “I am sure we are so different when it comes to personality.  I would not make you happy.”

“We could be companions.”

“In a waste of nothingness?”  Her eyes fell to her hands, which were clasped together on her lap.  “Let me go, Marcus Volturi.  Please, just let me go.”

“You choose Prince Kol then.”

“I never said that,” she argued.  “I only wish to be released from this—room.”

He sighed and got up to the door and, pressing a panel, it unlocked.  They glanced at each other before she quickly walked out of the door and from the room.

She was awakened roughly in the middle of the night by Jane.  Beth was in only a night shift, though she had fortunately been wearing her chain with her locket, blood, and Original signet ring on it.  She wasn’t given the chance to put on slippers.

A bag was slipped over her head and she was thrown into a car and then it all went black. 

She woke up in an old manor house and it was cold.  Throwing the bag off of her head, she looked around and found she had no idea where she was.  It took her a day to search the house and found that there was no food.  Wind whistled through the cracked windows, freezing her.  All she could see was snow, being blown by a harsh wind, outside of the windows. 

There was an old mattress she could sleep on, but it seemed so disgusting, she wasn’t sure it wasn’t infested, so she slept on the floor. 

There was fortunately running water, although rusty, so she could live off of that for a few days.

By what she assumed was the fourth day, she realized no one was coming for her.  Beth knew if she stepped outside in nothing but her nightdress and bare feet, she’d be dead from exposure in a matter of hours. 

Looking at her necklace, she knew what she had to do. 

She checked her ears in a broken mirror.  She was still wearing the lapus lazuli earrings.  The blood was still around her neck.  A piece of glass was on the floor and, well—

Taking off her nightdress, she ran a bath.  The color was disgusting, but she got in.  The broken glass was a last resort.

She drank the blood and then submerged herself in the water.  She breathed in the rusty liquid and prayed that she would die and not go to the surface for air. Air bubbles escaped through her lips and she sank lower and lower.  Her eyes drifted shut and she knew nothing.

Isabella Swan was truly dead.

With a gasp, Bathsheba rose from the water and realized, strangely, that her heart was beating slowly despite the fact that she had almost drowned—had drowned.  The winter sunlight coming through the window was a bit bright and she shielded her eyes.  It had been night when she had drowned, she remembered. 

There was no way to dry herself off.

She noticed the water was much colder than it had been when she had gotten in.

Beth wondered how long she had actually been dead. 

Putting her nightdress back on, she ran down to the door, so quickly that she almost rammed into it.  She’d seen vampires run this quickly before, but it was a little surreal to be doing it herself.  Taking a deep breath, she stepped into the snow, and took a deep breath.  She could smell the snow and the sun and the dirt deep beneath the drifts.  But there it was—so hesitant—so small—but yes.

She ran toward it and found the tunnel to a mine.

Her first meal. 

She only took two miners and hid their bodies.

Beth would come back later when she needed more.  She wasn’t certain where the nearest settlement was and she was praying that Kol would come and find her. 

She only had to wait a month, per the agreement.  That left about three weeks.

Three weeks.  She could survive that long.  She knew she could.

There was a creak of the door, and she ran down the stairs at unnatural speeds.  She knew how she looked.  Her hair was tangled beyond belief, her eyes were a little sunken in from lack of blood and her nightdress was covered in blood.

Beth looked like something out of a horror film.

Kol looked at her with wide eyes.  “Bathsheba, what have they done to you?”

“I refused Lord Marcus,” she said bitterly.  “They abducted me and left me here with no food about two months ago, I think.  It’s difficult to tell.”

“We were told you needed more time,” Elijah said as Kol rushed to her and pushed her hair out of her face.  “They must have wanted to make certain you were dead.”

“There was a mine a few miles from here.  I took Kol’s blood and drowned myself and—well—I was careful.  I would have run out in about two weeks, I think.”

“You’re malnourished,” Kol said quietly, picking her up in his arms.  “We’ll get you some food.  We have a hotel room about fifty miles from here.”

“I don’t have shoes to run that far,” she explained.

“We have a car,” Elijah told her.  “It’s parked on the outskirts of the estate.”

Beth nodded once to Elijah, allowing herself to be carried out of the horrible manor and placed in the backseat with Kol.  She must have drifted off to sleep, because the next thing she knew, she was in a blanket and being carried up a curving staircase to a suite decorated entirely of gold.

She must have been fed and she must have been washed because she woke up clean and in a set of pajamas Kol had purchased for her but she had never worn, in Kol’s arms.

“Good afternoon, sleeping beauty,” he murmured, leaning down to kiss her.

She shied away.  “I—I just—“

He made to run a hand through her hair, but then aborted the movement.  She rolled over so that she was looking out of the window, clearly just thinking. 

“I think I love you, you know,” she whispered.  “But they took me, and they meant to kill me, and I just—“

“All right,” he told her quietly, his hand now coming up to her hair.  “Our senses are heightened as vampires, and you had to survive by yourself for about three months.”

“Was it that long?” she asked in shock, turning to him.

He nodded sadly.  “They kept on stalling until Elijah, Niklaus, and I stormed the castle, ripped off Lord Caius’s head and demanded to know where you were.”  An evil smirk crossed his lips.  “We might have taken your Marcus’s hands and sewn his lips shut—after he told us.”

“Good,” she whispered.  “They deserved exactly what they got.”

Elijah eventually left them after a few weeks spent in Moscow.  Kol told her what had gone on in Mystic Falls, of Klaus and his hybrids, of Esther and her betrayal, of Finn and his death… and Beth told the story of a girl named Isabella Swan.

They traveled around Russia and then into Scandinavia. 

The day that Beth allowed Kol to slip the Original signet ring onto her finger was the day that they sat in the diner in Forks, Washington.  She was wearing a blonde wig and was watching her father, who seemed to have married Sue Clearwater, eating together with Seth and Leah. 

Beth followed Leah into the lady’s room.  “The Cullens,” she whispered.  “They’re gone, right?”

Leah turned around, completely shocked.

“Yes.  Apparently your Edward committed suicide.”  Her eyes raked over Beth who was still wearing all black, the signet ring gleaming on her finger.

“He was murdered by a vampire king when he wouldn’t hand me over,” she corrected.  “Jake, has he found his imprint?”

Leah’s eyes softened.  “Yes.  He’s very happy.  Should I say ‘hi’?”

Beth shook her head.  “No.  I died six years ago,” she responded.  “I just wanted to check on Charlie.  Call me a sentimental fool, but I think I got married today.”  She put on the wig again and then walked out to see Kol waiting for her.

“Let’s go buy a baseball bat,” he suggested, snaking an arm around her waist.  “We can paint Seattle red.”

“I see your real personality now,” she joked, having watched him do this dozens of times before.  “Just because I’m a married woman, you think you can do whatever you like.”

“Never,” he murmured, kissing her softly.  “Always and forever.”

“Always and forever,” she agreed.


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