Chapter 1: The First Time
The first time it happened, it happened in a diner.
Not just any diner, but the only diner near Elena’s home that made her coffee just right. They’ve come to recognize her - two creams, three sugars- and she’s come to know them by name - John and Donna, the local owners of Ted’s Diner.
For Elena, it had been a regular morning. She had woken up early, started on her paper that was due for her Norse Mythology class, went out for her usual morning jog, showered and drove into town. She had a few errands to run; Jeremy was coming home that afternoon to spend the long weekend with her and she was out of his basic necessities - Salt and Vinegar chips and frozen waffles.
Also on her to-do list was running by the bank, stopping by the post office to pick up a package from Caroline and driving her car to the nearest car wash to get the layers of grime finally off of it.
Before she could do her errands however, there was one thing she needed first to get her gears going: coffee.
Elena had discovered Ted’s during her third exploration of the small community of Lake Breeze, Florida, after her first night alone in her new house.
She had followed Jeremy to Florida after he’d received a baseball scholarship to Florida State University. After a long discussion between the two of them over where to live, Elena purchased a house a half mile away from the lake and only a thirty minutes drive from the University, so that Jeremy could come home on weekends.
The move had been easier for Jeremy than it had been for Elena.
Elena hadn’t been on her own in years, not since the beginning of her transition. If Jeremy hadn’t been home, then Caroline and Bonnie were over with Matt and Tyler usually in tow. Not to mention both Stefan and Damon, who had been constantly hovering over her; neither of them strayed too far from her side to begin with, always staying close enough to hear her if she so much as stubbed her toe.
Finally, enough had been enough. All four of her friends had left Mystic Falls for college, leaving her with the Salvatore brothers and Jeremy. The constant coddling from Stefan and smothering from Damon had taken its toll on her. Even though she tried to make the best of her time outside of high school by getting a job at one of the local craft stores and starting classes online, Elena started to constantly feel suffocated.
Once Jeremy had received his acceptance letter, Elena eagerly packed up both of their bags and tossed them in the back of her car. He hadn’t planned on leaving her, but a full ride to one of the best baseball colleges in the nation was not something she planned on letting him pass up.
Telling Damon and Stefan that she wanted some space, not only from Mystic Falls but from them also, hadn’t been easy. While Stefan hadn’t put up much of a fight, his forlorn expression had opened the floodgates for her guilt. Damon, on the other hand, put up enough of a fight for the both of them, which only stirred at her anger and caused the two of them to part on unpleasant terms.
Life without the Salvatores was odd, in a pleasant sort of way. At times Elena found herself looking over her shoulder, expecting one of them to pop out of no where.
Eventually, the foreboding feeling of her days in Florida being numbered faded away and Elena became content with the realization that both of the brothers had decided to, for once, respect her decision.
Now, as she pushed through the doors to Ted’s Diner - the overhead bell dinging, alerting the workers that another customer had entered - the Salvatores were the furthest things from her mind. Instead, Elena was tossing around ideas on what she should cook Jeremy for dinner and what Caroline could have possibly sent her that required her to go physically pick it up at the post office.
It took her a moment to realize that there was a line - there rarely ever was a line - but then again it was a Monday morning and she wasn’t the only one who was dependent on coffee. Rocking back on her heels, she pushed a stray piece of hair out of her eye and glanced up at the specials for today. A banana nut muffin along with her coffee sounded perfect, she decided with a nod.
Glancing around to the other customers, she waved at the older couple sitting in the corner booth. The Meyers lived a few doors down from her, and Jeremy mowed their lawn for them when he was in town. Mrs. Meyer made the best meatloaf in all of Florida, according to her husband, not that Elena could argue with him. Her meatloaf was the best she had ever had.
The line moved a bit more and Elena continued to bounce back and forth on her toes, observing those around her. She skimmed the other side of the diner, her eyes barely lingering on the patrons sitting to the far right until a familiar face caught her eye.
Elena’s body stilled, her heart stopped and dropped down to her feet. There, sitting only a few feet away from her, his attention focused on the book that was placed in front of him, was Elijah.
It was strange to see him in such a casual atmosphere. He was simply reading a book, taking sips of his coffee every so often, looking more relaxed than Elena had ever seen him. A half eaten scone sat off to the left of him, next to a stack of three other books.
He hadn’t noticed her walk in, or if he did he was paying her no mind- which was completely out of character for Elijah, which only meant he had to be completely unaware of her.
She continued to watch him as she moved up the line, sneaking peeks out of the corner of her eye every so often to make sure that he was still sitting there. Elena knew if she kept staring he would pick up on her lingering gaze, after all he was a special type of vampire.
It had been decided only moments after her recognizing him that she would take her coffee and muffin and join him at his table. It had been two years since she had last seen him, since he had left Mystic Falls after the supposed death of Klaus and never returned. She wondered if he knew what Rebekah had done- probably, there was no way he couldn’t have. Rebekah must have told him eventually.
Elena planned to ask him why he hadn’t returned after finding out that she was a vampire. It seemed only natural that he would have come back to check on her; he had always been invested in her survival before, back when she had been human. Perhaps that had been why he hadn’t come back. She was no longer human, no longer an asset to him so there had been no need, or want, to return to check on her wellbeing.
Frowning at the direction her current train of thoughts were going, Elena turned them around. They were both here now and she would get the answer out of him. So there was no need for her to darken her mood over the scenarios she had replayed over and over in her head.
Giving him one more glance, her eyebrows shot up in surprise when a blonde haired woman slid into the seat across from him.
Elijah seemed momentarily surprised but his surprise was quickly covered up by a polite smile. The diner’s music was too loud, the conversations all flowed at various levels and the constant sounds from the kitchen made it hard for Elena to focus in on what the blonde was saying. The woman gestured to the busy diner and then back to the table, leaving Elena to piece together the conversation without the help of her handy, advanced hearing.
She needed a place to sit since the diner was so crowded, he had a seat open and oh, she really hoped that he didn’t mind her stealing the seat across from him. She promises she won’t be too much of a bother and he looked so lonely sitting there all alone, like he could use some company.
The women wasn’t told to leave and Elena rolled her eyes in response. Elijah was far too polite for his own good, always a gentlemen and ever noble. He wasn’t about to tell a lady to give up the seat across from him, especially when the diner was quite crowded and he wasn’t planning on using it.
“Good morning!” Donna greeted Elena with a smile, but the younger girl didn’t seem to notice that she was now at the front of the line. Instead her eyes were still trained on the blonde and Elijah, who only seemed to grow more and more uncomfortable by the second. His facial expressions remained polite but Elena saw the way he was shifting back in his seat, placing space between himself and the unfamiliar woman.
Elijah didn’t enjoy his personal space being invaded- though he wouldn’t hesitate to invade yours, Elena thought with a smirk.
“Elena, you’re going to have to move, sweetie.”
Elena yanked her attention back to Donna quickly and, for a moment, she thought she had given herself whiplash by the sheer force of it. “Oh my God, I’m so sorry Donna!” She handed off her money with another apology, “Oh! Can I get a banana nut muffin too?”
“Sure thing.” It was Ted who handed the muffin and her change to her with a greeting and a wave, sending her over to the side to wait for her coffee.
“So, you noticed him too.” Donna leaned over the counter, her head titled in Elijah’s direction.
Flushing slightly, Elena tugged her bottom lip in-between her teeth and nodded. “Yeah, we’re actually sort of friends.” Donna raised a brow in intreats, “Back from when I lived in Virginia.”
“Oh really?” Ted called for Donna’s attention and his wife held up a finger, stopping him before he could continue on. “Well, I’d hurry up and get him out of Nicole’s clutches. She’s giving him the same look she gave our old Spin instructor - its the one that leads to her luring him in and gutting him.”
Elena knew that the woman had been nothing but trouble from the moment she had sat down. “Thanks for the tip.” Donna disappeared with a nod and Elena squared her shoulders in preparation.
Elijah took a slow sip of his coffee; enjoying the way the taste of it lingered on his tongue and warmed him as it slid down his throat. The woman in front of him had been incessantly droning on for the past two minutes on a subject that was not worth his attention. She seemed to take his perpetual silence as his way of urging her to continue on with her stories, and he was too tired to inform her otherwise.
He wasn’t used to being so tired. His mind lagged, his bones were heavy with fatigue and before the coffee had entered his system, his eyes had barely remained open.
It wasn’t that he needed much sleep in the first place. Three to four hours a night were sufficient enough. After over a thousand years of being a vampire, Elijah learned to prioritize. Sleep was a necessity, that much was true, but it was a necessity that could easily be put off until the brink of utter exhaustion.
Elijah was known for putting off such things in order to work on other, more pressing matters. Such as the reason he was in Florida in the first place: Research on the Seminole Indians...and also to pay a visit to a group of werewolves who lived around those same parts.
The research was for his work, fact checking historical documents for publication was his actual job; he at least hadn’t lied about that part when he had visited Mystic Falls. It helped to pass the time and he could continue to do it for years and years to come.
The werewolves, however, were completely unrelated to his research. He had tracked them down to their current location after they had tried to take a bite or two out of Kol a few weeks earlier. Kol had returned unharmed - Elijah had immediately seen to him himself- and afterwards Elijah had felt the stirring desire to remind the wolves just what the consequences of their actions entailed.
It would be a day or two longer before his sources would be able to provide him with their exact location, but he was a patient man. He didn’t mind waiting, not in the slightest.
Elijah was drawn out of his thoughts by a hand being placed on his shoulder. The hand squeezed gently in greeting and he glanced up to meet warm eyes- eyes that he was more than familiar with.
Elena slid into the seat next to Elijah, her hand travelled down to rest on his forearm. “Sorry it took me so long, honey. They just pulled the muffins fresh out of the oven.” Turning her gaze to Nicole, she gave her a sunny smile in greeting. “Hello there.”
“Hi,” Nicole glanced awkwardly between Elijah and Elena, “I, actually, was just leaving.”
“Oh,” Elena continued to smile at her, though the cheer was slowly starting to fade into something more territorial, “well, have a nice day then.”
“You too,” she murmured quickly, disappearing out of the diner doors without a backwards glance.
Waiting a beat to see if she would return, Elena felt oddly satisfied when the doors didn’t open and Nicole was ridden from her sight. It took her a beat longer to realize that her hand was still on Elijah’s arm, and that she was hovering dangerously into his personal space.
Dropping her hand into her lap, Elena scooted herself back a bit and took a long swig of her coffee, trying to battle out the nerves that had started to flutter around in her stomach.
“Elena,” Elijah was staring at her with a look she knew all too well.
“Well, I believe we have a little catching up to do.”
He laughed then, a true and sincere laugh. The corners of his lips quirked in amusement at his own words being mirrored back to him. Elijah closed his book, turned his attention to her and accepted the other half of her muffin with a fond smile. “Yes, I suppose we do.”
Chapter 2: The Second Time
The second time it happened, it happened in the park.
Elena enjoyed being out in the sun. There was something about the way the sunlight felt; the way it seemed to absorb straight through her skin and rejuvenate her.
She knew that it was, technically, impossible for the sunlight to have that affect on her now as a vampire. UV rays did nothing for her any longer, her skin was impenetrable when she was wearing her ring.
Regardless, she enjoyed the sun, which is why she took her lunch breaks out in the nearby park.
Elena worked as a secretary for the local relator. It was an easy enough job; booking open houses, filing paperwork and answering phones. One of the perks of her job was, sometimes if she was lucky, her employer allowed her to tag along with her to open houses.
There was something fascinating about real estate for Elena, she found herself completely entranced by the way realtors were able to transform a house into a home. The transformation in the buyer’s eyes always seemed so miraculous that each and every time, Elena expected fireworks or some sort of stunning display to go off once their signature flittered across the dotted lines.
She wondered if one day she would be able to do it herself, to make someone feel so complete, so full of joy by just doing her job. Elena wanted to be able to give someone not only a house, but a place where they could make their own memories, for themselves and their family. It was one of the many things Elena had put on her list of careers to try. And, it wasn’t like she didn’t have all time in the world to do so.
However, currently, her time was running out. She had a total of twenty-five minutes until she was due back to work; her time in the sun was now numbered. Focusing on the butterfly that had been fluttering around her feet, Elena sucked in a breath when it landed uncertainly on her knee before flittering up and away, over towards her shoulder. Stilling her movements, she waited for the yellow and blue creature to land.
Her attention had become so absorbed on the silly butterfly that Elena didn’t notice the two figures walking her way down the path. Not until their voices carried over to where she sat with the butterfly perched happily on her finger.
A slow smile crept upon her lips at the low sound of Elijah’s voice rolling towards her. He was with another man- a teacher at the local high school- whom she recognized him vaguely from her trips past the high school en route to the office. Giving his companion no more than a passing glance, Elena turned her gaze towards Elijah.
He was impeccably dressed (but, then again, when was he not?) in one of his suits- a soft grey one this time. One hand was in his pocket, while the other gestured as he spoke. She never really, fully noticed until then how commanding his walk was.
His gait was sure, steady and fluid. The kind that radiated power and authority without him having to utter a word. Even though he was smiling slightly, amused by something the other man was saying, there still was an aloof, untouchable air to him.
Elijah could be charming, Elena knew that for a fact. She had seen his charms at work, the way he could capture even the most cunning of people into his web of polite smiles and intense gazes. It was the dark glint to his eyes, the sureness of his smile and the slight tilt of the head that caused fear to ball in her stomach. He could go from completely polite one moment, to fierce in another.
Out of all of the Originals, it was he who she feared the most. She had seen Klaus and Rebekah, fully fanged and angry, but never had she seen Elijah vamp-out, and that terrified her more than anything else.
Now, there was no need for the cold, aristocratic Original side of him to be shown. There was no immediate threat present, no attempt on his life or his family’s - or even her own.
He was there for work, or so he had told her only a few days prior, over half of a banana nut muffin and a cold coffee.
After she had saved him from the blonde floozie known as Nicole, the two of them began to catch up on the events that had occurred in one another’s lives. She had asked him every question that popped into her mind, even the one that she feared the answer to and in turn she gave him the full rundown on how she ended up there in Florida sans the Salvatores.
She learned that Klaus was still alive; he and Rebekah were somewhere in Europe at the moment, dealing with business that apparently she was better off not knowing about. According to Elijah, he held no current vendetta against her, but Klaus’ actions could always change on a whim.
Elijah didn’t seem too concerned over his younger brother’s intentions, which allowed Elena put that fear to bed for the time being.
Though he might not have been concerned over Klaus, he was, however, filled with strenuous amounts of guilt over his sister’s actions. He apologized to her, sorrow evident in his tone, and reiterated what she had already known: He had been completely unaware of Rebekah’s intentions after their meeting in the woods.
If he had known, he would have stopped her before she had even stepped foot onto that road. She had seen the unresolved anger in his expression, heard the conviction in his words and once again believed him without a second thought.
Elena never had even, for a moment, believed that Elijah had known about Rebekah’s intentions beforehand. Even the idea of it seemed absurd. For someone who had invested so much into keeping her safe, why would she believe he would let Rebekah kill her?
But, Elijah, on the other hand, had apparently thought long and hard about it. He had eventually come to the assumption that she would believe it to be the reason he never returned.
She’d assured him that she did not blame him in the slightest.
He did all he could have done, he had kept his word to her and that was the end of it. There was no reason to blame him for Rebekah’s actions; he couldn’t control his siblings any more than she could have controlled her friends, or Stefan and Damon.
Their conversation had hit a lull then, the multi-million dollar question hung in the air above their heads and Elena didn’t know if she had it in her to ask it.
Elijah had always been scarily adept in reading her emotions, so it did not take him long to answer the question she was afraid to ask.
The reason he never returned was because he believed she wouldn’t want to see him. After all, it was his family that had torn her life apart. They had essentially ruined her life, and then, quite literally, ended it.
He had believed that his presence would only hinder her progress and bring up emotions of resentment and anger. Ones that she she shouldn’t have to suffer through while also dealing with the tribulations of transitioning. So, he had left her be, left her to live out the rest of her life. His silent apology had been his determination towards making sure his siblings let her be.
Elena hadn’t responded right away; she took a minute to suppress unwanted tears and to formulate a sentence that would correctly express her feelings towards the matter. The silence weighted heavily, Elijah’s betrayed no hint of emotion, he drank his coffee in leu of waiting for her response.
In the end, she had breathlessly admitted that she could’ve used his solid, firm presence during the time of her transition.
For someone who was so smart, so adept at reading others, Elena found it utterly amusing that he would believe the extensive concoctions of his mind. It was also reassuring to know that she had not been the only one who had spent precious time over thinking one another’s actions.
Eventually, they parted with promises to meet up for coffee, or lunch, later on in the week. Their promise had been postponed twice now; once by her because of Jeremy deciding to stay a day longer than planned, and the second time by him due to an impromptu meeting.
No longer being the girl who passed up a good opportunity, Elena wondered briefly how rude it would be considered if she just interrupted their little pow-wow and took Elijah with her over to the bakery to grab freshly made cookies.
Before Elena could take action, her plan was thwarted by a woman in running clothes and a bouncy brown ponytail.
The woman, who had been adjusting her shoelace only moments prior, had ran straight into Elijah, knocking him back a bit.
Elena could hear her apologizing profusely, her voice breathless yet perky as she attempted to regain some of her balance back.
Elijah dismissed her apology with a wave of her hand and a charming smile.
The woman took that as a sign and introduced herself. Her name was Denise and apparently she was a very clumsy woman.
Elena barely held back a scoff. The butterfly flittered off of her hand and over to the trunk of the tree, resting beside her head. Taking that as a sign, she gracefully stood and brushed off her pants.
There were only fifteen minutes left in her lunch break and Elena had a craving for peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies.
“I really am sorry!” Denise placed her hands on her hips and shook her head solemnly, “I’m such a klutz, I shouldn’t even be allowed to jog!”
Elijah wouldn’t have even moved in the slightest if it hadn’t been for appearance’s sake. It took more than the weight of a human woman to knock him over. “It is quite alright. No harm done.”
“Oh, nothing bruised here but my pride!”
“That shouldn’t even be bruised,” Elijah’s friend, Peter, spoke up from off to the side where he had been watching the whole exchange with twinkling eyes. “I’m sure Elijah doesn’t mind it in the slightest, do you now? I mean, who would mind a pretty lady running into you, accident or not?”
Elijah shook his head, “Peter does provide a very valid point.”
Denise blushed slightly, a tiny giggle escaped her lips. Her chest was still heaving from her run, or lack of a run- she had only just begun before her shoelace came untied. It had been fate for her to glance up when she did and see Peter walking along with the gorgeous guy everyone had been raving about.
Nicole had sworn up and down that he had a girlfriend, but Denise had seen him multiple times out and about the town with no one at his arm. She didn’t believe a word Nicole said anyway, she was probably just trying to make sure no one else went for him before she could. Nicole was creating quite a collection of men for herself and Denise was well aware of her own ticking time bomb.
Plus, letting Nicole use and abuse their new neighbor would be some sort of social injustice.
Well, we’ll see about that, Denise thought with a definite bob of her head. Even though she continued to breathe erratically, Elijah’s eyes made no movement downwards towards her chest. Not sure if she should be offended, or awed by how much of a gentleman he was, Denise turned towards him with a full smile. “Elijah, was it? I’m Denise,” she held out her hand and was pleased when he shook it with a smile, “its nice to meet you- despite the circumstances, of course!”
“It is always a pleasure to meet someone new,” Elijah commented, ignoring the low snickering coming from Peter.
“Speaking of new,” Denise placed her hand on her hip and leaned in a bit. “I heard you just moved here.”
“Yes,” he knew this was not going to end in his favor, “I have. For work.”
“Well, I can always show you around sometime. You know, take you for a-”
“Sorry, sorry.” Elena came rushing up, effectively cutting Denise off. Stopping beside Elijah, she shot him an apologetic smile and placed his hand on the crook of his arm. “I know I’m late, I got held up at an open house.”
Elijah barely bit back a bark of laughter. How on Earth she managed to know when he was in yet another one of these situations was beyond him. He permitted his polite demeanor to fade in favor of a warmer tight-lipped grin, “Elena.”
“Hey,” she flashed him a wicked smile and then gestured to her watch, “we can still grab some cookies from the bakery. I have about fifteen minutes until I’m due back and I hear they just came fresh out of the oven.” Her head tilted to the side invitingly, lips curving into a pursed smile while her nose crinkled in a way that had Elijah’s heart involuntarily skipping a dead beat.
Offering her his arm, she took it easily, wrapping her slender fingers tightly around him. “It was nice meeting you, Denise.” Denise nodded back, Elijah could feel her embarrassment coming off of her in waves, “And, Peter, I will be in touch.” With a nod in farewell, Elijah guided Elena off down the pathway towards the bakery. Once they were out of human earshot, he glanced down at her, “I am forever in your debt.”
Elena laughed and shook her head at his smirk, “Thats two for two.”
“Good to know you’re keeping score,” he responded with a tilt of his head.
She tilted hers right back in retaliation, easily falling back into their old ways. “Well, someone has to.”
“How about I buy you a cookie as a thank you?”
“Make it two and you have a deal.”
His head tilted to the other side in consideration, “I was unaware that we were negotiating.”
Elena turned to him with a wide smile, pushing open the bakery doors as she did so. “When are we not?”
Wow, thanks for sticking in here with me guys! Sorry for the delay! :)
Chapter 3: The Third Time
The third time it happened, it happened in a grocery store.
Elena pushed her cart down the isle; a frown on her face, heels clicking against the linoleum as she studied her grocery list. The chink in her neck was back, her stomach was growling and if she didn’t get home soon, she wondered if she’ll ever be able to get her damn pencil skirt off or if it would just infuse itself into her legs instead.
It wasn’t that Elena didn’t enjoy shopping, because she did. Especially grocery shopping. There was something oddly calming about walking through the isles and picking up items that were- and weren’t- on her list.
What Elena didn’t like was feeling stressed out while grocery shopping. Especially not with the looming knowledge that there were three college boys left alone in her home. Granted, one was her own brother and the other two boys were very nice, considerate boys...
Still, even with that knowledge present, Elena didn’t trust them as far as she could--
Scratch that thought.
With her undead strength she could probably throw them a good distance if she really put her arm into it.
Shoving three boxes of cereal into the cart, Elena rubbed at the back of her neck and knocked one more item off her list.
Jeremy had surprised her by coming home after his last class the night before. Seeing him standing on the porch at almost midnight had brought a smile, albeit a tired one, to her face. Seeing his two friends unload out of the car had frozen said smile.
She had met his two friends, Kent and Josh, beforehand during a long weekend when Jeremy invited them over to hang out at the lake.
They had been considerate and polite, making sure to clean up after themselves and what not. Elena had even let it slide when she felt either of their gazes drift towards her...assets.
So she hadn’t been too mad at Jeremy (she hadn’t been mad at all, in all honesty) when he had asked if it was okay that he brought his roommates along for the ride.
Her high stress level really was due to work.
They were hitting their peak season; leases needed to be renewed, houses were foreclosing or going up for sale, more and more people were biting. Even though the economy was in the tanker, people seemed to want to move near the lake and close to their quaint little town.
Her boss, Patsy- the same woman who had sold Elena her home- had been harping on her all week. Barking for form after form and bossing her around to do the simplest activities- as if Elena was her own personal assistant. Normally Elena would take such obstacles with stride and figure out a way to make the best out of her situation, but a very large roadblock stood in her way.
That would be Patsy’s actual assistant, Michelle- who just happened to be her niece. Funny how it all was wrapped up as if Elena was the star of her own movie.
Only Michelle wasn’t her adversary, just more like a thorn in her side.
She had just graduated from some northern school with some sort of artsy degree- more out of spite for her parents than anything else (that was according to Patsy who firmly believed Michelle had a gift with people rather than on an easel.)
Michelle spent most of her time talking on her phone and getting herself coffee, conveniently forgetting Pasty’s- and especially forgetting Elena’s.
Elena had become both Patsy’s right and left hand during the past week and she wasn’t completely thrilled over her new role.
The worst part was being told give Michelle a helping hand as she “adjusts back to reality” and “comes to terms that she needs to keep her feet planted in the work force.”
She would have been fine being the girl’s mentor- and possibly even her friend- but what made it hard for her was trying to aid someone who believed she was owed something by the world for simply just existing.
With a loud groan, Elena tossed a bag of chips into the cart and stomped down the isle like a petulant child. She was going to pick up some candles and bath salts while she was there.
She needed to unwind after such a throttling week.
It wasn’t bad enough that she was stuck playing babysitter for Michelle for an indefinite period of time, but she also had been forced to cancel a lunch date and a dinner date with Elijah due to it.
Not that he didn’t understand- he had brought her lunch when she was stuck inside pouring over a rental agreement and scheduling an appointment with a home inspector.
He had even moved their dinner date from the small Italian restaurant they met up at once a week to the cramped indoor space she called her makeshift office in her house. Elijah hadn’t complained at all, he had instead helped her and kept her from falling apart.
She had forgotten how grounded Elijah was. He was calmer, more in control of his emotions and his actions. Though there had been a rift between them, it was nice to see it mended and forming into something different.
She valued Elijah’s friendship; had missed the stories of his human life and their talks of her own.
The more time she spent with Elijah, the more the rumors of them being item started to spread.
It was too soon after the Salvatore brothers to even trust her heart to make a decision. Elena could barely think back to Stefan and Damon without the pain in her stomach. She had loved them both in such different ways that it had torn all three of them to pieces trying to figure out what decision was best.
If she had picked one, the other would have been destroyed. Even though they both were hurting now, she knew that they at least still had each other.
She wasn’t going to let them go on with their stupid pact for whomever wasn’t picked to leave Mystic Falls, and their brother, until she was in the ground.
They hadn’t known that she had overheard them discussing it one night, but she had.
The thought of letting them go through with it brought tears to her eyes. She wasn’t Katherine; she wasn’t going to break their bond into shattered pieces.
The same bond that had taken them years to glue back together.
Elena could atone to her bad decisions; for the pain she caused the both of them, for the heated moments, the smiles and treasured moments. She had lead them on, both on separate strings that she vowed to cut but never did.
Until finally it became too much.
Until she wasn’t a human any longer. She didn’t have fifty years of life left, she had a whole eternity of life ahead of her. And if she could barely make a decision between the two while she was human, making one while she was a vampire was going to be worse.
Cutting both strings and walking away ripped her to the core, shed her skin bare and exposed all her fears. But she gathered the good memories along with the bad and moved on.
Elena brushed her hair back out of her face, scanning the isle for the specific brand of cookies Jeremy liked.
She wasn’t sure if moving on was the correct term for it. She knew that spending time with Elijah made her happy- happier than she’s been in years.
He had always made her feel so much, even when she was human. His presence heightened every since one of her emotions. She could feel each ebb and tide of rolling emotion, every prickle of fear, every tensed muscle and baited breath.
He had made her stronger too. Less afraid to voice her opinions and trust her instincts. She didn’t second-guess herself when he was backing her, she barely even let the Salvatores in on her plans.
They didn’t trust Elijah, but she did.
She always had.
Looking into his eyes was....almost peaceful.
Despite the irony of it all.
Pushing past the frozen food and dessert isles- those were left for last- Elena turned the corner to the fruit and vegetable isle. She wanted a salad with her dinner and they were in desperate need of edible fruit and not rotting messes of...gook.
Her fingers danced across the salad bags, drifting over each plastic container while her mind remained indecisive of what she should get.
Deciding on the salad mix, which would give her a nice variety and save her the trouble of cutting up carrots, she reached for the bag. Nails dug into the plastic as the voice that haunted her days and crept into her nightmares echoed throughout the small section of the grocery store.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Elena’s frustrated sigh came out more like a hiss of agitation. She could feel her shoulders tensing- even though the girl wasn’t talking to her.
Elijah just wanted his day to end.
He had spent most of the day on the phone with both his sister and his brother, calming ruffled feathers and reassuring them that their fight couldn’t have been too bad. They fought all the time. This was nothing new.
Unless one of them had a stake through their heart, he wasn’t too concerned.
His siblings, on the other hand, were quite distraught.
Surely Klaus didn’t mean what he said and of course Rebekah would return back soon enough.
He loved his siblings. He would give his life for theirs and would go to the ends of the earth to ensure their safety. His family was of the utmost importance to him, which was why he was trying not to let himself get upset over their numerous calls and texts pleading for him to get involved over a little spat.
It was their mess, they were big kids now and they had to clean it up themselves.
He didn’t have time to placate the both of them.
Klaus never apologized and Rebekah never forgot. Yet somehow the two of them stuck together like...
Well, glue wouldn’t be the correct solvent, you could always pull that apart quite easily.
Cement was more like it.
Stuck together like cement, forcing other people to wear hardhats around them and muffle their ears so they don’t have to hear the obnoxious roar of their fighting.
Kol was the lucky one this time. His phone had been conveniently off for the length of the day so that Rebekah’s calls went straight to voicemail.
It was either that or Kol had actually gone through with the program he was trying to invent. It was a brilliant idea, one that Elijah was now considering signing up for.
His idea was fairly simple, when a certain person’s ID showed up on his phone, the phone would register it and automatically go to voicemail without ringing. The perfect crime.
Of course it would be Kol who came up with such a brilliant idea. He was the only one of them who could skillfully avoid any and all conflict with one another by just flicking off his phone and disappearing for a few days- or a week, depending on the intensity of the argument.
Naturally, he just ended up in trouble elsewhere. Kol was a magnet for such things.
The wolves were a prime example.
Instead of telling Klaus and Rebekah that he did not want in on their little exploration to their homeland, he disappeared for a few weeks and got himself mixed up in a kerfuffle.
Elijah had tracked down the wolves earlier that week. He had let them bathe in their paranoia for the past few weeks, waiting until it had hit its peak before he surfaced out of the corner of their minds.
Every once and a while he would take a nice trip up to their little town, leave his scent around, destroy little pieces of property, and then disappear again without a trace.
It was one of his favorite mind games. Letting them think he’s there, watching and waiting, when he’s really just pulling their strings, waiting for them to tangle themselves up all on their own.
Once the pack was split down the middle- half wanted to stay there and wait for him, the other half wanted to go out and find him- he made his move. Appeared out of the shadows, caused a smaller pup to soil himself from surprise and terror.
The Alpha had been livid. Angry for being so easily snuck up on.
That was not Elijah’s problem, nor did he plan to make it his. The alpha had obvious holes in his pack, ones that Elijah didn’t mind ripping into larger ones.
He had left them with a warning not to follow through with his threat towards his brother. If he so much as came within the same vicinity of Kol, he would know.
And he would have no problem taking those larger holes and ripping them completely apart until there was nothing left of his faulty pack but a bunch of cowering puppies with their tales in-between their legs and no Alpha to guide them.
Afterwards, Elijah had returned back to his apartment, hung up his suit jacket, pushed up his sleeves and went straight to work.
It had been Elena’s call that had dragged him out of his zone. Surrounded by highlighted pages copied from books and faded pieces of paper, he had blindly groped for the phone and let himself relax at the sound of her warm voice.
Their dinner would have to be postponed. She had to take her work home with her and couldn’t make it to the hole-in-the-wall Italian place they had found one night by accident.
Elijah had heard the dejection and the sorrow in her voice. She enjoyed their dinner dates just as much as he did.
There was something oddly calming...something oddly fitting, to be sitting across from Elena listening to her talk about her day while they shared bread.
He enjoyed her presence. Even when she had been human, he had enjoyed the way she pushed herself to be a better person for her friends, for her family and even for the undeserving Salvatores. She wanted to be everything she could for everyone, even though she was just one person.
Elijah had respected her- respected her even more so now- and had enjoyed their small moments of calm and the easy bond they had developed.
The same bond was there now. Easily shown by the way she would laugh when he surprised her in the park with lunch for the two of them, or dropped by her office with coffee when he knew she was overworking herself.
She would appear at his apartment after her morning run with a muffin and a bright smile, or call him just to ask if he could ride out with her to a house.
Their bond was different now, more easygoing and no longer laced with imminent doom and dread. They were able to be more relaxed, more like themselves with one another.
Elijah hadn’t felt so at peace in years.
He also hadn’t realized that such peace had caused him to zone out while holding an orange in the middle of the store.
A voice from his side had him blinking back into reality. Elena’s face faded from his mind’s eye and a young blonde woman filled it.
She was staring at him intently, her shiny lips were pursed into some sort of pouty smile.
Instantly dread filled his person. He wasn’t in the mood for yet another woman coming up to clumsily flirt with him.
It happened more often than not. The women would get a few words out before scattering off, heartbeats racing.
If Elena was with him then the women assumed that the two of them were together. It kept them at bay and kept Elijah from doing something embarrassing.
Such as declaring to all of the women in the town- who had to have evolved from man-eating piranhas, because this was getting to be a bit ridiculous- that he was infertile, therefore they should no longer waste their precious time on trying to woo him.
A part of him wondered if it would even work at all. They seemed more interested in his body than anything else. Which left him feeling strangely violated.
There had only been two times when he had been boxed in. The women had turned on the flirting full force, using their best attempts to get him to fall for their womanly wiles.
Elena had come to his rescue both times with her no-nonsense attitude and gentle, yet firm, smile. The women had faded off then, leaving him in the safety of Ms. Elena Gilbert.
Now he was up a creek without an Elena. Forced to handle it on his own. Thankfully the girl was obviously too young for him, saving him the trouble of awkwardly turning her down.
She couldn’t be there to flirt. That would be preposterous.
“Is there something special about that orange?” She was smiling at him in a way that had his hopes dwindling. “Or are you just practicing for some sort of play?”
“Well, with the way you were holding the orange, I wasn’t sure if you were planning to go off on a monologue.”
Elijah couldn’t help but chuckle, “No, I’m afraid not. Just testing to see if it was in good condition, thats all."
The girl shifted her hand to her hip and gave the fruit an interested look, “Oh, so you fondle all of your fruit?”
“I’m just kidding,” she winked at him, completely missing the way Elijah rolled his eyes and muttered a few choice swear words under his hushed breath. “But, for curiosity’s sake. Can you tell if a fruit is ripe enough? I’m in need of a bit of help. I’m not sure if this fruit is ripe enough.”
If she was coming on to him, it had to have been the weirdest experience Elijah had ever encountered in all of his years. Never had he ever been flirted with over fruit- or whatever it was that she was doing.
His gut twisted unexpectedly, as if there was something else about to happen that would make the situation even worse than it already was.
Elena watched the two of them with fading interest. She should go over there and interrupt- it wasn’t like she hadn’t done it (twice) before.
However, she wouldn’t. Not this time.
This wasn’t a fairytale. She was strong enough to take care of herself, and Elijah was smart enough to avoid an obnoxious college graduate.
“You know, with hands like those, you probably could be able to help me with my melons.”
And then her cart turned itself around fast enough to leave marks on the floor.
Because every prince needs a princess with the right amount of gumption, and her armor was just as shiny as his was- if not even more so.
“Hey, are you done yet?” She pulled the cart up next to his side and plucked the orange out of his hand, “We still have to pick up ice cream and- oh, hello, Michelle.”
Michelle’s face soured but she covered it up nicely, “Elena. What are you doing here?”
Elena raised an eyebrow, glancing down to her cart and then back up to Michelle, then back down again. “Shopping?”
“Right, right.” The younger girl shifted her purse and turned her bright eyes back to Elijah, “Elena and I work together.”
“Yes,” Elena leaned forward on the cart, keeping herself firmly next to Elijah’s side while still seeming relaxed and composed. “We do.”
There was a challenge in Michelle’s voice when she spoke up again, leaning forward towards Elijah’s stiff form. “She’s a great worker, one of our best actually! Sometimes she works a bit too hard and doesn’t come out with us to O’Malley’s for drinks. Her determination is one of the best parts about her.”
Elena stared at Michelle. Her lips gaped slowly into a parted ‘o’, confusion furrowed at her brow and, in an instant, realization hit her like a blow to the stomach. Michelle was trying to outstep Elena, making herself seem more experienced, more in control.
Stifling back a laugh, Elena decided she was going to enjoy this. She was up to her eyeballs in Michelle's self-indulgent attitude, it was time to knock her down a peg. “Why thank you, Michelle. Thats awfully sweet of you.” She placed her hand over the one Elijah had resting on the side of the cart. “Michelle is Patsy’s niece, honey. You remember me telling you about her, right?”
Michelle’s face turned a sickly pale color, “Uh, yeah, I just moved back here actually-”
“From college, yes, I remember now.” Elijah instantly caught on to Elena’s train of thought.
“Though I do have to say I don’t go out too often with you all is because I’d rather just go home.” Elena gave Elijah a sickly sweet, endearing look that almost sent him into a fit of laughter at her over-the-top performance. “Anyways, its easier because you’re new and your aunt doesn’t want to overwhelm you just yet. What with moving back and all, plus starting a new job. Its a lot to take in.”
Elijah wasn’t sure if he was enjoying the hostility between the two of them because of Elena’s Petrova fire kicking in, or because Elena looked so incredibly stunning when her face became set on getting him out of the situation he was in. “We should get going, Elena.”
“Yes,” she flashed Michelle a toothy smile, “we should.” She let Elijah push the cart out from under her, tagging along after him with a pleased swish to her hips.
Elena waited until they were in the frozen food isle before turning to him with her hands on her hips, “What do you put up a sign that says ‘please flirt with me, I’m too polite to tell you to shove off’?”
“Not exactly,” he watched her with an amused smile and a twinkle in his eyes, “I believe it says something along the lines of ‘Thousand year old vampire here, you’re welcome.’
She snorted loudly, “Of course it does.”
He opened his mouth, prepared thank her yet again but she spoke before he could muster the words.
“Are you hungry?”
“Are you hungry?” Her eyes flashed nervously back and forth, a strange feeling in her gut twisted at her nerves. Her heartbeat picked up slightly, “I’m making dinner. Jeremy’s in town with some friends and I mean, if you’re hungry, one more placemat on the table wouldn’t hurt anyone.”
Elijah smiled fully at her and pushed the cart out from under her once more, “It just so happened that I am quite ravenous.”
The stress of the day seemed so silly now. His company seemed to set her completely at ease. “Great, good. Thats...great.”
He flashed her a smile from over his shoulder that made her stomach do funny things, “So it is.”
Wow, wow, wow, I am really sorry this is way late! But, its longer than the others!
You all are lovely people for waiting :)
Chapter 4: The Fourth Time
The forth time it happened, it happened at the library.
Elijah was cornered, trapped somewhere off in the land of fiction, completely separated from the rest of the world.
He had come to the library for the sole purpose of returning a few books, picking out a few more and running a quick fact check on a little snag that had been holding up his work since the beginning of the week.
Of course, as it would be, his luck decided to run out on him. A whole week free of lingering gazes, hushed whispers and the awkwardness of rusty flirting went completely out the window as soon as he stepped foot into the library.
It was as if he was a prime slab a meat thrown into a cage with a group of ravenous carnivores.
At first it had been the younger girl with copper hair and blinding teeth. Then it had turned into the older woman with a nasal problem. Another had cornered him while he had been pursuing through the sections, and then yet another had appeared out from a stack of books right as he had been putting one away.
Truthfully, he didn’t mind the attention. It was a nice feeling knowing that even after a thousand years of trials and tribulations, he was still able to turn heads and cause women to break out in fits of giggles. The rare occurrences of such situations made it easy for him to take such attention with stride and file it away.
Moving into this town, however, made it hard for him to go to the grocery store without having a goggle of women following him around, making note of what sort of cereal he bought, or whether or not he liked 2% or low-fat milk (which apparently were the only options in a town such as this one.)
It was completely stressful and entirely unnecessary. He had entertained the idea of declaring to the women of the town that he was no longer able to procreate, so they should look elsewhere for an acceptable mate.
Such a declaration might be enough fuel for some of them continue on, so he had decided against it.
Not that Elena's unimpressed glare had helped at all when he had discussed the idea with her over dinner. He had quickly taken it back and had never again brought up such an idea.
Ducking his head to avoid the copper haired girl, Elijah quietly placed his book back with a forlorn expression. He would have assumed that the one place he would find peace and tranquility would be in the library- of course he should know better to make such assumptions.
He listened closely to the sound of fading footsteps. The drumming of heartbeats created a soft melody in his mind. He could count them respectively, each intake of breath lead him to place their positions.
Now was the time to move, he would have to go now if he wanted to make it out of this section of the library and back towards the archives.
Elijah didn’t use his increased speed in front of humans, normally it was a measure that need not be taken. But, in circumstance such as these, he was not against using his ‘special powers’ to get around the piranhas of the library.
The archives library smelled of dust and the worn pages of books. He enjoyed the smell of books; new books, old books, well used books. They all had their own special scents to them, each scent was entirely its own. Easily distinguished from any of the others.
Here, in the small room, he could pick up on every single scent. The books, the women of the library, the one male that worked there at nights, the manager- who was married but still enjoyed glancing at his rear-end more than should be acceptable- and one more scent...It was softer.
A spice mixed with lavender; it whispered across his skin. He inhaled slowly, lips turning up to curve into a smile.
Elena was here.
Or had been here recently since the smell of her was slowly fading away.
Following the smell, he passed the archives he needed- the ones of newspapers from years ago detailing killings caused by a large animal- and ended up over by property information. He flipped through the documents mindlessly, just letting his mind wander while enjoying the lingering smell that was the essence of Elena- human or vampire.
Hearing the sound of kitten heals approaching, he quickly made his way over to the archives he needed, fingering through old newspapers. He had scanned the computer earlier on that week, the paper he wanted had been conveniently checked out. Checking once again, this time by hand, the paper was still not there- checked out past its due date.
Shoving his suspicion to the side, he grabbed the papers dealing with the two weeks surrounding it and headed towards the door. The sound of clacking heels had stopped earlier on but he knew that they weren’t above stalking the door- a hunter waiting patiently for its prey.
Elijah smoothed over his tie, took in a long breath and opened the door. He couldn’t see her any longer, giving him just enough time to find somewhere to sit down and work without being noticed. If he could lose himself behind the stacks of books, then maybe he could get his work done in quiet. Since this was a library after all.
“Is there anything I can help you with?”
He almost jumped; it would have completely ruined whatever ruthless image he had effortlessly worked for, but he had almost jumped straight out of his skin at the sound of a soft, melodic voice coming from behind him.
“Elena.” The look she received was a piss poor attempt at being cold. His features relaxed at the sight of her sitting at the nearby table, a pencil in hand, looking quite smug with herself.
Elena had been nose deep in property records when she had heard the sound of the wind quickly whispering against the floor. The noise, as a human, wouldn’t have even registered for her. She would have continued on highlighting, making notes and double checking what she already knew.
However, she had heard the noise and had lifted her head just in time to see a flash of someone slipping into the archive’s room.
It was a vampire, that she knew. No human could ever move that quickly or quietly. Which narrowed down her list to one person, unless there was a vampire in town that she didn’t know about- who also had an interest in the town’s archives.
It was strange how she and Elijah kept finding one another. The town was small, but not that small. Elena still hadn’t seen into the jogger who had “accidentally” ran into Elijah.
Sadly, the woman from the coffee shop just happened to be friends with her boss, so the two of them often went out for lunch. The woman would enter with smiles and leave staring angrily in Elena’s direction, as if the she couldn’t feel her scalding gaze.
Surprisingly enough, Elena hadn’t burst into flames during the last week. What with the scalding looks coming from the coffee shop girl- what was her name? Not that it actually mattered- and Michelle’s scorching ones, most people would have caved.
Elena, however, reveled in it. It was amusing to see Michelle’s face scrunch up into a pinched expression every time she and Elena were in the same room together. No one else seemed to pick up on the tension Michelle was giving off. Probably because Elena didn’t bother to let herself be effected by the young girl’s piss poor attempts at rising her hackles.
She had delivered folders and contracts to Michelle with smiles and friendly greetings. Even going out of her way to pick up coffee for her and her boss, enjoying the way that Michelle had to begrudgingly grit out her thanks when her aunt had snapped at her for being so incredibly rude.
Eventually Elena had grown tired of having to look at Michelle’s narrowed gaze- despite each and every bone in her body screaming at her to make another comment about dinner with Elijah, or shoot another smile in direction just to watch her squirm. So, when her boss had ordered her to go to the library and pick up old property records, she had grabbed her coat with enough speed to raise the eyebrows of some of her coworkers.
Burying her thoughts inside property records and record values, she lost herself in the black ink and smell of old paper until the brush of wind had drawn out her attention.
Keeping her eyes on the door, she saw the flash of Hannah’s copper hair and offered a wave at the girl. She was Elena’s favorite staff member at the library, and the most welcoming of the small group of workers there.
The two had bonded over classic literature and their sharp wits. Ever since then Elena normally spent more than a few minutes discussing new book releases and book-to-movie adaptions at the front desk with her before leaving.
Hannah hadn’t seen Elena’s wave, however. Her eyes had been trained on the archive door and Elena felt her stomach drop in realization. She really hoped that the girl was just dreading going in there and not the alternative.
The alternative was never good and more or less lead to yet another female in the town hating Elena’s guts.
A call from one of the senior members of the staff had Hannah walking off, taking the cart with her and, not even a minute later, the archive’s door opened.
Elijah slipped out, looking over to where Hannah had been. He seemed on edge; the newspapers were clutched to his chest tightly, as if one wrong move would cause the world to come crumbling down at his feet.
She took advantage of his brief distracted attention to get back at him for all the times he had appeared out of no where in front of her when she was human. “Is there anything I can help you with?”
Elijah had jumped. There was no doubt about it. A loud laugh came bursting out of her mouth, causing blood to tinge at her cheeks and her to press her fingers to her lips in hopes of keeping the rest of her laughter in.
This was the first- and probably the last- time that she would ever seen Elijah caught completely off guard. Even when he had been surprised with something in Mystic Falls, the expression on his face came no where near close as the one he had just sported.
“Elena,” he was attempting to seem unhappy with her little trick. She saw right through his faux cold demeanor and smiled at him cheekily.
“Hello there,” she tapped her pencil against her notes; her smile spreading wider at the pure look of exasperation on his face.
He gave her a raised brow in response, head tilting to the side in his way of saying that what she had done had been quite uncalled for.
Elena brushed off his head tilt by giving one of her own, lips pursed into a knowing smile. She didn’t break the stare, and neither did he- not until the sound of footsteps became nearer. She could hear the rapid beating of someone’s heart, the quick breaths that were escaping their lips and a soft mantra of ‘just say hello.’
Elijah moved swiftly, sliding into the open chair next to Elena and tossing the newspapers on the table next to her clutter with an ease about him that was just unnatural.
He took her hand in his and gave her a long look, as it to convey to her just to go with it.
She didn’t notice, or seem to register anything at all other than the feel of his hand slipping around her own. Their fingers melded together, his fit perfectly in-between the spaces left by hers and she wondered if this was the sort of stuff her twelve-year old self was talking about during those long sleepovers where she had explained to Caroline and Bonnie about how her dream guy’s hand would fit perfectly between her own.
It sounded silly now, repeating it to herself. But, back then, before she knew of sex and how the connection of two bodies could be something more than primal- that it could be sweet and connect two people in a way they hadn’t been before. Back then, she had seen holding hands as the ultimate form of romance.
Because if you could find someone, who’s fingers fit perfectly in the spaces between yours, then maybe they could also be the person to fit perfectly in the spot saved in your heart.
Trying to calm her rise in heartbeat, Elena’s eyes darted away from Elijah’s probing gaze and over towards his stack of newspapers. He seemed to be doing an intense bit of research and she was planning on asking about it- a grasp at trying to divert the conversation away from her speeding, undead pulse- when she heard it.
The soft sound of heels against the carpet came to a halt, followed by the brief exhale and subsequent sharp inhale of surprise.
It seemed they had been found.
Elena lifted her gaze from Elijah’s to Hannah’s with a soft smile, “Hannah!”
Hannah’s smile was tentative and a bit strained, but the girl was keeping it together well enough. “Elena, hi.”
Not wanting to make it worse for Hannah than it already was, Elena gave her a quick wave, allowing the girl just enough time to wave back and make a speedy exit.
Hannah, however, stayed in place. She seemed almost frozen at the sight of Elijah and Elena holding hands, sitting so close together that their knees were touching and every breath they took was shared by the other. “Are you doing research for work?”
Elena shifted herself so that her hand still remained intertwined with Elijah’s but that she could still see Hannah without being uncomfortable. “Yeah, I’m doing background research on a house we’re trying to sell.” She could tell that the girl was completely uninterested in what Elena had to say and that she was only being polite because of their friendship with one another. “Oh, sorry, I don’t mean to be rude. Elijah this is Hannah, Hannah this is Elijah.”
Elijah shook Hannah’s hand, trying to keep his expression as polite as possible despite the fact that he could hear the way her pulse skipped. She was too young to have a crush on him, too young and too vulnerable to fall for what lust could do when it was masquerading as love. “Hello.”
“Hey,” her voice wobbled only slightly, but enough to have her flush in embarrassment. “Did you find everything you needed? If you have trouble, I can-”
“I’ve been back there enough times to work through the disorganization without a second thought,” he smiled generously at her, trying to calm the girl’s nerves. “However, I do thank you for the offer.”
Hannah smiled and bobbed her head quickly, trying not to ring her fingers together in an attempt not to give away her obvious nervousness. Her eyes lingered on Elena and Elijah’s hands for a moment, something passed across her face before the girl bowed her head. “If there’s anything I can help you with, just let me know. I usually just work the front, but sometimes I’m back here putting stuff away.”
“I shall keep that in mind for future reference, thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Hannah lifted her head to look at Elena with a half smile, “See you around, Elena.”
For the first time that Elena had been acting as Elijah’s girlfriend, the girl didn’t walk away hating her. Instead it had been a nice, clean break. One that Elena found oddly refreshing.
Elijah’s lips found the back of her hand. He was smiling at her in that charming way that had her stomach fluttering about inside of her. “Thank you, m’lady”
She tutted at him, picking her pencil back up. “Anything for you, kind sir.” She tried her best to ignore his stare until finally she gave in and peeked up at him through her lashes.
“Hello,” his smile was relaxed, almost to the point of being goofy yet still completely sophisticated. Elena wondered how he was able to do it. It had to be some sort of ‘special vampire power’ either that or Elijah was just as good as he had said he was (not that she was to ever doubt his word, of course.)
“Hi.” They lapsed back into silence and it took her about five more minutes to realize that he wasn’t going to give up with the staring. That, and her interest in her work had gone completely out the window as soon as he had arrived. “Is there something I can help you with, Elijah?”
“Actually,” he sat back; his free hand tapped against his pant leg. “There happens to be one thing you personally can aid me in.”
Elena put down her pen, giving him her full, undivided attention. “And what would that be?”
“Accompanying me to lunch.”
Of course it would be going out to lunch. Elijah always seemed to be the one thing that kept her from getting her work done. Even when he wasn’t there, he would pop into her mind at the most unfortunate of times or call her right when she was in the groove of getting her papers organized and taken care of. “I would be absolutely honored.”
He chuckled at her poor attempt at some sort of British accent, kissing her hand once again before standing and then pulling her to her feet. Tucking her arm inside of his, he guided her away- but not before she could pile her work up and stuff it into her bag, murmuring about where his patience had gone under her breath while doing so.
“What about your newspapers?”
“They’ll be here when I return.” Elijah didn’t seem at all concerned over the newspapers, as if he could just create more if he so wished to.
Elena cocked her head up at him, “And what makes you so certain that you’ll be able to come back in here without my help?”
He winked at her then- something that Elena didn't even know that Elijah could do. The effects of it were instant and if he hadn’t been holding her hand she probably would have ran straight into the double doors, or tripped over her own two feet. “I believe your friend Hannah has been more than helpful in that area.” Elijah nodded off to the front desk where all of the staff were huddled together, staring at them with wide eyes and varying expressions.
She bit back a giggle and tightened her fingers around his, letting him guide her out into the sunlight.
Once again, I'm so sorry for the delay guys. Honestly, I need to have my butt kicked because it just slips my mind to update.
Thank you guys so much for reading it though! I hope you liked it!!! :)
Chapter 5: The Final Time
The fifth time it happened, it happened in Elena’s own home.
Elena had finally lost her sanity.
Of course, it just so happened to be at one of the most inopportune times to do so.
Its hard to pinpoint exactly where she seemed to have lost it. Probably somewhere in the midst of party decorations, food orders and dozens of people walking through her home putting things were they shouldn’t be and creating so much clutter.
The party of the summer was in her hands, the expectations of their small town and especially of Missy Handler- the woman who had shoved the party blindly on her before Elena could firmly say no- and her small, demonic party planning committee (which just so happened to be consisted of, more or less, every woman in town that hated Elena’s guts because of one sharply dressed vampire who was rarely seen without her these days.)
Apparently Elena’s home was used every year, due to its positioning by the lake, for the town’s annual celebration. She wasn’t quite certain if it was something that could be equated to a Founder’s Day event, or if the town just wanted to have a reason to throw a party one year and then decided to keep it going.
Nevertheless, she had put her foot down. Yes, the party was thrown there before. Why, yes, she did get that it was tradition. No, she didn’t want to let the town down but it was her house now and it was- No, she really didn’t want everyone to resent her. Of course she liked everyone, that wasn’t the reason per se- Yes, she does have a big enough fridge for- wait, what?
Jeremy had laughed at her through the speaker when she had informed him of the news. His laughter had ceased immediately when she told him that his presence was mandatory and she hung up sweetly by telling him she’d see him in six hours.
He had shown up in five- thankfully friendless this time- and had taken over with the food orders and where to place things once he saw the way her sleep depravation was starting to give her a wild look in her eyes.
It was either let her continue on or let her murder the entire group of delivery people.
The decision had caused Jeremy to pause before he shook his head and reminded himself that letting vampire Elena out to play was a big no-no. Even if the delivery men spent more time staring at his sister’s breasts than actually listening to the words coming out of her mouth.
Under Jeremy’s stern orders, Elena had crawled into her bed with a blood bag clutched in her hands as she slept the next fifteen hours away.
During those same fifteen hours, Jeremy had more or less taken over of everything his sister had shoveled onto her shoulders.
He didn’t mind having to help out. Elena was always helping him in some form or another anyway. It was his sibling duty to step in and aid her when she needed it most.
Plus, he knew that she even though she hadn’t wanted to host this party, she did have the tendency to be sweet-talked into things.
This he would know firsthand, sweet-talking her into things was- and still is- one of his favorite things to do.
The delivery men were stubborn, believing that since the house hasn’t changed- even though the owners have- everything still went in the same spot.
Which left the house in complete chaos. No one stopped to listen, despite Jeremy’s loud protests in response. They tried their best to steamroll Jeremy, but he didn’t cave. He had the Gilbert stubborn streak inside of him too and he had no problem with reminding them who’s house this was.
It had taken a surprise knock on the door, followed by the sound of voices and a loud bang before Jeremy let himself relax a bit.
His reinforcements had shown up. Or, technically, reinforcement. Since he only needed one.
Elijah stood on the other side of the doorway looking completely at ease, despite the fact that one of the deliverymen was flat on his back only a few mere inches from his feet.
“Hey,” Jeremy wondered if this was how Elena had felt when he had shown up at the door. His eyes strayed down from Eljah’s nod in greeting to the man by his feet, “Guess he decided to take a break, huh?”
“You could say that.” Not even giving the man a passing glance, Elijah stepped into the house and gave it a thorough assessment.
Jeremy bit back an retort and an eye roll. Truth be told, he enjoyed Elijah’s dry wit and the way he seemed always composed- except for when Elena was around. There was something about the older vampire that made Jeremy curious but also calm.
Even though the calm took a while to develop. He hadn’t exactly been overly thrilled when the Original had moseyed his way into town and back into Elena’s life (not that Elijah actually moseyed, he more or less swaggered into the room. In a sophisticated sort of way. If Jeremy had to give it a name it would be something close to I-Can-Kill-You-All-With-Just-A-Finger-Swagger or maybe I’m-a-Special-Kind-Of-Gentleman-Gait.)
Time had slowly brought trust, or something short of trust, hedging on the edge of understanding. Eventually, Jeremy had agreed to let Elijah cross over the threshold of their home, and sat down with him for a civil sort of dinner.
During that same dinner, he had realized that Elijah was funny, in his own way, and not as bad as a guy that Jeremy had thought.
Not that Jeremy had ever planned to admit that to Elijah- even though the Original probably already knew. What with him being all omnipresent and such.
The question had the sides of Jeremy’s mouth crinkling upwards in a suppressed grin. Of course that would be the first question out of Elijah’s mouth. Where on earth could his lovely Elena be? “Sleeping,” with a shrug of his shoulder gesturing towards the stairs, he started off towards the living room. “She looked dead on her feet,” an eyebrow raise from Elijah had Jeremy snorting, “no pun intended, seriously! Anyway, I sent her up about…oh, ten or so hours ago?”
He nodded, not answering Jeremy. His expression gave enough of a response for the teen. Surveying the room, he felt a tug inside of his chest at the image of Elena looking overwhelmed by the flood of boxes and the sea of chaos around her.
Once again, Jeremy understood his silence and picked up a box, determination written all over his face.
Elijah did the same, living a few boxes with vampiric ease. Jeremy rolled his eyes, which only fueled him to pick up yet another box just to see the woeful look flicker across Jeremy’s face. “Shall we get started?”
Jeremy snarled at him halfheartedly, leading the way through the house in order find another spot for the boxes.
It took the two of them almost two hours to get the living room cleaned out, set up, and decorated.
All of the boxes were unpacked, getting rid of most of the clutter, finally allowing walking space throughout the room.
Elena’s things were brought up to her office, Jeremy’s were carelessly tossed in his. Their grandmother’s coffee table was moved out into the garage, along with countless Gilbert family heirlooms and pieces from their father’s extensive collection.
Elena hadn’t stirred one bit while they worked. Not when Jeremy had come in to check on her every hour or so, or when he came to put her stuff up. Not even when he went toe-to-toe with one of the deliverymen about how just because Missy said this is where things were going, didn’t mean they were actually going to go there.
Missy wasn’t in charge, no matter what she kept saying to everyone else.
Elijah had watched the two of the silently, never overstepping his boundaries but still providing enough of a physical reminder that if Jeremy needed him, he would be more than happy to assist the youngest Gilbert.
It had taken a burst of anger and a slew of heated words that finally gained Jeremy his respect (Manly-Head-of-the-Gilbert-Household-Respect, as he would like it to be called.) Elijah had selectively ignored the cursing part of it, but his firm, authoritative tone had set the deliverymen straight.
He was not in charge; he was there to help Jeremy and Elena. Before he could label himself as a friend of the family’s, Jeremy had told them that Elijah was also in charge, seeing as his sister was still sleeping which only left them- him and his sister’s boyfriend- to command the unruly troops.
The term boyfriend had shocked Elijah, even though he made no notion to dispute Jeremy’s claim. Even if the term was comparable to some sort of teenage fleeting romance- something that was no where comparable to what Elena was to Elijah.
Elijah wasn’t sure if the possessive labeling was correct or not. Neither of them had ever fully discussed the three long months had come and gone; each month spent with more and more of their time dedicated to one another.
His feelings for Elena were strong and grew with each passing day he spent in her presence, there was no doubting that.
She was so much more than he had bargained for. Even when she was a human, she had been a bundle of strength and determination. He had never seen someone who laid themselves on the line so easily before. Family was above all for her. Her compassion reached across his divided lines and locked boundaries to touch a part of him he had long believed to be dead.
Her voice was Tatia’s, her face was Katerina’s but she was wholly Elena.
He had once made the mistake of calling her Katerina, it had been a lapse of thought, a regret that he held dear. For he never saw her as anyone else other than Elena.
The strong, stubborn, reckless, thoughtless, quirky, witty, snarky, beautiful, charming, loving Elena that had wedged open his heart and filled it with a strange sense of warmth.
Perhaps he was her boyfriend. He was most certainly courting her in his own way. It had taken him a few fumbles and nervous words before he had gathered her attention and forged his own path away from his family’s.
He had settled the matter with Klaus and Rebekah. Kol was constantly checked up on.
His time had from then on been focused on his work and his thoughts had been devoted to Elena. She was always there; her scent lingered in his small apartment, her face occupied his mind’s eye. He could hear her heartbeat as soon as she neared him, so attune with hers as he was with his own.
Such heartbeat took a quick upbeat in tempo before falling back into his steady, slow, undead rhythm.
She was awake.
Elijah opened his mouth to alert Jeremy of his sister’s waking, but it seemed that he already knew.
Jeremy was staring up at the stairs, a smile on his mouth while the corners of his eyes crinkled in fondness. It was very peculiar how the Gilberts were bonded with one another. The bond they had shared when Elena was human had been strong, yet sometimes failing, leaving them grasping to knot it back together.
The emotional bond they now shared hummed through the air, strong and unbreakable.
Elena appeared at the top of the steps looking undeniably beautiful. Her hair was a mess, clothes rumpled from sleep, her mouth wide open as she completed the task of a yawn.
There was no surprise on her face when her eyes met his. Instead she smiled brightly, a hand lifted to wave when another yawn crept up on her.
Jeremy yawned also, looking completely miffed while doing so, which caught Elena’s attention.
When she finally spoke, once again battling yet another waking yawn, it was gravelly and hoarse. “Did you sleep at all, Jer?”
“Yeah,” he winked at his sister, meeting her halfway with a tumbler filled with B positive blood, “the warden let me catch some shut eye for a bit.”
Elena took a long chug of it. Her fangs flexed from inside of her mouth, cheeks flushing with the satisfaction of blood entering her system. “How kind of him.”
“There are certain rules that I must abide to.”
She finished off the drink, grateful for the fact that Jeremy no longer winced whenever her lips were coated with the dark liquid that felt as soft as stain. He slowly accustomed himself to it, equating it to her own sort of V8 juice. Flickering her attention back to where Elijah stood, observing the two of them with knowing eyes. “Sleep is for the weak.”
Elijah tilted his head upwards; his stance was arrogant, tone haughty as he spoke, “If, by weak, you are referring to lowly humans, then you are correct.”
Elena tittered, looking at Jeremy over the lid of her cup with disgust, “Was there any other way to interpret that?”
Jeremy groaned loudly, playfully shoving Elena to the side where she made a big deal of tripping down the last two steps and looking appalled with one hand pressed to her chest, mouth open. “This measly human is going to take a shower.”
“Try to wash your human stench off of you as best as you can, please. We don’t need the house reeking of inferiority.” Elijah’s expression broke when Elena started to giggle loudly from behind him, a snort escaped her, sending the both of them into laughter while Jeremy continued to ascend the staircase.
He flicked the two of them off, disappearing around the corner while muttering about obnoxious vampires and their egos.
Elena’s laughter eventually died down though the smile remained on her face as she maneuvered her way around decorations towards the kitchen. Her fridge was stacked with casseroles, three different cakes and a vegetable platter.
Missy had strong armed her into this, somehow using her cheery persona and convincing blue eyes to distract Elena from the fact that her house had basically been invaded by the obnoxious woman. It didn’t help that her boss, Patsy, and her sister were apart of this same party committee, which mean Patsy was asking all types of questions at work and feeding the information to Missy.
Dropping her head into her hands, Elena slowly inhaled and exhaled, letting the smells and sounds from all around settle over her. There were two workers in the back setting up a tent that would go from her yard to the neighbor’s with yet another tent reaching down towards the lake.
The tables were already set up, ready to be decorated for the night’s events. The house was mostly ready, all that was left was to set up the food, get herself showered and dressed and hang up the silly decorations Missy had insisted on.
Footsteps could be heard coming up the entryway, they paused- clearly not workers, since they just barged in and never once asked if it was alright to track mud on her floors- and seconds later the doorbell trickled through the house.
Elijah tilted his head to the side, an offer to go answer the door for her since she was still dressed in the outfit she had napped in.
Elena had an inclining towards who it was, which thankfully meant that her sweatpants and old Cheer shirt didn’t matter. “I got it.”
Mr. and Mrs. Meyer were standing on her doorstep; him in a bow-tie and a nice pair of slacks while Mrs. Meyer had done her wispy white hair up in a bun and picked out a cheery pink sundress for the event. Her lips were painted the same color of the bright coral necklace she had adorned around her neck.
“You’re here early!” Elena shot them a sunny smile, smoothing down the stray hair that had escaped her hasty ponytail.
“Hello, sweetheart. Don’t you just positively worn down? Poor thing.” Mrs. Meyer- or better known as Miss Jess- plopped the tin of brownies she made into Elena’s hands and walked into the house, whistling at the sheer amount of overwhelming decorations. “I’m completely disappointed in that Missy for putting this all on you, especially with no forewarning. Its just uncalled for,” Wayne trotted behind her, nodding vehemently in agreement. “Why, if I still ran that committee, she’d booted straight on her ass.”
The Meyers were great people. Elena had let Miss Jess fuss over her as if she was one of her and eventually Elena started to feel that way. Both sets of Elena’s grandparents had been dead before she was born, leaving her to grow up without ever knowing what that bond felt like.
Miss Jess and Wayne had no problem in showing her. Both she and Jeremy received calls to check up on them, Miss Jess was constantly dropping by with food for Elena, or inviting her over for dinner- or dessert. Wayne had shown Jeremy the basic rundowns on cars- even though Elijah had already done so a few weeks earlier when Jeremy had received a flat on the way home.
Even if they taxed her at times, or made her feel like she was two seconds from being smothered to death, Elena loved them completely and wouldn’t want it any other way.
Wayne inspected a vase Elena had picked up on her trip down to Florida that Jeremy had apparently dug out of a box so that the table didn’t look quite as empty. “Yes, well, Karen runs it now, dear. She gets to pick who is the head of the party planning and such matters.”
“I know that,” Miss Jess shot him a dry look, “and its no surprise that she picked the same airhead that came from that cesspool she calls a gene pool. Honestly, if those two didn’t weigh themselves down with such gaudy jewelry, their heads would just float right off, I tell you.” Catching sight of Elijah leaning against the counter, she clapped her hands together in pure glee. “I should have known you’d be here already, Elijah!”
“Hello there, Miss Jess.” He pressed his lips against her cheeks respectfully, holding in a breath in order to avoid inhaling her strong perfume. Wayne shouldered his way up to Miss Jess with a smile, “Mr. Meyer.”
“Elijah,” the two shook hands, ignoring the way Miss Jess shot her husband a look that Elijah couldn’t exactly name. It was as if the two were in on some sort of secret, leaving Elena and himself in the dark.
It didn’t take long for Miss Jess’ attention to drift back to the party and away from the ongoings of Elijah’s personal life. She buzzed about the kitchen and sun room while tittering on about Missy and her minions.
Elena didn’t feel the need to stop her ranting, mostly because she felt the same way Miss Jess did.
“I’m afraid I will have to leave for a short while,” Elijah politely interrupted Miss Jess mid-thought; even if he agreed that Missy was pushing and didn’t take no for an answer, he had matters of his own to tend to before the party.
Dark eyes flashed up to meet Elijah’s, Elena’s brows furrowed in confusion. “Why?”
“I need to change clothing before the party starts. I had been working a bit in the library before I came over.”
Elena didn’t seen anything wrong with Elijah’s outfit. It was nice to see him in a relaxed white button down and dress slacks. But, this was Elijah and if he wasn’t in some sort of suit, she would worry and the world would simply start to crumple. “Oh, alright. Hurry back.” She could feel the color rise in her neck as the last part left her lips. Pressing her lips together, she bit down hard on the bottom one and tried not to look completely ridiculous.
Elijah flashed her a charming smile that had her stomach rolling pleasantly, “I won’t be long.” He bid the Meyers goodbye before disappearing through the front door with a soft click.
Miss Jess looked at Elena through her lashes, eyes twinkling with mirth. “You two are just positively cavity worthy.” Her hands, wrinkled and worn due to the trials of life, grasped Wayne’s and held on tightly. “Reminds me of Wayne and I.”
Wayne beamed at his wife, kissing her forehead with such tender affection that Elena had to look away.
“Of course, the only reason Wayne, here, proposed to me was because I found out I had a bun in the oven, you know.” The loving look in Miss Jess’ eyes didn’t fade, but the mirthful one had seemed to take over.
“Now, Jessie, you and I both know thats not true.” Wayne colored slightly at the implication, “Don’t let this old bat tell you otherwise, Elena. She’s full of hogwash.”
“I am not! It is entirely true! You got me all nice and knocked up is what you did, Wayne Meyer!”
“Elena!” Jeremy’s call had halted the conversation, giving Elena the chance she needed to get out before the couple actually went from lovely-dovey bickering to full on fighting.
Miss Jess smiled fondly, “I didn’t realize your brother was home!”
“Yes, he is.” Elena started to inch towards the hall, “and I think he needs help with something so if you’ll excuse me for just a second!” Hurrying up the stairs, she knocked twice before entering Jeremy’s room. Her nose scrunched up once she laid eyes on the disaster he called his room, “Really, Jer?”
Jeremy turned to her holding a pair of ripped pants with his shirt hanging from his neck, as if he had been in the process of putting it on when she had entered.
She looked at the ripped pants, then back to him. “What, are you some sort of Hulk now?”
“The Hulk’s pants never rip, first off.” The look he gave her made her feel as if she should have known that. “Secondly, I need your help ironing my blue shirt.”
Elena fingered the wrinkled shirt that was draped across his armoire, “Alright, but you have to head downstairs to see the Meyers while I’m doing that.”
Jeremy raised his eyebrows at her, “The Meyers are here?” Yanking his undershirt on the rest of the way, he practically skipped over to her side. He always got bathed in attention whenever the Meyers were over.
“That is what I said, Jer,”
“Okay, Ms. Sassy Pants.” He kissed the side of her head fondly in passing, bounding down the stairs and skipping the last few with a giant leap. “Thanks for ironing my shirt!”
With a smile she walked to her room, listening to the sounds of Miss Jess cooing over Jeremy while Wayne asked him about baseball.
The sounds grew louder and more constant as people started to arrive. Missy, herself, decided to show up to boss everyone else around for a short while. Elena had remained upstairs for that portion of the afternoon, fixing her hair and redoing her makeup until Jeremy dragged her down.
Elena had given her the cold shoulder for as long as she could before the woman had trapped her on the way out towards the tents with a plastered on smile and a basket full of some sort of fruit.
“Elena, you doll, you!” Missy made a show of kissing both of her cheeks with loud smacks. Before Elena could respond, or even grasp a breath, Missy had started talking once again. “I saw that you had moved some of the tables over, while that’s very thoughtful of you, doll, I had them there for a reason.” Elena’s mouth dropped, “But, don’t fret too much, I’ve already had them moved back and I’m not angry at you at all.”
“Oh! Carol, there you are!” Missy was off, dark hair flying behind her as she teetered along in her high heels through the grass towards one of the preschool teachers.
Elena squared her shoulders and dropped off the tray, her anger hidden behind a mask. She was in the mindset to go yank Missy by her hair over towards the house to show her where things really go but Miss Jess called her over to her side. So the plan had to wait.
Miss Jess introduced Elena to one of her daughters- Cassidy, who had just found out that she was expecting her first child- and then off over to an old neighbor of hers that was in town visiting.
Through the flurry of faces and names, she hadn’t been able to pick out her brother from the crowd and create a viable excuse to escape. Without him, she was at a loss. It was when the women’s voices had become hushed and when blood flowed more prominently through flushed skin that alerted Elena’s to Elijah’s return and a possible way out from yet another meet-and-greet.
His appearance was quick, swooping in right as Patsy was about to introduce her to Michelle’s mother. Both women had giddily smiled when he showed up, ignoring the way his arm wove around Elena’s waist, poised to steer her away. “Hello ladies. I hope you don’t mind if I steal your hostess away for a few moments. Thank you ever so kindly.” they were moving before the two women could formulate some sort of tongue-twisted response to his charm.
“Oh, my God.” Elena sunk against the counter once they had reached the kitchen. “I thought I would never be able to escape.”
“You looked terrified,” he was next to her, eyes raking over her in a concerned manner. “I figured it was only right to extract you before things became-”
Elijah smirked at her, tilting his head in a conspiring manner.
She copied his movements, enjoying their little game of theirs. Their moment was interrupted by a flushed Jeremy and Hannah being escorted in by Wayne.
“Look who I finally found!” Wayne was giving Jeremy a narrowed eyed glare while her brother just smirked back at him in a satisfactory manner.
“Jeremy,” Elena’s tone dropped, laced with promises of a lecture to come later on, “where, exactly, have you been?”
Jeremy finally felt the need to look embarrassed since both Elena and Elijah were giving him the same look that only came from disappointed parents. “Uh, I was…”
“Jeremy and I were just talking!” Hannah’s skin resembled sunburn with how red it actually was. “Mr. Meyer came up before- there was no- I mean, its not that…”
Elena waved them both off with an long sigh, “You know what, this can wait. I have to get back out there before Missy molds herself into my skin or something.”
“Oh, gross!” Jeremy winced at the imagery.
Hannah elbowed Jeremy in the same way Elena had been planning to, “Please, its not like shewouldn’t.” Her eyes had lingered on Elijah for a quick second that once again reminded Elena of the other reasons Missy had it out for her.
“Right, well. Don’t forget that people are watching at all times,” she drew out the last part, eyes focused on Jeremy alone.
Jeremy didn’t seem to fold under her gaze, instead he smirked, “Don’t I know it. Can’t even sneak away in the library for some nooky time without someone seeing.”
It took both Elena and Elijah a moment to realize what Jeremy was implying before Elena let out a loud noise of protest. “What?”
“Nothing, nothing!” Jeremy was still smirking while Hannah just grew redder, hiding herself behind his back.
Elijah snickered beside her, finding it all so amusing while she was still trying to stop herself from wanting to strangle her brother with witnesses around.
Her little brother had his apparent girlfriend spying on her! Though it did make a bit more sense on why Hannah wasn’t completely chuffed when she saw Elijah and her together like all the others had been. It wasn’t that she had a crush on Elijah, it was that she was reaffirming Elena’s crush on him.
Which then lead to the question of how many other times had Jeremy been spying on them? Or had someone else do the job for him?
Ooh, how sneaky. He’ll have to pay for that later on. “Just don’t get any not-so-bright ideas, okay? I don’t need you causing a scene because you decided it was a good idea to have some ‘nooky time’ on the side of the house again.”
“I hear ya loud and clear, sis.” Jeremy wound his fingers through Hannah’s, pulling her through the door before Wayne give him a warning of his own.
Elena found herself out by the lake in a manner of only a few seconds after Jeremy’s departure from the kitchen. Elijah had seen one of his friends pass by and had escorted her back outside, promising Wayne to make sure they’ll keep an eye on Jeremy.
Elijah had introduced her to Jeffery Guick and his wife Savannah, both of whom taught at the local high school. He taught History while she taught both Cooking and Health Sciences. Jeffery had just started an entertaining story about how he first met Elijah when Missy’s voice broke through the conversation.
“Elena!” Missy’s shrill voice seemed to carry large distances, seeing as Elena was towards the end of the tents and Missy had just stepped out from the neighboring yard into Elena’s own. “I need your help with a little something, if you don’t mind!”
“I wonder if her voice ever deafens dogs,” Elena didn’t realize that the other three had heard her until Jeffery chortled loudly.
“Would make sense on how her neighbor’s- the Callahans, there over to your right with the pretty little red headed girl- dog suddenly became so hard of hearing.”
Savannah didn’t attempt to hide her smile, but chastised her husband nevertheless for such a comment.
Excusing herself, Elena headed over to her neighbor’s yard. Missy was no where to be seen, the only thing in the tent was a long table that had once been filled with food. Turning around to head back, Elena almost ran into Missy in the process. “Oh!” Missy stood in front of her; the cheery smile wiped clear off her face, hands on her hips as if she was about to scold a misbehaved child.
“Where did you place the cakes?” Missy seemed almost a bit edgy, “I had specifically told you that they were to be placed on the round table in the middle of the living room!”
Elena stared at Missy for a few moments before slowly starting to speak, “Yes, well, they had to be moved because of the children. They kept bumping into the table while trying to get to the fruit platters.”
Missy didn’t seem to even care about the kids or the fruit or anything other than the fact that her precious circular table with the cakes was moved off to the side. Staring at her as if Elena had personally eaten the cakes and then smeared the icing all over Missy (an idea that she was currently entertaining.)
She lifted up her chin and huffed- loudly. “Have the table moved back, Elena.”
“No. It was moved for a good reason.” There was a challenge in Missy’s voice that Elena had no problem stepping up to, “I’m not moving it back because it messes up your feng-shui.”
“Elena! Oh, there you are, my dear!” Miss Jess came barreling over, “My youngest boy just arrived and I want you to meet him before he pulls that magic trick of his and dissapears from the party without saying hello!”
Elena let herself be led out, ignoring the way Missy glared needles into her back.
The heat had finally started to cool down, creating a soft breeze outside that brushed against Elena’s face as she talked to the youngest of Miss Jess and Wayne’s children, Cason. He was funny, despite his shy nature, and Elena found herself completely at ease in his presence.
“Where’s that new girlfriend of yours, Cason?” Miss Jess appeared out of practically thin air. She held a plate full of sugar cookies, holding it out for them to take some while also giving her son a prying look.
“She had to work today.”
“Its a Sunday.”
“Uh,” Cason ignored his mother’s pointed stare, “wow, is that Cassidy waving me over? Gotta go! Nice meeting you, Elena!”
Miss Jess fisted her hands on her hips, lips pursed in amusement. “That boy thinks he’s just so clever. I’ll manage to get it out of him by the end of tonight, just watch.”
“I have no doubt that you’ll be able to.”
Flashing Elena a pleased smile, she glanced back towards the house, “Why, thank you, dear. Now, you probably should get your little butt inside and save your man from those darned woman’s clutches. Lord knows they’ll drag out what shrived eggs they have out to offer to him.”
Elena’s eyes widened in surprise; she choked on part of the cookie as it went down but Miss Jess paid her no mind.
“Off you go.”
The first thing Elena noticed when she walked back into her living room was that the damned circle table was back in the middle of the room and sure enough someone had knocked over one of the cupcakes onto her rug.
Granted, it was a cheap rug that she bought just to have something to put down on the wooden floors, but that wasn’t the point.
Scanning the room, she found Missy grouped around her lackeys, a large smile on her face as she cackled about some story she was in the midst of telling. Elijah was trapped, her arm was placed through his; her hand kept resting on his as she talked, trying to keep his attention on her.
Despite her best efforts, his eyes found hers immediately and she now understood the look of pure horror that he had seen on her face earlier. Gearing herself up for more than just a rescue, Elena strode over to the women, trying her best to keep her smile firmly in place.
“Elijah, there you are.”
“Here I am.” His quiet sigh of relief was for her ears only.
Missy paused her story to turn to Elena, “Elena! I was just telling him how the place just looks marvelous!”
“No thanks to you and your deliverymen,” Elena didn’t bother to hide her snarl. “I don’t care who’s orders they were under, whether it be yours or the Presidents’, but I will not have that happen again in my home.”
Missy’s eyes widened, her smile dropping in pure shock. She fixed her expression quickly, smoothing it over with a tight smile. “Of course, of course. I had no idea you would react that way. I just simply told them where I wanted things and they listened.” The women behind her seemed just as shocked as Missy was, but they kept up their neat appearances perfectly.
“I am well aware of that. However, this is my house and, since it is my house, it would only make sense that I was the host. Not you.”
“I am head of the party planning-”
“So I’ve heard. Congratulations, its such an esteemed title.” Missy’s mouth gaped for a second, “But, like I keep saying to you, this is my house. Next time- if there is a next time- if that sort of behavior happens again, you can find a new place to host your event.”
Missy’s words came out in a dark hiss, “This event has been going on before you even moved here! How dare try to change tradition! The whole town will turn against you!”
“Then so be it,” it wasn’t like half of the women already didn’t hate her. They all were gunning for her head on a platter, and apparently they thought, who better yet to give it to them but Missy herself? They were clearly wrong. So, very wrong. “But, you have no right to come in and boss me around and expect me to cater to your needs.”
“Elena, I believe you’re acting a bit rash.” Missy turned her baby blue eyes up to Elijah, who had been trying his best to sneak away from the she-devil. “Elijah, as a third party outsider, with no personal interest in the matter, what do you think of the situation?” She fluttered her faux eyelashes at him, pouting ever so slightly.
Elijah cleared his throat awkwardly but Elena had already opened her mouth to speak, “Seeing as he’s not a third party outsider with no personal interest in the matter, he can’t really answer your question.”
“Oh?” Missy’s lips curved into a sneer, “So the rumors around town are true?”
“Seeing as this is my house, I don’t feel the need to dignify your question with an answer. However, since you won’t dislodge your talons out of his arm until I do, I guess I should.” Elena’s hostess expression turned hostile in a quick second, “Yes, we are dating. He is my boyfriend, we are in item and I’m going to ask you politely to not only unhook your arm out of his but to kindly see yourself out.”
Elijah quickly moved to her side; his arm slipped around her waist, pulling her tightly against him but his comfort did nothing to quell the anger inside of her.
“No. You will leave and you will leave now. I will not have you ruin the party any more than you already have because of your immaturity. Now please go- unless you would like for me to ask someone to escort you out instead?”
Missy turned back to her goggle of Stepford Wives but none of them uttered a sound to counteract Elena’s request. “Well, if that’s how you all feel! I’ll…just go!”
“Please do,” Elena wrapped her arms around Elijah’s and leaned back into his chest, exhaling slowly. “Hi.”
“Hello,” he grinned down at her, feeling completely on top of the world. “So.”
“I heard from an angry little bird that we are now in item?”
She took his playful tone with a light heart, “I would like to think so,” glancing over to where Jeremy was silently gesturing her to seal the deal, she flickered Elijah a hopeful glance. “What do you think?”
He turned her around so that they were now facing one another, lifting her chin to stare at her with an expression she couldn’t quite place.
Feeling embarrassed and completely wrong about what she thought their relationship had meant, Elena went to step backwards but Elijah moved faster. He pulled her off into the hallway, away from the prying eyes of the crowd, and let out a long breath against her cheeks.
They stared at each other for a long moment before his lips met hers and Elena felt herself smile into the kiss.
The room faded away, it was a bit cliche to say that she forgot about everyone else in the house, or even on the planet, but that was the truth. Her mind fuzzed over, her stomach filled with a sense of warmth and everything was strangely perfect. He fit against her in a way that left her dreams lacking. Her body molded into his and she felt his hands against her back, and Elijah’s tongue trailing across her bottom lip.
She’d been waiting for this; the rush of her heat beat, the feel of him against her, the way his scent seemed to just explode her sense, creating a rush that she had never before experienced. She had waited so long to know that her emotions weren’t just based on a silly crush, that he felt them too.
A part of her had always known that Elijah felt more towards her than just their basic camaraderie and the blossoming friendship that had grown out of trust and understanding.
She slipped her arms around his neck, pressing her body against him and her lips against his. Elena licked his bottom lip, biting it slightly as his tongue pushed for entrance into her mouth.
Its was strange, but Elena had never thought much of kissing. She never gave it enough thought to find it erotic, but this- the feel of his tongue warring with hers, both of them fighting for dominance while their hands explored each other’s body- this was more than what her imagination could even cook up.
His hands wrapped around her waist and he slid his hand up to tangle in her hair. Slowly, his other hand crept up the front of her shirt, running his fingertips over the smooth skin that laid there.
She chuckled lightly inside his mouth when his fingertips tickled her sides, her eyes rolling in amusement. They couldn’t let themselves get too into the kiss, for there were others who were waiting and probably trying to get a good view on what was exactly happening.
Elijah pulled back; a smile appeared on his face when he heard her protest. Bending his head down, he planted a kiss on her cheeks, and then to her forehead, “I believe that can be considered a yes, correct?”
Her breath was ragged and her thoughts frazzled. All she could feel was Elijah’s lips on her skin, his heart beat racing under her palm and the overwhelming feeling that every time she had saved him, every time that she had disposed of yet another floozie, it had all been worth it. “Definitely.”
There it is, the final time Elena saves Elijah from a floozie.
Of course, there is one more chapter left, so we'll see what happens next!! :)
Chapter 6: The One Time She Doesn't
The sixth time it happened, well, it didn’t really happen after all.
Elena idly scanned through the bookstore, floating in and out of isles in search of the one book that would finally squash the itch she’d been feeling for days. She’d bought at least a dozen books in the last two weeks alone; unfortunately none of those books have given her the satisfaction of being able to close them and feel completely content in the ending.
She only had a limited amount of time in the store before she had to head home and get ready, causing her movements to be rushed rather than relaxed. Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, she read the back of one of the newest releases with a increasing frown. Everything was vampires and werewolves with some sort of Hunger Games twist to it. If she wanted to read about those types of plots, she would just write an autobiography.
Running her fingers along the spines of the books situated in the isle she was in, not one of the titles stuck out or even peaked her interest. Yet another trip to the bookstore was turning out to be a bust.
Turning the corner, she bumped against a display and accidentally knocked a few items over. Picking up the books, she noticed one had skittered off to the side. The cover looked intriguing and a spark of hope shot through her. Before she could read at the title, a voice startled her.
“Thats a good choice.”
Elena glanced up at the man in front of her and straightened her back. She turned the book over and fought back a chuckle at the title of the book that laid in her hand, “It is.”
“You’ve read it before.” His eyes were a bright blue. A blue that, if Elena didn’t know better, looked to be enhanced by colored contacts. He was tall, muscular and- dare she say it?- attractive. His grin, something mixed between a predatory smirk and a charming smile, could easily cause a girl to slip under his spell.
Thankfully Elena wasn’t that type of girl.
“That,” his eyes roamed over her body, settling for a beat longer than necessary on her breasts before returning back to her face. He leaned up against the display next to them, turning in a way so that his seemingly expensive watch glittered in the florescent lighting, “was not a question.”
She suppressed an eye roll at his actions, “Right.”
“My name’s Russell,” he offered her his hand and its smooth texture surprised her. It was baby soft, almost as if he moisturized it every second of every day (which wouldn’t surprise Elena if he did.)
Elena placed the book back and turned to glance over her shoulder, “Its nice to meet you, Russell.”
“Ah,” he followed after her, stuffing his hands into his pockets while letting his eyes linger on places they shouldn’t, “playing hard to get, are we?”
“No, I’m not playing at anything. I’m here to buy a book and maybe pick up some coffee before going home.”
“And is that plan set in stone?”
She turned to him, hands on her hips, eyes tightening with annoyance. “Yes, it is.”
He continued to follow her though, disappearing for a moment once she hit the New Releases section only to reappear with a book in hand. The fact that it was Twilight had her shuddering in response. “I bet you’ve read this one also. All the girls have.”
She ignored him, looking away towards the stack of books being brought out. She knew she should probably give the Game of Thrones series a try. Jeremy was hooked on the show and the books, not to mention the fact that she had even found Elijah glued to the TV screen with her brother while they simultaneously shooshed her once she opened her mouth (even if it was just to breathe.)
“Not big on vampires are you?”
Flipping the first book in the Game of Thrones series over, she raised her brows, impressed on how heavy it was. She knew it was a large book, but the size of the hardback surprised her. Deciding that it would be an investment, Elena tucked the first three books under her arm. “You have no idea.”
“I bet I have an inkling or two,” he winked at her, the look in his eyes had Elena wondering if a thin layer of slime had been transferred onto her skin by his slimy gaze. “Fangs are a bit of a thing for you, aren’t they?”
She could show him just how much of a thing they were to her. All it would take was a quick flick of one of his pulse points, bringing him down to just the right level where she could watch every single emotion flicker over his face before she sunk her fangs into the veins on his neck, which would be pulsing heavily and throbbing with fear.
The bloodlust came and went with an unsurprising speed. Licking her lips and banishing the thought of him with head turned in submission as she drank from his flesh, Elena rolled her stiff shoulders and tried to right her world. “Listen, I’m not sure what you want exactly, but I don’t have time for this. So if you would kindly leave me be now, it would be greatly appreciated.”
Russell stepped forward, shelving Twilight next to a copy of Pride and Prejudice. Elena winced in response, fingers itching to right the situation but it was already too late, he was in her personal space and effectively blocking her view of the shelf. “All I want is to get to know you better- maybe buy you a cup of coffee?”
Tilting her chin upwards in challenge, Elena cocked her head and smiled slowly at him. “All you need to know is the only person who will ever buy me coffee is him.” She jerked her thumb backwards to where Elijah was walking down the spiral steps from the second floor.
Elijah had been in the Historical section during Russell’s initial flirtation. He had been engrossed in a book claiming to be able to expose the secrets of the era surrounding World War II.
The book, however, had been a disappointment. Hundreds of pages were filled with gossip that had been about whispered for ages, rather than actual unheard of information or any sort of facts. He had known a few people who had started some of the original gossip; stories told by drunk men and fueled by bored vampires with nothing better to do.
One of those men had been his own brother, who had been able to trap even the most skeptical of men in one of his tall tales. Niklaus’ piece of gossip, a story about weapon suppliers and treason, had been expanded upon in the book into a large tale that spawned many rash actions by the United States.
Elijah picked up the book once more, turning it over in his hands before smiling to himself. It would be a nice one-up on his brother and the little competition they had going- putting him back in the game.
It had first started with a photo in the mail, apparently a bar in France had taken a candid photo of his brother and him years back and had it framed inside a collage. Niklaus had noticed the photo, created a diversion and made off with it. Sending Elijah a copy in the mail a few days later.
Elijah had responded in kind. Sending his brother a letter he had discovered years back with mentions of Klaus being caught with a serf’s daughter and his subsequent supposed death brought upon him by said serf.
The two of them kept on with their game. Books were found, letters and pictures, old artifacts, a table from one of the original homes they had stayed in.
Elena found it sweet- that was up until an urgent package arrived for Elijah. It was large and (after explaining to Elena that, yes, he had stepped away from Ebay for the time being) addressed from Klaus.
Elijah had opened it, anticipating a great discovery but was both shocked and appalled to find a real life boar’s head- plated in gold- resting on a mount.
The noise Elena had made had Elijah boxing it back up and putting it off in a corner of the room.
When Klaus had called later on that afternoon, sounding completely smug with the fact that he had possibly won their little battle, he had received the full on wrath of Elena. It had been the first time she and Klaus had spoken since she had left Mystic Falls, and the tone of her voice and look in her eyes had Elijah glad that he was not on the other side of the phone call.
Once the phone had been handed back to him with an exasperated huff, Elijah hadn’t bothered to ask the story of the boar, instead he simply questioned wether or not his brother had soiled himself.
Klaus had hung up before answering his question.
Bringing himself back to the present, Elijah realized that it had, ultimately, been his turn to send Klaus something and he did enjoy their little game. Finding it as a reason enough to by a copy for himself and one to mail to Klaus, Elijah tucked the books under his arm and checked his watch.
He had a few more moments of perusing to do before he was due to head downstairs and roundup Jeremy and Kol. The two of them had a baseball banquet in just a few hours- both he and Elena were also due to attend so that they could both be there when the two boys received recognition for their hard work.
Kol had arrived on Elena’s doorstep bloodied and in a desperate search for his brother one weekend during winter.
It turns out the wolves that Kol had initially run into, the wolves that Elijah had spoken to after Kol’s incident, had friends. Those friends seemed to believe (for reasons unbeknownst to Kol, he vehemently swore that he had no part in it) that Kol had been behind the death of one of their pack members and had come after him. Even being an Original, a whole pack against one special vampire wasn’t favorable odds. He had barely escaped, coming to his brother for refuge and guidance.
Elijah had been in France on business- contact with him had been spotty at best. Elena had tried to reach him several times, but to no avail.
Despite Elena’s better judgement, she opened the door for Kol to enter, offered him a cup of tea and a room to stay in. He hadn’t left since.
Currently, Elijah noticed with a raised brow, Kol was leaning against a display section, chatting up a blonde that was no where near Kol’s type.
Jeremy was ignoring him for the most part, Elijah could see him with a pair of headphones around his neck, one pressed to his ear as he sampled music. There were a few CDs in his hand, but Elijah could tell he was ready to go. His shoulders were hunched, feet tapping off beat to the song that was playing.
“Kol, Jeremy.” Elijah gestured for his brother to come over and he did with the blonde tagging along. “Ten minutes until we’re leaving.”
Kol nodded, smiling at his brother in a way that was all charm (and reminded Elijah too much of the look Klaus got when he was baiting Rebekah in for another argument.) “Of course, brother dear. We’re practically ready to go, aren’t we Jer?”
“Yeah, sure.” Jeremy slid his gaze from Kol to the blonde then back again, “Just let me check out, Elijah, and I’ll be ready.”
“I can’t believe you’re leaving already, we just got to talking.” The blonde glanced at Kol with expressive brown eyes but Kol’s gaze was still lingering on Jeremy’s stiff posture.
Flashing the blonde a wickedly charming smile, Kol tossed an arm over Jeremy’s shoulders and tugged him close. “Daniella, here, is rushing for a sorority at one of these small, local colleges.” Daniella’s face puckered into a look of hurt when Kol couldn’t remember the name, not that Kol seemed fazed by her pouty gaze. “Sorry, darling, I can’t remember the name of it do enlighten me in a moment, would you?” He turned back to Jeremy, squeezing his shoulder with a smirk, “Anyways, she has been ever so kind enough to invite us to a party their hosting tonight. I agreed on your behalf, don’t you worry-”
Elijah moved quickly away from the two of them; he had become extremely adept in recognizing the look on the Gilbert’s faces before they were about to blow and mentioning Jeremy’s recent break-up was not a smart move on his brother’s part.
Sure enough, just as Elijah slipped out of the DVD section and into the New Releases, the sound of Jeremy’s agitated tone reached a decibel loud enough for even humans to hear it. Wincing, Elijah shrugged the second-hand embarrassment for his brother off of his shoulders and followed the sound of Elena’s slow heartbeat to where she was.
He found her, arms crossed with an unreadable expression on her features, standing across from a man who looked a bit too pleased for Elijah’s taste.
Making his way over to her side, he dropped his hand to her arm and smiled easily at her, “Find everything you need, love?”
Elena relaxed only minutely- setting off every single alarm bell in Elijah’s head at the amount of tension that was flowing through her person.
Elijah tucked Elena into his side and simply raised an eyebrow at Elena’s suitor as he pressed a kiss to her temple.
Elena grinned smugly at Russell, “This is my fiance.”
Russell glanced down to the ring on her finger and then back up at her. The look of surprise Elena had suspected from him never game, instead his eyes shimmered. “Well, we’ve been waiting for you.” He held out his hand to Elijah, holding for a moment longer than necessary before letting it go. “Now, your fiancee here has been giving me the cold shoulder. Now with you here maybe she’ll let me buy her a cup of coffee and we can warm her up, hmm?”
The invitation went right over Elena’s head, but Elijah caught on perfectly well. He choked on air, eyes widening at the forwardness of this entire situation. “I apologize, but I do believe we will have to decline. You see we have-”
“Guys, we’re going to be late!” Jeremy rounded the corner, Kol in tow, holding a bag full of his purchases. There is a brief moment of awkward silence before Jeremy shrugged it off and gestured with his thumb towards the exit, “No, but really, we have to go.”
“We are leaving now,” Elijah already has a strong hand clamped around Elena, steering her away from where Russell is now giving Kol a very interested look. His younger brother isn’t having it though, and simply just flashed Russell his best ‘I will suck your blood out in your sleep’ smirk before following them out of the store.
It finally clicked for Elena when she was sliding into the car, her mouth open in mid-question when it clamped closed quickly, teeth gritting together from the force of it. “He did…He did not try to ask us for a threesome did he?”
Elijah started the car, the engine roared over the sound of Kol’s cheer, “Yes, love, that is, in fact, what he had propositioned us with.”
“Dear Lord.” Elena exhaled loudly, leaning back in her seat to take advantage of how close she was to Jeremy. Whacking him, she tossed him a stern look over her shoulder for laughing at her misfortune and then turned her attention back to Elijah. “I didn’t even get my coffee.”
“Sorry about that, love. We can pick some up on the way home, if you’d like.” Elijah grinned at her once more before turning his attention back to the road, giving her fingers a playful squeeze while doing so.
He smiled at her then, causing her stomach to do a slow roll while her pulse quickened and every single time Elena had whisked him away from the clutches of yet another floozie flashed through her mind. She could remember each one of them, each memory was vivid and true. “So, I guess you were the one doing the saving this time, huh?”
“Contrary to popular belief, no. I believe it is once again you who has done the saving, Elena.” His smile was reminiscent of the smiles he had given her before after her grand displays of heroism and was also completely contagious. “Its always been you.”
Elena found herself smiling back at him, leaning over to press her lips against his and intertwine their fingers together. “Always and forever.”
Wow, okay so Five Times is over.
I'm going to really miss writing this- especially since I kept putting off posting just so I could keep coming back.
A friend and I were discussing doing a Five Times from Jeremy's POV, but we'll see.
Anyway, thanks for sticking with me and the fic guys! I really hope you enjoyed this chapter and it was everything you hoped it would be<3