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Here Be Monsters

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After practicing a little bit more magic to ensure that her powers were back to normal, Cassie decided to go back to her original problem of Zachary, the stranger who knew she was a witch. Digging through her closet, Cassie dug out a box of her mother’s things that she’d left in Chance Harbor before moving away. Finding a box labeled ‘Amelia’ she brought it out to her room and began sifting through her mother’s belongings. At the bottom sat her mother’s old high school yearbook. Flipping through the pages, she spotted a picture of her mother with Zachary Larson and Heather Barnes. Biting her lip, Cassie wondered what to do with the information before deciding to go to Diana’s. The girl was right earlier; Zachary knowing about magic did involve all of them.

“My father said he knew him in school and that he was really bad news,” Diana said once Cassie explained her findings.

“He doesn’t look like it here,” the blonde gestured toward the yearbook.

Diana moved to sit on the table next to the other girl, “What exactly did he say to you?”

“Just that he knew my mother… and that it can’t happen again,” Cassie said, realizing that she had forgotten something important.

Diana looked away in thought, “Do you think he meant the fire?”

“I guess. What really happened that night?” She asked inquisitively.

Diana looked at her uncomfortably, “I think it was witchcraft and they covered it up. None of our parents will talk about it and no one else knows what really happened.”

Cassie looked down at the book, “Well, it looks like Zachary Larson does,” She said seriously. She wanted to know what happened that night. What killed her father? And what was so horrible that it made her mother leave town and vow to never return?

“Then we need to find out,” Diana said resolutely, “I’m glad you called.”

The blonde looked up at her uncomfortably, “It involves all of us,” She stated vaguely, shutting the book, standing up and heading for the door, “I should get ready for the dance.”

“We can get ready together, if you want,” Diana offered.

Cassie turned in the foyer, “Look, I came because he knew about magic and that affects more than just me. I appreciate your help, but I’m not looking to become friends. Not until I know more about you, about what happened that night sixteen years ago and why my mother ran from this place. I’m sorry, Diana, you seem really nice, but it’s just not going to happen.” She turned on her heel and walked out the door.

When she arrived home, she went to her closet and brought out the clothes she’d picked for the dance. Hanging them next to her mirror, she checked her phone. She knew Klaus and Stefan wouldn’t be arriving until late, but she still felt paranoid that Klaus would arrive just in time to see her out with Luke. Klaus wasn’t one for jealousy, but he did enjoy teasing and torturing Cassie. If he saw her on a date, he’d never let her live it down.

Stripping out of her clothes, Cassie donned her robe. She was about to sit at her desk and apply moisturizer when she noticed Nick creeping from his window. Picking up her cell phone, she sent him a text.

Did you talk to Melissa yet? She asked, turning to face the window so that she could see him.

Nick looked down and pulled out his phone, having received her text he sent one back, No.

Rolling her eyes, Cassie replied, I saw her car by the woods. She’s probably at the abandoned house. Talk to her.

Seeing that she wasn’t going to leave this alone, Nick rolled his eyes and left the window. However, a few minutes later, Cassie spied him getting on his bike and making his way towards the woods. It looked like he was taking her advice after all.

Smiling, Cassie finished applying her make up and donned her slinky white top and black leather skirt. She finished off by applying a lotion to her arms, legs and upper chest that contained small gold sparkles; not enough to be noticeable, but enough to give her skin a special shine. Slipping on gold earrings, she grabbed her keys and walked outside where Sally was already waiting. Apparently a broken arm didn’t impair her driving skills any. Once at the school, the two girls began working on some last minute details for the dance.

People began trailing in and soon the gym was filled. Looking around, Cassie realized that everyone was wearing a dress and she was wearing a skirt and top. Feeling a little awkward, she began looking around for Luke. Spotting him by some tables, she headed over.

“You look great,” He spoke, voice barely audible over the music.

Cassie smiled at the compliment, “So do you,” She replied a little awkwardly. Luke said thanks and Cassie decided to simply confess her thoughts, “I’m a little nervous,” She admitted easily, “I didn’t have a huge social life at my old school… or a small one, or any one at all, actually,” She joked.

“Are you saying you’re a loner?” Luke grinned.

Cassie nodded easily, “I’ve been called worse.”

Luke smiled, “Come on. Let’s go change all that,” he reached down for her hand and led her out to the dance floor. On the way, she spotted Adam and Diana and glanced away uncomfortably, reminded of exactly why she agreed to this date in the first place.

Luke introduced Cassie to a few of his friends before offering to get her something to drink. Cassie looked around as she was once again left alone to watch everyone else and their friends.

“Hey,” Adam said, coming up from behind her. Cassie looked at him and then quickly looked away, unsure of what to say. “You look nice,” he complimented.

“No compliments,” she said, reminding him of their friends-only line.

Instantly getting what she was saying, he grinned. “Sorry,” he said, turning so that he wasn’t even facing her. He found her strict line amusing but at the same time was extremely thankful as it helped him keep his distance.

“Guys!” Sally spoke coming up from behind both of them, “Please dance. No one is dancing. This can’t be one of those lame parties where no one dances,” She said forlornly, looking at the both of them.

“I don’t know where Luke is,” Cassie turned to look for her date.

Sally, smiled evilly, “If you two go out there, I’m sure other people will too,” She said grabbing Cassie’s arm and using her to shove both her and Adam out to the dance floor.

“I’m pretty sure she did that on purpose,” the blonde girl scowled.

“Why? Does she think you want to dance with me?” Adam asked.

Cassie scoffed, “No. I don’t know. Can we not talk about this?” Adam grinned in amusement but obligingly shut up. The two awkwardly came together just as a slow song started. Suspicious, Cassie turned to the DJ to see Sally escaping the scene once more. Scowling, the blonde made a mental note to kill her friend.

“I know you’re trying to keep your distance from me,” Adam spoke lowly, “And I understand. I think.” He looked down at her and smiled softly when she immediately turned away. She was trying to keep her distance but every time she did, it just illustrated how easily Adam got to her; how he didn’t even have to try to get her to feel something for him. “I’m really glad that you reached out to Diana today, though. She really wants to be your friend.”

“Yeah and that’s nice of her, but I’m not so sure it’s a great idea,” Cassie replied.

Unable to help himself, he asked, “Why?” already knowing the answer, but needing to hear Cassie say it out loud.

“Why?” she repeated surprised, “Really?” She asked incredulously, “Because sometimes when we’re together streetlights explode and I think that might be weird for Diana. And you. And me.”

“It’s different now that the Circle is bound,” Adam said.

Cassie looked up at him, noticing how throughout their conversation, they’d drifted closer, “Is it?” She asked, looking up into his eyes.

Adam swallowed harshly as he got her point clearly, “…I don’t know, Cassie,” he admitted, “But we have to make this work somehow. For all of us.” Despite his words, Adam found himself looking down at her lips. Noticing, Cassie’s pupils dilated in lust, her body begging to reach those scant inches up and have their lips touch again.

“Adam!” Hastily separating, Cassie opened her mouth, a lie already on her lips. “Someone broke into the abandoned house when Faye was there. Sounds like it was Zachary Larson,” Diana’s voice shook at her last few words but she left before Adam could say anything. Adam turned to look at Cassie and their eyes met. That was too close. So much for it never happening again…

The duo quickly followed Diana back out to the hallway where the others were already waiting. By then, Diana had regained what ever composition she had lost in walking in on Adam and Cassie dancing so closely. Adam immediately joined Diana’s side and Cassie awkwardly stood by Nick, who she was happy to see came to the dance. When she saw Melissa alone earlier, she had assumed Nick had chickened out.

The group moved deeper into the school, away from the dance. “I had no power to defend myself. I could have been killed all because you took away my magic,” Faye hissed. Cassie was uncomfortably reminded that while she had her powers back, no one else did. She made a mental note to help Nick release his powers soon.

“Don’t blame Diana,” Adam hastily stood up for his girlfriend, “She didn’t know.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Diana said, pushing her thoughts to the side in order to focus on the problem, “What’s important is we’re in danger right now.”

“Why is he coming after us?” Melissa asked. They still didn’t know what reason Zachary had for attacking them.

Faye started listing off what they knew about the man, “He knows about the Circle and he knows we bound it.”

Diana continued, “He knew something about the fire that killed our parents.”

“How?” Nick asked.

“Okay, I looked him up online and I couldn’t find anything else about him or how he’s connected to our families,” Cassie shared.

“Did you check the school records?” Faye asked, already knowing the answer.

Diana shook her head, “We don’t have access to those.”

The other girl smiled and raised her eyebrow, “You do if you have your mom’s master key,” She said, happy that she’d taken the time to stop at her locker and grab them. Suddenly, the group heard footsteps and whirled around, ready to face Zachary as a group. Instead, however, Luke turned the corner.

Everyone let out a relieved breath at the boy’s friendly face, “So, this is where the party is.”

“I was, uh,” Cassie turned her head so that Luke couldn’t see her coming up with a lie, “I was just roping some people into helping Sally with dance committee stuff.”

“Cassie, why don’t you head back in. I will handle the whole clean up problem,” Diana offered.

Cassie looked confused. Not only did she want to help the others, but Diana didn’t know that Cassie could practice individual magic. Leaving Cassie alone was dangerous, “Are you sure?” She tried to clarify.

“Absolutely,” Diana said looking at Adam who was grimacing as he looked at Cassie and Luke together. Suddenly, Cassie understood. Diana was punishing her for getting close with Adam by cutting her out of the group. Cassie didn’t think Diana realized that by segregating Cassie, she was leaving Cassie in danger.

The blonde backed up and left the group, secure in the knowledge that she did owe Diana and if this is what Diana needed to feel better, then she’d do it. Even if Diana didn’t know it, Cassie had her power back. Zachary was of no threat to her.

“So, a loner, huh?” Luke asked, “A loner who is friends with some of the most popular kids at this school,” He teased.

Cassie opened up her mouth, but was unsure of what to say. “Our families are close,” she ended up responding. There was an awkward silence after that, “Everyone seems to be having a good time. Sally will be relieved,” the girl changed the subject.

“Do you want to dance?” Luke asked, “I’m bad at it, just FYI,” He grinned. Cassie smiled, but turned him down. She needed to make sure she could see the exits in case the others needed her or if Zachary showed up at the school. “No, I don’t think so,” Luke finally said, fed up with Cassie’s weirdness all night. Cassie felt bad, but let him go without a fight. It would be easier if she didn’t have to worry about him accidentally stumbling onto something he wasn’t supposed to.

Now that she didn’t have to occupy Luke’s time, she decided to find the others. She knew Diana wanted her away from Adam, but Diana was also the one who said that the Zachary problem involved all of them. She began making her way to the principal’s office figuring everyone was still looking through the school records when she felt someone come up behind her. “Who’s there?” She called, “Nick?” She wondered if the boy was playing another trick on her. If he was, it was poor timing, “Klaus?” She asked wondering if it could be him instead. She wouldn’t put it past him to show up at Chance Harbor early and decide to scare Cassie as a bit of fun, “Not funny,” She grinned.

Instead, Zachary walked out of the shadows. Pursing her lips together, Cassie took a half second to recognize that she was in danger before bolting down the halls. Cursing at herself for wearing high heels, she turned back to see him walking calmly behind her, pursuing her with ease. Ducking into a corner, Cassie hid in a nook and began working to control her breathing the way Klaus taught her. If she could control her breathing, she could control her fear.

Once she felt calmer, she peered out slowly and noticed that Zachary had walked in the opposite direction. Leaning back, she took a deep breath before moving back to the main hall, hoping to get back to the dance where there were plenty of witnesses. Instead, Cassie ran face first into the man she was avoiding. She let out a scream of surprise before automatically ducking and making a run for it.

Feeling his breath on the back of her neck, Cassie screamed for help. As soon as the words left her mouth, Zachary tackled her to the ground. Cassie felt her hair stand up on end and immediately recognized that the others were here. Cursing herself for forgetting to use her magic when she had the chance, she looked up to see Diana, Melissa and Faye. The three girls did a few parlor tricks, nothing fancy, but it was enough to get Zachary to pause.

“Sorry Heather died, but Cassie didn’t kill her,” Diana said, trying to make peace.

Zachary shook his head, “Heather didn’t die. What Amelia did to her was far worse.” Cassie’s eyes widened as she wondered what that meant. She didn’t have long to think on it because Zachary hauled her up roughly. He turned to leave with her, but Adam and Nick blocked his way.

Seeing Cassie being held hostage angered Adam. Instead of focusing his powers with Nick, he drew from Cassie, sending Zachary into the ceiling hard. Cassie ran to Adam who wrapped his arms around her protectively. Seeing this, Diana flinched in anger and sent Zachary falling to the floor, taking her pain out on the man. Immediately, she regretted it when he remained motionless on the ground.

“Okay, now what?” Faye asked hesitantly as she stepped closer to the body.

Melissa moved closer to take a better look, “My god, is he dead?”

Adam stepped closer and looked at Zachary’s back. Noticing movement, he shook his head, “No, he’s breathing.”

Diana finally spoke up, “Well, get away from him just in case.”

Not listening, Melissa turned to face the girl, “What are we going to do?”

“We get the hell out of here,” Faye answered. Nick moved forward, agreeing with her.

Adam shook his head, “We can’t just leave. The school is full of people.”

“So what?” Faye asked, “We’re the only ones he wants to kill.” Cassie agreed with the analysis, but if they left, he would just wake up and try and kill them all over again. If she were alone, she’d implement a more… permanent solution, but as it was, she didn’t think murder would go over very well with the others. They were all so new and unaware of the true harshness involved in being part of the supernatural world.

“We should call the police,” Diana decided.

“And tell them what?” Cassie said, immediately poking a hole in the other girl’s plan. Cassie’s eyes widened as she noticed something behind Diana. Whirling around, everyone tensed as Mrs. Chamberlain came into view.

“What’s going on?” She asked worriedly, taking in the chaos, “What happened?”

Faye moved forwards, “Mom, I can explain.”

Knowing that her best friend needed help, Melissa started, “He was chasing after us-“

 

”Because we saw him breaking open the lockers,” Diana helped.

“And then we threatened to call the police and he started chasing after us,” Adam added.

Faye continued, “He slipped on the papers and fell. He hit his head hard.”

Cassie internally shook her head. Their story sounded so false. Giving in when Mrs. Chamberlain asked if Zachary made the entire mess by himself, Cassie put her two-cents in, “We don’t know. We came in here and the hallway was already such a disaster zone.” Cassie caught the grateful look in Faye’s eyes and gave a small nod in acknowledgement.

Everyone’s eyes widened when Faye’s mom said she knew the man. Their heart stopped collectively, only to restart when Dawn said that he was an addict who had vandalized the school before. Cassie looked at the other woman suspiciously. Their story was fake, made up completely off the cuff. So what was the likelihood of even a small part of it having plausible background? When Dawn said she didn’t want any of them involved, Cassie felt her suspicions grow, but moved toward the gym nonetheless.

Once the others were in front, she grabbed Nick’s hand and quietly led him back. She slipped off her shoes and put a finger to her lips as she began eavesdropping from the corner. “Charles. I’ve got him,” they heard the woman say.

Eyes wide, the two crept away before they got caught. They turned the corner before talking. “I knew something was up with her,” Cassie whispered, putting a steadying hand on Nick’s shoulder as she slipped her heels back on.

“What made you suspicious?” Nick asked, wondering how Cassie knew to double back.

“Our story. Our completely fake, made up story that Mrs. Chamberlain corroborated? No way,” Cassie shook her head, her curls flying, “Too coincidental. And then I remembered Sally. I was the first one there and she was dead, but then Mrs. Chamberlain showed up and suddenly Sally’s all healed? She had to have been the one who did it. Remember what I said about how to use magic to bring back the dead? You’d need a crystal and it would have to be immediate. I didn’t do it and that only leaves her. She healed Sally and for some reason she’s helping us cover up what happened with Zachary.”

The two made their way back to the gym where the others were already waiting with their coats. The dance was already over and kids were streaming out into the streets. Diana suggested Faye go back and see what happened with her mom and the police while Cassie, Adam and Diana waited outside for her.

“So what did your mother say?” Diana asked the minute Faye got back.

“All she knows is that Zachary’s a crazy local who broke into the school,” the girl reported.

“Are they going to arrest him?” Adam asked.

Faye nodded, “Yeah, my mom said security took him to the police station. Lucky us, she asked that they keep it quiet so it doesn’t reflect badly on the school.”

Cassie internally snorted. Yeah, she bet Dawn was keeping it quiet. Unwilling to share what she knew, Cassie instead said, “You guys saved my life. Thanks.”

“Don’t get all weepy about it,” Faye smirked.

Cassie gave a grin back, “No really. Thank you. All of you,” She said looking at each of them. Diana smiled back and Cassie felt a burden lift from her shoulders. It didn’t look like Diana was upset with her anymore.

“See you losers tomorrow,” Faye rolled her eyes, leaving.

The small blonde girl let out a sigh as her mind began working in over time. Soon, she began blurting her thoughts out loud until Diana stopped her, reassuring her that they would find answers, just not today.

Adam offered to give the two girls a ride home, but Diana refused saying she’d bring Cassie home herself. Adam looked confused and Cassie spoke up, “What? Don’t worry about it. I’m fine,” she said, hoping that Diana wasn’t looking to talk about what she had seen earlier between the blonde and Adam.

“I will sleep better knowing that you got home safely,” Diana replied. Cassie smiled uncomfortably. What was she supposed to say to that?

Once at home, Cassie led the other girl into the kitchen so that they could talk without her grandmother hearing them from upstairs. She knew that Jane was on-call tonight and so there was a strong chance that she wasn’t even home, but Cassie didn’t feel like going up and checking.

Grabbing a couple of sodas, she turned back to Diana, “I feel like I never knew who my mom really was,” Cassie said, hoping to avoid talking about the Adam situation. She passed a soda to Diana.

“I don’t remember my mother at all,” Diana confessed, “I guess it must be harder having known her.”

Cassie shrugged slightly. It was hard to say. She knew her mom but she felt like she really didn’t, so she could understand the pain of having questions and never being able to get any answers. “Thanks for hanging with me,” Cassie smiled genuinely.

Diana smiled back before taking a deep breath and visibly gathering her nerves. Cassie tensed knowing what was going to come next, “I know you didn’t ask to be part of the Circle. You’ve got your whole loner thing, I get it.” Cassie smiled in response. Maybe Diana wasn’t going to bring up Adam after all. “And it’s not like Faye and I are BFFs. I mean, she hates me most of the time. I just think we’re better together than we are apart. Power or no power.”

Cassie smiled. Diana had helped save her life. She was a good person; a good friend, “Sorry if I was rude to you.”

Diana smiled at the apology before looking down in thought, “Its okay. I get it. I see the way he looks at you,” She admitted. Half of her was hoping Cassie would deny that Adam looks at her at all, but the other half knew it would be a lie.

“No, its nothing,” Cassie tried to reassure, but her words rang fake even to her own ears.

But Diana clung to her words, “I hope you’re right because I…” She turned to look at Cassie in the eyes, “love him. I’ve loved him for as long as I can remember.”

Seeing the honesty and love in her eyes, Cassie vowed again that nothing between her and Adam could ever happen, “You have nothing to be worried about, Diana,” She promised, “I would never come between you two.”

Diana smiled seeing the honesty in Cassie’s eyes as well, “I really do like you, Cassie. I want us to be friends.”

Cassie smiled, “I’d like that,” She responded genuinely. After bidding Diana goodnight, she walked up to her room and stripped into comfortable pajamas, curling into her bed with her mother’s book of shadows. After what Zachary said, she needed to feel close to her mother. Reading her mother’s note to her, she began from the beginning.

Hours later, Cassie started awake violently. Looking down, she realized she must have fallen asleep reading. She tensed as she heard a creaking sound outside her bedroom door. Wondering if Zachary had been released, she readied herself. This time, she wouldn’t let her instincts and fear override her common sense. She’d use magic to take him out no matter what. Her bedroom door swung open revealing a reddish blond haired male.

ldquo;Klaus!” She grinned widely, jumping off the bed to fling herself into his arms, wrapping her arms and legs around him tightly. Klaus quickly took the opportunity to kiss the small blonde, hands gripping her ass as he moved across the room to set her on her desk. Their lips met frantically as Cassie realized that she hadn’t seen him in months; since the night her mother died.

As Klaus began to lavish her neck, she turned her head slightly to give him better access and inadvertently noticed Nick watching them from his window. She gave him a raised eyebrow and a smirk but the expression was quickly wiped away as she lost herself in a sea of pleasure when Klaus bit down, drinking in her blood. She vaguely noticed Melissa coming up behind Nick, but Nick drew his blinds before the other girl could see what he was looking at. She made a mental note to thank the blond later, but was quickly distracted when Klaus’ hands began creeping up her sleep shorts.

“I’m gonna go,” Stefan announced from the doorway as Cassie and Klaus got a little too into their reunion.

Klaus broke away from Cassie, “Nonsense. I insist you stay,” He ordered. Cassie and Stefan both looked at him oddly, “Since you and Cassie are so close and all,” He said turning to face the blonde. For the first time, Cassie realized that Klaus was mad at her too. “Talking behind my back isn’t very nice, pet,” He explained cruelly before leaning in to lavish her choroidal artery knowing that she wouldn’t be able to protest when he did that.

Her head tilted back as she let out a wanton moan. She mentally cursed Klaus for making her artery her weakness. If he hadn’t associated biting with sex… well, he was a vampire; they all associated biting with sex.

Stefan hesitantly came up from behind Klaus. “Are you serious?” He muttered to the hybrid. Klaus came up for air long enough to glare at the other vampire, making his seriousness blatant. Klaus picked Cassie up and brought her to the bed, laying the girl down gently before backing up. “After you,” He said to Stefan, gesturing to the blonde.

Cassie’s face turned bright red as her ex-boyfriend’s brother awkwardly leaned over her. ‘Sorry’ he mouthed to her silently as he leaned in close.

‘Ditto’ she replied as their lips met in a hesitant kiss. Soon, however, that kiss ceased to be innocent and awkward. Stefan was an amazing kisser; he had years of practice. And Cassie was one of Stefan’s best friends. They already had a shared intimacy. Plus, it had been a while since Elena and blood made for a very arousing experience. Putting all those factors together led to Stefan ripping Cassie’s top from her body as she threaded her fingers through his hair, tugging painfully in excitement. Soon, they felt the bed dip and they detached themselves long enough to look at a smirking Klaus, “Perhaps I should have thought this punishment through a bit more. Neither one of you are looking particularly repentant,” He smirked, leaning over to join the fun.