Author's Note: My mother and I are binge-watching the Vampire Diaries, so this is probably going to be the fandom that I focus on for a while. This was such a great decision. Thank you all for the support! Let me know what you think! Also, check out my page for a poll on this story or answer it here!
What does Caroline's supernatural future look like?
And you can choose combinations! :D Enjoy!
Lilah and Niklaus walk hand in hand through the forest. Each step is slow and purposeful. With her free hand, Lilah grabs hold of her dress, swooshing it back and forth a bit with each step, humming a lullaby her mother used to sing to her when she was little. Every step bumps her shoulder with his, and they would share a smile through her soft lullaby each time.
It was nice and warm out. She could hear some of the men walking around somewhere far off, having already finished with the hunt for the day, so no one cared to scare away the wildlife. If she listened close enough between each breath, Lilah could hear children playing in the village. Laughing and screaming as loud as their little voices could be.
"I love to hear your lullabies," Niklaus says quietly, reaching up with his other hand to tuck a loose strand of blond hair behind his ear.
Lilah laughs, shaking her head. "You flatter me, Niklaus, but we all know that the radiant beauty unmatched in all ways is my dearest cousin Tatiana. Now her voice is fit for making the most beautiful lullabies even more beautiful, still."
Niklaus shakes his head. "No. No, Lilah - " he stops, thinking. "Yes," he finally says. "Yes, she is beautiful, but so are you. It is unjust to compare the two of you. You are..." he hesitates, trying to think of what to compare her too. "You are like the sun."
Lilah gives him a sideways look through her long blond hair. "Difficult to look at?" She guesses. "How rude, Niklaus, how rude! Has Miss Esther taught you nothing of respect for women?"
Niklaus sputters for a moment, blinking rapidly before he sees the teasing smile slide across her face. He stares at her for a moment longer before a playful smile crosses his own full, red lips. "How very manipulative of you, Lilah. And I'll have you know, my mother taught me proper respect." His hand tightens around hers a bit more securely. "And no. I didn't mean it like that. You are like the sun. Bright and brilliant."
Lilah grins up at the slightly taller young man, giggling. "You're so sweet to me, Niklaus."
He flushes in embarrassment, lowering his eyes down to the forest floor, carefully avoiding anything that could catch his leg or otherwise trip him. Lilah watches his pretty eyes watch the ground. Eyes that remind her of Esther's. Niklaus is a spitting image of his mother, taking on almost all of her traits. He wasn't like his brothers or any of the other men in the village. He was fairer skinned, blond hair and blue eyes with just a touch of green in them. He didn't share the broad shoulders of the other men or the bulkier build. He was lean with sinewy muscles. He was built more for speed, elegant and grace, as opposed to brute strength exhibited by the other men in the village.
Lilah knew why the girls of the village were obsessed with him. He was the prettiest boy in the whole village. And he loved her.
Caroline drops her head onto Rebekah's shoulder, smothering her laugh with the other girl's arm. Rebekah's body shakes with laughter as she wraps her long, thin fingers around her coffee cup. Caroline wraps her hands around Rebekah's inner arm as tears well up in her eyes.
"Stop, please, have mercy, Rebekah," she cries, pulling away to wipe away a single tear that slips down her cheek.
"What?" Rebekah asks, giggling. "I told him that it was a terrible idea and he went along with it anyway!"
"Klaus, please tell me you didn't," Caroline asks, turning her eyes across the table to the other blond, smirking lightly around his third glass of bourbon. His eyebrows raise up his forehead as he watches her giggle.
"Well, what can I say?" Klaus says, shrugging his shoulders and leaning back in his seat to give a dry look to his brother who was smiling faintly amused back at him with a fond look in his eyes. As if this joyous mood is refreshing and a bit nostalgic. His eyes flicker around the table as if relieved to see both of his younger siblings having a bit of fun. Some levity to make up for whatever stress is building up around them. Like this moment offers them a bit of reprieve that they haven't had in a long time.
"Apologize for the fashion disaster and swear on Cosmo that you'll never do that again," Caroline says, shaking her head.
"I believe Rebekah neglected to mention this was a long time ago. And I learn from mistakes or... what did you call it, love?" Klaus asks, semi-amused. "Fashion faux pas?" Caroline giggles, nodding her head. "Yes, well, I'd like to think I'm much better now."
Caroline can't help herself, looking at his long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, three buttons by the collar with two undone, dark wash jeans and dark boots. She reaches out to his hand laying on the table, running her fingers over the couple of different bracelets jumbled upon his wrist. One was made of well-loved, colorful twine neatly woven and one was soft leather with a metallic setting and sapphire bigger than a half dollar in the center. It was the most beautiful blue Caroline has ever seen and has to wonder how she didn't notice it the day before.
"Yes, I see that you are," Caroline says, eyes locked onto the sapphire. "Is this real? I mean, it's just beautiful." She stares at the stark contrast of the dark blue against the white metal, black leather, and pale skin. And this one seems more cared for, pressed against his pulse point on his inner wrist.
"It is real, yes," Klaus says quietly. "And yes, it's beauty is unmatched." A pause, then, "Well, except for its pair."
"Pair?" Caroline echoes, looking back up into Klaus's eyes.
"There is another," Elijah says, lacing his fingers together neatly on the table. "Slightly larger but cut of the same stone. It belonged to someone very dear to us a long time ago."
"Ahh," Caroline says, admiring the sapphire a moment longer before finally letting Klaus's wrist go. "Well, it's gorgeous. This blue is my absolute favorite color in the entire world. I just love it," she says dreamily before leaning back in her seat. She looks down at her half-eaten burger and cold, soggy fries with disinterest. "Well, I think I'm done eating." She digs her phone out of her pocket to check the time, letting out a low groan. "I know that I offered to be the welcoming committee, and show you guys around town but is it wrong of me to regret it?"
She quickly texts Bonnie while she has it on her mind, "Don't forget to come to the gym at 2:30 so that we can start setting up!"
Rebekah studies the side of Caroline's face as she finishes her text message. "You do look tired, Caroline. Perhaps you should take a break."
Caroline gives her a sideways look, waving her hand around as she stuffs her phone back into her pocket. "That's what this is, unfortunately." She lets out a long, drawn-out sigh before turning her eyes to the approaching Vicki. "Perfect timing, can you bring the check?"
Vicki nods, stopping at the head of the table. "How are we splitting this up?"
Caroline opens her mouth, but before she can even say anything, Elijah cuts her off. "One check," he says, "and bring it to me."
Vicki nods again, turning to head toward the POS system near the bar to do just that. Caroline looks over at the oldest Mikaelson sibling. "You don't have to pay for my meal. I didn't even finish it. I should at least have to pay for my waste."
"Trust me, Caroline," Elijah says easily, "we want for little, my siblings and I. Besides, Niklaus's bourbon shots alone will cost at least twice what your meal was, as well as my own added to it. Money isn't a problem."
"Think of it as a thank you for showing us around town even though you're so busy," Rebekah says easily as Klaus downs the rest of his drink and pushes the glass toward the middle of the table.
"I don't know," Caroline says, not used to being doted on, quite like this. "I mean, the manual labor was supposed to be repayment."
Klaus finally cuts in. "If it means so much to you, you can repay us in a different way."
Elijah and Rebekah both give the middle Mikaelson sibling a hard look, both about to disagree with him when Caroline, curiously asks, "How?"
Klaus looks at Rebekah first, then Elijah, before finally looking over at Caroline and leaning forward onto the table again. "I have a... let's call him a friend, here in town that I've been looking for. He is part of the reason that we moved back here, to begin with. Unfortunately, when we got here we found that we were unable to reach him."
Caroline's eyebrows pull together tightly. "Oh no. Did something happen to him?" All she could think of was the string of strange animal attacks during the last few weeks.
Klaus splays out his fingers a bit with a little shrug. "I don't know, see, that's where I was hoping you would be able to help us, love. I can forgive this tiny debt, if you feel you owe it, in return for a bit of information."
That didn't seem so bad. "I guess that's fair. I can't promise I'll know anything, though."
"If not, it's fine," Rebekah says, shrugging her shoulders. "It's a few dollars anyway."
Elijah pulls out his phone and clicks a few buttons before holding it out for Caroline to see. It's a new phone, definitely much newer than Caroline' thinks she's seen recent commercials about it having just come out. She takes it from him and inspects the picture. It's small and he's hard to make out aside from dark hair, tanned skin, and a prominent frown probably in his late twenties to early thirties. But from what little she could see of his features, he was unfortunately unremarkable enough for her to have recalled him right off the bat if she even had seen him.
She presses her lips together tightly, trying to think if his face was at all familiar to her, but nothing really stood out. She turns her blue eyes toward Elijah, shaking her head and handing him back his phone. "I'm sorry, but I don't think he's familiar."
"It's alright," Elijah says, sticking the phone back into his pants pocket. "It was a long shot, anyway."
"I'm sorry," Caroline says again, frowning. "I wish I could be of more help to you." She reaches up, running her fingers through the flat parts of her hair, trying not to mess up her braids.
"Don't worry about it." Elijah waves her apology away, his eyes flicker up to something over Caroline's head. He reaches back into his pocket and pulls out his wallet in time for Vicki to return with the check. He passes over his card without even bothering to look at how much he's paying. Needless to say, Caroline has never had enough money to not even slightly care how much a bill is. Even if she knows that she has enough money to cover something, she's always looked just to make sure there wasn't a problem.
Vicki seems mildly surprised as well, but Elijah doesn't even spare her a second look past the respectful, "Thank you." Vicki hesitates, then she nods and leaves again to run the card.
Caroline's phone starts to ring, surprising her. She looks at the screen, eyebrows pulling together to see that Bonnie is calling.
Her eyes light up at the sight of her friend's name. She couldn't answer it fast enough. "Hey, Bonnie! Did you get my text?"
"Hey Caroline," Bonnie greets, but there is a lilt to her voice that sets Caroline on edge immediately. She knows that voice all too well.
"Oh no, what happened?" Caroline's eyebrows pull together tightly. "Is everything okay?" She feels her smile start to fade as she realized that her friend was about to tell her something that she didn't want to hear. She's starting to suspect what Bonnie was going to say.
"Yeah," Bonnie says, then hesitates. "Caroline, Grams wants me to help her at the college." A pause, then, "I know. I'm lame, and I'm sorry. I really don't mean to blow you off."
Caroline starts rubbing at her forehead, turning away from the three siblings, afraid of what her expression looked like. No doubt she looks upset and she hates that her new friends were being exposed to it. "Are you sure you can't make it? It's okay if you're a little late..." She says in a small voice, hoping the low din in the room will be able to prevent her tablemates from hearing her.
Bonnie sighs. "I'm sorry, Caroline. Really. I know that I'm the worst friend. I promise that I will make it up to you."
"It's okay," Caroline says, forcing levity and a lilt to her voice to make it sound like what she's saying is true. "To be honest, knowing me, I would just undo everything that you do. I'd just do it all myself, so really, it's probably better that you don't come."
Bonnie sighs again. "Caroline, don't be like that."
Caroline runs her fingers through her bangs. "Like what? It's okay, Bonnie."
"Your mad, Caroline. I can tell by your voice."
"I'm not," Caroline says, forcing herself to stop pulling at her bangs to tuck them behind her ears. "It's my fault. I signed you up. I'm not mad. As I said, it's probably better this way. I don't know what I was thinking before."
"Caroline," Bonnie says, "please don't be mad. I know that you are. I'm the worst, but it's grams, and you know how she is. Please. I will make it up to you. I promise."
"It's fine, Bonnie," Caroline says softly. "I'm not mad. But I've got to go. I have some stuff to get done. I'll see you later."
"Caroline," Bonnie tries again.
"I love you. See you, later."
Bonnie is quiet for a second. "I love you too. I will make it up to you, Care. I promise."
Caroline hangs up, staring down at her phone for a moment, wondering if somehow she could sink into the floor forever, or if this was just the beginning of a really horrible day. She hated that she was showing her new friends such a horrible side of her. These last few days have really been the worst. She hates that it has to be happening now. It couldn't have happened when things weren't crazy hectic.
Caroline rubs at her forehead, sighing slowly before forcing a smile and turning her eyes toward the three Mikaelson siblings. "Well, we'd better get going. I have a long day ahead of me."
"Is everything okay?" Rebekah asks.
"Yeah," Caroline lies right through her teeth, then realizes there was absolutely no point seeing as they could probably hear the conversation or at least guess on what was said. For the most part. "No, I mean." She sighs, rubbing at her forehead again before admitting, ashamed, "Bonnie bailed on me. I know all of this was super last minute and it really is my fault, but I'm still bummed, you know?"
"It's not your fault," Rebekah says, putting a hand on Caroline's arm. "Some things just happen. Whatever you and your friend were going to do, I'll just do it with you."
Caroline gives her a look. "You are already helping me so much today, Rebekah. I can't make you do more."
Rebekah looks smug. "You can't make me do anything, darling. Especially if I don't want to." She runs her fingers through her long, pin-straight blond hair. "Besides, I would love to help. If I'm going to be part of this town, I've got to better acquaint myself with the places, and the people. This will be good for me." She smiles charmingly.
Caroline's eyebrows pull together. She's not one to just continuously impose on people. Especially not on people that she just met, that has been more than kind to her. "I don't know."
"I want to," Rebekah says. She rubs Caroline's arm, reassuringly. "Please. Let me help."
Caroline stares into her eyes, wondering if she would be able to see any sort of hesitance or regret there. But all she sees is genuine kindness and empathy. Caroline watches closely, trying to decide if she's weak enough to keep betting on Rebekah's kindness or not when Rebekah smiles a bit more, saying softly, "I really want to help you. Please say yes."
Caroline presses her lips together tightly for a moment, weighing the options. Finally, reluctantly, she says, "I'm not going to hold you captive. If at any point it gets super boring and you want to leave, you're welcome to."
Rebekah laughs, rolling her eyes. "I doubt that, but it's good to know I've got a way out if I need to take it."
Vicki returns, handing back a black book with Elijah's card back to him. "Did you guys need anything else?"
"I'm good," Caroline says, moving to stand.
"Nothing for me," Rebekah says, following after Caroline. The younger blond stretches, her bones creaking and cracking as she pushes her arms up above her head as far as she can make it.
"I'm fine, thank you," Elijah says as he signs off, taking his card and placing it back into his wallet and then stuffing it into his pocket. He follows Klaus out of the booth.
"No," Klaus says, his voice flat. "We are finished." He turns to Caroline, ignoring Vicki. "Where shall we start first, love?"
Caroline smiles back at him, relieved to get moving. "Alright, let's head out."
"And last but not least, Mystic Falls High School," Caroline says, walking up to the school with a box in her arms. The three siblings trail behind her, holding a few boxes too. Rebekah holding one, and each brother holding two. Neither of them seem bothered.
"Cute," Rebekah says, placatingly.
Caroline juggles holding the box in one hand and open the door to the school with the other. The air conditioning is a blessing. It wasn't crazy hot outside, but they had been wandering around for a few hours and she was really feeling it. Naturally, the beautiful and perfect Mikaelson siblings seem to be completely unaffected by it, but Caroline is dying. That, and she has the endurance of a battery running low on juice.
"Okay, come on, stay open..." Caroline grumbles as wrestles with the door and the box, nearly tipping the box off the palm of her hand in her struggle. "Oh, shoot! Stay still, you!"
"Need some help, love?" Klaus asks from a few steps behind her.
"I'm okay!" The next moment is a jerky, gravity-defying twist that manages to somehow stop the heavy box from falling from her hand. She wrestles with it for an embarrassing amount of time, contorting her body, gasping and pg-13 cursing up a storm. She can hear Rebekah laughing at her struggle as she finally manages to hold the door open with her back while holding the door open wide enough for the siblings to enter into. "Darn door. Okay, it's all good! After you guys."
Rebekah goes through without a problem but Elijah holds back, stopping Klaus from going through with his body alone. "I can hold it, Caroline. You go on ahead."
Caroline gives the oldest Mikaelson brother a dry look, moving aside a bit so that he can stick his leg out and hold the door open. "Where were you ten minutes ago, Elijah?" Caroline calls as she slides inside and heads toward the gym with Rebekah following and the two brothers not far behind. She can hear his soft chuckle from behind her as she goes.
While they walk, Caroline blabbers on and on about this or that. "Stacy Bidaco won the talent contest this year but lost the trophy after that picture was taken" and "This is where we would go to practice light cheer routines when the track team used the gym when it rained out" and "This is my old locker. It's probably going to change this year, though so that'll be cool..." And so on and so forth.
She leads them to the gym to drop everything off. She then takes Rebekah to the office to introduce her to the front office lady, who was one of the only people there, before heading back to the gym to get started. It's almost five in the evening and it's about time that they get something done. Luckily she's done running around town get the donations and the vouchers for services from the local businesses. So now she just has to set up the skeleton for the drive at the school and then all the volunteers will be there to finish it up the day before the event.
She'll have to monitor, of course, but at least all the really hard stuff is done with and all she'll have to do is tell others what to do, and delegate. So, at least she'll have that going for her.
But even then, compulsive, obsessive, neurotic Caroline might have to do more than just that.
She'd rather not think about it for now. One thing at a time.
"Okay guys," Caroline says, walking into the gym. Both brothers were standing by the discarded boxes, staring at one another. They looked like they were having a heated discussion, both of their arms crossed as they stare at each other. The discussion ended as soon as she walked back into the room. "Ready to do manual labor way below your station?"
That earns a half-smile from Elijah and a little laugh and head shake from Klaus as the two brothers, who were huddled together turn to face her. Whatever they were talking about left their expressions.
"Of course, darling," Klaus says easily, casting Elijah a half glance and walking over to her.
They start setting up tables as Caroline pulls out the plan from her purse, unfolding the crinkled piece of paper full of her doodles, and the list of what table is supposed to be for which donation perk.
"Can I ask what all of this is for, Caroline?" Elijah asks conversationally as Caroline grabs out a spiral notebook to write out signs for the tables so that in the morning, everyone will know where to start setting up. Hopefully, it's not going to be that hard for people to figure out until she gets there.
"The donation drive. It doubles as like a raffle for items and services to benefit the Historical Society in their effort to preserve Mystic Falls history," Caroline says. "So, repairs statues and cleans parks and so on and so forth. Stuff like that." She tucks a lock of blond hair behind her ear as she writes down more names of businesses. "It's the norm here, in Mystic Falls, to sell your soul to community service, so I hope you guys are having fun." She winks at Klaus who smiles back at her, dimples popping out on his cheeks.
That almost killed her. What a beautiful boy.
"It's nice to see an engaged community," Elijah says. "It reminds me of New Orleans."
Caroline looks over at the dark-haired Mikaelson, "You lived in New Orleans?" Her blue eyes widened.
"Yes, a long time," Elijah says, a fond look of remembrance crosses his face before he turns away to set up another long white table.
"Have you ever been, Caroline?" Klaus asks, walking over to her to look down at the layout of the gym on the paper next to Caroline. He looks at her.
Caroline shook her head, turning to look at him. "No. I want to, though. I hear it's pretty lively and amazing there. I always wanted to see their Day of the Dead parade! The mystic allure, the camaraderie, the festivities, the culture. I just love the idea of it." She sighs, dreamily, eyelashes fluttering. "I bet it's a hundred times better than any festivals here."
"It is quite spectacular, to say the least," Klaus says.
"Truly," Elijah agrees, finishing propping up the last table before walking over to the two blonds. "It's definitely something you should invest in seeing someday. New Orleans is..." he shares a look with Klaus, "special for us." A moment of silence, then, he admits softly, "I wouldn't mind seeing it again."
"Has it been a while since you were last there?" Caroline asks, twisting around to look at the elder Mikaelson sibling.
"Too long," Rebekah cuts in, drawing all of their eyes over to the entrance to the gym. She walks in slowly, rubbing at the back of her neck. "Sorry about that... problem with my transcript, but it's alright now." She shares a look with her brothers before continuing, "It's been so long since we were in New Orleans. I've missed it. I think the time is fast approaching that we go back, don't you think, Nik?"
"In due time, Rebekah," Klaus says, stepping next to Caroline. "One thing at a time." He gives her a look, which she wilts a bit beneath, nodding slowly.
Caroline looks between the siblings, curiously, but decided that if it was important, she'll figure it out or be clued in eventually. Now with all four of them working, they move everything into place around the room. Everything is labeled and organized exactly to Caroline's specifications. Knowing herself as well as she does, she went behind them and straightened up things based on her neurotic view on how it should be.
Needless to say, they picked up on this trait quickly and made sure to get triple confirmation before moving on to the next thing. At some point, Rebekah and Elijah leave to grab some food while Caroline and Klaus sit on the risers, relaxing. Klaus was typing away on his expensive new phone, like Elijah's, while Caroline was sitting next to him, admiring their hard work. She feels her eyes start to droop as the long last few days really start catching up with her. She leans back against the raisers behind her and closes her eyes.
She feels like she only shut her eyes for a second, but when she opened them again, her head was on Klaus's shoulder and Elijah and Rebekah were already back. Somehow they managed to pull up some chairs and set out the food.
Elijah spots her eyes opening first. He tilts his head to the side a bit. "Hello, Caroline. How are you feeling?"
Caroline rubs at her face, sitting up slowly. She rolls her shoulders and neck around to work out the stiffness. "I'm okay. I must have been more tired than I thought," she admits, then looks over at Klaus, flushing a bit in embarrassment. "I'm sorry for laying on your shoulder." She wipes at her face, discreetly trying to make sure she wasn't drooling. All she knows is that her face was on fire. "That is so embarrassing."
"Not need to be bashful, love, you're tired," Klaus says, amused, probably becoming stronger by feeding on Caroline's embarrassment.
"We should eat and call it a day," Elijah says diplomatically. "It's late and by the sounds of it you have another busy day tomorrow too."
"Yeah, but at least I can sleep in a bit tomorrow," Caroline says, standing up and stretching before stepping off the riser and heading over to her purse, grabbing it and Rebekah's where she dropped it and brings them both over. She passes Rebekah's to her, who nods her thanks around a mouthful of rice before taking her place next to Klaus again, digging around until she finds her phone.
Caroline grabs her carton of sesame chicken, taking a bite while she skims her messages. Mostly from the volunteers for the next day. Some asking if they needed to bring stuff, some saying they were going to be late, some having someone else cover for them. So on and so forth. All within the group chat. Caroline takes a few bites, distracted.
She types out some reminders for the group before moving on. She's got a few messages from Bonnie, making plans for a sleepover a week after school starts, promising The Notebook and mani-pedis. She smiles, sending back an affirmation before moving on to the next when her phone goes off, displaying the name, "Birth-giver" across the screen.
Caroline hesitates for a moment before picking it up. "Hello?"
"Caroline, are you home?"
The face she's wearing must be one of exasperation. She rubs her forehead and sighs. "Judging by the question I'm sure it's safe to assume that you aren't?"
"You're not home?" Liz asks, sighing. "Do you have any idea how late it is?"
Caroline pulls her phone away from her ear to look at the clock in the clock in the corner, eyebrows pulled together before bringing it back to her ear. "I hope that's a rhetorical question. It's half-past seven. It's still light out and besides, I'm at the school gym. It's not like I'm out in the sticks."
"Caroline the advisory is still in effect. Go home before it gets dark out. I mean it. Or I'll drive up there and drive you home myself."
"I'm having some dinner with friends and then I'm heading home. Don't worry. I'll text you once I get home, okay? Don't worry." Caroline stuffs some more sesame chicken into her mouth. She chews thoughtfully, relishing every bite. She didn't get to eat as much as she had hoped for this morning, and running around the whole day has left her feeling ravenous.
Liz sighs. "One hour, Caroline. You better be at home."
Caroline rolls her eyes. "Fine." She hangs up, feeling that touch of regret and sadness that she always feels when she acts like that. Liz cares, Caroline knows that she does, but there will always be this little part of her that will resent her mother for not being around. There was nothing Liz could do to save her marriage Bill because he didn't love women, so Caroline never blamed her mother for that. Doesn't mean she isn't prone to throwing it in her mother's face from time to time - which she knows is unfair.
But that touch of blame always remained. She always blamed her mother for never being around. For always being hypocritical of her. For never trying to understand her, even if only a little bit.
Caroline lets out a long sigh, shaking her head. She looks around at the three siblings, picking away at their food, saying, "Thanks for the food. I'm going to finish up and head home. Do you guys know how to get to your house from here or do you need me to lead you back to The Grill?"
"We will be able to make it back from here," Elijah assures her. "Finish eating, we'll make sure you get to your car safely."
"You don't have to feed into my mom's worry," Caroline says, rolling her eyes. "I'm gonna be okay."
"There is plenty to be worried about, Caroline," Rebekah says. "You should trust your mother in that regard. After we're done, you'll let me know too, once you get home, won't you?"
Caroline rolls her eyes, eating some more chicken. "You guys all worry too much."
"Promise me, Caroline," Rebekah says, her eyebrows pulling together tightly. "I just want to make sure that you're safe."
"Okay, I will," Caroline agrees. "Now, let's get back to eating."