Chapter 7 – Caroline

Caroline wakes up on an unfamiliar couch and tries not to panic. The last thing she remembered was walking up towards her house and hearing something behind her, then nothing. Someone had snapped her neck and there was only one person in town who would do that and live in a house this gaudy. 

“Klaus!” He wasn’t likely to stray very far from her while she was in his home and could riffle through his things.

“You yelled sweetheart?” He sauntered into the room from the door behind her rather than the one she was facing, he probably did it on purpose just to freak her out.

“Don’t you sweetheart me, why did you break my neck? Why am I in your house? Who told you those drapes were a good idea with this decor?” Watching him calmly stroll over to pour himself a drink while she interrogated him was disconcerting. Where was the rage, where was the emotion?

“Well to answer your questions in the order you asked them. I incapacitated you for a night so I could deal with your treacherous friends and my apparently equally treacherous siblings. You’re in my house so I could keep an eye on you and make sure you didn’t wake prematurely. And I’ll have you know I didn’t pick those god awful drapes, Bekah did. She whined about her time in a box until I gave in and let her redecorate to her evil little hearts content. I wouldn’t think too poorly of her though, I dare say it was less a decision of taste and more an attempt to get back at me for daggering her by making me look at them every day.” She wasn’t sure how to even unpack that info dump of a conversation stopper. 

“What do you mean deal with my friends, Klaus what did you do to my friends?” What if he had killed them? What would she do? What could she do? But he had said he’d “dealt” with his siblings too and she knew he would never kill them so maybe there was still a chance her friends were still alive. Not that she thought Klaus would ever make things fair, he was more than capable of killing her friends and then turning around and letting his siblings off with a stern talking to.

“Oh a little of this, a bit of that, each punishment was tailored specifically to their transgressions. You can’t tell me they didn’t deserve what’s been done to them. They spent so long courting my attentions it seemed rude not to oblige them.” He did have a bit of a point, it wasn’t like any of them had been going out of their way to stay off his radar since he first blew into town, if anything they had all been jumping up and down waving their arms to get him to look their way. It was one dumb stunt after another lately and it seemed Klaus had finally had enough. Not surprising really given how much patience he doesn’t have for such an old fogy. 

“Where are they?” Maybe he’d finally let her wake up because he was done with his whole vengeance kick and he was just going to let her take them all home and piece them back together as best she could. And if wishes were horses and all that. 

No, most likely he’d let her up now so that he could continue whatever game he’d already started while she was out of it. She wasn’t stupid enough to believe that she hadn’t made his list of enemies for some of her actions just as firmly as all the rest had. Starting to feel the prick of unease at the thought that she might be in for a nasty surprise she took an unneeded breath to try and force back the panic that threatened to overtake her. If she tried to run now it would probably only make things worse and not just for her.

“That I won’t tell you love, however I’m not completely heartless I know how much they all mean to you so I’ve left you a little care package in your bedroom full of clues to their whereabouts. I hope you enjoy puzzles, we never seemed to find the time to discuss your hobbies before.”

Hearing enough she sped away, more than a little surprised to make it out of the house so easily, hopefully she’d be able to get her friends out of whatever mess they had landed in this time without all the drama of every mess that came before. Wouldn’t that be nice.

Klaus stood outside the Forbes house and watched as Caroline paced back and forth across her room, a pen between her teeth and a notebook clutched in her hands. He had hoped she would approach the puzzle he had left for her with her usual zeal and he wasn’t disappointed, and it was just as entertaining as he’d imagined. 

He had set everything up so that no matter how her devious little mind chose to attack each trap she would be confronted with the crimes of the prisoner along the way before coming face to face with his creative solutions to the problem. This little scavenger hunt would give her a window into his thoughts that few ever managed to glimpse in the past, she thought she was moving towards her old life but in point of fact he had set her on the path to her new one.

He wondered not for the first time where she would try to begin once she was ready.

The obvious move would be to go for one of his siblings but the question was would she risk it? She had to know that if he ever “discovered” her during whatever daring rescue attempt she concocts she might not get a second chance. With that in mind she just might go for her friends first in an attempt to slip by him, it was the more emotional choice but he knew how big her heart was and she just might take such a leap on the off chance she might succeed. 

So now all that was left to do was sit back, wait, and watch to see just how determined she could be. Oh she was magnificent, he couldn’t wait until the fun really began.

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