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Posted: Mar 10, 2015 | 10:36 am
His city was positively humming…
Niklaus Mikaelson had never been a being with latent magical abilities. In “life” he had not been the “son of Mikael” with the spark of sorcery in his blood. Maybe that had something to do with not being a true Mikaelson, but he felt it had more to do with the true, natural calling of his father’s blood. After all, it was mother dearest who was the witch, a point she made clear the day she locked away that wolf, the only birthright had as the product of her loins. And maybe, because it was clearly not the blood of his mother, the city called to his paternal blood this evening. Already, even from the semi-seclusion of their current home, Klaus could smell how hot the city was, could sense how it vibrated like the birth of a thousand cicadas, could see the flickering lights and the high smokes that spurned memories of torches long ago.
The nights leading up to this year’s Fat Tuesday had been like watching a bud grow on a magnolia tree. The people who released their passions into the soil that was the streets and the music and the reverie of his city nurtured that tree that would only bloom in full come this night of Mardi Gras. Now it was all sights and sounds, and everyone in the world tonight wanted to be in New Orleans. The festivities had been going on all day, but now as the night fell, it was truly the place to be.
Klaus’ personal festivities had started earlier that day, too. The household had received an invitation to Marcellus’ little get-together at their hotel address about a week prior. Some people might consider it gauche to invite people to such a large party on such short notice, but any New Orleans native could tell you to start preparing for this night several months in advance. Who would RSVP to what party and when and if they would need to cancel because another invitation came in… well, it was all a big social game that Klaus usually had no patience before but had found he actually needed to pay attention to. It was only proper that he should, as a true ruler, and with Elijah only recently returning, Niklaus had to focus on the more societal persuasions usually reserved for the older Mikaelson sibling.
Be it blood or siblings, though, they were not the things that occupied the very front of his mind. When at rest, Klaus appeared to the world as the lazy lion, but the past week had his mind in a frenzy, and it all started with a dress. Lazy winter strolls were, in truth, frantic searches through the high end clothing stores for women. Polite conversations with shop girls and store owners were in fact focused compulsions, driving answers out of people without all the irregularities of salesmanship and smoked mirrors. Klaus had seen more dresses that week than there existed on all the drag queens on Canal Street; at least a dozen dresses a day, and each of them filed him with emotions ranging from disinterest to rage. He even made a girl bleed over one of them to see if that did anything to improve the color, but the dumb expression she had on her face when she was compulsed had him not caring for the dress at all at the end of the day. Nothing filled him with a sense of perfection until Sunday (the Lord’s Day, indeed) when he caught sight of a black dress with fine gold embroidery hanging on a dress form in the workshop of a place secluded from the general public.
The dress had belonged to someone else at first. Then it belonged to Klaus. Now, it would belong to Hayley. The particulars were not really important. Hayley would probably appreciate the dress more, anyway, and it was not often that Klaus would have labeled something as the “perfect” anything. It was rare, and the dress maker and former owner should feel privileged to be a part of it. In fact, they did, once he was finished with them, and they were instructed when to have the dress ready by, on pain of crippling personal disappointment that would haunt them for years and never let their souls escape. It was no surprise to him that the dress was where it needed to be at precisely the right time. Everyone was happy…
…except the one person who was hoping to make happy. It was not to say that she was miserable. It was that she was not happy yet. He had been working very hard to try and make sure that she would be by all this. He had brought the invitation home several days after it had appeared at the hotel front desk, and set it on the dining room table, almost exclusively regularly used by Hayley herself. Yes, Bekah would complain about the lack of time to prepare. She would pull it through, and this was for Hayley, for the theatrics of it all. Hayley deserved the effort… He had no doubt that she saw it, but just to be sure he remained in silent and subtle vigil of her whenever he was in the house. Certain she had seen it, he waited a day. Any longer than that would be cruel, but he also wished for it all to be a surprise. 4 days… that was all he had to wait before he revealed…
The day after the invitation arrived in the house, and he was certain Hayley had seen it, he made sure to bring the subject up to her, just to be sure it was what she would want. He saw the elusive longing in her eyes at the mention of the event, and he instantly knew that he had made the right choice. Anticipation would make this all the sweeter, but the longer he waited, and the longer he played the game, the more he found that the sword had two edges. As he watched the emotions shifting in her, the more he wanted to give the game away just to see her resigned disappointment shift to someone happier. But he remembered the rules of patience and the payouts of anticipation. For one day, he watched her consider the invitation, and let her believe that it was not for her.
He did not make it past the second day before he couldn’t contain it anymore. Niklaus Mikaelson might be a hardened murderer of a monster, but there was a romantic side that he was hesitant about letting out to many people directly. The moment that he decided that this little wolf was “His” was the moment that things twisted on their edged roots. It was mid-afternoon when he approached her, catching her as she was walking from one room to the next in the upstairs all. He didn’t say a word, but walked directly up to her, and wrapped her in his arms. He felt his hands along her shoulders, her back, her hips, her thighs… taking it all in and judging the proper size he would seek for her dress later. His nose rested on the top of her head, his lips at her temple, and he breathed in her scent deeply, still catching the particular perfume she had been using lately to cover up her own aroma. “Coffee…” he stated, almost matter-of-factly. “I don’t think you will need to wear that to the party this Tuesday. The curse is gone, and frankly, if Marcel has a problem with you being there as my guest” as mine “then he will have to bring it to me himself. We’ll just how well that goes.” With a smile that suggested that he knew what he had just said, he kissed her where his lips were speaking against her temple, and walked down the hallways, continuing to the study to let her consider his words.
He did not hear objections from her the next day, which was fine because by then the search for the dress was well underway. It was crucial that he didn’t give her much time to look for a dress herself, so by sundown the next day, the dress was already hanging from a Victorian dress form in her bedroom. He positioned it just right, so that the light from the setting sun could accent against the gold embroidery, while still the fading light still caught the black of the dress to emphasize just of deep that darkness was. It was his hope that he would find it as perfect as he had, and he lingered outside the door with all his hybrid stealth to ensure she found it to her liking. No ever saw these moments.. the behind the scenes. The nervous gift giving of the not-so-Prince-Charming. Just how nervous he could be, even the being such as him, when it came time to give a gift to the woman he was falling in…
She seemed delighted! And he had entered the room to explore the details of the night with her. The time they would leave. Their arrival at the estate. A reiteration of her not to hide herself, that he wanted to show her off on his arm, come what may with the rest of the night. The rest of the evening could descend into wild chaos, but when they entered that courtyard, he wanted the world to be aware that it was theirs.
And now was the night. Klaus himself was dressed for all black, with his metal accents all glinting in a hint of gold. It was there to accent Hayley’s dress, to match it but allow her to shine at the same time. He had mixed ideas about where to greet her, but decided that the best place to see her descend would be in the foyer, as she came down the steps from the bedrooms. And it was here that he waited after seeing Rebekah off with her date… that Damon Salvatore boy… He would not allow his musings over their closeness ruin his mood at this point in the evening, though he did listen carefully for the sound of their car racing off, leaving him and Hayley as the only occupants of the house…
And the world held its breath…
Posted: Jul 6, 2015 | 1:19 pm
Posted: Oct 29, 2015 | 11:19 am
The front door was closing and latching just moments before Hayley made her descent down the stairs. Klaus had just seen Rebekah off with her… date. He wouldn’t last. He was a Salvatore. They had a reputation for being flighty when it came to their affections for women. There was no love story that lasted for centuries when it came to love with a Salvatore brother. They were like fireworks: fiery, fun, colorful, explosive, and short-lived. But Bekah had her dalliances before with the older of the brothers, so he had no doubt that when he left town, he would not be taking her heart with him. Besides, his baby sister could do with some distraction away from the head games of Marcellus…
If Klaus had any other thoughts to dwell on the romantic state of his sister, he did not think them then. He could hear the soft rustling of fabric coming from above him, and knew that it, along with the faint scent of soap, sandalwood, and her, the lady of his evening was due to arrive. At first he considered playing the game of coy escort, disinterested unless she made all the moves to get closer, the aloof gentleman on the frantic woman’s arm. He had played it before with so many women, and found that it was the kind of reversal cat-and-mouse games that he enjoyed, but… no… Hayley was not those other women. For one, she was his and he had every intention of making that known to his city tonight. Tonight was the first of many nights, where he showed the witches that he was not afraid to claim her, showed the wolves that he was no afraid to mate her, and showed the vampires that he was not afraid to crown her. This town would know its Queen…
Just as he felt he was meeting her for the first time… He could not remember a time when he had stood more still. This wasn’t supernatural stillness. That, more often than not, was voluntary and predatory. This was a stillness that was lanced from the woman on the stairs and struck him in the chest, molding him to that spot on the ground. There was something in the way she moved without effort in the dress that she wore, the way the lights of the foyer danced on her skin, the way her eyes shimmered at him… for him? Did he dare believe that? For a moment, he thought of looking away, that he was getting his hopes up about tonight and that he had overshot, that now that they would be leaving the house, all the world would be able to see her beauty and take her away, and she would no longer want to be with the beast in his prison.
He knew he had tonight. Tonight was his last guarantee, his last promise to himself that maybe she could accept him. Not try to change him. Not “forgive” him for the shadows in his past. Neither of those were possible. But he could give himself one more night of hope, that even if he was not capable of penance, at least he was capable of…
When the hell did that happen?!?
Before he had the time to think it over too much, she was there, completing her descent down the staircase and standing before him, her large brown eyes peering into his own hazel. His jaw tensed for a moment as he tried to swallow, and he felt a softness in his gaze that he thought he was long past. Did she think that this was not real? Did she find it as hard to believe that this could be more than just a passing night? He could hear her heartbeat, see the flutter of her pulse against her neck, watch the dancing of her pupils as she looked over him, and smelled that there was no fear in the air. That made him… happy… for once. Usually, he was enthralled by the fear that he could induce on the people around him, but Klaus honestly felt that, at that moment, he smelled any hint of dread his heart would break and never recover. It felt nice to have someone look at him and see something other than “monster”
He had a fur wrap draped over one arm, a gift for their evening on the town. This was not something that he had gone out into the city to find, but was something that he had found in the attic of the home while he was rummaging about to find things to add to the nursery. Nursery… To even think the word was so normal. “Well,” he replied, not wishing to leave the woman in nerves of silence. “I may very well need to get you in this dress again after tonight. There’s no time to paint you now… and a photo would not do you justice.” It was true. A photography would not be able to capture the fall of shadows across her body, the draping of the gown against her form, the hint of ever present movement even as she stood still. He stepped forward, offering her a hand to help her glide down the remaining steps to the main landing in the foyer.
He presented her with the fur. “And it is a shame to have to cover you…” He opened it and folded it around her shoulders, wrapping her protectively against the October chill. To many the mid-60s was not cold temperature wise, but he could see how their child growing within her could sap the warmth right out of her bones, and just as soon pump the heat through her blood. This particular wrap seemed like it would be appropriate no matter what. “…but I cannot have my mate cold tonight. Or, any night…” It was a promise. A promise that, if she should want them, there would be many more nights to come.
The car was waiting for them, along with a driver that knew a thing or two about keeping his mouth shut. He was a man that he had used before, if rarely. Klaus was usually a man who liked to drive himself places or just get there on his own two feet. Sometimes, the last one was quicker, but the last thing he was going to do was ask a pregnant woman to walk the blocks from the mansion in the Garden District to what would soon be her new home in the French Quarter. “I got us a car,” he said as he opened the door for her, and ushered the two of them to the town car waiting in the front driveway. “I thought it might be best to save your feet for dancing.” Maybe he was being too forward, but the wolf in him had insisted on taking care of any detail that Hayley may need. As they approached the car, the silent driver, waiting at his post, opened the door for her. Klaus lighted her hand on his, and helped her into the car before going around and letting himself in on the other side.
For a moment, he allowed the silence of the car to flow over him as they rode down the street. Slowly, he turned his head to watch Hayley. The streetlights played like fire diamonds over his face, flickering warm and making her skin glow, before they passed and faded, casting her into deep shadow. All the same, even when the interior of the car was like polished obsidian, he could sense her eyes and her skin and felt a sense that he had come home even as the distance between them and the manor grew. After a moment of the silence, he turned to her completely, his voice soft in the seclusion of their own private coached that whisked them to the ball. “I have not actually said it tonight, have I?’ he said, allowing a dark, trickster smile play on his face, his own shadow cast in the same dark contrast that he was sure was not nearly as flattering on him. He waited for her inquiry, either by face or word, before he finished his thought. “You look positively ravishing... good enough to eat.” His grin widened a bit, outwardly mischievous now, playful, and, against all the odds, happy.