“Uncle made me wait while he spoke to the nice lady who brings us cookies sometimes,” Maddie said as soon as he walked into his sister’s home completely betraying him.
Klaus’ face looked horror stricken as Rebekah launched herself on him, “You left my daughter alone,” she exclaimed lunging the newspaper at him.
“I’m leaving,” he said barely escaping as he shut the door behind him, “Talk soon,” he called behind him to a still ranting Rebekah.
“Any plans tonight?” her mother asked as Caroline got her bag and was getting ready to leave she winced as she turned looking at Liz.
“No mom, just going to stay in,” she said honestly though omitting one small factor, “Don’t look at me like that,” she said as she hugged Will.
“Caroline, you’re still very young,” her mother started saying as Caroline inwardly rolled her eyes, “There’s no need for you to live your life like you’re me.”
Caroline snorted at that, “I am not,” she rebuffed trying not to sass her mother but it was just so hard to not fall back into old patterns.
Will giggled as she ruffled his hair, “Mommy’s talking to a boy today,” he said totally rating her out, she eyed him with a look that had him pouting.
“Oh really?” her mother asked squatting to meet him at eye level, “Is he’s nice?” she asked will as she looked up at Caroline with an Inquiring eye.
“Okay, I gotta go,” the blonde said waving to her mother as she practically ran for the door, “Be good,” she said to Will one last time.
‘Can I call you?’ a text came through her phone as she was at an intersection with a deep breath Caroline pressed the speaker.
“Yes” she said switching on her Bluetooth.
She heard her phone go off the light switching to green, “Hi Love,” she smiled at the endearment, “Sorry I –it slipped,” he excused himself.
Caroline waved it off before realizing he couldn’t see, “It’s fine,” she told him, “Klaus?” she asked trepidation seeping from her pores.
“Yes?” he answered in question.
“Hey, I’m sorry, this is so weird,” she told him sincerely, “I dunno what to think,” she explained in so many words unbelieving of her day.
“It’s a little complicated,” he said giving her that much she agreed with a smile, “You named him after your father,” he added as if he’d been thinking on it.
“I did,” she replied looking up, “I can’t believe you remembered that,” she admitted as she reeled internally driving down the road.
It took Klaus a beat but he didn’t disappoint, “I remember everything,” he told her in a soft tone as his memories, feelings, had risen clogging up his throat.
She rubbed her temples steering her car with her elbows, “Look I was going to make ziti for dinner,” she said conversationally as she parked in the lot by the store, “Are you interested?”
She could feel him smirk at the other end her lips quirking involuntarily as his voice boomed through her cars speakers, “I am,” he replied softly making her heart flutter.
She tapped her fingers on the wheel trying desperately to relive the growing tension inside of her at seeing him again, “Would you like me to bring wine?” he asked.
Caroline’s brows shot up at the suggestion, “Yes! That would be great,” she said thinking of the white one he always brought her when they were dating. “Could you get-”
“The white one,” he finished for her and this time she could hear his smile as well as hear his affection for her, “See you then,” Klaus said.
“Bye,” she returned searching for her phone on the passenger seat to hung up before she realized, “Wait, that makes it sound like a date,” she said before hearing the line disconnect.
She barely slipped out of her shoes when she heard his knock, very distinctive two tap knock and felt her body run cold with dread.
With a slight wince she straightened taking a deep breath as she opened the door, “I’m not too early am I?” he asked scratching his brow.
Caroline smiled at the feeling of first date jitters, “No, I just got home too,” she told him hoping to ease his mind while she couldn’t with her own.
She stepped aside letting him in, “I was going to change,” she told him gesturing to her work clothes as she tossed her hair back.
“You look beautiful,” he said his eyes admiring as he took in her button down shirt and tight pencil skirt she somehow managed to get on this morning.
“Thanks, um kitchen is that way,” she told him as she pointed with her finger uncertain about the etiquette in this situation. “I just I need a second.”
Klaus nodded, “I’ll put this to chill,” he said respecting her need for space which she silently thanked him for as she raced to her room shutting the door behind her.
“What am I doing?” she asked herself her hands brushing back her hair, “I’m hiding from the father of my child in my bedroom.”
As Caroline answered herself she caught a look of herself in the mirror, “You’re mad,” she told herself before rushing out of her room toward the kitchen.
She slid realizing she was barefoot when she caught sight of him already boiling the water for her, “Sorry,” he whispered as he caught sight of her.
“No you look good,” she said blushing as Klaus smiled back to her, “I mean you did good,” she reiterated striding towards him.
He shrugged, “I just thought I’d help make dinner,” he said his eyes glowing with memories she wished they would stop so her stomach wouldn’t do that flutter thing.
“Thank you,” she said as she cranked open the can of four cheese, “Did you enjoy the field trip?” she asked hoping to lead with small questions.
“I did,” he replied as he scoured her cabinets until he could the colander, “Art museum,” he simpered Caroline made a noise of agreement.
Klaus waited for the noodles for her to okay him straining the noodles, “It’s his first year,” he said doing the math in his head.
“It is,” Caroline said happy they were talking about Will not the disconcerting feelings forming in her chest, “I balled my eyes out his first day.”
“I wish I had been there,” he told her his words on point, “I wish a lot of things,” his voice had a tone of regret and Caroline knew he had those same feelings forming.
“Hey, this just happened,” she tried to justify, “You were gone by the time I found out we had even made Will,” she smiled, “We were way over by then.”
He watched amused as she waved her hand in emphasis, “I should have called, or written,” he said moving closer to her with each word pouring the noodles into a pan she had set aside.
“I tried calling your parents,” she said as she ate some of the cheese garnish nervously, “I didn’t even know Maddie was Rebekah’s, I swear.”
“I know,” he said his look washing away all worry something that was worrisome on its own she thought vaguely.
“Right, it’s just I’ve kind of been hiding in this bubble I created for me and Will and you just popped it so I think I can freak out a little,” she rambled as they started to add layers of cheese to the pan.
“By all means, I won’t stop you,” he said as their hands brushed, their eyes locking, “I’m working through it myself.”
Caroline dropped her hands at her sides, “Okay, are you seeing anyone?” she asked as she set a hand on the counter needing to know.
Klaus looked stunned at the imposition, “I’m sorry,” he asked though she was certain it wasn’t a question.
She repeated how she said it in her heard and started again, “Just because I need to know for Will’s sake,” she added, “As in will he need to be introduced to someone else, is it serious?”
Klaus stopped layering the cheese too leaning towards her so she could see the honesty in his reply, “There hasn’t been anyone else,” unspoken words hang in the air.
“You?” he asked hoarsely in response she tilts her head, “Are you seeing anyone? Does Will know him?” he asked almost sure she couldn’t be alone.
“No one,” she shook her head surprising him, “Just Will and I,” she laughed nervously, “My mom’s worried I’m tragically single.
She snorts thinking about their earlier talk, “Wow, I can’t stop talking,” she said as she felt him infinitely closer making her more nervous.
“Would you like me to open the wine?” he offered licking the line of his lip afterwards making her body jerk with feeling.
“Yes please,” she answered drawing out her reply as she grabbed for the pan sticking it in the oven to distract herself from the way he was looking at her.