Summary: During their human life Elijah and his younger siblings learn parts of their childhood and memories are fake. Learning the truth a week before his wedding from his fiancée is the least thing, knowing the truth is dangerous especially when they start questioning everything in their lives. Forever and Always binds Elijah, his younger siblings, his fiancée and a Witch with a promise of something worth fighting for..
Disclaimer: I only own the plot idea and the Unknown characters. Twilight belongs to Stephanie Meyers while The Vampire Diaries belongs to L.J Smith.
Author’s Note: This is the first time I have entered into a writing competition. (I’m from Australia and the spelling and grammar are British English rather than American English, so please forgive any differences with spelling, grammar and punctuation.)
“Sneaking away in the middle of the night brother? I thought only Finnik went out to see a lady friend,” Niklaus said as he leant against the doorjamb. I had just snuck back into my room through the window, thinking I was successful when Niklaus came in. I mused Niklaus’s senses seem, to be enhanced.
“Niklaus, I trust you’ll keep this between us?” I asked as I watched him slowly straighten up, nod and leave the room. I sighed and quickly washed, dressed in fresh clothes and went down to breakfast with my family.
“Elijah, Finnik and Niklaus will be hunting today. Kol and Henrik, you will both help your father in the stables. Start with the gardens Rebekah. I have to speak to Ayana.” Mother said as I ate the sweet porridge she had made. I watched Henrik practically inhale his food. We finished and went outside. I took a sword and a bow with a quiver of arrows. Finnik walked ahead while Niklaus hung back to walk with me.
“So where did you go last night Brother?” Niklaus asked, and I shrugged when he looked over at me.
“Niklaus do not worry about it,” I said. I thought about telling him of my love for Calista and my hope to marry her, but I decided against the idea.
“I wish to tell you something,” He said. “I overheard Mother talking to Ayana the other day; I am not Mikael’s son. Mother lay with one of the local men here, a wolf-shifter. She said she was sure that I wasn’t Mikeal’s,” Niklaus confided. I stopped to look him in the eye to see the truth. I paused while trying to gather my thoughts.
“I truly do not know what to say. You are still my brother even if we do not completely share the same blood. I shall tell you of my secret later,” I said, clapping him on the back. We caught up to Finnik.
As the light faded, we arrived home with our bountiful haul: a rabbit, two wild fowls and a deer. I saw with new eyes as father verbally chastised Niklaus. I want to help him, but my eyes expressed shame. I was not strong enough to face up to Father.We all went in for dinner. I sat next to Rebekah once she had poured our drinks and Mother had served us. Henrik and Kol they were speaking of the horses, as one was close to foaling. Finnik whispered to Mother as I spoke to Rebekah at the table. After everyone had gone to bed, I waited until I heard Father snoring before I slowing made my way out through the window. I went to a nearby clearing with flowers I picked along the way.When I heard a twig snap nearby, I straightened my stance, as a body cannoned into me. My arms closed around her tightly as I swung around in circles for a moment before, I stopped letting her feet touch the ground.
“Elijah” She breathed.
I smiled down into Calista’s face, “Calista. My love,” I said before dropping a kill on the tip of her nose. She giggled. I loved her laugh.
“My Father wishes to marry me off. I have until the change of seasons to either find my choice of partner or marry my Father’s choice.” Calista said, a few tears dropping down her face. I guided her over to a nearby fallen tree, where I cuddled her into my side.
“Tomorrow I shall tell my family of my intention to wed you before I talk to your father,” I said, rubbing Calista’s back, trying to comfort her.
“Really. Elijah? I thought Tatia Petrova was still a problem?” She questioned as she relaxed in my arms. My arms tightened around her as if to protect her from the mention of Tatia Petrova.
“While she plays with Niklaus’s heart, I hope she will either decide on Niklaus or move onto someone else. My Heart belongs to you. It has since we first met.” I explained, hoping the jealous Petrova would finally leave me alone.
“We first met after my brother had crashed into you,” Calista said, her tone fails to hide her laughter.
“I remember. You had been chasing after Eirik. Your face was flushed and yet all I could think was how lovely you looked,” I confessed. I saw Calista looking up at me.
“You seriously thought so, Elijah?” Her voice was soft; I could hear the insecurity in it. I looked her right in the eye as I declared, “Yes, I still do. I love you Calista,” I heard her sharp inhale as the last words passed my lips.
“I love you, Elijah. Our nightly talks are what keeps me going throughout the day. I can hardly wait until I can be here with you,” She revealed. I tilted her face before dropping my own; I looked at her silently asking permission before I kissed her lips for the first time.
“I felt crushed when my family and I returned home,” Calista admitted.
“Why?” I questioned as we kept looking into the others’ eyes.
“I realized you never asked for my name,” Calista replied and shook her head.
“I was the same way. I had gathered the items Mother required and was almost home when I too realized I had not gotten your name.” I mentioned before tilting my head to observe the stars above us.
“The fates must have smiled down on us. We saw each other again, right here at this clearing” Calista mused her smile seemed to shine brighter than the stars above us.
“Yes, I believe so. You were picking mushrooms if I remember correctly” I recalled.
“I was, I saw you from the corner of my eye. I was elated to see you again” Calista revealed as she looked away from the sky to me.
“I entered the clearing and was planning to sit and watched the clouds. I remember you straightened up and hit your head on a low branch” I mentioned as the day came to mind. Calista snuggled closer. “Yes, that was because we had found each other again. I smacked into that branch hard, and I remember starting to fall, and you caught me before I landed on the ground,” she stated before smiling at me. “Of course, I did. Even then I knew you were going to be someone special to me. I caught you, panicking that you were gravely injured. I found a large patch of moss and laid you down on it.” I pointed out.
“I found it charming how concerned you were. I tried to sit up, but you pressed down on my shoulder and told me to stay still.” She teased I laughed, “I was trying to remember any herbs that could help.” I stated.
“You used magic. I recall you chanting softly while your hands held my head still and soon the pain faded. I was so thankful about that” Calista interjected as she rested her head against my shoulder. I tightened my hold on her, knowing our time together was almost up.
“For a moment I thought you might be afraid of me. I couldn’t remember the correct spell to heal so. Instead, I took the injury.” I explained. Calista’s head shot up sharply before she looked at me.”You took the injury?” she questioned, I sighed only nodding.
“I felt it was my fault that you got injured. A little magic transferred the injury to me. Mother was able to heal me, and so I took the pain” I clarified, looking at Calista. Her brow furrowed as she took in my revelation.
“Oh, Elijah. It wasn’t your fault. While I am glad that the pain had gone, if I had known you took it I would have been upset. The idea of you in pain….” Calista broke off, her eyes filled with tears again. I caressed her cheek; noticing the stars reflected in her eyes.
“My sweet Calista. Do not cry; we are both well at this moment” I reminded her. I gave her another gentle kiss before standing and offering my hand. I could tell by the angle of the moon that our time was up. Calista had taken my hand before I tucked her into my side as I walked her to her house. I wished her the best of dreams before I returned home and snuck back into my room through the window. I sighed as I saw Niklaus had fallen asleep on my bed. He woke with a start when I gently pushed his shoulder. I got him out of my room before going to sleep myself.
I woke early the next morning. I washed and dressed before I went to find my parents, I saw Mother first as I entered the common areas.
“Morning Mother. I wish to speak to you and Father before my siblings wake” I said quietly. Mother nodded before heading outside to find Father: I was a few paces behind Mother; we found Father chopping wood.
“Mother, Father,” I nodded in respect. “There is a girl in a nearby village who I wish to marry. Do I have your blessings?” I questioned looking from one to the other.
“Who is she?” Mother asked, Father simply shrugged before going back to his task.
“Calista Stiandóttir. You spoke to her mother two evenings ago. She has one older sister and two younger brothers,” I said. As Mother realized of whom I spoke, disapproval was clear to see on her face. Her eyes narrowed as her mouth tightened turning her lips pale.
“Elijah, I do not think she is a good match for you,” Mother said before storming her way back inside. I turned to look at Father. I felt bitterly disappointed and knew it had to reflect on my face; my shoulders slumped slightly.
“Father?” I implored.
“For what it is worth Elijah my son, you have my blessing,” he said I sighed as I turned back to head inside. When I entered, Rebekah was helping Mother to prepare breakfast while Henrik waited at the table. Niklaus looked at me; I made my way to his side “What has Mother so upset this morning?” he asked.
“I spoke to her and Father of my wish to marry. She seems upset with my choice” I answered low enough for only Niklaus to hear. He clapped me on the back.
“You care for this girl?” I heard his unheard continuation even though Mother is so against her?
I nodded seeing Niklaus’s grin stretch over his face. He had shaken his head before we watched Father come back inside nd we ate.
Niklaus and I snuck away from the house it was the middle of spring, and every village had their markets. Our village had held their markets the day before and so we had to travel to a village over.
“So what are we looking for, Brother?” Niklaus asked as he turned to look at me. I sighed.
“A ring,” I admitted, I saw his eyebrows raise as surprise flickered across his face. We had passed the produce carts; we stopped at a few carts that held different items. Brushes, broaches, necklaces but no rings. I groaned in frustration. Niklaus tried to cheer me up.
“We’ll find something; Brother you must have faith.” He said as he clasped my shoulder, I acquiesce before we moved further through the markets. We were about to pass the more magically inclined carts when something caught my eye. Niklaus stumbled into me at my sudden stop; I helped him gain his balance before he followed as I headed towards the cart.
The woman standing by the cart looked like a typical gypsy; she made both Niklaus and me nervous. Having listened to Mother speak of the tricks, they would play amongst ordinary people.
“Come see my wears. You won’t find any better here.” The gypsy’s husky voice made Niklaus, and I share a look, apprehensively. “I mean no harm. You are in love and looking for a ring. Come look at what I have.” She said again as she beckoned us over, we both slowly made our way over. I looked over and saw a ring that stood out from the rest. It was made from silver and had a ruby in the middle. While it wasn’t as bright as the others it called to me; I could see Calista wearing it.
“Come, I tell you of your fortune.” The gypsy said looking right at me; I shook my head.
“No thank you. Just this.” I said as I held up the ring. The gypsy shook her head.
“Fortune or no ring.” She said. I put the ring back and turned away; Niklaus watched me keeping behind me.
We had only taken a couple of steps when the gypsy came over to us, the ring in her hand. “Three silver. You have darkness in your future; someone close will betray you.” The gypsy said as she handed me the ring.
“What does that mean?” Niklaus questioned as I handed over the silver. The gypsy shook her head.
“I sense betrayal soon. You are both close to this person. Betrayal for both of you, but you will be hurt more.” She said as she pointed to me. Niklaus and I shared a look; worry was written across both our faces.
“Thank you. I think” Niklaus said before we turned away as we made our way to Calista’s house. As we approached the house, I saw Calista sitting talking to an older man I assumed was her father. An older woman was standing in the doorway; she was turned to face the inside. The man saw Niklaus and me first; he broke off his conversation before heading over towards us.
“Sir, I’m Elijah Mikealson, this is my brother Niklaus.” I introduced myself and my brother. “I wish to talk to you about Calista.”
“I’m Stian. Nice to meet you both.” Stian had said before he shook both Niklaus and my hands. “What about Calista?” Stian asked as he gestured for us to move further away from the house. Niklaus stayed to play with the two younger boys that had come from the house while I followed Stian.
“Nice to meet you as well. Sir, I wish to marry your daughter.” I stated boldly, deciding just to spit it out. Stian stopped and faced me.
“You have my blessing and permission. I knew someone had caught Calista’s eye. I followed her one night and caught you both. At first, I was angry and almost came out and confronted you both, but when I saw how you looked at each other, I realized I couldn’t hurt her. I hoped that if I said she had a certain time to find her partner or it’s my choice you would come.” Stian replied, my shock must have shown on my face because Stian started laughing.
“Thank you, sir. Why didn’t you say something to either Calista or me?” I asked, feeling relief that I could marry Calista.
“I wanted to see how fast you would get your act together if you thought you might lose her. If I had spoken to either of you, I couldn’t be sure if you wanted to marry or if you felt forced. Now I can be sure of both your feelings.” Stian said before we turned and headed back to the house, we returned to find my brother on the ground with two boys piled on top of him, as if both their combined weight could keep him down. Calista stood next to two other women, and the three of them were laughing. She turned to see Stian, and I am coming closer, her face lit up as she saw me. I felt my face splitting into a smile. Niklaus looked over at me before rolling his eyes and somehow picking both boys off him and getting to his feet keeping the boys separate.
Calista moved away from her family while Stian went to join his wife and another daughter. I stayed where I was and when Calista was only a step away I dropped to one knee, I watched as surprise and happiness crossed her face.
“Calista, would you marry me?” I asked I felt my heart trying to beat itself out of my chest. Calista nodded, she tried to speak a couple of times, but nothing came out. I smiled as I slid the ring onto her finger. I watched as the smile spread across her face when she saw the ring. I stood up before Calista threw herself into my arms. I heard clapping coming from behind her, and she blushed seeing her family and my brother standing watching us. Everyone was smiling. We made our way over to them; where congratulations rang out from them all. We spoke of wedding details, noticing how low the sun was Niklaus and I bid our goodbyes and headed to our home.
“Mother isn’t going to be pleased,” Niklaus commented as we followed the familiar path.
“I know. I think we are going to have to keep this from Mother, Finnik and Father.” I groaned.
“Finnik will follow Mother in anything. He would have been married to Sage for the last few seasons if he had his mind.” Niklaus snorted.
“I know. I have no idea of what to do about the wedding. It will have to be held in Calista’s village to lower the chance of Mother trying to stop it.” I said dragging my hand down my face as I thought of the complications Mother could make. Niklaus nodded, I knew he would stand by my side through anything.
“What do you think of what that gypsy said?” I questioned, Niklaus stopped.
“Elijah, should we pay any attention to what was said? Mother has always said gypsies like playing games with our kind.” He said I shrugged.
“How much should we trust what she says? If you hadn’t overheard her speaking to Ayana, you and I would still think Mikael is your father. Have you any idea of who your father is?” I asked thinking of other things our mother may have lied about, I thought back to Freya. While I was so young that most of my memories of my older sister were vague, I knew of her, and I remembered bits of her. I don’t remember her dying; I just remember that one day she was no longer there.
“I haven’t found anything. Elijah, do you think Mother has lied about other things?” Niklaus asked he stared at me, and I gave a slight incline of my head, knowing he would catch it.
“We will have to continue this conversation another day, Brother. It is too dangerous for us; we could have someone eavesdrop on our conversation.” I said as I motioned to the front of our home only feet away. Niklaus had nodded before he jogged ahead. I heard father yelling at him.
“Where have you both been?” Mikael roared as I came through the open doorway. Niklaus tried not to shrink back from Father. From the corner of my eye, I saw Rebekah pushing Henrik and Kol out of the room. Mother and Finnik stood away from us, watching on blankly.
“We went to see if the market in a nearby village had anything new, something we might not get here,” I spoke up, cutting Niklaus off. He promptly shut his mouth and nodded his head. Mikael turned to me, the anger in his eyes seemed to shine like a blaze in the dark blue depths.
“Why didn’t you take Rebekah or escort your Mother?” Mikael asked at a lower volume.
“Niklaus and I stumbled upon it. We had been following an Elk; it ran off, and we were hoping to pick up the tracks. When we heard the noises, we realized we had lost the Elk and went to check out the market we came across.” I stated, Niklaus had taken a couple of steps back and was half beside me and the other half hiding behind me. I hoped Father hadn’t noticed otherwise Niklaus was going to get another chastising.
“You have no hunting weapons on you. How can you hunt without them?” Mother voiced from the other corner.
“We did as you ask Mother and left them by outside by the door. We knew how much you hate it when we bring them in.” Niklaus said as he pointed behind both of us to the now shut door. I wondered if he would use that as his excuse for being behind me.
“You are both late, and we all have already eaten,” Finnik said as he pointed to the now empty table with only crumbles left.
“It is okay, Niklaus and I ate something at the market. We are sorry if we worried you all.” I said hoping that my annoyance didn’t show in my voice. I could feel anger bubbling under the surface and hoped to get to my room before anything could happen. I both Father and Mother a nod each before pushing Niklaus in front of me towards the bedrooms. I left him in front of his door while I went into my room and tried to calm down.
I waited again until Father was snoring before heading towards my window, I had just opened the shutters when my door opened, and there stood Niklaus, he entered my room and saw Henrik, Rebekah and Kol crowding around the open door. I motioned for them all to enter the room as well. I sighed hoping I could still get to the clearing Calista, and I met in before she did.
“They want to come with you,” Niklaus said to me as he motioned to our younger siblings. I groaned silently.
“If we all disappear, surely someone will either see us from the village and notify our parents or they will come to check on one of you during the night,” I said hoping I wouldn’t have four others with me on this night.
“Please brother, I wish to meet you girl who has caught your notice,” Rebekah said as she clasped her hands in front of her, begging.
“I want to see what has Mother so upset,” Kol said with a shrug; I could see it meant a great deal to him, but he was trying not to show it. Niklaus and I had rolled my eyes before I turned to see why Henrik wished to come.
“I want to see the one who makes you so happy Elijah. I would like to introduce myself, as your youngest brother.” Henrik said his chest puffed up in pride. I turned to look at Niklaus.
“I’m there to keep these three in line. If left on your own with our younger siblings, they would overwhelm both you and Calista.” Niklaus said with confidence that seemed shaky. I nodded.
“Fine, just know that we usually just talk. I would ask you all to go back at different times. That way if caught I can say I heard something and went to check it out. If we are all caught together, it would not seem plausible.” I said, watching them all nod their consent before we each went out my window, Niklaus had shut my door before following last.
When I enter the clearing I saw Calista sitting on the log; her face was downcast, and I could just make out a few wet marks on her dress, I realized she was crying. I rushed over to her gathering her into my arms.
“What has you crying, my love?” I asked. I watched as her head shot up as she looked into my face, her own brightened before she threw her arms around my neck pulling me in closer.
“I thought you weren’t coming,” Calista said as I dried her tears with my thumbs. I tucked her into my side as I sat on the log. I looked away from Calista when I heard a throat clearing behind me. My siblings were looking on at us with different expressions, ranging from amusement, caring, curiosity and lastly compassion.
“Calista, we are not alone tonight. My younger siblings wish to meet you; I know you met Niklaus this afternoon, but these are the other three, Kol, Rebekah and Henrik.” I said as I pointed them out.
“Hello, I’m Calista. Elijah has spoken of all of you so fondly; I feel as if I already know you all.” Calista said as she stood up and went to hug them all. She tickled Henrik making him squeal and the rest of us laugh.
“Elijah has mentioned you as well, usually when our parents and oldest brother aren’t around,” Kol said as he sat on the ground, near the log. Rebekah and Henrik followed his example while Niklaus leant against a nearby tree and Calista joined me back on the fallen log.
“Please forgive my brother, he never learned tact,” Rebekah said as she hit Kol on the arm.
“It is okay. I know from Elijah that your Mother and older brother do not approve of me, while your Father is staying out of it.” Calista said as she sighed heavily. I rubbed her arm and tucked her tighter into my side. Mentally cursing my mother and older brother for the hurt they cause Calista.
“We are sorry,” Henrik said he handed a flower to Calista; I had seen him pick it on our way here but hadn’t thought he would give it to Calista.
“Thank you. It is none of your faults; no one can control what others in our family do or how they act. I hope that we can all get along and become a close family.” Calista said as she smiled at all of us.
“I wish to tell you all something. Elijah already knows, but I know I can trust you all to keep this between on us.” Niklaus said as he moved away from the tree and came to sat down with our siblings on the ground.
“What is it, Brother?” Rebekah asked she seemed so fragile in the current light as if at any moment she could break.
“Mikael isn’t my father,” Niklaus said as he refrained from looking at either of us around him.
“What?!” Kol and Rebekah cried, their shock mirrored in their faces. Calista nodded, as Henrik looked between the rest of us.
“Mother lay with another, a local from the village after a fight with Mikael. I am the result of that union. Mikael doesn’t know; he might suspect which would explain why he treats me differently.” Niklaus said he took a deep breath before finally looking at our siblings before turning to look at Calista.
“Niklaus isn’t the only one not from Mikael,” Calista commented.
“How do you know that and why don’t you seem shocked?” Rebekah asked as she looked from Niklaus to Calista.
“The man Ester lay with is from my village, my Mother’s younger brother. He knows for a fact that Niklaus and Henrik are his. Esther may have used magic to keep him away from them and of course from the rest of your family, but she isn’t able to mask their scents or hide their essences during the full moon.” Calista said as she looked away from my siblings and me, she was looking blankly towards the sky as if memories came forward as she spoke.
“When I was about six, I remember playing with my older sister on the blanket. Mother had been sewing when Ansel came to visit. He spoke in low tones to Mother. He had fallen in love with a married woman from another village; he didn’t know what to do. He admitted he had laid with her and how he had asked her to run away with him. She had declined, worried about her children she already had. He offered for them to go with them, he said she was considering that proposition. He wanted to let my mother know if they did leave together. Mother was at first disapproving and upset with him.” Calista said her hand squeezed mine.
“Mother mentioned that she could ask her current husband for a divorce, as like in the old world if a woman was unhappy with her husband and believed he couldn’t provide for her. She could ask for a divorce and either go back to live with her family if they would accept her or if she had lands of her own. Ansel seemed happy with the information and left soon after and for a while, we didn’t hear from him. Mother thought he had succeeded and told my father about it. He seemed pleased that Ansel had gotten some happiness. It was months later we saw Ansel again; he looked saddened that mother thought the one he loved had died, and he was left alone. When she heard what had happened she was so angry, not at Ansel but with Esther. Mother had managed to get her name out of Ansel without him realizing.” Calista admitted, her cheeks reddened a little as she looked over at my siblings.
“What happened next?” Kol asked his eyes showing sadness for a man he hadn’t met.
“Ansel told Mother of how Esther had returned to her husband and later had another child, at first he thought the child was Mikael’s. One day he went to beg Esther to give him another chance when he felt a bond with the infant, he got a closer look at the child and knew it was his. He demanded Esther allow him to be in the child’s life. She had denied the parentage of Niklaus, but Ansel told her he knew the truth. He as a wolf and as a wolf he could feel bonds with family and since he was alpha he needed to claim his children. They would need to know their position not only in the village or the packs but to know what it meant to be alpha, to be followed by others and to be a decent leader. Alphas are usually the leaders of the village as well. They are held in higher regard and hold more responsibilities than any other.” Calista continued. I saw both Niklaus and Henrik leaning forward hanging off every word Calista spoke. Kol and Rebekah listened carefully their shock had faded as surprise became the apparent emotion showing on their faces.
“Do you change on the full moon?” Rebekah asked as she moved to lean her back against the fallen log Calista and I were sitting on, Rebekah had turned to look at Calista.
“No. Usually, only men, trigger the change. To trigger the change someone has to die at your hand. Accident or not. Those who haven’t triggered the change but have the ability to have problems with their emotions, anger seems to be the most common closer to the full moon. We have treaties with the villages nearby; they send us their criminals sentenced to death where the male head of the family will trigger the change. It is considered an honor as well as the duty of the male head of the family to do so. They only trigger the change once they have married, to protect their family and village from threats. The Alpha’s wife has the hardest job; she has to explain and help the new wolf families. The heightened emotions nearing the full moon cause the women to step into their husband’s job until the moon phases change. Women are a lot calmer than unchanged or changed males; we aren’t sure why that happens. Sometimes women have triggered the change; it is rare sometimes a family has no sons or she never marries, of course, some want to trigger it. It is considered to be an honor, the first change is very painful, I’ve heard.” She mentioned.
“I guess since Niklaus hasn’t met Ansel he didn’t win against our mother?” Kol asked, turning the conversation back to the original topic.
“You’re right; Ansel only managed to anger your mother. She threatened to curse him to feel the first change again every full moon if he came near your family. He left and for years he rarely ventured away from our village or even into the woods around it. He became a shell of who he is. Then a few years later he snapped out of it, he came back around to visit. He said Esther had decided to leave Mikael forever; she had started moving her things into a house that he had put in her name. It was in the woods between both our villages; he said it would be safe since she could use magic to hide it and herself from Mikael. He made it large enough for you all to live there, the house was grander than anything Mikael had built. It had to be Ansel is the current alpha, and his position has to be clear for the village to see.” Calista had stated before she snuggled into my side. I saw Rebekah’s awe as she watched Calista and I. Kol seemed amused at the current situation while both Niklaus and Henrik were oblivious as Calista spoke of their biological father.
“Five months went by; Ansel was content. He spoke of Esther and her children; he didn’t care that only one was his, and he never made the distinction. He came over for his usual visit and told us he knew Esther was with child, and it was his. We all were happy for him and while he didn’t stay long since he was worried over Esther trying to do too much. We promised to come over and help out if needed and while he said he would accept, he told us that Esther might not and first to come over to introduce ourselves and see how that went. The day we came to visit we found Ansel on the ground with bruises and smeared blood. Mother helped him up and into the house while my sister and I hurried home to get the items needed to clean up the blood and for Mother to help fade the bruises. When we came back, we heard as Ansel told mother. Mikael had come by he had fought Ansel and while he had won and sent Mikael on his way, he was worried about Esther and the baby. She was close to giving birth, and he worried that the stress of all that was happening would cause her to birth early and possibly kill the child. Esther had been hiding in one of the rooms of the house with you all.”
“Esther had said she wouldn’t return to Mikael no matter what happened.Esther’s declaration calmed Ansel, and we met her. Ansel and Esther together seemed so content together; he anticipated her every move and it truly seemed like she was the center of his world. Later she had given birth and wanted Ansel to name their child, and he did. Henrik was the name of my grandfather, his father and passed onto his son. Months passed in happiness for your siblings, your mother and Ansel. The news came that Mikael had plans to get Esther back, many warned both Ansel and Esther of what he might do. Desperate men can be dangerous more so than any wild animal. Esther spent more time practicing magic; she started teaching most of you. Then one night during a full moon, while she and the rest of you hide in tunnels waiting for dawn, Mikael decided to hunt Ansel.” Calista said her tone of voice dropping as her face showed sadness.
“Mikael killed serval wolves that night. When dawn broke and the families found the dead wolves, they change back to human when killed on a full moon. They demanded justice, Ansel went to your village and spoke to the leaders. They went to arrest Mikael but he wasn’t here, many thought that maybe one of the wolves had killed him during the night. Esther had left you all with my parents; she had gone home to see if Ansel was back. She came running inside and told us she had found Ansel dead inside, a knife she knew was Mikael’s in Ansel’s chest. Mikael had left a message in Ansel’s blood for her. She was to return home as his wife again, or he would come after Henrik. She was horrified, my Mother tried to calm her down and ended up giving her a calming potion. While she slept, Mother got in contact with a friend from another village; she is a witch and together they consulted the spirits.” Calista recalled tears had fallen as she spoke of Ansel’s death.
“Why couldn’t your mother do it on her own?” Henrik asked his voice was soft, the shock of the story evident on his and the other’s faces. I could only feel horror.
“Mother isn’t a witch of nature, while she is a witch she hasn’t triggered the change but she holds the ability. Her friend Riyana is a witch of nature, a current coven leader and elder. She helped talk with the spirits. They told them of two outcomes for Esther. One she returns to Mikael only to be caught trying to poison him for what he did to Ansel and threatened to do to Henrik. The second she spends the rest of her life running with all of you, she would be killed by someone Mikael paid, and you would all end up dead as you try to protect her. Mother asked the spirits of a spell one that could protect the innocents involved.”
“Us.” Niklaus interrupted.
“Yes. I don’t know much of the spell only that it would remove certain memories from those around you all to protect us as much as possible. The spirits warned that the spell would have consequences, mostly for Esther. Ansel had imprinted on Esther, while rare for wolves it happens. An imprint is when the wolf finds their perfect match, their imprintee is their whole world and should either wolf or imprintee die the remaining half would never be the same. They would remain broken and their life, if they live long after the others death is nothing short of torture. Many die shortly after or are killed by others to allow them to find peace and reunite with their partner.” Calista confirmed before sighing.
“My mother loved Esther as a sister and couldn’t harm her in any way. After the talk with the spirits, she woke your mother, who was already suffering the loss of Ansel. My mother spoke to her of what the spirits had said and of the spell, the consequences, everything. Esther begged Mother to do the spell. Esther blamed herself for Ansel’s murder, and the danger Mikael posed to you all, she didn’t care about the suffering she would have. She told my Mother of a deal she made with her sister not long after her marriage with Mikael; she believed that the suffering she would endure would be her punishment for what she had agreed to with her sister Dahlia.” Calista revealed.
“Mother has a sister?” Kol asked confusion knitted his brow as he looked to Niklaus and I. Niklaus shrugged since it was news to him as well. I lowered my head.
“Not a blood-related sister but a coven sister, which in a Witches hierarchy is the same thing. I don’t know much about the Coven our Mother was a member of or any deal she made, but I do remember mother practicing magic with a group of others back in the old world.” I mentioned as I saw the others turn to look at me.
“What was the deal?” Rebekah asked as the mention of magic and family caught her interest.
“It seems that when Esther first marry Mikael she was barren. A few years passed with no luck, which during this time she had barely practiced her magic and was rather weak with her craft. Dahlia usually would come over when Mikael was away, she didn’t like him much and had tried to stop Esther from marrying him. During these visits, Esther had mentioned her shame of not being able to have Mikael’s child. Dahlia had mentioned a potion that might help, but the price would be steep, not as steep as others in the coven would have. Dahlia wanted the first born of every child of Esther’s bloodline. Esther agreed thinking that if Dahlia’s price was that steep she couldn’t imagine what the others would have been.” Calista spat, her lips turned into a grimace as she mentioned the price of the potion. We all were horrified of the price; Rebekah seemed to have trouble getting a grip on it as her mouth kept opening and closing without saying anything.
“Finnik is the oldest, and he is with us.” Kol pointed out, his tone showed how he wouldn’t care if he wasn’t.
“We had an older sister, she died in the old world; that is why our parents came to this land,” Henrik said, his embarrassment clear on his face.
“Finnik was two years older than me, but I remember Freya our oldest sister vaguely. I don’t remember her dying; I don’t even remember her being sick just one day she wasn’t there anymore. Father had been away with the other men of the village, viking. When he came back, Mother had said Freya had died from the illness that was in the village when he returned. I remember he lost it, yelling that she was a witch so why couldn’t she prevent what happened. Mother pointed out that he had forbidden her from doing magic. It was soon after that news of a new land reached our village and our family became one of the first take the journey. When we arrived Father allowed Mother to practice and do as much as she wanted, she was in charge of gathering everything she would need and while she could practice when it wouldn’t interfere with her other responsibilities.” I recounted, I felt Calista’s grip tighten on my hand, and I knew whatever she would say would change my younger siblings and my whole life.
“Don’t doubt your memories Elijah. Freya didn’t die; Dahlia took her. Esther had tried to make a different deal with her after Freya was born but Dahlia wouldn’t change her mind. Part of their deal was to keep it a secret between Esther and Dahlia, Mikael wasn’t to know and neither were any of their coven members. Dahlia threatened to tell Mikael of the price of their deal if Esther tried to change it again. Esther used what magic she could on Freya, Finnik and Elijah. She wiped Freya’s mind and made Finnik and Elijah’s memories fade. Mikael loved Freya more than any of you; she was his perfect child, which is what scared Esther the most if he found out what truly happened to her. That is why she told everyone she had died. Part of the spell my Mother did remove any memories of being told of the spell, who cast it, why and anyone who was close to the innocents it was cast to protect. After the spell Esther and the rest of you passed out, a few of the closest wolves carried you all away from our village and back to your village. Since it was so close from the night of the full moon, they left you near the tunnel entrances. No one knew how it the spell would affect Esther or anyone else close to you. The whole Village seemed to forget about your family only my family and Riyana could remember everything.” Calista finished as she looked sadly at all of us, her eyes seemed to hold even more tears than should be possible.
“The way our Mother is now, is all because of a spell?” Rebekah asked she wiped away her tears.
“Yes. When my Father first caught Elijah and me at the clearing the next day he went to talk to your parents of our possible match. Mother came with him, thinking she might get her closeness to Esther back. The complete opposite happened, Esther was so cold towards both my parents while Mikael seemed uncaring. Esther had made her stand of our match clear; she wouldn’t accept me or anyone from our village into your family. Mother went home almost heartbroken; she decided to ask the spirits, and they told her why Esther had acted that way. Esther feels the pain of the lost Imprint without know why or who she is feeling that way; she feels bitter towards the whole world because of it, and that is why she controls as much as she does with you all. She doesn’t want to lose you or for you to feel the pain she does.” Calista said. Rebekah was wiping away more tears while Kol was comforting Henrik as Niklaus seemed lost. I felt a surge of hatred towards Mikael my father and pity for my Mother.
“Why is Mother still with Mikael, even with faked memories?” Niklaus asked he hugged our younger siblings closer trying to comfort them as best as he could.
“Her feelings about her future when told of the two possible outcomes stayed with her after the spell. The outcome for the spell is to protect innocents, meaning all of you. Esther made the choice conscientiously to have the spell cast on her, all actions after that have to keep out of danger when it comes to Mikael. She feels everything she felt towards him before but without the feelings towards Ansel or the happiness they had in the months they were together. Without the good she had in her life the bad has turned her bitter and jaded. She is stuck with Mikael until all of you are old enough to protect yourselves or are far enough away from Mikael he can no longer use any of you against her. While a part of her know if you marry and start your families you will be away from Mikael the larger part of her is worried about what might happen to your firstborns because of the deal she made with Dahlia.” Calista explained, her eyebrows furrowed as the spoke.
“I’m going to take Henrik back. It’s still dark enough that we should be able to sneak back in without being caught. It was nice to meet you Calista.” Kol said as he stood, keeping Henrik from drifting to sleep. Henrik stood up hugged both Calista and I before waving to the others as Kol led him from the clearing.
“I’m sorry for telling you all this, especially when you have only met me tonight,” Calista said to Kol, Rebekah and Henrik.
“Do not worry about it.We aren’t particularly close to either of our parents, what you have told us tonight explains more about what happened clear to us.” Rebekah said as she smiled reassuringly at Calista.
“Why would Dahlia need so many firstborns?” Niklaus asked as he looked between Rebekah and Calista.
“I don’t know. I have only read Mother’s grimoire twice, and she has only let me get about five pages in before she takes it off me.” Rebekah said as she shook her head.
“There is an immortality spell, though it uses the first born of a bloodline to complete. Only those who practice the darkest magic can do that. Over the years only few immortality spell have ever been mentioned, and many go against nature. Witches are supposed to keep the balance of nature. Of course, sometimes they mess up that balance just as badly as they try to keep it. My Mother mentioned in passing a spell that was in the balance, it would create a whole new species in the world but would not go against the laws of nature.” Calista noted.
“So if Dahlia was using one that goes against nature, how could she be stopped?” Niklaus asked, his eyes showed a light that seemed dangerous to those opposing our side.
“It would depend on which one she is using. There are mainly two ways for a witch to gain immortality without losing their magic, one goes with the balance of nature and the other against it. The one with nature is where the witch lives a year and spends a century sleeping, a consequence of the spell is that while they sleep they watch their loved ones lives without a choice of what they see. The other involves every firstborn of one bloodline withing a couple of generations. This one is harder to complete as it has to be a witch in the same coven as you, and all the children must be from the same family bloodline. A drawback of the spell is that they become infertile, and no spell or potion can reverse it. Nature’s way of keeping a balance.” Calista informed us.
“We could always work a way to separate ourselves from Mother’s bloodline, so if Dahlia is using that way to gain immortality, she’ll fail, and any children we have will be safe,” Rebekah said as she watched the stars in the sky, rather than looking at any of us.
“Rebekah has a point. There are ways to do that and it would keep Freya and possibly her children safe as well.” Calista said, her head tilted away from us as if she was thinking of possible spells she could do.
“How could we protect a sister and future nieces and nephews safe when we’ve never met her and have no way of contacting her,” Niklaus said.
“Anything that could separate you from Esther’s bloodline would need to be drunk by her to effect all from her bloodline. You would have to find a witch who would take you on as part of her line if wouldn’t be completed until she is on her deathbed, until then you would have magic but no spirits to call upon or family strength.” Calista said. Something clicked in my mind when she mentioned the no spirits.
“That is what your mother did, isn’t it?” I asked Calista gave a nod as she sighed.
“My mother isn’t a witch of Nature, and she had never been. It seemed that when my grandmother had carried my mother she became obsessed with immortality or creating a new species a superior one. She did these spells on herself not knowing that they would effect my mother rather than her, she tried so many things and did both the darkest magic as well as the lightest in her endeavors. When nothing seemed to work, she grew disillusioned and waited until after she birthed my mother, hours after my grandmother tried once more. When it didn’t work my grandmother turned her back on magic. As my mother grew, she seemed normal enough until she hit womanhood. Grandmother watched as my mother did things seemingly impossible, she seemed able to bend nature to her will. The magic she could do would kill a normal witch, and that scared the other witches, many believed that what my grandmother had done while carrying my mother made her the way she was, and so they killed her.” Calista said her eyes unfocused lost in the story.
“My mother fled her village knowing they would come for her next and her father wouldn’t protect her. Of course, her magic was so unique and strong that anyone who saw her using magic would recognize it if they crossed it anywhere else. She always managed to get away before being caught by members of her old village; then she got sick and was found by a traveler. The traveler nursed her back to health, and my Mother told the traveler of her life. The traveller allowed my Mother to come with her and a few villages away they met a close friend of the traveler; she was a witch of nature. She offered to change the bloodlines; she warned my Mother that at first, she would be weaker than she usually was and that completing wouldn’t happen until her death but that it would change the residue of magic, enough that she would be safe to live a normal life.” Calista told us.
“Did you get the same magic?” Rebekah asked, her interest lit up her eyes. She loved learning about magic and learning of the different types seemed to thrill her to no end.
“I am stronger than my Mother; her powers are still stronger than a normal witch of nature, but they are weaker than mine. She believes it is because she spent half her life with one type of magic before having it changed and merged into another while I was born and have stayed with only one. Syriana, my older sister, is stronger than Mother but weaker than me. The witch who performed the spell passed away when Syriana was one, I wasn’t born until two years later making whatever the spell did settle in my mother. Father thinks that because the spell only settled after Syriana that we would have different bloodlines, like different sides of a family.” Calista had said before she shifted on the log she straightened up before she bent down and picked up a handful of back from the log we were sitting on, cupping her hands so that the bark spread out between both of her hands.
Calista stared into her hands, while we watched on around her. Slowly before our eyes a shoot grew from the bark until it was the size of a young sapling, the roots had grown around Calista’s hand with the ends in the air. Niklaus opened his mouth to say something, and before he could we watched as Calista frowned into her hands, and the sapling started to whither away before dying, she cleared her face, and the sapling returned just as healthy and green as it had when it had first grown in Calista’s hands. As she pulled her hands apart, the bark started falling to the ground, and the sapling returned to a piece of bark with no evidence it had been there ever. My jaw had slackened as I watched, I saw Niklaus had the same expression on his face. Our jaws slack with wide eyes as we watched on in disbelief of what we had just witnessed.
“That is amazing Calista. I wish I could do things like that; I want to be stronger in my craft, but Mother seems un-inclined to teach me anything, and so she claims to be busy and often goes to talk with Ayana, the other Witch in our village.” Rebekah said as her shoulders slumped when she mentioned the rejection our Mother dished out so often.
“It seems the spell cast, has caused more problems than it solved. I apologize on my family’s behalf for their part. I don’t know if anything can be done to change what has happened.” Calista said compassion and sadness settled on her face. I hugged her closer to me, not liking the space that had come between us during and after Calista showed her magic.
“Please do not worry over what has happened Calista. We will soon all be family, and we shall stick together. It was the best solution with the options available at the time.” Niklaus said as he gently lifted and squeezed Calista’s hand, lending his support to her. Calista smiled at him, and I saw the spark of happiness in his eyes that someone had finally accepted him as he was.
“Niklaus is right. We are now all family, Elijah, you, Niklaus, Kol, Henrik and I. We stick together forever and always, as family.” Rebekah said as she got up and hugged Calista, I got up and joined the hug and motioned for Niklaus to join in.
“Family. Forever and Always.” Niklaus and I said together, causing Rebekah and Calista to laugh.
“I wish there was a way to make us all Ansel’s children rather than Mikael’s. I want nothing to do with my Father’s evil.” I said violently shaking my head, knowing I could never look at Mikael the same way again. Rebekah nodded her head.
“I agree with Elijah. I do not think I can ever look at Mikael in the same way again. He isn’t close to any of us and the way he treats Niklaus is horrid.” Rebekah exclaimed she shuddered when mentioning Niklaus’s treatment at the hands of Mikael.
“Since he is human it might be easier to do. Mother preserved Ansel with a spell; I shall go home and talk to my Mother and sister and see if there is a spell. You each would have to drink it. It should work right away since in almost every way Ansel is no longer in this world. His body and essence are still here, while his spirit can cross from the other side to here as he wishes.” Calista said as she laid her head against my shoulder after we all sat back down, her and I on the fallen log again while Niklaus and Rebekah on the ground.
“Can we talk about your coming wedding now? I think we all have so much to think about from what happened in the past and what is to come. We should just enjoy this time together and talk about happy topics until we have to go home.” Rebekah said, her smile spreading across her face and making us each in turn smile.
“Yes, let’s talk about something else.” I agreed as I pulled Calista tighter into my side; I heard her content sigh, her breath brushing across my neck cause gooseflesh to spread.
“Everyone will have to use magic wards to keep Mother, Mikael and possibly Finnik away from the wedding. They will come and ruin the day. Mother will try to stop the wedding any way she can, and she would stoop to hurting Calista to get Elijah to stop the wedding.” Niklaus said his face showing his anger at the idea of someone hurting anyone he considers family.
“If needed Henrik and I can stay away from the wedding and cause as much trouble as we can to keep Mother, Mikael and if we do enough Finnik as well. I would love to see your wedding, but if it is needed, I will do what I can to keep anyone away that would want to stop the wedding.” Rebekah said determination clear on her face; it rang through her words. Calista smiled wiping away a tear that had started to fall.
“You would do that for us?” Calista asked hope clear in her voice.
“Yes, any of us would. Elijah is happy, and that is something we all want.” Niklaus said his smirk, not diminishing the truth to what he said.
“Thank you. We’ll try magic first and if that fails then if Henrik wants to then you both can cause as much mayhem to keep them away. I’ve asked my parents not to mention whom I became betrothed to, so it can’t get back to your parents.” Calista said, I turned to look at her and saw her looking up at me.
“We could have the wedding in a week’s time after the coming full moon. Would Stian mind if we held it in your village rather than mine?” I asked Calista. I saw her nod.
“My father won’t mind; he mentioned to me that it might be best if we married in my village,” Calista replied, her lips quirked into a half smile. I saw from the corner of my eye Niklaus shaking his head while Rebekah was trying not to laugh.
“Well at least that is sorted, so Niklaus would you stand beside me?” I asked watching as Niklaus’s face snapped up to look towards me.
“Are you serious?” Niklaus asked me, his eyes had widened, and his jaw looked to be on the verge of becoming slack.
“Yes, I am Brother,” I answered. Calista was smiling widely, and Rebekah looked between Niklaus and me with excitement showing clear on her face.
“I would love to, Brother,” Niklaus said as he gave a nod, a grin spreading across his face.
During the day Niklaus, Kol, Henrik and I all snuck away to start on a home for Calista and I. We knew that once both bloodlines severe and we became ‘free’ my younger siblings would live with us until they married and moved out on their own. At night after Mikael started snoring, I would sneak out to see Calista, sometimes one of my younger siblings came with me but more often I went alone. The night of the full moon we spent with Mikael and Esther in the tunnels, Niklaus, Kol, Henrik, Rebekah and I all sat near each other and away from Finnik and our biological parents. Calista had managed the potion to change Kol, Rebekah and my bloodlines to Ansel’s. As we ate, I passed it along to Kol and Rebekah. We all shared a look before downing the potion in our drink, knowing if we had tried any other way, Esther or possibly Mikael would have noticed, and we would have been found out.
“How will we know it worked?” Rebekah asked softly; Kol shrugged before turning to look at Niklaus and I. Henrik had curled up, almost asleep. I looked at Niklaus, while he tried to stare me down.
“I don’t know if you’ll notice anything tonight, but it should be different for you tomorrow. You’ll be a little faster tomorrow, see a little better, hear a little more and be able to smell more. Elijah, what did Calista say?” Niklaus said before turning to as me. I looked at my siblings around me.
“Calista said she spoke to the spirits and also to Ansel. He is welcoming for us to join his family and be his children. The spirits said that it would work, and while we’ll notice some differences in ourselves, no one around should notice a difference except around the full moon. They mentioned that if would be best to have a Witch strong and willing to accept us into her family. Any magic we have will stay as it is if not be stronger. That is all Calista told me about these potions; she told me something else, but I won’t share it until later.” I said motioning with my eyes at how close Esther was getting to us. We all started to bed down and get ready for sleep, knowing that all too soon our next challenge would arise.
When I woke, I hoped it was morning as it was still as dark in the tunnels as it was when we first entered them back at dusk. Even before my eyes were open I could tell the potion had worked, I could hear more than before and could differentiate between my sibling’s breathing. I slowly opened my eyes worried of how different my sight could be. I knew from previous nights in the tunnels that they were pitch black without a burning fire, a pitch black where you couldn’t tell if you were looking up or down. Now I could see different shades of black and greys; I could make out the tunnel walls and even make out where the tunnel openings were into other tunnels. I moved to sit up a part of me itching to work out the differences in me. It was then that I picked up the smells, it was like my mind had been too preoccupied taking in the changes of my sight and hearing to remember the smells. I could smell the dampness in the air, rot of old food and excrement in one of the other tunnels nearby. My nose crinkled up as I took in the other smells around me, the smell of the blankets we had, the odors coming from my siblings and an even worse one coming from Esther and Mikael. It took me a moment to work out the difference in smell coming from them when it clicked in my mind. Part of me wanted to lose the food I had eaten hours before, and another wanted me to leave the tunnel to find a river nearby and take a cleansing dip.
Moments later I watched and listened as my younger siblings began stirring, Henrik was the first to wake. He made his way around our other siblings and sat beside me, having pulled his blanket around him to keep warm.
“So did it work Elijah?” Henrik asked so quietly; I wondered for a moment if I had heard it at all. I gave a slow nod.
“Yes, I can tell the difference so clearing from last night to when I woke. Have the tunnels always been this unpleasant?” I asked, watching as Rebekah curled up tighter as if the air had suddenly gotten colder.
“The last few times it seems to have gotten worse. Niklaus is better at knowing than I am. He is older and can make out more than I can.” Henrik said as he shrugged before getting up and awakening Niklaus up. Niklaus might have almost been awake on his own, but he grabbed Henrik before pulling him down beside him and tickling him and silently laughing as Henrik tried to get away from him.
I chuckled as I watched, accidentally waking Kol and Rebekah in the process. I apologize to them quietly before they sat up to talk with Niklaus, Henrik and myself. We stayed as quiet as we could to not wake Finnik, Esther or Mikael. Soon the cold air was making it hard for us all to stay in place and so we cleaned up and with Niklaus and me in front of the others we made our way towards the surface. Kol, Rebekah and I were in awe as we made our way out of the tunnels. The difference as we made our way out was so startling that it amused Henrik and Niklaus to no end. The morning sun was almost blinding when we finally got to the entrance of the tunnels. It caused all of us to blink serval times in the harsh light.
“Niklaus, Elijah and I will head out to hunt. We should be back shortly and then we can have breakfast.” Kol said as we arrived at the house, Rebekah and Henrik nodded before heading inside. Niklaus, Kol and I grabbed swords, bows with quivers of arrows before heading into the woods. We could hear the birds moving in the trees, small animals scurrying around in the undergrowth and what sounded like the wolves moving towards their homes to sleep off their night run. Niklaus stopped suddenly, his head snapping to the right. Kol and I stopped listening and hoping we could hear whatever it was that made Niklaus stop.
Crying, I could hear crying. The three of us shared a look before taking off in that direction, we all stopped and collided with each other stopping behind a thin line of shrubs hiding us from the sight of who was crying. I stood brushing myself off before making my way past the shrubs and making my presence known.
“Excuse me, can I be of any assistances?” I asked a girl had her back to me, kneeling on the ground. Her arm raised as if her hands were hiding her face. She had turned to face me after I had called out. I heard her sharp inhale while she furiously wiped away her tears.
“No. I am fine.” She said.
“Miss you are crying so you are anything but fine,” I said keeping a few feet between us. I could hear my brothers making their way through the shrubs and staying hidden behind me. The girl stood up from her previous position before moving some hair out of her face; I took a few steps away from her.
“Tatia Petrova. You seem a long way from your parents home.” I said moving closer to my brothers and away from her.
“I’m hurt you would move away Elijah. Did you not just offer your assistance?” Tatia said pouting. I kept my face blank, hoping to hide my disgust.
“Our family isn’t interested in your charms, Tatia Petrova. Elijah might have offered before realizing who you were I am not rescinding that offer.” Kol said as he made his presence known before he began leading Niklaus and me away from Tatia.
“Wait, will one of you escort me home?” Tatia asked. Kol turned back to look at Tatia.
“Miss Petrova I don’t think that is needed. Your ploy to play my brothers against each other has failed.” Kol replied before making his way away from the area, Niklaus and I followed.
It was only moments after we left Tatia that we found a deer. Kol took aim first and took it down, happy to know breakfast was caught we carried it between us as we headed home. When we arrived back, Esther was outside waiting with Finnik next to her.
“Where have the three of you been?” Esther called, her voice ringing loudly in the calm morning. I resisted rubbing my ears and saw Kol grimacing; Niklaus kept his face blank.
“Hunting for breakfast. Niklaus, Elijah and I woke early and thought it would be helpful.” Kol said as he motioned to the doe Niklaus had put on the ground by our feet.
“It was foolish for you three to go, without the rest of the family knowing,” Finnik spoke, Esther’s lips had pursed like she was holding back something.
“Rebekah and Henrik knew. We told them to stay in the house and wait until we either got back or for Finnik, father and you to join them.” Niklaus said I could hear how he spoke with his teeth gritted. His glare was trained solely onto Finnik.
“Let’s go inside; we can talk about this later,” Esther said as she headed inside with Finnik on her heels. Niklaus throw the doe over his shoulder while Kol and I left the weapons by the door.
“Rebekah, Henrik you both will help me with the doe your brothers brought back. Finnik go help your father with the wood.” Esther said as she bustled about the cooking area. After breakfast Kol, Niklaus and I snuck away to finish my home. Henrik was going to slip away with Rebekah when it was safe to and bring the trunks I had packed from my room. Niklaus was planning on bringing the rest later that night when I visited Calista.
Niklaus helped me with the beds, Kol with the help of Henrik when he arrived finished carving chairs and a few cooking tables. Rebekah had stopped in to see how we were progressing and leaving the trunks in a corner out of the way before heading to Calista’s house to work on linens for the house. She would report to Calista and the rest of Calista’s family of the progress we made. I had commented the night before the full moon that neither Finnik, Esther or Mikael had found out what the rest of us were doing. Calista had confessed to a few protection spells and hiding spells she had done over the house and us.
“I hope nothing goes wrong tomorrow for you Elijah,” Kol said as he looked up from the last chair he finished.
“You and I both Kol,” I replied before smoothing the wood at the top of the bedframe.
“They are looking good Nik, Elijah. How many more do you have to do?” Henrik said as he continued his current chair.
“This is the last one. I think everything is ready for Elijah and Calista to live here.” Nik said as he patted me on the back.
“That is good news since tomorrow is the wedding,” Calista said from the doorway. My brothers waved to Calista from their spots around the room. Calista moved into the room before Rebekah Syriana Calista’s older sister and Liyana Calista’s mother followed.
“We’ve been taken over.” Kol joked from his spot.
“Hardly brother. Calista wanted to see the mostly completed house while Syriana and Liyana came to keep you four in line. I’m here to hang the curtains and help Calista with the rest of the linens.” Rebekah snorted.
“We can do that later, first, let’s eat,” Liyana said as she put the basket she had over her arm down onto one of the cooking counters. Liyana and Syriana served the food, shooing Calista and Rebekah away when they had first gone to help out. The eaten meal only being interrupted by talking and laughter as stories got told. I caught Calista’s eye a few times over the meal and saw the happiness on her face as she looked around, it was reflected by me. I could only think this is what real families looks and act likes. Liyana stood up catching everyone’s attention as she did.
“Calista, Syriana and I have worked on the potion to severe you all from Esther’s bloodline. The last thing it needs is for the Witch’s blood you are planning to use to become part of her bloodline. It only needs a few drops of her blood in the potion. Mix it into Esther’s drink and by morning you shall no longer be connected to her by blood, while you won’t connected to the Witch’s family until she is dying. Any spell needing a whole bloodline won’t work on any of you after the potion is drunk. Elijah, Niklaus, Kol, Rebekah, and Henrik, all of you will stay full siblings while Finnik and Freya will no longer be related to you at all. They both will be severed from Esther’s bloodline so Dahlia can’t use Freya in her quest to be immortal, they will be full siblings to each other and linked to Mikael.” Liyana had said before she sat down again. Henrik, Kol, and Rebekah left heading home, knowing if they stayed any longer Esther, Mikael and possibly Finnik would try to find them and when they did they would interrogate them until one cracked. Liyana and Syriana left no long after the others.
“Not too long Elijah. While the wedding is tomorrow, we don’t want any talk to go around. Niklaus, you are chaperoning them until Calista is back at my house.” Liyana called out before they left, Calista and I waved them goodbye, knowing we would end up leaving in a few minutes. Niklaus grinned before becoming serious; his hands went behind his back while he stood not too far from Calista and I but far enough to give us some breathing room.
“Syriana and I finished my dress yesterday,” Calista said as she looked around the place. I gave her the tour with Niklaus following behind us and occasionally commented here and there over things he had done or something one of us had done over the week. The tour didn’t take very long and soon Niklaus, and I helped Calista put away the linen she had brought over. She filled a few trunks, made all the beds and put away the clean dishes from our meal here. We left heading to bring Calista back to her parents home. Her arm tucked through mine, while Niklaus was behind us. We waved to some of the villagers we passed along our way.
After we had said our goodbye to Calista and her family Niklaus and I made a stop along the way to Esther and Mikael’s house.
“Do you think she’ll want to help us?” Niklaus asked as we made our way to Ayana’s house. I shrugged. “I hope so. I know she is friendly towards Esther, but I don’t think they are friends. I think Esther heads to Ayana’s house when she wishes to decline to help us with something.” I replied. We knocked on the door, waiting as we heard footsteps getting closer to the door. It opened with Ayana behind it.
“Elijah, Niklaus. Is something wrong?” Ayana asked as she looked behind us to see if any other members of our family were with us.
“Hello, Ayana. Nothing is wrong. We wish to ask you something.” Niklaus responded. Ayana looked past us once again before opening the door and allowing us to enter.
She sat down opposite us, giving a nod for us to start talking.
“Ayana we don’t know how much of our history you know. Niklaus and I know you arrived on the same ship as Esther and Mikael.” I started while thinking the best way to ask what we are going to ask.
“I know you are talking of the fact Niklaus isn’t Mikael’s son. I could understand why he would call Mikael by his first name but not you Elijah.” Ayana said her brow furrowed as she looked from Niklaus to me and back again.
“Do you know of the spell cast over Esther?” Niklaus asked while he looks Ayana straight in the eyes.
“Yes, I do. How to either of you have a knowledge of it?” Ayana asked her eyes widening in surprise.
“Recently we heard a story of Esther and Ansel. The true father of both Niklaus and Henrik and what Mikael did.” I said watching Ayana. She looked at me and sighed.
“I know of a spell cast over Esther and how it was done to protect your siblings and you. I don’t know from what or who. I know that Esther had left Mikael and was married to Ansel for a time before he died. I thought Henrik was Mikael’s son.” Ayana said as she leant in closer to Nik and me.
Nik and I took turns explaining to Ayana what truly happened and why the spell got cast. Nik got Ayana a drink when her face paled, and she looked like she was about to pass out.
“What has any of this got to do with me?” Ayana asked as she looked from Nik to me.
“Ayana, we have a potion that will sever us from Esther’s bloodline.” I began.
“You need a willing Witch to take you on as part of her family to complete it. I’ve heard of something like that. You are asking me; you want to become part of my bloodline?” Ayana questioned. Nik nodded.
“Yes. We are doing this for the innocent child Esther left in Dahlia’s care. Kol, Rebekah and I have already had a potion to separate us from Mikael’s line; we are now full siblings to Niklaus and Henrik.” I explained, I watched Ayana’s eyebrow raise when I mentioned the last bit.
“A Witch in the village Ansel was from, has kept his body preserved since the attack. She did the potion for Elijah and our other siblings. Please Ayana, we wish to help Freya even while we are so far away from her.” Nik said he begged Ayana to see and understand why we wanted to do this.
“Yes, I accept you all as part of my bloodline,” Ayana said before getting up from her seat and getting a knife from the kitchen area, she held her hand over a bowl before cutting her palm. She moved her hand away after a bit of her blood was in the bowl, she wrapped her hand before leaving the knife there and bringing the bowl over to us.
“I know it is more than a few drops, but it was easier to do it this way,” Ayana said, I handed the bowl to Nik before I got the potion bottle hanging around my neck, I took out the stopper before holding it while Nik tilted the bowl with Ayana’s blood. After a few drops, Nik tilted the bowl back and handed me the potion. I placed the stopper back in and gave it a little shake before putting the tie back around my neck. Nik handed the bowl back to Ayana. She took it and chanted something, and the bowl vanished from sight. “The spirits are saying something of a betrayal. The time is almost upon us; innocent is all ‘forever and always’ family. I hope you understand all of that because I don’t get part of it.” Ayana told us. Nik and I gave a nod.
“Forever and Always is what Kol, Rebekah, Henrik, Elijah, Calista and I promised each other. We are family, forever and always. Ayana you’re included in our forever and always family. Thank you for accepting us into your bloodline.” Nik explained before standing up; I followed as we headed to the door. Ayana had waved to us before we turned to head to Esther and Mikael’s home.
“Finnik and Mikael are hunting,” Rebekah told us when we got to the door. We entered inclined our head to let her know we had heard her before we greeted the rest of our family. Esther was adding fresh herbs and vegetables she had gather earlier into the pot over the fire. I got the potion from around my neck and handed it to Rebekah before Esther could notice.
“Pour it into her drink. It’s the severing potion.” I said loudly enough for Rebekah to hear but not for Esther to have heard. Rebekah gave a quick nod before moving the potion bottle to be hidden in her hand by the folds in her dress. Not long after that, Finnik and Mikael returned with a wild boar. Mikael smoked most of the animal while outside while Finnik brought in the meat for tonight’s dinner. Rebekah added the potion into Esther’s drink after she filled everyone else’s mugs, she handed Esther’s drink right to her rather than putting the mug on the table as she had with the rest of ours.
“You look like you need a drink Mother. I can finish serving.” Rebekah said before Esther could say anything. Esther took a sip of her drink staying seated while Rebekah finished serving out the food. During the meal, Kol, Nik, Rebekah and I kept a close eye on the mug Esther drank from; Rebekah refilled Esther’s mug first before refilling any others. Finnik would watch as Rebekah got up to serve more drinks, his brows would lower over his eyes, and it seemed like a few times he was going to say something when Kol or Henrik would suddenly start talking louder and bringing Esther and Mikael in the conversation. When the meal was finished Rebekah stood up to take the dishes out, Finnik went to speak to Esther when Nik got up from his seat; he bent down to say something in Finnik’s ear after he had he clasped Finnik’s shoulder and squeezed. Finnik flinched but stayed quiet, and Nik headed outside. It wasn’t long until everyone headed to bed.
I woke early. The sunlight was only just over the horizon, I got out of bed and grabbed the new tunic and breeches I had bought at the market earlier in the week for today. I took soap, wash cloth and towel with me as I once again snuck out my window and headed to the stream nearby the house. I was glad that it was Spring and the water while cool wasn’t the frigid cold it would be if it were Fall or even Winter. The temperature of the water was still cold enough to make me hurry in washing; I dried myself even faster before throwing on my clothes to gain some warmth. When I was suitably attired, I snuck back into my room putting away the items.
I combed my hair. I was about to put the comb back in the case to tuck into my belt when Rebekah knocked on the door.
“Come in,” I said keeping my voice down so Esther and Mikael wouldn’t wake. Rebekah came in, a smile wide on her face as she held up her hand. She had leather ties with her, and I knew she was going to do something with my hair. I kept the comb out knowing she would want to use it at some stage.
“Nik and Henrik are dealing with Kol. Last night I slipped sleeping draught into Mikael and Finnik’s drinks, so they should be out for a while longer. I didn’t add any to Esther’s since I wasn’t sure if it would neutralize the bloodline potion. I didn’t wish to chance it, but I think she will be busy trying to wake Finnik and Mikael.” Rebekah said as she began twisting the leather tie around some of my hair, it didn’t take long before Rebekah had secured both sides of my hair together. I put my comb in the case and onto my belt. We met up with our brothers outside the house, before heading to Calista’s village we all strapped on our swords, a few smaller knives got tucked into our belts. Kol took a bow with a quiver or arrows as well.
Rebekah rode with Henrik in front of her to make sure he didn’t fall off while Kol, Nik and I all rode alone.
“The protection spells are going to be cast once we arrive. Stian mentioned yesterday that a few of the warriors would be guarding the town and have been told to warn anyone if Mikael, Esther or Finn are seen. There will be a few around the edge of the wedding site.” I mentioned to the others as we rode.
“Syriana didn’t think it would be necessary. She and Liyana think the spells will be strong enough, and that nothing would be getting through them anytime.” Nik said his lips quirking when speaking of Calista’s family. “Ayana said she would come today. Kol can you escort her, please.” Nik added as he turned to look at Kol. Kol gave a nod before turning his horse away and urging it into a gallop.
“I am so glad Ayana accepted us to be a part of her bloodline. I will always be eternally thankful to her.” Henrik said while trying to keep from sliding sideways on the horse, Rebekah tightened her arms around him and helped right him as we continued riding.
“I think we will always be indebted to Ayana,” I concluded while noticing Rebekah and Nik nodding.
We just entered Calista’s village when we heard a couple of fast approaching horses. Nik and I took out our swords while Rebekah headed to Calista’s house with Henrik. Kol came flying out of the woods, his horse snorting when he pulled back on the reins. Nik and I sheathed our swords, after the second horse with Ayana came into view as well.
“Sorry to catch up on the defensive. I showed Ayana a shortcut through the woods from her house to the trail leading between the villages.” Kol informed as he nudged his horse. Nik and I turned our horses around and headed towards the wedding site. I waved to villagers as we went, many greeting me in return. Calista’s younger brothers Ulfr and Olav came from Stian’s house; they rushed over to us.
“Elijah, Niklaus and Kol. Rebekah is helping Calista get ready; Henrik asked us to come and take the horses. We are to take them to our barn and care for them, before cleaning up for the wedding.” Ulfr said. I nodded and dismounted before petting my horse before handing the reins to Ulfr.
“Ulfr, Olav this is Ayana. She is family.” I introduced Ayana, catching the smile that crossed her face.
“Hello, Ayana. Can we take your horse with Elijah, Kol and Niklaus’s?” Olav asked. Kol helped Ayana dismount while Nik took the reins and handed them over to Olav.
“Thank you. Careful my horse bites sometimes.” Ayana said once she was on the ground. Olav and Ulfr listened and solemnly nodded before turning and taking the horses to the barn.
Henrik came out from Stian’s house; he came right over. He hugged Ayana.
“Ayana. Rebekah can introduce you to Calista, Elijah’s bride, her mother and older sister.” Henrik said as he tucked Ayana’s hand through his own. Some of the warriors came over to introduce themselves to my brothers and me.
“So who is marrying Calista to you?” Henrik asked as he looked around after the last warrior had left us to check on the edge of town.
“Usually, it’s the village chief or another high ranking council member. Today Stian is going to; he is the highest council member under the chief. Stian is unofficially chief until Ansel’s body is either buried or magic returns him to his body. If buried, the council will elect a new Chief.” I said.
“None of the council want to elect someone new since it will be restructuring the village and the pack. While Ansel has living children, none of you can inherit the alpha position in the pack since Ansel never claimed you as his heir or taught you the important things an alpha would need to know to lead a pack.” Stian said as he stood to the side.
“Sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.” Henrik said as he looked up to Stian, Stian smiled and shook his head. “Don’t worry Henrik; it is natural to be curious,” Stian said as he patted Henrik on the back.
“Is it strange for you to marry your daughter off?” Kol asked as he watched the villagers around us either talking in groups or sitting in the seats set out for the wedding.
“It is, but I know Elijah is a good match for her. I know she is in good hands.” Stian said before nodding to us and going over to talk to a few other people.
“Henrik, Kol. Find a seat for yourselves; I can hear Rebekah getting ready to leave Stian’s house.” Nik said as he walked with me to stand at the centre of the area. I could hear Rebekah laughing about something with Syriana. Stian made his way to stand in front of me; he was facing Nik, myself and the crowd behind me. The talking all stopped as people made their way to available seats.
I turned to watch Calista approach; a smile spread across my face. Rebekah hurried away from the house and sat beside Kol and Henrik. Liyana smiled at Stian before sitting down next to Henrik, while Syriana was going to stand beside Calista. Seeing Calista make her way towards me, I swore my heart tried to beat its way out of my chest. Calista never looked so beautiful as she did at the moment. Flowers threaded through her long hair that kept away from her face; her eyes were shining with excitement and love as she came to a stop beside me. I had turned as she got closer so we both were facing Stian.
The ceremony was simple yet traditional. The animal given to the gods before we exchanged family swords. Stian watched on; pride showed in his every action and expression. The rings balanced on Calista’s family sword; we took them with great care sealing the vows we spoke. Liyana handed Stian a ribbon to complete the handfasting after the exchange of the rings. Stian had said a final prayer. Everyone present throwing flower petals over Calista and I as we walked past them towards the feasting area. I kept a tighter hold on Calista. Nik had moved ahead of us and pulled out both our seats. We sat smiling at each other. I saw Rebekah and Henrik slipping away through the woods, and I felt my spirits drop slightly.
“Elijah, do not worry. Rebekah and Henrik are getting their things along with Kol and Niklaus’s. Father has offered to host them until after our honeymoon.” Calista said, her smile lighting up her face, bringing a smile to my own and lifting my spirits.
“I thought Esther or Mikael was causing trouble,” I confessed watching as Calista shook her head. I started to untie the ribbon as Calista helped. Once our hands were free, Calista wrapped the ribbon around her wrist before retying it. She stood up and got the ornated goblet filled with the honey mead. She handed the goblet to me before sitting down; I raised the goblet. Cheering came from around us as I made the toasts to the gods before taking a sip and passing the goblet for Calista, she added her toasts before taking a sip.
“They are now one in the eyes of the gods and here on earth. Merry be.” Stian said his goblet raised towards us and with more cheering following his statement. The feast began then; Calista got up serving me first then herself. The sun was starting to set when I saw Rebekah and Henrik immerging from the woods, Syriana hurried over to them and helped them with the trunks placing them into the family home.
“Rebekah and Henrik have returned. Nothing to be worrying about.” Calista said as she smiled up at me. I smiled shaking my head.
“Yes. It seems my lovely wife that you are right.” I said before taking another sip of the mead before adding “Esther and Mikael’s reaction to these events are something to worry over. I know there will be trouble coming, the spirits have warned Niklaus and me more than once over what is to come. Last eve Niklaus and I heard more of the warning. I shall tell you later in privacy.” Calista’s eyes had widened a little while she looked at me, she gave a brief nod before going back to the food in front of us.
“Of course. The spirits like to speak in riddles, or give out pieces, leaving a puzzle to be solved.” Calista observed. I laughed “No truer words, have I heard spoken .”
Torches lit as the fading light was almost complete darkness, music started, and people gathered to dance. I offered my hand to Calista; she took it, and we left our table and started on one side of the dancing people. Laughter could be heard all around as someone missed a step or lightly bumped into someone else. Tempers kept in check, knowing that it would mean bad luck to Calista and my marriage otherwise. Stian went around speaking to a few people quietly, while I noticed Liyana doing the same.
“It seems Brother that the next wedding tradition is upon you both,” Kol said as he pointed out two groups standing closer to the houses than the feast, watching on. Both groups were of six, one all men and the other all women. I noticed Calista’s face flush; she tried to bury her face into my chest.
“Thank you, Kol,” I said drily before moving Calista towards the two groups only to be stopped by Nik. “Elijah, I’m afraid you are unable to accompany Calista any further. Calista you best go with Syriana.” Nik said as I noticed Syriana next to him.
Calista moved away from me; she caught my eye when she turned around just before reaching her sister’s side, while her face was flushed her eyes sparkled. I knew that everything was going to be okay with the coming event: consummate the marriage in front of witnesses. Nik clapped me on the back as he steered us around a few stumbling party guests towards Stian, I had trouble meeting Stian’s eyes. I could only hope that he wouldn’t be present for the deflowering of his younger daughter and now my wife.
“Liyana and I have chosen a few witnesses we trust to observe the next stage of your wedding. You understand why neither myself or Liyana will be present.” Stian said, his voice gruff while he looked off into the distance. “I understand Stian completely. I don’t think this is easy for you, but I thank you for all you have and are doing with Calista and my wedding.” I acknowledged, watching as Stian inclined his head, clearing his throat he turned to look at me. “You better go, the witnesses are waiting. Calista’s happiness is all the thanks needed, Elijah.” He replied holding out his hand; I shook it before turning away and heading to my home with the witnesses following behind. Nik and Kol both held their goblets up toasting me as I passed them acknowledging them with a slight nod of my own.
A couple of the witnesses had lanterns, and some had torches. I entered the house first having taken one of the torches and using it to light a fire in the fire pit. One of the witnesses opened the roof vent to allow the smoke out while I went around the area lighting the wicks for the open oil lamps. With enough light to see without the lanterns and torches, the lanterns extinguished, and the torches left outside having the unlit end thrust into the ground to keep the flames away from grass or plants.
During the four weeks, honeymoon Calista and I spent our first full moon in the tunnels of her village. We spent the night catching up with our family except for Stian. The night in the tunnel was warm and spent telling stories and laughing. My younger siblings had joined Calista and I and we all enjoyed the space and separate sleeping rooms. Ayana came almost daily to see us.
“Esther confronted me yesterday. She demanded I tell her where you and your siblings were.” Ayana confessed as she sat at the table with the rest of us sitting around the rest.
“She didn’t try anything did she?” Calista asked she moved around the table serving the food.
“No, I am fine. I don’t think it is wise to stay in the village anymore. I see either Esther or Finnik around when I leave my home. They do not come towards me, but I see them watching me from the distance.” Ayana stated as she sighed heavily her shoulders slumping.
“Live here or if you wish for your own space, we can build you a place nearby. You will not have to worry about Esther, Finnik or Mikael.” Nik said as he gestured with his arms around the room. Kol elbowed him in the side while trying subtlely to point to Nik of Calista and I.
“I do not wish to crowd any of you. I have lived on my own for so long now; I do not think I know how to share space anymore.” Ayana admitted, Calista smiled.
“You are welcome here, Ayana. Think it over and when you have decided let us know. We have more than enough room, even if it is just until your house is ready.” I suggested, seeing the looks shared between my siblings.
“Alright, I shall think it over.” Ayana agreed, it wasn’t long after the meal she left heading to her home while it was still light.
“Do you think Ayana will accept and live here with us?” Henrik asked, his eyes shining brightly. Since we had moved away from Esther and Mikael, all my siblings changed. They were happier and content; Calista said I had changed with them.
“Henrik, Elijah wouldn’t be able to know. Only Ayana can tell us, give her time.” Calista said her tone gentle, not wanting Henrik or the others to go back into themselves as we all had to protect ourselves around Esther and Mikael.
“Calista is right, I wish I could tell you definitively yes or no, but I can’t. I only share your hope that she does agree.” I said sharing a look with Calista before smiling at Henrik.
It had been a few days since Ayana’s last visit, Rebekah and Kol were worried something had happened to Ayana at the hands of Esther and Finnik or worse Mikael. Calista tried to reassure them and the rest of us but she too worried.
“If something happened to Ayana, wouldn’t we have noticed it? She accepted us into her bloodline. Does that make her our mother? Older sister? Surely with our promise of Forever and Always, one of us would have noticed or felt something.” Nik said trying to figure out how the bloodline potion worked.
“She is biologically your mother, but you relate to her more as an older sister. Esther did bring you up, and a part of you will always view her in some light as your mother, expecting anything else would be unnatural .” Calista said patting Nik on the back, giving him a little comfort.
“Thank you for clearing that up,” Kol said while whittling away, the piece of wood had no recognizable shape to it, but I knew that it soon would.
Liyana and Syriana came visiting later that day. Syriana carried a basket filled with herbs, flowers, roots, a few candles and a mortal and pestle. Calista welcomed them inside while Rebekah offered them a drink.
“Syriana and I know you are all worried over Ayana.” Liyana began, after sitting on a bench a little away from the table. “We saw her today at her home.”
“Is she okay?” Henrik interrupted, his face reddened with embarrassment, causing Kol and Rebekah to chuckle. Calista gave Henrik a one arm hug; I could see she bent to whisper something in his ear.
“She is okay Henrik. She was packing her things; it seems Esther had visited her again asking why a locator spell wasn’t working. Ayana told Esther that either you were with a Witch who was protecting you from being found, or you had bought spelled jewelry to protect you from magic.” Syriana said smiling at Henrik.
“I guess it was a close call so she is leaving?” Nik asked he seemed resigned. Liyana spread her hands wide. “She asked us to pass on a message to you all. She accepts until she has a new place built.” Liyana answered.
“We didn’t ask for clarification on her acceptance knowing it had to do with a deal between you,” Syriana added while looking at the smiling, happy faces of my siblings, Calista and myself. Calista and I had shared a look before I nodded and she sat beside me.
“We invited her to live with us. Elijah added that if she preferred her own space that she could stay with us until the completion of her house.” Calista explained to her mother and sister, they both brightened when Calista finished. It seemed Ayana had made two fast friends in Liyana and Syriana.
“Wonderful news. When Ayana arrives, let her know that we will be happy to help with anything she needs.” Liyana said. Nik, Kol and I left the house shortly after to go hunting while Calista, Rebekah and Henrik spent time with Liyana and Syriana learning more magic and becoming stronger.
Ayana arrived two days later, a cart tied to her horse.
“I left most of the furniture; I only took the most important things. I spoke to a council member and told them I was leaving, moving to be closer to a relative I met in another village. Since I have no family there, they regretted my move but understood. I told them not to mention anything to Esther until fading light. I did a spell to clean any traces of me from the house and lands in or around the village.” Ayana informed us while making her way off the cart with Calista’s assistance. Kol, Nik and I had started unloading the half empty cart. We placed the items in the last separated sleeping area, knowing Ayana unused to sharing a home with others.
At dinner we spoke with Ayana, learning of what she wanted in her house. Her relief was palpable.
“Liyana and Syriana offered their assistance to you,” Kol spoke up; Calista got up to refill drinks, as she filled Kol’s she whispered something into his ear. Kol’s face had paled before he nodded and Calista moved to fill Nik’s mug.
“It looks like I shall be very busy in the village tomorrow. I would like to talk to the council here and the village healer as well.” Ayana revealed before gathering the empty dishes; Calista went to say something, but Ayana waved her off. Rebekah went to help, but Ayana shooed her back to her seat. “Helping out is the least I can do for you all, for inviting me to stay and because I know you men are going to build my home. Don’t think you were able to slip that passed me.” Ayana said as she turned back to look at us, Nik shrugged while Kol looked at his hands, Henrik looked between our brothers and Ayana.
“No, we didn’t think we’d be successful. We thought that if we didn’t offer, you couldn’t refuse.” I explained seeing Calista’s amused smirk as she looked at the rest of us.
“Ah, then I will just accept your gift and leave it at that,” Ayana replied shaking her head. We all headed to bed not long after the discussion at the end of our meal.
During the day Niklaus, Kol and I would work on Ayana’s house with a few other men from the village and in the evening before bed, Ayana would teach us as much magic as she could. It wasn’t long before we were all proficient with magic, while Rebekah and Calista were ahead of the rest of us when it came to magic. It took under a week for Ayana’s home completely built, the rest of the week was spent crafting new furniture for it. Ayana slept on a pallet on the floor of her home until we had completed a bed. One night a week Ayana would come for dinner at our home and another night Ayana would join us over at Stian’s home for dinner. Those dinners were by far the largest and loudest. Spring made way for Summer.
Summer made way for Winter; the full moon had just passed, and we were returning to our home. Rebekah, Kol and Henrik were playing some chase game weaving in and out of trees, houses and an occasional villager we passed. Nik was keeping an eye on them while Calista and I walked hand in hand behind them all.
“I have some news,” Calista said quietly; I could only just make out she had spoken. “I’m with child,” Calista revealed looking up into my face. I grin broke across my face as I stopped, causing Calista to stop. I turned fully to face her.
“You are with child,” I repeated as the words sank in and I picked her up spinning her in a circle before placing her on her feet keep hold of her waist as she gained her balance. “This is wonderful news,” I said our moment interrupted by Kol coming to a stop just beside us.
“Good news or are you planning to swing everyone in circles?” Kol asked mischief shone in his eyes.
“We will explain when we reach home,” Calista said as she tucked herself into my side. I grinned as we walked the rest of the way home, Kol rushed to catch up to us and would look between Calista and I. Rebekah helped Calista put away uneaten food and the used dishes in the bucket ready to wash them. Ayana was folding the blankets and putting the linens away before she would head to her house. Ayana would come over every now and again to help with something, and she would stay in the tunnels with us during the full moon. When most things were back in place Calista turned to face my siblings around the room. Ayana stopped near the door, seeming to notice something was going on.
“I told Elijah on the way home some news. As you might have seen, he was happy with the news and swung me around.” Calista started, she moved to my side while still facing Nik, Kol, Rebekah, Henrik and Ayana. Calista took a deep breath before announcing the news, “I am with child.” Kol whooped and clapped me on the shoulder before lightly hugging Calista. Nik gave us both hugs, while Henrik looked between us all. Rebekah cheered before asking question after question, Ayana came up to us both. “Congratulations. I will place extra protections around.” Ayana said, giving us a hug before smiling at the rest of our family before leaving. Henrik came over to us, hugging us in turn although his face showed confusion, he seemed embarrassed to ask. Calista saw this as well since she bent closer to Henrik and whispered in his ear “I’m going to have a baby. You’ll be an uncle.” Henrik’s face lit up, and he hugged us again.
~(Small Time Skip)~
Months passed, and Calista grew rounder with child. Henrik’s curiosity seemed to grow with Calista; he would follow her most of the day, asking question after question. Rebekah had told me she had taken him aside and warned him to give Calista some space and not ask so much. Calista had told me she didn’t mind his questions or his proximity. Ayana came by almost daily now, doing most things around here to give Calista some rest before she returned home. Nik and Kol went to the markets in the village to gather the items Calista or Rebekah needed. I headed out of the woods, where I had been hunting. I caught a few wild fowls and two rabbits. I was about to enter the house when I heard a twig snap behind me, turning sharply I looked around.
I blinked hoping I was seeing things, but just at the edge of the woods almost hidden behind the shrubs was Esther.