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I try not to think too much on the walk back to my apartment. The regret in my heart weighs me down with each step, but I'm not sure that I understand where it's coming from. Clueing Alaric in on where I stand between him and Klaus is the least I can do before I hurt him, but it's troubling to disregard our connection for a monster like Niklaus.

A monster who understands why Mikael cannot stay alive; my brain reminds me in Klaus's impatient voice.

Yeah, Klaus and I are on the same page about one thing. He is offering to protect me, and I would do the same for him if it came down to it—that doesn't mean there is a future between us, despite the tug at my heartstrings with the mention of his name.

I'm sure it's just the history we have that makes me struggle with this. And our romantic relationship is just that: history. This is unlike Alaric and I; we are brand new and both emotionally unstable because of our recent traumatic experiences. Not that mine is anywhere as tragic and terrible as his, therefore he doesn't need the stress that is a romantic connection with me.

Do you think I still have feelings for you?

I shiver. It's Klaus's voice again, but it's softer, gentler. This isn't the version of him that I've known recently—this replica of his soft tone is cloned from my Niklaus's from 500 years ago.

Get out of my head, I hiss in reference to my magic.

I get no response, but I already know what happens next. Last I checked, the battery in my cell phone has been dead since early last night, but it seems in perfect condition when I pull it from my pocket.

In the same fashion as when I heard Stefan's endless laughing in Chicago, the buzzing echoes around in my head, urging me to answer the phone. The number is unfamiliar, but I have no doubts as to who it is.

"Hello, Klaus." I begin, curtly after failing to resist the magical impulse to hit accept.

I can hear the smile in his voice instantly, "Have you been thinking of me, Clara? Or is it your magic that keeps me from getting your voicemail?"

"You think to know me so well." My voice is more confident than I would have expected, "How can I help you?"

The other line is silent for a minute while he decides how to respond me. I try to imagine what he's doing in this very moment, but all I can picture is Tyler Lockwood's nearly unsuccessful transition into hybridism. It makes me sick just thinking about him doing that to other innocent wolves. Teens again, maybe.

"You haven't reached out at all," he says, quietly, "I worry about you being so far away from me with danger on its way. Has Damon moved forward with his plan to raise Mikael?"

"Not that I've picked up on. He now knows about Mikael's roll in my death centuries ago. Maybe that has deferred him for at least a little while." I explain.

I bet he nods on the other end, "I'm coming home soon anyway, so there isn't much need for worrying. Except, have you heard from Rebekah? She didn't answer when I called."

My thoughts flash to Damon and I sitting by Rebekah at the school bonfire. The aching in my heart begins again, but it's for a different reason this time.

"No," I reply, "She wants nothing to do with me, though."

"You know she's stubborn. She will come around, just as I have." he reassures.

I'm not sure why, but I find comfort in his words. I'm sort of lacking in friends as of recently, so having Rebekah on my side again would be much less lonely for me if I have to stick around. She will not think the same, I'm sure, but time will tell. Plus, I'm not even sure if I am ready for her presence yet.

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