16 Ch. 15

1930 A.D. Mystic Falls

I left Katerina behind at one of my compounds when I finally headed back to Mystic Falls. The white oak tree that had grown to replace the one that we burnt a thousand years ago was cut down in 1912 and used to build a crossing called Wickery Bridge. I now stood before that exact bridge in the dead of night, nobody around for miles. This right here was the last thing in this world that could kill me, disregarding the idea of a hundred or more witches getting together to try to finish me off.

Smiling, I stepped forward to eye the sign that in the original timeline would be turned into twelve stakes and would end up being the death of two of my siblings. Tracing my fingers through the engraved lettering, I breathed out slowly, before gripping the sides of the sign and ripping it from its place on the bridge. Flashing some distance away I placed the sign inside of the large piece of cloth I'd brought along, wrapping it up carefully before returning to the bridge.

I'd brought along a flamethrower, which is what I reached for now, getting the bulky set up onto my back and making sure everything was functioning properly. Learning to use this thing last year had been amusing and not only because Katerina was more than a little afraid I'd turn it on her for fun. I never did of course, and the one time the fuel tank had 'accidentally' exploded while I was practicing with it, I came out entirely unscathed.

The look on Katerina's face at that was almost enough that I didn't punish her for the attempt on my life. Almost. I grinned at the memory of her delicious punishment even as I walked across the bridge and then activated the flame thrower, walking backwards slowly as I doused every bit of the bridge in flame. After the top of it was on fire I moved down the bank to its underside where planks of white oak wood were laid as a foundation.

The flamethrower made short work of that as well and soon enough I was staring at the ashes of the bridge with a pleased smile. I took my time and made sure not to miss even a sliver of the wood. Soon enough everything was burnt beyond recognition. Still carrying the flamethrower on my back I moved back to where I'd left the wrapped sign and picked it up as well before blurring away. I dropped the flamethrower to the ground a few states over and left it where it lay before continuing south.

With my precious Wickery Bridge Sign in hand, I returned to my holdings in South America, placing the potential weapon in a location only I knew of. I would not completely destroy the source of mine and my family's invincibility, as I knew that Nature would seek a balance if I did so. And at the end of the day, having a potential way to end my siblings was worth the threat to my own life by simple virtue that Klaus was a rage monster I needed to keep a close eye on.

For now, it was best that I kept the white oak hidden away but still available for use.

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1945 A.D.

On August 6th, 1945, the humans used the first atomic bomb in history on themselves. Hiroshima was devastated by the atomic bomb that was code-named Little Boy. Three days later a second atomic bomb code-named Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki. The damage and death toll done by these two weapons was horrific. I might have felt a bit more sympathy if I was still human, but all I truly felt was a small bit of worry over the potential atomic weapons had to harm our world.

That did not stop me from detonating my own atomic bomb on a small island 200 miles off of the coast of Nova Scotia only two days after the Fat Man fell. It was small compared to both Little Boy and Fat Man, meant solely to blast the tiny island off of the map and make the place entirely unlivable. Only once the island was completely gone, covered up by the ocean did I feel some relief.

The humans on the other hand understandably freaked out. Luckily I'd already made sure that the United States would have easy access to answers. I'd inserted vampires into the Nazi Regime early in the war and in the last days I'd had them fabricate reports of a secret weapons facility based on the island that ended up obliterated and then made sure those reports fell into the hands of the right people.

The humans in charge of the United States incorrectly assumed that the facility they had evidence of had either had an accident in attempting an attack on US soil, or heard of the Nazi surrender and chose to suicide instead of being found out upon the seizure of Nazi records.

There would of course be other theories, plenty of conspiracy theorists would speculate over the years, but those in charge thought they had all of the real answers and considered the matter to be done with. I could rest easy knowing that even if the Five did manage to complete their map, they would find nothing but water and residual radiation.

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1980 A.D.

I sighed as I pet Katerina's hair slowly. I was sat on one end of the long couch she had sprawled upon, her head leaning against my leg as she napped contently. Much of my focus was on the book I was paging through with my free hand, the scene one of quiet serenity that would have probably looked like a cute moment between a romantic couple to anyone who was not aware of our relationship.

Putting the book away, I looked down at my pet and spoke softly, "Katerina."

She responded to my use of her name with a breathy moan and snuggling up against me further. I smiled and the hand petting her hair took a firm grip, before I spoke again in a far different tone, "Katerina."

This time she woke up almost instantly, eyes wide as she immediately looked to me, before lowering them submissively, "Yes Master?"

I released my grip on her hair and she raised herself up on the couch, awaiting my commands but doing her best never to make eye contact with me. I smile at that, "Katerina, look me in the eye darling."

She shudders at that, even after over a century she still feared my compulsion. But even still, she raised her head slowly and locked her gaze with mine. I cupped her face with my hand and initiated the compulsion. I skipped the usual part of having her lie to me, in favor of the truth, "Now then darling, you've been mine for quite a long time. So tell me what you think of me and what you've learned since my original compulsion wore off and you were allowed to finally look for a way to free yourself."

She responded promptly, but then she wasn't exactly allowed to hesitate, "I am addicted to you Master. You are a drug that I'm not sure I can ever break myself free of. At the same time, despite this I am not truly devoted or loyal to you. My worst fears have never come to pass. I am still myself under the compulsions you have put on me. I have looked for a way to free myself from you, but the only way I know how would be to kill you and I watched you destroy the last weapon against you when you killed Mikael."

She shuddered for a moment as I ran my fingers over her skin, but eventually continued, "I am content to remain in your possession until a window opens where I can escape you. I realize now that you will never truly break me, be that because of your own design or because of my inner strength."

As she finishes saying all of this, she's panting heavily. Her eyes are full of fear but she keeps her gaze locked with mine in a rare display of defiance. I grin and bring my hands up to come her face, "Beautiful Katerina. I've always known you had fire. I am happy to see that it is not snuffed out so easily. That said I believe our time together is coming to an end."

She blinks at that, before swallowing thickly after a long moment, "Are you going to finally kill me then?"

I chuckle and shake my head, "No Katerina. I have far too much fun with you for your death to come at my hand. I should have been more clear, I think we need to play a new game."

She's nervous but also somewhat excited by the thought, her body immediately reacting with arousal to my saying the word game. I may not have broken her mind, though I hadn't really wanted to, but I had trained her body incredibly well. Gulping, she takes the bait, "What sort of game Master?"

I grin and tell her, "I'm thinking something a bit like catch and release. But more like release and catch. I'll let you go for a little while, make you forget exactly who I am, though not what we've shared. You'll be on the run from Klaus again, but you'll be free. And then, at some point in the future you'll run into me again and be back under my thrall. How does that sound?"

She looks at me with such abject sadness that it almost tugs at my heart strings. Almost. Her puppy dog eyes have gotten quite good over the years, "Please don't do that to me. Please?"

Her begging has gotten quite good as well, and I grin, tugging at one of her stray curls with one hand, before suddenly sliding my other hand around her throat to hold her in place as I keep her eyes locked with mine and begin the compulsion, "In 1864 you will remember giving George Lockwood the Moonstone and fleeing south of your own accord. Eventually you found me, a young man who'd just inherited a fortune and a burgeoning criminal empire. You seduced me and used me to lie low. You even turned me so that I would be able to keep you happy for as long as necessary. Now though you've heard rumors that Klaus might know where you are, and you've decided it's time to cut your losses and move on.

I reached down and took her wrist in one of my hands, bringing her hand up and placing it around my throat, forcing her to grip me there as I released her throat, "You're leaving me behind, but I've fallen in love with you. For the time I've made you happy, you're going to let me live, but you are going to make sure I know my place, and then you'll leave. By 2010, if you haven't already figured out where the new doppleganger is, you will find yourself drawn to Mystic Falls. All previous compulsions I've put on you will cease to have an effect until I unlock them."

I let go of her, leaving her hand around my throat the only point of contact between us. In a flash she was over me, her grip tightening as she bared her fangs at me, "Don't ever presume you can tell me what to do darling. I made you, and I can unmake you just as easily."

I put on a combination of a sad and terrified face as I pretend to protest, "B-but Katerina, I love you! You can't just leave me!"

With a hiss, she slapped me hard and pointed a finger at me, "I can do whatever I please. I am leaving you, and the only reason you're going to live is because I owe you a small debt for these dozen decades. Consider it repaid with your life."

A moment later she was gone from the mansion and from the area. I gave her a few more moments to flee before standing from the crouch and straightening my ruffled clothing. A slow smile built on my face as I considered how much fun the next several decades would prove to be, as everything came to a head.

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