Klaus Goes All Sensitive Artist In This 'Originals' Book Excerpt

We do love a man who knows his way around a brush.

Much like vampires, we are forever hungry -- for more stories about the crew from "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals," that is. Lucky for us -- and you! -- we have an exclusive excerpt from Julie Plec's next installment in "The Originals" book series, "The Originals: The Loss."

“So glad you’ve returned for the next installment of Mikaelson drama," Plec told MTV News. “In this book, 'The Originals: The Loss,' you’ll find the Mikaelsons 40 years after they landed in New Orleans. They’ve banished the witches and werewolves, and made the city their perfect home -- yet of course, Klaus still isn’t satisfied. He’s lost the love of his life and he wants her back at any cost."

"The Originals: The Loss" doesn't hit shelves until March 31, but if Plec's intriguing description has you hungry for more (which we've already established you are), you can check out a juicy morsel of the tome below -- complete with "Originals" GIFs, of course.

It was Klaus’ kind of night. Wine and blood flowed freely, and the relaxed company and summer heat had led to an easy loosening of everyone’s clothing. He could only guess what was going on upstairs, but he would leave it to his imagination for now.

There would be time enough to take it all in. That was one of the nice things about being both a king and an immortal: He could do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. Elijah took care of the running of the city, Rebekah took care of the running of the Mikaelsons, and Klaus was free to take care of Klaus.

Carousing vampires filled every room on the ground floor, and Klaus could hear the party continuing through the ceiling above. In the 40-odd years since they had taken possession of a dying gunrunner’s modest home, the Original vampires had done a great deal of adding on and improving, but even so it was filled to capacity. To effectively rule over a city full of eager young vampires, the Mikaelsons might need to move to a larger home, but finding more land wouldn’t be the problem it once had been for them. New property was easy to come by in a metropolis empty of werewolves and witches.

Most of the werewolves who managed to survive the hurricane and explosion of 1722 had drifted away, and the ones who remained kept their noses down. The witches had fared a bit better, but not much: They squatted out in the bayou, their taste for power broken. New Orleans was essentially free of vermin.

Decades after Vivianne’s death, it still made Klaus’ gut twist to think of what the witches and werewolves had done to her. The way the witches had offered her hand in marriage to the werewolves, as if her only value lay in her heritage as the child of both clans. After signing her life away in a peace treaty, the werewolves had demanded more of her mind and heart at every turn. She had died too young, still trying to make everything right between the factions.

He pushed those thoughts away and finished his whiskey. He had been drinking liberally, trying his best to truly join in the revelry around him. Yet 44 years later and he still expected Vivianne to walk through the door and make him whole again.

“You’re so quiet tonight, Niklaus. Should I get you another drink?” A buxom young vampire fell into Klaus’ lap with a giggle and interrupted the dark turn of his thoughts. Her long, strawberry-blonde hair smelled like orange blossoms. Lisette, he reminded himself. She was part of the newest crop of recruits to their little army, but she carried herself with the ease of a vampire who had lived for centuries. She did not seem intimidated by the Originals, nor did she strain herself to impress them, and Klaus found that indifference mildly offensive.

He blew strands of her long hair away from his face. “Would you like to still recognize yourself by the end of the night?” he asked her, an edge of danger in his voice.

“You underestimate me. I am deep and mysterious,” Lisette told him, with a mock seriousness in her wide-set gray eyes. “Come upstairs with me, and I’ll prove it to you.”

Klaus brushed her reddish hair aside and kissed her neck lingeringly. She sighed and turned a little, giving his mouth better access. “Not tonight, love,” he murmured, traveling down to her collarbone. However grating Lisette’s disingenuousness might be, he had to admit that she had a beautiful neck.

Across the room, another pair of vampires moved together in a similar way. Watching them, Klaus continued to brush Lisette’s lightly freckled skin with his lips, but it only made him feel hollow. He could go through the motions, but he couldn’t be consumed by them. No matter how far he wandered down the path of debauchery, he couldn’t quite get lost.

He wanted Vivianne back. That was the simple, scalding truth of the matter. He had tried to bury her and tried to mourn and tried to move on, because he knew that was how death was supposed to work. He had seen it countless times, even though no one would ever be forced to mourn the loss of him. His mother had been a witch, his true father had been a werewolf, and to save him from death, his mother had made him a vampire. Klaus would never die.

It was useless to compare himself to other people. Niklaus Mikaelson was never going to accept the workings of normal, mortal death. It was stupid and beneath him. If he wanted Vivianne Lescheres at his side, ruling New Orleans as his queen for eternity, why should that be an impossible demand?

Lisette shifted again, rather enjoyably, trying to bring his full attention back to her. It was no use, though. “Ma petite Lisette, you do not want to tangle with me tonight,” he said, sliding her back onto her feet.

“As you wish,” she said before sauntering off, glancing over her shoulder to make sure Klaus was watching her go. He was, of course -- it was a simple courtesy after rejecting her advances. And the back of her was just as easy on the eyes as the front.

He eased himself up out of his chair and slipped off in the opposite direction. A few voices called after him as Klaus moved through the dimly lit rooms, which were full of sharp teeth, ringing laughter, and sensuous limbs. He ignored them, having finally realized where he wanted to spend this night.

He climbed the ornate spiral staircase, lined with a red silk carpet that Rebekah had ordered from the Far East. As he passed by several bedrooms, he heard his name called again, but this time in softer, throatier voices. He resisted the impulse to look through the doors that had been carelessly -- or deliberately -- left open, making instead for a small staircase at the back of the house.

Klaus had asked his siblings to keep it private, and so Rebekah had picked a medieval tapestry to conceal the doorframe: a unicorn, with its gold-threaded mane laid gently in the lap of a lovely maiden. Rebekah had the strangest notions sometimes. He swept the curtain aside, retreating from his guests and their revelry to the safety of his attic sanctuary.

This was the one place his sister’s restless hands had not touched. Unpolished beams crisscrossed the high, gabled roof, and the rough floorboards creaked charmingly beneath his feet. There were a few windows set into the peaks of the gables, and during the day sunlight streamed in from all directions.

Klaus moved his easel with the sun, watching his paintings change over the course of each day. He’d sometimes climb up here at night and light a few candles, stepping back from the easel to take in the effect of all of his canvases at once. He had been working feverishly and couldn’t remember ever being so productive.

It was a waste, though, because every last painting was of her. Vivianne’s left eye, black in a pale sea of skin. The outline of Vivianne running through a cobble¬stoned street in the middle of the night. Vivianne in his bed the first night, the last night, every night.

It wasn’t work; it was torture. He could never paint anything else. Even when he started a different subject, it never failed to transform into another aspect of Vivianne.

His current painting was of her hair: black and sleek as a raven’s wings, but with a life and movement that Klaus struggled to capture. In the light of his candle, it looked flat and wrong, an entire story he was somehow failing to tell. He picked up a brush and began to work, adding texture and light in some places, while leaving others as dark as gravity.

The wailing sound of the house’s protection spell went off again, as it had been all night long. Everyone else was too busy with their party to pay attention to it, but Klaus stopped, brush halfway to canvas, at the sight of a witch at the east window. She sat on the outer lintel, poised as if she were resting on a park bench.

Klaus knew her at once. This was not exactly an unexpected intruder on their land. He could see traces of her mother’s face in Lily’s, in the strong, straight nose and the long planes of her cheeks. Her hair was darker, more of a russet than auburn, but her eyes were the same fathomless brown.

He crossed the room quickly, wishing that he could cover all of his canvases as he went. Vivianne and Lily might have been cousins, but Lily had no right to see her image the way Klaus portrayed it. No matter her relation, Lily was one of them, a descendant of the cowards and weaklings who had let Viv slip away.

He opened the window and invited her inside nonetheless. He couldn’t afford to slight her.

To raise the dead was difficult, but it was more than just that. It required dark and frightening magic that few would dare to even attempt. For decades Klaus had let it be known -- quietly, without involving his siblings in something that was really none of their concern -- that the price of readmission to New Orleans was Vivianne.

The witches badly wanted their home back, but none had broken rank to try their hand. Ysabelle had much to do with that, he knew, but now she was dead, and her daughter had come to bargain.

“I can grant you what you desire,” Lily Leroux told him with no preamble.

“But it will cost you. One item for the spell, and another for my daughter.”

“As I have said--” Klaus began, but she waved the words off impatiently.

“I know what you are willing to offer,” she reminded him. “Now listen to what I want.”