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You raise me up

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Chapter 1~ Let the Demons take over

Let the blood flow, as the wound deepens
Let pain sink in and cloud my vision
Let me have a taste of the Sin
Let me be cruel, as life drains out
Let the Demons take over, let me feel death.

The chill in the air is almost fading though quite persistent. The long empty road decorated by gigantic trees now casting dark shadows creating a blur. One could virtually appreciate the serenity except of the occasional intrusion of blistering headlights. Though it might appear eerie but it’s Sedona Hills, nothing bad ever happens here. A few miles away the small diner is still open. The bell chimes as two customer walks in for a late night dessert. The girl quickly runs to the counter and orders for a blue berry muffin and waits patiently as the male figure shuffles himself between the tables. She giggles as to witness his dismay.

“Here you go sweet thing” Martha hands over the small paper bag to her and glances towards the young boy and winks. “Be careful there hun, with a package as beautiful as this one trouble might just follow.” A small grin appeared on his face as he pays and thanks her for food. “Let’s get you home Vicky” with this they both head out of the store. Both of them were silently walking, hand in hand naïve to the world surrounding them. As the house came close to vicinity they simply turned to face each other. Smiling and staring into each other’s eyes.

Vicky was the first to break the trance. “I really had a nice time.” He smiled and was about to say something as he felt the drop on his cheek, he shot up only to find more drops coming down to settle on his face. “Come on, we’re going to be soaking wet if we stand here” he said. And both ran towards the house. It was already pouring as they reached the front porch as both tried to catch their breath. “It was amazing for me as well” he said while brushing off the droplets from his jacket.

Instantly Vicky’s cheeks took deep rose tints, she came closer and placed a soft kiss on the corner of his mouth.
A shiver ran down his spine as a pair of warm lips came in contact with his now cool skin, before he could sink in the feeling the warmth evaporated. In mere seconds he pulled her closer and took her lips in his. Soft flesh colliding with one another; both melting in familiar heat. The kiss was simple, almost sweet, radiating pure zeal. A sharp crack in the sky is what broke the spell. Another one followed enlightening the neighborhood and extinguishing it in a flash.

“Stay here tonight.” Vicky offered as the weather clearly was an inconvenience. “You know I can’t. I’ll see you in school tomorrow” he let out with a sigh. “But you’ll….” and within a split second he was gone. Vicky blushed as the memory of the kiss replayed over and over in her head. “Tomorrow is not good enough, I’ll see in my dreams Damon.” She was about to go inside but got distracted by a sound coming from the backyard. She contemplated but decided to follow it otherwise. A hazy silhouette was all she could make out; she narrowed her eyes expecting the vision to be clearer but nothing.

Scattered leaves and never ending shower was all that is there. She turned towards the house as the sky split in half again, blinding her for a second. She tried to maintain her balance but the mud clad floor gave away. Soon she was to hit the ground as she felt strong arms gripping her waist. Her heart jumped at the unexpected intrusion, nonetheless was grateful.

She tried to steady herself but was unable to move, soon the realization sank in the hold getting stronger and no matter how hard she tried it won’t bulge. Fear clouded her vision, she tried to scream but her voice refused to come out. At this point she felt herself being dragged further in the woods, a death hold. Desperate for release she thrashed, kicked everything was a futile attempt. Unable to keep her eyes open she let the numbness take over as of offering herself without any protest. Then she felt the arms holding her were detaching themselves, now she lay on the ground trapped by an unknown force, unable to move.

“Now you will be mine forever.” The voice came like velvet, smooth but dangerous. She tried one last time to recognize the figure only to meet the hollow, dark as black. Tears started streaming down her face, now she was certain it’s the devil in disguise, he has come to take her. Her body gave in as heavy weight straddled her small figure, locking her arms and legs in an immobile state. One sharp cut at the side of her stomach, followed by another on her chest, on her arms and a deep cut under her breast. The pain was beyond her endurance, she could feel every vein was slit open, warm blood oozing out mixing with the pouring water. One could literally appreciate the devil’s canvas, the open flesh, agonizing flow of blood, life was slowly silently departing, it was vindictive but poetic.

Constant rain washing over her being, every drop as sharp as a needle, she felt every prick, every cut. She let it all in, waiting to be consumed by end.

Chapter Text

Past will fade, haze will clear
Hold on to hope, the Light will appear
Death may wait for a while,
Life will get another chance, Today.

SKIP TIME~
Nonstop chatter filled the corridor, footsteps ushering from one room to the other; a usual day at Sedona Daily Station. Inside the glass door, Damon was occupied with his computer frantically clicking re-sorting the cover story. Alaric was caught up in an argument with the copy editors, trying to skim through the reports. It was the first day of the week and the crowd devoted themselves to their respective task.

“I’m so proud of you Elena. You’re first step in the real world, God! It feels like yesterday when you used to play around the garden wearing pretty dresses aspiring to be a Disney princess.” The voice came out of the phone’s speaker.

“Well, Jenna I’m 21 now, I’m not a little girl anymore. So, me wanting to be a princess was way back in history. But thanks for reminding me.” Elena replied. A smile tugged her face as she replayed the memory.
“You’ve grown up so fast but you should know I’m really happy to see you become this woman. Good luck on you first day. Love you.”
“Thank you for being there for me. Love you too.” She said before disconnecting the call.

Elena was scanning the road for the building and the sign board caught her eye. She was slowing down and from nowhere a small pup came in front of her vehicle. Trying her level best not to hit, she turned forcibly and bumped into the pavement causing her to lose balance and collide with the ground. The small figure stood frozen in the middle of the road, Elena rushed to the side picking him up and placing it on the side. After making sure the pup was alright she turned her attention to herself. Thankfully the speed wasn’t enough to cause any grievous injury except for a small scrape on knee. She dusted her cloths and quickly glanced for any observer, there were none. “Your very first day at work and you bumped into the pavement. Way to go Elena!” she said to herself a bit agitated while entering the building.

The sharp gaze now reverted back to the room. A loud thud got him distracted, his legs followed immediately to trace the source only to find the naïve girl in distress. Damon was about to move back but something about her got him intrigued. He couldn’t understand, was it the misery of the girl, the amusement of the situation or just a sheer act of kindness that held him in front of the window. It was something unusual that provoked him to stay bit longer, wondering for more.

Brewing smell of coffee still lingered in air; Elena was sitting in the lobby waiting to submit her Internship acceptance letter to the Editor in chief. She stared at the receptionist who was busy answering calls. After keeping the receiver down she glanced at Elena, measuring her from top to bottom she voiced out. “You can go in now. Mr. Saltzman is waiting. First door towards left.” Elena gave a nod and motioned towards door.

“May I come in?” Alaric looked up from his computer screen to find a girl standing in front of his door. He gave a warm smile trying to relive the somewhat nervous figure and guided her in. “Good morning Ms. Gilbert. I hope it was no trouble to find our office.”
“No sir and please call me Elena.” She replied and smiled adding a mental note, (Except for bumping in the road and scraping my knee, it was fairly easy).
“I hope you’re carrying all the documents, we need to send all the details to record department so in six months time I can hand you over your Internship Completion Certificate and hopefully a recommendation letter as well.”
“I would be delighted. Thank you Mr. Saltzman.” With that she handed over her folder containing all the essential papers. Alaric glanced through it while picking up the phone and asked for someone to come to his office.

The door opened and a tall figure followed in. Elena turned her head and found herself staring at the lady in front, her golden locks were secured in French knot, slender figure wrapped in a peplum jacket and pencil skirt, she wore limited make up just enough to enhance her features and small studs to complete the look. She was beautiful and confident like she just come out those business magazines. Elena couldn’t help feel intimidated, it’s not like she’s an ugly damsel but compared to her she was just ordinary. Lost in her thoughts Elena didn’t realize that she too was being stared at. Sensing her discomfort the blonde smirked and turned her attention to Alaric.

“What is it Ric? I was busy with the photo editing team, you know how hard it is to manage April and Anna.”
“Well Caroline, I’m sure they’ll work it out themselves. Right now I have something else that requires your attention.” Alaric looked at Elena, then at Caroline and continued “This is Ms. Forbes, she is our Sub Editor and this is Elena Gilbert. She’s a final year major in Mass Communication. She’ll be doing her internship with us. I want you to guide her through the course of time. Besides I can’t think of anyone other than you when it comes to coach a fresher.” He finished and looked expectantly at her. Elena too turned her face somewhat timidly half expecting a rejection. But to her surprise found the other smiling intently.
“I know I’m the best Ric, so stop with the fake flattery.” With that she went towards the door, before stepping out she turned back to Elena and rolled her eye. “Ms. Final year Major, you don’t want to end up on my bad side on the very first day do you?” Elena stood up in confused not knowing whether to stay back or follow. “Come on now, I can’t wait here all day. We have a lot in hand and very little to finish.” Alaric chuckled and motioned for Elena to follow her guide. “Oh Elena, Welcome to Sedona Daily.” Elena murmured a small thank you and headed out with her.

Caroline began to introduce the hierarchy as they passed through the corridor. “So you’ve already met Ric, though he’s chief but he doesn’t make us feel inferior. Adjacent to his cabin is Prof. Shane, he’s the Managing Editor, a bit creepy, but he doesn’t bother with the interns so he is not your concern.” Caroline glanced at her for reaction and was happy to find her scribbling down the information in her notepad. They proceeded down stairs as Caroline continued the tour. “Right hand side first cabin is mine and next to that is the News Editors cabin.” Elana observed as a faint blush decorated the blonde’s face as she stole a peek and went inside the cabin.
“Hey, you’re busy?” Caroline asked. The high back chair that was turned backwards slowly turned towards them revealing a handsome face with an equally handsome smile.
“No Care, tell me what’s up?”
“I’m on intern duty now, just came to introduce you to her.” She made a gesture pointing her, “Meet our new intern Elena Gilbert, MassCom major and Elena this is Mr. Salvatore, our very own genius.”
Stefan playfully glared at Caroline and motioned towards Elena. “Nice to meet you, I’m Stefan.” And extended his hand. Elena flashed a genuine smile taking his and gave a firm shake. “Since it’s your first day let me give you an advice, don’t take her words seriously and if she ever troubles you, come right up and I’ll hand her a suspension letter.”
“Stefan! You’re suppose to on my side. And just to let you know, you can’t suspend me even if you want to.” Caroline glared at them as both were chuckling at a semi furious Caroline.
“Thank you for the offer but I think I’ll be fine.” Elena replied regaining her posture.
Stefan was returning to his chair now as he said, “Confident girl. I like her Care.”
“Well then, we’ll leave you to your work. See you later.” With that both the girls exited the cabin.

Once they were out Elena found herself asking, “You two are together?” Causing Caroline to stop mid way and turn to face her. “You’re smarter than you look. But to answer your question we’re not together, at least not yet.” Both exchanged smiles and headed to Elena’s cubical. After explaining a bit about the various sections Caroline left her with the junior copy editors.

Tree days of observation and then she has to decide which area she wanted to join. Most of the day went by skimming through the office, interacting and understanding the entire process. It’s not a place for leisure, what they do is hard work and above everything is a team effort. Though stress is inevitable but work atmosphere was warm and welcoming, each of them rolled in sync to keep the balance.

After lunch Elena went up to Caroline’s cabin to clear some doubt as she was climbing up the stairs she noticed a sole cabin on the left. The front board said Assistant Editor but she had no knowledge regarding this. She shook her head and went ahead to meet her. Both ladies were conversing for a while; Caroline gave her undivided attention seeing her eagerness towards work. Feeling all her queries were answered satisfactorily Elena was about to get up when the cabin flashed in her mind. Hesitantly she asked, “One last question. The cabin on the left, whom does it belong to?” Elena witness the other’s face growing paler, a sign of enigma transmitted through her eyes.
Caroline took a deep breath and began “It belongs to the Assistant Editor, Damon Salvatore.”
Almost instantly the name flashed in Elena’s mind, “Wait, Salvatore as in…”
“Yes Stefan’s brother.” She stood up and came close to Elena.
“Listen to me, between Stefan and Damon only the sir-name is what is common, they are poles apart. Don’t get me wrong, he too is obscenely charming and his distant dark aura makes him all the more tempting but it’s best to keep your distance. All these years I’m working here he and I never had any conversation expect for business, he maintains a professional relationship. Except for Alaric. Trust me on this, stay as far away possible.”

Dumbfounded Elena stood in silence, grasping all the information. She nodded and left her cabin without a word. On her way down she couldn’t help but stare at the tinted blue glass, she didn’t understand what was it that pulled her towards this room. What is simple curiosity or something else she couldn’t describe. Before it could cloud her mind any longer she decided it’s better to drop whatever it is here and return to her station.

The day has come to an end with the sun parting, coating the sky with hues of twilight. Dusky violets over powered the gold, obscuring the field. The gloom evident in his eyes, Damon thought another day has passed; one more day of his battle is over, life against death. He won, he will not giving in, will not let death win. His eyes vaguely roamed around, his mind floating back to the past.

Flash back~
Thunderous sky with pouring rain, window cracking behind the bed, freezing wind piercing the skin but Damon was numb to it all. He didn’t remember when he got up, how he reached here, but he was standing in front of the emergency room. One phone call, Mrs. Donovan was sobbing; her incoherent voice delivered those words, “Vicky! Blood, death!” It was all a blur after that, footsteps rushing through the area, figures going in and out, gasps, deep breaths, panic, screams and blood, lots of it. Vicky’s face was still the same, not a single scratch; she looked at peace, sleeping quietly. For a second he thought everything is fine, but next moment realized that her slumber might be permanent it might never break. He stormed through the door, he needed answers. Someone held him back, he tried to break free, and he couldn’t.

After 10hours of medical procedures Vicky gained consciousness but still no one was allowed to visit her. The doctors said something about ‘mentally unstable’, it didn’t make sense. She was alive, Damon had to see with his own eyes, hold her in his arms to never let her go. Despite of the protest both Mrs. Donovan and he went inside. They stood next to her sleeping figure. Machines beeping in the background, Damon could see and hear her heart rate on the adjacent screen. He felt relived as he let out the breath he was holding since last night. He stretched his hand to caress her cheeks, Vicky winced at his touch. Her eye lids fluttered and finally she gazed at the man in front.

Terror stuck her face, her entire body convulsing with fear, she started lashing out on the bed, pulling on tubes, the machines frantically beeping, her voice came as whimpers, “Please no more! It hurts, can’t take anymore, no please! Please!” The doctors rushed to her side, injecting her with sedative trying to calm her down. The doctors murmured something; she might never recover, she might be confined to a solitary cell for the rest of her life.

He felt a sharp pain across his left cheek, followed by another, he stood silently taking in the assault as the older woman howled, “It was you! You… did this. I lost my daughter forever because of you. You’re nothing but a monster! A devil… devil in disguise. As my daughter rots in here, I’ll pray, you will be ripped of every shred happiness, you’ll never know peace. Your life will be worst that death!”

As her cries become distant Damon fell to the ground. The anguish was too deep to bear, tears continued to stream down his face. He needed to let it out, for one the last time; he knew, he will not be able to feel again.
The police had a thorough investigation but everything lead to dead end, even the weapon was nowhere to be found. Damon was left out of it all, not only because of his influential family but there was no evidence to charge against him in the first place.

PRESENT DAY~
Twelve years have passed the memory is still fresh in his mind. Damon heard they have moved her to a rehabilitation center after 3 months of monitoring. After that day he not even once visited her, not that he could as she was still kept in solitary cabin. The organization however started receiving enormous donations since then. Sudden shattering of glass broke his trance. He didn’t realize he was holding the glass rather gripping it with such intensity. The cut was not deep but the fresh wound still oozed blood. This pain was nothing compared to what he has endured. He diverted his attention by glancing at his watch he saw it was already seven. He shook his head took the folder and headed for the elevator.

Elana finished stacking up all the remaining papers, assuming it was already late and she might be the last person to stay in. She quickly grabbed her purse and waited in front of the elevator. It made a ding sound and the doors parted revealing a male figure. She gasped with surprise clearly not expecting to find anyone in the office at this hour. Without any further ado she entered and stood next to him. Once the doors closed in front and proceeded downwards, Elena found her nostril being tingled with a masculine perfume, fresh even after the long day. She noticed with the corner of her eye, his sharp facial features, skin as pale as the glistening moon, the teal tie loosely tied around his neck over his slightly wrinkled white shirt and his eyes a shade of rare blue, deep as sea. Elena felt as if she’s drowning in them, then her eyes caught the initials ‘DS’ on the folder he was carrying.

Caroline’s words came to her mind, ‘Obscenely charming, distant dark aura…’ ‘DS… Damon Salvatore!’ She flinched at her realization, all of sudden she felt uncomfortable to be confined in such a small place with the man she was suppose to stay far away from. Her eyes still roamed around the figure right next to her when she saw a cut, the blood still fresh smeared around his palm slightly staining the white cuff.
“Oh my God! You’re bleeding” she was about to take his hand but was put to halt.
“It’s nothing.” His voice came out empty.
She fidgeted for a second but decided to try again, “Um… I can help you wrap it up. I mean it’s still raw and…”
“I’m not interested.” With this he went out disappearing in the darkness.

Chapter Text

Angels will feel remorse, ocean will rise up high,
the earth might shatter and wind will defy,
Sun will choke, stars may pass by
Life will come to console,
As the devil cries!

Last ten minutes felt like a daze, as she stood in the driveway alone his face emerged in front of her eyes. Those eyes looking straight into her, piercing her soul, she squeezed her eyes shut hoping to escape it all but his voice echoed through the nothingness. She couldn’t hear the words but it was exactly like before, cold, void of feelings. There was no temper to feel terrified, no arrogance to feel rejected; it was empty, as if she never existed. Elena shook her head violently in order to forget everything and climbed on her scooty. As she started the engine, she felt her chest tightened, her heart constricted, tears that she was desperately trying to hold fell freely and at that moment she knew it was no dream, her pain was the realization it was all real.
Damon was standing beside the mirror, it reflected an image of his bare back, sweat tricking down his sculpted figure his fingers caressed the bade he was holding. From the look of the handle one can tell it was a vintage item but the blade was glistening, freshly sharpened waiting to penetrate. The room was dimly illuminated, the faint candle lights fell on the curtains flying in harmony letting the moon light peek in and fall on his porcelain skin. The sight was alluring creating a delicate veil but what he felt was fire. The diamond flame was burning his flesh devouring him to core.
In fury he turned and banged his hand on the dresser, causing it to dither. He looked up to the mirror, staring at his own reflection. His deep blue eyes darkened with rage, transmitting fume to his body. He kept on staring only to see his eyes now turning a shade of emerald, his clenched jaw turning soft. The dark brown hair framing a beautiful face, a face he would never forget.

FLASH BACK~

Summer breeze played through the room; it was humid yet had a soothing effect. With the afterglow of dusk enveloping the evening, it was rather pleasant. The two frames lay side by side, rising and falling, maintaining a rhythm. Damon drew his arms around the petite figure in order to bring her close. A smile tugged her face and she let herself melt in those strong arms. Damon took in her scent feeling intoxicated he let himself immerse in the sweet smell of her body. He found himself trailing kisses on her neck, slightly nipping the flesh. Unable to resist the urge his lips met hers caressing, nibbling, holding for a while and releasing. His tongue slipping in, engaging in a battle that he was more than willing to lose. His hands grazed her body, fingers brushing over every inch of skin that it found.

Naked skin colliding with each other, his toned chest upon her soft mounds, his fingers entwined with hers, lower halves grinding in unison, eliciting moans that vibrated through the room. Hands desperately holding onto one another, sweat cloaking their bodies, both awaiting for the sinful pleasure. His thrusts were passionate yet gentle, taking care of her, making sure only to give pleasure. She cupped his face in order to look into his eyes that conveyed love. She kept on gazing capturing the moment forever. While her fingers drew comforting circles on his face she noticed a change in his posture. His grip tightened around her body as he plunged hard and rough into her core, his jaw clenched, once soothing eyes now infuriated.

Before she could comprehend she was met with a throbbing pain on her shoulder. “Damon… ” she tried but was muffled by the hand firmly pressed on her mouth. Every penetration becoming more aggressive than the previous, causing the brilliant red fluid soak through the white sheets. Her body gave up immediately after the first slash, the cut sunk deep in the neck. But it didn’t interrupt his ministrations. Her once flawless skin was now nothing but withered mass of flesh and blood, naked, raw and open to core. Satisfied with his newest creation he lay down next to the figure. His hands caressing her cheek, “Darling, you’re beautiful… Delicate like a flower, covered in red, just as your name… Rose!”
Damon woke up in frenzy, nearly breathless, muscle tensed, mouth open; he rubbed his face with his palm. It was just a nightmare, a scary one indeed. A nauseating smell trickled his nose, he glanced at his hands and then at the figure lying next to his own. Horror pounded through his veins at the sight of the slaughtered body. The vile scenery replayed over and over again, knife nipping at the skin, slowly penetrating the layers, blood prickling through small puncture, one drop, followed by another then a continuous stream. He stood up frantically, squeezing his eye shut, walking backwards as his feet met with the cold metal lying on the ground. His eyes picked up the distinctive blade, his grandfather’s hunting knife.

He dropped to his knees holding the knife in his hand; it was him all along, the psychotic monster, blood thirsty devil that he couldn’t control, that he didn’t know to exist until this moment. The peculiar nauseated smell took over him, his blood boiled and his skin shivered with chill, he was unable to breathe; it felt like ice and fire all together. As the disaster sank in he was paralyzed and then it all turned black.

END OF FLASH BACK~

The mirror still held a reflection of Rose’s withered frame. He couldn’t bear it any longer; he shoved his fist right in the center. The glass cracked under force, ripping his skin through and through. He ignored the sharp pain and continued to stare at the broken pieces that projected a feminine figure, not quite familiar though. A face as pure as a child, brown locks falling like a cascade over her frame, those almond eyes gazing at him. He knew those eyes; he has seen it before, through the tinted glass starting at him in the afternoon. Those eyes holding empathy, curiosity maybe ignorance as well, he has seen them turning blank in the elevator while he rejected them. He has seen those eyes lose their charm, as despair over powered her in the drive way. While she thought she was alone, no one has witnessed her vulnerable form but she was wrong. He stood there at a distant, observing her, enduring every shred of pain that coursed through her.

With all the power he had he flipped the dresser over the floor, causing the broken glass piece to shatter further. His body was now shaking violently, he screamed at the top of his lungs, lashed out through the room breaking everything that came in his way. His eyes spotted that blasted knife lying near the dresser and without wasting a second he grazed it through his wrist. The physical pain numbed his mind, the images of the girl fading reluctantly, as he fell to the ground and sleep took over his being.

Damon woke up to a feeling of burning sensation on his hand, a hand gripping his sides trying to pull him up, still in the daze he didn’t open his eyes. Incoherent voice fell to his ears; he strained his eyes and found his one and only friend mumbling something to him. He still couldn’t make out, as he continued to look at his pain struck face.
“Damon… Are you listening to me? What the hell happened?” Alaric’s voice was frantic as he desperately tried to steady the other male.
He just wanted to be alone, not ready to face anyone, not yet. “It’s… nothing. I’m fine Ric.” His reply was distant as if he was residing in a different world.
Alaric ran his hands through his hair as he glanced at the room that looked like earth quake has stuck it. He let out a sign and continued, “This… doesn’t look like nothing to me. You’ve got to be honest with me if you want this to work. For God’s sake Damon, look around! Shattered glass, bloodied wrist, an unconscious body lying on the ground!” He took a deep breath in order to calm himself down before he spoke again. “You were doing okay Damon, our sessions were working, you had it under control, something has clearly triggered this, and you have to tell me what it is.”

All this while Damon kept quiet, staring out of the window, watching the morning sun in its glory. Alaric’s questions were like needles piercing into his skin, he couldn’t contain himself, with his last words he just lost it. “Under control! You think your hypnosis sessions are going to fix me, as if that’s ever going to happen? I’m broken beyond repair Ric, there’s never going to be a change, I’m a monster and will continue to be one until I end this.”

Damon and Alaric knew each other from college days, Alaric was his senior. As both were media and communication major they were together for a lot of events and over the course of time their friendship blossomed quite naturally. Despite of the fact that Damon was like any other college student Alaric knew there was another shade to his character. His father was a Parapsychologist, he too had keen interest on the subject and observing his father’s patients; he had grown to understand the hidden traits of any individual.
All his suspicions were confirmed the day when he received that call from Damon confirming Rose’s death. He was the only one to witness that dreadful scene of Rose’s torn flesh, other than Damon himself. Alaric knew well that Damon’s feelings for Rose were real, he had cared and loved Rose, and he was there for her even after discovering her medical condition. Damon loved Rose not only when she was beautiful and glamorous but even when she was sick and miserable. When she was everything but charming as her disease took away her allure Damon stood beside her. It took everything in him not to hand over Damon to the police, when Damon himself was more than willing to do so. Alaric understood what Damon needed was a friend, who will understand him and guide him. And since then he has stood by him.

Alaric knew him to the bones, his dark secrets, his trauma, the root to his atrocity but he has also witness the care in his heart, his passion for work and his never ending battle with his demons. “We’ll work this out together.” He told Damon and helped him get up on his feet and proceeded towards the bathroom.

A few weeks have passed; Elena was no longer the naïve intern trying to grasp the fast pacing journalism industry. Sedona Daily has decided to launch their first magazine in the upcoming month or so, it included different segments, from creative writing to town history, travel log, sports & events and even a business section. What got Elena excited was a small segment in town history devoted to ‘Mystery of the month.’ Caroline was supervising the entire thing along with the elder Salvatore. Thankfully Elena’s interactions were constricted to the female authority.

But Elena knew if she wanted her article to be part of the segment it had to undergo Damon Salvatore’s approval. Today is the day, she had a meeting scheduled after lunch to discuss about her topic. She looked at the watch it was still 10 passed two, twenty minutes and it was time for the inevitable. To say she was nervous would be an understatement, she was terrified. Their first and last interaction was within the cramped walls of the elevator and that dreadful conversation had a long lasting effect on her. She couldn’t foresee what today’s encounter would bring upon her. Before she took hold of her delusion it was time to go meet the devil. She collected all the articles from previous news papers along with her note pad and went ahead.

After a few deep breaths she knocked on the door and pushed in, “May I come in?” To her complete surprise she was greeted with a small smile, brief one but it was indeed real and not a product of her imagination. She flashed one in return and settled on the chair in front of his desk. There was an awkward moment of silence she was hesitant about how to start the conversation, whether she should go first or let him start.
“So, have you chosen a topic Ms.Gilbert?” his voice broke her chain of thoughts. It was not blank and emotionless as she remembered it to be, though far from friendly unlike her other colleagues.

She replied instantly, “Yes I have Sir.” She took a pause to observe his expression and continued, “And please call me Elena, if that is okay.” Elena saw a faint smile; she had a hard time considering this to be real rather than yet another one of her delusions.
“What is your topic Elena?”

She found herself having a hard time answering his questions; she thought he would be cold but that was not the case still she couldn’t figure out the reason behind her inability. She reminded herself it was just two professionals having a conversation, nothing more nothing less.

“Death… Murder. I think that will be an interesting topic. Readers will be curious and it will keep them intrigued for the following one.” Elena saw him narrowing his eyes and before she could interpret it was gone.
“Interesting. I believe you have jotted down your reference material.” He said pointing at the pile of papers next to her chair.

Elena was about to say something when she noticed the files displayed on his desk. All of those were sorted according to the title with photographs of the buildings, monuments and events. Each contained separate set of news articles and a fresh print page assuming it is the draft of the final copy that was to be put in the magazine. She couldn’t help but feel astonished by his passion towards work. At the same time she realized her inadequacy and deficit. She lowered her head as she answered, “I’m afraid I do not have the crux to present to you at the moment Sir.”
“That’s alright.” He replied.
She looked up to read his expression but he was gone, turning her head to the side she found him near the metal shelf digging out a few folders. She continued to stare at the photographs in front. From the looks of it she could tell those were old but well preserved nonetheless. She saw him return with three folders and handing it over to her.

“These might help. Go through them and day after tomorrow I expect the draft on my table.”
Okay so she’s got 36 hours, better get ready stay awake all night; she made a mental note before saying, “Thank you.” She watched him return to his seat and diverting his attention to the computer screen. She understood it was her cue to get out of his office. But her curiosity over powered her as she found herself asking, “Are those the original copies?”

Damon glanced up at her face and then where she was pointing. He took a brief pause thinking whether to answer or not but decided to tell. “Yes, those are the original copies; most of it were in my family’s possessions. My family has been living here for generations so happen to witness a lot of these events.”
Elena nodded and collected all the folders before saying, “Thank you again for the articles. I’ll comeback with the draft on Friday. Have a good day Sir.” With these she vanished from the cabin.

Chapter Text

What if I take a pause,
let life come in with all it has to offer
What if I hold the battle just for a day
drop my guard
welcome it all the good & evil, without filter
What if I take a chance
risk it all, just to be with you.

Elena was grinning with content, her meeting went surprisingly well and she felt confident, even motivated more than ever. She reached her cubical and carefully kept all the folders on the desk. She noticed her phone was blinking, as she flipped the cover saw one new message from Caroline. ‘Emergency! Meet me near the coffee shop.’ She peeked at the clock it was 4:30, half an hour more and then she’ll be released for the day. Then it was her boss asking her and the text stated emergency, so she decided to comply with her wish. She packed everything in her tote bag after a few minutes of struggle was finally able to close it. With this she left the office.

Upon reaching the coffee shop she frowned as no one was there, she checked inside still no sign of the blonde beauty. A little frustrated she took out her cell phone but was startled by a honking car that parked right in front of her revealing a bright face smiling at her. Whatever it might be it didn’t look like an emergency to Elena. She opened her mouth to say something but was cut off by the other. “Well hop in. We have a lot to do.”
Elena thought of protesting but decided against it and climbed to the passenger’s seat. When the car started moving again she found herself asking, “Not being disrespectful or anything but it doesn’t look like an emergency to me.”
Caroline winked, “It is trust me. This Saturday is Stefan’s birthday and we’re planning a small get together.” Elena raised an eye brow at the particular words ‘small get together’
knowing it might not be as small as she presents it to be. Caroline understanding her look frowned before continuing, “It’s just close friends I promise. Ric, Anna, two of Stefan’s school friends and me.” She stopped and focused on the roads, but turned to Elena instantly and said “And you of course.” With this she pulled the car in front of the mall’s parking.

Elena chuckled at her frantic cover up before she replied, “I understand, but what I don’t get it what’s the emergency? I’m certain that you’re perfectly capable of planning a party for seven heads or so.”
Both of them got out of the car and entered the mall. After hauling aimlessly for a while Caroline stopped in her tracks, “I couldn’t decide on what to get for him.” she said with a sigh. “I mean the gift should not scream for attention but I don’t want it to be ordinary, casual pick.”
Elena understood the gravity of the matter rather gravity of her feelings for Stefan. She brainstormed for suitable gift choices for ‘would be boyfriend’ and came up with a little list. “How about a watch?”
“That was my first choice but to my dismay he doesn’t wear one.”
“Then a bottle of his favorite alcohol?”
“God no! That might give the wrong impression besides Ric will bring that for sure.”
“Um, how about tie and matching cufflinks, and may be a handmade card to go with it. It’s classy at the same time the card will add a personal touch to it and I’m sure he’ll be using for the formal gatherings and not to mention he’s going to look dashing wearing them”
Elena noticed Caroline’s face lit up like the sun, she grinned ear to ear and gave her a friendly hug. “I knew it, you’ll bring me out of my misery. Thanks Elena.”
Caroline got a midnight blue tie with two silver stripes at the side and matching cufflinks that looked like blue diamond under the store light. They collected all the necessary stuff for the card and finally left the mall. While inside the car Elena found herself wondering about the guest list, she was quick to notice Damon’s name was missing from it. “Hey can I ask you something?” she looked into the other’s face after receiving a nod she continued “Aren’t you going to invite the Elder Salvatore, it’s his brother’s birthday.”
“I’ve told him already and got the expected reply. He won’t come; he doesn’t indulge in these kind of activities.” Caroline was about the start the engine but jumped in her seat as she remembered about the meeting Elena was suppose to have. “Elena, I’m so sorry, I was so caught up with all this gift issue it made me forget about your meeting today. How did it go? Did he approve? Was he hard on you, because if he was I…”
She was cut off by Elena as she smiled and replied, “It went well, he gave me some reference material and told me to submit the draft by Friday.”
“Wow! You must have done something right. Damon usually isn’t that benevolent unless he has seen potential.” She took a brief pause as she hit the road “But I knew it from the first day, you’re dedicated to your work that’s why I agreed to be your guide.”
“Thank you.” They both exchanged smiles and headed home.

“What if?” is the everlasting echo in my chaotic heart.
-Perry.
A quotation that was more than appropriate as an opening statement for her article, quite simply put the two words ‘What if’ laced with curiosity and despair and hope at the same time. The faint glow of sun ray announced dawn is nearing. The world is still tucked under the blanket of slumber, waiting for the bird’s sweet chirp to break the trance. Elena however was wide awake, she hardly had anytime to sleep and now she was practically jumping with excitement as she finally finished her draft and what felt like hundred do over she was satisfied with her work. It was 6, she had plenty of time in hand, so decided to go for shower and later treating her with some homemade breakfast and hot cup of coffee to go with it.

She arrived at the office a little too early, upon reaching her cubical she fished in for envelops, one containing the draft another one a letter for Jenna. She thought of writing down her experiences and with all the work she hardly had any time to call her let alone updating on her new progress. Hence a letter and more than anything she missed her, so this was her way of conveying her gratitude. Once again she was pacing in the office corridor, she knew no one has come to office so it was better for her to put the draft on Damon’s desk now rather than witnessing his reaction in person while he reads the material. With a deep breath she pushed the door open and the moment her eyes fell on the chair her entire body froze.

He was sitting there, nonchalantly gazing out of the window in all his morning glory. Elena kept staring unable to form words, as if he was a statue made of white marble, the most beautiful one indeed.

“Good morning Elena. I see you’ve decided to come early today, I presume it’s to make up for day before yesterday’s early departure.”
Wait.. What! He knew, he noticed. God! I’m in trouble. The voice inside her kept on repeating the word trouble. She cleared her throat and replied, “No sir, it’s just that I received a text from Caroline… I mean Ms Forbes and she needed me…”
“Relax, I won’t put a negative remark for this.” He said with a small smile.
“I just came up to give you this.” She took out the envelop from her folder and placed it on his desk carefully lifting her face to see his reaction.
“I’ll go through it and call you for the discussion.” And the unreadable expression was back on his face.
“Right. I’ll take your leave. Thank you… sir.” She turned on her heels and was about to leave but his voice caught her off guard.
“Elena, you can call me Damon.” She smiled and then practically rushed out of his cabin.

The day was going at it’s usual pace lunch break came and went, still no calls for Elena. She was having a hard time suppressing her curiosity, by the time evening came she was close to having a nervous breakdown. She was certain he didn’t like it, obviously her juvenile writing will never impress him, and adding quotations what the hell was she thinking. This is no poetry class, it was a professional report, she had to state the facts; not to write some verses that rhymed with each other. At this point her eyes caught the corner of an white envelop, after pulling it forth she realized her draft was with her all this while. This is why she didn’t get a call, she almost felt relieved but soon realized that what she handed over to Damon was a letter for Jenna. Damn it!
She ran to Damon’s cabin after pushing the door open she found him busy with his computer as usual. “Damon I…”
“I’m a bit preoccupied, could you take your concern to Caroline.” There it was, his stern cold voice, she flinched in her position but she had to tell him the truth. With all the courage she could muster he proceeded towards his table and began to speak again.
“It’s about the draft… I mistakenly…”
“Have I not made myself clear? This might be a joke for you but to me it’s my life. And we all take it damn seriously so I suggest either you stop screwing around and divert you energy to work or I’ll have to throw you out of this office for good.”

Elena couldn’t utter a single word, her stomach twisted painfully and she could taste the salty liquid trailed down her face settling in the corner of her lips. It was true she didn’t have any experience but she was damn committed to her work, she hadn’t slept for two days just for this one article, how much effort she has put in perfecting this. It might not live up to the expectation but in no way she was screwing with her job. It was just a damn mistake, she was overjoyed and awestruck that in the heat of the moment she submitted the wrong envelop, that was it. This time she will not take this insult silently, she didn’t deserve it. She took the draft and slammed it against the desk as hard as possible.
“Here! This is your draft. I’ve spent my day and night over this and if I didn’t take my job seriously I’d doubt I would spend that amount of time over one article that you probably would throw in the trash as soon as you read it. I was just excited and surprised to find you there in the morning, so in the haze I handed you the wrong envelop that’s it.” By now she was shaking and her sobs made it all the more difficult to speak. But she was done, there’s no need to say anymore. She started backing off when she was almost at the door she turned “Thank you for your precious time Mr. Salvatore.” With that she was gone.

The alarm buzzed through the room interrupting the much needed sleep; unwillingly Elena stretched her eyes open to check the time. It was three in the afternoon, yes she’s been in the bed since last night, but she needed it after the consecutive sleepless nights and especially after her devastating encounter at the office. Friday night was a blur, she tried to recollect whatever little memory she could retrieve but all she could see was beer, sleeping pills and the ever persistent stream of tears. She got up in an instant remembering it was Saturday, Stefan’s party is tonight; she felt somewhat relived. Perfect! This is a perfect distraction to get her mind of work and may be… Damon… And there it was, that name brought back the numbing sensation. ‘Stop it Elena! Enough is enough. Today would be a Da… Mr. Salvatore free day.’

Elena arrived in front of Caroline’s apartment at 8, she wore a simple dress and minimal make up to go with it, not like her puffy eyes gave her the liberty to do otherwise. She parked her scooter at the side and took out the small gift box and proceeded to the front door. It was completely dark and dead silent which made her wonder if she arrived at the right place, maybe there was a last minute change in the venue or something else. She sighed but knocked at the door anyway. Finding it was unlocked she pushed in and the moment she stepped in the blistering light came on with loud cheers from the crowd. ‘Surprise!!! Happy Birthday Stef…’

She stood there dumbfounded in the middle of the decorated living room, before she could grasp the situation a semi irritated Caroline spoke, “Elena, you were suppose to be here an hour ago and…” she was cut off by the loud growling sound of a motor cycle.
“And there she saved me from the embarrassing child like birthday cheers” Stefan’s voice came from behind.
“Stefan! It’s not fair; you and Elena ruined my surprise.” Caroline roared pretending to be angry.
“Oh come one now, can we get the party started?” Alaric suggested with a bear bottle in hand while extending one to Stefan.

Caroline giggled and mumbled “Of course but before we do there’s one small thing to accomplish.” And with that the crowd broke in to cheers again, this time it was louder. Stefan gave an embarrassed but nonetheless happy smile and thanked everyone. Everyone exchanged hugs and kisses and once the initial greetings were over the party kicked in full blast. Elena noticed Caroline’s small gathering turned out not to be that small after all. Other than the usual crowd from their office, there were other guys she didn’t recognize, must be Stefan’s friends, and of course they have invited few of their friends.

Elena was now standing in a corner with a beer in hand, this is her 4th or 6th hell, she couldn’t even remember, she glanced up front watching everyone smiling, some dancing, all of them were having a good time then why was she like this. The blasting music, the smiling, cheering crowd they couldn’t pierce the bubble Elena was in right now. Caroline seemed to notice the distressed damsel she came closer and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.
“Hey, you’re all right? You seem a bit… lost.”
Elena flashed a small smile as she replied, “Don’t worry about me, it’s just work.” (Yeah work, the article and that… Damon)

Her tone seem to struck a chord, Caroline pulled her towards the balcony once they were away from the awkward stares she started, “What happened Elena, tell me. It is about the article? Are you having some trouble with it?” She watched closely as Elena’s expression remained blank. “Don’t tell me it’s about Damon.” Elena flinched upon hearing that name. That gave away all the answers.

“I don’t know what to do Caroline. His temperamental nature just gets on my nerves. One minute he is kind and next moment he turns cold and treats me like my existence is a bane to his world.” Both the girls were so engrossed in their conversation that Stefan’s arrival went completely unnoticed.
“I hope the gossip is not about me” Stefan said with a slight chuckle. The abrupt intrusion startled both the girls, but Caroline was quick to take hold of the situation.
“You scared us.” She let out as she playfully hit Stefan’s arm. Her eyes dotted to the motor cycle and as a manner of distraction she thought it was the perfect opportunity to change the subject. “Stefan I’ve not seen this hunk ride of yours before.”
“That’s because it arrived today morning at my door step.”
“What do mean ‘Arrived at your door step’?”
“It’s a gift Caroline, Damon has sent it with a birthday note.”
Elena was not paying much attention to the conversation but the moment she heard his name she couldn’t help but devote her ears to it. Both the girls were shocked to say the least. “Wait a minute I thought he doesn’t care about all this stuff. I mean he is always drowning in work and…”

“There’s more to him than that Care, he just doesn’t like to show it.” Stefan said cutting off Caroline mid way. He seemed to drift off to another dimension and his expression became distant, unreadable. All three of them stood there sinking in the night breeze letting the comfortable silence settle in.

A small smile tugged his face, he glanced at both of them and continued, “He was not distant like this, while we were growing up he was the best brother that one could have. He would always take care of me, he would take the blame of my misdoing and I would just stand there in silence while he was subjected to the wrath of my parents.” He paused for a second as if reliving the memories, guilt was evident in his eye. “It was hard for the family when mother was taken away to… to the asylum, we were all coping with it but it just broke Damon, that was the first time I noticed something different about him. But I was a mere child at that time to understand what exactly was happening. I was angry thinking my brother has abandoned me when I needed him the most. But then he was getting better, I think he was in high school that time and then again the dreadful event with his girl friend pushed him to square one.” He exhaled heavily, “Life has been extensively cruel with him. You know, he never went to visit mother, not even once, we all thought maybe she’ll help him but he never gave it a chance. It’s not like he doesn’t care about anyone. I have always received his wishes on my birthday, graduation no matter where he is. He might not be physically present but he has been there for me always.”

As overwhelming Stefan’s words were to absorb, Elena felt the contents of her stomach churn painfully, all of a sudden the air she breathed was becoming thin making her struggle, she needed to get out of here as fast as possible. She stormed out of the balcony and before anyone could stop her or question her she rushed towards the door and was finally out on the road.

Chapter Text

Beware of the night, that may lead to danger,
every time you will not be saved by a stranger
The hand extended towards you may cause harm,
be careful not to be fooled by his charm
You will perceive him as an Angel,
yet ignorance may turn out to be baneful
Build up the barrier
before the Devil takes your soul.

Elena didn’t know how fast she was running until she realized she couldn’t recognize her surrounding anymore. Her breath was hitched, face flushed, the painful knot in the stomach still persistent but she didn’t care. Her mind only replayed the words she heard tonight. ‘He was not distant… Life has been extensively cruel… he has been there for me… while he was subjected to the wrath’ It was playing in an endless loop. By now she had no control over anything, her mind drifted to the night when she saw him for the first time, his ignorance; his words ‘not interested’ to when he smiled at her for the first time, when he called her name the way it sounded distinctively unique coming out of his mouth.
“Stop this! Stop! Just make it stop! Just make it…” She was screaming like a lunatic as she dropped down to her knees in the middle of the road. She continued to sob, her entire body convulsing, letting the night fog blanket her small frame shielding her from the world. Lost in the trance she remained in her position, the screeching sound of the tire, scalding head light did nothing to her, the horn was blazing through the woods but it all fell on deaf ear. Abruptly when she turned it was too late, she couldn’t move in time to stop the inevitable. She closed her eyes as she sat there waiting for it to get over with, a strong force gripped her by the shoulder and she was rigidly rolled over and pushed to one of the tree trunk.

“Are you out of your freaking mind?” She kept her eyes tightly shut, terrified to the core to do anything at the moment let alone open her eyes to find out the source of the voice that was everything but comforting.
“I won’t ask you again, what the hell were you thinking? Sitting at the middle of the road.” Still no response. After a minute or so she heard the person in front exhaling deeply, a warm sensation crept their way around her cheeks, palms cupping her face in a protective manner.
“Look at me Elena…” Leaning in to the touch she somewhat regained her sense as she slowly opened her eyes finding the one person she wanted to run far, far away from.
“No! Not you… I can’t… Please I can’t…” she started moving backwards but found herself encaged between the tree and his strong arms.
“Elena… Listen to me, I won’t hurt you. Let me take you home, then I’ll be gone.”
Elena felt fury rush through her veins, “I don’t need your help. I’ll find my way back home.” She spat while trying to stand up but fell immediately only to be saved by him yet again.
“Yeah about that, I don’t think so. Now stop fussing otherwise…” a smirk playing on his lips.
“Otherwise what? What will you do Damon?” her voice laced with venom.
He leaned forward almost hovering above her, faces dangerously close to each other, his eyes fixed on her “I don’t think you want to know.” His voice was demanding and deadly. Elena knew she had to comply, without wasting any time she got up as he held her by the waist supporting her weight. But her legs gave away, alcohol, stress and the throbbing pain around her ankle all added to the wobbling movements leading her to trip. She saw Damon’s hand creep under her knees and the other now shifted to support her back lifting her like a child ever so carefully, they started walking towards the road. She stared at her arm that was now resting on his shoulder, his face was turned to the side she felt the sudden urge to look at his face, as she called his name, “Damon… I…” and before she could register she drifted off in his arms.
Elena woke up to the loud thud of wood slamming against wood, still a bit dozed she scrunched her nose half annoyed half startled to find herself in the familiarity of her bedroom. Supporting herself by her elbow she tried to sit up on the bed, she closed her eyes leaning on the head rest and all she could see was those gorgeous eyes. Demanding yet affectionate, alluring yet dangerous, they will be the end of her; she thought and opened her eyes to find him standing next to the door gazing right at her. She recoiled in her position as she witnessed him coming in her direction. Then it hit her she was unconscious this entire time, making it impossible for her to lead the way to her home.

“How did you find my apartment?” was first thing to come out of her mouth.
“Employee records.” Came his reply calm and composed as always. “Where do you keep your first aid kit?”
“Wait, you needed the key to get inside, how did you…”
She was cut off mid way “It was inside your purse.”
“You checked my purse?” Her eyes were almost bulging from the sockets.
She received an agitated glare as if she was being the dumb kid. “Yes Elena I raided your purse, didn’t feel like leaving a drunk, unconscious girl at the doorstep all night long. Now if you’re done with your interrogation would you please tell me where is the damn first aid kit?”
Elena bit her bottom lip like a child who has just been scolded by an elder. “It’s in the cupboard over there” she pointed to the small wall cabinet next to her wardrobe. Without further ado Damon went to the cabinet, plucked out the box and kept it on the bed. Then he disappeared from the room only to come back in a brief second with a bowl of water and towel. He carefully placed everything on the bed while removing the cover from her lower body.
The bluish purple mark caught her eye resting on her foot that was now swollen and ached like as if heavy stone was put over it. She tried to divert her attention from the pain to the figure sitting beside her, now busy soaking the cloth in the water. She watched as he carefully ever so lightly placed the damp fabric on her swollen muscle. The warmth slowly spreading through her skin numbing, masking some of the pain.
“Is it hurting?” he asked slowly glancing up to her. She just shook her head too afraid to make a sound as to break the spell comforting her. She kept on staring at him repeating the steps over and over again. She sighed contently as relief over took her.
“I read your article…” he said breaking the silence. She just hummed in response not paying much attention.
“It’s good, you’re writing is fresh it has a poetic feel to it. The beginning was different I liked your choice of quotation it’s got a certain allure to it, got me intrigued.”
It was only now that his words registered in her brain, he read the article, he read it… One single tear escaped her eyes, “You liked it?” she asked with a smile which he returned and nodded in affirmation.

By now he was wrapping the bandage around her leg; she noticed he did with such ease as if this is something he does on a regular basis. When it was all done Elena felt him move away, she didn’t know what to do, something inside of her was screaming for him, his attention, his affectionate touch, his presence, no she couldn’t let go, not just yet. Unable to resist anymore she looked up to his face as her needing eyes landed upon his she mumbled, “Stay…” She noticed as his face changed, the concerned affectionate form was replaced with a cold, stern look. She could feel the all too familiar hurt settling in, and when his voice came, “I can’t” it felt like a thousand needles being struck in her heart, it was excruciating. She didn’t resist simply because she couldn’t as tears fell freely her meek voice ringed almost in an attempt to protest.
“Why? Why do you do this? One moment you’re cold and next you turn to this sweet… caring person, then again… Can’t you see how much it hurts…? I… I…” with this she broke into violent sobs.
Damon rushed to her side, settling himself right next to her sobbing form, holding her in order to comfort her and when he felt the sobs to quiet down a little, he placed his hand on either side of her face pulling it up lightly staring at her eyes through the veil of tear. His fingertips caressed her flush skin ever so softly, as if the cold tips soaking up her heat, withholding her hurt though the simple ministration.
“I’m not who you presume me to be… You don’t know me…” his voice echoed though the walls.
“Then show me.” Her voice hoarse but determined.

His fingers now combed though her slightly tangled hair untangling in the way as he caressed the side of her neck eliciting a small whimper from her. “I… Can’t… I don’t want to hurt you.” He said with closed eyes, resting his forehead on hers. The mere touch burnt her skin, a feeling of pleasure and pain all together. She found her hand now inching forward sliding to his neck finally settling there as she grazed her fingers over the skin it found there.
“I know you won’t…You won’t hurt me… I’m…not afraid…” he didn’t move, neither did he utter a single word.
“Damon…” He looked up at once, his thumb was over her bottom lip, stroking the trembling flesh, his eyes fixed on her, piercing though her soul, their faces mere a breath away, as warm air trickled their brim, an unknown force drove them towards each other. It was a mere peck, lips barely touching, letting the taste sink in slowly, growing aggressive by each passing second. Intoxicated, too addictive to let go they claimed each other with such hunger, passion over flowing through their being, flesh upon flesh sucking, nibbling, wanting more and more. The unruly muscle slipping into the warm cavity caressing one another devouring to the fullest.
Elena’s hand found their way to his shirt, fidgeting with the button as she slipped her hands though it and was rewarded by the feel of his skin. As her fingers glided along his shoulder she was met with the sticky liquid settling in there. She pulled away slightly to inspect the area and was shocked to find the raw wound jabbed on his shoulder.
“Damon! You’re hurt…” He instantly detached himself from her almost standing up as he closed the button to seal the wound from her eyes.
“It’s nothing, don’t worry about it.”
“But it’s bleed….”
“Trust me it’s nothing. Come on now, lie down, you need to rest.” With this he tucked her in and placed a small kiss on her forehead. He watched her close her eyes and was about to leave but was stopped by a tug. As he turned he found Elena was still holding his hand, she mumbled though her half sleep, “Be with me… tonight don’t let me be alone…”

He brought her quivering palms to his mouth caressing the soft skin with his lips, every kiss felt like a lullaby making her slip into deep comforting slumber. His eyes lingered on her sleeping form, chest heaving and dropping maintaining a constant rhythm. He extended his free hand to caress her bare arm, as he stroked invisible patterns on the exposed skin noticing the small hair slowly rising. She looked so innocent, purity emitting from every bit of her, all the filth in this world can’t touch her.
Damon began to wonder, What if… What if she’s the one…? Who will end his tyranny once and for all… Who will pull him back to life…? What if… Is this the reason why he was drawn to her? The first time he has witnessed her face standing near the window, the kind heart caring for that small creature, those curious eyes ignorant but innocent that stared at him though the tinted glass, her crude sorrow as she sobbed alone in the drive way, the sheer enthusiasm when she got her article, the raw anguish as she was misunderstood and… and her pure affection when they kissed, her warmth her scent, it felt… as if… he was safe… For the first time in a long time he felt safe not afraid to lose control.

It was a beautiful dream, but what if that’s all it was, a dream nothing more, it feels too good to be true, he didn’t deserve to live this dream, no… he had to suffer and be broken every day every minute, he had to endure it all by himself. But what if he really hurt her, what if his demons over powered him, making her suffer the same fate as all the women he ever loved. No… He would never let that happen, he would gladly take his own life before he could lay a single finger on her.
He withdrew his hand from her hold as he stood next to bed, still glancing at her taking in as much as he can. He knew what he needed to do and nothing could change his mind now. He leaned forward placing one last kiss on her forehead and slowly guided himself out of her bedroom.

Chapter Text

This is a starting of a band new day,
but you’ll find me as a fading grey
As you welcome the morning sun,
I will hide myself as the moon burns
When the world crumbles down in fear,
You may not see me, but know, I’ll be near
I’ll keep you safe against all resistance
But I know, I have to keep this distance.

The water droplets were still sticking to her body as she emerged from the bathroom wrapped in a towel, the sweet smell of lavender was tingling her senses. Her eyes fell to the dresser where she placed that small piece of paper with utmost care. She woke up to the morning sun tickling her face, her eyes casually landed on the clock at her bed side table and there she found the note, ‘Take care of your foot, I’ll see you soon. And don’t be late for office. –Damon.’ The name brought a smile to her face, though she was a bit disappointed on not finding him there but she knew better not to expect so much in so little time. The events of last night were more than enough to prove that he cared for her may be a bit afraid to show. With that thought she started getting ready.
This week is going to be hectic, with the launch date nearing everyone was over burdened with work. Elena was now assisting the photo editing team mean while crafting her own article making changes here and there. The entire day went by like that drowning in work and there was hardly any sign of the man she was craving to get a glimpse of. When it was time to leave the office after an extremely tiring day she decided to give it a shot going up to his cabin, with enough luck she might just find him there. Upon reaching the door she found the door to be locked, she let out a deep sigh, may be tomorrow. She took off as her droopy feet lead her home.
Next few days were same as the start of the week, hardly giving them anytime to chit chat, except for the occasional greetings and quick exchange of smiles. With each passing day Elena grew more and more impatient, it seemed like forever since she has seen his face, she tried a several times visiting his office at different times but always ended up with the same dark room with locked doors. She had enough, she needed answers and she needed it now. Without any further delay she stood up and headed up stairs, her foot still ached a bit but right she couldn’t care less about her foot or about anything else for the record. Standing in front of the door she tried to glance inside, a faint voice could be heard but she still decided to enter.

“Hey Alaric! I was wondering…” Her jaw dropped at the sight of figure in front. His back was facing her, but that didn’t hide his features, the white shirt, those raven locks, she stood there immobile staring at the man who now was turning to her side. The revolving chair rolled backwards revealing a handsome face but her heart sank the moment she saw his face. It was not the face she expected. Alaric broke the silence, “Elena this is Tyler Lockwood, Mr. Lockwood’s son he is our publisher.” Elena greeted him with a smile and turned to Alaric but before she could say anything was cut off by Alaric.
“Elena would mind coming back later we’re actually in the middle of something…”
“Yes… of course, no problem.” She turned and somewhat unwillingly went out.
Elena was strolling down the corridor lost in her thoughts. Caroline seemed to notice the figure walking by, she reached for the door and popped her head out in an attempt to get the girl’s attention. When that went completely unnoticed she waved her hand and motioned for her to come in.
“Hey Caroline, sorry I didn’t realize you were standing here.”
“It’s alright. I kind of wanted to talk to you after Stefan’s party but you know with the launch and everything was caught up in it.” Caroline gestured while both of them sat on the sofa. She noticed Elena seemed a bit absent minded. She placed her hand on top of hers caressing it lightly before asking, “How are you doing?”
Elena looked at her face and replied, “I’m okay, just a bit..”
“What? Is it about that article again?”
Some what frustrated Elena let out, “The article turned out fine, he approved it, a few minor changes are to be made that’s all.”
“Woo… Wait a second, when did Damon read it? He’s been out of town since Monday and…”
“I don’t know, Friday night may be I left it in his office… Wait a second he is not here?”
“I thought you knew about this. He’s gone to meet the sponsors, apparently there was some issue regarding it, that’s why Mr. Lockwood’s son is here.” She paused to see her reaction, she looked shocked, even a bit disappointed, “He should be back by tomorrow.”
Both were distracted by the knock at her door, the door pushed forward as Stefan came in, “Hey Care, I was hoping…” he stopped in his track as he noticed the other female figure seated next to Caroline. “Oh you’re busy, I’ll come back later then.”
Before he could turn Elena stood up as she voiced, “No need Stefan, I was just leaving” she flashed a small smile then turned to Caroline, “Thanks for letting me know. I’ll see you around.” With that she was out of the cabin.
“Stefan! What are you doing here?” She asked a bit irritated while returning to her chair.
“I just came to see you and…”
“Well I’m busy.” She said cutting him off. She was a bit agitated as there was no response from his side after Saturday night, she expected things to flourish between them not to hinder whatever little connection/attraction they had. Perhaps she was just plain hurt, she wanted to get close to him, they have a bonding and they loved each other’s company sure they were good friends but she wanted more than just friendship. But then maybe it was just one sided, maybe he was not ready or he just wasn’t interested. Caroline could feel a tear creeping it’s way to the eyes, she masked it with fake anger and glared at Stefan who now stood dumbfounded in front of her desk.
“Anything else?”
She watched closely as he approached her, walking past her desk he stood right beside her chair, in an abrupt moment his hands yanked the armrest and turned it towards him. They were now staring at each other, Caroline could feel her heart starting to beat faster than usual, sweat trickling her forehead. The silent cabin that once comforted her all of a sudden felt tormenting. Being alone with Stefan in this close proximity was actually what she desired, but now she just couldn’t bare it. She watched contently as his emerald eyes continued to stare at her face she felt more and more vulnerable, as if he could see past her mask, her fears, uneasiness, all her insecurity laid out like an open book. she loathed this feeling, it’s crippling her usual confident self.
Stefan’s deep voice broke the spell, “I wanted to thank you.”
“For what?” her voice was a mere whisper. She watched him inching closer, Caroline was now staring too afraid to blink as she felt a warm pair of lips brushed against hers.
“For your gift.” He said, his lips still pressed against hers.
She couldn’t contend herself anymore, her hand glided against his neck and pulled him forward as she claimed those lips again while dashing her forehead with his. Both let out a groan in unison and pulled back rubbing the spot as they laughed heartily.
“Might try slowing down a bit.” He said with a smirk. As a faint blush took over her cheeks Stefan couldn’t help but think how beautiful she looked. He found himself brushing his lips over her forehead that had collided with his moments ago, his lips were on their way to her eyes, her cheeks and slowly traveling down to her lips once again. Taking in her sweet aroma, as she deepened the kiss he felt ecstatic feasting on her warm cavity it was blinding his vision. His hands now rested on her waist that pulled her closer making her stand up, her body pressing against his own frame, the warmth that transmitted through her; he just couldn’t explain. As the air seemed to thin out they pulled away reluctantly still holding each other in an embrace, her head resting on his shoulder.
His hands traced her spine as he spoke, “You’re amazing you know.”
Earning a giggle from the other she looked up and winked before saying, “I know, it was you who took this long to figure it out.”
They both smiled contently before letting go of each other. “I’ll see tonight then…” he said glancing at her.
“Pick me up at 8 and don’t you dare be late.” He laughed yet again watching her returning to her confident persona.
He placed a quick kiss at the back of her palm and exited the room leaving an overjoyed Caroline behind.
Caroline was leaning on Stefan’s shoulder while climbing the stairs of her apartment as her unsteady legs needed all the support it could get. It’s safe to say she practically drowned in her martini glass while swaying her body with the upbeat salsa rhythm. And boy! She was not taking no for an answer, every nerve of her body beamed with joy and she needed to celebrate it. Stefan literally had to drag her out forcefully for the sake of her own safety. To be honest it kind of got him irritated and now that he had her semi conscious form in his arms he couldn’t help but adore her perfectly imperfect enthusiasm. That is what he liked most about her, everything was heightened when it came to Caroline, she knew how to live larger than life, perhaps that is the reason he desperately clung to her, he needed her, he… loved her.

He carefully placed her on the mattress taking her shoes off and tucking her inside the blanket. He just stood next her glancing at her sleeping form, too greedy to leave her side. This feeling in his chest causing it to swell and constrict at the same time, when he touched her skin the heat he felt underneath those fingertips, his sudden urge to claim those inviting lips making her his forever, it all pointed in one direction, he was in love with her. He closed his eyes and exhaled deeply trying to calm his senses, he felt a tug at his hand and before he could persist he was pulled forward landing on the bed encaging the girl. She was grinning devilishly obviously proud of her act.
“Kiss me” she demanded.
“Care you’re drunk and it’s late. You should…”
“Kiss me Stefan” her hands were now playing with his hair at the back of the neck, tugging them pulling him closer.
“You need to rest Care…” Stefan tried to reason with her but it was all futile. His lips crashed on hers and it was everything but sweet, the intoxicating smell of alcohol mixing with her unique taste overwhelming every fiber in his body. Lips on lips, tongue fighting for dominance, swallowing every bit, dwelling in guilty pleasure, the need to feel was overpowering them, as hands tried to get rid of the offensive fabrics that clad their body. Her hands traveled through his muscular back pulling the cloth over tracing his bare flesh while his lips trailing over her neck proceeding down the cavity of her chest, his hands pushed the garment down now resting on the swell of her chest, cupping, grazing the soft skin. Moans filled her room as she bucked her hips absentmindedly causing her knee to hit his groin. Stefan groaned in pain as he rolled on his back to the side.
“Oh my God! Stefan I’m so sorry” Without even thinking she extended her hands to his intimate part caressing till his inner thigh in order to ease the pain. She could feel his arousal underneath her palm but she was embarrassed by her own clumsiness.
“Is it hurting badly? I’m sorry, I’m just stupid and…” Stefan could see the tears welling in her eyes threatening to fall any second; he smiled and pulled her closer to his face as he breathed against her lips, “You’re perfect Care.” This caused her to laugh and cry at the same time. She gently lied down beside him as he wrapped his arms around her they both drifted off to sleep.

After knowing Damon’s where about she couldn’t just sit back and do nothing, but her hands were tied she didn’t know when he’ll be back and she had absolutely no idea where he lived. All she knew she had to see him today no matter what it takes. She was pacing in front of her cubical unable to concentrate on anything but Damon. Oh yes, she has become obsessed she would cross all lengths just to get what she wants, but her brain had shut down, she couldn’t find even a sliver of hope. Frustrate she could feel the angry tears staining her cheeks; she squeezed her eyes shut in order to focus. It was like a bolt of electricity coursed her veins; she stood up instantly and went to Alaric’s cabin. She knew he went out with Mr. Lockwood for lunch and fortunately his cabin was not locked. She carefully went to his desktop and located the file she was searching for, it was not password protected so she could access it with her employee administrator code and there is was, employee records sorted according to hierarchy. She carefully jotted it down on a small sheet and left the room after closing the open windows of the desktop.

Elena was clutching the piece of paper, tracing her fingers over her own scribbling, she smiled to herself thinking about her little escapade. Without wasting any more time she started her scooter and was on her way to his house. She drove through the empty roads, leaving her familiar locality behind, as she proceeded the buildings were replaced by trees and at one point she was only left with hazy jungle at both side and a starry sky above her head. Her mind was all over the place by now, she was nervous for she didn’t what was to come but she was delighted that she would be able to meet him without the barriers of professionalism just like that night in her house.
After driving for an hour she could see a house in close vicinity, her heart jumped at the sight, she closed her eyes and took deep breaths. She was so entangled in her thoughts that the sound of roaring motorcycle went completely unnoticed by her.

“Hey beautiful, wanna ride with me?” She opened her eyes and found herself to be blocked by a giant motorcycle with a middle aged man who was staring at her.
“Back off” she spat and was about to start the engine but was caught up as that man now grabbed her wrist a devilish smile plastered on his face.
“What’s the rush?”
Elena’s body went rigid she was desperately searching a way to get herself out of this, it was like a bulb lit in her brain, she flashed a smile instantly felt the grip around her arm relaxing, she came close to the man and with all the force she could muster kicked him hard where it would hurt most. She saw the man stumble back and falling to the ground she reached for her scooter as fast as she could and raced in the direction of the house.

Chapter Text

I let you in my house
to witness the walls that were burnt,
the withered window and scattered glass covering the floor
I let you in my heart
to feel the pain that I’ve been carrying so long,
my ruptured vein, that struggle to keep the blood flowing
I let you in my soul
to sense the sore wounds, raw and open,
to see beyond the evil, the man who’ve been trapped,
to embrace him and never let go.

Late in the evening Damon came back, exhaustion dripping from his body as he entered the house leaving his belonging somewhere in the hallway he went straight to the liquor cabinet. He plucked out his favorite bottle of scotch and poured himself a generous amount. He stared at the amber liquid for a while attempting to shut down his brain just for the time being. He’s expedition has been successful, after spending countless hours in convincing the sponsors they’ve finally come to term. This was nothing new for him, drowning himself in work is pretty much he had been doing since day he started interning at Sedona Daily, this was his escape from reality. But it never seemed to wear him out, to some extent his success was the only form of pleasure he found but today it was plain ineffective. He brought the tumbler close to his mouth and gulped the liquid in one go, letting it burn his inside as it flowed but was unable to numb his mind.

Defeated by the void he clasped the glass tight and threw it up front making it crash against the dimmed fireplace. He turned towards the bottle and poured half its content down his throat; an animalistic howl filled the space and he forcefully placed the bottle on the table. No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t push the sensation away, his body ached for the touch that burnt his skin and soothed it simultaneously, her scent that was much more intoxicating than alcohol, her tranquilizing voice that made him paralyzed his eyes longed for a glimpse of her beautiful face. Fury coursed through his veins as he opened his eyes and with one swift movement smashed the bottle on the ground, thrashing through the table, letting the lamp fall with a loud thud, books being scattered all over, the sharp sound of ripping papers echoed in a loop.
He fell to the ground burying his face in his hands, he felt a hand being placed on his back and a voice calling his name, he turned instantly and was greeted with nothing but thin air, again he heard the voice this time coming from his side, his heart tightened in his chest, he looked again and found himself staring at the emptiness. By now he was fuming with rage, he slammed his hands on the floor not bothered by the glass pieces that pierced and slit his skin. Continuous bangs at the door disrupted his mind, along with the loud thud followed a faint voice; he couldn’t make out, not that he paid attention anyway, but it didn’t seem to disappear, he stood up and finally started towards the door there it was again, that voice, her voice. He rushed to the entrance and the moment the door parted he froze in his tracks, the one he yearned for was standing right before him, he wanted to take her in his embrace but he couldn’t trust his own eyes, what if it was his mind playing one of its tricks, no he wouldn’t play this game anymore, he wouldn’t let…
Before he could complete his thoughts he was pounced upon by her, hands tightly clutching his torso, her body pressed against his, it was all too familiar, her scent, her touch, her warmth, realization hit him, she was no hallucination, she was real, flesh and blood in his arms. Desperation ran through him as he wound his arms around her bringing her closer.

“Damon… Thank God! I…” It was then he realized how needy her voice sounded she was shaking in his arms, his hand was now on the back of her head smoothening her hair as he felt her relaxing a bit, he asked still holding her in his embrace, “What’s wrong?”
She pulled away slowly wiping her face with her hands, she smiled with content, “Nothing… not anymore…” and went into the security of his arms. Damon pulled her to the side as he closed the door and took her inside making her sit on the couch. He placed a glass of water by her side; she slowly drank it while she sat there in silence. None of them had spoken a word, still registering the events that took place a while ago. Elena’s eyes roamed around the floor witnessing the remnants of furnishing being scattered all over the place, while he continued to glance over the empty fireplace. She got up from her position and walked to his side placing her hand on his back, it was exactly like the illusion he had, but he choose to ignore it.

Instead he turned to face her, “How did you find my house?” His gaze fixed at her face, he saw her biting her lips as guilt took over her face.
“I… Employee records” she answered timidly.
“But my address won’t be…You… you broke into Alaric’s computer?” He was completely stunned by her reckless act.
“Technically I didn’t, he left it open and I just took…”
“Elena… You could be fired for this, do you know that?” he asked with a concerned voice.
She stared at her feet, “I just needed to see you.” There, she said it out loud. Somewhat frustrated he ran his fingers through his hair before coming closer and placing his hand on both side of her shoulder. Elena was relieved to see there was no anger but worry on his face.
“Listen to me Elena, this, what you’re doing is not right. You and I…This is not possible.”
“Why?” her voice was calm as she continued to stare at the man in front.
“Because you’re an Intern and I’m your boss, this is against the work ethics and…”
“I’ve read the company policy and there was no mention on this. You don’t want to be with me fine but you have to tell me the reason.” Her face was dangerously close to his now. His grip around her tightened, his fingers were digging in her flesh, his vision clouding with rage, she winched at the sudden pain and he let her slip away, closing his eyes he took a deep breath before he replied.
“I’m not who you think, I will only bring you pain Elena…”
“But I do know you and being without you brings me nothing but suffering. Damon please…” before she could grasp she saw him turn and slam his fist against the wall, one loud thud caused her to bolt from her position.
“You don’t know me! I… I’m a monster; I’m a blood thirsty psychotic killer who would stop at nothing until he has witnessed the death of his love. I’m trying my level best to hold myself, contend my demons, so run as far away as humanly possible before I lose control.”
She inched closer to him slowly turning him to face her, her hands rose up to cup his face as she met his eyes she spoke, “That’s where you’re wrong. I know you! I’ve known for a while now.” She saw the look of confusion and smiled as her fingers continued to stroke his cheeks, “I realized it after reading the files you gave me for the article, the attempted murder of a high school student, and wounds on your body I knew… I could tell those were self inflicted. But when Stefan told that your girlfriend…” she paused as his expression changed to something she couldn’t recognize but decided to continue, “He told me what happened to Vicky and that moment everything fell into place. I knew what you were.”
He freed himself from her grip as he took a step back Elena felt her heart sinking and tears started to pile up in her eyes, silence fell in the room as both of them stood there immobile. Soon the nothingness became unbearable and his voice broke the tension.
“Why?”
“What?” she replied puzzled by his question.
“Why would you want to stay after knowing what… what I’m capable of doing?”
“Because I can’t stay away. I can’t think of anything else but you, I feel like I can’t breathe without you, you possibly don’t know how I’ve spend the last few days, you are my safety Damon. You are everything to me. I know you mask your feelings with your cold stern nature and you can go on pretending that you don’t feel the same but I know you do, and no matter how hard I tried to hold back I couldn’t because… because I’ve fallen in love with you Damon. I love you. I love you more than…”
The words remained incomplete as her lips met his in a hungry, passionate all consuming kiss, hands holding each other pulling closer and closer until one is dissolved into the other, mouth opening and closing in unison sucking, nipping the soft flesh, tongues rolling against the other licking and tasting every bit of it, drowning in the wonted flavor of each other. The air started to wear out as both began to gasp and unwillingly let go of each others rim. She tilted her head taking in a deep breath to console her deprived lungs as his lips trailed down her jaw licking and nipping the skin. His lips found her lobe and he placed a soft kiss before taking them in his mouth sucking them while his hand traveled up and down her spine tracing the curve of her back. He bit her ear lobe earning a whimper from her, his tongue traced the rim of her shell, his hot breath nuzzling the moist line making her shiver in his arms. “I love you Elena, more than you know. I love you so much.” He whispered against her ear making her legs go numb, she desperately clung to his neck and his arms held her by the waist preventing her from falling.

With the free hand he pushed her hair back revealing her slender neck unable to resist the temptation he found himself drawn to her inviting skin, his moist lips pressing against her heated skin strolling the way up to her ear and back down to the cavity that formed between her shoulder and neck. His tongue scooped the hollow as his teeth nibbled on the flesh it found eliciting an endless loop of moans that encouraged him further more. He pulled away slightly to look at the offensive cloth that covered her shoulder, his hand yanked at the cardigan and in an instant it was tossed on the floor causing her body to jerk and collide against his chest.

His arms enveloped her picking her from the ground as he carried her and carefully placed her on the mattress. All this time Elena kept her eyes shut, only letting herself feel his ministration getting lost in the process, never wanting it to end and the moment he lifted her up in his arms she felt the proverbial refuge that she sought the most. Now laying on his bed watching him undress in an agonizingly slow pace all she felt was the urgency to rebound with him, his skin, his touch, his lips. She continued to stare as he tugged his already unfastened tie, then unbuttoned his shirt one by one taking time while his gaze was fixed on hers, imprinting her each and every reaction. Once the shirt was no longer clinging to his body he inched closer to the bed and deliberately climbed on top hovering above her small frame.

He marveled at the vision in front, her brown hair cascading over his white pillow creating a beautiful contrast, her face graced with desire and anxiety, lips swollen red still parted wanting to be abused more. He didn’t waste a second before claiming those sinful lips again, sweet kiss turning wild in a blink of an eye, tonguing her cavity to make her shudder with pleasure. His hands were at her sides pulling at the flimsy material of her top as his teeth dug in her unruly muscle, his hand rapidly tore off the cloth cladding her upper body earning a moan that echoed through their throat. His hands slipped to the back casually unclasping the lacy fabric while his mouth soothed the bitten muscle. He left her lips just to gape at her bare chest, he has seen women in this intimate manner but Elena, he wouldn’t dare compare her with anyone, it felt like he was witnessing bare breast for the first time. “I love you” he repeated these tree words like a chant as he lowered himself to kiss a trail down the valley of her chest and his hands were cupping her breast, softly kneading them avoiding the buds all together. Elena whimpered under his touch understanding her need he darted his tongue out encircling one of the rosy peak while his hand pinched the other turning them to pebbles in an instant, he engulfed one in his mouth lightly sucking the bud while the other one was being rolled between his thumb and forefinger. He continued his actions to the point he felt her relaxing getting used to his touch and then he bit the sensitive nerve and pinched the other at the same time. Elena cried with pleasure and pain arching her back as it sent hot waves through her entire body.

Placing soft sloppy kisses on the swollen peaks he breathed on them, “I love the way your skin heats up as I touch them” he licked them one more time causing them to tighten even more and went up to whisper against her ear, “I love the way they harden once I kiss them” with this he started kissing every inch of her face, and his hands were fidgeting with the opening of her jeans. She was a moaning mess by the time he finished kissing her face, his hands undid the button and lifted her hips and pulled down her pants all the way to her ankle and then got rid of them momentarily. He could sense the discomfort in Elena’s eyes as her hands came to cover her privates, he grabbed her arms in haste pinning them above her head, he leaned on to her, his piercing blues glancing at her innocent eyes, “You’re beautiful Elena… you don’t have to feel shy.” She gave a slight nod and he took it as a cue and proceeded down.

Her undergarment was stained with a significant wet spot, assuring him she was enjoying this as much as he was. His face was now inclined with her core, he watched closely as he blew hot air on her core causing her body to jerk with anticipation, he smirked with satisfaction and started placing open mouthed kisses on her inner thigh. By now she was withering and thrashing against his pillow unable to take anymore she voiced out her protest. “Damon… Please, please…” earning another smirk from him, his own arousal was throbbing in confinement waiting to break free but tonight all he wanted was to shower her with pleasure, “Please what Elena?” he teased knowing well she won’t be able to resist anymore. “Touch me please…” it was like a jolt of electric current flowing through his body in a swift move he removed the last piece of clothing from her body revealing her completely naked form.

He dropped to her core awed by her desire that dripped through it, he started caressing her nether lips with his tongue and with each flick followed a loud moan, her voice raspy with cry. He reveled in her overflowing fervor, the aroma nuzzling his senses, he would cherish her taste forever. His tongue now moved to her sensitive bundle of nerves as two of his fingers disappeared inside her nether lip. She practically jumped on the bed crying his name out loud upon the sudden intrusion. His fingers were obstructed as he tried to push in and he stared at her with shock, “Elena has anyone ever?” He could see her face turning a shade of deep red as she mumble softly, “No” embarrassed with the intimate question, he gulped upon hearing her confirmation. This only made his heart flutter more, the fact that a girl like her trusted him with her most valuable possession made him fall for her all over again.

He took his time in preparing her, his fingers continued to pleasure her and his tongue occasionally flicked over her bundle, he could feel her release nearing as her walls contracted around his fingers and when he felt her adjusting to his ministration he added another finger while his mouth sucked her nub. The pleasure was too much to withhold, her hand clutched the sheets, her hips bucked forward and her back arched as ecstasy coursed through her veins. She cried out his name like a chant as bliss over took her sending her to oblivion. He continued his movements prolonging her euphoria as long as he could, after a while her breathing started to come back to normal, her convulsing body calming down as she rode out of her pleasure, he pulled himself up only to go crashing down her lips making her taste herself in the process.

A few more soothing kisses and he left her there, lost in the haze she couldn’t comprehend her surroundings but she felt the loss of warmth that covered her minute ago and she wanted it, she needed it like the air in her lungs. Damon was trying to get out of the remaining piece of clothing as fast as possible, seeing Elena spread on his bed waiting was making him loose his sanity and as he freed himself he could see her face astonished by the sight. Ever so carefully he climbed on top her angling himself with her core, he could see the worry written all over her face as he leaned forward and kissed her repeatedly making her comfortable for what’s to come.
“Tell me Elena… Do you want me to stop?” he whispered against her ear. She tiled her head backwards unable to form a word she just shook her head as her hands went up to his back caressing the smooth skin.

“Then relax honey… Just feel… feel my love and it won’t hurt I promise.” With this he captured her lips once again in a wild earth shattering kiss, his hands moved to her breast caressing them lovingly as he pushed in gently barely entering her. The kisses never stopped flowing cloaking her body as he continued to enter her until he felt her barrier, his lips took in her pebbled bud sucking on it and with one hard thrust he broke through the membrane claiming her womanhood to himself. She screamed with pain as the initial shock wore off, he saw faint line of tear streaming down from the corner of her eyes. His heart clenched in his chest as he realized the ache she felt, “Elena…” his voice came out weak and defeated, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to… hurt you… I’ll stop and…”
“Don’t… You didn’t hurt me Damon, please don’t stop. I…I want this, I want you to be the one… Please Damon…”
“I love you Elena… I love you.” He kissed her one more time and started thrusting into her in tender movements, increasing his pace along with her body’s reaction.
A thin layer of sweat covered their body, the air laced with their unique scent becoming steamy with each passing second, the lustful sound of flesh slapping against flesh with the steady flow of moans vibrated through the walls, their body moved in sync, following the desiring notation of love and lust, maintaining the rhythm. Damon could no longer contain himself as he felt her inner walls clenching around him declaring her release, as he himself was on the verge, he glanced at her face capturing the moment forever as both of them met their climax crying, screaming each others’ name, losing themselves in the exhilarating pleasure as they became one.

Chapter Text

Yes, I was consumed, owned by darkness
My Sun was snatched and locked in dungeons,
I laid on cold pungent floor
letting the torments overtake my soul,
For you I’ll open the doors
revealing my secrets, letting the horror come forth,
Crude and naked like the scars I’ve hidden
fear that I’ve masked are stripped raw and smitten,
Shadows of the past that covered me whole
But I’ll concur it all with your love petrol.

Collapsed over her small frame Damon laid still, reveling in the intoxicating aroma of sweat and desire combined together. The air was heavy with moisture and their body radiated heat making every breath burn with fervor. He opened his eyes to be greeted by her beautiful face, he found himself leaning forward, his lips landed on her forehead kissing her with all the love he had, soon he detached himself from her and rolled on his back lying beside her. She snuggled closer placing her head on his shoulder as her finger roamed his bare chest tracing invisible patters on the empty canvas.

“I love you Damon.” She whispered against his neck, her cool breath against his heated skin sent shivers down his spine.
His hands took her in bringing her closer to his body as he replied, “I love too Elena.”
Elena’s fingers found the uneven lines scattered all over his abdomen, she could sense those scars even with her eyes closed, as her fingers went near the flawed line barely touching it he flinched and grabbed her wrist making her stop the exploration.
“Do they hurt?”
He took his time but answered nonetheless, “No… Not anymore.”
“Are those… self inflicted?”
“Most of them are but some are… old, they are the reminder of my past.”
Elena could feel her eyes moisten at the thought of him being hurt this brutally by someone. Her voice was a mere whisper, “Who… who did this to you?” There was no answer instead he got up resting his back on the headboard as his hand combed through her hair.
She pulled up slightly to look at his face, his eyes seemed so distant, “Damon, why don’t you tell Stefan about this, he’s your brother and I know for a fact he loves you, he might be able to help and…”
“I don’t want to drag him into this mess Elena. I never wanted anyone to be a part of this monstrosity. I… I might hurt them, and now that you know I’m not sure how long I can go on… I…I… Hell! The thought alone makes me want to slit my wrist, I can’t hurt you Elena, I’d rather die than…”
“Sssshhh….! Kiss me” she demanded, she saw him hesitating, she reached for his face and claimed his lips, kissing him lovingly taking time, she placed kisses all over his face, caressing every inch with her lips pouring her love and care as she tried to chase away the last shred of fear.
“You need to let people in Damon, let them help you. You don’t have to carry this burden alone.” She cupped his face making him meet her eyes as she smiled sweetly and continued, “I will always be there for you, no matter what.” This struck a chord as she saw Damon pulling her on top of him as he took her lips engaging in a passionate kiss, breaking apart only to confess his love for her and then again resuming the blissful embrace.
They were still holding each other, Elena planting kisses on his neck and him kissing the top of her head. “What if someone else from your family can help you, someone other than Stefan.”
It took him a little time but as soon as he realized he held her by the shoulder making her face him and voiced out, “No!”
Elena clearly not the one to give up tried to convince him again, “But she’s your mother and…”
“I said no Elena, how many times do I have to say this?” with each word that came out of his moth she could feel his grip tightening around her shoulder but she didn’t care.
“I know she’s not in a position to do much, but may be if you go meet her once, maybe she can…”
“She can what Elena?” he snapped, she could see his expression changing rapidly fury, rage, anger, hurt all clouding his emotions, “You think she can help me?” He laughed somehow the sound made her withdraw her hold.
“I’m sorry to disappoint you but she can’t, you think she’ll be able to help while she is the reason why I am what I am.”
Her eyes widened with shock, she couldn’t believe the words she heard as she continued to stare at his face astonished as the true meaning sank in, “Earlier you asked me who did this to me, it was none other than my own mother. She ruined me forever.”
“I’ve grown up with in these boundaries, now what seems like the remnants of a disaster once used to be my home, our little world.” Elena saw him drifting to another world as he began to unfold the past, her hands automatically wounded around his torso drawing comfortable circles assuring him to let go of the pain he has been holding.

Flash Back~

“My family has been living in this town for generations, over the course of time my great grandfather has made a fortune with his construction business and like every other successful person he had built this lavish bungalow to settle down and build a family of his own. I remember when I was little playing on the court yard by the white picket fence along with Stefan while my mother would glance back through the kitchen window. My father was distant, he hardly spent any time with us except for the festivals but then again he would be occupied attending to his elite guests. It never bothered me much I was perfectly happy with my family, though my father was far from the fairy tale but I had everything I wanted, a place to call home, an adorable little brother and the most loving mother, one look at her beautiful face and I would forget all my worries, she was everything to me, my world.

The soft wind carried the fragrance of wild flowers that tickled my nose as we lay over the scattered maple leaves watching the sun bidding good bye for the day. I was in awe with the color play, vivid mixture of orange and gold creating contrast with the musky grey horizon. Stefan was too small to appreciate nature instead his attention was directed towards the freshly prepared cookies that was kept in the kitchen. He kept on tugging my hand and all my protest were nothing but futile, finally I gave in and we both went inside the kitchen to find the cookie jar set on the shelf. Stefan climbed up on the counter while I was hovering above the stool in an attempt to take out one cookie, as soon as Stefan saw it in my hand he hurried towards the floor that caused him to lose balance and he was about to fall to the ground. In a moment of haze I jumped from the stool in order to save Stefan from the terrible fall and fortunately he landed right on my lap. The events took place in such a rapid manner that none of us paid attention to the surrounding, my baby bro’s face was lit up with joy as he saw the cookie, I was more than happy to see him grinning from ear to ear while munching on the sweet naught. As I averted my gaze to the floor I realized what I’ve done, the floor was covered with the residue of porcelain platter, I knew it was her favorite and now it was broken beyond repair. I don’t know what got in to me as I got up and collected all the pieces and threw everything in the garbage.

Dinner was awfully quiet that day, all three of us ate in silence and unlike other days Stefan didn’t make a fuss about the food. We finished without a single word and headed to our bedrooms but I was stopped by my mother.
“Damon, would you come to my room?” Her voice was calm and sweet like always but my guilt was getting on my nerves, all I wanted is to run to my room and forget everything as sleep takes me over.
“I’m feeling tired, will it be okay if I just go to sleep?” She flashed me a smile and took my hand leading me to her room, and I knew this is not usual, I could sense it my bones her touch that was filled with affection seemed hard and rigid. All the lights were switched off except for the bed side lamp emitting small amount of light that barely illuminated the spacious bedroom. She made me sit on her chair as she went behind to shut the door and turned to my side, her face made me shudder with fear. She wore her signature smile but it was not innocent as I’ve always seen, her eyes twinkled with an unknown itch. Her gaze was locked with mine, she inched closer and placed her hand on my cheeks, “Dear, do you want to confess anything?”
Her voice made me flinch, by now my heart was racing I could feel the sweat trickling my forehead as I answered her, “No mother… I want to rest.”
“Of course dear! But before that we need to sort things out. I thought I taught you better than this Damon.”
Then I saw the triangular piece in her hand, it was from the platter that… that I have thrown into garbage, I thought she wouldn’t find out but she did. I started begging to her as tears started rolling down my cheeks, in between sobs I confessed, “I’m… I’m so sorry mother, I didn’t mean to… It was… It was an accident and I will never do it, I promise… I promise…” In no time she was by my side, caressing my head with one hand while her hand slowly unbuttoned my shirt but I was too caught up in daze to pay attention to anything but her soothing touches. I leaned in her hand as she whispered to my ear, “Hush now, I forgive you. But you shouldn’t have lied to me son.”
“I…I’m sorry, I would never…”
“But you did, you have sinned child and for that you must pay.” with that she placed the sharp porcelain piece against my ribs and before I could understand I felt stinging pain the piece dug in my flesh making the cut deeper and drawing more blood and I sat there frozen in that chair. I was completely immobile except for the tears that continued to stream down my face. Then next cut followed immediately causing me to tremble with sheer agony, I was 11, I could barely contain what was happening let alone protest or resist the attack. The pain was excruciating but the realization that it was my own mother who was imposing this made it all the more horrifying.
When she was satisfied with what she created I saw her drop down to her knees as she let go of the bloodied weapon and broke into tears in front of me, her hysteric cries were echoing through the air but I still didn’t move simply because I didn’t have the strength to do so. She took me in her arms as she continued to apologies and left me there only to return with the aid. Ever so carefully she cleaned all my wounds as she wrapped the bandage and kissed every inch that was wounded by the time she was done I was already in a half sleep state, I felt her arms hoisting me up and she placed me on her bed. All through the night she held me in her embrace as she promised me this will never happen again. Those wounds will heal but as the scars appear I knew those will stay with me forever, the pain I felt when I saw my angel turning into a demon, the cruelty in her eyes that charred my heart I knew there was no remedy for the damage.”

“Everything changed after that night, I didn’t dare tell anyone about what happened, part of me wanted to rip that night out of my life as if it never happened but part me was scared thinking that, what will happen to her if someone found out, I could take her cruelty but I couldn’t bare the isolation, I loved her, yes even after everything I loved her, she was my safety as ironic as it sounds. Our days passed as it used to with laughter and happiness except that I started faking most of it for my brother. However her resolve was wearing off each day, I could see it, her tempers have become worst. I had to protect my brother so even as I child I always took the blame of his wrong doings, and she however couldn’t contain herself, every time the same routine followed, she leading me to her room and then the torments, it always ended in the same manner she aiding to my fresh wounds and her promises of never repeating it again.

By the time I turned fifteen I had gotten used to my life however twisted it was I had come to term with it, but life had other plans, all those horrific nights were just the beginning, the real thing was much worse. It was one of those pleasant monsoon afternoon, I came back early from school as I sat by the window watching the continuous stream, the droplets that gathered on the glass made the vision vague and through the haze it looked all the more beautiful, the pale green leaves against the constant waterfall faded even more I felt the rain water being poured onto my body my soul, washing, purifying all my guilt, my ache and I just let myself get dissolved in the sensation.

A violent shake broke my trance as I turned and found Stefan, his face was pale, his hands trembling and when he looked into my eyes I saw all his restrains breaking right before my eyes he sobbed hard and in between pants he spoke, “Father, he… no more…”
“Stefan, calm down. Tell me what happened?” I tried to make sense of the incoherent words but I couldn’t.
“He is dead. Damon! He… He is…” and he broke into sobs again. I stood there dumbfounded unable to process the words. Later we found out he was murdered, his business partners were behind it but everything was presented as an accident, no trace of a crime, even if there was any evidence it was all taken care of. After hearing the news my mother had locked herself in her room, no one had the permission to go inside not even her own children. She was in there for days, even she decided to excuse herself from the memorial service. All this time Uncle Zach had taken care of us especially Stefan he was only eight a mere boy he needed all the support he can get.

That very night my mother finally came out of her exile, we were worried how she would react, will she be in the right state of mind or not but to our complete surprise, she appeared absolutely normal, it was like all of this was a mere nightmare. None of us said a word as we ate in silence until Stefan got up and threw his plates to ground, the crack of the glass filled the hall and I knew it was the genesis of a hurricane.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 9~ My Angel

It’s hard to love, to let go, but I know
You’ll find me when I’m low,
All through the night, you’ll stay by my side
Your love has healed, has aided my mind,
You’ve taken me under your wings
And for the first time in forever I feel free
I feel safe, I can breathe
My angle my love
I know you’ll keep me from harm
The magic that you are, with all the charm,
My angel, you are the light
My angel, you are my life.

“Stefan’s voice still echoes in my mind, my little brother, he was just a child, he couldn’t understand the complexity of our surrounding all he wanted was answers and when he didn’t get them he had to retaliate. I could never forget the fire I saw in those boyish eyes when he approached mother that night.
“Where were you?” he demanded while standing mere inches away from her who was dumbfounded by his action. She didn’t answer nor did she look at his face, her gaze was fixed at the broken pieces that scattered across the floor. We all stood in the uncomfortable silence, nailed to the ground, before I could perceive Stefan crashed the glass against the floor. I could have prevented it, but I didn’t. Part of me wanted to scream alongside him, part of me craved those answers more than anything, but I knew that would result in something more horrific. I stood there watching Stefan’s cries turning to hysteria, he was shaking violently as he spoke in between sobs.

“Answer me! Why didn’t you come? Why did you leave us… Leave me…?” I rushed to his side, holding him by his shoulder, I wanted to soothe him, I wanted to calm him down but he was having none of it. He thrashed in my arms as he continued, “You left us… When we needed you most, you left us alone! I want to know why? Tell me why?”
“Now that is not the way you speak to your mother, isn’t it?” My eyes shot up to her face, the voice was viperous, I could feel the venom dripping from the words that came out of her mouth. I watched discreetly as she approached Stefan with the angelic smile, but I could see past her façade, I was accustomed with the pure repulsiveness of the drive. She extended her arm and placed it on Stefan’s cheek, he leaned in to her touch as she caressed him with utmost care.
“Child, your behavior is unacceptable and I do not want a repeat of today’s actions. You need to remember this and you must understand the gravity of your deed. My sweet boy, it breaks my heart, but for your sins you must be punished.”

A shiver ran through my body, my heart jumped out of my chest as my brain processed her words, it felt like Déjà vu, the traumatizing feat played over and over before my eyes but this time it was different, this time my brother was at the receiving end and I couldn’t let that happen, I wouldn’t. My body acted on its own as I hastily shoved my brother to the corner of the hall and soon after felt a cold metal jabbed at the side of my stomach, swiftly it was taken out and pushed against my shoulder. I could feel the rigid metal slicing through my flesh, blood oozing out in frenzy and the excruciating pain that blurred my vision. From the corner of my eyes I saw Stefan standing to the furthest corner, he was paler than ever and a dreadful expression plastered on his face. The erratic roar fell to my ears, a vague silhouette of my mother lashing out in my Uncle’s arms, her nefarious instincts protruded through the haze and with that vision I fell unconscious.

The doctors confirmed my injuries were not severe, the vital organs were spared though it will take time but I will heal, and so I did at least the physical injuries were fading. As I came home I realized how much everything has changed, our home that once reflected love and safety, was now filled with weary and emptiness, my little brother welcomed me with a smile but his eyes reflected nothing, his innocence was stripped away, he was forced to become a man, a man devoid of emotions. Life took away everything, our home, our safety, our sanity, within this short period of time both our parents were taken away, one by death other by the devil.

Time healed all ours wounds, I saw Stefan rebounding to life, while I continued with mine, growing distant by each passing day. I couldn’t help but blame myself, as the horrors of that night settled in my mind, because of me Stefan had to grow up as an orphan, because of me our mother was confined to the asylum being subjected to endless torments day after day. I could never go visit her as it only reminded of the thousand way I could have prevented the course of events, I could have saved both my brother and mother if only I stopped Stefan from lashing out, if only I intervened a bit sooner, if…

End of Flash back~

But I could have never perceived the true horror of the events; I never realized how all my past trauma has impacted me until that summer. What I thought was a burnt chapter was presented in crisp paper right in front of my eyes, a repeat transmission of the monstrous play, blood, flesh, wound and death. It was worse than the memories, the vindictiveness made me shudder with terror but it was the realization that tore me apart. I was the author of this evil.”
Damon’s hands were clenching the sheets with such intensity that his knuckles were almost white, his chest heaved in an uneven rhythm, his lips were parted and quivering as his entire body broke into tremors. His head was tilted backwards making the faint waterlines visible, glistening his cheeks, he opened his eyes searching for a trace of disgust, hatred and resentment in her eyes but all he could see was Elena reflecting the familiar hurt. Her tears stricken face emitted pain, anxiety and… love. She didn’t waist a single second before wrapping her arms around him as she straddled his body pulling his head to the warmth of her chest. Words were simply irrelevant as her compassion was the only form of solace he needed.

She embraced his face caressing every tear that escaped his eyes, erasing all his weary as she brushed her lips over his skin tracing invisible line along his forehead down his nose, to his eyes and alongside his cheeks reaching up to his ears. Her moist lips caressed the shell of his ear as her fingers messaged through his raven locks, she breathed against his ear, “All you need is love Damon”. Her lips trailed down his neck planting soft kisses while her tongue stroke the skin it found, tasting his musky flavor, “So let me show you…” A low moan escaped his lips, she felt his hands on her bare torso caressing the side of her body with feather light movements. Her lips were now on his shoulder kissing and nibbling on his sturdy muscle while her fingers moved over his chest showering him with love, his hands were now gripping her bottom that tightened with her ministrations, she could feel his body shudder with pleasure under her touch.

She preceded further down and stopped as she witnessed the scars that wrecked his torso, her body trembled with fright as those vile images came to her mind, she didn’t realize when the offensive tears had dropped down without her consent. Damon felt something warm and wet trickling his skin, he glanced up as he found the source and extended his hands to cup her face. Though his heart ached at the sight but he forced a smile as he caressed her face, resting his hand on her chin making her look into his eyes.

“You don’t have to do this… I can understand what you must feel…” his intense blue orbs were locked with hers that transmitted nothing but sincerity, it was vivid like the warmth of the morning sun, the passion in those eyes were almost tangible.
She lowered herself to him, her breathe almost sending shivers down his body, she glided her fingers over the angry marks she could sense him tensing under her touch. Her lips graced the scares and before he could protest she started caressing them with her moist muscle, her tongue floated against each and every wound, her lips kissing, sucking in a delicate manner, absorbing all his torments. He withered under her love and lust, his groans lingered in the air, an endless loop, emerging and fading with her affectionate treatments.

“My love is the only thing I can offer…” She whispered against his skin, “So… Let me heal you… Let me… love you…” with this she went up and took his lips into hers, kissing him with all the passion she had, mouth gracing one another, tongues invading the cavity, rolling against the other making love with each other. There was no holding back now, nothing to hide, nothing to be afraid of, all the agony and hurt was casted away what remained was pure blissful love and the burning desire to claim each other naked and raw.
The night was silent, no roaring wind, not a melancholy cry, the earth stood still, nature didn’t want to trespass tonight as if the slightest movement can break the harmony of the two embedded souls. Him against her, engaged in the slow burn coupling, she lowered her core to him engulfing his shaft inside her completely as both of them released an animalistic howl charged with hunger. They never let go of each other, hands entwined, mouth upon mouth, man and woman joined together in the most intimate manner. There was no rustle, no hasty movements, all they wanted was to feel one another, get familiar with every bone, every muscle, every nerve, the overflowing need to recognized the other as their own, to be discovered as one.

The temperature started rising up as their own skin transmitted heat, their movements were growing frantic as both were on the edge, their breathing became irregular, desires melted like the burning wax, the sinful moans blazed through the air, as pleasure flowed through them wave after wave crashing over their body.
“Da…mon… Ele…na…” the cries of their names vibrated through the walls shattering all that was wrong only to be replaced by what was real, what was true, their love.

Chapter Text

Chapter 10~ Pretense

Can we pretend
For a little longer,
Let yesterday be our present and future
If that’s what it takes for you to linger,
If that’s what it takes to satisfy my hunger,
If that’s what it makes our love tinder,
Darling, just pretend
for a little while longer.

Caroline and Elena were sitting at a café sipping their steamy coffee, the blonde kept on babbling about something while Elena was unmindfully stirring the cream. The morning sun was shining bright; the day carried a new spirit, as usual townies were engaged in the regular activity. The smell of freshly prepared ginger bread tickled her nose as her mind drifted off to the day she was awoken by the similar aroma. She was still twisting and turning in Damon’s bed as the intruding morning rays were threatening to break her peaceful slumber. She reluctantly opened her eyes to a smiling Damon as he laid the platter in front of her. The adorable look on his face made her heart flutter, these humble gestures made her realize how deeply he cared for her, and beneath all the hurt, he has a kind and loving heart that beats for her. They have spent the weekend in a concussion of sweet love and burning passion. It was hard to keep their hands off each other; most of the time they were rolling on his bed, sparing as little time possible for food and shower. Day went by with the tales of their childhood with happy and not so happy memories, while nights were spent learning about their bodies, each time exploring new form of pleasure as they devoured one another countless times.

“Elena… Elena… Are you even listening to me?” Caroline’s squeak snapped her out the trance. To her dismay now not only she had to bear her boy drama but she most probably would be interrogated for her lack of interest.
“Yes, I’m listening. So what did Stefan do?”
She eyed her questioningly as she spoke, “Okay, spill the beans, now!”
“What? I don’t know…”
“Cut it out Elena, ‘Stefan discussion’ is over half an hour ago. I was asking you about the launch party, but you were clearly residing in another dimension. So tell me what’s going inside that head of yours?”
Elena clutched her purse while staring at her feet, the mere thought of Damon made her ticklish needless to say her cheeks were naturally tinted these days. Caroline’s intense glare didn’t do anything to ease her discomfort.
“Oh my God! Don’t tell me you are caught up in boy drama. Who’s the guy, do I know him, is it someone from our office, tell me everything now.”
Before she could answer Elena’s phone started buzzing, she flipped it on, her screen flashed one new message. ‘Meet me in my cabin in 15 minutes. Don’t be late. –D’
She stood up in a haste grabbing her belongings, “I need to go Care, I’ll see you in the office.”
“But… Wait, Elena where are you going, I can drop you if…”
“Don’t worry about it, I’ll tell you everything, but right now I have to go.” She bid goodbye and vanished with her scooter.

The ride from the café to Sedona Daily seemed like forever, the office elevator felt a bit more congested than usual and by the time she was climbing up the stairs her entire body was trembling. The tinted door would never fail to cause nerve wreck, gathering all her courage she knocked on his door. After a several minutes the door opened and before she could register her back was shoved against hard wood shelf and she was engulfed in strong arms. Lips pressed to her neck, fingers entwined with each other, his body pressed against her, they savored the proximity.

“The coffee is delicious…” he murmured while pecking her lips.
“Umm… What?” A smirk played on his lips as he closed the gap between them claiming her mouth engaging in the playful battle. Satisfied with his endeavor to keep things fluid between them he detached himself from her mouth. His palms now rested on her cheek caressing her flushed skin, his intense blues boring into her chocolate ones.
“Good morning.” She said with a smile.
“My morning is certainly good now that you’re here.”
“Stop it now. You made me miss breakfast and now Caroline’s all suspicious and…”
“Well I’m afraid I won’t be much help with Ms. Snoopy Forbes but I can compensate for the breakfast.”
“What do you mean?”
He took one step towards her “You know…” another step “…we can…” now she was trapped between the wall and his unflinching torso, his hands tugging at the hem of her shirt “…always…”
“Don’t even think about it. Damon it’s almost 9 and…”
“And what Elena?” his thumb was grazing her stomach, her rationality fading with each stroke of his finger.
“And… Anyone can come…”
“I don’t care.” He placed chaste kisses on her cheeks, forehead, nose, his thumb brushed over her quavering lips he leaned forward and the door was bang opened startling the couple.

“Damon do you have a minute, I… Elena… I didn’t know you were…”
“I was just leaving.” She wouldn’t dare look up from the floor, her entire body was shaking. She hurried to the door not wanting to add more to her misery she held the door but turned back, “I’ll see you later Stefan” she flashed a small smile and went out of the cabin. Both men stood in silence, dumbfounded by the event; slowly he regained his composure a decided to break the ice.
“So what brings you here?” Damon asked while returning to his chair.
“Yea about that, I wanted to confirm the guest list with you, since the launch party will be held in your place.”
“Don’t stress over it Stefan, I’m okay with your list, besides it’s not just my place, it’s our home.”
Stefan was awestruck by his statement, he couldn’t remember when was the last time he had seen Damon like this, he… he looked genuinely happy. Both of them discussed the minor details regarding tomorrow’s events, they were in charge of venue, decoration and guest invites. Majority of the invitations were already sent and rest of duties were taken care of by Alaric and Caroline. They were quiet for a while and this time Stefan was the one to break the silence.
“So you and Elena huh?”
“Yea…” he replied sheepishly. Stefan could swear he saw a faint blush appear on his cheeks which in turn made him smile.
“She seems nice and clearly she makes you happy.”
“More than anything in this world Stefan.” He sighed and leaned back on his chair, a smile tugged his face and he continued, “I can’t begin to tell you the impact she has on me…”
“I’m glad to hear that. You don’t know how long I’ve waited for you to come out of the shell. Who knew all it would take is one intern (an extremely pretty one I might add) to drag you back to life.”
“It’s not her beauty that attracts me but her kindness, her ability to forgive, her willingness to love beyond and above all barriers that’s what draws me in.”
Stefan placed his hands over his and gave a light squeeze, “When it’s right, you know it in your bones and you can’t shake it. Trust me I understand.” Damon just smiled.
“Take care of her and don’t let her go.”
“I won’t Stefan. I promise.” They both exchanged a meaningful glance and Stefan left the room without another word leaving Damon alone with his thoughts. Stefan’s words echoed through his mind, did he really break through his shell, was it even possible. No one has ever made him feel this way, Elena’s love convinced him he was capable of change, he would go to great lengths just because she believed in him. Even if it all goes in vein, he was willing to try, hold on to his pretense as long as he can.
The rest of the day went in a hustle, Elena knew she had to speak to Caroline especially Stefan’s discovery didn’t leave her a choice. She planned on catching her during lunch but to her misfortune Caroline was out as she had to meet the caterers, apparently she was double checking on the supplies. She came back to office around 3 o’clock; Elena was contemplating on how to approach but decided it’s best to come forth with truth. With that thought she went ahead to her cabin.

“Hey Care; I wanted to talk to you about something.” As soon as she entered she found Stefan and Caroline were busy in a conversation.
“Oh hey Elena, come on in.” She took a place near the couch and looked at Stefan’s direction nervously. He gave her an assuring smile that somehow eased her tension.
“Well spill”
She took a deep breath, “Damon and I, we’re… together.”
For a few moments it was absolute silence, all of a sudden Caroline burst into laughter startling the other two. “Seriously Elena, that was just too much. Now tell me the truth.”
Elena glanced at Stefan and then at Caroline, “I just did. I love him and he loves me. That’s what…”
“What?” Elena thought if she stretched her lid just a tiny bit more her eyeballs would have surely been rolling on the floor without a doubt. “You and Damon are together. This is even bigger than the magazine launch, oh my god! Elena…” She stood up and pulled her into a hug. “God I’m so happy for you.” Her eyes travelled to Stefan’s face who was smiling with content. “Wait a minute. Stefan, how on earth you’re so calm after hearing this?” Her brows crooked in a comical manner as she studies both their faces. “Don’t tell me you knew about this. Elena did you tell him? Wait did Damon tell you? What is happening? Will someone explain this to me?”
“Relax Care, she didn’t tell me anything and neither did Damon, well not before I found them in Damon’s office this morning.” Stefan looked at Elena’s direction who was staring at the floor with cheeks as red as a tomato.

“Morning… Damon’s office… So that is why you ditched me in the café. Now tell me everything from the beginning.”
Elena just smiled at the two, all of them were seated on the couch as she stated the events, “It all started on Stefan’s birthday…” she began with how Damon saved her from the accident, to him nursing her wound and finally how they confessed their feelings, keeping the unwanted details at bay she gave a brief insight to their story.
“I’m happy for you Elena but just be careful. He doesn’t seem like the relationship types. I mean he’s the mysterious loner guy never engaging in any social activity and all of sudden he’s with you. Don’t get me wrong but it just doesn’t seem normal.”
“I know Care, but don’t worry about me. I’m just glad that I could share this with you.” Elena looked at Stefan “With both of you.”
“Well now that the secrets are out can all get going, it’s already 5.” Both girls turned to the clock and Caroline jumped out of her seat.
“I totally forgot I have to meet Alaric there are slight changes in the dessert I have to inform him. Do one thing you guys wait for me in the parking lot I’ll finish it off and meet you guys in 15 minutes.” Before they could respond Caroline went out of the room.
Caroline was standing in front of the door, she could hear two male voices and clearly they were having an argument over something. Caroline being Caroline couldn’t resist herself, as she focused on the voices she could recognize one to be Ric and the other was familiar but she couldn’t indentify.

“I don’t think this is a good idea. Especially with her…”
“I don’t agree with you Ric. Can’t you see I’m changing and maybe we can work this out.”
“Yes changing but you and I both know it’s temporary, and you yourself told me you don’t have any control over this.”
“So you’re giving up on me? What happened to the Ric who was so sure that all his aides were working, that I could have it under control for this long.”
“Stop it Damon! I know what I said and don’t you dare put this one me. I would never abandon you, heck I choose to stay by your side even after Rose’s... But this situation is different Damon, she is our intern and God forbid if things go in the wrong direction…”
A loud bang echoed through the room. “Don’t you think I know that, I’m absolutely terrified Ric. God, just the thought makes me giddy”
“Then why are you letting yourself in to this?”
“Because I can’t stop. Trust me I tried, I did with all the strength I had. I just can’t stay away from her. She is the fire and I’m drawn towards her like a moth. I love her Ric, I love her more than anything in this world. The fact she’s willing to accept me even after knowing the truth breaks all my resolve. How can I deny her, I want to be better Ric for her, I’ll do everything in power to make this work.”
“Wait… She… knows?” Alaric’s voice was startled with his wild confession.
“Yes..” he replied as calmly as he could.
“Still she wants to be…”
“Yes…”
There was a brief pause, “I don’t have much say in this do I.” He glanced at Damon who was staring blankly through the window. “Just… be careful, no matter what I say, I want you to be happy, there’s nothing that will give me more joy. I’m your friend Damon and I will always be there for you.”
He gave a weary smile, “I know that Ric, without you I wouldn’t be standing here today.”

Caroline didn’t move an inch nor did she utter single word, as the conversation got over she came out of the trance still trying to make sense of the words she just heard. She found herself walking down the stairs and without another word she got inside Stefan’s car, Elena was already at the back seat and soon they left the premises.

Chapter Text

Chapter 11~ A normal day

One normal day with you
is all that I ask
One day to walk by your side,
Just one day to hold you close,
One day to show the world
that you’re mine, just mine,
I’ll trade all that I have for this one day
Give your all to me, this one time
‘Cause I’ll give you all that is mine.

Stefan’s lips were grazing the slender creamy flesh while his hands wandered all over her body caressing every inch of skin it found, setting it on fire. The bed post was banging to the wall as the two bodies moved in a lustrous rhythm, relishing the companionship. After dropping Elena, Stefan brought Caroline to her apartment, she was awfully quiet the entire time; all his effort to initiate a conversation was futile. He doesn’t remember when his hands crept around her figure enfolding her within the cloak of his body and his lips settled on her tender rim coaxing her for the sultry whirl. It didn’t take much time for them to undress each other as the need to explore naked skin was overpowering all rationality. All they wanted was to be consumed by the flare that leaped over like an inferno. Engaged in the sweet and sour pleasure exchange their body moved in unison, lips attached to flesh kissing and sucking, fingers digging, scratching all the curves and edges. Their movements were growing frenzied, the burn was too much to contain, every kiss, every touch, every thrust brought them near to release. They clung to one another pronouncing each other’s names as both of them were lost in the haze of desire.
They lay lifeless on the bed for a while; the sweat covered frames were glued to one another. Stefan’s head was buried to the crook of her neck, inhaling the sweet scent that was uniquely Caroline. His lips moved upwards to nibble her ear making her tremble as he whispered, “God! You… You’re perfect Caroline. I… I can never get enough of you.” His fingertips lingered over her flushed body merely touching as she heaved under his ministrations. “You have no idea what you do to me…” his breath felt like fire against her sweat trickled skin, “Your naked flesh that heats up with my touch, your raspy voice that comes out only for my ears and your scent… God! You drive me crazy Care…”
Caroline could only wither at his words, unable to form any coherent sound except for the involuntary moans that escaped her throat. She pulled him closer kissing him passionately as that was all she could do at the moment.

“You don’t know how long I’ve waited for this.” She murmured against his lips. Stefan smiled but it faded as soon as he noticed her face, he could sense there was something that bothered her, though her lips faked a smile but her eyes betrayed her will. He cupped her face with both hands pulling both of them in a sitting position as to face each other.
“What’s wrong?”
She didn’t answer immediately, her mind replayed the conversation she overheard earlier that evening, she was trying to connect the dots somehow it laid like an unreadable puzzle in front of her. All she knew that she had to solve it no matter what it takes. She felt a squeeze on her shoulder; Stefan was calling her name, which brought her out of her chain of thoughts. “What? You’re saying something?”
“Okay tell me what are you thinking?” Stefan’s voice was stern and she knew there was no point to hide she needed all the help she could get.
“It’s about Damon…” She replied timidly.
“What about him?”
“I heard Alaric… I mean they were having an argument over his relationship.”
“Go on, I’m listening.”
“I didn’t quite understand, Ric said something about Damon losing control and things going in the wrong direction.”
“Care I think you’re over reacting besides you couldn’t be certain about this as…”
“But I heard Alaric and he was dead against this relationship with Elena. But Damon said that Elena knows the truth, and he loves her, he would never hurt her. But I…”
“There you’ve got the answer. He loves her, I know Care you’re not his biggest fan but trust me when I say this he really loves her, he is changing and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him this happy. And it’s not just Damon, I’m sure you’ve noticed how Elena is more radiant than ever, they bring out the best in each other. As her friend shouldn’t that be enough?”
“I guess so. But I’m worried Stefan. I know he is your brother but I can’t shake this gut wrenching feeling, it’s eating me up. I don’t want to see her get hurt.”
“You won’t and god forbids if everything goes to south I will be there right by your side, I promise.”
“Thank you.”
“Now that we’re clear shall we resume our actions?” Stefan asked while his hands were already busy groping her behind.
Caroline pretended to be tried, she sighed deeply and said, “If you must..” Stefan pushed her to the bed in a swift movement encaging her within his arms, “Come here you naughty little…” and with that they were engaged in yet another burning coupling.

Alaric and Damon have spent the better part of the morning supervising the different units. Richard Lockwood would be present today along with his son and he would settle for nothing less than perfection. He despised every choice of venue that Alaric suggested, he was on the verge of pulling his hair out when Damon stepped in as his salvation when he offered his family home for the event. The mansion that once stood proud outshining the entire town has become gloomy over time, with the eroded bricks and cement, colors fading from the wall with each passing day. But today the underlying magic will be revived, the empty halls and chandeliers will once again shine with glory, the marble floor would anxiously wait for the countless emerging footsteps. The backyard was transformed into an open air Brek that would portray live cooking while the foyer was rearranged to serve as stage with the glistening fireplace in the background.

It was a beautiful evening, the sky was clear with stars that shinned bright, slight chill present in air soothed the heat that followed through the day. The guest started arriving soon after the sun went down, the whole office was invited along with the sponsors, Mr. Lockwood had called the local channel to cover the entire event. Alaric was in the foyer welcoming everyone that arrived while Damon was standing at the corner of the balcony watching the space slowly filling up. He hadn’t seen this place crowded since his childhood when his father used throw the grand parties during the holidays. It resembled the chime, as if nothing has changed, the same chattering mass with mock happiness plastered on their faces, with their fancy attire attempting to surpass one another. Much like his childhood it didn’t bother him much, as his eyes were anticipating the one special girl.

All heads turned towards the front door at the screeching sound revealing a blazing silver Bugatti that came to halt near the entrance. Alaric rushed to the door in order to receive our publisher and his son. The Lockwoods certainly knew how to make an entry, both men greeted the rest of the crowd with a smile and Richard turned to Ric’s side.
“You’ve done a good job. Didn’t think you could pull it off in such short notice though.”
Alaric scowled inwardly but replied nonetheless, “It was a team effort Sir, glad to see you are pleased.” He eyed Damon and mouthed ‘Thank you’ who returned the gesture with a smile. He averted his gaze scrutinizing every face but the one his eyes longed for was nowhere in sight. He spotted his brother with Caroline, her face opened and closed in a comical manner syncing with her expression as Stefan listened to everything with an earnest look. Damon smiled to himself shaking his head back and forth, his own heart reflected the emotions as his brother.

He went down to join Alaric who was standing near the liquor stall with a smug grin plastered on his face. He held out a glass to his direction which Damon took without question. Both men took one ship of the amber liquid as Ric spoke, “Looks like our efforts paid off, Lockwood is certainly impressed with this.”
“Yea seems like that.” Alaric could sense his voice trailing off, knowing the reason he tried to keep the conversation flowing as to keep him occupied.
“So what’s the plan for tonight?”
Damon gave a bewildered look before answering, “What do you mean?”
“Don’t tell me you dressed liked that to impress me?” he winked at Damon while his hand motioned to his attire. It was no secret that with his physic he can wound a sack around his torso and still make it look gorgeous but there was something discrete about tonight’s choice of clothing. The crisp white shirt clung to his upper body over his toned muscle while the top buttons revealed the pure perfection of his porcelain chest, the sleeves of his light blue blazer were pulled up making it clutch to his biceps. His dark jeans and leather shoes added another fold to his charisma.

He smirked and was about to reply when he noticed Alaric’s eyes were glued to the front door with his mouth slightly a gap, he crooked his brows and his gaze followed the direction of Ric’s stare. As soon as his eyes landed to the door he froze in his tracks, those intense blue orbs were in awe of the sight in front. The perfect hour glass figure was covered in an off shoulder dress that reached till her knee, the rare combination of aqua green and dusty rose were doing wonders for her olive skin, her chocolate cascade were neatly tied in a French knot leaving a few strands loose that framed her face. The nude pumps lengthened her leg furthermore, she was breathtakingly beautiful. Damon didn’t even realize when he started walking in her direction his body moved on his own as he held out a hand in front of her. A beautiful smile played on those lips as she took his hand and proceeded towards the foyer. He just couldn’t tear his eyes off her, everything else went blur as his mind perceived her and only her.
“So…” She said bursting the bubble.
“So…” he mimicked the words unable do otherwise.
She giggled and her cheek tints were growing a shade darker under his relentless stare; “Stop it Damon. You’re making me uncomfortable.”
“Elena… I can’t even begin to describe the depth of my discomfort when you look like that.” His voice came out raspy and uneven. She turned to meet his eyes the blue flames susceptible of engulfing her whole made her entire body shiver with desire.
“Damon… people are staring…”

He leaned forward his lips almost tracing the shell of her ear, “Let them, ‘cause all I see is you…” his eyes lingered on her exposed shoulder as he breathed “Your neck that is begging for my kisses…” his hands crept around her waist holding it tight pulling her closer, “And as much as this gorgeous dress appeals to me but there’s nothing more tempting than to rip it off your body and grace every inch of skin with my mouth.”

The trance was broken by shrill sound of the microphone; they averted their gaze to the source of the noise where the Lockwoods were standing. After making sure he had all the attention, Richard Lockwood started his speech, “Good evening everyone, we have gathered here this evening to celebrate this wonderful event of ours. I want to thank each and every one of you who have taken time off their busy schedule to grace us with your presence, so without further ado let us bring forth the product of all our hard work.”
Alaric went up to the stage holding the enlarged cover of the magazine wrapped with a red ribbon. The Lockwoods took hold of the cardboard and unwrapped the ribbon, the crowd burst into applause and cheers. Tyler ranted more about the hard work they have put behind and how they’ve overcome every single hurdle that came while Ric and the rest of the team heads exchanged meaningful glances. All eyes were hooked in the direction of the stage except for the two pair, lost in their own little dimension they stood in middle of the cluster completely detached.

As the speech ended the team members congratulated each other soon the initial conversations got over they all proceeded towards the dining area. The sight was enticing; the sky offered a clear view of twinkling stars that harmonized with the shimmering lights hidden alongside the foliage and the live erratic fire increased the appeal of the meal.
Alaric had secured a small table for Damon and himself, but the since other joints were occupied Stefan and Caroline joined the group. They were having small talks over today’s party while enjoying the mouthwatering food.

“The food is delicious.” Stefan said while taking the first bite of his pasta.
“Well you should be thanking me and Ric for this.” Caroline winked at Ric while taking a sip from her martini glass. “But what got me awestruck is this house, Damon your home absolutely gorgeous. It has got a certain allure to it. You should be hosting most our events.”
Damon gave a small smile, “It’s were we grew up, me and Stefan, so technically it’s not just my house.”
“What? Stefan! How come you’ve never told me about this?”
Damon could sense the discomfort in Stefan’s eyes as he tried to answer, “This house holds unpleasant memories Caroline, that none of us want to relive that’s probably reason he didn’t tell you anything.” And just like old times he took his brother out of his misery.
“No more unpleasant talks, tonight we celebrate.” Alaric raised his glass and with this the tension thinned out and like any other normal group of friends they continued with the evening.

All this time Elena was silent, Caroline was busy giggling to something that Stefan had told apparently only for her ears and Ric was enjoying his drink, reluctant to let go of the perfect opportunity Damon slid his left hand under the table carefully placing it over Elena’s knee. Her eyes widened at the sudden contact but see remained calm. A smirk appeared on his lips; ever so tenderly he pushed the hem of her dress up. His fingertips drawing circles over her bare thigh sending fire through her blood stream, he could feel her tremble as his fingers traveled upwards nonchalantly. His nails were digging on her flesh, scratching the tender mass and immediately soothing by feather light caresses. She clutched the cutlery steadying herself but the moment those intruding fingers brushed over her throbbing core she lost her resolve. A throaty moan escaped her lips catching everyone’s attention. She could feel the piercing gazes on her, she pretended to munch on the food as she said, “The food is really yum…” hoping no one would call her bluff.
“Yes it is delicious.” Damon said while licking his fingers earning a glare from Elena. Before anyone else could comment Richard Lockwood came up to their table with a huge grin plastered on his face.
“I wanted to congratulate you lot in person. I’m quite satisfied with today’s affair. And Damon this place is mesmerizing I hope we’ll get to be here more often.”
“Thank you sir, I certainly wish the same.”
After the greetings he turned to his heels and left the premises along with his son. The rest of the crowd followed, Alaric made an excuse and eloped leaving the two couples behind.
“We’ll get going then.” Stefan said glancing at Caroline who was busy chatting with Elena.
“Yea…” Damon replied his gaze fixed in the same direction.
“I really had a good time tonight.” He took a pause before looking at his brother, “It felt like old time, it felt nice… to have my brother back.”
Damon turned to his side, “I’ll always be there by your side Stefan. I am your brother and always will be, no matter what.” Both men embraced each other and soon after he and Caroline left the house.

Damon turned towards the house, once inside he closed the door behind him and went ahead to the foyer. Elena was seated on the couch her gaze fixed at the luminous flame that leaped upon the closed fireplace. The yellow orange glow transmitted to her skin making her fiery skin appear even more tempting. He sat beside her taking one of her palms in his hand slowly bringing it to his mouth and pressed his lips on the delicate skin.
“So?” he said entwining their fingers.
“So…”

He leaned forward placing her hand on his shoulder while his other hand went to rest on her back tugging her closer. His head now buried in the crook of her neck, his lips traced a most line across her skin earning a breathy moan from her. He chuckled against her skin, “No more intruding stares now my dear Elena, no need to suppress anymore you can moan as loud as you want.”
“Damon Salvatore! You…” and the words died in her throat as his demanding mouth lashed upon hers engulfing her in a searing kiss.

Chapter Text

Chapter 12~ Remember

Remember me as a man
not the devil that I’ve become,
Remember my love that is pure
not the pain and hurt that I’ve caused,
Remember my touch that is soft and pleasant
not the burns that scorched your soul,
Darling, won’t you remember?
What we feel is real, what we have is sound,
Remember me as who you want me to be
Not as the devil that I’ve become…

The silk sheets were slightly ruffled under her weight, the edges clenched inside her fist, she sat immobile with baited breath while her gaze traveled up and down the figure in front. His blue orbs unflinchingly boring at her while he gradually removed his blazer and unfastened the buttons one by one all the way down to his waist. The shirt hung loosely from his shoulder revealing his bare chest that glowed under the neon lights as he approached her. He knelt in front of her placing her feet on his lap, he removed her pumps and dipped his head, his lips grazed her toe slowly trailing upwards to the hem her dress while his fingers traced invisible line from her heel to the back of her knee. Her grip on the edge tightened, her head titled backwards, every cell of her body shuddered with the unendurable thrill. His fingers ghosted under the dress caressing the side of her thighs, scratching the flesh arousing her further more. She moaned his name out loud making him groan in turn as the sound of her velvety voice sent volts of electric current through his blood stream. He climbed up on his feet placing both hands on each side of her waist, his head leaned forward his lips attached to her neck placing chaste kisses on her exposed shoulder. His hand slid to her back fidgeting with the zipper while his mouth nibbled along her jaw line leaving a moist trail. He took her soft lobe in his mouth nipping the flesh while pulling the zipper down in a swift movement.

“Damon, I…” she whimpered, her breath hitched, eyes squeezed shut, her hand on his neck slightly pulling his hair.
“Ssshhhh!...” his warm breath tickled her ear, “don’t talk…” his fingers caressed the newly found skin of her back while his mouth leaped on her neck sucking the tender mass, “tonight, I want nothing but those lustful sounds to come out from that beautiful mouth of yours…”
Her hands clutched around his torso, her heart pounding faster and faster with each second, his voice was like a drug numbing her senses and all she could see is white. Clumsily she took hold of his head bringing it closer to her own and crashed her lips against his, caressing, sucking, nipping one another battling for dominance while he deliberately glided down the fallen material from her. Their mouths were still attached to each other tongues rolling, teeth grazing the rims while his fingers crept around her silky locks tugging at the pin as the chocolate cascade rolled down one after the other streaming down her frame. He pulled back a little carefully laying her down on the mattress to admire the vision in front. His eyes feasted upon her bare form, her olive skin covered in nothing but the glimmering neon, her eyes clouded with desire, her mouth slightly parted anxious and inviting, every inch of her body was screaming for his touch. He got rid of the obstacles that were clinging to his body before giving in to the hunger. The greed to consume one another burnt like charcoal, coursing through every vein, every fiber, every sense empowering and weakening at the same time. Need, passion, desire, lust everything molded to gold that night as they made love to each other.

***

“Umm… Stefan, what are you doing?” Caroline asked, her voice muffled with yawn.
“Morning Princess, what does it look like I’m doing?” Stefan replied without turning from the stove. Caroline hopped on the kitchen stool sniffing the aroma of fresh pan cakes while she her hands involuntarily grabbed the coffee mug.
“Those smell yum Mr. Salvatore!” she chimed, taking a sip from her piping hot coffee.
“And they taste equally good Ms. Forbes.” He said placing the platter in front of her. She took a mouthful as her fingers casually flipped through the news paper. She hummed in affirmation making Stefan grin as he watched her munching the food like a child. He casually strolled behind her back while reaching for his mug with one hand and wrapped the other around her waist.
“Would you believe I haven’t checked our magazine yet.”
“Umm hmm.” He hummed in response his nose nuzzling her neck that in turn earned an eye roll from Caroline. She was scanning through the pages smiling to herself, the pictures, articles, every single letter was the product of their constant hard work. She traced her fingers over the shinning pages feeling content with every bit of it. While she flipped through the pages her gaze fell to Elena’s article. She turned her head to Stefan who was busy planting chaste kisses on her shoulder, for a moment she felt herself getting lost in the sensation provided by his moist rims but steadied herself as the curiosity popped in her head.
“Did you read Elena’s article?”
“Um, yes, I mean no. Not the full thing… You see I’ve been distracted.” He said while nipping at her skin earning a whimper from her.
“Stefan…”
“Yes Caroline…”
“Uhh! Never mind.”

She casually glanced through the words but got intrigued as she proceeded further. Her eyes grew wide, her face slowly loosing it’s color as she continued reading.
‘Death comes unannounced, it may appear as the devil or it may present itself as your friend. We put our guard against the evil bar ourselves against the unknown, what if the one familiar face that you love that you cherish that you hold close turns out to be your bane. It’s easy to blame the unknown but what if the sin in amongst the known.
“What if- is the everlasting echo in my chaotic heart.”
A high school student was found unconscious in her backyard, covered in blood, cloths torn, flesh mangled and with absolutely no trace of the offender. The weapon vanished and the poor girl was impacted with such terror that she couldn’t form a coherent word let alone indentify the criminal. The investigation lead to black hole, another unsolved case added to the pile. As time passed it erased the memory of the vile act, cleansing the spilled blood, healing the wounds leaving only the scars.
What if the scares never fade, they’re constant reminder of the torture, of death. What if the dead end was just the beginning…’
The pile slipped from her quivering hands, her heart tightened around her chest, she stood up in frenzy almost tripping over the stool.

“Stefan… We need to go the office now.”
“Care, it’s Sunday and…” he paused as the he noticed her horrified face he immediately placed his hands on both side her face hoping to calm her down, but the impact was trivial.
“Stefan, we need to go… Now!” her voice almost cracking he could practically see the desperation in her eyes.
“Okay, But first you need to tell what’s wrong, what happened Care?”
“Elena’s article, I can’t explain, Stefan please I have to confirm this…”
“Wait, her article, what do you have to confirm?”
“Stefan!” Her voice was up a few notches than usual “Either you come with me or I’ll do this by myself.” No further words were exchanged as he took hold of his keys and both left the apartment.

The ride to Sedona Daily was spent in uncomfortable silence, Stefan kept glancing at her side but her face didn’t give away anything, she kept on fidgeting with her fingers, he knew better not to question her as it would lead to nothing but chaos. Upon reaching she rushed to the stairs almost knocking the security guard and screaming for the keys, he followed without having another choice. Her hands were shaking violently as she unlocked the door and went straight towards Elena’s cubicle. Thrashing through the pile of papers that were placed on top the table, she dashed down a few creating an absolute mess. She dropped down to her knees and was somewhat trying get the drawer open much to her dismay she found it to be locked. She slammed her hands on the table causing the stationary to fall down and scatter around the floor.
“God Damn it!”
For the longest time Stefan stood beside her without uttering a single word but he could take no more, “Okay Caroline, enough is enough, you’ve got to tell me what’s going on.” He paused for a second placing his hand on her shoulder, “God, Care! I’ve never seen you like this, talk to me…” he pleaded with his eyes.
“I need the key, I need to open this damn drawer.”
He sighed pinching the bridge of his nose, “Why?” he said in a calm tone.
“Because I need to see Elena’s notepad. Just get me the keys Stefan, Ric must be having a spare key in his office, please, I’ll explain everything, please… just…”
“How do you know she left it here?”
“I don’t… But…”
He obliged and raced to Alaric’s cabin after a while came back with a bunch of keys, it didn’t take long to find the right one. They scanned through the stuff finally plucked out the note book, Caroline frantically searched the pages, hastily turning them. She came to halt upon reaching a particular page, her eyes scrutinizing every scribbled letter, her breathing getting heavier as she read through the text, sweat beads forming on her forehead, her trembling fingers grazed the page.
“When did Damon graduate from High School?”
“What?” Stefan replied startled with her question.
“How long has it been?” her voice stern and dead serious.
“10 years I guess. Wait, how that is relevant?”
“Look at the date Stefan… The murder Elena wrote about, the high school student who was brutally attacked… You… You said something happened to Damon’s girlfriend… She… she is the one who was attacked…”
“I don’t understand what you’re talking about… Even though I don’t know the details regarding Damon’s girlfriend, but even if it the same person what does that prove?”
“Another girl went missing from Whitmore college… Damon studied there right?”
“Yes but… What dots are you trying to connect Caroline?” Stefan demanded, clearly frustrated with the puzzle she is been lying in front.
She ran a shaky hand through her hair, “That’s what Alaric was arguing about, the girl who went missing, Rose… And this high school girl… That’s what it was all about… losing control”
“What the hell are you saying?”
“Stefan, don’t you see… Both the girls who have been attacked were linked via one common ground, Damon! I didn’t understand the other day when Ric was telling, it was all about this, him losing control, he is behind all this. Damn it! He is a damn psychopath. Stefan we need…”
“Are you out of your freaking mind? Yes I know you don’t like him but that doesn’t mean you’ll go one accusing him for this… this is… this is ridiculous… Did you even hear yourself?”
“I’m not accusing, I’m telling you the truth, the proofs are right in front of your eyes, what more do you need?”
He huffed in anger, “You call this proof, a bunch of article from history and a conversation that you overheard, sorry Caroline I can’t convict my brother to be a psychotic killer based on these rubbish.”
“Stefan… We don’t have time for this. We need to go now. Elena… Oh my God, she’s with him, what if he… We need to move now.”
“Stop this nonsense! For God’s sake stop it! You… I… Damon is fine, Elena is fine… They’re happy to be with each other, can’t you see that…”
“I don’t give a damn about her happiness if her life is at stakes… Stefan listen to me, we need to go there now.”
“I’ve had enough, I won’t be a part of this madness anymore.”
“Stefan please I beg you, just come with me… If I’m wrong I’d be the first to apologize but for now that I know, I can’t just let it pass. Please…”
He exhaled deeply, “Fine.”

***

Elena’s body was glistening with the tiny droplets, the dripping hair poured down her back soaking the material of her silk robe, her skin flushed from the heated bath she stood in front of the dresser, her gaze fixed at the reflection. Damon climbed down from the bed and surfaced himself right behind her, his arms securely wrapping around her waist. His chiseled face rested on her shoulder inhaling her scent laced with thirst and anxiety. She leaned on his frame, head tilted a bit, her own hands resting on top of his, she wanted nothing more than to get dissolved in this moment in his arms. One of his hands tugged at the ribbons of her robe while the other traced soothing circles over her clothed stomach.

“Damon…” her voice come out as a mere whisper.
“Yes Elena…”
“We… We can’t do this…”
He pushed her damp hair with one hand while his mouth planted soft kisses on her neck trailing to her shoulder, “And why is that?” he breathed on her skin.
“Because… We’ve been doing this all through the night… And I just came out of the shower…”
He undid the knot and leisurely parted the robe revealing a naked path through the middle of her body. The fabric hung loose from her shoulder covering half the swell of her breast falling over her hip bones trailing down her thighs to the floor. “Tell me Elena…” he whispered to her ear, “how am I to resist when you look like this…” his eyes pointing at her reflection. She blushed under his intense gaze but not wanting to surrender just yet she said in mocked anger.
“Well, I don’t want to.”
He smirked in response, “Sure about that darling…” she could only nod as her voice might just give it away. His smirk grew wider and Elena could see those blue irises twitching with lust. He placed one of his finger inside his mouth, before she could comprehend her skin was met with a moist warmth that gradually slid over her chest halting at her navel tracing slow sensual circle on the sensitive flesh. Her body trembled with pleasure and she whimpered under his touch, causing him to chuckle slightly before adding, “Your words and actions doesn’t coordinate baby…” Before she could protest he turned her around and crashed his lip on hers, engaging in a slow yet sensual kiss filled with love and passion. Damon pulled away reluctantly much to her dismay as he offered her a heartfelt smile before speaking.
“I wanted to show you something.” She could sense a sudden change overtaking their blissful surrounding, the strain in his voice too evident to ignore. She gave him a smile reassuring him to continue. He opened an adjacent chamber and took out something long and sleek. Elena didn’t understand until he placed it into her hands.
“What is it Damon?” her eyes were wide with terror.
“This belonged to my grandfather, he had a knack for hunting hence collected various weapon over the years. After his death my father auctioned all his belongings, to him those were nothing but junk occupying space. I thought that would be the last time I see this dreadful knife...”
“But that’s not the case”
“No, apparently not. It was the day of my father’s memorial service, the day when my mom…” he paused for a while, his eyes shut, his chest heaved in an uneven manner, Elena contemplated to interrupt but he started again, “the day she was taken away… before Uncle Zach pulled her from, she stabbed me with this knife. He tucked it away in her possessions just to avoid the scandals. I don’t remember how I found it, I don’t even remember keeping it with myself until the day I realized what I did. Rose, I killed her… I sliced her flesh open with this damn blade.”

Elena didn’t flinch, she couldn’t even blink she stayed still listening to every word that came out of his mind. When she realized he was done speaking she exhaled, her hands crept their way to his shoulder and she spoke, “Listen to me Damon, I want you to get rid of this as soon as possible.”
He didn’t move nor did he utter a word, his gaze fixed on the sharp metal that flickered under the morning rays. “I’ve never said anything about this, you’re the first person to know, to witness this…”

She felt the grip around her waist tightening, she ignored the slight pain as she looked into his eyes. Those eyes transformed into an unreadable haze, his pupils dilated darkening with something that she hadn’t experienced before. Was it rage that she saw, the fire growing wild, his fingers dug painfully into her skin, her body trembled in his hold, it was in that moment she understood the true meaning of fear.

“Damon… You’re hurting me…” she called but it all fell to deaf ears.
“Damon please…” she could feel the proximity of the cold metal to her skin.
“Damon… Damon please…” She screamed and thrashed in his grip but nothing. Unable to do much she closed her eyes letting the tears fall freely her voice came out as whimper “Damon… I love you… I will always love you…” It seemed like forever as they stood there in silence, his grip loosed gradually as he dropped the knife to the ground, his hands immediately cupped her face.
“Elena… baby I’m sorry… I’m so sorry…” his hands frantically roamed her body, “Are you hurt? Did I hurt you? God Elena… Please tell me… Talk to me…”

Before she could compose herself the door slammed open behind them, revealing a furious Caroline an equally bewildered Stefan. She rushed to Elena’s side, grabbing her in her arms as she spat, “Get the hell away from her you sick bastard!” She glared at Stefan “Now do you have your proof or you need to see more before this gets inside your skull.”
Stefan froze in his track, his eyes fixed at Damon, desperate for a protest, or an explanation or a plea anything but nothing came out of his mouth.

“Hello, 911…” the sound echoed through the mansion before everything went blur.