Sometimes Matt will press inside her, just after Stefan, the strong muscles of her passage still rippling, hot, slick with a mingling of fluids. When Stefan comes he does it with every fibre of his being, almost weeping with the strength of it, as if he's pouring out all his soul. He'll pull out and roll painfully to his side, a hand tenderly on Elena's breast, kissing her shoulder or ear. He loves the feel of her hair between his long fingers.
Elena always moans like she's dying, when Matt enters her this way, her eyes still dilated from orgasm, her chest heaving. She says she's too sensitive, she can't stand it, but he'll let her squirm and keep going, thrust deep into her, deep as he can go.
Matt has learned to have serious staying power--he's had to, to keep up with Stefan, who could go all night without coming, if they let him. A saint of a man, really. And he taught Matt how to do it (though Matt's never gotten that good), how to hold back until it becomes effortless, to reach that zen state where every touch is excruciating pleasure, unending until he lets go.
That's about where Elena goes, over the edge to that other place of hyperpleasure, when he enters her after Stefan. Stefan has never tried to do the same after him, so Matt has this--whatever it is--all to himself. It'd be their little secret if he didn't sincerely hope that Stefan was reading them every second, sharing it all in his mind.
Elena doesn't exactly relax, after those first few too-much moments, but inside she stops that rhythmic, uncontrollable squeezing tension and becomes a tight, smooth tunnel that feels as if it were made to take only him.
Sometimes Matt and Stefan watch each other's faces, as one or the other moves within her, hunger and need and pleasure swimming back and forth between them like electric eels. On times like this, though, they are usually both watching her, hands tracing paths over her sweaty skin. She closes her eyes--sometimes very tightly--and seems to exist in a world alone, with only the sensations of her body to accompany her.
It takes her a long, long time to come, that second time, that way. The first of the evening always appears to hit her suddenly, be something fragile that breaks over her, a sugar-crystal wave of intensity. This one, though, is like one long climax to a peak that's very far away. She's climbing constantly, but slowly, and when she reaches the top she teeters on the brink for what seems like ages, before falling hard over the edge, and tumbling all the way down. Matt knows her so well he can feel everything with her, through her body, her expressions, her voice.
He'll come to her as she falls, and stay inside her as long as he can support himself, while universes implode behind his eyes. When he's lying at her side, an arm over her waist, holding her close, she'll push his damp hair out of his eyes. "Oh, Matt, how I love you so."
It starts the day after Homecoming. It's clear that Elena's plan--the plan Matt had helped put into action--has worked. Which is odd, considering that the last Matt had seen of her, she was leaving in Tyler Smallwood's car, falling all over him, with Dick and Vickie in the back seat. Meredith had forced him to take her and Bonnie to go after Elena, and he'd done it even though it made him feel like a stalker. They never did find her, though--they checked all the makeout spots.
Then this morning he sees Stefan holding her hand and making moony eyes are her in the parking lot. But it doesn't seem anything more than weird--not to mention depressing, seeing how fast she got over him--until after first period when he hears the "whole story" from Dick Carter. Well, he can't believe the "whole story," because Dick's talking here, but the basics are pretty clear: Elena and Tyler were doing some serious groping in the cemetery (ewww) when Stefan showed up, cave-man style, beat the shit out of Tyler, and took Elena back to his place. She didn't come home for another four hours after that.
So now this doesn't just sound weird--it's moved right up to creepy. Especially when he sees bruises on Elena's shoulder, sitting behind her fourth period, when she pulls up the sleeve of her shirt to scratch something. He tries to talk to her after class but she flinches when he touches her, makes some bullshit excuse, and flees.
Matt ends up doing what any loyal friend would do: he corners Stefan at their gym lockers, after football practice, and makes him stay there with him until all the other guys leave.
"So, listen, Stefan. I know you've had a rough time starting out here. It's tough being the new guy. A lot of people didn't even give you a chance. But you and I--we're pretty good friends, right? I mean, I like you."
"I like you too, Matt," Stefan says in that odd cautious way he gets to talking sometimes.
"Yeah, well." Matt scrubs his hand through his hair. "I heard something about what happened with Tyler and Elena and you last night."
"Yeah, and--okay. Elena, she's sort of...innocent, you know?"
Stefan actually smiles, even if he looks like it makes him sick to do it. Amazing. "Yes."
"And sometimes she does things that she doesn't really mean to or want to, because she isn't paying attention or she thinks it's what she should do. And she could get hurt, really easily, because of that. You getting me?"
"Okay, well let me make it plainer for you. Tyler's in the hospital, and you put him there, and today I hear that Elena spent damn near half the night at your place, and I see she's hiding bruises under her clothes." Stefan winces, and opens his mouth. "No, don't talk yet. I don't really care what's going on between you, and I really don't want any explanations. It's as simple as this: You and I? We're friends. But if you hurt her, or I hear that you've taken advantage in any way, I'll kill you. Understand?"
Stefan stares at him for a long minute, then drops his eyes to the ground. "She's yours, isn't she?"
"What? No. We're friends. I'm just watching out for her."
"You love her." It isn't a question.
Now it's Matt's turn to look away. "Yes. But we...we're over. That wasn't enough for her."
"She doesn't...feel the same way." Matt sits down next to his somber friend. "She wants you, man. She's talked about nothing but you since the first day of school. So you'd better deserve her, for your sake."
Matt suddenly feels guilty, and doubtful of the brutal scenario that's been going through his head all day. "I think that's up for her to decide, Stefan."
Somehow the three of them start spending a lot of time together. At first Matt thinks Stefan's invites are just so Matt can see firsthand that she's being treated well (and she clearly is--Matt has never seen her this happy), and he thinks maybe Elena wants him tagging along to try and keep things casual with Stefan for the present; but after a while the most unlikely conclusion--that they actually like having him there--becomes the only one that makes any sense at all.
It's...weird, but kind of nice. They never go anywhere that costs too much money, so Matt can't feel guilty about these small indulgences. Stefan's offered to pay his share before but Matt never lets him. It isn't right. Elena is Stefan's girlfriend, but Matt is...what is he?
Someone at the Haunted House party had a really sick sense of humor. After Stefan and Bonnie worked so hard to get Mr. Tanner to submit to being covered in Karo syrup as part of the Druid Sacrifice room, whomever'd been assigned to do the deed had poured pig's blood all over him instead. (What did they think this was? Carrie?) Being a total idiot as usual, Tanner didn't even notice the difference--so it wasn't until Bonnie, as part of her act, smeared it all over her face and licked it, that they found out. She screamed like a goddamned banshee, and Matt and Stefan, serving beverages next door in Frankenstein's Lab, were first on the scene. Stefan took one look at Bonnie, got a really sick expression on his face, and bolted. Matt figured he'd just gone outside to hurl in the bushes.
But then Elena and Matt meet up after the police have come and gone, Vickie Bennett (now there was a strange girl) has confessed, and much cleanup has been done. Elena tells him that Stefan's car is gone, and now they're a little bit worried. Stefan's been even more pale and quiet than usual lately, after all. Something could really be wrong with him.
So they drive together to the boarding house in Matt's car, and Elena jumps out before he's even cut the engine. It's pouring rain.
When Matt gets upstairs to Stefan's room, no one's there, but then he hears Elena scream bloody murder on the roof. He climbs up the ladder and there's no one there either.
Well, except some dead birds. He goes over and counts: Two doves that couldn't have been dead more than an hour, their heads nearly ripped off. And lots of older bones.
He looks at them for a long time. He's kind of stunned--too stunned, really, to consider where his friends could have possibly disappeared to, or if they're okay. What is up here? He's always heard stories about old Mrs. Flowers performing Satanic rituals in her basement, or on this very roof, but he never bought into any of it. Not for a second.
Mrs. Flowers may be kind of crazy, but after his old man died? Matt's mom was a lot crazier, for a while. She's fine now, but for almost two months she just sat on the edge of her mattress and stared. Matt's father had been the other driver in the accident that also killed both Elena's parents--he was a long-distance trucker, and his brakes had failed on an icy road, in the foothills only a few miles from home. Matt and Elena were already friends (though not as close as they became) so, at the funerals, when Elena learned how things were for him at home, she talked her aunt into letting him stay at their house while his mom got better.
Which is where Mrs. Flowers came in. Without being asked, or even directly told about the situation, she started coming to Matt's house. Four times a day, without fail, she'd do her best to help his mother. She'd feed her, bathe her, change her clothes, brush her hair--everything. When Matt could, he'd come and help, and Mrs. Flowers would tell him about the husband and son she "used to have, a long time ago."
So what about these bones?
Right about then he snaps out of it because the light comes on below, and he can hear Stefan and Elena's voices. Mechanically, he goes back down to join them.
Elena's rain (tear?)-streaked face is focused on Stefan, who turns to Matt when he steps off the ladder. Stefan sets down the water glass he's been drinking from, and sighs, resigned to something. "Matt. I'm...glad you're here. I was just telling Elena..." Stefan looks to her, and she nods. "And it's important that you know, too."
Stefan tells them everything. Everything. He's crying his guts out, in Elena's lap. And of course they have to believe it all. Who'd make something like this up? Besides, there's proof for at least some of it. For what he is.
Matt's had a lot of experience with comforting, between Elena and his mom. This is different, because Stefan's a guy, but it doesn't feel weird to stroke his back like this. Long, slow passes with his flat hand; Matt's mom, when she recovered, would do that with him when he woke up crying, and it helped to settle him.
Stefan, too, gradually calms and sits up. He looks worse than ever, and he's--trembling. "Maybe you'd better go," Stefan says, with no strength behind the request. "I'll see you at school."
"What?" Elena whispers, incredulous. "How can you tell us something like this and then just push us away? You can't. I won't--"
Matt holds up a hand to quiet her. "You're starving, aren't you?"
Stefan doesn't say anything, but that's answer enough in itself.
"You can't keep going on like this, Stefan." He touches the back of Stefan's hand, gently--but Stefan snatches it away, as if burnt.
"You don't know what you're talking about. Animals are enough."
"Maybe, Stefan, but I was just up on that roof, and I saw what kind of animals you've been--eating. And if you have to eat the same equivalent to what I do, then two goddamn birds aren't nearly enough."
"Fine. Then I'll go hunt in the woods after you leave."
"Stefan, you look like you're going to pass out just sitting here. There's no way you'd make it out there okay."
"I'm a lot stronger than I look."
"Yeah, well I'm a lot more stubborn than I look, too." Matt grabs both of Stefan's upper arms and forces him to turn towards him, to look at him.
"Let go, Matt. I could make you, if I tried. I could hurt you." Stefan's desperate green eyes bore into his.
"But you won't, because I'm your friend. And I'm going to do what anyone would do if their friend was hungry: feed him."
"No. Please, Matt, you don't understand! If I once let go, what's to stop me from killing you? The passion is stronger than you can imagine. I can't risk--"
"We trust you, Stefan." All this time Elena's been watching Matt with a look of wonderment on her face, but now she's moved close to Stefan, her arm wrapped around his tremulous shoulders, talking soothingly close to his ear. "And I'm here, too. If there's two of us, you don't have to worry about it, right? You could just take a little from each." She takes his chin in one delicate hand and turns it so he's facing her. She kisses him on the mouth, softly, surprising Matt with his total lack of jealousy as he watches. "I love you, Stefan, and I'm not afraid. It's all right."
Stefan slowly looks from one of them to the other. Several times. "If I do this," he finally says, "Will you both promise never to make me do it again?"
Matt's eyes meet Elena's, and he can tell she's thinking the same thing he is. He gapes at her. "Yes," Elena says, and Matt's affirmation follows seconds later.
Stefan drinks from Matt first. It catches Matt a little by surprise, actually; the act itself just sounded so intimate that, given the choice, Matt would have thought Stefan would want to share it with his girlfriend first.
As if to reinforce the intimacy of the situation, Stefan places a cool hand on Matt's forearm. "Take off your shirt, Matt; your collar's too high."
With a quick glance at Elena (she's seen him shirtless before, but that was back when they weren't just friends) Matt shrugs off his tee and awkwardly crumples it into his lap.
Stefan moves near to him, carefully, as if afraid Matt will run. "Don't be startled," Stefan says, very close to Matt's ear, his breath ragged. "It's easier on you if I draw your blood to the surface." Stefan's two fingers are rubbing a spot on Matt's neck, and then he lowers his head.
Stefan's mouth is a hot wet sucking ring on Matt's throat. Just that: sucking. Matt closes his eyes and makes some involuntary noise, reclining his head, so that his jaw barely brushes Stefan's soft mop of hair.
The bite, when it comes, is a flash in his skin, like a match let burn down too far. Matt opens his eyes, surprised, when the pain dissolves into a deep bittersweet ache that he can't pin down as either pain or pleasure; it is something else altogether.
Elena is watching them, rapt, barely blinking, and he realizes how they must look, he and Stefan: closely inclined, holding onto one another. He blushes and carefully sits back, extricating his arm from Stefan's shoulders. At his throat, Stefan groans.
Matt never thought it would feel this good. It must be wrong, to make Elena watch her boyfriend doing this to someone else, shouldn't it? Another guy?
But, oh, the way she looks at them. There's an almost lustful hunger there, in her eyes, and just below the surface is a kind of bewildered tenderness. It makes Matt shiver with the intensity of it, and ache from wishing that look were directed at him and not just the act he's sharing with the man she loves.
She loves Stefan; Matt's man enough to admit it. She loves him in the same way Matt loves her, and no matter how hard he tries to be jealous, he can't stop being anything but glad that her love, unlike his, is returned. And Stefan deserves to be happy; Matt thought so long before tonight.
When Stefan pulls back he's clearly forcing himself. His teeth sliding out of Matt's skin make Matt's stomach do a flip-flop. Stefan leans on him for a second, panting, before sitting forward on his elbows, trying to get himself under control.
Matt sits up straight, a little too quickly, and the world spins disconcertingly. "Stefan," he gasps, before he can stop himself.
Stefan looks up and reaches out to Matt to lay a steadying hand on his arm. "Careful, Matt. It's all right..." and their eyes meet straight on, Stefan's luminous green striated with a darker pine. Something moves between them, something old and primal and completely out of their control. Matt doesn't know what it is, but it's enough to make Stefan hastily let go and turn to Elena, who is still waiting, quietly, watching.
"Elena, are you sure..." Stefan takes her hand, and kisses the palm.
"Yes, Stefan," she says simply. She is unafraid and beautiful, still in her Renaissance gown--though it's now torn and muddy.
Matt watches, as Stefan pulls back her hair and works her skin tenderly under his mouth. When he bites, her whole body stiffens, and then she relaxes, and sighs.
Stefan is her lover, so there's no reason to distance herself. Her eyes are closed, her head held back, as Stefan clutches her shoulders and drinks. It's as if, to them, nothing else exists.
Matt squirms uncomfortably in his seat. It's almost unbearably erotic, to see Elena so utterly taken, somehow laid open and exposed in a way she couldn't be even if he were watching her make love. But he bears it nonetheless.
After long, long moments, Stefan sits up, and Elena moans, trying feebly to pull him back. "Stefan," she says, trying to lift his chin to make him face her.
"No," Stefan answers thickly, and his head is turned so that Matt catches his first glimpse of the white fangs that pierced him. "It's enough." Stefan swallows, then quickly looks up at each of them in turn, so they can see his flushed cheeks. "Thank you," he says, and the plaintive tone of his voice makes Matt wonder when the last time was that Stefan saw kindness.
"You're welcome, Stefan," Matt whispers. There is nothing else to say. Elena takes Stefan's hand, squeezing it gently.
Stefan breathes a contented, but tired, sigh. "I wish you both could stay here tonight; I'd take care of you. But I'm sure your--your families are already missing you. I'll drive you home."
Matt declines Stefan's offer of help down the two flights of stairs, leaning on the railings and walls for support when he needs to, while Elena firmly grips Stefan's elbow.
They take Matt's car because it has more room, and don't speak during the drive, but the silence is confortable, insular. What they have shared is too great for words.
Stefan stops at Matt's house first (of course--Elena and Stefan will want privacy, when they say goodbye). Stefan opens Matt's backseat door for him, and helps him up to the porch. "Rest tomorrow," he whispers. "I'll bring your car back for you. Drink plenty of water. If you--if something happens, call me before you go to a doctor. I'll see you soon." They embrace, just a strong friendly hug, and then Stefan steps off the porch, and back into the night.
Now things are different between Matt and his friends, but they don't talk about it. He doesn't know what else to do. They seem to want to carry on as usual, but he can't, and he doesn't understand why they can't see that everything has changed.
For a few weeks he stays busy working at home, declining Stefan's offers to help him paint, or patch the roof, or mend the hole in the back fence where the neighbor's dog gets in. Matt should have done all of that a long time ago. When Elena invites him to dinner he tells her his mother's been having a rough time at work (and she has--for at least two years) and he needs to stay home and cook.
Stefan and Elena love each other, and it's not right to get between them. It's one thing for the three of them to hang out together, and another for Matt to never give them time alone.
For nineteen days, Matt keeps it up. He sees Elena at school, sometimes running into her at the grocery store, and he's with Stefan in class and at practice and games.
Elena's the one who finally comes to him. She's got him caught up on a ladder, fixing a gutter on the side of the house. "Matt," she begins, and he carefully looks down. "We miss you."
"Hold on." Matt hammers in the last nail and climbs down to meet her.
He doesn't really know what to say. How can he explain? Is it even fair to? He finger-combs his sweaty hair off his forehead. "I miss you, too." Holding up a hand for her to be quiet, Matt guides her away from the house, deep into the yard where his mother won't hear or see. When they're seated out at the old dry-rotted picnic table, he nods at her.
"Why, Matt?" The look of actual sadness on her face is enough to make his eyes burn. "What did we do? I thought you'd want to be--closer. I did." Her hand shakily reaches across the space between them and grips his wrist. "Stefan thinks he scared you away. That he--hurt you." Her free hand vaguely gestures to her throat. "But I don't think so. I saw you. You felt the same way I did. So...why?"
Matt sighs. He opens his mouth, and begins to speak, and tries not to think about what he's saying--because Elena deserves the truth, even more than he does, and if he lets himself, he'll lie to her, too.
"No--you're right, Elena. Stefan didn't do anything--wrong. It was...good. Too good. That's the problem. Or...part of it. Elena...every time I look at you, I want you, and seeing you with him just makes me think about how it might be if you loved me back. And when I was with him...you're right, like I said. I wanted to be closer. To him. And you. And--okay, I don't feel that way about guys. Or I thought I didn't. I don't know. But I guess what I'm saying is...you've been good friends to me. And I'll always be your friend. But I can't be with you and just be friends. You two have something, Elena, something real. And it's not right for me to mess that up."
There. He's said it, all of it, and he can't take it back. He keeps his eyes fixed on Elena's hand still holding his arm, waiting for what she'll say.
It's a pretty long wait. "You said..." she begins, finally, "if I loved you back. But I do love you, Matt. I did when we were together before and I never stopped." She touches his cheek and he looks up, reflexively. "I thought you knew."
"But--then why'd you break up with me? And--what about Stefan?" Matt didn't know it was possible to hold his breath and speak at the same time, until this moment.
Her face is like a benediction. "I thought you couldn't give me everything I needed. But--I love Stefan, too, and neither can he. I didn't realize it until I knew--you know, about him, but of course he knew all along. He knows about you, too."
She leans forward, suddenly, and kisses him. A lover's kiss, with tongue and teeth and bruising intensity. He can't even think to push her away.
As quickly as it began, it's over. "And before you say I'm just being selfish, Matt," she says huskily, "really stop and think about this. Don't you want it? Didn't you just say you did? And if we--if Stefan and I--are okay with whatever happens, then what's stopping you?"
God, he can't help it; he kisses her again, and he takes his time about it, holding her close afterward. "I don't know," he tells her, voice muffled by her hair. "Maybe I am afraid. I'll go and see Stefan later, okay?"
Elena nods into his shoulder. "I have to stay home tonight anyway; I'm getting fitted for my Founder's Day costume."
She sits back and stands, pulling her jacket more tightly around her. "I have to go," she tells him, ruffling his hair affectionately. "Give us a chance, all right, Matt? I think it's worth a try."
Matt doesn't drive to Stefan's; he walks. There is a very strange quiet about him, not just his surroundings, but in his thoughts as well. It's as if the whole world--himself included--is holding its breath, waiting for something to happen. People marching off to war must feel like this. There's a mingling of heated anticipation and chilling terror in Matt's gut that makes him feverish, and weak, and excited.
It's totally dark when he gets to the boarding house door. He knocks, and waits, looking up the front facade. All the windows are dark, and he doesn't hear any sound within.
But the door opens.
"Matt," says Stefan, affording him one of his rare smiles. "It's good to see you. Come inside--it's cold."
Matt follows him into the house, and even though he knows the way to Stefan's room, it's almost like Stefan is guiding him--turning the lights on behind him as he goes, out of courtesy. Not looking back.
There is one big candle burning in Stefan's attic room, and neither of them moves to switch on the lamp. Not sure what to do, Matt sits on the chair near the foot of the bed, where Stefan drapes his cloak. Stefan seats himself on the mattress, a careful number of feet away. It's as if they're opponents, wary of each other, taking due precaution.
"Elena came and saw me today," Matt offers, lamely.
"I know. She came here after." Stefan decidedly isn't looking at him--but then he turns, and their eyes are meeting in this sort of desperate lock. "Matt--"
But how can they say it, either of them? Stefan seems to be saying so many things, with that one simple word, but--there's so much distance in silence. Matt can't tell whether what's being said is only what he wants to hear, or something really there .
"Stefan, I want--Elena said--Do you want this?" Now the whole atmosphere of the room seems reversed, and Stefan is too far away from him. If Matt's going to finish, he needs to be closer. So he stands and waits until he's right in front of Stefan, until he could reach right out and take that face in his hands if he wanted to. And he doesn't give himself the luxury of breaking the gaze that still binds them together, to close his eyes when he asks the hardest part, "Do you want...me?"
What comes next must be happening really fast, but to Matt everything is smooth and slow as honey. Stefan gets up from the bed, their bodies now flush, and he lifts a hand to the back of Matt's head, his fingers putting gentle pressure on the little indentation at the base, bringing Matt's mouth down to his.
It's as simple as that. The silence isn't distance any more, it's this pure communion, just the pressure of one mouth on another, an aching tenderness building between them that leaves Matt clutching at Stefan's shoulders.
Eventually Matt has to pull back to breathe, but he can't let go. Stefan's still holding him, too, and as the intensity of the moment drains away, left behind is a haze of comfort that drapes over them like a veil.
"I missed you," Matt whispers. "I didn't mean to make you think--"
"It's all right," says Stefan, the fingers in Matt's hair idly massaging. "I understand."
"Everything's all right now, isn't it?"
Stefan gives him another kiss, just a small one. It really isn't that different than kissing a girl (Stefan doesn't even have razor stubble) but there's something--his smell, the shape of his lips, perhaps--that sets it apart. "Maybe so, Matt. Maybe so."
The next months pass, and everything is all right. Mostly.
The times at school are the hardest; they haven't really figured that part out yet. The three of them really can't be honest about what exactly has changed, but they can't hide that there has been a change, either.
At lunch, the day before the Winter Dance, Caroline's behind Matt in the cafeteria line. He doesn't like the familiar way that her lacquered nails scratch down his bare arms, fingers turning him to face her. "Hey, Matt," she says. She's wearing low-cut leopard print that shows off her golden skin. "I've been trying to catch you for days. I still haven't settled on what boy I want to take me to the dance. Tyler really wants to be my date, but I've been saving myself for you."
Matt's staring at her, probably with his mouth hanging open, basically stunned that anyone would talk like that, outside a porno movie, when Elena magically comes to his rescue. "Back off, Caroline."
"Oh, come on, Elena. You've already got Stefan. What more do you want?" She drapes one lithe arm over Matt's shoulder, caressing every inch of skin she can reach in the process. "What can you do with two that you can't do with one?"
Matt exchanges a secret look with Elena, and smiles, deciding to give Caroline a taste of her own medicine. "The same thing," he says, stepping away from her, and barely containing his laughter. "Only longer."
Then he moves up to get his food, and follows Elena out to the field, where Stefan is waiting. It's so good to see Stefan laugh, when they relate the story.
The first day of Christmas vacation, they walk to the cemetery, to visit the graves of Matt's father, and Elena's parents. The two of them tell Stefan about the time after the accident, when sometimes it felt like they only had each other in all the world.
And Elena finally explains to Matt what happened the night of Homecoming. What Tyler tried to do. "I didn't want it," she says. "I only went with him because--I wanted to make Stefan jealous, I guess."
Matt looks over at Stefan, who has a rather stunned expression on his face. That part of the story must be news to him, too. "And I guess it worked, huh?"
Stefan shakes his head. "On the contrary, I always thought it was you she was trying to upset. You were her date, after all. I'd been trying to stay away from her because--well, you know--but I left the dance early to hunt, and I heard her screaming through the woods."
Elena nodded. "He saved me. And then we went back to the boarding house, because it was closer, and--Tyler tore me up pretty good. But once we were alone..." She smiles, reminiscing.
"We couldn't deny it any more." Stefan is holding her hand, and he smiles, too--with a wink at Matt.
Matt laughs, knowingly. "So you spent four hours not denying yourselves?"
"Not exactly," Elena tells him, ruefully. "I fell asleep."
"And I couldn't bear to wake her up." Stefan takes Matt's hand, so that the two humans are linked through him. "No, Matt; you can be assured I haven't gone any farther with her than you have."
"How do you know how far I've gone?"
There's a wicked gleam in Stefan's eye. "She told me."
Matt snatches at Elena's free hand, completing the circle. "Goddamn it, Elena. You have no shame, do you?"
And she steps in to kiss him, fiercely, then Stefan the same way. "Absolutely none at all, Matt. My apologies."