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Loving A Heartless

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Prologue

Flashback (Chicago, 1920’s)

“You alright?”

Damon flinched, he’d been so consumed with spying on his brother he hadn't even noticed someone had taken the seat next to him. His eyes flickered for a moment to the man next to him, barely interested until noticed the pale skin. A vampire. He slowly swung around to face the man, bringing his glass to his lips, studying the vampire in front of him now. The stranger was well over six feet tall, with almost shoulder length blond hair and piercing blue eyes. He was almost taken aback.

He’d met a lot of vampires in his daybut there was something different about this one. Maybe the pale skin. The mere size. Or, as he delved into those eyes, something old. As if those eyes had seen the beginning of time.

“Yeah,” He mumbled, not sure why he answered. He wasn't here to make niceties with the local vampires.

The man gave him a questioning look before leaning close toward him, whispering in his ear.“Really? Because honestly, you look pitiful. At least try to be subtle when staring at people who you obviously dislike,” The stranger than winked at him, making Damon chock on the last sip of his bourbon.

“Excuse me? Who now?”
“Oh Damon you hurt my intelligence. Come on, the people sitting in the booth in the far corner with a man named Stefan, whom I presume by the similar facial features is your younger brother. And let me guess. You disapprove of his, nightly adventures,” The man said, smirking before taking a long sip of his drink, his piercing eyes never leaving his.

“How do you...”

“Oh come now Damon. Don’t tell me you really are that naive. Still so young. You sparked my interest, a vampire sitting alone in the same place, three nights in a row now just to watch the same person. You watch your brother become a ripper and yet you clean up after him. If I wasn't so intrigued by you, I’d be appalled and kill you for being such an embarrassment to our species. So tell me, Damon, why do you care about your brother’s eating habits? He seems happy enough,”

“Look you don't know what's going on, so please, just leave me alone,” Damon muttered, standing up. Before he could take a step, he was forced back down and a full glass in his hand. He tried to move away but the hand on his shoulder kept him firmly in place.

He looked at the vampire sitting in front of him now. How did he know so much about him, and his brother, yet he knew absolutely nothing about this stranger. He should run, fight off this vampire he thought to himself, but as his eyes locked with the blue ones of his abductor, he couldn’t help but instinctively feel… safe. How was that even possible?

“Sit. Relax. Look Damon, honestly I don’t care about your family problems so you don’t have to tell me them. I did however come to talk to you because I want to make a proposal, ”

“And what's that?”

“Your life for your brothers,”

“You want to kill me?” He gasped, watching as the man laughed beside him. Before he could blink the man wrapped his arm around him, pulling him closer to him.

“No my dear Damon. I want you. You have a certain ability that I could make great use of,” the man replied, tapping on his family ring. “I can show you the world Damon. You help me and I can help with your brother situation. Those people he’s with are being hunted. I could, if you agree, get this certain vampire hunter. They’ll be forced to disappear, and leave your brother behind,”

“Seriously?” He asked, glancing over at his brother and the companions sitting with him. He couldn’t help but roll his eyes as he watched his brother, blatantly feed off of some blond human, obviously not concerned with the mere fact of him being in the middle of a crowded club, full of curious eyes. He turned back to his strange vampire companion. “You do realize that this ring only works for me,”

“Obviously, or you’d be dead and we wouldn't be having this conversation,” the man said, finishing off his drink. “So do we have a deal?”

“What do I have to do?” He asked, forgetting to pretend to breathe as the handsome stranger tilted his head back, invading his personal space. His scent was intoxicating, like a clear ocean in the winter. And his eyes. Those damn eyes. Pools of blue that terrified yet intrigued him. Why was this man so haunting?

“Nothing that you won’t enjoy Damon, eventually,” The man replied, a playful smirk dancing on his lips. He pulled away then, making him gasp for the oxygen he didn’t need. What was wrong with him?

“I don't even know you, how can I trust you?”

“You can't but what other choice do you have?”

Damon looked over at his brother, then back at the mysterious vampire sitting next to him. Did he really have choice? He wanted to help his brother, and if this stranger was able to provide him with the means to do it, than he had no choice but to accept his offer.

“Okay, I'm in, as long as I can see that my brother is okay, that they have left and that I can contact Lexi, she's the only one who can help get his humanity back,”
“His humanity? Really? Fine, if this is what you want then we have a deal, ”

Damon watched as the man motioned to another, smaller man sitting across the bar before turning back to him. A slow smile formed on his lips before extending his hand. What was he agreeing to he thought to himself as he shook the man’s hand.

“By the way, the name's Eric, Eric Northman,”

Chapter Text

Flashback- Shreveport, Louisiana (6 Months Ago)

Elijah strolled into a dank, gothic looking bar named Fangtasia. He'd heard rumors about the place being an underground vampire bar. From the absolutely stunning blond vampire playing hostess to this establishment, he had a sense that this was the very spot. He felt oddly out of place as he glanced around, noticing the gothic atmosphere to not only the decor, but the patrons as well. He straightened his suit jacket, making his way toward the bar. He was never one to dress down, even if it was a casual setting. He was an Original, he had to uphold some type of class.

He took a seat on one of the red leather chairs, ordering a drink before leaning back on to the bar, giving the place a good once over. He heard that the owner operated his business a little different than most underground vampire bars. There was no open feeding, though you could order fresh blood. It was meant to be an actual bar for vampires, not a feeding frenzy. Or a brothel, like most vampire establishments. As he studied the room, he took notice that this place, though tacky in his opinion was quite refined. The rules seemed to be obeyed by everyone. He was pleasantly surprised.

He'd come here to relax, have a night off from roaming the country. He wanted to spend a day with vampires who did not know, or feared him. So he came here, the one bar he knew the 'other' vampires would frequent. He wasn't much of a fan of the 'actual' original vampires, mostly due to the fact that they were quite strong and lackedmore humanity then they did. Though he admired their loyalty to each other, and their sire and maker bond. He'd always wanted a family like they shared with one another.

He thanked the bartender as he took his drink, taking a long sip as he finally relaxed, satisfied that he didn't recognize a single vampire. It was nice to unwind.

"Elijah?"

He sighed, apparently he'd spoke too soon. He slowly around on the bar stool, giving the stranger his best annoyed look only to choke on the blood he'd been enjoying.

Standing in front of him was none other than Damon Salvatore, in what looked like an entire outfit made of black leather. A sleeveless black leather jacket, covering his naked torso with leather bands wrapped around his arms with metal hooks attached to them with a pair of ridiculously tight leather pants with vast amount of zippers adoring them. He didn't want to know what those zippers opened to, but he was sure if Damon was human, his legs would have absolutely no blood circulation through them. He had a nice black choker to go with overly gothic ensemble. He could have done without seeing Damon like this, ever. Though the outfit, he admitted made the eldest Salvatore rather appealing.

"Damon is that you? What in God's name are you wearing," He finally managed to say, unable to keep his eyes off him.

"The one and only. Oh this," Damon said, gesturing to his entire, giving him a wink. "My uniform. Don't say you don't love it. That's the very look you gave me when you unchained me months back. Have a fetish for collars and chains do you?"

"Remember who you are talking to Salvatore," He challenged, giving Damon his most annoyed expression only to be laughed at. "Why are you here anyway? Shouldn't you be pining over Elena? Or Katarina? I always forget,"

"Cute, Original has jokes, and I always thought you were the dull one," Damon commented, grabbing a bottle from behind the counter, unscrewing the cap and taking a long and inhuman swig of whiskey. "Elena chose Stefan, like Katherine chose Stefan. And I just couldn't take it, so I left Mystic Falls. I was blackout drunk and on a killing spree envious to my own brother until I woke here. That was about six months ago. Why are you here Elijah? Here to explore your BDSM fetish?"

"No, I'm here to relax. Except I ran into you, how unfortunate for me,"

"Really? Coming from the buzzkill, all professional Original. It reminds me how much I don't miss Mystic Falls. How is the family? How are they coping with the death of Klaus. I would have sent my condolences, but honestly your brother was the biggest dick I've ever met. He really had me going about being my sire. Does that make you my great great great sire?"

"No, my brother is your sire Damon. Niklaus is alive and well, thanks to your friend Bonnie. You should watch what you say about him, he is still my brother,"

Damon looked at him, tilting his head curiously before taking another swig of whiskey. "Huh, I was really glad that bastard was dead, oh well. At least someone will be terrorizing my brother in my absence, unless he's killed him,"

"Have you not talked to Elena, or your brother at all since that night?" Elijah asked, wondering if the older Salvatore knew Elena was alive.

"Nope. I don't care anymore, I don't need them, I don't need anyone," Damon muttered, his words slowly slurring as the alcohol started to affect the young vampire.

He almost pitied Damon, the man was obviously suffering from severe heartbreak. Though selfish with his affections, he knew the man loved Elena, very deeply. He'd been there more than once with the Petrova women.

"You should re-consider that. Though as heartbreaking as it is to be rejected by the women you love, family is forever Damon. You should always cherish that bond,"

"Coming from the man whose brother daggers him and locks him in his own customized box at least once a century. A mother who tried to kill you. Twice. And a father who followed you for centuries, trying to kill you. Andfamily is precious. Youhave a really fucked up view about family bonding, no offence. Unless you're a masochist,"

With one graceful movement, he pinned Damon to the bar, his hand encircling his throat. He was getting really tired of this child's insolence. No one was allowed to speak ill of him, or his family. Except him. Damon really knew how to hit the right nerves. He pressed harder as Damon just smirked below him, who knew the vampire had a death wish. "I won't warn you again Damon, watch what you say about my family,"

Before he could chastise Damon any further, his hand was forcefully crushed, causing him to let Damon go unwillingly. He snarled, whipping around to attack his assailant only to be thrown on top of the bar, a darkened figure looming over him. A large hand wrapped around his throat, crushing his esophagus.

He struggled ferociously, trying desperately to free himself, but to no avail. He decided then to glare at the imposing stranger above him- no one out matched an Original. The man was absolutely gargantuan, killer blue eyes and long blond hair. He could tell this man was as old, or even older than himself.

"Give me one good reason I shouldn't rip your heart out right here, right now. No one touches what is mine, especially in my bar,"

He looked between the monstrosity of a man above him, and Damon who had the most sinister sneer plastered on his face. He watched, confused and a little curious as Damon placed a hand on the larger vampire, looking at him intently. What did he mean by his?

"He's an Original Eric, ripping out his heart won't suffice," Damon finally replied, blue eyes meeting another set, the two of them obviously having a silent conversation. Damon turned to him then, giving him the most satisfying smile. "Right this must be awkward for you Elijah. This is Eric, he's an old friend of mine,"

"Tell your friend, to let me go," He snarled, extending his fangs. "Or I'll kill him,"

"I'd like to see you try Original. I would like nothing more to rip you limb from limb and incase your body in concrete. I may not be able to kill you, but I'll certainly maim you. Or maybe I'll find one of those useful daggers Damon was telling me so much about," The vampire replied, baring his fangs, giving him the most devious, maniacal smile. His eyes left him as his head turned, worsening his grip on his throat as he studied the eldest Salvatore. "It is up to you Damon. I have no use for this poor excuse for a vampire,"

"Me? Really? Must be my birthday. I can't say that I'm not enjoying this Elijah. Seeing you helpless, your life in my hands. Funny how this seems to happen. You must hate how much control I have over you," Damon replied smugly. He remained emotionless, not giving Damon the satisfaction of being in control. He was a little worried, this vampire was incredibly powerful. There wasn't many people in this world who could outmatch him physically. "But, I'll spare him. Elijah may be a dick sometimes, but he's saved my life a few times now,"

"As you wish,"

With that, he felt the immense power and weight of the vampire disappear, his long fingers finally relieving their pressure on his esophagus. He coughed, letting himself off the bar and fixing his suit jacket and tie. He watched Eric, as Damon called him, give the older Salvatore a once over, like he had done earlier. There was something in his eyes as he admired Damon, it was quite unsettling he thought.

The man turned his attention to him then, pulling out a business card, handing it to him, "For your troubles- it will get you free drinks all night. I do apologize for my previous actions, but Damon is  familj You understand? I protect my own. I expect you do the same. Hurt Damon again, and you won't be spared. Let's not have it come to that. I would hate for unnecessary bloodshed,"

"Thank you, I understand. Damon isn't worth anyone's demise, he is nothing more than an insolete, cockly little vampire,"

"He is, isn't he? He was quite the mouth on him," Eric chuckled, watching as Damon just smirked, sticking out his tongue. "Have a good night Elijah,"

"Good seeing you Elijah, just like old times. Do give my best to your brother. If you see mine, tell him I'm fine. I'm not dead. And to stop calling me. I am doing just what he wants, leaving him and Elena to live out their epic love. Without me,"

He felt a tug at his humanity as Damon waved him goodbye as he made his way toward his mysterious friend Eric. As much as he'd like to rip both apart for that embarrassing display earlier, he decided against it. Damon was in enough pain, and his friend was maybe too robust for him to undertake alone. Besides, the vampire clearly owned this establishment, and who knew how many allies he had among the patrons. He watched as Eric wrapped an arm around the elder Salvatore, wondering what in God's name Damon had gotten himself into.


Stefan sat in his brother's seat at Mystic grill nursing a bourbon, it'd become a routine for him. He wasn't sure why he bothered anymore, Damon wasn't coming back. It'd been a whole year since the last time he'd seen his brother. Protecting Elena, like usual. Oh how the Petrova women could really ruin a relationship. At the time he thought Elena was more important than anything else in the world, including his brother. Now he'd give anything to see that smug, arrogant bastard saunter into the Grill, mock his eating habits, his humanity, anything. All he wanted really was to know his brother was alive and okay.

The last he'd heard from Damon was Ric's body in their freezer with a simple note. Bury him, he deserves that much - Damon, with a large sum of cash stuffed in with the body. He'd done what was asked, hoping to see Damon at Alaric's funeral, but he never showed. After that he tried calling Damon, texting him. Bothering anyone he knew that had any ties with Damon but nothing. Absolutely nothing, His number quickly went out of service and he never once came to see how Elena was doing.

He knew Damon would have known Elena was dead that night. He'd been there when Alaric had finally truly died. He'd been the one to bring the body back after all. Elena meant everything to Damon, even if she didn't choose him, they were still friends. One of Damon's only friends. But he never showed up. Never called. Never wrote. He was starting to think Damon might have been killed that night. Or kidnapped. Or he shut off his humanity to mask the pain.

All he wanted was to know his brother was alright.

"You know drinking bourbon at 2 o'clock in the afternoon really screams I'm a human teenager,"

He turned to see Caroline take a seat next to him, giving him a worrying smile. "You might want to lay off the alcohol, you're really turning into your brother,"

"Does it really matter? With everything that's going on?" Stefan asked, finishing off his glass with one long swig.

"I guess not, I'm just glad it's not a human. We don't need ripper Stefan haunting this place," Caroline joked, trying to make him smile. He half smiled for her sake. "We really need to…. Hey, is that Elijah?"

Stefan turned to look in the direction Caroline was pointing to see the familiar face of the aristocratic Original. He shook his head, waving over the bartender for another drink."You gotta be kidding me. Elijah's here? Just what we need, another original after the cure. Let's hope he's not helping his brother,"

He wished his brother was here. Not having Damon was becoming a challenge. He was the better one at dealing with the founders council, the Originals. He probably would already have a plan on how to get the cure. He was willing to get his hands dirty. He could take risks he wasn't willing to make. He was also the only other vampire as strong, or even stronger than him and that fact alone would be quite useful right now. Especially going against the Klauss and his siblings.

"Do you really think he'd help Klaus?" Caroline whispered next to him.

"Is it any of your business, who I help?"

He froze as Caroline jumped, whipping her long blond hair back as she stared at Elijah who was now next to her. He shook his head, staring into his glass. He was getting real tired of the Originals.

"But if you must know, I am on neither of my siblings sides. You have not even been able to locate this cure anyway. Even though Kol swears that this Silas exists, and that my sister has some mystical sword, I am doubtful. A cure for vampirism is highly unlikely. Just some myth concocted a thousand years ago. Why, pray tell, do you want it. To save Elena?" Elijah inquired taking the seat next to him.

"I'm the reason she's a vampire, and I'd like to reverse it," He muttered, taking a long sip of his whiskey.

"He's also hoping, deep down that Elena will take him back if she's human," Caroline blurted out, he knudged her in the arm, giving her a knowing look.

"Don't tell me you and Elena broke up! I was under the impression that she chose you over Damon. I would assume an immortal life with you would be everything she'd want,"

"We did. Ever since Damon left, and her transition, Elena has been obsessing over the events of that night. She blames herself for his departure. She's apparently realized that she choose the wrong Salvatore," He choked out, feeling the urge to rip someone's throat out. He didn't like talking about it. Losing the love of his life, and his brother. Sometimes he wondered why he kept his humanity.

"Damon's been gone since the night Alaric tried to kill Klaus," Caroline said, filling in for Elijah. "We sort of guess, he might be missing. Or kidnapped. Or maybe dead. Damon would have come back for Elena,"

"Then I suppose it is your lucky day as they would say," Elijah said, ordering a drink. "I happened to have seen your brother about six months ago,"

"You have!" Caroline exclaimed, he felt relief wash over him.

"Where was he? Is he okay?" He asked, standing up

"Look Stefan before you go galloping off to your brother, you might want to hear what I have to say," Elijah said, forcing him back into his seat. "Your brother wanted me to tell you that he is fine and to stop calling him. He wanted you and Elena to live out your lives. Without him,"

"He said that? That does NOT sound like the Damon I know," Caroline huffed, shaking her head.

"Look your brother wasn't exactly in the best frame of mind. He's spending time with the other vampires,"

The other vampires? Oh no, he didn't mean the actual original vampires. He only ever met a couple of them, but they were extremely dangerous. They lacked most of their humanity and were quite volatile. They were particularly cruel to their kind, believing they were an abomination of vampires. If Damon was hanging out with that type of crowd, he most likely switched off his humanity completely. He had no idea his brother even knew the other vampires.

"What other vampires? Who are they?" Caroline asked.

"They're dangerous, that's all you really need to know," He muttered, focusing his attention back on Elijah. "Look, I don't care what or who my brother is spending time with. We need him,"

"Always the noble brother, I respect that but I will not risk my life for your brother. He's made quite the impression on these vampires, or at least one. I am under the impression that his friend is not alone. Look Stefan, heed my advice. I would just forget about him. If he wanted anything to do with any of you, he would have come back. He's made his choice, you should make yours," Elijah replied, sliding a hundred dollar bill on the counter before making his way toward the exit.

He jumped up, and invampire like speed he stood in front of Elijah. "Look, I get that you have your principles and don't value my brothers life at all. But I do.Please, if not for me, then Elena. I know you care about her. Please, all I'm asking for is a general location, or a phone number,"

"I suppose I could phone the establishment I last saw your brother. I happen to have their business card. But I cannot guarantee anything," Elijah replied, fixing his suit jacket. He could tell he was getting on the man's last nerve. "But after this, you will not bother me. Again. Got it?"

"Yes of course, just tell him we need to see him for just a few hours. Tell him it's urgent," He exclaimed, watching as Elijah just nodded, stalking off toward the exit. He turned back only to see that Caroline was standing behind him.

"Let's hope Elijah can convince Damon to come back,"

"Yeah, for Elena's sake. And Jeremy's. We need that white oak stake,"


*Familj- means family in Swedish. Apparently that's the language Eric speaks to Godric and Pam in the show- so I'm going to go by True Blood Wiki.

Chapter Text

Flashback- Shreveport- Louisiana (One Year Ago)

Damon's mind was falling into it's usual whiskey foggy haze as he downed the last remnants of liquor from a bottle. He didn't know the brand, he didn't know where he was, and he didn't know the girl who was currently drained of blood of in front of him. And he was okay with it because he wasn't thinking about Elena, Ric, his brother or Mystic Falls. Leaving was the best, and only option after losing his only friend and the woman he loved in one single night. He needed time to let them go, to mend his broken heart.

He stumbled up, his vision blurring as he composed himself, finally taking in his surroundings for the first time in awhile. How'd he even end up on a dead end road, in god know's where? He squinted as high beams blinded his view, noticing the still running car a few feet away from him. He knelt down, taking the keys from the dead stranger's hands as he picked her up, running into the forest, and dumping her body before returning in a second. Hopefully she was eaten by wild animals, as he was too drunk to dig her a proper grave.

He needed to keep moving, and maybe find his camero.

Eric stepped out of Fangtasia, increasingly bored of tonight's festivities. He didn't know he could be so disgusted with his own kind. These new vampires cherished nothing of their immortality and were so consumed with thirst and fucking. If he didn't make such a profit off these petulant children, he'd rip their throats out.

"Eric, you're needed,"

He turned, rolling his eyes as his progeny Pam walked out, knowing full well she was just too lazy and uncaring to deal with anything herself. He took a step toward her, wanting little to do with what was inside when a scent engulfed his senses, one he hadn't thought of for awhile. He spun around, moving forward to get away from the noise inside, and to better locate where the smell was coming from. His ears perked up as he heard a voice.

"Eric?"

"Pam, NOT NOW! Deal with it yourself, I have something more pressing to attend to," He snarled, and like that he was up in the air, descending moments later into a forest, his eyes searching out for the man who hadn't graced his thoughts in a long time.

Damon Salvatore.

A small smile spread on the vikings face as he watched the much younger vampire sink his fangs into a frightened woman's throat. He didn't think he'd ever see the Italian again, but here he was, sloppily feeding from a human in his territory. He wasn't sure if he wanted to rip the vampire's throat out, or fuck him senseless. Or both.

He looked pathetic, he noted, as he watched Damon finish off what appeared to be whiskey, throwing the bottle behind him. This should please him, he thought, but somehow, like the first time he laid his eyes on Damon, it pulled on his heart strings. The man wasn't the one he'd travelled with, the one he taught, exploited and fucked all those years ago. No this man was defeated, broken, a shell of a great vampire he used to be. The one he molded into.

He should leave, he thought, glancing up at the moon. He owed Damon nothing, he was the one who left him three years ago to go after his maker Katherine, the love of his life. Left him with nothing but a note, not even having the courage to say goodbye to him in person. He vowed he'd rip Damon's heart out that night, but now that he had the opportunity, he couldn't will himself to do it.

Damon, was…. special to him. A disease really. Somehow the vampire awoke a part of his humanity he didn't even know he possessed since being turned.

"Damon,"

Damon looked up, his eyes deceiving him as he watched a man come out of the forest across from him. He wasn't sure he'd ever hear his name being uttered from the lips of the vampire in front of him. He backed himself into the car, shaking his head, not wanting to believe any of it was real. "Eric?"

He blinked, his eyes finding themselves staring into pools of ocean blue eyes of the viking he tried so hard to forget. He knew he should be frightened, begging for his life. But all he could think about was Katherine, and how incredibly foolish he'd been.

He'd left Eric to be with Katherine, even though he was Eric's. He broke a sacred promise, and by doing so he knew one day the vampire would find him, and rip his heart out. He deserved it. He'd never given the viking an explanation for his departure, just an apology, and an excuse.

Seeing him now, reminded him of those fleeting moments in time when he considered giving up his love for Katherine - never bothering to open the tomb- for Eric. Maybe he wouldn't be sitting on the side of the road, with a broken heart and an empty bottle of whiskey.

"Here to kill me?" He asked, wondering as the words came out of his mouth, why that thought didn't bother him in the slightest.

"And break up this pity party you're clearly throwing yourself?" Eric countered sarcastically, giving Damon a slow once over. "I wouldn't dare,"

"Then why are you here?" Damon snarled, his first instinct to deflect. "We aren't friends, or didn't you get my note,"

Damon sucked in the air around him as Eric's face was inches from his now, his monstrous body towering over him. "I did, and how was rescuing your maker from some mystical tomb? I'm going to assume, by how pathetic you look, it didn't go as planned,"

"You guess right. She was never in the tomb, and she never loved me," He spat, trying increasingly hard not to look sad, but he knew Eric could see right through his act. He always did. "Well, go on then. Gloat, or whatever you've come here to do,"

"I can't say that I am not pleased to hear you are not with your maker," Eric said, he noticed a note of sincerity in his eyes. "But I do not enjoy seeing you in pain. You may not be mine any longer, but I do still…. care about you. Or you would be dead,"

"Why?" He asked, knowing he didn't need to elaborate. They'd always been able to express most of what they wanted to say with one look.

"You're enjoyable to fuck," Eric shrugged, making him for the first time, in a long while, crack a smile.

"Wow, you really know how to make a guy feel special. And I was thinking we were going to have some sappy, girly moment there," He replied, wondering why he wanted Eric to say something more, tangible.

Eric ignored his better judgement as he grabbed the younger vampire and with vampire speed, rammed him into a tree, pressing himself onto Damon. It was surprisingly hard to see Damon in such obvious heartbreak and for some godforsaken reason, he wanted to make the younger vampire feel better.

He slowly reached up, placing his hand on Damon's cheek. "Look Damon, I will only say this once, and only because you are drunk and obviously hurting. I care for you because every ounce of my body yearns for yours. When I see you- as the first day I laid my eyes on you- I have this urge to ravish and defile your perfect body, until I hear you scream my name. But having you isn't enough, I love tasting you. I love watching you feed on the innocent. I love watching you slaughter dozens of humans. No one compares to you in my mind Damon, and I have a feeling no one ever will. At least not for another thousand years,"

"Then why did you let me leave?" Damon asked, his voice barely above a whisper as he unconsciously ran his hand slowly down Eric's chest, his eyes staring straight through Eric's blue ones.

"You were never really mine to have Damon, we both knew that," Eric replied, as he pulled away from him, his hand falling to his side.

They both stared at each other for a long moment, neither saying a word. Eric was the first to break eye contact as he turned, taking a step back toward Fangtasia. "Well this has been fun, but I do need to get back,"

Damon didn't know what possessed him as he grabbed Eric's arm, pulling him back into him. He knew he didn't deserve Eric's attention, or even to be undead, but he didn't want the viking to leave. "So that's it? No fighting? No fuss? That's not the Eric I knew,"

"Well Damon, what do you want me to do?" Eric snarled, his eyes becoming stormy as he towered over him, his hand encircling around his throat.

"Fuck me. Kill me. Both," He gasped, Eric fingers becoming increasingly tight.

"Why would I waste my time?" Eric snarled.

"Please," Damon begged uncharacteristically.

He knew exactly what Damon needed and as much as he wanted to hate Damon for leaving, the younger vampire's scent was intoxicating him. And in all the years of being with him, he was never able to resist any request Damon had.

With speed Damon would would never be able to match, he closed the space between them. Their lips met in vicious kiss, his fangs already out, wanting nothing more to taste the younger vampire.

He wasn't gentle as he dominated the kiss, ripping Damon's clothes off as he proceeded to slam Damon into a more solid tree. The younger vampire took everything, his hands roaming over his cold flesh as he pulled on his jeans, hearing the fabric tear.

Damon let out a soft whine as Eric lips left his, the vampire's blue eyes delved into his own so intently he forgot to pretend to breath.

He knew what the vampire wanted, and he had no will inside of him to resist the older vampire. So he tilted his neck to the side to give Eric better access to his veins. An ultimate sign of submission. It felt slightly foreign to him, he was never one to relinquish control of his body to anyone- except Eric. Not that he cared, much.

Because he knew what was coming next. And with the month he'd been having, he needed Eric to take away the pain. The heartbreak.

Eric's eyes turned vibrant, his smile malicious. To see Damon, after all this time, so unashamedly wantoning and begging for him was exhilarating. The italian wanted him, and he wanted to take him. To feed from him.

In this moment, it felt as though no time had past, and all the hatred and lonely nights were forgotten.

Damon hadn't felt this type of anticipation. This type of excitement, since their first night. The first night he'd let Eric take him. Just like that night, he felt he could cum at this very moment. He was so turned on. And finally, he felt like his heart wasn't breaking.

Eric's fangs finally, for what felt like an eternity, breached his skin. It was savage, in the most unloving way, but he couldn't help but moan- he always enjoyed the pain. His body shook violently as his blood was drained from him. He needed to touch something, anything and his hands quickly found themselves clawing at Eric's shoulder blades, leaving dribbles of blood to run down Eric's back.

Eric felt as though his entire body was ablaze as he continued to feed from Damon, forgetting how much he enjoyed the taste of the younger vampire. His hand quickly found itself slithering down Damon's naked torso, then midriff before settling to his rock hard manhood that was trapped in the confines of his boxers. He gave Damon's dick a hard squeeze, hearing him release a strangled scream. "You're so hard for me,"

Damon's eyes rolled into the back of his head as Eric roughly played with him, biting his lip to stifle another moan. He'd almost thrown his entire life away for this man, and he was quickly remembering why. Because at this very moment, all he wanted was for the viking to satiate every dark, twisted sexual fantasy he had.

As the pleasure was intensifying, it vanished as Eric's fangs retracted themselves from his neck, and he straightened himself so he was towering over him again. He involuntarily shivered at the darkness that was creeping into the vampire's eyes, his blood still dripping from his fangs.

He knew exactly what Eric craved, and he grabbed the viking, their lips meeting in a ferocious kiss, Eric gaining dominance, and he let him- as he always did- because he loved tasting his own blood from Eric's mouth. Something about it was incredibly arousing.

He couldn't bear it any longer, he needed Eric. He needed all of the viking, to have no space between them any longer. So he let his lips leave Eric's for a moment to utter his desires loudly. Confidently. Demandingly. Wantonly. "Fuck me,"

Eric's smile faltered for only a moment, before a villainous smirk spread on his angular face. It'd taken Damon years to succumb to him, to let him do the most sinful things to his perfect body. Now it was a mere minutes. He'd really corrupted the vampire after all.

Well as much as he wanted to relish in this conquest, he, too was having trouble containing himself with Damon moaning and panting beneath him. He needed to feel that tight, hot velvet canal wrapped around his cock. And he needed to feel it now.

Taking Damon's invitation, he ripped Damon's boxer's off, doing the same to his own moments later. Damon's hips automatically raised from the tree, needing contact that Eric was about to give him. With one calculated movement, Eric had Damon's legs wrapped around his waist, his manhood inches away from Damon's entrance. He leaned in, his tongue running up the side of Damon ear. "This is going to hurt,"

That was the only warning Eric gave him as the viking took him dry, roughly tearing into him. Damon let out a strangled cry, his fangs sinking into Eric's shoulder to silence himself. He moaned as the older vampire's blood trickled down his throat, helping to ease the discomfort.

Eric was brutal, his pace quickly intensifying, and Damon held on to the tree for support.

The pain vanished in an instant as Eric managed to hit his prostate. His reaction was instant, as he moaned into Eric's neck, feeling the viking smirk against his own neck. He felt Eric's fangs ripped into his searing flesh as his hips buckled, pain forgotten as he revelled in the ripples of pleasure Eric gave him as he hit his prostate, again, and again.

Eric loved how quickly he found himself balls deep inside Damon's virginal ass. The feeling was insane. Nothing in a thousand years ever matched it. No sexual encounter before in his lifetime raised such arousal. He could last hours with others, yet he knew as he throbbed inside Damon, he wasn't going to last much longer inside the vampire's glorious ass.

Damon captured his lips with Eric's, though sloppy as he couldn't help but moan and pant into the viking's mouth. The older vampire's pace was merciless, making it difficult for him to form a single thought, instead all he could do was revel in the incomparable feeling Eric was giving him. The surges of pain, and a burning sensation as his hole stretched to accommodate Eric's immensity. The euphoric induced bliss of Eric's cock ramming itself into his prostate, and his hands working along his fevered flesh. And the feeling of fullness. He could never get over how enraptured the sensation could be.

This was so worth it. Screw Mystic Falls. Screw Elena's little friends. Screw the Originals. Screw his brother. Screw Elena. This was all he wanted in his life. All he needed.

"Fuck...Eric, mmmmm,"

Eric heard his name being moaned out and he gazed upward to see Damon lost in the throes of passion. His skin was flushed, and bliss was written all over his face. The vampire looked stunning. Absolutely breathtaking. Just like he had the first time he'd taken him.

He quickened his pace, if that was even possible at this point, his fangs leaving nips into the younger vampire's flesh. "Scream for me,"

Damon glanced at Eric confusingly for a moment, so lost in his euphoric high that he almost didn't hear the viking. But with one, murderous thrust, Damon gave in to the older vampire, his scream echoing in the tranquil forest, startling a flocks of birds who rustled the leaves on the trees as they flew away.

He could feel the bruises forming on his body, as blood dripped down his thighs as Eric brutally dominated him. He didn't know why being with such a powerful man, who abused his body in such a way that made his head swim and his arousal increase to such dangerous heights.

He felt his vision dimmer as Eric's hips snapped against his, driving into himself faster, and deeper inside of him. He knew he wasn't going to last much longer, as his eyes closed, biting his bottom lip until he tasted blood. As the viking fucked him with vigour, and nudged his spot, yet again he finally shot his load, streams of it painting both of their bodies. He was gasping, his vision going black as his orgasm reverberated through his entire being.

Feeling the tight channel close around him like a vice as Damon climaxed, sent Eric over the edge, filling the younger vampire with his seed, some of it leaking down his thighs. After a few half hearted thrusts, he pulled himself out of Damon, watching as vampire just fell to the forest floor- completely unconscious.

He felt, for the second time that night, a need to leave Damon. This wasn't exactly how he thought his first encounter with the smaller vampire would go after his departure to free his maker Katherine. He wanted nothing to do with the older Salvatore. But as he watched his marks leave Damon's body as they healed, a possessive thought creeped inside him. One that had always haunted him since the day Damon left.

Damon was his.

And why should he give up what he owned?


Damon strolled into The Mystic Grill, his eyes darting from patron to patron wondering where on earth Stefan was. He'd expected some type of welcoming party, he did, after all, drop everything, and everyone he was doing to be here. Why bother getting an Original, who despised him, to plead with him to come back to this hick town. Not that Shreveport was much better, but at least they had Fangtasia, an overflowing supply of blood, and Eric.

"Damon?"

He looked up, only to roll his eyes as the quarterback waved at him from behind the bar. Well, since he was already here, he might as well empty the Grill's supply of bourbon.

"Matt," He replied, taking his usual seat at the bar. His gaze lingered on Ric's chair, wishing at this moment to see his old buddy. "Bourbon, please. Just a glass and the bottle. Make it snappy, I'm in the mood to get drunk,"

"Where have you been?" Matt questioned, handing him a glass, and a bottle of bourbon. "Everyone's been looking for you. We all thought you were dead,"

"Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm alive and well. I took a leave of absence if you will. No point in staying in a town that has nothing for you, expect your annoying, saintly brother," He muttered, pouring himself a generous amount of bourbon before downing the entire glass in one go. "Speaking of Saint Stefan, you haven't seen him, have you? Not to sound rude, but when you ask favours of an Original to get your brother to come back to some dead end town to help with some unknown disaster, you'd think you'd throw your dear brother a welcoming party, or at least be waiting for his epic return. Didn't know I was asking too much, makes a guy feel unwanted,"

"I for one am glad you're back mate,"

Damon groaned as he felt a familiar arm wrap around him, his eyes slowly falling upon the one Original he didn't want to see. Klaus.

Why did he have an unsettling feeling the hybrid was the very reason he was summoned back?

"Klaus, you're still alive? How unfortunate for the world," He commented, finishing off his second glass, wondering why in hell he thought coming back was a good idea.

"I should be saying that to you Damon. Your brother and Elena's annoying little friends have been searching for you. How odd that it's my brother Elijah who knows you're alive and well?" Klaus countered, taking the bourbon bottle from him as his hand grasped the handle.

He shot the Original a questioning glare.

"Please, Damon, come join me. I have proposition I believe you'll want to hear,"

"Has hell frozen over?" He asked, mockingly looking around the room before his eyes settled on Klaus. "Don't think so. Leave your threats to my brother, they work much better on him. I'm currently functioning with little humanity,"

"That's the issue. Your brother isn't doing what I want. I'm hoping you can help with this little situation. I'll pay for your drinks, and whatever else you desire," Klaus proposed, his face coming inches from his ear. "Or I'll bite you, and leave you to die,"

"You had me at free drinks, but you better upgrade that bourbon. I'm not a cheap drunk," He whispered in Klaus' ear, giving him a playful smirk before strolling over to an empty booth.

Damon surveyed the Grill again, wondering how in five minutes he was already knee deep in Original drama. What did his brother do now? He swore that if Matt wasn't currently calling Stefan, he'd personally rip his heart out.

He really should have stayed in Louisiana.

"Thank you," He said as Klaus placed a glass in front of him, and poured him a full glass, before doing the same for himself. "So what can Damon Salvatore, serial killer extraordinaire do for you? Or better question, what mess do I have to clean up for my brother? Did he call you a bad name?"

"No, it's more of what he won't do. How much do you know about what's been going on since you left Mystic Falls? Has your brother told you anything of the five, the cure and/or Silas?" Klaus inquired.

"The only person I've spoken to since leaving is Elijah, and he wasn't exactly forthcoming. Blah blah blah, your brother needs you, blah blah blah, family is the most important bond, blah blah blah. Well you know how your brother gets. I only half agreed to come back just to shut him up," He replied, smirking into his glass as Klaus gave him a dangerous look.

"Watch what you say about my brother Elijah, I would hate for this to get bloody," Klaus threatened, he feigned sympathy, rolling his eyes in the process.

"And I wasn't in danger before agreeing to sit with you?" He mocked, watching the front door for any sign of his brother. "Look Klaus, as much as I'm loving our usual banter of threats and intimidation, I'd like to get on with this, so I can go kill my brother for ever asking me to come back,"

"Right, you mean seeing your dearest Elena, she's a vampire now if you weren't aware,"

"Is she? How nice. I didn't stick around for that party when I was hightailing it out of Mystic Falls," He said, refilling glass for the fourth time since arriving to the Grill. "So is that what this is? Some unknown threat to her life? You can kill her Klaus, I could care less. Kill my brother too if that's how you get your jollies off. It would mean I could leave,"

"It's good to know you won't let your humanity get in the way of what I need you to do" Klaus said, smirking as he leaned forward to prop his elbows on the table, his eyes studying him. "What I need from you is simple Damon. I need you to either convince your brother to assist the young Gilbert boy in completing the hunter's mark, or do it yourself,"

"And how do I possibly do that if I don't know what a hunter's mark is?" He asked.

"The hunter's mark is a tattoo that each member of the five has, an ancient order of vampire hunters. The mark, can only be completed if the hunter kills vampires," Klaus explained, as he refilled his glass, then his own again.

"So you want me to teach Jeremy how to kill vampires? Or convince my brother to,"

"Not exactly, that's what your brother is doing right now. I want to speed up the process by turning a bunch of vampires for the Gilbert boy to slaughter. As you can imagine, your brother is taking the moral high ground, he doesn't want to kill innocents,"

"Sounds like my brother, can barely kill a squirrel without feeling guilty and writing about it in his diary," He muttered, him and Klaus sharing a quick laugh. "So why do you care about some ancient order of vampire hunters and some mark? Does it lead to a pot of gold?"

"No, it leads to a grave of an immortal named SIlas. In that grave contains a cure for immortality,"

"A cure for immortality? Really? That sounds insane, and I'm sitting across from an Original hybrid," He interrupted, shaking his head in dismay. "So why do you want the cure? Tired of being rejected from everyone you love, and have decided to end it all? It would be my pleasure to kill you myself,"

"I'm sure it would be, mate" Klaus smiled darkly at him before moving and shoving a fork into his side. "But as you can imagine I want the cure before my enemies get ahold of it, and try to use it against me,"

"I can, I'd like to use it right now," He hissed as he pulled the fork out, placing it back onto the table. "So is that it? Get Jeremy to kill a bunch of vampires and complete some hunter's mark? Would you like me to hand him over to you too?"

"Just get him to complete the mark, and I will do the rest,"

"Alright, sure. Whatever, sounds easy enough,"

"That's it. No complaining. No sarcasm," Klaus said, giving him a curious look.

He could understand Klaus' reservations, he did always fight the Original against everything but without his feelings for Elena, or even his brother, he didn't care anymore. "Look Klaus, the sooner this is over. The sooner I can leave. Besides, I'd rather you not compel me, bite me, or hunt me down for centuries. It's not worth it,"

"Smart move Damon, You are much better without your pathetic love obsession with the Petrova doppelganger. You may be the better brother after all,"

"Do you say that to all your enemies. I feel so warm and tingly inside," He mocked, finishing off the last sip of bourbon from his glass. "Well if that's all you have to say, I'll be leaving. I'd stay, but then I'd have to kill myself,"

"Damon I'm giving you a week. Or you can imagine the consequences," Klaus threatened, his eyes inches from his.

They stared at each other for a long moment, before Klaus stood up, letting him out.

"Fine, I wasn't planning on staying much longer than that," He replied, purposefully colliding his shoulder with the hybrid's before walking out of the Grill

He really should have staying in Louisiana.


Damon felt something vibrating in his pocket as he stepped into the Salvatore boarding house and in a flash he was upstairs, inside his bedroom. He pulled his cellphone out, not bothering to check the caller id- there would be only one person who'd be calling him so late at night.

"Eric," He greeted, walking toward the window.

"Where are you?" Eric's deep voice barked into his ear.

"Miss me?" He answered, dodging Eric's question.

"Only if that means I miss my hand around your throat, then yes. I miss you. A note Damon? Really? Being clever are we,"

"You know I'm no good with goodbyes Eric. Besides, this time I'm coming back in a week. You won't even notice I'm gone,"

"Won't notice. Oh I noticed. I'm fucking furious. You better have a good explanation for why you left without saying goodbye. Again. And you better not be in Mystic Falls, or I will come there, and kill you,"

"Now, now Eric. Anger only leads to crows feet," He teased, trying to ease the tension.

"DAMON!"

"Okay. Look, it's complicated. While you were picking up Godric yesterday, Elijah called. Apparently my brother has been looking for me and needs my help,"

"So," Eric snarled, interrupting him.

"Let me finish. If my brother needs my help, then usually it has something to do with Klaus. And if my brother is going up against Klaus, he's bound to do something colossally stupid, and not only will that end up with his death, it could mean Klaus going after me too. So I came to Mystic Falls to hopefully talk my brother out of doing something that could potentially lead to the end of both our lives. Or worse.- spending an eternity on the run from him,"

"I thought Niklaus Mikaelson and your brother were friends?"

"Sure, back in the 20's. But when Klaus fled, he erased Stefan's mind. Then a few years ago he kidnapped him and forced him to become a ripper again and Stefan has never forgiven him," He explained as he threw himself on his bed, "My brother's a drama queen, what can I say? And he'll do anything to protect his beloved Elena,"

"Just as you used to," Eric commented, he could hear the anger at the edge of the viking's tone.

"Is that what this is about? Elena. You think I came back for her?" He asked, failing miserably as he tried to suppress a laugh. "Are you jealous?"

" It is not jealously Damon, just years of experience. She is the doppleganger of Katherine, your first love. I am not stupid, I have lived long enough to know one does not forget the love they share with their first,"

""Eric, my love for Elena is nothing like the one I once held for Katherine. And that was a love based on lies. They both will always love my brother more than me," He said with a sigh, even though his heart didn't want either of them, the thought of everyone loving his brother more always stung. Just a little bit. "But whatever, I'm over it. I have you, remember?"

"Yes, you do. And only me. Do remember, I do not share Damon,"

"Really? I hadn't noticed," He snickered, knowing full well how possessive and jealous Eric could become. "Though, now that you mention it, I am getting lonely. And hungry. Maybe I'll find someone to eat, and play with,"

"Don't you dare Damon-" Eric began in an authoritative tone, but he interrupted him.

"What can you do? You're in Shreveport, with a bunch of humans and vampires at your beck and call. Why can't I have some fun too?" He teased, knowing he was only infuriating the viking further but he was a little too drunk to care.

"You are mine Damon Salvatore, and I can, and will hurt you when I get my hands on you. Mystic Falls isn't that terribly far away, so, if I were you. I'd watch yourself,"

"And if I don't?"

"You'll find yourself desiccating, chained to a wall, your body bent in the most unimaginable ways, your throat raw from screaming my name so many times, and from frequent use from something more enjoyable if you know what I mean," Eric growled, feeling most of his blood flying southward, a soft moan of anticipation escaped him.

"Then I guess I'm just going to have to be bad then," He smiled wickedly, hearing only an animalistic growl coming from the other end of the line. "Very, very bad,"

"Damon-" He heard Eric growl, he could just picture Eric's face, eyes narrowed, fangs bared.

"Did you get my present?" He asked, getting bored of teasing Eric.

"Don't change the subject Damon, but actually it's one of the reasons I called. Why on earth are you giving me a stake? Is this your way of apologizing for leaving? Giving me something to kill you with," Eric asked, he could hear a hint of humor in the viking's tone.

"Actually no. It's special. It's a white oak stake, the only weapon on earth that can actually kill an Original. Any Original," He explained, take a pause to let it sink in. "So I figure, you should have it since you're the only vampire I trust, and the only vampire I've seen be able to overpower an Original. Look, this is going to sound sappy, so don't make fun of me but I may die here. I did just make a deal with Klaus, and who knows how that's going to turn out. If I do, please promise me you'll slaughter them all,"

"Damon, this could protect you. I could protect you. Let me come there. I could be there in a day-" Eric started, his voice full of concern but he interrupted him again.

"No, this is why I didn't invite you. I don't need you fighting my battles for me. I can do this all by myself. I'm not some human," He spat, realizing he sounded harsher than he intended.

"You know I do not baby you Damon, but they're dangerous, and I will not lose you. Again," Eric said, his words affecting him more than we wanted as he smiled. "Let me protect you Damon,"

"No, I'm sorry. Look Eric, I can hear my brother's car, I need to speak to him. I have to go," He lied, knowing if Eric asked again, he'd cave. Like he always did. He didn't want Eric in harms way. "Don't come, I'll see you in a week,"

And he hung up, not waiting for Eric's response.

One week.

What could go wrong?

Chapter Text

Flashback- Mystic Falls, 1970's

Damon could feel the vibrations of the girls scream as his fangs sank into her neck, her body struggling underneath his own. He didn't bother to hold her back , knowing in a few moments her movements would slow and eventually stop altogether, just like her heart. He supposed he should care that he was taking some innocent girls life, but over the decades he spent with Eric, he learned to revel in the kill, and to savor the high blood gave him instead of quibbling over the ethics.

His tongue darted out as a trickle of blood escaped him, moaning out in appreciation as the sweet, metallic taste consumed him. He could feel the girl's heart pump hard and fast to accommodate the sudden loss of blood, but it just meant more for him to gorge on- flooding his mouth like a fountain, and he relished every last drop. The edge of his vision frayed, and blurred. Everything felt electrifying. His mind let loose. His core was becoming hot, as he could feel the blood running through every crevice. And like that, the world seemed to disappear, making his body tingle as he hit euphoria.

Total blackout.

He could hear his own shallow breaths, and the faint sounds of swallowing. He retracted his fangs as he blinked his eyes open, taking in his familiar surroundings of his family boarding house.

His eyes connected with the crystal blues of Eric, as the viking pulled himself away from their dinner, his fangs still extracted, blood dripping. He couldn't help himself as he leaned forward, pushing the blond girls head aside, as he licked along Eric's chin, catching the dribbling blood cascading down the viking's face.

There was no warning as he felt himself being hauled onto Eric's lap, as lips descended on his in a dominating kiss. Tasting blood, he cried out into Eric's mouth as the viking gripped his hard on in his light denim jeans. He hadn't even noticed how aroused he was from feeding, but now all he wanted was for Eric to fuck him into oblivion.

This was becoming almost a routine for him and Eric. Glamouring some poor, pretty girl to their place for the evening, feeding from her, and then fucking each other senseless. Sometimes they'd sleep their blood bags, sometimes there were more than one. On a rare occasion they'd pick up a male, but they never slept with them, Eric wasn't fond of sharing him with males. Not that he minded, Eric was the only one for him.

He grinded his hips into the older vampire's strained erection, his fingers fumbling on the buttons of Eric's black dress shirt. Why were there so many buttons he thought bitterly. He groaned as Eric's icy hands slid their way underneath his shirt, fingernails digging into his back, breaking the skin. He finally managed to undo the last button with Eric's lips still firmly attached to his own.

Like that, they were against one of the pillars in the parlour room, Eric's shirt discarded on the couch. He went for his own shirt, but Eric swatted his fingers away, instead doing it himself. As he watched his Led Zeppelin shirt fall to the ground, Eric was on him again, this time those lips were attacking his neck. He moaned out, pushing himself up, and wrapping his legs around Eric's torso.

He felt his back hit something cold, and his eyes shot open to see they moved now to the piano, Eric smirking above him. He rolled his eyes, roughly grabbing at Eric's belt, the viking just descended on him, his teeth scraping against his chest. As the button of Eric's dress pants flew open, he felt his own jeans coming undone, and cold hands circled around his aching cock.

"I see you two started the party without me? Don't you two ever get sick of doing it?"

He froze underneath Eric, turning his head to see Pam, Eric progeny standing in the doorway of the parlour room, suitcase in one hand, purse in the other, and utter disdain plastered on her beautiful face. "Do you ever get sick of being a downer?" He said with a snort, as he leaned forward, licking along Eric's neck, his eyes however locked with Pam, who just roll her eyes at him.

"If it bothers you Pam, why don't you take a tour of Mystic Falls," Eric suggested as he continued undoing Damon's pants. "Because I plan on fucking Damon in a moment, and your constant interruptions, and groaning will only make the experience less pleasant. Unless you'd care to join in?"

"Fuck no," Pam replied as she wrinkled her nose.

He watched, annoyed as the women just made herself at home, taking a seat on the unoccupied couch. "Can't you two just fuck somewhere else?"

"This is my house,"

"So? You two just drained the only source of entertainment in this house and I'm bored. And this town it utterly lame, even you two are at home, instead of groping each other in a bar, or a roller skating rink or…"

Damon couldn't help himself as he moaned out, Pam's whining just an annoying buzzing in his ear as Eric wrapped his long fingers around his aching erection, pumping him furiously. His head fell back, eyes closing as he grinded himself into Eric's hand like a needy whore. He wanted, no he needed Eric inside of him. Now.

"Damon?"

"Whatever you want," He whispered hotly in Eric's ear, hoping the viking wouldn't notice he wasn't paying attention.

As Eric let out a low laugh, taking his hands off his body, he knew he'd been caught. "As much as I appreciate you giving me permission to do whatever I like to you, you didn't answer my question Damon,"

"And that was…." He asked, hearing Pam snort behind him, but he ignored it, instead focused on kissing along Eric's chest.

Eric pushed him away from his skin, his face all serious but Damon could see the lust encroaching in his blue eyes. "You. Me. Pam. Spending the week here. I figure you wouldn't mind if we detour here for the week as you have to see your brother, and there's nothing pressing in New York-"

"Except good blood, better company, fashion oh and I don't know, fun things to do," Pam interjected rudely.

Eric's entire body stiffened, but his expression never wavered. "Your brother won't mind us being here for a week, or two?" Pam just groaned behind him. "It's been a long time since I've seen your brother, and I still have yet to have the pleasure of making his acquaintance,"

He could feel himself go soft as those words rang inside of his skull. A week, or two. Eric and Pam in Mystic Falls with his brother for a week, or two? Eric and Stefan- meeting for the first time.

He needed a drink.

His legs were wobbly, as he slipped past Eric, rushing to his liquor cabinet, doing up his pants as he stared at the array of decanters. He didn't bother with a glass as he grabbed the first full bottle, taking a rather long swig of what he tasted to be whiskey.

"Something the matter Damon?"

He choked, wiping the excess liquid from his chin, shaking his head quickly, though unable to turn and look at the viking just behind him. Eric always said his eyes never lied.

Why couldn't they just feed and fuck and not talk about Stefan? It's not that he cared that Eric would meet Stefan; though he could imagine how well those two would get along, after about five minutes of meeting each other. It was more about the sex, the feelings, and Katherine. Because this, Eric, everything would all end when he rescued Katherine from the tomb. When he'd be back with the love of his life. Except, as the nagging voice in the back of his mind reminded him, was she?

When he first met Eric, he'd assumed he'd spend only few years with the viking. Hell, he didn't think he'd be here, almost fifty years with the blond, sharing the same bed as the other vampire. Back then, he would have never imagined being sexually attracted to another male. Let alone a thousand year old viking, who was so, volatile. So malicious. Uncaring.

Except he wasn't. Not all the time. Not when they were alone. Not when he was in those encompassing arms.

Eric Northman was his disease. His obsession. They collided fast, and hard, and he just couldn't help himself. Just like their first meeting. he'd become entranced with fierce allure that was Eric Northman.

And the worst part of the whole thing was, he wasn't sure if he wanted it to ever end. If he could live without him.

But could he walk away from his first love?

His entire body went rigid as a soft hand pressed firmly on his shoulder. "Are you okay Damon?"

His stomach twisted into uncomfortable knots as he shrugged off Eric's touch, still keeping his back to the taller man. "I'm fine Eric, just wanted a drink,"

"You're a terrible liar Damon,"

He snarled, whipping around to attack Pam, but a steady hand kept him in place. He finally looked up, those clear blue eyes studying him. He tried to maintain eye contact, but the guilt was eating away at him, and he just couldn't help himself as he averted his gaze. "Are you sure you want to meet my brother? I mean, since Chicago, he's been all, I'll never let human blood touch my lips. KIlling is wrong. Damon, you need to change your ways. Be like me. Blah blah," He exclaimed, taking a step away from Eric, turning and going back to his liquor. "And trust me, you don't want one of Stefan's famous lectures about life choices," He said as he poured himself a glass of bourbon. "Hell, I don't even want to be here. I don't care about one of my long lost relatives, but if I don't have my usual decade visit with my brother, he'll come find me. He's annoyingly caring like that. And what older brother would I be, if I didn't flaunt my bad habits, and torment him. I did promise him an eternity of misery,"

He stiffened as a hand gently squeezed his shoulder. "Damon, he is your family, as I consider you part of mine. And, I would like to meet him, regardless of his, humanity. He is the reason you came with me on my quest for daylight rings, and why we are here now,"

His stomach felt as though it tied itself up in knots as Eric's words resonated with him. Stupid feelings. Stupid human feelings. Wasn't the point of not having a beating heart was to not experience love, though he knew the answer to be laughably wrong.

"Stefan may be my family by blood, but you are more family to me than he is. And Eric, you should listen to your own family, Pam clearly doesn't want to be here, and clearly she won't go alone, so please just go to New York Eric. Meet up with Godric, and find that witch coven. Seriously, I'll be fine. It'll only be a few days, you won't even notice I'm gone,"

"Godric is more than capable of seeking out these witches, and I can wait another week for a flimsy possibly of attaining daylight rings. Pam will and can decide if she wishes to stay, or leave on her own as I personally do not mind staying here for the week. Besides I imagine most of your conversations with your brother will reside in the daytime when we are in the ground anyway. Pam may not be able to find anything to entertain herself, but I know I can think of at least one distraction," Eric whispered the last part in his ear huskily, those long fingers slithering down his stomach.

He found himself pressing against the taller blond, their lips inches from each other's. "Don't start what Pam won't let you finish,"

"You two are insatiable. Can't you two have one conversation where it doesn't end with the two of you shagging like rabbits? Get a room,"

"Why don't you leave?" He suggested darkly, as he flashed Pam a dangerous smile with fangs.

"Why don't you stop hiding behind my maker, and make me!" Pam snarled, already standing, her own fangs bared.

"Damon. Pam. Enough," Eric growled, his grip tightening on his bicep, those eyes giving him a knowing look, before turning toward his progeny.

"Don't you dare Eric. I know that look. Don't you dare side with him, again. He's not your progeny. Hell, he's not even yours," Pam practically screamed.

"If Eric wants me to be his, all he has to do is ask!"

"Really? You'd be willing to submit yourself, fully to Eric. It means forever Damon. A guy like you doesn't do forever. Fuck, you can't open yourself up enough to let Eric meet your brother. I'm surprised you even agreed to let us step foot in your precious Salvatore boarding house. What if baby brother catches you sucking on Eric's cock‒"

He didn't let her finish as he lunged at the younger vampire, wanting nothing more to rip her heart out, and watch her turn into a giant pile of guts. As his fingers entangled themselves in her blonde hair, he was grabbed and thrown across the room, landing quite painfully onto the mantle of the fireplace. He snarled, gripping his bleeding arm as he glared at his opposer. The cold stare that was returned made him shiver.

He gathered himself, not wanting to show any weakness, though he wasn't sure if he wanted to be on the receiving end of Eric's temper.

"That's enough, the both of you. Just pathetic," Eric snarled, his one hand firmly on Pam's shoulder, the other extended in his direction. He looked between the two of them, before settling on Pam. "Thank you for your insight into the situation Pam but I would like to speak to Damon, alone,"

"But‒"

"PAM"

"Fine! Whatever, take his side! Damon's ass must be fucking divine if you keep choosing him over me,"

He watched as she stormed off toward the exit, hearing her heels click against the wooden floors and up the few steps and to the front door. As she grasped her hand over the handle, she turned once more, looking back at Eric. "Han bryr sig inte om dig, hur du bryr dig om honom Eric"  (He does not care about you, how you care for him Eric)

And like that, Pam was gone, the door almost coming off it's hinges as the sound reverberated in the increasingly uncomfortable silence. He knew Pam knew he knew exactly what she said, but he supposed that was the point.

Damon didn't know what to do with himself as he found the strength to stand, taking his hand away to assess the damage of his arm.

He was taken by surprise as he felt himself being easily pushed into the brick of the mantle, though unlike last time it was much gentler. Eric's expression was unclear as he examined him. For a long moment they both stood there, eyes unblinking until the viking took his hand, and licked the blood that covered his fingers and palm from his now healed wound.

The intimacy combined with the silence made Damon uneasy.

"I'm sorry,"

He barely caught the words, but thankfully he was preoccupied with staring at the man's lips to notice. "For what?"

"Attacking you. I didn't mean to use so much force," Eric answered.

"It's nothing that hasn't already healed. Besides, you've been much rougher when we're having sex, and I've never complained before. The rougher the better I always say," He replied, winking at the blond.

A flicker of a smile graced the vikings face, as his tongue darted out to suck on one of his fingers. That sight made him moan out, knowing the feeling of those lips on more intimate areas of his body. "True," Eric replied.

There was another pause as Eric studied him with such attention, and scrutiny- he could feel the bile rise up, as his heart did an uncomfortable squeeze.

Then, like that, it was over and Eric dropped his hand, and turning his back to him. Eric's behaviour was perplexing, and he couldn't fathom Eric's state of mind. Should he say something? Or should he take off his pants? Eric did always like the way his hips dented. Maybe then, they wouldn't have to talk about about the obvious tension hanging in the room, like a slow acting poison that was starting to suffocate them.

"Did you mean it Damon? What you said to Pam?"

His hands froze at the zipper, feeling his lungs constricting.

"About what?"

Please God don't mean the I'm his comment he made to Pam he thought.

"You being mine? I know I told you years ago that you were mine. That you could be with no one else. And you've obliged me that courtesy, for the most part. But I feel as though you are pulling away, and as Pam pointed out, our kind believes in forever. And unlike my kind, I don't take the idea lightly. I want you Damon, I want to possess you,I want to own you, I want to know there is no one else but I fear that there is something you are keeping from me. And it's not just your brother. If you wish to end our arrangement, then let's do it now,"

Damon's stomach did an uncomfortable flip flop, as those words sunk in. He thought he'd been careful, hiding his doubts. Hiding his feelings. But this. Now. What could he choose?

Forever was a long time for a vampire.

But could he just walk away from the viking? From the man who made him into the vampire he was? But Katherine had been the love of his life, and he sacrificed a lot for her, and she'd always been the plan. His forever.

Though he owed Eric an explanation at least. Or at worst, who Katherine was, and what she meant to him.

But what was she to him anymore? An older lover trapped in a mystical cave, onlyto be opened every 142 years. He could barely remember her, and Eric was here, in the flesh, and cared about him like no other.

Why couldn't they just stay the way they were now?

"Are you going to answer, or do I take your silence as a yes?" Eric asked, breaking his train of thought.

He looked over to the older vampire, wanting his lips to move but his mouth felt like sandpaper. He never thought he'd have to make this choice. Not for another few decades anyway.

Eric turned away from him then, and before he knew what was happening he found himself in front of the blond. "Wait," He put his hand on Eric's chest in a vain attempt to stop the viking. "Look I'm not good with words. Or feelings. Fuck, for a long time, this was just us, roaming the country. You trying to find a way to make a daylight ring. Along the way, it ended up us killing, fucking and being merry. But I never thought we'd ever become this. And it's not that I don't love you Eric, because I do. But you deserve better than me, you deserve someone who will give themselves to you fully, and I don't know if I can,"

"Why don't you let me decide what I deserve Damon. All I'm asking is for a little trust. There's something about this town, about your human life that you're holding on to that's eating at you. Damon, whatever it is, just tell me," said Eric. Arms grasped his shoulders as Eric leaned in close, his lips inches from his face. "Let me help you,"

He pushed Eric off as he threw up his hands through his hair, roughly pulling at the strands. "You can't Eric, because it's about you. It's about her. It's about so much you don't know,"

He felt as though the room was spinning, like he'd drank a bottle of whiskey. He fell on the couch, needing something to balance him before the anxiety, and the guilt ate him alive.

The cushion beside him sank slightly, as an arm wrapped around his shoulder."Then tell me about her! About all of it,"

"It's a long story," He mumbled, wishing to just disappear into a bottle of bourbon.

"For you, I have the time Damon,"

He studied the elder vampire, seeing the sincerity, and kindness in those usually cold, and callous eyes. They were soothing, and he felt his will power dwindling.

He snarled then, jumping up from the couch and moving to the far corner of the room. "I don't want to talk about it Eric,"

"Then when do you!" Eric snarled, sending shivers down his spine as he regarded the viking in all his indignation. The man took a threatening step toward him, as he took a step back, hitting the rough spines of the books behind him. "I've been patient Damon, I've tried to let you figure out whatever you're going through. but I can't any more," Eric exclaimed, shaking his head at him, as he felt his heart leap into his throat. "You want your secrets, fine. But clearly you're fighting your feelings for two, and I'll make this choice easier for you. I'm gone,"

His knees gave way, as he fell to the floor, a loud ringing in his ears deafening him. What had he done?

"Please don't leave me," He whispered, the words like vomit as he kept repeating them.

Even as arms encompassed him, he kept uttering the same four words into clothed flesh, not daring to open his eyes.

He'd never felt so weak.

"You can't keep doing this to yourself. I don't want to leave you Damon, but I also cannot be with someone who loves another," Eric said as he held him at shoulder length apart, both hands over his cheeks. "One day, you're going to have to face this. Because no matter how hard you try to hide from it, no matter how hard you try to suppress your emotions, they will always be there. Keeping you awake at night. Haunting every thought you have. And you're going to have to make a decision. One way or another," Eric said, letting him go. He watched as the viking made his way toward the door, turning to face him. "I hope to see you in New York Damon, you know where we will be,"


"Thanks for coming with me,"

"Of course, I completely understand why you don't want to see Damon alone,"

Stefan gave Caroline a quick smile, as they continued on the main street toward the Salvatore boarding house.

"So is Damon at your house? Because I can text Matt and see if he's at the Grill, that place might as well be Damon's second home," Caroline asked, her fingers already hovering over the screen of her cellphone.

"Don't bother, I told Matt to text me if he sees Damon again,"

"Aren't you worried he might be with Elena then?"

"Not right now. She's with Jeremy and Bonnie at the cabin. I left them earlier, with strict instructions to Bonnie to not let Elena leave her side," He replied, as he pulled into his driveway, seeing Damon's blue Camaro parked in it's usual spot. "Besides, it looks like we've lucked out, and he's here,"

"I wouldn't say luck, who knows what's behind those doors. You know Damon," Caroline said, her hand on the door handle as she turned back to face him. "Are you going to tell Elena Damon is back in town? Because if I were you, I'd make sure she heard it from you, instead of someone else,"

"Of course, eventually. I need to assess my brother's state of mind first. Like you said, who knows what Damon will be like,"

"True," Caroline said, a worried expression appearing on her beautiful face.

He just gave her a small smile as he opened the door, letting Caroline in first. He wasn't exactly sure what he expected from Damon when he walked into the boarding house, but this was just too predicable.

Blaring indistinguishable rock music, some unknown blond woman gyrating on the coffee table, with multiple fang marks and dried, caked blood covering multiple parts of her body, and Damon. In the center of it all, a bottle of what appeared to be their vintage bourbon in his hands, as he danced on the outside edge of their railing on the second floor that overlooked the Great Room. He actually looked much like his female companion, half naked with blood smeared on his exposed flesh, except for the obvious difference that the blood wasn't his own, and that his mouth was just oozing crimson.

Aside from the curtains completely drawn closed though it was nightfall, and the lights seemingly three shades dimmer, the whole display was actually rather familiar. As if he was experiencing deja vu from three years ago.

He wasn't sure if he should be appalled, or be thankful that his brother was at least alive, and acting more or less like himself.

What had he really been envisioning anyway? Damon was just being predictable, at least that could be considered comforting.

"Damon," He called out, over the music as he gritted his teeth from the sudden blood lust he had.

The girl froze, as Damon turned to look at the both of them, obviously unaware of their presence. He gave them his trademark smirk, before landing smoothly onto the floor, turning off the racket. "Stefan, I've been looking everywhere for you,"

"Obviously not very hard," He commented, his hand gesturing toward Damon's present company.

"Oh her," Damon said as he wiped the blood from his face, sucking the blood from his fingers. He heard Caroline grimace beside him. "I got bored of waiting and I fancied myself something to drink,"

"I thought you were drinking from blood bags,"

"Not since leaving Mystic Falls. Besides you know how I like my blood straight from the vein," Damon said, his smirk widening as he winked at him, before making his way toward the liquor cabinet.

"She some random girl you picked up? Do you remember where you found this one, or am I going to have to compel her to just walk home, and forget this whole thing?" He sighed, as he looked around for her clothes.

"You can try but she doesn't speak any English. Besides, she was a gift from a friend," Damon replied as he took a healthy swig of something, passing a glass of the same ember liquid to his guest.

"A gift? She's a human being Damon," Caroline snarled.

"Look Barbie, this may be news to you, living the sheltered life that you do, but some vampires consider humans to be nothing but food. And Lydia here, that's all she's good for. She was born into this life, bred to be a vampire's next meal. Now, luckily for her, Eric keeps her alive, but only for her blood. Well and for sex, Pam loves having a go at this one," Damon chuckled, running a hand through the girl's hair. She seemed quite content as she smiled at his brother, running a hand down his naked torso. "Lydia tell them how well we treat you. Du gillar att tjäna vampyrer. Rätt? Säg till min bror, och Caroline som du är här av egen fri vilja,"

Caroline looked to him in confusion, he shrugged his shoulders, he was just as puzzled as she was. He never knew his brother could speak any other language besides English and a bit of Italian.

"Damon...nice to me," Lydia said, clearly struggling with her English. She turned to look at Damon for approval.

Damon just laughed as he pulled her with him as he fell on the couches. "That answer your questions judgey, or are you both going to give me a lecture on how to treat humans. Please, I want to keep her daddy. Mommy. I'll take extra special care of her,"

"You're a real bastard Damon," Caroline spat, grabbing him as she pulled him toward the couch opposite of his brother.

"Ouch that hurt my feelings," Damon said, his voice dripping with sarcasm as he faked a hurt expression, clutching his chest. "Oh wait, I don't have any feelings,"

"Yeah, that was pretty clear when you did your little disappearing act a year ago. There were people here actually worried about you, God knows why, you don't deserve it," Caroline snarled, throwing her hands up in exasperation as Damon just stared at her boredly. "Where were you anyway?"

"Here and there,"

"And you couldn't be bothered to answer your phone once?" He spat.

"I was busy," Damon simply replied, shrugging as he continued to avoid answering any of their questions directly.

"Look we know you've been spending time with the other vampires,"

"Oh do you now? What did dear Elijah tell you?" Damon snarled.

"Nothing much, except that he ran into you at a bar owned and catered to the other vampires. He said you know the owner, Eric something. Look Damon-"

"Eric Northman,"

"What?" He asked, taken aback by Damon's interruption.

"His name is Eric Northman, and you know nothing Stefan," Damon said, he obviously struck a nerve as his brother sent him a nasty glare. "Look I get your mission in life is to chastise how I go about living my life, but I'm not in the mood to be disciplined. So save your little humanity speech for someone who cares. And instead, you can tell me why I'm here,"

"Maybe he asked you back because he was worried about you Damon, did you ever think of that? You left without saying goodbye. You hurt a lot of people when you just up and left. You never came to Alaric's funeral, your best, and only friend. And Elena died that night, and if it wasn't for your blood in her system, she'd really be dead. Stefan has been riddled with guilt because he couldn't save her in time, and where were you? Let me guess, drinking it up, and having meaningless one night stands. And-"

Caroline stopped her angry tirade, as Damon's face darkened, his eyes narrowing into slits. The silence was deafening, until Damon let out a strangled noise that sounded almost like a laugh. "Don't pretend my departure wasn't the best day of your lives. But if you must know, I did come back that night. Not that the two of you don't know, I did leave Ric's body in the freezer. After that, I rushed to the hospital, praying to anyone who would listen, that Elena would be alive. But when I ran into Dr. Fell, who informed me of Elena's little blood transfusion, I knew that I couldn't stay. I couldn't watch her be with you. She chose you, not me that night and I couldn't watch the two of you be in love. So I left. There was nothing left for me in Mystic Falls,"

No one spoke for a long time, Caroline turned to look at him, a knowing look in her eyes. He knew what she was thinking- he knew she was wondering if he'd tell Damon about Elena. He should tell Damon, tell him that Elena was in madly in love with him. That she would give anything to see him again. That she wanted little, to nothing to do with him any more, as he reminded her of his brother. That he was gone.

That she chose the wrong brother that night.

But he couldn't. For all his worth, and all his guilt, he just couldn't bring himself to spout the one sentence that would change his brother's life.

Why?

Because he was selfish. Because he still loved her. Because he still believed this was all to due with her being a vampire, and if he found the cure. If he turned her back, she'd want him. And not Damon.

But seeing his brother, humanity missing almost completely, and obviously hurting made the guilt eat away at his insides even further. Maybe he was the one lacking a conscience?

"That's why you left? Because of Elena?" Caroline asked.

"Her. Ric. Look does it matter? What's done is done. Now as much fun as rehashing the past, and catching up is, what am I doing here? Elijah wasn't exactly forthcoming on the phone, but I can assume from my little talk with Klaus last night, it has something to due with this cure for immortality,"

"Something like that," He muttered.

"Well do tell brother, I didn't fly all the way from Louisiana for nothing,"

He glanced over at Damon for a moment, before turning to Caroline who gave him a look of encouragement. The white oak stake was crucial for their plan of completing the hunter's mark, and if Damon didn't have it in his possession, he wasn't sure what else they were going to do. Everything rested on Damon now for their plan to work.

"First you need to know about Jeremy, and the hunter's mark," He started, only to be interrupted.

"He needs to kill vampires to complete some mark that leads to the cure. I know, Klaus told me all about it. Get on with it, how does the affect me?"

He couldn't wait any longer, they needed it soon, or they were going to be faced with Klaus, and who knew what that man would do to achieve his ends. "We asked you back for the white oak stake Damon. You were the last person to have it,"

There was a deafening silence as Damon looked between the two of them. He was unable to read his brother's expression as he stood up, making his way to the liquor cabinet to refill his glass he presumed.

"Well actually Alaric had it, and he tried to kill me with it. But I suppose I might have taken it after he died," Damon said, pausing, making the wait almost unbearable. "Problem is, I don't have it,"

"WHAT!"

Damon shrugged at them from behind.

"Yeah, I gave it to a friend. I didn't see the point in keeping it since Klaus is our sire and all," Damon replied, as he started to take a turn around the living room. "Why do you want it?"

"Damon you have to get it back! Why in hell would you give it away anyway? We need it now. Jeremy needs to complete the mark, and if he kills an original, he'll kill their entire bloodline. Essentially if he kills one original, he'll complete the mark,"

"Right, and that's such a brilliant plan" Damon sarcastically replied "Do you know what Klaus will do to you if you kill one of his siblings? Has something happened since I left, because it sounds like you're having one of those suicide mission crises again. Have you not learned from last time?"

"It's worth the risk Damon, or else Jeremy will have to slaughter, dozens, maybe even more vampires to complete that mark. And what if he dies in the process? We can't take that chance," He exclaimed.

"Then turn some people, newborns are easier to kill. They haven't learned how to track yet,"

"We can't do that! They're innocent people Damon, or have you forgotten the value of a human life?'"

"I haven't forgotten, I simply don't care. Humans serve us one purpose. a food source. Nothing more. You'd do well to remember that," Damon stated.

"How can you say that Damon!" Caroline snarled, jumping up to take a step toward Damon, but he grabbed her hand, pulling her back down. "You're really a heartless bastard, aren't you?"

"Maybe, but you both know my way is easier. How do you think you're even going to be able to kill an Original anyway? If you fail, which you will, you wouldn't have to worry about Jeremy's death, because Klaus will no doubt kidnap the poor Gilbert boy, do exactly what I just told you to do, and then when he's lead him to the cure, he'll kill him. Either way, the boy's dead. My plan at least gives him a fighting chance," Damon asserted, turning to flash them a devilish grin. "And how would your precious Elena feel if you had the chance to keep her brother alive, but didn't?"

"Damon-" Caroline warned as he moved in a flash, his fingers encircling around his brother's throat.

"Look Damon, were doing this my way, so call your friend, and get it back!" He snarled, moaning out in pain as his brother crushed his fingers, forcing him to release his grip.

"How about, instead, the two of you get your heads out of your asses, and do this my way," Damon said, and before he could defend himself, his brother plunged the leg of an end table into his gut. He groaned, falling to the ground as Damon appeared above him, an evil glint in his steel blue eyes. "Because I have no intention of calling Eric, and asking him to leave his bar, and come all the way to Mystic Falls, because my idiot brother wants to play knight in shining armor to Elena Gilbert, and at the same time, continuing his pathetic childish attention seeking behaviour towards his once lover, and our sire, Klaus,"

He lunged at Damon, only to crash into the bookcases, as his brother easily dodged his attack. "I've never slept with Klaus!"

"Lover?" Caroline asked, looking between the two of them in confusion.

"Oh they haven't told you? This must be awkward then," Damon exclaimed, as he attempted to wrap his arm around Caroline, but she pushed him roughly off of her. "Are you dating Klaus yet? Or are you still with Matt? Or Tyler? I've missed so much," Damon asked, clearly enjoying himself. "But at least if you ever wanted to, Klaus and Stefan would be game for a three-way,"

"Damon," He snarled, taking a threatening step toward him.

His brother put his hands up in defense, clearly doing it sarcastically. "I get it, don't waste your strength brother, I mean how many squirrels are left in Mystic Falls for you to munch on? I'd hate for you to lose all your furry forest friends, and have to lower yourself to human blood like the rest of us. God forbid if ripper you comes back. Wouldn't want to be the poor townspeople then," Damon smirked, winking at him. "But at least we know Klaus would have his fun,"

This time it was Caroline who attacked his brother, her blow landing, as his brother went hurtling into the steps leading into the parlour room.

"What's wrong with you Damon? We haven't seen you in a year, and this is how you act. I can't believe I was ever worried about you," Caroline exclaimed, as she helped him up, and back toward the couches.

"You're right, it has been a year. And where were you guys? Or at least you brother. I'll admit, I didn't want to be found. I didn't want to be reminded of the choices I had made coming back, everything that I had lost, or thought I lost. But I always figured, being the stubborn, caring brother that you are, you'd be relentless in finding me. But you weren't," Damon said, shaking his head as he laughed. "No, instead you decide Elena is more important. But who would the Salvatore brothers be if they didn't let a Petrova doppelgänger come in between their relationship? And you know, you asking me back me back just for the white oak stake isn't even the worst of all of this," Damon exclaimed, his face falling. "I know Elena loves you, and not me, but I thought at the very least, she'd come to welcome me home. Or at least have the decency to ask for the stake for her brother herself. But I guess no matter how much redemption you go through, it's not enough. I'll never be you brother,"

All his anger vanished, as guilt rose to the surface. "Damon, Elena-"

"Save it, it doesn't matter. She made her choice a year ago, and I've learned to live with it," Damon said, as poured himself, yet another glass of bourbon. "Look I didn't come back to fight with you Stefan. I might as well tell you now but I made a deal with Klaus to help Jeremy complete his hunter's mark, and it wasn't in our agreement that I'd help Jeremy kill one of his siblings,"

"You did... WHAT!"

Damon turned, smirking wickedly at him. "What? You're the only one who can make deals with Klaus? Did you think I came back because of some family bond we share? Or for some residual feelings for your girlfriend?" Damon asked, as he took a seat on the couch opposite of them, running his fingers through Lydia's long blond hair. "Like I said, Elena means little to me now. And so do you. See, I came for insurance. I knew, when Elijah called, you'd upset the great, and powerful Klaus, and you needed me to get you out of your mess. Like you always do. And I knew, if I didn't come, you'd do something idiotic, and Klaus would come after me, and I'm not dying because the two of you are having a lover's spat,"

"He wouldn't have come after you!" He snarled.

"You don't see it do you? Klaus is obsessed with you! I don't know if it's because he values some sick friendship you two had in the twenties, or because he wants to fuck you. Or both. He'll never kill you, just torture, maim, and kill everyone that is close to you. It's not as if he'll kill Elena, he needs her doppelgänger blood. Or Caroline, because he's obsessed with her too. And let's face it, you don't care about Elena's little friends. No, it'll be your brother, your only family member,"

He clenched, and unclenched his fist, trying desperately to quell his anger. Though, as much as he hated to admit it, Damon made a good point. Klaus's death threats always turned out to be empty. But the hybrid wouldn't lose sleep over killing anyone close to him. "So you came back for yourself, sounds about right. How do you know Klaus will even keep his promise to you?"

"I'm not too worried, I just promised Klaus I'd finish what you couldn't, and teach Jeremy how to hunt and kill vampires."

"I won't let you anywhere near Jeremy,"

"Try and stop me Stefan, I dare you. Besides, it's either me. Or Klaus. You choose," Damon said, shrugging. "If I were you, I'd choose me. Who knows what Klaus will do to Elena's little brother. And could she ever forgive you if Klaus killed him? You know the hybrid won't rest until he gets his hands on something that could potentially used against him,"

Caroline squeezed his hand, smiling weakly at him before turning to face his brother. "Damon please, I begging any part of your humanity to realize that there are people at risk here. Maybe a dozen, or more. We have no idea how many it'll take to complete the mark. Think about Jeremy, he's going to have live with killing all these people. Please, if you ever cared about your brother, or Elena, at all, you'll do it their way. I get you're hurting, but please. We can figure out how to deal with Klaus, and how to kill Rebekah, or Elijah, or Kol,"

"Not that I don't trust Sabrina's powers, but this way is easier. And doesn't put my life in danger. I have a life in Louisiana, and a people I care about. A lot. And I'm not jeopardizing their lives or my own. I'm sorry Barbie," Damon said, his words seemingly having some meaning as he looked between the two of them. "Look I'll give the two of you twenty four hours to talk it over with Elena, and Jeremy, but I'm doing this. You'll see that my way is easier in the long run,"

Damon then turned to Lydia, his female companion and spoke to her in what sounded like the same language as before. She nodded excitedly, their conversation making absolutely no sense to him, until she got up and grabbed her dress from the floor. She then bowed to Damon, before exiting the parlour room and up the stairs.

And like that, Damon was gone, he could hear her giggling as the sound of running water drowned her out, indicating someone started a shower in Damon's wing of the house.

"What just happened?" Caroline whispered next to him.

There were no words that came to him, as he just shrugged, perplexed at Damon's behaviour. All he knew, was that they needed a plan to deal with Damon, because clearly he wasn't in his right mind.

And they needed to get Damon to contact his friend, Eric. Or maybe take a quick trip to Louisiana and get the white oak stake from Eric himself.

Who was Eric Northman anyway? And how, in one year, did his brother trust some other vampire with a weapon that could kill all of them?

Chapter Text

Flashback- Shreveport, Louisiana (One Year Ago)

Damon groaned, regretting instantly opening his eyes, as the light felt like shards of glass scraping against the back of his eyeballs. He curled himself into a ball, his limbs screaming back at him to stop, as they throbbed, feeling heavy and unresponsive. The unrelenting misery of a headache wasn't helping much either, as the desert was overtaking his mouth.

Fuck. Why did he drink so much last night!

What happened?

Where was he?

He peered through his eyelids, blurriness encroaching from the edges, but he managed to realize he didn't recognize his immediate surroundings. And that he was buck naked in a stranger's bed.

Last night was all a foggy mess. He couldn't remember ever going home with someone. He thought he picked up some random girl from the highway. Not to take home of course but to do the usual snatch, eat, erase, though these days it usually ended up being eat, kill, bury. But still, how in hell did he end up here?

Something about a tree. Clothes tearing. Teeth. Blood. Blond hair.

"Sleep well?"

Eric Northman.

He tried, and failed miserably to sit up and face the viking, instead squeezed his eyes shut as his head fell back onto the pillows, moaning out in pain. He flinched as something ice cold touched his forehead, only to realize it was Eric's fingertips grazing his skin. "Hungover?"

"That's the fucking understatement of the year. Is it that obvious?" He groaned out as glanced over at the viking.

Eric ignored him. "You shouldn't drink so much."

"Yeah well, when my life isn't a bad soap opera, I'll take your advice. Until then, I'm completely satisfied with drinking myself to death," He snarled, pushing Eric's hand away from him before his stomach fluttered enough to force him to throw up.

An unintelligible sound came from the viking, something between a laugh and a snort, and he couldn't help himself as he peeked over his eyelids to snag a glimpse of the blond, who'd turned away from him. Despite himself, he found a small smile encroaching the corners of his mouth.

"At the rate you're going, I'm surprised you haven't died yet myself. So what has you running to the bottle this time Damon? This about your maker,"

He outwardly winced as Eric's words resonated within him, wondering how in the hell he found himself in what he hoped was Eric's bed, naked from having slept with the viking only hours earlier, now talking about what split them apart in the first place. Life just wasn't going his way.

"I'm drinking to the fucking irony of it all," He muttered, pulling the covers closer towards him in a futile attempt to hide from his problems. "Katherine. Elena. You," Laughter bubbled up to the surface as he let out a pathetic noise between a snicker, and choking back tears. He willed himself to take a deep breath, not wanting to fall apart in front of the viking. He wasn't going to lose control. He needed a drink. Maybe ten.

"Whose Elena?"

His fingers gripped the soft black comforter tightly, as he pulled himself onto his back, squeezing his eyes tighter for a moment to gather himself. He then slowly rose, running a hand through his sweat soaked hair, pulling at the ends harshly, feeling strands coming out with his fingers.

"No one," He muttered, glancing around the candlelit room, wondering what state his clothes were in. "Where are we?"

"We're in my bedroom, underneath my bar," Eric stated simply, tossing something at him. As it landed on to his covered lap, he froze, his head finally raising to lock eyes with the blonde. "For someone who is no one to you, Elena sure calls and texts you a lot," Eric's expression darkened, as a smirk twitched at the sides of his mouth. "Damon, where are you? Damon please answer me. Damon, I need you, I need to see you. I don't know if I'm going to make it. Damon please, I'm sorry I choose Stefan that nigh-"

"STOP" His chest rose sharply as he stood in front of Eric now, his hand colliding with the granite that was Eric's flesh, throwing the viking back into the door that lay behind him. "Don't you fucking mock her, you don't even know her," He kept walking toward the older vampire, who just stood there, his icy blue eyes observing his breakdown but there was just emptiness in those depts. "What's wrong with you?"

"Why does it matter? She means nothing to you, doesn't she?"

"SHE DOESN'T"

"Are you trying to convince me, or yourself. Because you're doing a piss-poor job either way, "

He gritted his teeth as his hands flew to his sides, balling themselves into fists. He took a deep breath trying to calm himself. What the fuck was with Eric? Was he purposefully trying to rile him up? "I don't want to talk about it,"

"Clearly," Eric quipped, strutting past him and elegantly seating himself in rich dark leather armchair in the corner, next to the bed. "Or you'd answer your phone. Poor Elena, she sounds devastated. Didn't leave a note?"

"This about us? Are you jealous? Can't handle the fact I moved on from you. Think that fucking highly of yourself,"

"I don't need to, you looked pretty content taking my cock last night. Obviously Elena means little to you. Or nothing, as you just told me a moment ago," Eric smirked, draping his long arms over his equally long legs as he just stared at him, an evil twinkle in his eyes.

Smug bastard.

"I was drunk, clearly I wasn't thinking straight,"

"You were coherent enough to beg me for it. And in the span of about two minutes, even I'm impressed with how quickly you got over Elena,"

"I'm not over Elena, I'm in love with her," He screamed, unable to contain his rage any longer as grabbed the nearest object, an armoire and threw it to the ground, watching the black wood splinter, and crack. Eric just sat there, unfazed by the whole ordeal. "Is this your way of getting back at me for leaving you three years ago? Yeah, I moved on. With Katherine. Then Elena,"

"That worked well for you, as they both chose Stefan,"

"How do you…" He stopped himself as he realized the viking had gone through his texts and put two and two together. "Yeah, he's always the first choice. I don't know why I thought things would be any different, she is Katherine's doppelganger,"

"Doppelganger?"

"Yeah, they're identical, like twins, except hundred years apart. Long story, point of it, they descend, apparently from the original doppelganger whose blood was used to make my vampire line. Something about witches, magic, who knows,"

"So you fell in love with two women who look exactly like each other," Eric paused, shaking his head as he laughed at him. "Of course you did. If you can't have Katherine, you'll settle for her twin,"

"Doppelganger, not twin. They're different," He snarled, his anger threatening to bubble to the surface but when he thought of Elena it dried out. Was she really all that different from Katherine? "But the same I guess."

"Clearly, they both love Stefan,"

"Yeah, fucking Stefan," He mumbled as he slid down the wall where the armoire used to be, pulling his legs into his chest, as he rested his head on his knees. "Always first. The better brother. The boy scout brother."

"Have they met ripper Stefan? Now that's his true nature," Eric snorted, as he appeared in front of him, kneeling as he grasped his chin, tilting his head so their eyes met. He felt Eric's thumb gently caressed his cheek, as those crystal blues studied him. "You always said those around you always choose your little brother for his kindness, integrity. But they do not really know you Damon, or they'd know you have a kinder heart,"

"Doesn't matter Eric. It never has. Elena thinks I'm a monster, and maybe I deserve it." He sighed, reaching up and gently pushing Eric's hand away from his face, even if it felt right. "You corrupted me, I was once a better person,"

Eric moved to sit next to him on the floor, his legs stretched outright as he stared straight at the Claude Monet painting hanging on the wall. Not many knew, but Eric received that painting from the artist himself, they'd been acquaintances once. It was beautiful impressionist painting with the winter colours, and vast ocean, a single boat on the water. Eric used to say it reminded him of home. "I taught you how to enjoy your immortal life, that is all. These freaks, who live off of animal blood, or blood bags, only suppress their true nature. Feeding from humans, killing humans. That does not make someone evil. Or cruel. It's just sustenance to us. But underneath our fangs, and blood lust, is who we truly are. You have a bigger, gentler heart Damon than anyone I know and I never took that away from you,"

He couldn't help the smile that cracked his saddened exterior, and he leaned against the viking, putting his head in the crook of Eric's neck. "I think you're the only person on earth who likes me better than Stefan,"

"Everyone else is fools. We both know that," Eric chuckled, as he placed a hand on his knee, still staring at the painting. "Besides Damon, you never let anyone in. To see you for who you truly are. And you never let those around you see how heartbroken they make you,"

"Is that why you were being an ass a second ago?" He exclaimed, his head snapping up, as he playfully shoved Eric's shoulder. The viking just smirked at him.

"Sometimes it's better to let it all out Damon. Though you owe me a new armoire,"

"Screw that, you have more money than I do," He huffed, crossing his arms, glaring at the viking. Eric only laughed, shaking his head at him before turning back to his painting. He didn't realize it until now, but he missed this. Not just the sex. Not just the hunts, and the blood. But the fun they used to have. The support Eric gave him. There was no one like Eric Northman, and he'd given it all up for doppelgangers. He'd always been an expert at screwing up the good in his life, he deserved a damn medal. "I'm sorry," He whispered, leaning against the viking again.

"About the armoire. Really? I'm not upset like you said, I have the money to replace it."

"No about how things ended." He shook his head, leaning upwards to stare at Eric. "With you and I" He added, unable to be near the viking anymore, so he sat back up, instead staring at the ocean painted in front of him. "I told you in the letter that I loved Katherine more. That was a lie. I couldn't handle my feelings for you anymore Eric. You consumed me, body and soul, and always left me wanting more. I depended on you Eric. And I didn't like that. With Katherine, I thought I could be myself. My human self. The man I used to be," He paused, glancing at the blonde who kept his eyes ahead. He wondered if Eric even wanted to hear this, but he deserved to know the truth. "What a mistake that was. And then, when she didn't love me, so I went for Elena. And yeah, it was because she looked like Katherine. At first. But she was different. Kindhearted. And I became obsessed. I think I needed her because I'd given up our relationship to be with Katherine, who never loved me. And I didn't think I'd ever have you again, and she was the safe choice," He was babbling now, wondering if he was making much sense anymore. There was a point to all of this. "I never thought I'd see you again, at least not so soon. Maybe a hundred years, maybe more. Sometimes I'd wish you'd come and kill me, then at least I'd see you again. Know I mattered to you still,"

He felt his head being turned as the viking focused on him. There was silence for a moment as those crystal blue eyes just gazed upon him, a tremendous sadness swirling in those blues. "You've always mattered to me Damon. I think of you as my progeny. It's why I couldn't kill you. I tried. I followed you to Mystic Falls. I watched you meet Elena for the first time. Why do you think her parent's car went off that bridge that night,"

"Seriously Eric!" He exclaimed, his head falling back onto the dark walls as he laughed. "And you told me you didn't know who she was,"

"I was jealous." Eric shrugged as if that was the most rational way of dealing with his jealousy. The worrisome thing about it was it didn't bother him to know Eric almost killed the girl he loved. Maybe it would have made everything easier if she died that night. "I know what Katherine looks like. All I could think about was that there was another one to compete with. But I realized if I was to ever have you back, you needed to figure out who your heart belonged to. If it be myself, Katherine, Elena."

There was a clear question in Eric's words, and he wasn't sure if he was ready to answer them. "Can I get drunk, and let you know later,"

"No, but you are more than welcome to have the time to grieve the loss. Or go back to Mystic Falls and fight for Elena. We never have to speak of this night, or the night before ever again,"

Eric stared at him, his expression almost unreadable, and he felt his heart tighten in his chest. Did Eric think that little of him that he'd simply be able to just forget the past two nights, and go back to Elena, go back to a girl who could never love him like she loved his brother?

"I always thought you'd fight for me," He teased, needed the tension in the room to disperse. He wasn't ready to deal with the conflicting emotions swirling inside his skull.

"You are mine Damon, you just haven't realized it yet. I can wait. I'd rather have you fully, than you ever wondering what if again," Eric replied, his face softening as he smirked at him.

"And there's the smug bastard I know so well," He joked, nudging his shoulder with Eric's playfully. "Thank god, the sappiness was suffocating me alive,"

"You're sappier than you realize,"

"And you're a possessive freak,"

Eric shrugged. "I don't like others touching what's mine."

"Clearly, or Elena would still have parents," He smiled, rolling his eyes as he stood up. "So is there really a bar above us? Cause I'd really like to get drunk right about now."

"We do though it's for show. We're a vampire bar, we mostly serve blood,"

"I'm sure you've bought the good stuff, if there's anything you learned from the decades you spent with me" He grinned, stepping over the broken armoire as he grabbed the black silk sheet from Eric's bed, wrapping it around himself. "Unless I'm unwelcome in your bar, being from the other species of vampires,"

"Stay as long as you like. But Pam will insist you do something other than drink our supply of liquor, and blood,"

He'd almost forgotten about her. Maybe he should just leave, he knew he'd hear an earful from Pam, maybe a stake to the heart for good measure. He wasn't exactly her favourite person, and he knew how protective she could be of her maker.

"Like work? Haven't done that in a long time," He paused. Ah, fuck it, he didn't have anywhere else to go, and he wanted to be near Eric. He could deal with Pam, Eric would protect him if it got heated enough for stakes and threats of the true death. "Why not! Sounds fun. What can I do to serve you,"

He winked, watching Eric's expression darken, knowing the viking would catch the innuendo behind the simple statement. Eric did always like him on his knees. Or chained up.

"Don't start Damon, I'd hate to have every patron hear you screaming," He actually moaned at the words, feeling Eric's fingers brush against his exposed shoulder blades, before moving to lean against the desk that sat across from the bed. He was tempted to mount Eric right then and there, just to see all those papers scattered on the desk, fall to the floor.

"But I do need more strippers."

"Strippers really? Well, if there is one thing I'm good at, it's taking off my clothes. Might as well get paid for it," He teased, moving closer to the blond, poking his chest. "Will mister big jealous monster be able to handle strangers ogling, and touching what's his,"

"You'll be in a cage,"

"Kinky, they can still touch me though,"

"It's hanging high above everyone,"

"You've thought of everything," He snickered, running a playful hand along Eric's thigh. "But I do need clothes, even if I'll be taking them off later,"

"I'm sure we can find something upstairs. Something tight. Made of leather,"

It was Eric's turn to tease, as he ripped the sheet away from him, exposing his, half hard problem. The viking then licked his lips at him, slow, decisive, and he wanted desperately to know what naughty thoughts he was having. And maybe fulfill a few.

But then again, he also liked to tease.

And there's also your feelings for Elena the little voice in his head whined at him.

"Of course it's leather," He snorted.

He wasn't going to think about Elena. Not tonight. He wanted to have some fun.

And like that he winked and fled the room.


The rage consumed her, blinding her as she raised her hand to slap Stefan, only to realize it never connected with his cheek. She almost screamed at him to let her wrist go, but her words would go unspoken as her gaze fell upon the one man who been consuming her for an entire year. And the one currently holding her wrist.

"Damon?"

His trademark smirk was the first thing she noticed before their eyes caught each others, and the Salvatore boarding house, Stefan, the whole world faded into the background, and it was just Damon and his clear blue eyes. His gaze never faltered and she observed as they almost went a few shades darker, his pupils dilating. She could get lost in those pools of blue, as all their attention was focused solely on her. There was always such an alluring honestly in them, and she couldn't help herself as her breath was caught in her throat.

He hasn't changed in the slightest.

She finally separated herself from Damon's enamouring gaze, as she took in the rest of him. Tousled raven locks, lidded eyes, and naked, muscular torso. Clearly they'd woken him up she thought blissfully, admiring the view that was Damon Salvatore in tight black boxers, and nothing else. Though Damon was built smaller, and less muscular than Stefan, he definitely had this raw sexual energy about him. Something risque. Something seductively dangerous. Maybe it was his well defined, inviting hip dents or taut stomach, or sharply defined facial structure or his wicked eyes.

How did she ever choose Stefan over Damon?

"Elena," Damon's voice held it's usual snarky teasing tone, as he flashed her a quick, sweet smile. She felt her cheeks redden as a broad smile spread across her entire face. She'd almost forgotten what the feeling was like to smile honestly.

Damon's fingers slipped from her wrist, and she felt her arm fall limply to her side and it was like the world came back to her. And at that moment she flung herself at the older Salvatore brother, wrapping her arms around him in a tight hug. She never thought how much she missed touching him until he was here. In front of her again.

"You're alive, I can't believe it," She exclaimed, burying her head into his shoulder, his scent overtaking her- something musky, with a hint of soap. "We were so worried about you. I thought something terrible had happened to you when you never replied to my texts or phone calls," It was then, as she rambled, that she noticed Damon was stiff, and his arms weren't around her, reciprocating her hug. It was clear he was uncomfortable, and she pulled herself away from him, blushing as she remembered that the man was only clad in a pair of boxers. "I'm just happy to see you alive Damon,"

"You too Elena,"

Stefan watched as his brother brought a hand through his disheveled hair, his expression almost unreadable. He looked, almost, uncomfortable with Elena's forwardness. "Vampire looks good on you,"

He watched as Elena blushed, giving his brother a breathlessly beautiful smile, as she looked down, tucking a long strand of hair behind her ear. "Thanks,"

He knew they were bound to see each other sometime. But this. Now.

No wonder his brother left.

Watching her smile, watching her face lit up it ways he hadn't seen before she transitioned. It was almost too much bear. Was this how Damon felt when he watched Elena be with him?

"So what's with you two?" Damon asked, wagging his eyebrows at them suggestively. "I wake up to the two of you having a lover's spat, don't tell me this is about little old me?"

"It's not a lover's spat," Elena insisted quickly, before turning her attention to him. Her smile vanished in an instant, and her eyes narrowed into slits. "Stefan decided to leave out the little fact that he was seeing you when he left last night. Actually he forgot to tell me you were in town at all. I had to learn the news from Elijah!"

"I was going to tell you Elena,"

"When Stefan?" Elena snarled, taking a threatening step toward him. "When he was gone again? When you found the cure? I am not that girl anymore, you have to accept that,"

"Woah, clearly this is not about the white oak stake!"

They both stared at Damon, as he threw himself in between them, his hands keeping them from getting any closer.

"The white oak stake?"

Damon raised an eyebrow at him, before turning back to Elena. "Don't tell me you aren't aware of Stefan's little suicide mission. Blah blah Jeremy needs to kill vampires for some mark that leads to a cure blah blah instead of turning people Jeremy will kill an original with the white oak stake and kill their entire bloodline,"

"We discussed it briefly once, but it wasn't really an option because we didn't know where you were," Elena said. He saw her forehead crinkle, as she put two and two together. "Do you have the white oak stake?"

"Yes, and no,"

"What he means is that he has the stake, but he won't contact his friend to come and bring it here because he's looking out for himself, like usual. Why don't you tell Elena about your little agreement you have with Klaus about her little brother!" He said smugly. He wasn't going to let his brother talk his way into Elena's heart. She needed to see what kind of monster his brother truly was.

"What agreement?" Elena asked curiously, as Damon dropped his hands to his sides, giving him a dirty look.

"It's more of a deal. I promised Klaus I'd help train Jeremy and complete his mark in a week's time." Damon said simply.

He snorted. It was just like his brother to forgo key details. Especially to Elena.

"And how would you be doing that Damon? Without the white oak stake?"

"Fine you caught me Stefan" Damon exclaimed dramatically, throwing his hands up in defence, taking a step back. "You don't need to look so smug." His brother rolled his eyes at him, before turning back to Elena. "My plan, as I agreed to with Klaus, is to turn a bunch of humans for Jeremy to hunt. Newbies are easier to kill, as they don't know how to track yet,"

Elena gasped as if she was honestly shocked by Damon's statement. Why was this so surprising? This was his brother, after all. In all his psychopathic glory. This was good. He hoped Elena would come to her senses, and stop equating his brother to some saintly being, and realize the man she loved, was nothing more an ideal fantasy conjured up by the guilt she felt when Damon left a year ago.

"But Damon, those are human beings. With lives. And families."

"Look Elena, I know you want to take the moral high ground here, but think about it. The odds aren't in our favour of killing an Original. And even if Jeremy does succeed, Klaus, and his entire family will come after you, Jeremy, all of us. And either outcome, Klaus will be furious, kidnap poor Jeremy, use him, and discard him once he's done. Either way, your brother dies," Damon explained, taking a step toward Elena."But, if you let me do this my way, at least Jeremy has a chance. It gives all of you a time at least to figure out what you'll do with Klaus once Jeremy completes this mark or whatever. I doubt he's going to let any of you have the cure if he gets his hands on it first,"

He watched as Elena bit her lip, contemplated Damon's offer. "I don't know-"

"Look at me Elena," Damon said as he brought both hands to her face, forcing her to look into his eyes. "You know this is the only way to do it, and I'm happy to help,"

All of Elena's thoughts were silenced as she gazed upon those alluring baby blues, and every argument, every worry, every thought dissipated. And instead there was this pressing need to please Damon. To agree with him. It made sense. Damon just cared about her. And her brother. Damon always came through for her.

"Okay," She nodded, giving Damon a small smile, as the older Salvatore grinned, letting go of her.

There were no words coming to Stefan as watched the exchange between the two of them. Did that just happen? Did Elena just agree with Damon? On a plan to slaughter, maybe dozens of human beings for the sake of forgoing danger? He knew Elena worried about her brother, but she'd never sacrifice who knows how many lives to secure his safety when they had another, less murderous plan.

Clearly her love for Damon was clouding her judgement more than he'd first thought.

"How can you agree to this Elena? It's wrong," He said, grabbing her arm and pulling her toward him, as if to hopefully separating her from his brother would clear her head.

"Damon has a point. I mean, look at what Klaus did to Tyler, killing all those hybrids and his own mother. What do you think he'll do to all of us if we succeed, or worse, we failed and he caught on to our little plan? Can we really afford to risk our friends and family, on a plan we aren't sure will even work?"

"Yeah, do you really want that Stefan?" Damon mocked.

"No of course not, but-"

"But nothing. Damon will be helping Jeremy complete the mark. That's the end of it," Elena stated, forcing his hand off her arm as she stepped back to be next to Damon once more.

"I'm glad we got that sorted out, so where is Jeremy anyway? At the Gilbert house?" Damon asked Elena, as the two of them started to make their way toward the front hall.

It was clear both of them were in their own world now.

"He's at the lake house actually. Bonnie's helping him get over his uncontrollable apparent need to kill me. And every other vampire he comes across. I can take you to him if you want," Elena suggested.

"How about you write down the directions for me or an address and I'll go myself. I need to shower, change, feed, and talk to Lydia,"

Elena stopped dead in her tracks. Lydia? He had a girlfriend. She felt herself almost become sick, as she looked away from Damon so he couldn't see how devastated she was. She wasn't sure why it came as a surprise, it had been a year but she'd just sort of hoped Damon never moved on. That the Damon she'd spoken to a year ago on the phone was still there. Somewhere.

She took a deep breath, collecting herself as she wiped a stray tear away.

"Whose Lydia?" She asked innocently. "Is she your girlfriend?"

"Don't look so surprised Elena. It has been a year. I did move on." Damon replied, and she felt her heart tighten in her chest. "But Lydia's not my girlfriend, she's just a friend,"

"Oh,"

That's all she could say as she felt tremendously relieved to know Lydia wasn't his girlfriend. But, what did he mean by moved on? Did he have someone else?

"She's a friend now? I thought she was your personal blood bag, given to you by your mysterious friend Eric,"

Stefan felt the need to correct Damon. He'd been pretty adamant about Lydia being a gift and not an actual human being. Just a plaything to amuse himself, and feed from.

There was no way his brother could convince Elena keeping humans as personal blood bags was a respectable thing to do.

"Personal blood bag. Friend. Same thing,"

"That's not the same thing,"

It didn't matter as the two of them were still walking away from him, as they stood at the foot of the stairs. It was as if Elena was deaf to him.

"I can wait for you, and Lydia if you want. I don't mind. We can catch up on the ride down there,"

"Don't bother Elena, I'll just meet you two there. Besides, training Jeremy there might be better. More privacy. So I might need to pack my things. And make a phone call," Damon interjected, herding her toward the front door. "Besides I imagine you two want your alone time. I'll see you two in a few hours,"

He gave them both a wink, before disappearing, and presumably going to his wing of the house. Moments later, there was the sound of water running.

He sighed outwardly, making his way toward the liquor cabinet, pouring himself a generous helping of whatever was in the first decanter.

"You haven't told him we broke up have you?"

He looked over to see Elena standing in the doorway of the parlor room, a hand on her hip as she scowled at him.

"It hasn't come up. No."

"It hasn't come up? Or you're avoiding telling him? Either way, he's going to find out eventually. And I plan on telling him how I feel. He deserves to know," Elena said as she frowned, a sad look in her beautiful chocolate brown eyes as she came toward him. She stopped just a few inches from him, placing a soft hand on his shoulder. "I know this is hard for you Stefan, but I love Damon. You need to learn to accept that, nothing will change how I feel about him,"

She forced a faint smile, clearly for his sake alone before letting go of him, and placing a folded piece of paper on the coffee table before leaving the room, and out of the Salvatore boarding house.

No wonder Damon left Mystic Falls.


Chaos. That's the word Damon was looking for as he sat on the light brown, patterned couch in the Gilbert lake house, Lydia cuddling up next to him as they watched the scene play out in front of them. Elena was trying her darndest to convince the Scooby Gang of his little plan for Jeremy. But they weren't having it.

Apparently Elena was the only one to see reason.

Though, thinking about it, it didn't make sense why she was the only one who agreed with him. She should be pleading with him to ask Eric to FedEx the stake back to Mystic Falls. Elena cherished human life, and she'd do anything, even sacrifice herself in order to save others. He should know, he risked his life countless occasions for her stubbornness.

But there was something off about Elena. He wasn't sure exactly what, but she was acting differently. She wasn't all goo goo eyes over Stefan, actually she seemed to be purposefully avoiding being near him. Clearly there was something more to her little squabble with his brother a few hours ago. This ran deeper. He'd have to consult Stefan's diary later to figure it out- he doubted the two of them were going to divulge what was upsetting them anytime soon. Besides he needed to catch up on the gossip of Mystic Falls.

Evidently, he missed a few things when he left a year ago. Caroline and Tyler were still dating, he'd actually expected Klaus to steal her heart. Or compel her to love him. Though Barbie's Ken doll got run off to God know's where by Klaus, so he supposed the Original had a chance. He couldn't believe he'd killed Mayor Lockwood though, he liked her. Not a great way to win a lady's heart either. And clearly Bonnie and Jeremy were dancing on the fine line of will they or won't they. The sexual tension between those two was almost gag worthy.

And poor Matt, all on his lonesome. But it was bothering him some the way he was eyeing up Lydia from across the room. She could do better than the quarterback.

"What's going on?"

"They're fighting over me,"

Lydia gave him a skeptical look, furrowing her brows together.

"It's complicated. They don't like my plan. They especially don't like that I'm working with Klaus,"

"You said it was the only way,"

"It is. They just don't like that it's coming from me. And Klaus,"

"Why not? That Elena girl is lucky you even care enough to help her brother. She doesn't deserve anything from you. The way she broke your heart," Lydia snarled furiously, running a hand along his bicep as she narrowed her eyes at Elena. He liked Lydia, always loyal to a fault. Even to those who oppressed her. Though he supposed the girl knew nothing else, except for being a food source for vampires. "I don't know how she has the nerve to look at you the way she is,"

"What do you mean?" He asked, observing Elena who stood in front of him, as she argued with Barbie. She didn't seem to even notice he was there.

"Oh, come on Damon, it's clear she has a thing for you. She's given me the stink-eye the entire time we've been here. And when she doesn't think you or your brother are looking, she stares at you, with this longing look in her eyes."

He couldn't help but laugh, shaking his head. That was just preposterous. Elena loved Stefan. "It's probably guilt. And her judging my feeding habits,"

"I don't know-"

"Trust me, she'll be in love with my brother until she meets her true death,"

A year ago, that would have had him running straight to the bottle, but now it was just a dull ache. Nothing more. Like a distant, unpleasant memory. He thought seeing Elena again would dredge up a lot more emotion. Heartache. But it hadn't. He still cared for her, and he still found her beautiful. That would never change though. But he wanted her to be happy with his brother, he did. He'd been selfish to love her. To have her choose him or his brother. To have her even question the love, she held for his brother.

"She bette r be. I  guess it doesn't matter anyway. You have Eric,"

"That I do,"

He paused, as he realized that the entire room had gone eerily silent as every member started at the two of them. "What?" They kept gaping at him, and he realized he'd been speaking Swedish this entire time with Lydia. He'd almost forgotten his present company didn't know about his gifts with languages. Or could speak Swedish themselves. "What?" He asked this time in English. "Did I miss something?"

"Are you talking about us?" Caroline asked bluntly.

"Maybe," He smirked, running his hand through Lydia's hair. "She doesn't speak English remember?"

"Oh, who cares. Just get Damon out of here. I may have lost the urge to kill my sister, but I can't say the same for Damon," Jeremy threatened, crossing his noticeably more muscular arms, and glaring down at him.

He couldn't help but roll his eyes at the dramatics.

"Don't flatter yourself kid. You might be a hunter or something now, but I could rip your heart out without breaking a sweat. You should be grateful I'm willing to spend my precious time training such a helpless cause like yourself. This wasn't on the top of my priority list when I flew down from Louisiana," He said, clearly not getting through Jeremy's thick skull. "Besides, it's either me or Klaus. You choose. I'd go with slightly less homicidal maniac, who has nothing to gain from obtaining the cure,"

"Why does it have to be you? I was fine with Stefan,"

"Well, Klaus is getting a little upset with how slow things have been. And besides, my brother has a bleeding heart for anything with a heartbeat. I'm surprised he hasn't died of thirst,"

"I don't know why you can't ask your friend to bring the white oak stake here to Mystic Falls. I'm powerful enough to subdue an Original, at least enough for one of you to stake them," Bonnie pitched in, obviously trying to protect her lover.

Why couldn't people just not question him, and do what he wanted. Was that too much to ask for?

"Well Sabrina, maybe I don't want my friend to be inclined to help, and put his life in danger, as well as my own. Eric has established a life in Louisiana and I'm not forcing the man to run because an entire Original family decides to kill all of us because we killed their sibling. You'd think after all you've lost because of Klaus, you'd be reluctant to anger the Original especially since we can't kill him," He snapped, watching as the witch frowned, looking mournful as Jeremy wrapped an arm around her, giving him the dirtiest of looks. He smirked. "How about you focus on just subduing all the Originals while you all go gallivanting after the cure,"

"Damon, please. You aren't helping yourself here." Elena pleaded with him as she came closer to him, turning to face her friends. "The situation isn't ideal, I know but Damon makes a valid point. We've all lost loved ones to Klaus and his siblings. It clear they'll do whatever it takes to get what they want. And I will not let Klaus, and his siblings hurt Jeremy. Or any of you. The cure isn't worth it. I don't want to see innocent people suffer, but I can't lose any more family. Or friends. We've lost enough,"

He watched as each of their expressions softened, and he resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Sure, when he said it he came across as a bastard. But when Elena battered her little eyelashes, and gave them her famous Elena, all my family is dead look, they were putty in her hands.

Well, at least Elena was on his side.

"Only for you," Jeremy said, letting go of Bonnie and went to hug his sister.

"I'm glad we wasted all this time, just to agree with me," He snorted. "Look Jeremy just think of me as Giles to your Buffy. Without the British accent."

"Who?" Jeremy asked, giving him a puzzled look as he let go of his sister.

"Giles, Buffy," He said, shaking his head at the younger Gilbert. What was happening to this generation? "Buffy the Vampire Slayer? I'm not dating myself that much,"

"Whatever," Jeremy huffed, "I have some requests if I'm going to do this."

"Of course Jeremy, anything," Elena reassured.

"Woah wait, not anything. Maybe if it's reasonable, sure," He interjected.

The entire scooby gang scowled at him. What? He wasn't about to give the kid anything. There was time restraints, Klaus and besides, he might try justify killing him for this mark, and he wasn't willing to bet his life on Elena.

"If I don't feel comfortable with this at any time, we end it," Jeremy stated. He nodded though he wasn't going to admit that wasn't an option. He'd let the kid think it was though. "And Matt stays."

"Why him? He's useless."

"He's my friend."

"That isn't something to boast about,"

"Damon!" Elena scolded.

"Fine. As long as he doesn't get in the way."

"Then I guess that's settled," Elena said, as she smiled at everyone. No one seemed to share her enthusiasm as they made their way toward the door. It was almost midnight, and he could imagine this was weighing heavily on all of them. They had, after all, been at this for quite some time.

"Are you sure you don't want me to stay?" Bonnie asked Jeremy, giving him a worried look as she glanced over at Damon.

"It's fine Bonnie. I'll call you if I need anything," Jeremy reassured her.

"This is all very sweet, but we do need to get started," He hinted, as he followed them to the door. "Jeremy will be fine. It's just a few days. He's only hours away."

"Look after him," Stefan warned. "Keep in touch Jeremy," Stefan then opened the door and everyone, except Matt, and Elena left the house.

"Didn't you get a ride from Stefan? You should probably go too," Damon said lightly, as he opened the door for her, but she closed it, standing a little too close for comfort.

"Can we talk for a second," Elena asked. "In private."

He glanced over at hunter boy, and quarterback as the two of them stood awkwardly, watching him and Elena. "You heard your sister," He barked, gesturing toward the back door that lead out onto the deck. "Go stretch or something. Run around the lake. Get ready, we'll start your training in a few minutes,"

"It's almost midnight!" Jeremy whined. "Can't we start tomorrow?"

"And vampires are awake….when?" He asked sarcastically. "Go. Take least valuable player with you."

The two of them looked at each other, then Elena for a long moment before reluctantly leaving the room and going outside.

"Look Damon," Elena paused, staring up at him, her doe eyes piercing through his hard exterior, and he gave her a small smile. "I was hoping we could talk sometime. Just the two of us. Someday soon. There're a few things I want to discuss with you. I know you're busy with my brother, and helping us complete the mark, but could you spare me a few hours. Please," Elena begged, biting her lip.

"I imagine I can pull myself away for a few hours,"

"Great!" Elena beamed, pulling out a slip of paper from her pocket, similar to the one she left the Gilbert lake house address on. "Here's my number. I'm guessing you might have forgotten it," He winced as he took the piece of paper. "How about dinner in a few days? Since Jeremy will be away, I'll have the house to myself, so I can cook us something,"

"Is that wise? I don't want to die twice," He teased as she glared at him, pushing on his shoulder playfully.

"Funny." She said flatly though it was clear she was fighting one of her breathtaking smiles. "So, it's a date?"

He paused, curious about her word choice. It didn't mean anything. She probably just wanted to apologise or something. She probably blamed herself for his departure and wanted to make it up to him. That's all, right?

"You name the time, and I'll be there," He smiled, suddenly feeling a sense of dread percolate inside of him.

"Okay, well text me, and I'll let you know," Elena said, leaning up to kiss him lightly on the cheek, before blushing. She looked away, opening the door and walked out. He just stood there as she waved, wondering why at that moment, he felt like he betrayed Eric.

Chapter Text

Hey Damon... It's Elena. Again. I hope it's okay that Stefan gave me your new number. You never got back to me about our dinner plans. I know you're busy with Jer, and I appreciate everything you are doing for him. For all of us. But I'm free tomorrow after Carol Lockwood's service at the school, and I was wondering if tomorrow at 7 works for you. Let me know-"

Damon paused the voicemail, not wanting to hear the last of it. It had been three days, and after pondering the events that transpired the night he ended up in this hellhole, he decided against seeing Elena. There was something wrong, with Elena. With Stefan. Elena was constantly harassing him with text messages. And voicemails. Meanwhile his brother actively avoided him, not giving him the time of day. Maybe speaking two words to him since he left the Gilbert lake house.

Was all this due to the night that transpired between them the night he left? Maybe he needed to sit them both down, and explain to both of them the year he spent away from Mystic Falls. How he ended up drunk, on a deserted highway in Louisiana only to be found by a man he'd been with for over 50 years. And how he let go, and let Eric take him. Hard. Against a tree.

Okay maybe he could leave that part out. But tell them how he got back together with the viking. How he pieced his heart back together, and how, thanks to Elena rejecting him that night, he was able to find his way back to Eric.

Most importantly, he should tell his brother he was done chasing Elena. She was all his.

"Alright, go ahead. Make a move,"

He looked ahead of him, to see little Gilbert and Quarterback still training. Maybe he would take Elena's offer of dinner- he needed to escape Camp nowhere. Anything was better than watching the little hunter that could- couldn't. What was his brother doing all this time with Jeremy? Teaching him how NOT to kill a vampire. One would think coming from a line of mystical hunters, one would actually be good at hunting them.

He moved away from the water, and walked up the deck toward his present company.

"I drove up here to be your wingman, not kick your ass."

Damon rolled his eyes at Matt's remark, as he watched, a bit impressed when Jeremy easily grabbed Matt, flipping him over, and onto the ground, pulling his arm what looked quite painfully behind his back.

Maybe there was still hope for little Gilbert.

"Okay I get it, I get it. You're a badass." Matt laughed, Jeremy smiling at him before letting go, helping him up from the ground.

Jeremy turned to acknowledge him as he took a seat on top of the picnic bench. "Did you see that?"

The smugness, and pride that lingered in the little hunter's eyes was uncalled for. Sure, he could take down a human. "You couldn't miss it. It was in slow motion."

Little GIlbert's face fell, and he felt slightly guilty but the bitter disdain that replaces it makes him bored again. "Then teach me something useful. We've been here for days, and so far, all you've done is bark orders while playing with your girlfriend, and texting non-stop,"

His eyes narrow, how many times does he have to repeat Lydia is not his girlfriend? If Jeremy wanted to test his nerves, and his abilities, then he'd prove to the little hunter that couldn't, he has a long way to go. "Okay"

He slid off the picnic bench, turning to face the bag that sat next to him, filled with various weapons, and stakes. He grabbed a random one, throwing it into the air and catching it as he turned toward his pupil.

"Take a seat at the bench quarterback, Karate Kid wants a shot at the title," He said, motioning for Matt to take a seat at the picnic bench.

Matt didn't move, instead pulling off one of his boxing pads and turning to face little Gilbert. "Jeremy, you're not ready for this,"

He scoffed, glad someone here knows their limits. He tossed the stake to Jeremy, who catched it, moving into a fighting stance while twirling the stake between his fingers.

Showoff.

"Well," He mocked, raising his hands up in the air, not showing an inclination he was about to move anytime soon.

He smirked as Jeremy came charging after him, the movement obvious, and slow. At the last second he moved, grabbing hold of Elena's little brother, and pulling him into his chest, his hand firmly wrapped around his neck. "Now, all I have to do is apply a little pressure on your jaw."

His fingers dug into the underside of Jeremy's jaw, and he squirmed, trying to move away from the pain, but he doesn't let go, even when Jeremy digs his fingers into his arm.

He hears a familiar car engine, only to see a dark blue, slightly beat up pickup truck pull up to the side of the house with a Lakeside Pizza sticker plastered on the side of it. He leaned over to look at Jeremy, giving him a questioning look. "Really? Again?"

Little Gilbert kept tapping him on the arm, and he finally let go, studying the young, blond girl who came walking out from in front of the pickup truck with a sizable pizza box in her hands, giving Jeremy an appreciative smile.

"Double pepperoni, three days in a row. You guys eat anything else?"

He moved in a flash, so he was standing behind the pizza delivery girl, appreciating the light blonde colour of her hair. "Why? Are you offering?

She wiped around to stare at him in shock, but her gaze wavers as he smiles wickedly down at her. The colour reminded him of Eric's hair. And his blue eyes.

He shook the thought out of his mind as he dramatically pulled out a stack of folded bills from his leather jacket pocket, passing it to the girl. "That's something extra to cut off the pizza pipeline for a couple a days. No matter how much they beg, don't come back."

She glances at the hundred dollar bills, and back at him for a moment before giving him a huge smile as she turned to face the two boys.

"Sorry, guys."

He smirked, glad she took the bait as she walked back to her car, and slowly pulled away.

"What? You're going to starve us now?"

He snorted, tempted to reply that only winners get pizza. But he stopped himself. "If that's what it takes to make you into a hunter. Now, run around the lake... twice."

Jeremy didn't reply, just took off running, glaring at him as he passed. He looked over at quarterback, giving him an expectant look. "Keep him company,"

"I don't have to listen to you,"

"You do if you want to eat,"

Matt snarled at him, throwing his boxing pads to the ground and took off running after Jeremy. He smiled, making his way into the Gilbert lake house, putting the box of pizza on the circular wooden table in the kitchen before he made his way back to the living room.

He jumped slightly as his phone vibrated softly against his thigh, and he wiped it out, as he fell onto the nearby couch, laying down to stare at the white ceiling, closing his eyes.

"You're up early,"

"It's nearly sunset," Eric replied. He was surprised not to hear some sub genre of metal in the background and he wondered if Eric was in their bedroom. "I have some business to take care of here, and then I'm off to see the Queen. The magistrate is here, and wishes to speak to all the sheriffs,"

It never failed to make him laugh when Eric called himself a sheriff, and he convulsed into a dark chuckle- an image conjured up of Eric in some ridiculous western costume came to mind, with a cowboy hat and all.

"It's weird to hear you call yourself Sheriff. Your entire vampire subculture is confusing. I still don't understand how you're sheriff, but Sophie Anne is Queen. She's younger than you. A lot of the royals are. Why aren't you king?"

"It's not about age Damon, it can be, but honestly it is those who seek power. Or those who truly believe in the vampire authority, and the friendly coexistence of vampires and humans. I'm neither. I don't play well with others, and the title does not appeal to me. But it does not matter anyhow, being given the title of monarch has been decided for the Queens and Kings long ago. Honestly vampire monarchism has superseded the vampire authority. Sophie Ann has been Queen since the French took control of Louisiana or La Louisiana named after King Louis XIV of France in 1682. She was few among the first vampires who immigrated to the colonies, and the vampire authority saw her fit to rule the area. Though the Spanish and Great Britain took the colony a century later after the seven years war- though what is today Louisiana was ceded to the Spanish. Then sold to the United States, and made a state in 1812. I think you know the rest of Louisianian history, being in the civil war for the south. She controlled a vast amount of land centuries ago, but now it's less land, but more humans, and more vampires. Either way, I can't see her giving up her territory for anything. From her stories, she wasn't keen on giving up her territory when the humans continuously carved it up and sold it to different countries.* But vampire monarchism traditionally follows that of human civilization, as usually the monarchies that are established, are by vampires who traditionally come from the area itself," Eric lectured, and he stifled a yawn.

"Jee wiz Professor Northman, is there going to be a quiz after?" He quipped sarcastically.

"You know, many would find my vast knowledge of human and vampire civilization fascinating as I've lived first hand through much of it,"

"Good thing I'm pretty," He teased, hearing the viking snort indignantly. "If she meets the true death though, would you replace her? Or one of the other sheriffs?"

"No, usually they choose one who has strong, and old ties to the area, and one they see will make a loyal ally to the Authority. Though sometimes they choose one who is well known in the area, and respected as the King of Mississippi was in the prohibition era. If I ever wanted to be King, I'd be King of Sweden. I've only been in the Americas since 1800s, and I've never stayed. Not long enough to qualify anyway. You know of my fondness for Europe,"

"I do. Remember the forties? Those were good days. I miss fascism. And World War. Ah the bodies. The blood. The mayhem." He could vividly remember the forties as if they were yesterday. Eric, in the iconic Nazi Schutzstaffel officers uniform, that made him look so deliciously dangerous. He still has his own officers uniform, but he posed as an Italian soldier, and their blue uniforms were nothing compared to the Germans. He gave credit to Hugo Boss, he knew how to make a well crafted, and sexy uniform. "So why have you called me Eric? I hope it's not just to inform me of your bizarre vampire laws. Usually you and I just text. It's been nonstop for two days now. Miss hearing my voice?"

"I just thought I'd check in, see how you were. I admit, I do miss the warmth of your body next to mine in our bed," He knew the feeling all too well, he missed the chill of Eric's body wrapped around his. "How is your pupil. May I say, again, training a human to kill vampires goes against every fibre of my being,"

"Usually I'd agree with you, but it's for the cure. For my brother. For the scooby members who want to be human again,"

"Do you have any desire to be human again?"

"Do you?" He deflected, angry that Eric would ask such a ridiculous question. "Of course I don't. I like being immortal. I like being a vampire,"

"You once wished to be human, when we first met. You'd be able to have children, and age,"

He cursed Eric's eidetic memory, wishing the viking didn't remember the weak, pathetic mess he was in the twenties. He was a shell of the great vampire he was now.

"And die? In like forty years. No thanks. Why would I want children? I have you."

"But with the human emotions you possess, I would gather being human again is a tempting thought. There would be no more blood lust," Eric pressed, and he was beginning to wonder if the viking actually wanted him to become a human.

"I happen to enjoy the blood lust, thank you. You taught me how to enjoy my immortality, how to enjoy being a vampire. If I was human, I'd age, and you'd stay the same. And let's face it, you'd leave me after ten years because I'd start to become wrinkly, and old. You wouldn't be my Edward, to my Bella,"

"I wouldn't be Edward period. Sparkling? Really?" He laughed at the thought. "And of course I'd stay with you Damon if being human is what you desired. I'd even let you have a wife, and children if that is what you wished. Or for me to leave you,"

"I'd only want you Eric," He said, a thought occurred to him. "Would you consider taking the cure?"

For a long moment, neither said a word, and he wondered if he'd offended the viking, though he couldn't imagine how. It was a legitimate question. If Eric considered being human again, he'd reconsider. Growing old, and dying with Eric didn't sound like the worst thing in the world.

"Being human is something I've never considered. When I faced death, Godric gave me the choice, and I chose to leave my humanity behind. And I have never regretted that decision. But you. You never got a choice. Vampirism was thrusted upon you, guilt tripped by your brother who all but abandoned you in his bloodthirst, as did your maker," Eric paused, and Damon realized this was the first time he'd heard of Eric's transition in some detail. "Besides, the cure is of magic. And though magic can affect us vampires, as it does your kind, I have doubts it would have any effect upon me. From the stories, the cure was made for immortality which was created by magic. As is your vampirism, unlike my own which, if you believe the word of the true vampire bible, Lilith the first vampire of my kind was created by God. Not magic. And vampires have sought after a cure since before my time, and none have ever been able to conceive one, even by witches. Even if we were able to take a cure, we'd surely perish. My kind does not have the same human anatomy anymore. We have no use for a stomach, lungs, liver, kidney, so it becomes unusable,"

"There's a vampire bible?" He said, bewildered. But then, another question came to mind. "Wait, how do you know so much about the cure?"

"It's an old wives tale. There was a story of a powerful witch named Silas, who created an immortality spell with his friend, another witch in order to be with his one true love. Though after taking it, his witch friend got jealous, and murdered his true love before he was able to make her immortal. Now, cursed to live an eternity without his true love, he creates a cure, but before he can take it, his former friend buries him, and the cure to rot for all eternity. He's believed to be the first immortal being, but as we both know, that is incorrect. I know vampires older than Silas, hell, Godric would be around his age if he existed." Eric explained.

"Do you know anything about the vampire hunters then? And the mark?"

"Now you want access to my vast knowledge,"

"Yes! Shut up. This is important. I know little about any of this,"

"Fine," Eric sighed, before he continued. "From what I know, Silas' former friend, Qetsiyah, created the other side for supernatural creatures, to trap Silas in limbo for eternity without his true love, that's why she buried him with the cure. But he never took it, instead choosing to desiccate I suppose, so her descents created the brotherhood of the five, a group of vampires, with a mark that would lead to the cure, and Silas. Once completed, by slaying vampires, they would be lead to his grave, and their duty was to shove the cure down Silas throat, and murder him. But from what I heard from my sister Nora, from rumors from the Vampire authority, they attempted to subdue the entire Original vampire line but were unable to destroy Niklaus, and he slaughtered their entire line. Until now, I assumed the brotherhood of the five was all but dead, and there was no way for anyone to find Silas' body. Though now I suppose this is untrue."

"Yeah. I guess so. Not that I can see this mark, so who knows if any of this is true. But Jeremy does possess more strength, and heightened reflexes, but does he know how to use any of it? No. Looks like the brotherhood of the five has really failed since a couple of centuries ago if Jeremy is a candidate." He snorted, wondering how Jeremy Gilbert out of anyone, was destined to be a hunter.

"Is it that bad?"

"Worse. I have no idea how I'm ever going to complete my promise to Klaus. Jeremy is not going to be ready in a week."
"I do not understand why you'd offer your assistance to Niklaus anyway,"

"What other choice did I have? Elijah didn't give me specifics, and I knew if my brother was in trouble- trouble is always Klaus. Besides case in point, Klaus just killed Tyler's mother because he betrayed him. I'm my brother's only living relative, and Klaus wouldn't hesitate to use me. Or kill me. And I didn't want that, or for him to hurt you, or anyone else because of my brother,"

"I can protect myself Damon and you, my strength is nothing compared to theirs,"

"I know. But I wasn't risking anyone. It was just easier to come back,"

He heard Eric outwardly sigh."Damon, I've let this charade go on long enough, and honestly I can't tell if you are blatantly lying to me, or yourself too, but we both know why you are there. And it's not because of Niklaus, or your brother,"

"What?"

"It's because of Elena,"

How many times did he have to tell Eric he didn't want Elena?

"Not this again. I do NOT want Elena. She broke my heart. She chose my brother,"

"Exactly. You loved her Damon, and a part of you always will. You heard danger, and you ran back to protect her,"

He didn't have to see Eric, to know the viking was hurt. They'd been here before with Katherine all those years ago. He hated himself for the amount of grief he put the blond through, but he wished he'd trust him. He didn't want Elena. Or Katherine. Or any other doppelgänger. What he had with Eric was all he needed.

"I love you Eric. Not her. I didn't come back for her," He pleaded.

"I believe you love me Damon, but I think you also have to face the conflicting feelings you have for her. She closed the door on your relationship, not you. And that pains you. And though I do not think you want her anymore, you want closure. And that's fine Damon, it's to be expected. You haven't seen her since she broke your heart that night, when she told you over the phone, while you both thought you'd meet the true death that she loved your brother." Eric said, and Damon couldn't stop the distressing thought of why Eric bothered with him. "Like I told you the first night in Fangtasia, you need to figure out who your heart belongs to."

"It's yours Eric. Always yours,"

"And mine will always be yours."

Hearing Eric say that made him smile, but a small part of him bated at him, that he didn't deserve it. "Then know Elena means nothing,"

"Your words would be more credible if you weren't in her lake house, training her brother how to hunt vampires for a cure, that likely she will take to be human again." Eric sighed again, and his guild festered. "But it does not matter, I trust you to figure this out Damon, and come back to me,"

"So… does that mean I should take up Elena's offer to have dinner with her tomorrow?"

"Do whatever you think is necessary. Besides, she's with your brother, is she not?"

He bit his lip, wondering if he should tell Eric his suspicions.

"I'm not sure,"

"What?"

"I think so. But there's something wrong. Elena is acting...off. She agreed to my plan too quickly. I caught her trying to slap my brother, and it's clear there's something bothering them. And Jeremy and Matt have been suspiciously quiet when I mention them, and what's happened this year. There's a secret everyone is keeping from me, but I don't know what."

"Maybe she's in love with you, and broke up with your brother,"

He couldn't help himself as he snorted, which resulted in him laughing.

"Ha funny Eric. You didn't hear her. She loves my brother. Forever and for always. They'd never break up. It's most likely due to the cure, or something. Maybe it's about Ric,"

"I nearly forgot about your departed friend. How are you dealing with that?"

"I went to his grave last night when I couldn't fall asleep. We had a drink, or I had a drink, and set one on his tombstone. I miss him, but I'm glad he's gone. He'd hate to be a vampire, that would be worse to him than death,"

"I would have liked to meet him. He sounds interesting for a human. How one could forgive someone for turning their wife. It's quite fascinating." He wondered what Alaric would think of Eric. If they would get along. Alaric was a hunter, which Eric despised. And Eric was a thousand year old other vampire, a species of vampire Ric hadn't even heard of. It would have been interesting, to say the least. "Did you ever have romantic feelings for him?"

"For Ric, no way. He's a little old, or young for me? Not my type. See I have a thing for blond thousand year old viking vampires. And surprise surprise, there's few of those,"

"We are in short supply,"

He smiled, his ears perking up as he heard the screen door open, and he glanced over to see Matt and Jeremy walk into the lake house, covered in sweat. He wrinkled his nose, narrowing his eyes, they were back early. He saw Jeremy mouth where's the pizza and he pointed in the direction of the kitchen.

"Well it's a good thing I found the sexiest of them all. And maybe when I come home, said viking can fuck me so hard into the mattress I forget this horrible week,"

"I think that can be arranged…" Eric chuckled, and in the background he heard a door open and Pam's irritating voice in the distance. He ignored them as they spoke in old Swedish as he reached for his stash of bourbon that sat on the coffee table, pouring himself a glass. "Pam wishes to speak with you," Eric said in English, and he rolled his eyes as he heard the phone being passed off.

"Damon?"

"Pam," He said flatly.

"How's Lydia? You better be looking after her," Pam snarled at him, of course that's what she wanted.

"I miss you too," He retorted in a simpering voice.

"I mean it. She's my favourite. Kill her, and I'll kill you,"

"I know."

"Oh and if you go back with that skank doppelgänger, it won't be Eric who destroys you, it will be me,"

"I love you too Pam," He said, with false affection.

"I'm serious. You will face the true death,"

"Elena means nothing to me Pam. I'll be back before you know it,"

His attention was drawn elsewhere for a moment as he watched little hunter, and quarterback coming back into the living room with their box of what he could only imagine held luke warm pizza as they made their way back to the rear door.

"Eugh maybe you should just stay there," Pam's voice brought him back into the conversation.

"Aw Pam, you know just what to say to make a guy feel special. I can't wait to see you too," He goaded, his voice a few pitches higher to overemphasize the sentiment he was mocking.

Quarterback and little Gilbert raised their eyebrows at him, and he waved them off with a hand. They snickered at him as they went back outside. They'd run more laps after he got off the phone he decided.

"Fuck off Damon. But seriously, Eric may seem to you like he's fine, but he's hurting. He took you back Damon, and he loves you, more than anything. And if you break his heart, again, I will find you, and skin you alive. And then your cunt of a girlfriend."
"I would expect nothing less,"

"Good," Pam snarled, and he heard the phone being passed off again.

"I do apologize for Pam, you know loyal she is," Eric said, that was an understatement he thought.

"Your the one I want Eric, not her. If you want, you can come to Mystic Falls. Might make this week go by faster," He suggested.

"Maybe I'll come pick you up at the weeks end, and we came make a road trip of it. Eat out for awhile. And have sex without any distractions,"

"Now you're talking. Can we make it a month long road trip. And maybe go to France. Or Italy. Or Sweden, I'd be okay with going to your farm in Öland Feast on foreign blood. I miss the taste of Europeans."

"I do too. Southern blood just isn't the same" Eric said thoughtfully, and he licked his lips, tasting it already. "You're the only one who I know likes my farm in Öland"

He didn't quite understand Pam's hatred for the property. The weather wasn't always ideal, the woman was used to warmer nights, and little snow, unlike Öland which had milder, and colder weather. But it was beautiful all the same. It was a massive property spanning a couple kilometres, with a large farmhouse on the property, which overlooked the Baltic sea.

"It has a distinct feel of you. It's quaint, and by the sea. And still has some semblance of viking ancestry to it. It almost smells of you,"

"And how do I smell to you Damon,"

"Like the ocean in the winter. And you feel just as cold."

"Hm," Eric said fondly. "I wish you could have seen it when I was just a boy. It's beauty is nothing compared to what it used to be. There were less people, and no tourists. It was just open fields, and friends. My family."

"I'd like to have seen you as a viking. I imagine you this powerful being, with long blond hair, and a beard, covered in thick furs, and a horned helmet,"

The sound Eric made was one of pure disgust, and he inwardly laughed. "Vikings did not wear horned helmets. I swear, humans have gotten our ancestry wrong for the past few centuries. We wore iron helmets, but with no horns. There is no practical use for horns Damon. And my people were well kept, not dirty, and unclean, and unshaven like those drawn in your history books. My hair is the length that is now, but I used to keep it held back, so it would not shield my eyes from an attack from an enemy. Though we did wear furs, that part you have gotten correct. And I was a powerful, when my father was slaughtered by those werewolves, he gave me the title of King. And though I did not hold it long, it is still something I am quite proud of, though I wish I'd had my fathers crown, instead of being stolen by those werewolf bastards. And their master,"

"You always fall for that. I know you didn't wear horned helmets Eric. Though if anyone could pull one off, it would be you," He teased, though quickly he turned serious again. "We'll find those werewolves someday Eric. I promise. We may not have been able to find them during operation werewolf in world war II, but we will find them again. And we'll slaughter them all. And their leader. You shall get your revenge, and we'll find your crown, and when we do, I'll fuck you on your throne, while you wear nothing but your crown, my king,"

"That is something I'd enjoy far more than you imagine,"

"Anything to please my liege,"

All he could hear on Eric's end was a soft growl. "I must go before I fly there, and fuck you into oblivion,"

It was his turn to growl, hundreds of possibilities flashing through his dirty mind. "I say skip your little meeting with the magistrate and come fuck me. He's a creep anyway. The lingering stares at my ass. The constant remarks of being called an abomination whore. For someone who thinks me, and my entire vampire line are disgusting parasites who are a loathsome stain on vampirism, he sure has the inner desire to fuck me on the nearest piece of furniture,"

"I don't think you realize how much effect you have on others. You're a stunning creature Damon Salvatore. There's a uniqueness to you. I've never seen another human, vampire or any other supernatural creature with the shade of blue your eyes have. Or rigidity of your cheekbones. And your ass is quite pleasing,"

"Baby I know it!" He said confidently, but a blush dusted his cheeks all the same. "You're the only one who gets to be anywhere near, or inside of my glorious ass,"
"And I love having the privilege,"

"You better."

"I must be going Damon. I'll text you later?"

"Maybe sext later?"

"Goodbye Damon,"

"Bye Eric,"

He heard the viking laugh as their line was disconnected, seeing he'd received a new text message, and his guilt came rushing back.

Message Received: 8:30pm

From: Elena Gilbert

Please call me, or text me back Damon. I want to see you. Did I do something? I bought your favourite bottle of vintage bourbon, just for the occasion.


Stefan shrugged off Rebekah's grip on his arm as they made their way into the library of Mystic Falls high school. He was satisfied having a day to himself at the Mystic Grill, drinking away his sorrows. It was practically a Salvatore family tradition. But no, someone undaggered Rebekah and now she was threatening the life of his ex girlfriend. And as much as he wanted to stay, and let Elena deal with the Original herself, he knew this was his fault. He'd conspired against her with her own brother and Elena didn't deserve to face the consequences. All for the cure.

Besides, a part of him would always love Elena, and that part of him would do anything to keep her safe, and happy. Even if that meant giving her up to his brother. But he'd prefer Elena choose between them once she was fully human again.

As they moved further into the library, past a few bookshelves, he noticed Caroline, Elena and April sitting around a circular wooden table in the middle of the library.

That answers who undaggered Rebekah he thought as he his eyes lingered on April for a moment. He knew from Caroline while they're was the whole disaster with the hybrids, she'd thought she compelled April after she found her 'dead' in the girls bathroom after having her neck snapped by Tyler's werewolf friend Hayley, only to find out later she was wearing Jeremy's vervain bracelet. She must have heard of the location of Rebekah's body, and undaggered her. April had no idea who her friend really was, he felt a little sorry for the girl being dragged into this mess unknowingly.

"Stefan" Elena exclaimed, jumping up, a worried expression plastered on her beautiful face. For a brief moment a part of him glimmered with hope, but Rebekah quickly took his mind away from it.

"Did I say you could move?"

Elena's face fell, and she begrudgingly sat back down.

"Class is in session. You've all been compelled; you know the rules. Answer my

questions honestly, no disobedience, no one leaves. April, my sweet, take notes. This is how you get answers in this town." Rebekah nattered on, he barely listened as he took a seat in the only vacant chair next to Elena, and across from April. He watched as the girl scurried to find a notebook and a pen from her bag. "Let's start with a little quiz. In the year 1114, my brother learnt, thanks to yours truly, about a brotherhood of vampire hunters with tattoos that grew with each kill. These tattoos revealed what, Elena?"

Elena didn't even turn to acknowledge Rebekah, instead staring right in front of her, a sigh escaping her lips. "A map."

"Which led to... Caroline?" Rebekah continued.

"A cure for vampirism."

"Perfect, so we're all caught up. Stefan Salvatore, the last time we saw each other, you had a vampire hunter, but in order to decode the map, you needed the location of the hunter's sword, which you got out of me using some very dirty tricks." She paused, smiling at him for the briefest instant. For all the atrocities he'd done to her, she still had some semblance of feelings for him. He wished in this occasion Rebekah could be Elena. "Assuming you found the sword, you also found the cure, and yet, you're all still vampires, which means something went wrong."

No one spoke up as Rebekah turned to face April "What are you doing?"

April looks perplexed as she stared at Rebekah, and back at her notebook. "Oh, you asked me to take notes."

"I wasn't being literal, darling. But now that you mention it... a flow chart would be nice, which means index cards and push-pins. Go, fetch." Rebekah teased, clearly wanting the girl to leave the room so she could torture them without the judging eyes of her only friend.

April nodded once, before scampering away.

"You're wasting your time. We don't know anything." He spat, wanting to get Rebekah's interrogation over with.

Rebekah began to take a turn around the table, her eyes never leaving his. "So, you just gave up? I thought you would do anything to save Elena?" There was a pause as a wicked gleam sparkled in the blond Original's eye. "Even if it meant taking the cure yourself, so you could grow old and die with her?"

There was a deafening silence as he flinched, regretting ever telling Rebekah his plan with the cure. She didn't know the heartbreak he'd recently been through. The fact that Elena no longer loved him. That there was no possibility of a future, because Elena will or has already, proclaimed her love for Damon, and his brother has taken the girl he'd been coveting for 3 years with open arms. There was no possibility of anything else.

"Why do you look so surprised?"

It took him a moment to realize the blond vampire was speaking to Elena. His eyes met hers, and his heart constricted as he saw the flurry of emotions flash over her face. Surprise. Guilt. Sadness. Guilt again. And then sadness. She tried to smile at him, but the curve of her lips couldn't be forced upward, and she chose to look at her fingers instead.

He needed a drink.

"I'm missing something. What is it?"

The secrecy continued, and his eyes darted to Caroline who looked devastated for all of them. It was clear she couldn't continue sitting in the stillness.

"They broke up, okay?!"

Caroline smiled sadly at him before glaring at the Original. "Now let us go."

"Broke up? Wait, I'm confused. I thought Elena was your epic love, Stefan?"

There was a clear amusement in her words, as she gracefully took a seat across from him in April's vacant chair, her focus entirely on him. He didn't answer, instead staring straight ahead, pondering how much bourbon he had left at home.

"I asked you what happened. You have to tell me." Rebekah exclaimed, an almost whine pouring from her lips.

He sighed, crossing his arms as we willed the heartbreak not to encompass his face. He would not show his inner turmoil. Not now. Not to Elena. And especially not to Rebekah. "She's in love with my brother,


Damon leaned against the rickety picnic bench that sat outside of the Gilbert lake house, near the dock, as he watched Jeremy load a 9mm with wooden bullets. They'd been doing this for almost a half an hour, and he'd almost rather have vervain soaked needles poked in his eyeballs instead of watching little Gilbert load a gun in slow motion. There was no way he'd be able to load a gun before a vampire caught his scent, and ripped him to shreds.

But he'd lie to make him feel better.

"Good," He began to unload the weapon, tossing him back the magazine while the bullets rolled back toward Jeremy. " Now, do it like your life depends on it, 'cause it does."

"Don't act like you care about my life." Jeremy exclaimed, jumping up from his spot as he came charging toward him. "You only care about your own ass. And having the hunter's mark completed so you can run home to your girlfriend in Louisiana."

Girlfriend?

Oh how wrong that assumption was. At least Matt and Jeremy stopped calling Lydia his girlfriend, though he was still perplexed on how they came to the conclusion his boyfriend was his girlfriend.

"Both require you to be alive." He said simply, not bothering to correct the little hunter. "Which is why I updated our relationship status to 'it's complicated.' " He teased, Jeremy just stared at him disapprovingly. Little Gilbert never appreciated his sarcasm. "Speaking of women, have you talked to her at all? Elena?"

"Maybe. Why?" Jeremy asked, his eyebrows narrowing. "Leaving your girlfriend for my sister?"

He snorted, as he leaned forward and placed his hands on the picnic bench as he let out a short laugh. He'd been asked this earlier from Matt when he inquired about Elena. Was everyone being hostile toward him because they thought he'd come back for Elena Gilbert. Even his so called girlfriend Eric thought so.

"I'm sorry. Did I interrupt play time?

Ah captain buzzkill, right on time he thought bitterly as he watched Klaus approached them, with his shit eating grin, and cocky swagger. He'd give anything to see Eric take on Klaus, and rip his fucking head off, so Klaus could for once in his life fear for the immortality that made him so undeniably overconfident.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Jeremy snarled, puffing out his chest as if Klaus should fear him, and his new hunter abilities. Not that he had any of course. Though he supposed the only thing Jeremy had that kept him protected from Klaus' wrath was the mark that they currently hadn't made any bigger.

"I'm simply appreciating the sights and smells of nature," Klaus drawled as he kept coming toward them, his face falling into his usual bored grimace as he inspected the area. "Neither of which presently include rotting vampire flesh, so I'm a bit concerned. How many vampires has he killed?"

He sighed. He hadn't expected to see Klaus at all, he figured the hybrid would be too busy with other things to bother with him. "If we throw Jeremy out into the real world right now, he's chum."

Klaus shook his head at him, a mock disproving look directed at him, as if he was being scolded by a parent. There was a clear darkness in the hybrid's eyes behind the playfulness though. "Yeah, see, that's not a number. Twelve—that's a number. That's how many of my hybrids I slaughtered with my sword. Three—that's how many days it took to quell the urge to kill your brother after he knowingly watched as I walked into a death trap." He smirked at the thought, Jeremy and Matt had filled him on the events of the past week. Too bad Tyler didn't succeed, then Klaus would be in a box, desiccating, and far away from terrorizing him and the residents of Mystic Falls. "One—that's the number of purposes you serve. You are here to grow Jeremy's mark, so I'll ask again…" Klaus came toward him, Jeremy moved right out of the way and stood between them as Klaus halted inches away from him now. "How many vampires has he killed since he's been here?"

There was that smile again and a dark part of him itched to punch the hybrid in the face. "Zero." He replied, giving Klaus his own smart ass smile.

"That's a pity." He shrugged at the Original, not giving a damn about what Klaus wanted. He promised a week. He still had three days left. "I'm going to need that cure sooner rather than later. Hybrid shortage and all. How can I help?"

He paused looking down at the abandoned 9mm pistol sitting on the picnic bench, and a thought came to him. It was his turn to smile as he picked up the the gun's casing and already loaded magazine.

"You know, now that you mention it…" He said, shoving the magazine in the bottom of the handle, hearing the familiar click as it was loaded. He switched off the safety, and dramatically pulled back the top of the barrel to load the bullet into the firing chamber. "Jeremy, watch and learn."

Without any regard, he aimed and fired two wooden bullets in the hybrid's heart with key precision. He watched, more satisfied than he thought as he watched Klaus fall back, clutching his chest, as he supported himself on a tree. Even Jeremy seemed impressed. "That's for Carol Lockwood."

The blond snorted, reaching into his chest cavity to pull out the bullets as he came toward the both of them, the amusement gone from the hybrid. He stopped to face Jeremy, tossing the bloodied bullets onto the ground. "Run along hunter, the vampires need to talk now. Unless you want to stay, and endure the pain I'm about to inflict on your trainer"

Jeremy looked between them for a moment before stalking off toward the back door of the Gilbert lake house. He didn't blame the hunter, Klaus had that murderous look in his eyes.

"Are you really going to hurt me? So I shot you! Aren't people trying to kill you on a daily basis. You should be used to it by now, I mean do you have any friends?"

With the months he'd spent with Eric, he was able to see Klaus strike though it did nothing to prevent himself from being taken and thrown into a tree, a hand gripping his throat so tight he swore he could feel the bones in his throat begin to bend. "Damon, I'd watch what you say. Like I said, you serve one purpose, and you can be easily replaced."

He tried to open his mouth to respond, but the air that he was able to suck in, was forced outward as the Original's grip tightened and he tapped his arm trying to explain his dilemma. Klaus realized he couldn't speak, so his group loosed, ever so slightly. "By who? You know I'm the only one who will do this your way. Why do you think my brother called me back home? It's pretty clear my brother wasn't looking overly hard for me this year, and yet now he wants me to come back. Think about it,"

For the first time, the hybrid looked genuinely confused, and he relaxed his hand on his throat, letting the oxygen he didn't need fill his lungs again. "Speak. Fast before I get are you talking about?"

"You think my brother betraying you the other night, is the first time? Stefan, and the whole scooby gang wanted to use the white oak stake to kill one of your siblings so Jeremy could complete the mark. My guess, is Rebekah. And I'm the last person who knows the location of the one weapon that can kill you,"

"I nearly forgot about the white oak stake," Klaus said thoughtfully, taking a step for a moment, and like that, he was pinned roughly against the tree again. "Where is it?"

"In Louisiana," He wheezed, clawing at the Original's hand, but he didn't loosen his grip in the slightest. "It's safe."

"Hm" Klaus pondered, as he began to see white, feeling the life slip away from him. And like that, it was over, and he fell to his knees, panting for air. "You can guess I want it. Preferably as soon as possible."

"Look I have no way of getting it right now," He lied. "Why would you want anyway? I'd think having the white oak stake in another state is good for you. What happens if the scooby gang becomes human. They'll want to kill you. And that's not good for either of us. I'm the only one who doesn't want you dead. You're my sire, you die, I die. And it also means none of your siblings can hurt you."

"You do make a good point. I suppose I can wait until I have the cure in my possession and have gotten my hybrid blood." Klaus said thoughtfully, but in the next instant his eyes narrowed dangerously at him. "But know this Damon, if you are lying to me about the stake and you try and turn on me and my family, I will kill you,"

"Is that your catchphrase? Because I swear it's getting old." He quipped, rolling his eyes dramatically. Klaus didn't look amused. "You know if you want to make friends, they say showing a little kindness goes a long way."

"I find people abuse my kindness. Threats and intimidation are the only way to get the things you want in this world." Klaus sounded a little sad, and as old as he was, but it garnered no sympathy from Damon. "Besides I have family,"

"Who you dagger, and threaten. Stefan and I may have our differences but when it comes down to it, we'd die for each other."

"They haven't told you, have they?"

He raised his eyebrows. "Who?"

"Stefan. Elena. What's happened this year. If you knew, you wouldn't be saying those words. I do not think your brother cares for you as much as you think. But then again, Elijah and I have been where you have both been, and still remain loyal towards one another."

"What are you talking about?" He asked.

"Ask Elena. She'll tell you what you need to know." Klaus said as he walked away. He thought for a moment that was it, but the hybrid turned back. "I do look forward to the aftermath. It may be you who will need a friend. And we psychopaths should stick together, besides you're starting to become my favourite Salvatore.


"So vampire Elena is a trollop who likes bad boys, which explains why Stefan reeks of alcohol. But what doesn't explain is why sweet, innocent Elena could be so heartless towards Stefan."

Stefan was tired of playing 21 questions with Rebekah as he, Elena and Caroline sat in the high school library. He wanted to go home, or to the Mystic Grill and drink it's supply of bourbon.

It seemed however he wasn't able to escape Rebekah and her questions as she came closer to him. "How could she hurt you like that? Answer please"

"I don't know. When Elena first transitioned, and chose to become a vampire, I thought we'd get to spend eternity with each other. But while she transitioned, memories Damon had compelled from her, returned, and she saw Damon vulnerable. And how selfless he tried to be with her. As the months passed, her feelings for Damon grew. I can only assume it was because of her heightened emotions gave way to feelings she'd kept inside for my brother. It didn't help that my brother vanished, not returning any of our phone calls. Or texts. Or emails. When his phone was finally disconnected, she'd thought the worst. And she tried to leave Mystic Falls, and go find him, but I convinced her to stay. That if Damon wanted to be gone, he'd stay gone. But we both knew a part of me was lying, that I didn't want Damon to come home and she resented me for it. But she stayed, only to graduate with her friends, and help find the cure. Though soon after, she broke up with me, claiming she couldn't deny her feelings for Damon anymore." He explained bitterly, hating compulsion. Hating the sinister smile spreading on Rebekah's face and most of all hating that he had to relive this nightmare, without alcohol, and his ex girlfriend sitting just a foot away from him.

"But I thought Damon was still gone. How can you know your feelings are genuine Elena?" Rebekah asked, her attention turned to Elena. "I asked you a question"

"Because I do." Elena said simply.

"You're hiding something. Fess up."

"I didn't have to see Damon, to know I want to be with him. But it doesn't matter now, he's here now. He came back to help us find the cure. And everything that I felt for him, that I feel for him, just grew. I love Damon, nothing will change that. Not the cure. Not anything. He's the one I want to be with."

The room fell into an uncomfortable silence as everyone stared at Elena, who seemed to not want to meet anyone's gaze as she stared into her hands. The spell was broken as a faint buzzing could be heard and Rebekah helped herself into Elena's purse, fishing out her cellphone.

"Speaking of your epic love, he left you a voicemail. Play it." Rebekah commanded.

Elena looked panicked as she glanced at him, but she did as she was requested anyway.

Hey Elena, it's Damon. Sorry I haven't called you back. I've been busy with your brother, Matt and Klaus. May have taken a few days, but your brother is making some progress with his hunting ability. Listen, if it isn't too late, I'd like to take you up on your offer for dinner tonight. You know I can't say no to vintage bourbon. Besides I'm getting sick of camp nowhere, and singing kumbaya with my campers. I think i can leave quarterback and the little hunter that could for the evening, as long as they don't eat the town's pizza supply. Anyway call me back, or text me as soon as you can. Let me know if I can bring anything, though I think the only thing I have at the moment is bourbon, but I could pick up dessert along the way. Anyway see you soon.

"Sounds like you haven't told Damon how you feel?" Rebekah commented, he was surprised as she was. He'd expected her to have told his brother already. Though knowing they were going to have dinner together, alone, most likely in her house- made him sick with heartache. "Here let me text him back. I'd hate for him to worry about you." Rebekah mocked, her fingers breezing over Elena's iPhone. "Sounds great Damon. Maybe bring some wine, and we can split a dessert. Is 10 okay? I'm a little tied up at the school right now, but I still want to see you. Add some emojis, and I think we're good."

"What does any of this have to do with the stupid cure?" Caroline snarled, but Rebekah was too focused on Elena's phone to hear her.

"Oh he got back to me, he seems eager" Rebekah teased, winking at him. "Wine and dessert it is. I'll see you at 10, your house right?" Rebekah read to them, Elena had a little smile on her face. "Yes, we'll have the place all to ourselves. Can't wait to see you! More emojis. And send."

"Stop it!" Caroline cried.

"What oh. Right." Rebekah said, as she put Elena's phone away. "We got off point. Stefan, how do I find the cure? Unless you want me to continue talking about Elena and Damon all night, "

"There's a professor. He know's where the cure is." He said simply, his eyes cast downward, not bothering to put up a fight.

"Thank you. And uh, where do I find this professor?"


Text Received: 7:47pm

From: Elena Gilbert

Yes. We'll have the place to ourselves. Can't wait to see you! :) :) :)

Damon stared at the screen of his iPhone for a few minutes, puzzling over the context of Elena's text message. And the one before it. Wine and dessert. Alone. It sounded like a date to him. It couldn't be, could it? Maybe he was just thinking too much into it. I mean, Elena loved Stefan. She'd always love Stefan. Besides, he'd been away for a year, and she'd never came looking for him. This is was just Elena being Elena. Nothing else.

But was it? Klaus' words still rang through him, what secret could his brother and Elena be hiding from him?

God damn, stupid drama. Four days, and somehow knee deep in Original drama. Elena and Stefan drama. It was as if the entire year never happened.

...When you came in the air went out. And every shadow filled up with doubt. I don't know who you think you are, but before the night is through, I wanna do bad things with you...

He grinned as he heard Eric's customized ringtone, pressing the phone to his ear.

"Hey Eric. Wasn't expecting to hear from you so early tonight."

There was no response, all he could here was indistinguishable metal music, and the muffling of voices. "Eric?"

"You're seeing her tonight,

"Elena? Yeah." He said. "You told me to!"

" I know I did,"

"Are you jealous?" He teased, though he was beginning to wish he'd never called her. Especially since her last two text messages.

"Of Elena Gilbert? No I hardly think not." Eric snorted.

"Then why are you calling? Worried?"

Eric didn't make a sound, and the music, and the muffled voices were all he could hear.

"You don't have to be worried Eric. You know, I decided not to see her last night, but Klaus said something peculiar today and I'm only seeing her to get some answers."

"Peculiar?"

"Yeah, he said my brother and Elena are keeping secrets from me."

"Didn't you already deduce this?"

"Sure, but Klaus made me curious. What would Elena want to tell me, but not my brother? It will apparently tear us apart. I think Klaus is just trying to make less competition against him for the cure, but it peaked my curiosity. So I figure I'll go see Elena. I don't think I can avoid her forever anyway. And like you said, I need closure right?"

"You really don't see it, do you?" Eric scoffed, and he was puzzled at what the viking meant exactly.

"See what?"

"Nothing. So when do see her?"

"Soon. At 10. But I have to leave here in about an hour, so I can pick up a bottle of wine, and dessert at Elena's request."

"Wine and dessert?" Eric asked, his voice almost too calm.

"Yeah don't ask. I thought the request was odd too. But maybe she doesn't have any at her house?"

"Mmmhmm. They've really done a number on you,"

"I'm going to choose to ignore that." He said lightly, shaking his head. "So why did you call Eric? If it wasn't jealousy or worry,"

"You have an hour correct?" Eric asked, making him look over his shoulder for a moment as if Eric was going to appear.

"Yeah?" He asked.

"Good, I want you to touch yourself. I want to hear it,"

Damon paused, wondering if he'd heard Eric correctly. Touch himself. Not that he hadn't done that before, and in front of Eric too, but over the phone. That was new. "You called because you got lonely with just your hand?"

"Indulge me,"

"Fine" He huffed, getting up off the ground, from the tree he was leaning against that overlooked the lake. "I swear the things I'll do for you," He went on, as he made his way back to the Gilbert lake house. "Least valuable player and the little hunter should be leaving."

He opened the screen door, walking into the living room to see Jeremy and Matt sprawled out on the one couch, watching tv, while Lydia sat on the other, focused on something on her computer. Neither of them acknowledged him.

"Why are you both still here?" He asked, annoyed. He could hear Eric laugh at him in his ear but he ignored the blond.

"You told us we couldn't leave, because Jeremy would die if he didn't keep training and you wouldn't save his useless ass." Matt said, giving him a dark look.

He'd forgotten about that.

"Oh right, well I change my mind. Here," He said, taking out his wallet and throwing a few bills on the coffee table that sat in front of the two boys. "Go. Have fun. It's on me."

"There's five hundred dollars here Damon. What's the catch," Jeremy asked, bewildered as he stared down at the hundred dollar bills as if that was the largest amount of money he'd seen in his life.

"No catch, I'm just rewarding you both. Why? Do you not want the five hundred dollars?"

He asked, both boys shaking their heads vigorously.

"No, it's just you're not a generous person Damon,"

"Contrary to popular belief, I'm a nice guy. Besides, I've been charitable to train your useless ass, I think that counts big time." He snorted, as he gestured toward the front door. "Now go, before I decide to change my mind and make you run… ten laps around the lake,"

Little Gilbert and quarterback took off, headed for the door.

"Make sure to come back tonight," He yelled after them as he heard the door close a grunt of yes following behind them.

"What was that all about?" Lydia asked as she looked up from her computer.

"Nothing. Stay here Lydia, I need some privacy with Eric," He said, gesturing to the phone, and Lydia just nodded, turning back to the laptop that sat on her lap.

"Subtle Damon,"

"Shut it, or I hang up this phone," He said, as he made his way up the stairs and toward the master bedroom, unbuckling his belt as he went. He heard a scream, and laughter, the music still blaring in the background. "Where are you?"

"In Fangtasia."

He couldn't help but roll his eyes as he stepped out of his jeans, kicking them to the side with his boxers a moment later. He felt guilty for a moment as he strutted to the king size bed, knowing it was Eric who killed the people who used to occupy the bed he was about to defile himself on. But he shook the thought away as he crawled on top of the deep purple duvet, settling himself in the middle of the bed.

"You're sitting on your throne, in the middle of the bar, about to listen to me jack myself off,"

He pressed the speaker button as he threw the phone next to him, tossing his black shirt to the other side of the bed.

"Yes, does that bother you?"

He picked his phone up again, pressing it to his ear, as the other hand ran lazy along his chest. The question was clearly rhetorical, but it begged to be answered.

"No," He said simply, as his hand went southward, running along the ridges of his muscles, and then lower, his fingers encircling around his half hard cock, a soft gasp escaping him. He hadn't been touched in a few days, and the need was beginning to show itself, as his head fell back onto the pillows, his eyes staring lazily onto the ceiling, picturing instead the ceiling of Fangtasia. "I like knowing you're sitting in a room full of vampires, none of them knowing what I'm doing, and you'll just be sitting there, your face unreadable but so painfully hard."

"Good, my älskling," Eric purred in his ear, using a nickname he only used when they were in the bedroom, when Eric wanted him to give himself over to the viking completely. "Are you touching yourself,"

"Yes," He breathed out, his hand fumblingly slow, waiting for instruction.

"Spread your legs wide like the little whore that I know you to be," Eric's voice was just a husky whisper, but he complied, planting his legs wide, his hand still firmly on his cock. "Now, I want you to use the other hand that's not wrapped around your cock, and stick your fingers in your mouth,"
He pressed the speaker button again, pressing the phone into the curve of neck, switching hands so not to dislodge the phone. He then, leaning closer to the speaker, licked along three of his fingers. He knew exactly where these were going. "Didn't I say in your mouth Damon?'

"Yes," He opened wide, stuffing them in, swirling his tongue around the long digits.

"Good," Eric's voice was rough, and he knew the viking was becoming hard. "Now stick them in deep, I want to hear you gag on them,"

The idea of choking on his own fingers sounded asinine, but he complied, shoving them in further along his tongue, and down his throat until he felt the familiar feeling of gagging, his eyes watering as he continued to choke, waiting patiently for Eric.

"Stop,"

He gasped as he pulled them out, a string of saliva followed. "That was for your benefit alone. They wet?"

"Yes,"

"Inside, älskling. Only one until I say so,"

He spread his legs a little further, his thighs splaying, the slick fingers now reaching his entrance. He paused for a moment, mentally preparing himself before he breached himself. The first finger was nothing compared to what he experienced hundreds of times before, but it draws a soft moan from him anyway, and his other hand stills on his now hard erection as he enjoyed the peculiar feeling of being filled. "Feel good?"

He exhaled out deeply, his breath shaky as he moved it around, as his other hand began to start a slow rhythm, rubbing the head of his length, teasing the slit with his fingernail. "Add another finger,"

He didn't need to be told twice as he added another, opening himself further. "Talk to me älskling." Eric's voice was low, rough and demanding and his imagination conjured up Eric's fingers inside of him, the viking looming over him, naked in all his viking glory. "What do you think I'll do to you when I see you again,"

"You'll hurt me," He moaned out, as he took a deep breath, arching his back slightly as his two fingers brushed over his prostate. "You'll play with me. And hurt me because I deserve it for leaving you." His words were just pants, his body becoming slick with sweat as he speed up his pace, with both his fingers inside of him, and wrapped around him. "Maybe you'll whip me," The thought of leather biting my skin, leaving water lily bruises in its wake along my back, brought out a soft cry.

"Add a third finger,"

He worked the third finger into himself, pumping them in and out. "Or you'll cut me. Stab me, you'll make me bleed," The idea of blood trickling over his now what would be bruised and broken body made his breathing heavy, and rushed- almost sobbing for air. "Maybe spank me for being naughty…ah fuck," His toes curled against the soft cover, closing his eyes as he moaned out like a cheap whore. "You'll push me. As far as you can, to show me that you're in charge. That you own me. That I am yours,"

"Are you close? Add another,"

The fourth finger worked itself in, and he brushed his prostate again, his other hand working wonders on his cock. "Yes. Please. I need it."

"I'm going to chain you in the barn in Oland Damon, in the middle of the room. And I'm going to whip you, spank you, cut you until you are so painfully hard. But I won't allow you to come, so I'll put a cock ring on you." The words made him cry out in ecstasy, as if Eric was there himself, fucking him with his fingers, his voice whispering sweet nothings in his ear, his sweat soaked skin on his. "I'll watch you suffer as I continue to hurt you. And when I know you're on the edge of insanity, I'll fuck you. And you'll scream for me to let you come, but I won't. And god, your pleas, and cries will be the only thing I'll ever want to hear for the rest of my immortal life," His hips were now buckling into his hand, as he was just a panting, moaning animalistic beast, his fingers continuously pushing onto his prostate. "And finally, when you think you're about to pass out from the constant denial, I'll rip the cock ring off of you as I come inside of you, and you'll scream. And come, and god, you'll be so goddamn beautiful, I'll never want to unchain you again,"

His eyes, still closed, had him seeing white but he held on. "Eric...please… please…"

"Come for me älskling"

His orgasm convulsed through him, coming out in a long burst, and all he saw was blackness. He forced every last drop out, Eric's name on his lips as he screamed out in delirium.

"I think even my patrons heard that one Damon,"

His breath was ragged as he came down, easing his fingers out of himself. "Lick the cum off your fingers,"

He brought his clammy, trembling hand toward his mouth, strings of cum weaving through his fingers like the find strands of a spider web. "Now I want you to think about that while you're with Elena. And remember who YOU belong to,


No one spoke, as they all sat around the circular wooden table in the middle of the library. Stefan supposed they could, Rebekah hadn't compelled them from talking. But what was there to say? He wasn't sure how much more he could take of hearing who he still believed to be his epic love, confess her undying love for his brother.

He hated Damon. And he loathed himself for it. Yes, Damon pursued Elena for years while he was with her, and attempted to seduce her but when he left, he seemingly gave his blessing to his brother- he'd been utterly grateful to him. But somehow, his departure, and his blood was his best enticement. But that wasn't Damon's fault, per se. But he wanted to blame someone for his misery. No he needed to. He wasn't sure if he'd be able to accept that Elena didn't love him. She was his everything.

"Still glued to your seats? Ahh, it's thick with tension in here. Let's spice things up a bit."

He heard Rebekah before he saw her as she made her way back into the library. She must have left Professor Shane with her brother Kol, to be tortured to gain the location of the cure. He felt almost bad for the man, but he was shady. And clearly hiding something.

Rebekah stopped at the space between him and Elena. "Elena, truth or dare?"

"We're done playing your stupid games Rebekah," He spat, wanting nothing more to be at home, nursing an overflowing tumbler of bourbon.

Rebekah ignored him. "Truth or dare, Elena. You're compelled. Answer."

"Dare"

The smile that appeared on the Original's face was venomous as she leaned on the table, facing toward Elena. "I dare you to tell Stefan the truth about how you felt when you saw Damon again,"

"Seriously!" Caroline pleaded but he knew her pleas would go unheard.

Elena sighed heavily, her eyes glued to her hands. "Seeing him again made me happy,"

Rebekah snorted, clearly not satisfied with Elena's answer. "Made you happy? Clowns make you happy, Elena. Dig a little deeper."

A smile threatened to expose itself as Elena sat there for a moment in silence, not saying word. She then came to, looking over at Rebekah. "Seeing Damon again, was surprising. But incredible all the same. It was if I found a lost part of myself. And he looked at me, like the first time he met me, with love and affection and all the despair, all the worry, all the heartache of this year disappeared when he smiled at me. Because I knew Damon would make everything okay, like he always has done for me."

He felt his heart literally break hearing those words, because that's how he felt with Elena. Could a vampire die of heartbreak?

"And how do you feel when you're with Stefan?"

"Stop" Caroline cried.

Rebekah just smirked at her. "She can't. She's compelled."

Elena sighed again, her eyes focused on nothing. "I feel like I'm a project, like I'm a problem that needs to be fixed." She looked at him then, sorrow in her beautiful brown eyes. "I think I make him sad, and I can't be with someone like that, because when he looks at me, all he sees is a broken toy."

It felt as if the air around him was sucked away, and he couldn't breathe. He tried to remain unfazed but her words felt like a stake to the heart, and all he wanted to do was to flip the switch. And rip again.

"Do you still love Stefan?" Rebekah asked, the question keeping him grounded for a moment.

"Yes," His eye shot up to look at her.

"Are you still in love with Stefan?"

She paused, looking down. "No"

He knew that's how she felt, but hearing it was so much worse. He could see out of the corner of his eye the guilt plastered all over Elena's face but rage consumed him nevertheless. Not at her. But at Rebekah. And Damon. And Elena's vampirism. And everything else in between.

"Did that hurt? Having someone you love drive a dagger through your heart?"

He grinded his teeth, unable to do what he wanted to, which was stab Rebekah through the heart with the white oak stake. "Go to hell!"

"Did. That. Hurt." Rebekah emphasized as he knelt in front of him.

He felt the compulsion nag at him to reply, and he looked away. "Yes,"

"Welcome to the last 900 years of my life." He faced her again, his rage toward her dimmed a little, hearing the obvious pain behind those words.

He didn't get a chance to remark as Tyler came busting into the library, like he was on a rescue mission. He'd almost forgotten Rebekah had called the hybrid earlier, for what purpose. He was unaware of.

Rebekah was clearly pleased as she turned around to face Caroline's boyfriend. "Ah, good, you're here. It was just getting depressing."

"What the hell is going on?" Tyler asked, looking around the room, just as confused as them.

Rebekah turned on her heel to face them once more. "Listen to the rules carefully. Stay in the building, no vamp-running in the hallways."

"Vamp-running from what?" Caroline asked.

The Original just gave them a predatory smile as she walked up to Tyler who stood his ground. "Turn"

"What!" Elena exclaimed.

"He can't! He'll lose control," Caroline pleaded.

A slow panic descended on him as he could easily gather Rebekah's ulterior motive. She was a Mikaelson after all.

"That's the whole point. I've exhausted all your knowledge. Now I have the professor to help me find the cure, you're just competition. Whoever finds it first, gets to decide what to do with it. Use it, share it, destroy it, save it. I want that to be me."

"But if I turn, I'll kill them" Tyler exclaimed bitterly.

"Yes, you will," Rebekah said, leaning closer to Tyler. "Turn,"

Rebekah didn't give them a second glance as she walked out of the room. He looked at Caroline, Elena and then Tyler who seemed to be a bit preoccupied trying to hold in his wolf. What they hell were they going


Elena heard a soft knock on her door, as she placed a spoon next to the knife, as she finished setting the table. Her heart fluttered, as she rushed toward the door, throwing off her apron. She paused turning to admire herself in the mirror, making sure her hair was in place. She'd finally made it out of the school a little after 9, and she barely had enough time to put the food in the oven, curl her hair ever so slightly, fix her make-up and throw on the white, lace dress she'd bought for the night.

The door creaked open, and Elena appeared, leaning against it as she smiled at Damon. Alarm bells rang inside his head as he took her all in in, the short, tight, sleeveless white lace dress left nothing much to the imagine as it hugged her delicious curves in all the right places, black stiletto heels making her eye level with him. He felt under dressed as he came clad in only a wrinkled black t-shirt, and ragged jeans.

"You look nice. I feel like I should have dressed up," He laughed, wanting to break the thick tension between them.

"Oh this," Elena gestured, biting her lip. "The day I had, I wanted to wear something different. I've worn enough black to last me a lifetime. I wanted something bright. And light,"

"It's definitely not black," He felt immediately stupid for even saying that. He laughed awkwardly as he handed over the red wine and two squares he'd brought. "You asked for wine and dessert,"

"Right, that wasn't me. Long story, but it was Rebekah who was texting you. But wine and dessert sound nice," Elena said, as she took the red wine and what appeared to be chocolate tarts from Damon, and gestured to follow him inside. She praised herself for choosing this dress, clearly Damon liked it. Now on to the dinner. And the talk. She'd fantasized about this moment for months, but now that it was here, she could barely keep two thoughts straight, her nerves getting to her.

"I thought Rebekah was daggered? Or so I was told by Jeremy," Damon called out, as she made her way into the kitchen.

She first placed the tarts in the fridge, and then headed to the nearest cupboard that held the wine glasses. "She was, but a friend of hers, April, undaggered her. And she was out for blood,"

"I didn't know Rebekah was capable of making friends. So why was she texting me from your phone?" Damon asked, and she flinched, startled as Damon's voice was much closer. She turned around, pouring a generous amount of red wine into a wine glass, as Damon leaned against her kitchen cabinets, his trademark smile taking her breath away.

"She compelled Caroline, Stefan and I, and trapped us in the library, forcing us to play 21 questions," She replied, as she handed Damon the glass, then pouring herself her own glass of liquid courage. "Texting you was just another tool to torture me,"

"Sounds awful," He said, though he was puzzled on why.

"It was," She downed a generous amount of wine. Damon just gave her an impressed look, as he sipped his own. "But it's over now, and I'm here with you and that's all that matters,"

Damon's eyes widened as he paused, his lips still firmly on his wineglass those words having little innocence in them. He was definitely going to need something stronger if Eric's suspicions were right. He then downed the rest of the wine in his glass.

"Another glass?" Elena asked, and he just thrusted his over to her. "This is really great wine,"

"Apparently it's Mystic Falls' best seller, or so the clerk told me," He replied as he took his now refilled glass from Elena.

"Please Damon, sit. I'll dish up, and then we can talk. There's so much I want to ask," Elena exclaimed as she ushered him toward the kitchen table.

He took a seat at the head of the table, noticing the table was set so they would be sitting next to each other, not her being on the other side. He wasn't sure how to act. To think. He didn't want to even imagine the possibility Elena felt anything for him but friendship, but how could he not? It's not like, a small, minuscule part of him didn't want Elena to reciprocate the love he'd once held for her. A part of him that he'd shunned. Suppressed.

"Are you okay?" Elena asked, she placed a plate in front of him, which appeared to be roast chicken, and pomme frites. "Sorry it's not much, I had more planned, but I didn't have the time. I hope this is okay,"

"It's perfect," He smiled, only for her sake. "And I'm fine,"

"Good," Elena said, as she took the seat next to Damon, picking up her fork. There was something off about Damon, as if he was uncomfortable. She supposed she deserved it, she'd unceremoniously broke his heart a year ago, and left for a whole year to get away from her. Or so she surmised. Would Damon forgive her? He came after all, at least that was a start. Would he take her back was her bigger question. After everything she put him through, and the year they'd spent apart, could Damon love her again?

She realized then they'd fallen into an uncomfortable silence as Damon sipped his wine, eating the meal she prepared. "So where were you? All this time? You never called. You never texted. You never told us if you were okay!" She gasped, surprised at herself as those words came out. She'd been holding those thoughts in for a long time though.

"I know," Damon simply said, his fork stilled, as he met her eyes. "And I'm sorry about that. But I had to leave, you out of all people should know why,"

His words were bitter, filled with anger, and they stung. But she deserved it. She knew that. "I know Damon, and you deserved better. I should have went to you that night,"

"But you didn't. And here we are,"

The silence resurfaced, and the soft clank of their forks on the china was deafening to her. Damon's expression was unreadable as he kept eating, his eyes unfocused. Clearly deep in thought. "I'm sorry,"

Her voice was barely above a whisper, but she knew he'd heard her. She let go of the breath she didn't know she was holding as Damon's hand rested on hers that sat on the table. "I forgive you Elena. I did a long time ago. You love my brother, you always will. And I'm happy for you both. "

This was her opening, as she pushed her plate to the side, taking Damon's with her other, intertwining their fingers together. "I don't love Stefan anymore. We broke up a couple of weeks ago."

Damon's lungs constricted as he froze, his eyes transfixed on his hand in Elena's, her words washing over him like a tsunami. Eric warned him. Klaus warned him. His own damn little voice nagged at him, but he'd suppressed this thought. Having Elena was something of his wildest dreams.

A nightmare now.

He slipped his hand from Elena's, taking her finished plate, and his own and went back into the kitchen. He needed space.

"Are you going to say something?" Elena pleased with him as he put the dishes into her dishwasher, his back to her.

"What is there to say?" He exclaimed, closing the dishwasher door a bit too harshly as he turned back around. "You two broke up. I'm sorry to hear that."

"I broke up with Stefan because I'm in love with you,"

Elena felt time slow, and come to a screeching halt as she stood there, in front of the man she'd give anything to be with- waiting for his response. The seconds ticked by, the silence becoming a slow acting poison.

"It's too late Elena," And she felt the tears welled up, giving anything for Damon not to complete his thought. "A year ago, this would have been the greatest moment of my life. But I moved on. I have someone now."

"But you loved me Damon. For three years. It's me, Damon. Please," She pleaded, as rushed at him, pinning him to the countertop. If words wouldn't convince him, maybe something physical would. "You love me Damon, remember?"

"I used to love you Elena," Damon whispered, his mind screaming at him to leave, but his hand instead brushed through her hair, cupping her face. "You belong with Stefan. Not me. How do you even know your feelings aren't guilt because I left?"

Elena's fingers brushed over his jaw, her chocolate brown eyes delving into his own. "This is the most real thing I've ever felt Damon." Her body continued to move forward, as she pressed herself into him- their lips inches apart. "I'm yours Damon, forever. Just give in,"

And Elena closed the distance between them.

Chapter Text

Damon couldn't say he didn't want to kiss Elena again. He'd been obsessed with her for three years, since the very moment he met her. But obsession isn't love. It's dark. It's ugly. And most importantly, it's a lie.

But a part of him, wanted to bask in the lie. Transform it into something tangible. Having Elena like this was a victory for him. He'd gotten the girl. But he had the boy. And he was happy. Deliriously in fact. But, as he stood there, in Elena's kitchen, with her in his arms, her lips on his, he couldn't help but think, did he deserve Eric anyway? He'd let himself come here to Mystic Falls. Eric was right, he heard danger. And he came. Not for himself. Not for his brother. For Elena. His life revolved around the Petrova doppelgangers, it always had. And maybe that's who he belonged with.

Except, all he could taste was something fruity. Maybe kiwi. And it was glossy. Not rough. Not icy. And didn't taste like blood. He wasn't leaning upward. There were no large, encompassing arms holding him steady. Instead there were small hands clutching his chest. But most of all, there was no passion. No dominance, no control. Just trembling lips awaiting his next move.

"What the hell!"

It was as if a fog was lifted from his mind as he pushed Elena from him. The darkest recesses of his mind might want him to forget Eric, want to remind him he deserved much less than the viking but his heart won this battle.

"Damon," Elena reached out for him again, but he slapped her hand away.

"No Elena. I can't do this,"

"Why not Damon? It's me. And you." Elena tried again, taking a step into his personal space, he could almost feel her body heat. "I love you. Being with you, is everything I want."

"You don't know that Elena. I've been back, what three days?" He exclaimed, pushing her to the side, moving toward the kitchen table, needing space. "The last time I saw you, you were pretty content with spending your eternity with my brother. So what? I move on. I fall in love, and am finally able to get over being rejected by doppelgangers, and you just decide I'm the brother you want,"

"It wasn't like that Damon!"

"Then what was it like?"

"I don't know" Elena sighed, leaning against the counter, fingers curled around the countertop, her knuckles white. A few strands of her chestnut brown hair fell into her face as her head fell. "I died minutes after speaking with you. I let Stefan save Matt, and I was okay with that. But then, I came back. And I waited for you. I didn't want to be in transition. I didn't want to be a vampire. But then, all these memories you compelled came back. When I first saw you, the night my parents died. That time, you told me you loved me. That you couldn't be selfish with me. And then, I found myself in a barn, dying, and all I could think about was seeing you again. So I transitioned. But you never came. You never answered any of my phone calls. My text messages. It was like you were the one who died, and I tried not to worry. But the days past, and we heard nothing. And Stefan was so calm, like it didn't matter. But it mattered to me Damon. You were always there, and then you weren't. And I realized all those feelings I had for you, the ones I crushed. I pushed away, couldn't be ignored anymore. You were the one I should have gone to that night, but Stefan felt like the safe choice." Their eyes met from across the room, and then Elena was back in front of him, grasping his hand that was by his side with her own. "But I don't want the safe choice Damon, you know? You're the one that invades my dreams. All I want is you. And now you're here. And I just want you in every way I can."

Damon was silent for a moment, unable to speak. Needing to just process it all. All he could think was how Stefan must have felt this entire time- no wonder his brother was barely speaking to him this week.

"Look Elena, I'm sorry you died, and that you're a vampire, but I didn't leave to hurt you. I left to move on, and that's what I did. And I'm happy. We can still be friends, but this," He gestured between the two of them, letting Elena's hand fall from his own. "Has to stop,'

"How do you know they'll make you happier than I can? You've been with her, what, less than a year?" Elena snapped, her cheeks flushing as her eyes turned ferocious making him in turn feel the heat rise in his own body, his one hand curling into a fist.

"How do you know you would Elena? You're just a screwed up, lonely girl who doesn't know what she wants." He spat, turning on his heel, making his way toward the front door. "I know what I want. And it's not you. Get over it,"

Elena appeared in front of him, her anger gone, instead her face was frozen in fear.

"Wait, Damon. Please." She pleaded with him, reaching out for him but he smacked her hand away. "This isn't like you."

"This is me leaving you. This is me not wanting anything to do with you." He continued toward the door, his hand grasping the handle. He needed to leave before his anger got the best of him. "Thanks for the closure Elena,"

And he left, not giving her any time to convince him otherwise.


 

"Stefan?"

Her voice followed her back as she stood in the foyer of the Salvatore boarding house, the rooms unusually dark with the curtains drawn shut of the especially large windows of the manor. Obviously Stefan hadn't opened them back up since Damon's party of two a few nights ago.

She wasn't even sure why she had bothered coming in anyhow, Stefan's car wasn't in the driveway, but his car hadn't been at the Grill either and she was growing concerned her best friend had found himself wrapped around a pole, passed out and reeking of alcohol for any human to find. Alive.

But as she turned back around, she could hear the distinct sound of pages turning coming from up above and relief washed over her. "Stefan I know you're here. You can't hole yourself up here, and ignore the world. So what if Elena and Damon are having dinner together? That doesn't mean-"

She paused in the doorway of Stefan's attic room, only to find Damon sitting on the plush rug, leaning against his younger brother's queen size bed, reading- as she inspected the thick, off colour pages, and black, elegant cursive-Stefan's diary.

"Means what Barbie?" Damon asked, amused as he glanced up at her, a wicked gleam in his pale blue eyes.

"Isn't that a little high school? Reading someone's diary?" She snorted, attempting to grab the journal from Damon's hands, but he was too quick, and she found herself reaching for air, as Damon was already leaning against Stefan's desk across the room, by the window.

"Coming from the prom queen?" Damon laughed, purposefully flipping to the next page with theatrical flourish. "Besides, how else am I to catch up on scooby gang gossip?"

"I didn't think you cared about any of us?"

"Oh I don't, but when Elena Gilbert kisses you, you get a little curious,"

She knew in the back of her mind that Elena would make a move on the older Salvatore brother, but hearing it out loud from Damon mildly surprised her. And brought a wave a despair to wash over her as she thought of Stefan, and how upset he'll be when he hears.

"Listen to this," Damon called out to her, bringing her out of her thoughts. "I know it was selfish of me, but I was happy for awhile when Damon was gone. I thought maybe he'd left to let Elena and I be together. To stop fighting for her affections, as she was the one who chose me. And for the small window of time, all was well."

Damon took a breath, and she knew she should stop him from reading anymore, but she knew this would be the only way Damon would ever, truly hear, and understand what his little brother had gone through this year.

"But with any vampire's transition, she started changing. Her emotions became heightened, and her feelings more intense. I knew her and Damon had a connection, but I never knew how deep it ran until just a few months ago. She's became obsessively worried about him, as he wouldn't return any of our phone calls or text messages. And when his phone was disconnected, Elena thought the worst. I could barely keep her in Mystic Falls, she was so determined to find him. Then a month ago, the inevitable happened and she broke up with me, saying she was in love with Damon and chose the wrong brother that night.

Now he's coming back. This will the best day of his life I can imagine. He'll take her, and I wonder how long Elena will be incorruptible. Especially if he has no humanity. But maybe this will be a good thing, he'll either do something so heinous, she'll leave him. Or Elena will bring the good out of him. She's the only one I've ever seen be able to make Damon have some decency.

But I can't think of that right now. I've made a deal with Klaus to find the cure for vampirism. If I can find it, and give it to her, she'll be able to be human again. Be happy again. I know she doesn't want this life, and maybe, just maybe…."

"I think that's enough of this," She said, as she was able to take the journal from Damon, walking over to the bookshelf to put it back in it's proper place.

"I know, it's a little over dramatic for me too but my brother has always been a bit of a drama queen."

A snort of amusement escaped her as she put the journal next to the one simply labelled 2010.

"So Elena was serious when she told me she loved me?"

Her back stiffened at the sudden seriousness of Damon's tone. She wasn't sure if Damon was asking her, or himself until she turned back around, to see Damon studying her intently.

"Yes, she really is Damon."

There wasn't a hint of a smile as Damon sighed, leaning forward, so his elbows touched his outstretched legs, as he put his head in his hands. "How long?"

"Honestly, I don't know,"

She had a sneaking suspicion the girl loved Damon for at least a year, but she kept that notion to herself. Neither brother needed to ever know the exact time Elena choose one over the other. She sometimes wondered if Elena always loved both of them.

She shifted her weight to her other leg as she observed Damon intently for the first time since she'd arrived in the boarding house. His shoulders were slouched still, as if a terrible weight straddled them. His face was grim, tight making the man look older than he was. And his eyes were stormy, the blue in them were almost grey.

For the years she'd known Damon, she honestly didn't know the vampire all that well. She knew him as a psychopath. A killer. Someone who cared little about anyone else, except himself. And Elena, sometimes. And on rare occasions, his brother. But it all the time she'd been around the elder Salvatore, she was sure she'd never seen him so, conflicted before. So emotionally drained.

Shouldn't Damon be grinning ear to ear, with Elena perched on his side, gloating to the whole world he finally won the heart of Elena Gilbert? Annoyingly so, that she'd be forced to have her eyes on a constant roll as Damon, and Elena would regale her with tales of their love, and sexual exploits that she'd want to throw up.

Her heart leapt into her throat as Damon thrusted her back into reality as his guffaw rattled her eardrums as she watched the grin that tugged at Damon's lips, turned into a full blown smile until it turned into some mutated monstrosity that engulfed his entire face that reminded her a little of the Joker. Damon clutched the sides of the desk as his head shot up, raising to the ceiling as his eyes brimmed with tears of mirth, while his peals of laughter filled the once silent room.

She didn't know Damon was capable of laughing so purely. "Are you okay?"

Damon just shook his head at her as he continued to laugh uncontrollably, making her twitch uncomfortably. She watched as he ran a hand through his raven locks as the other wiped away the stray tears. "Sorry Barbie, but this is too good."

She just stayed still, staring at the eldest Salvatore. "Oh come on, don't look at me like that Caroline. You can't see the fucking irony in all of this? Elena finally decides I'm deserving of her when I leave town, and find someone else?"

Damon continued to chuckle as he walked around Stefan's desk, and toward his little brother's impressive collection of liquor he'd obtained since the beginning of this, irony. She didn't know what to say. What to do. Except stare at Damon dumbly.

"Have a drink with me. Let's drink to the irony of it all," Damon passed her a glass of what she could surmise as bourbon. She wasn't usually one to drink, but after this entire bizarre experience, she accepted it graciously. Damon grinned at her, clinking their glasses together and downed the entire contents of his in one swift motion.

She just shook her head, tilted her glass towards Damon before taking a sip of hers. "So you're dating someone? It's not that girl from earlier?"

"What? Lydia. No."

"What are they like? Human? Vampire?" She asked, watching Damon curiously as he took out his worn, black leather wallet from his back pocket, passing her a folded piece of paper.

"Vampire," Damon simply replied as she put her glass on the bookshelf and unfolded the piece of paper, only to realize it was a photo. "You could say they aren't exactly my usual type,"

It was a polaroid photo, though it looked new. She was taken aback slightly at the decor in the background, and clothes people were adorned in, everything looked like some gothic fetish club. She brought the photo closer to her as she took in the photo better, noticing that the people in the photo seemed to be unaware of the photographer.

Damon was in the center, leaning on some black, leather bench, in the tightest leather pants she'd ever seen on a man, as he looked forward, but not at the camera, clearly at something, or someone in the distance. There was a man who was leaning casually near Damon, Damon's arm overtop of the man's shoulder, the blond man's other shoulder leaning against Damon's leg. She couldn't tell if the man was leaning against Damon's chest or the picture just made it appear that way, but she couldn't see Damon being okay with another man leaning against him. But they did seem too close for comfort, but neither seemed bothered by the close proximately. Maybe it was due to how seeming tall this blond man was, as his legs spilled over the bench and onto the floor, if he wanted to lay down like he was, it would be rather uncomfortable if he was closer to the edge she supposed. That wasn't the only odd thing about the man, as he was dressed in a light grey suit, and a black dress shirt underneath. He didn't seem to fit the decor as he looked elegant, regal almost, a stark contrast with the blood red walls behind him, and the clearly cheap, gothic decor. He must be one of the other vampires she thought, old too she guessed. He wasn't facing the camera at all, only half his face was visible, and he was clearly talking to someone that wasn't present in the photo.

And then there was what she could only surmise was Damon's girlfriend, as she was the only woman in the picture. She was confused why she wasn't Damon's type, she was absolutely breathtaking, maybe it was because she appeared older than him, or that she was blonde. Damon clearly prefered young brunettes.

She stood between the two men, her hands leaning casually on the back of the bench behind them, in a tight red, leather dress that hugged her curves giving her a nice hourglass shape. She was glancing down at Damon, a slight smile on her face clearly conversing with him, or listening to something he was saying; it was hard to tell.

"That's Pam," Damon said, making her flinch as Damon was now behind her, pointing at the woman. His fingers brushed over the man. "And that's Eric,"

"You two look good together," She handed the photo back to Damon, who brought the photo closer to his face, a genuine smile crawling on the edges of his lips making her falter for a moment. She couldn't recall a time she'd seen Damon honestly captivated. "Older than you usually date. I thought you had a thing for highschool girls, or brunettes,"

Damon laughed bitterly, as he carefully folded the photo back up, and put it back into his wallet, his recent cheerfulness expiring. "And look how that turned out?"

She forced a smile for Damon's sake alone, as she moved toward him, putting her hand on his arm comfortingly. She realized she was actually feeling sorry for Damon Salvatore, what was the world coming to? "At least you've found someone else. And you seem happier,"

Damon glanced down at her hand and back at her, clearly perplexed. He wasn't the only one stumped by her current behaviour, she never knew she'd ever comfort the psychopath.

"It doesn't bother you?"

Now it was her turn to feel bewildered."What?"

Before Damon could reply, a faint buzzing could be heard and she realized it was Damon's cellphone in his pocket. She let go of the vampire as he pulled out his phone, his face instantly souring. "I guess it's the 2000's now, " Damon mumbled, shoving his iphone back in his pocket.

This entire situation was beyond baffling now. "Are you okay?"

"Huh?" Damon asked, before sighing. "Yeah, it's just Elena. Again."

"Why is she calling you? You did tell Elena you're dating someone now?"

"Of course Caroline, but she didn't exactly get the message," Damon said, waving his phone in front of her face, the screen lit up to multiple unanswered text messages from who she could only assume was Elena.

"What are you going to do?"

"Ignore her?" Damon laughed, shrugging. "I'm leaving in three days. And I doubt I'll be coming back to Mystic Falls for at least a decade after this,"

"Look I could talk to her, if you want," She blurted out, surprised at herself for actually offering to help eldest Salvatore brother.
"Would you?" Damon's steel blues were on her own, his eyebrows raised at her. Clearly he was surprised at her sudden helpfulness too. "That would be so much easier,"

"I don't know how much help I can be, I've been trying to convince her for months you're no good, but maybe now she'll listen,"

"Some women just find me irresistible, what can I say?" Damon joked as he winked at her, making his way toward the door. He turned back around, giving her his rare, charming smile. "But seriously barbie, thank you. I owe you one,"

And like that, Damon vanished; the sound of the front door opening and closing was the only indication he'd left the premises.

She stared at the doorway of Stefan's bedroom where Damon had just been, her mind going a mile a minute. Did her and Damon actually have a civil conversation? Was he actually nice to her?

What was happening?


 

His phone lay silent next to him as he sat on a log in the forest near the Gilbert cabin, whittling a sharp point to make more wooden bullets, needing some time away from little Gilbert and least valuable player. Elena may have stopped her incessant calls and texts since last night, but now he was bothered by the other, younger Gilbert. When the week ended, he'd be content with never hearing the last name GIlbert ever again.

He sighed deeply as he heard the crunching of underbrush, the familiar scent making him frown. "What do you want Klaus?"

"You know, if you adjust your angle a little bit, you'll get a sharper edge,"

He gave the hybrid a bored look before he continued back to his task at hand.

"I know how to whittle, thanks. Now I know why those hybrids hated you. You are annoying,"

"Actually, I'm just perplexed as to why Jeremy hasn't killed any vampires," Klaus continued on, clearly his own agenda on his mind as he took a seat next to him on the rotting log.

"I feel like we've had this conversation before Klaus. Old age getting to you?" Damon joked. "Darwinism Klaus. He needs to be able to protect himself before we hunt down our first vampire nest, or before I create one for him."

" And here was I, thinking you were the fun brother! Let's play a little game, shall we? Jeremy needs more victims, and there's a whole town of people down the road, just waiting to be turned into vampires for the slaughter."

"You don't think that occured to me Klaus?" He stopped whittling to give the Original his full attention. "Jeremy isn't ready. Soon, but not now. He'll be butchered. Look Klaus, the cure isn't going anywhere. I know I'm running out of days, just give me a few more and Jeremy will be ready."

"That's not what we agreed upon, and I'd hate to do something rash." Klaus grinned devilishly, as he picked at a bit of leaf on his jeans. "Doesn't matter anyhow, I've already made the necessary corrections,"

"What did you do?"


 

Damon knew as he closed the door of his blue corvette, they'd reached their destination. He could smell the slight decay of a transitioning vampires. The air was thick with death, but it wasn't as suffocating as the silence he endured during the ride here, from the tacit animosity quarterback and little Gilbert were giving off in waves. It's not as if he was their favourite person to begin with, but their unexpected, and deadly encounter with the pizza girl slash newly made vampire courtesy of their favourite thousand year old original, the two idiots blamed him, and were downright furious. How was he supposed to know Klaus would negate on their original agreement?

Actually maybe he should known better. Klaus was an impulsive bastard on a good day.

He outwardly sighed, harshly pulling on his leather jacket, wanting nothing more to turn around and head back to Louisiana, but Klaus dug his grave and now he had to lay in it.

The two teenagers stood side by side, staring at him from the other side of the car, both awaiting for him to make the first move. He gave the bar a once over, the neon sign Merlotte's lighting up the dismal parking lot, giving the bar a dead end type vibe, which from its forest surroundings, made it suitable for the area.

He strutted forward, ignoring the growing worry in the pit of his stomach as he made his way toward the front door of the establishment. Who knew what house of horrors the hybrid created for them? In this moment he realized this was the first time he'd ever felt genuinely sorry for Jeremy.

The wooden door creaked as he threw it open, exposing a stereotypical dive bar atmosphere, with a neon sign that spelt bar on the wall next to the door. There were a few scattered old, wooden tables and chairs some occupied by corpses, with a rustic, wooden bar in the middle of the room, littered with bodies, and booze. There were humans feeding blood to the responsive people, clearly compelled as they moved hypnotically.

Klaus sat perched on the middle stool, sipping alcohol and glancing periodically at himself in the dismal mirror, he almost wondered if the hybrid knew they were here, but the slight smirk adorning the vampire's face gave him away.

"I was beginning to worry you boys wouldn't find the place," Klaus jested, his smirk turning into a manic smile, as he poured himself another drink, his back still turned away from them.

He continued forward, the two teens absentmindedly following him, as they inspected the room in horror.

"What the hell..." Jeremy breathed out.

"Did you kill all these people?" Matt exclaimed, his voice unsteady.

"Not exactly." Klaus subsequently turned slowly to face them, like a villain would do in a classic Bond movie. "They're in transition," He almost expected a maniacal cackle, but Klaus just grinned demonically instead, as he approached the hunter that could, raising a single finger and poking him in the chest. "Killing them is your job,"

Little Gilbert and quarterback stared at him then, their matching expressions showed genuine astonishment, though there was that animosity still brewing beneath the surface. "I thought you said I wasn't ready for this? What the hell Damon?"

"This wasn't exactly my plan," He said, throwing his hands up in exasperation but he couldn't help his own devilish smirk from exposing itself as his baby blues locked with Klaus' own. "But Klaus was nice enough to get the ball rolling, so what the hell right?"

Jeremy gawked at him, then Klaus trying to ascertain their new allegiance, and his predicament itself. He felt sorry for the kid, but he wanted to go back to Louisiana to Eric. And if that meant going along with the hybrid, than so be it. "No way, I'm not doing this," Jeremy muttered, shaking his head as he took a step away from them, his eyes shifting at the door they came in.

Klaus' expression turned malicious as he took a menacing step toward the hunter. "What makes you think you have a choice?"

Both men moved into a fighting stance, Jeremy reaching slowly behind his back toward the gun he'd stashed in the waistband of his jeans, and he knew he needed to intervene. He stepped in between the two, throwing his hands up between them in a vain attempt at a peace gesture, turning to his star pupil. "Look Jeremy, you have to kill vampires to complete the hunter's mark. Mark equals cure. You're in a bar of almost vampires, so get your hunt on,"

"Fuck you!"

"Jeremy…"

"Enough! Have at it, or else," Klaus growled.

"I don't take orders from you, dick. I barely like taking them from him," Jeremy stuck his thumb over in his direction. "Hunters can't be compelled,"

Klaus chuckled darkly as he made his way over to Jeremy, throwing an arm around the kid. "You're right. I can't compel you. But if your conscience is getting in the way, then allow me to make this easy for you. Because I can compel them," He gestured toward the stirring vampires. "I'm gonna give you a two-minute head start. Then I'm gonna send every vampire in here after you. You kill them, or they kill your friend...Matt"

"Wait a second," Matt took a few stops back, the colour from his face draining as he looked wildly around the room.

"No," He started, shaking his head. This was all wrong. "No. You turn them. He kills them. That was the deal Klaus!"

"I'm taking artistic license."

"We talked about this Klaus, you know he can't take them all on at the same time. He's just a human." He roared.

"He's a hunter," Klaus corrected as if that made a hell of a difference. "Besides, with you as his coach, he'll be fine. It's Matt I'm worried about,"

"Ah…" His mind went into overdrive as a surge of panic coursed through his veins like electricity. "Jeremy go get the weapons from the car. I'll be right behind you," He tossed his car keys at Jeremy, then made eye contact with Matt. "Both of you,"

"If I hear an engine start, I'll kill Matt myself," Klaus called out as the boys fled the room, leaving him with the lunatic, and over a dozen murderous vampires.

What the hell was he going to do?


 

"Elena?"

Caroline closed the door behind her softly as she stepped into the Gilbert home, surveying the darkened surroundings, the light of her phone helping her make out the familiar layout of her best friend's home. She noticed, again Elena hadn't answered any of her text messages or phone calls. Same with Bonnie. She supposed she was going to have to do Elena's intervention herself. She worried about both of them, and their growing obsession with the men in their lives.

Her enhanced hearing picked up the clink of glass on wood flooring and in the next instant she stood in the entranceway of Elena's kitchen, seeing her best friend sitting on the floor, leaning against the cupboards, drinking wine and staring absentmindedly ahead of her.

"Elena?" She said quietly, watching as her best friend wiped away a stray tear as she gathered herself, the only sign she'd heard her.

She sighed bitterly as she flopped onto the hard floor next to Elena, taking the wine glass away from her. "You know, I'm growing concerned about all of my best friends increasing dependency on alcohol to solve their problems,"

"Damon bought that," Elena whispered quietly, reaching out for it, but she swatted her hand away.

"Doesn't mean you have to drink it," She replied. "Why haven't you been answering your phone? Or going to class?"

"What's the point?"

"Seriously Elena? Don't go all Bella on me." She joked, trying to get a rise from Elena, maybe even half a smile but the girl held firm. Grim as ever. "He's not worth it,"

"But I love him Car,"

"I know you do."
"He has someone you know. I just thought we'd be together, just like that. I never once thought that he'd leave, and find someone else. And I just kissed him anyway." Elena sighed bitterly,

"I know,"

Elena's head snapped in her direction, confusion written all over her face."How do you know?"
"Damon told me last night when I ran into him at the Salvatore boarding house." She replied simply, not wanting to go into anymore details.

"Is he mad at me?" Elena asked, her eyes brimming with unshed tears.
"He's more worried about your behavior than anything. This isn't like you," She said, feeling at odds with herself. A week ago she'd never speak a kind word about the eldest Salvatore but now she was comforting her best friend and fulfilling a promise for him by for once in her life defending him.

"I know Car, but I want him you know? I need him! I just love him so much, and I care about him more than I've cared about anyone in my entire life and I just want to be with him. I know I don't deserve him, I broke his heart but these feelings for him are just all consuming." Elena spluttered on, a chill ran through her body as those words resonated with her.

"Elena do you hear yourself?" She asked as she saw Elena about to go on further. "This is starting to become out of hand. You need to accept Damon has a girlfriend. And from what I gathered, he's happy with her. I know it's hard to-"

"He kissed me back Car, for a minute he let himself go. And I know he loves me, he's here isn't he? Without her." Elena started again, helping herself up from off her kitchen floor. "So how happy can he be?"

"You didn't see they way he looked at her though Elena. He seems captivated like he was when-" She paused realizing her mistake in that moment.

"Like when he used to look at me?" Elena finished her thought for her, as she wiped away the bits of mascara that was running down her face; a cunning smile encroached in the corners of her lips. "Well that's it then!"

"Hm"

"I've been going this the wrong way. I thought I could just have him but clearly I was wrong," Elena strolled away from her and toward the front door and she was quick to get off the floor and follow her best friend to the front of the house. Elena had stopped in front of the mirror, pulling down her shirt as she admired herself in the mirror, fixing her lipstick. "All I need to do is convince Damon why he loved me in the first place."

"Elena I don't think-"

Clearly Elena was ignoring her now as she opened the door, interrupting her. "I'll just go stay at the lake house with him and Jeremy. Help out. Remind Damon why for three years he loved me, and not her."

"Elena I-"

Elena turned back to face her. "Thanks Car, I really needed this talk."

And like that, the door closed behind her best friend and she was left to stand dumbfounded in Elena's foyer.

For the second time in one day, she was stuck wondering what was happening in her life/


 

He fell against the door, chest heaving as he closed his eyes, raising his head to the sky. He felt around his abdomen, as blood just tricked out, feeling the wound healing itself.

What a great way to spend a night.

"Damon!"

His eyes shot back open, coming face to face with an outraged Elena, hand on her hip, a disapproving glare directed at him as her annoying twerp of a brother stood behind her.

"You called your sister?" He snarled, pushing himself from the front door of the Gilbert lake house, shoving past the Gilbert siblings, and making his way toward the living room.

"What the hell were you thinking Damon?" Elena called after him as he fell onto the couch, nodding over to Matt on the loveseat, who was cleaning out a neck wound with a washcloth.

He immediately reached out for his bottle of bourbon he'd left on the coffee table, needing something alcoholic to deal with this appending argument.

"They could have died Damon!"

"I didn't exactly plan for any of this to happen Elena." He snarled as he shot the glass back, emptying the contents of his tumblr. "Besides," He turned, his eyes narrowing. "I let your little brother and Matt run ahead of me while I dealt with a dozen or so newbies. They're stronger than they look. Especially when they figure out how to hunt in packs."

Elena's expression immediately softened, taking a step toward him, but Lydia strolled past her and took the immediate seat next to him.

"You okay?" Lydia asked, as she lifted up his tattered black t-shirt, inspecting his bloody stomach where there once was a table leg stuck into it a few minutes ago.

"Yeah, it's already healed. A newbie vampire got lucky, ripped his head off for his trouble,"

"Good," Lydia smiled, getting back up, purposefully colliding shoulders with a mute, stationary Elena before heading into the kitchen.

Elena watched Lydia for a moment, pure rage in her chocolate brown eyes before she turned to him, her expression softening. His anger was caught in his throat as she stared at him, the way he'd seen Eric admire him.

"So does that mean that they're all gone now?" Jeremy asked, cutting the thick tension in the room.

Elena turned away from him, going over to the love seat, taking the washcloth from Matt's hand and started to help the quarterback clean his wound.

"I don't think I got them all, but the suns up so they'll have to find somewhere to hide out for the day."

"So what do we do now?" Jeremy asked, his attention diverted as Lydia came back with a washcloth, a knife, and a glass.

"Take off your shirt,"

"We need a plan. There's a group of compelled vampires out there, and as soon as the sun goes down, they're gonna come after Matt, so we have to find a way to protect him." Elena said, her eyes widening as he stripped, lying down on the couch.

"Yes, I know," He answered, as he closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation of a warm cloth on his stomach. He could feel everyone's eyes on him but he ignored them, his mind instead placing him in his warm bed in Louisiana while Eric tended to his wounds.

"We need to call our friends,"

"What's barbie, sabrina and my brother going to do? Bore us to death with ethics?" He snarled at Elena, shaking his head at her utter stupidity. "There will be no problem anyway, once big Jer and I go on a hunting expedition,"

"I don't think so Damon!" Elena exclaimed, as she finished taping up Matt's neck. "We need to take this seriously! Can your, friend go do something else. We need to discuss this, and she has no business being here."

"Lydia? She's just being a pal, like you are for Matt," He said lightly, smirking at Elena while Lydia finished cleaning his abdomen, putting the dirty cloth on the table, picking up the knife. "The only people who have no business here is quarterback and you. The little hunter that could and I can take care of this ourselves. This is all for you anyway Elena. Everyone is risking their lives so you can have the cure,"

"I don't care about the cure Damon, I -"

The wind beneath Elena's sails was taken away for a moment as everyone in the room watched Lydia slice open her wrist, placing it over the glass. Jeremy and Matt were used to Lydia feeding him, though he usually just fed from her, clearly she was trying to be modest with their new guest.

As the glass was brimming with blood, he bit down on his own wrist, placing it against her mouth, as he took the glass from Lydia..

"Yes Elena, I know. You don't want to put those you love in danger. But going all bleeding heart isn't going to help us now. You should have thought of that month's ago. Now you're knee deep in Original drama. Rebekah and Klaus want the cure, and we both know they'll do anything to get it." He stated as leaned back against the couch, sipping blood while watching as Lydia picked up his tattered shirt, and walking out of the room once more. "I know this is tragic, but your brother agreed to kill vampires. And now he has an added incentive. So you take least valuable player home; Jeremy and I will finish this,"

"I'm sorry? I'm supposed to leave him with you?" Elena asked, laughing irately. "The man who thinks it's okay to have some, slut around to feed him blood? Does your girlfriend know?"

"My, girlfriend is the one who gifted her to me for the week. I don't think this has anything to do with Lydia, this has more to do with the fact that you are jealous!"

"Of her? No way." Elena said. "You kissed me back Damon. And you may say you have a girlfriend but I know you love me. Or you wouldn't have come to Mystic Falls at all. And you certainly wouldn't have given your time to helping my brother complete the hunter's mark," Elena moved across the room, and he stood up as she came face to face with him, her expression softening, her earlier anger expiring. "You can say all you want you came down for your brother, but I know you wanted to see me again. Why can't you just be honest with your feelings Damon."

His eyes searched hers, wanting nothing more in that moment to kiss her again. To take her upstairs and do all the sinful things he'd ever conjured up in his head to do to her gorgeous body. And then leave, having her expunged from the dark depths of his mind.

"As much as I love seeing my sister flirt with the biggest asshole I've ever met, I'd rather be fighting for my life in a room full of vampires. So can Damon and I go?" Jeremy piped up, making him do a double take as he and least valuable player were standing in the doorway toward the front door.

"I don't know I-"

He placed his hand on her arm, catching her gaze. "Trust me Elena. I'll keep him safe. I promise,"

She stared at him for a long moment warily, but finally she nodded her head yes. He squeezed her arm, and then made his way toward the door, catching the shirt that was thrown at him from Lydia who stood at the foot of the stairs.

"Be safe" "Be safe" 


 

"Do you really think they went back to the bar?

Damon nodded at Jeremy who he came toward him, as he opened the trunk of his car, taking a quick, mental inventory of the weapons stashed inside of it. Deciding too, what would be the best choice of weapons for the little hunter that could. "Where else are they gonna go? It's all cabins and vacation homes; they can't get in anywhere."

He passed the 9mm to Jeremy, who put it behind his back. He then passed him too the compound bow, knowing little Gilbert was better at the bow then the gun. Besides it was silent, less chance of catching the attention of other, unsuspecting vampires. "All right. There you go."

"Fine. Let's get this over with" Jeremy said as he pulled back on the compound bow.

"Listen, just go one at a time, only shoot for the heart, don't hesitate, and don't miss." He lectured, handing the kid some arrows.

Jeremy just gave him a dark look. "Save the teaching moment. Elena's not here. You don't have to pretend like you give a damn about me."

He forced himself to not let his anger get the best of him as he closed the trunk of his favourite car, wanting nothing more than to ripe little Gilbert's head off. He wasn't going to live down earlier, was he? "I'm trying to keep you alive, dumbass." He shoved the rest of the arrows into Jeremy's chest, then headed toward the door of the bar. "Come on."

He doesn't bother to wait for the kid, knowing he's trailing behind as he walks up the few steps and toward the battered, wooden door. It creaks as he tugs it open, the air stale and dusty as he steps into the dive bar. His eyes land on the familiar neon sign, his head swaying to an old song that he can't place the title of from the jukebox that was next to the door until he falters, his attention drawn to the large pool of blood that encroaching toward his Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. He liked this pair he thought as he stepped around it only to realize it was just the tail end of a trail of blood, leading around the brick wall that had disguised the true horror depicted.

Tables had been overturned, Chairs thrown about on the weathered hardwood floor. Blood was everywhere, on tables, on the walls, over the bar. Though there was still that thick trail of blood that lead from door and toward the back. Clearly he hadn't been invited to the massacre.

"Something's not right." He mumbled mostly to himself as he followed the trail of blood blindly toward the back, and into the storage room.

As he pushed the bloody, dirty plastic strips away so he could move into the walk in freezer, he noticed the giant pile of vampire corpses in the corner next to some frozen hamburger patties. That couldn't be kosher.

"Looks like we're gonna have to find some new vampires. What a waste." He sighed bitterly, throwing his hands up in exasperation, though his mind was reeling.

"What the hell happened?" Jeremy asked, like he had a clue.

"I confess." His back stiffened as he watched Jeremy spin around, bow loaded, his finger on the trigger. Good reflexes he thought as he too came face to face with Kol Mikaelson who had his arms raised, his hands bloody, a bottle of booze in his left hand. Just his luck, another Original. "I did it."

"Kol?"

"Jeremy, good to see you, mate. Sorry about the mess. Ugh, it was a little crowded when I arrived, and I prefer more intimate gatherings." Kol nattered on, making him roll his eyes. "We three need to have a little chat." Kol gestured toward them, taking a swig from his glass bottle. From the smell, he guessed scotch. "Care for a drink?"

"He's underage" He took a few steps forward, so he was ahead of Jeremy so he was able to save his sorry ass incase this went sideways. Or when really. "And I don't like you, so let's just cut to it."

Kol just grinned devilishly at him before gesturing around the room. "You know, my brother bragged about his plan to complete Jeremy's hunter's mark. It was easy enough to track this lot down. They were all hiding in the shadows. Now, killing young vampires is easy" Kol paused, his attention solely on him. "Or old ones, for that matter."

"Why? What's it to you either way?" He asked.

"Because, you fools, in your zeal to find the cure, you risk waking someone very dangerous."

His sour mood uplifted slightly as his smile turned deadly. "Oh...You must be talking about Silas."

"What do you know of him?" Kol snarled, making him frown.

"Nothing. Don't want to. Not our problem."

"Isn't it?"

"Uh-uh."

"A few hundred years back, I came across a group that worshipped Silas. His followers told me that he would rise again, and when he did, he would trigger the end of all time. You know, being an immortal, you can see why I'm opposed to time's ending." Kol said, as he paused, taking a long swig. "So I murdered all of them." Kol shrugged. "And now, here you are willing to risk raising him in your search for the cure. I can't exactly sit back and let that happen, can I?"

"We're not going to back off the cure 'cause you were told one too many scary bedtime stories, you idiot." He hissed.

Kol just pushed him, throwing him back a bit, it hurting more than he'd like. Jeremy cautiously raised the bow as he glanced between the two of them. "Jeremy, we were mates in Colorado. You're a smart lad. Why don't you call off this imbecilic treasure hunt?

"I'm not calling anything off, mate."

Kol sighed, pacing a bit, toward the shelves, and back to the center of the room. "Well I could kill you. But then, I'd have to deal with the hunter's curse. And I, I don't particularly feel like being haunted for the next century." Kol stopped then, clearly an idea forming as he grinned. "Better idea. I'll just rip off your arms" .

He saw Kol before Jeremy could even register that his life was in immediate danger, and he rushed in front of the kid, throwing Kol back as hard as he could, only moving him through the plastic sheeting, and into the nearest wall. Kol recovered in an instant and came barreling forward, but again he collided with the shorter vampire, pushing him into the wall, putting all his strength into it.

"Jeremy, run!"

Little Gilbert rushed past him as his fist collided with Kols face, making the Original stagger for a moment. He aimed another one at his face, but Kol caught his hand, and like that he was in a painful headlock.

Then darkness.


 

He could hear the faint sound of music, as he began to come back into consciousness. His head and neck throbbed, and he groaned, attempting to open his eyes but he couldn't muster enough strength at the moment.

What the hell happened? Where was he?

The last thing he could remember was being trapped in that freezer with Kol. Then going to the Mystic Grill to find Jeremy. And then…

Oh right. He found out he was compelled to kill Jeremy by Kol. He'd chased Jeremy into the tunnels, completely bent on killing the kid. Had he? He couldn't remember a damn thing.

Everything was hazy. Had his blood been drained?

"Easy there buddy. You lost a lot of blood,"

He winced as he opened his eyes finally, glancing over to see his brother looming over him, a stake in hand. He noticed, as he took in his surroundings that he was in the Salvatore cellar, or what they now used as a jail cell. He tried to sit up, but he didn't have enough strength, instead just clutched the dirt beneath him.

It was coming back. Stefan was there in the tunnels. He'd snapped his neck.

At least he hadn't killed the kid.

"So you bled me out then?"

"Yeah, I really didn't have much of a choice. Kol's compulsion is still in effect, so you need to stay locked up. We don't have any vervain, so… this is the only way to weaken you," Stefan replied, as he moved back, leaning against a sizable dirt pile where they once grew vervain.

"You sound real torn up about that. Shouldn't be going after Kol, make him decompel me?"

Stefan just smirked. "Yeah, yeah sure. That sounds easy enough Damon. I'll get right on that," He quipped sarcastically.

He rolled his eyes, suddenly overcome from a coughing spell. His lungs ached as he convulsed, wanting nothing more to go back to sleep. It was then when he heard the distinct ringtone of the one man he'd kill to see at this very moment.

"At least let me answer my phone," He wheezed.

"So you can call Elena to let you out? Or your bloodbag friend? I don't think so," Stefan said, as he took out his iphone. "WhoseMan-sk-en anyway? They've been calling since sundown. And texting though I can't read a word of it, "

"Månsken? That would be what I'm sure Barbie told you is my lover. So could I please just talk to them,'

Stefan just grinned at him as he closed his fist around it, hearing it crunch, bits of metal flying from it, the screen completely shattering. His brother then tossed it to him. "What? I heard her name was Pam, not Man-sk-en or whatever. Don't lie to me Damon, not in the position you're in."

"Have you ever heard of a nickname? Fuck," He sighed, examining the completely destroyed phone. "You're enjoying this aren't you?"

"It's better for everyone if you stay here, at least for now. Once we find the cure, and Elena is human again, and you aren't compelled you can call Pam, or Man-sk-en or whoever. You can do whatever the hell you want," Stefan exclaimed, as he made his way toward the cell door.

"Stefan," He croaked out. "Wait,"

He was ignored as the door closed shut, Stefan gave him one more once over and then he retreated away, his footsteps becoming softer.

"Stef-" 


 

"Sol, it's going to be okay. Don't think, just feel,"

Damon jolted awake, as he could heard a set of footfalls coming toward his prison. For a moment, he'd been in bliss, with Eric. Was he ever going to see that man again? He couldn't count the hours. The days. He could barely stay conscious.

He glanced up, to see the solemn expression of his brother. His prison guard.

"You coming to snap my neck again. Because I woke up feeling completely unmurdeous, and I'm pretty sure that it's safe to set me free," He groaned, though he mustered enough energy to smirk at his little brother.

Stefan kept silent, just tossing him a vile of blood. Wow, how generous.

"Oh man, really? You practically bled me dry. You could have sprung for a bag, or something." He said, as he uncorked the vial. "I'm thirsty."

Stefna, again didn't say a word, just pushed a bottle of water through the bars.

"Not exactly what I had in mind,"

He groaned, but was able to raise himself up from the dirt floor, and toward the door. Stefan stepped aside and he was greeted with Klaus. His day was just getting better he thought bitterly as he grabbed the water bottle, needing to lean on the door to gather what was left of his strength.

"Hello mate,"

"What the hell are you doing here?"

Klaus just grinned murderously at him. "Babysitting."

"Oh,"

Clearly Klaus and Stefan had come to some sort of agreement. He hoped in hell his brother hadn't sold him to Klaus, who knew with his mood these days.

He watched his brother, who was leaning against the wall next to his cell, take out a few vials of blood. He could feel his blood lust spike substantially. It was burning him from the inside. "Give him a vial of blood every couple of hours, so he doesn't desiccate. If he gets too much strength back, or if he just annoys you, bleed him out again."

"Silent treatment, huh? Is that your best shot?" He snorted, turning toward Klaus."He's still pissed that Elena loves me, and not him. Or found out we kissed."

"You sure about that? 'Cause I saw him trying to sneak out of Rebekah's bed this

morning, which would suggest to me that he's moved on." Klaus revealed.

Stefan just sighed, as the two of them shared a dark smile. "Well, well. Looks like my brother ripped out a page of my revenge-sex handbook."

"Well, why don't you two enjoy your little, uh, villain bonding time? I'll let you know

when I get the dagger from Rebekah." Stefan said, and he stormed off toward the stairs of the basement.

"I think we've upset him," Klaus teased as he opened up his cell, pushing him lightly, which sent him hurtling on to the dirt floor.

"Is that wise? Opening up my cell? What would Stefna say?" He said, though instead of getting back up, he laid on the floor, tossing his broken phone into the air and catching it again.

"With your blood loss, you wouldn't even make it to the stairs before I broke your neck." Klaus stated, as he became to pace along the room. "But you're more than welcome to try mate,"

"No thanks,"

"You know, none of this would be an issue if you'd have just done your job properly. I thought I could trust you to train Jeremy yourself," Klaus said as he stopped pacing for a moment, glancing down at him.

"No, you weren't. Are you kidding? You got there day three. Do you know how hard it is to get these Xbox brains to focus?:" He snarled.

Klaus clearly wasn't listening as he continued. "And then when I turned a room full of barflies into vampires for him to slaughter, you let Kol kill them."

"Your brother problem, not mine, buddy."

"Maybe." Klaus countered, stopping again in front of him, staring him down. "But we made a deal Damon. And it's been a week."

"Yeah well I didn't exactly plan for your brother to get in the way. Take it up with him."

"Oh I'm dealing with Kol, that's why your brother is off courting my sister for her dagger." Klaus said, as he knelt down, his eyes growing stormy, his expression homicidal. Shivers ran down his spine. "But as for you, I don't exactly have a use for you anymore, and I'm not exactly in the mood to stay here, and babysit you."

"Klaus, whatever you're thinking, stop." He said, as he tried to slowly move away from the hybrid, his eyes fixated on the door as a million escape routes flashed through his mind.

"A deals a deal Damon."

And with a blur, he fell back into the darkness.


 

Eric hadn't moved an inch for the last three hours, his eyes straying toward the empty cage that hung above him, empty. Missing his gorgeous dancer. His Damon. There were dozens of vampires frequenting his establishment, many attempting to gain his attention but he couldn't be bothered to speak; his mind too consumed with worry.

He hadn't gotten any word from Damon at all for the last two days. He'd finally cracked and contacted Lydia, feeling like a jealous human but he needed confirmation that at least the man was alive. Just so he could punish him for not answering his phone but Lydia hadn't shed much light on the situation. Only that Damon had left with the boy he was training, and hadn't returned back to the lake house they were staying at.

Where was he?

He was hurled back into reality as his phone rang, immediately garnering all his attention. Disappointment arose as the number was blocked, and not Damon's, but he answered it anyhow. "Hello? Who is this?"

"...Eric?"

He'd know that voice from anywhere even if it was just a whisper, and he flew from his seat, and out Fangtasia in order to hear him better .

"Damon!" Worry began to creep up his spine. "Are you okay?"

"Is it that obvious?" Damon asked, a strangled laugh hitting his eardrums. "Something's happened. I don't have much time."

"What are you talking about?" He asked immediately as his began to pace around the side of the building. "Damon?"

"I'm dying."

Nothing could prepare him for this as he fell against the ugly beige brick wall, his hand shooting out to support himself before he tumbled to the ground.

"How?" It was all he could ask, feeling himself being thrown from time, the world spin madly around him as he stood still. "How is that possible."

"It's a long story," Damon began, hearing the rustling of sheets in the background. "I promised Klaus I'd train Jeremy, and he gave me a week, but warned he'd bite me if the week had passed. I was reckless with the time, and his brother Kol, who is insane by the way, compelled me to kill Jeremy in order to not raise Silas whose apparently going to bring the end of days. My brother snapped my neck, I ended up in our cellar, drained of blood, with Klaus as a babysitter. And the next thing I know I'm in Klaus' bed, with his fangs in my neck. A werewolf's bite is deadly to my species."

The fingers that were still clutching the wall curled into a tight fist as his vision blurred, his jaw painfully clenched. "How long?"

"A day, maybe. I've never witnessed anyone actually die from the bite. I ended up putting my friend Rose out of her misery when the hallucinations and fever were too much for her." Damon replied, his calmness unnerving.

His hand suddenly collided with the wall of Fangtasia, the bricks crumbling around him as he felt his bones break in his hand.

"Is there a cure?"

"Klaus' blood." His eye twitched at the name, the presence of the white oak stake in his leather jacket becoming heavy in it's pocket. "This may all be for nothing. He's using me as a pawn to either get my brother or Elena to deliver Jeremy to him. But my brother wants the cure more than my life, and Elena will choose her brother over me as she should."

"Don't worry, I'm coming to you Damon, I'm not going to let you die." He said, more for himself than Damon at this point. His mind was reeling with options, debating the best course of action to take to get to Mystic Falls as soon as possible.

"Don't Eric, it's not worth it. You wouldn't make it in time anyhow, the sun's about to rise in a few hours and besides I couldn't live with myself if I got you in harm's way. Klaus is powerful, maybe more so than his brother because he is a hybrid." There was a pause as Damon coughed in his ear, hearing the obvious pain his lover was in. His eyes darted to the sky, and to the forest as he fiddled with the edges of his black shirt. It felt as though an anchor had been tied to his ankle- he'd never felt this helpless in the thousand years he'd been undead. "Look I didn't call to argue, I just wanted to hear your voice one last time. I don't know how much time I have, I took this phone from one of Klaus' rooms. And I have no idea where the psychopath went."

"Damon I can't just-"

"Please, just let me talk. I need to say a few things before the hallucinations become too hard to distinguish between reality." Damon said, his voice becoming raspy and almost incoherent. "I love you Eric Northman. I need you to know that. You came into my life at a time when I needed someone and you filled a void I didn't even know I had. You made me question myself. You changed my reality. My life has always been, whether I liked it or not, a time before you, and a time after you. You revolutionized my world. You became my world."

The distinct sound of coughing, and spluttering was deafening in his eardrums as his legs gave way underneath him, crumbling to the ground.

"I fell in love with you because you loved me even when I couldn't love myself. I don't think I could ever live without you. And I know this isn't good enough. saying I love you isn't enough. But you have to promise me you'll find someone else. That you'll love someone the way you loved me. You always loved me more, and I want you to find someone who will never doubt, who will never think of anyone else when they are with you. Someone who will love you purely. Honestly. Someone who will love you like the way the poets write about love. Like you are their last tank of oxygen on earth. That they can't breathe without you. You deserve someone better than I."

His fingers gripped the cold dirt, feeling the tears of blood trickle down his face, his unbeating heart inflamed inside his chest. How could Damon ever think, for one moment he'd want anyone else after him? "Damon-"

"Let me finish." Damon pleaded with him, his voice the only thing anchoring him to the world. His hands shook as he attempted to wipe the blood from his eyes, the very act feeling as if he had weights attached to his arms."Just promise me, you'll at least remember me. And not what you'll hear, and not the Damon Salvatore everyone else knows, but the one I only ever showed you. The man I became when I was with you. That you'll remember the good times. That you'll smile and remember the memories we created. And maybe we'll meet again on the other side. But just say you'll remember me Eric. I need to know I'll always be a small part of you, lie if you have to."

"Damon-"

His heart surged inside his chest as he could hear a commotion in the background, Damon screaming out in agony. He growled into the phone, his hands clenched into fists, his vision going white.

"Damon can't come to the phone right now. I'd ask if you'd like to leave a message but he'll be dead by the end of this phone call. Have a good day now."

The line went dead, and in the next instant his hand enclosed around the device feeling it crumble underneath the pressure, pieces of metal and glass ripping into his flesh.

A ghost of a smile crept up over his face because, as his other hand grasped the white oak stake- he was going to kill Niklaus Mikkelsen and every god damn one of his family members. No one takes away what is his.

Chapter Text

The chair broke far too easily as it hit the wall in front of him, watching with little satisfaction as it broke apart, splinters flying about the darkened room. He reached for the table next, heavier in his hands but it too, flew into the air with ease, coming to crash with it's counterpart.

He turned away, staggering slowly toward nowhere, unable to avoid the wreckage he'd caused. The room was an utter disaster, as he heard the distinct snap of wood beneath his foot of one of his stools. He'd destroyed most of the black tables and chairs, there were upturned couches- he'd managed to break the entire bar itself, there were just piles of glass shattered on the floor, multicolored pools of liquor encroaching slowly- reaching for him in the darkness.

He lost his balance, and he instinctively reached for one of the only tables left standing. His legs collapsed against themselves, and he put his full weight on the edge. His hands wrapped around his head, feeling the stray tear of blood run down his cheek. Muffled voices, and distant music was pounding in his ears, as if he was five feet deep in water. He'd prefer drowning, to the way his throat was tightening, his blood lust screaming at him, his chest ablaze, as if he could not breathe.

His hand shook as it gripped the table, unable to keep himself up, and he fell into the last remaining chair.

"Eric?"

He raised his eyes to meet those of his progeny, actual concern painted on her usual cold, indifferent exterior.

He couldn't bring himself to form any words, and his head fell into his hands, running his fingers through his hair. He knew she was going on, but he couldn't make out any real words, all of it sounding like background characters in movies, muffled and incoherent.

The only thing that he could hear, sharp and clear was Damon's voice. Those words he'd spoken to him. They were just screaming at him, whispering to him, all of it intertwining into a horrifying mixtape.

He couldn't actually have met the true death? Could he?

"Eric?" Blue eyes met his own. "What's wrong with you?"

"I'm fine," He ran a hand through his hair as he surveyed the damage. "I'm sorry for the mess Pam. I'm going to be gone for a few days, do you think you can clean this up? And look after the bar when I'm gone?"

"You're sorry? What the fuck Eric? There is clearly something wrong. Look I don't give a shit about the bar, and I sure as shit am not cleaning this mess up. And you know that." Pam continued on, as she studied him. "You're a mess. What's wrong Eric? This about Damon? What that cocksucker do now? Cheat on you with that girl?"

He blinked, realizing his hands were now wrapped tightly around his progeny's neck, her eyes bulging out as she clawed at his hand. She was choking out his name, but his fury replaced it with Niklaus' smirking face and he crushed his windpipe. He wanted nothing more to rip the hybrid's heart out, watch him heal, and do it over, and over for centuries until he was satisfied enough to leave the vampire desiccating in some remote cave for the rest of eternity.

"Eric, let her go."

He turned his head, seeing his maker, Godric standing beside him now, and he looked back over to see his progeny. He gasped, his hand falling to his side as he collapsed, falling to his knees.

Damon I am so sorry.

There were arms coming to rest on either side of his shoulders, and he didn't need to know whose they were as he broke apart. There weren't any words to be spoken, or comfort that he could reach for, all there was the overwhelming fear that was enveloping him. He needed to be gone, he needed to run, he needed to be there, but all he could do was stay, sunk into the floor as the tears ran down his face with Godric's arms around him.

"Eric, what is wrong? Is this truly about Damon?"

He clung to the dirty, tile flooring, letting the anger wash away the darkness, needing a purpose. To keep it together long enough to see him. To avenge him.

"I need to leave." He answered, looking up at his maker. "I need to go to Mystic Falls, he's dying."

His jaw twitched as he heard Pam snort in the darkness, while Godric took a sharp intake of air, running his hand through his hair. "We'll have to call in a few favours."

"Are you insane!" Pam stood between them, her hand rubbing over her neck, the bruising fading away. "The sun will be up in less than 3 hours. There's no way you're getting there. He's not worth it Eric, your obsession with him has gone too far." She turned to Godric. "Come on, you can't support this?"

"Damon is every right Eric's, Pamela, and we have no say in this matter." Godric replied, placing his hand on his shoulder. "But she is right Eric. This will be difficult, and dangerous task, is he truly worth it?"

There were no doubts in his mind that he wasn't. "He's mine, and I promised him a while ago I'd always protect him."

Godric simply nodded at him. "Then we have a few phone calls to make."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

(Whitmore College- 1955)

There was nothing left in Damon to scream, so he laid there, silent and unmoving. His throat was raw, and sore but it was an ache compared to the scalpel that was slicing open his abdomen, fingers roughly pulling his skin apart, clamping it, to keep it from healing itself.

Dr. Whitmore stood proudly over him as he examined his insides, though the only thing that he could focus on was a particular protruding vein from his neck.

He winced, startled as a bright light flashed in his right, then his left eye.

"You are still stable. Good. Now 21051, I shall be taking out your liver today to see if the scarring will appear in the new liver your body will regenerate. Did you drink heavily as a human?" Dr. Whitmore asked, standing over him now with a clipboard, and a pen.

"You could say I enjoyed a few drinks," He wheezed, each breath pure agony as he felt an actual breeze on his organs.

"It would appear it was a bit more than few. From my initial observations, you may have developed cirrhosis if you had continued to drink so heavily. The scarring is quite pronounced."

"Well doc, what can I say? Booze was cheap and easily accessible during my time. Easier to drink alcohol than water. Good thing I'm a vampire, or I'd be long dead of alcohol poisoning."

"Hm that would be an interesting experiment 21051. Maybe tomorrow we shall test your body's endurance to alcohol." Dr. Whitmore replied, as he put down his clipboard and pen, replacing it with a scalpel from the tray.

"That's an experiment I'd happily participate in." He smirked, hiding the grimace behind it. "Bring on the bourbon."

"Then stay still and behave 21051. And maybe I'll consider it further." Dr. Whitmore replied, as he moved closer to his abdomen, scalpel in hand.

He closed his eyes, fingers clenching as his nails dug into his palm. Nothing ever prepared him for the excruciating pain that was about to be done to him. To Dr. Whitmore he was nothing more than a test subject. Filth.

He'd given up months ago that anyone would ever find him. He'd considered perhaps his brother, but they spoke so infrequently, it would take a decade from him to even notice his disappearance.

Then there was Eric. Their relationship wasn't especially conventional. In fact it was sinful. Not that he was religious but he'd been taught as a child that being a sodomist was shameful. Criminal in fact. And he'd always shared those opinions because he'd never been sexually attracted to a man before. Until Eric.

His entire life changed when he met the viking. He'd been swiftly thrown into a world of two species of vampires. He'd been exposed to the prejudice of the original vampire species, and how organized they were all around the world as he and Eric had travelled the earth together, searching for the equivalent of a daylight ring for his species. He wasn't even sure how many witches he'd meet over the three decades they'd been together, but it had been a whirlwind. Every moment he'd spent with the blond was a blur of wine, blood, and women.

And Eric enjoyed taking away his innocence. In more ways than one. First it was teaching how to revel in the kill. To feast from humans without any remorse, but to also not become a ripper. He'd shown him the extravagant lifestyle a vampire could have, from compelling themselves into the most amazing parties, to quickly accumulating wealth. The 30's had just been a series of lavish parties, beautiful woman hanging from their arms, and blood. They had a stunt in France that lasted two years, and an extensive police investigation. It was the same time they'd slept together the first time. The only time during the 30s.

He'd been high on the blood. On the music. And on Eric. The room was littered with dead bodies, blood painted the ugly deco-flower wallpaper and it was just him, and Eric. The rest was a blur of clothes, teeth and flesh. Beautiful, ivory skin. Eric always knew how to touch, but that night was absolute bliss. It was sinful.

Over the last two decades, he'd been more willing. Until he'd been kidnapped by some mad doctor spouting the benefits of vampirism for humans. The only benefit vampirism could have on humans, is to become vampires but the nice Dr. Whitmore didn't see it that way.

He wished Eric could be here to meet him. To rip out his spine. But him and Eric had never discussed their, relationship of sorts. If that's what it could be called. He was a convenience for Eric, nothing more. And since he'd shared all his knowledge on daylight rings, and how little they were able to gather on the subject, he knew he wasn't valuable to Eric anymore. He'd been only an amusement to the thousand year old vampire. And when he'd left to go back home, Eric hadn't protested. Hadn't objected. Hadn't even really cared. Would he even see Eric again.

"Can I at least see Damon?"

Elena uncrossed her legs as she sat across from Klaus who was currently slipping his phone back into his pocket. She'd come here to beg for not only her brother's life, but Damon's too. She wasn't going to be intimidated by the hybrid, or fall for his threats. But her brother was currently hiding out in their house with Matt and she wasn't sure what they were going to do. Bonnie had offered to take down Klaus, Caroline agreed to help. While Stefan seduced Rebecca for her dagger. But this didn't seem enough. They were almost powerless against the Originals, and she couldn't live with herself if Damon was a casualty in this war. But she couldn't sacrifice her brother either.

But they also had the matter of Kol to deal with and from the phone call she'd just witnessed with him and Klaus, it didn't seem the Original was going to falter on his plans to kill her brother. Even with threats from his own immortal brother.

"Don't see the point love, he's just dying up there. Your time would be better spent

getting me your brother. Tick tock," Klaus teased, making her wonder what in the world Caroline ever saw in this psychopath.

"Please, just a few minutes. I want to make sure he's still alive," She continued, not bothering to care about manners any longer as she just made her way out of his living room, and continued toward the grand staircase. "Or you'll never see my brother. Or the dagger."

"You think you have an leverage over Stefan? As you continue to court Damon? He's a heartbroken man, and a dangerous one. I'd be more worried about what he'll do once he acquires the dagger for me than your precious Damon Salvatore." Klaus called out, appearing beside the banister, ever so smug. "But feel free to see him. He's started to hallucinate, so don't expect any coherence. It's the last room on the left. You may have 5 minutes, don't touch his bindings. "

Her heart seized in her chest as she ran up the stairs, down the long stretch of hallway until she made her way to the last door on the left. She opened the double french doors, her attention immediately drawn to the king size bed across from her. Her legs were unsteady as she made her way toward the bed, taking in a familiar picture. She'd seen Damon inflicted with a werewolf bite before, but it didn't prepare her for how broken the man appeared.

He was remarkably pale, sweat dripping down his face as his eyes were glassy, there was no recognition in them whatsoever. His arms were been held on either side of his head by thick chains that were linked to the headboard, but at this point it seemed just a formality. Damon wouldn't be able to move himself enough to do much at all.

She crawled on to the bed, her fingers running through his sweat soaked raven hair. "Damon, it's Elena."

There was no response and her heart utterly broke as she cupped his face, sliding her body closer to his. "Damon, please answer me."

His head fell to the side as he couldn't muster any more strength, feeling the familiar pleasure of fainting in and out of unconsciousness. But when he met the pale blue eyes in the shadows he for once in over a year honestly smiled. And it turned into snort, then full blown laughter causing the hands inside of him to pause, calculating eyes peering over him.

"What 21051? I would suggest staying still for the remainder of this operation." Dr. Whitmore explained, clearly irritated with him.

But it didn't matter. Nothing mattered anymore. Not when his eyes were locked with his, sweeping him away from reality on a tidal wave of emotion. Like always.

"You found me."

"You found me."

It may have been a rasp, but she heard those three words as clear as day, and her heart surged, her smile growing as she reached for a cloth from the bedside table. She lightly dabbed his forehead, trying to make him more comfortable.

"It wasn't hard. I promise we are doing all we can to get the cure from Klaus. We won't let you die." She urged, needing Damon to know they were doing all they could.

He wasn't going to die. He couldn't die. Not now. Not when there was so much left to say. Left to do.

"Who are you talking to?" Dr. Whitmore asked, as he turned around, but the shadows weren't occupied anymore. "Hm. Hallucinations are a new side effect. 51051, what do you see?"

"He's going to kill you."

"He's going to kill you."

She felt her cheeks flush, as she looked away, biting her lip. He was worried about her. That meant the world, especially with the week they had been having. It was nice to know on his deathbed, Damon still cared deeply for her. "Don't worry about me Damon. I can look after myself. We'll figure this out. Soon it'll be like this never happened. I promise."

"Who's going to-"

The doctor wasn't able to finish as a hand reached over the operating table. The doctor's eyes went wide, as he stared back at his heart that was now clutched in the intruder's hands, and he fell back, a spout of blood following suit as he hit the floor.

He watched as his saviour tossed away the offending appendage, as he assessed him for a moment. Then, ever so carefully the man took each clamp off, bringing his flesh back together. Then, he bit down onto his wrist, dripping blood onto his wound before shoving it into his mouth.

He drank greedily, having only been able fed from a small cup of blood a day in order to cease from desiccating.

"I didn't know. About any of this. Or else I would have come sooner." Eric pleaded with him, as he ran a hand through his hair.

He couldn't even begin to fathom how appalling he must appear. But at this moment it didn't matter, he'd been found.

"I didn't think you'd come for me."

"I didn't think you'd come for me."

Her eyes searched his, as she ran her fingers over his chin, grazing over his parched lips. "Of course Damon, there is no where else I'd rather be."

"Of course Damon. I expected to see you a year ago in Italy, and when you didn't arrive, or respond to my letters, or phone calls, I came to Mystic Falls. I found all my unopened letters, and the recent passing of your relative to vampire-like circumstances I knew something was amiss. It took me awhile to find this institution, and their experimentation. It's despicable. You filled the description of one of their Augustine vampires. I am glad it's you." Eric answered, as he snapped off his bindings with pathetic ease it made him feel inferior.

He winced as he sat up, noticing his chest was healed completely, only his caked on blood evidence of what had just transpired moments ago.

"You sure this is real? I've hallucinated this moment before."

"You sure this is real? I've hallucinated this moment before."

She giggled, bringing herself even closer to Damon, until their lips touched, savouring the moment before pulling apart. "Does that prove anything?"

Eric gave him a sad look, before leaping, and he found himself laying back onto the hard, metal table as Eric towered over him, before grabbing each side of his skull firmly, before diving down, colliding their lips into a violent kiss. His fingers threaded themselves into Eric's long blond hair, as he felt the viking ran his own in his raven locks.

"I missed this." He whispered into Eric's lips.

"I missed this." Damon whispered.

"I missed this too." She replied, her hand finding its way back to his face, running her fingers along his cheekbones. "When this is over, maybe we can talk about us."

Eric pulled away from him, enough just so that their lips weren't touching each others as he stared down at him. A smile twitched at the sides of his face, as he ran his fingers along his cheek. "I missed you too Damon. I can't begin to apologize for not finding you sooner. I promise you, as long as we are together, I will protect you with my life."

He felt foolish as tears brimmed in his eyes, but he realized when he'd seen Eric in the shadows, there was no one else in his life he'd wanted to see more than the viking. "I'd like that."

"I'd like that." Damon replied, his voice hoarse but she was able to understand him clearly enough.

Enough to know she'd been right all along. "Good."

"How romantic."

She flinched, narrowing her eyes as she found Klaus leaning against the doorframe, smirking at her. "What?"

"It's been five minutes. And it's time for you to go." Klaus simply replied, motioning with a hand toward the hallway. "I'll be sure to look after him real well until you return with your brother."

She sighed, turning back toward Damon who was still staring at her, his eyes still glassy but she knew he could see her. She felt the tears fall as she brought their lips together again, "I promise I'll be back for you. I love you Damon, please hold on." She whispered into his lips before moving off the bed, and toward the exit.

Klaus just grinned devilishly at her as she passed, forcing her to hold herself together as she made her way out, wanting nothing more to attack Klaus, steal his blood and escape with Damon but she knew she wasn't strong enough.


Eric strolled into the Mystic Grill, his eyes taking in the sight, remembering Damon's particular fondness of the establishment. It was just as he'd imagined, so typical of a small town bar, one that functioned as a restaurant, and a bar. It was pleasant enough, with simple dark, wooden tables, and chairs, with a matching wooden bar, with a granite countertop at the center of the room.

He'd almost expected something more grand, from Damon's admiration, but the younger vampire did just love bourbon. And he could imagine the man was drunk for most of the time he spent here.

He felt an unusual pain in his chest, again at the thought of Damon but he pushed the grief away, needing to focus on his mission.

He'd arrived to Mystic Falls as the sun was setting, and he'd asked to be taken directly to the Salvatore Boarding House. He'd gotten a flight out of Baton Rouge at 10:15 am, to Charleston, which was a three hour flight, four if you included the time difference. They'd arrived around 2:40pm, and he was on his way to Mystic Falls from there. He had to call in few favours, and surprisingly Queen Sophie Ann was quite willing to help him, and she knew some powerful connections within the human community and was able to secure his safe passage.

Apparently she was quite fond of Damon, which didn't surprise him in the least, the two of them were rather childish and coy with each other. He almost worried as she was rather beautiful, but she seemed more qeen on knowing their sex life, than actually doing it with either of them. Also as she remarked quite playfully with him- it made him more interesting, the fact that he had another species of vampire as a lover, which was considered taboo in their culture.

It was clear that when he arrived, she too had influence with the King of West Virginia himself, as he was ushered out of the plane, and into a limousine, with tinted windows to block out the sun's rays. It was nice to escape the coffin, as it hadn't been properly fitted for his body, and he'd been trapped in it during the entire flight. The King himself left him a note requesting his summons once his escapade in Mystic Falls had concluded. He wished to speak about his extensive knowledge on the breed of other vampires. Leaving him with some vervain in case he ran into trouble.

It was surprisingly thoughtful considering what he'd heard of the King, being a cold, calculating psychopath at best. But he appreciated the sentiment, having a King as an ally could come in handy one day.

He scanned the room as he approached the bar, no one present fit any of the broad descriptions Damon had given him of his friends. He felt foolish for not knowing where Klaus lived, and he needed an address, soon. He'd hoped his brother Stefan would have been home, but the Boarding House had been empty when he arrived, so he'd taken Damon's camaro and headed to the next best place, Mystic Grill.

His fingers absentmindedly ran over a few chairs, wondering where Damon's usual spot was. He knew he had one. He wondered too where his friend Ric sat. Obviously next to Damon he supposed. Damon spoke highly of the hunter when he'd first came to Fangtasia. Spoke of him often too, mostly while drunk. He knew the man meant a lot, and seeing him die was a painful experience for Damon. Death often was for vampires, even though it was a frequent occurrence as they watched those age and die around them.

Though watching a fellow vampire meet true death was all that more.

"Can I help you?"

His smile turn malicious as he caught the eyes of the bartender. "Yes actually." He said, watching as his glamour took effect. "I'm looking for Klaus Mikkelsen, do you know where he lives?"

"No." The man answered, hypnotic.

He cursed inwardly. How the hell was he going to find that bastard?

Wait, of course. Niklaus would no doubt be after his prized hunter.

"Alright, do you know where I can find Jeremy Gilbert?" He asked.

"Sure, he lives over on Chelsea. White house, wrap around porch, can't miss it."

Now that wasn't so hard. "Thank you. Have a good evening."


He'd found the house easy enough, it happened to be the largest on the street. He stepped out of the Camaro, admiring the vehicle for a moment, before closing the door carefully- he knew how much the car meant to Damon. After all, it was one of the many gifts he'd given him over the years.

He took a deep breath, although not needing it, before moving to the front door in a single moment. He felt for the white oak stake in his leather jacket as he rang the doorbell, wondering if he should stake Elena too while he was in the neighbourhood. Though he supposed that wouldn't go well if Damon ended up being alive.

If.

The door swung open fast, quicker than he'd expected, a bewildered, and scared kid appeared, disheveled brown hair and a small drip of sweat ran down his temple as he stood there. "Bonnie thank god. We need-" The kid paused then, giving him a slow once over, obviously puzzled. "Who are you?"

"Eric." He extended his hand. "Eric Northman. You must be Jeremy Gilbert, Damon has told me so much of you."

"Damon?" The kid leaned against the door, still confused. Damon wasn't joking about his intellectual prowess. "Wait, you're his friend from Louisiana."

"Yes, I am. I'm in need of-" He paused as he noticed the kid went three shades whiter and he realized they were not alone.

He turned only to come face to face, so to speak with none other than Kol Mikaelson. His anger ran hot as his hand twitched, knowing the very vampire was one of the very reasons his Damon may be currently in a shallow grave. He didn't let it show however, keeping his composure.

"Eric Northman!" Kol exclaimed, gripping one of his arms in a tight squeeze. "It's good to see you mate. How long has it been? Six hundreds years at least."

"At least." He fathomed for customary sake alone. He knew exactly the last time he'd seen the Original. It was 1435.

"You two know each other?!" Jeremy exclaimed, taking a step away from the door.

"Of course mate, we're old friends. One could say we know each other quite, intimately, in fact." Kol jested, winking at him.

He faked a smile, wanting nothing more for this pointless encounter to end. He'd been rather fond of the blond centuries ago. He was enjoyable company, and knew a thing or two in the bed chambers. But he'd been a means to an end really, he'd only wanted to learn more about the despicable scum that was the lesser, bastard species of their kind. Kol had been enlightening, he'd learned much of his siblings, their father, what weakness they possessed. And their annoying immortal status. Funny how now he possessed the one weapon that could destroy them all.

"What are you doing here Kol?" He asked, stirring the conversation to something more pressing. He supposed Kol could take him to his brother all the same.

"To kill Jeremy. Or at least rip his arms off. Long story." Kol said, shrugging his shoulders, almost bored as in comparison Jeremy stood, clearly too stunned to move. "I do hope you didn't want anything with the kid. You aren't after the cure?"

"Still believe those old wives tales." He tisked, noticing from the corner of his eye that Jeremy had disappeared. "No, I was looking for your brother, Niklaus. We have some business to discuss."

"You are smarter than I thought Eric. Coming for his precious hunter for leverage. Ingenous." Kol complemented, clearly not worried about the Gilbert boy. "I can take you to Klaus if you'd like. If you'd kill Jeremy for me."

"I can't, I haven't been invited inside."

"Oh that's too bad. I have." Kol said, taking a step into the house. "His sister invited me in earlier. A trap I imagine that fell through. Oh well, if he manages to slip past do-"

He wasn't able to finish as a well aimed arrow struck his heart, pinning him against the wall next to the door. He peaked inside, impressed at the accuracy. Clearly Damon's training had been effective to the boy.

He straightened up as he noticed Jeremy stared at him, then Kol, his eyes widening as the Original grunted, and like that the kid was up the stairs.

Really? Upstairs.

Maybe he hadn't learned enough after all.

Should he save the kid, or not?

What would Damon have him do?

It was easy enough to wager a guess where the kid would go, his own room and he found himself floating by the window, watching as the Gilbert boy ran through a bathroom, closing the door quietly behind him.

He shook his head as he tapped against the glass, making the kid jump, but he surprisingly came to the window, opening it.

"How in the hell-"

"We have no time. Invite me in Jeremy, I am your only chance at surviving Kol. That arrow in his heart won't slow him down for long." He said quickly, able to hear Kol coming back to himself.

"How do I trust you? You're friends with Damon, and Kol. Who both incidentally, want to kill me. This could all be a trick," Jeremy snarled.

He felt an eye roll coming on. "Die then. Your life matters little to me."

The kid's eyes widened, mouth agape until suddenly he was pulled away, thrown with ease across the room, and into the nearest wall. Kol twirled the arrow in his fingers, winking at him again. "Thanks for the distraction mate."

Kol then lunged at the boy, hearing them tumble into what he imagined was stairs as the sound almost echoed. It was then, he could hear his name faintly from Jeremy. And a clear invitation into the house.

It didn't take him a second to pry Kol's arm off Jeremy's, who had Jeremy now on the landing of the stairs, his arm in an odd angle behind his back. He threw the Origional against the wall, his head going into the plaster, as paintings rained down around them. His hand wrapped around his throat and with a quick snap, he managed to break Kol's neck before he was able to retaliate.

He let the Original simply fall, watching in slight amusement as his head slammed against the edge of the stairs, and he slid down a few steps, like a ragdoll would.

"You-" Jeremy sat on the floor, nursing his arm as he admired his handiwork. "How did you do that?"

"Age. Skill. Strength." He mused, offering a hand to the kid. He accepted and he helped him back to his feet. "I do hope you know where Klaus is, or I will let Kol take your arms."

"Why do you want to see Klaus?" Jeremy asked, as he descended the steps, picking up Kol with ease. He glanced around the foyer, deciding on the kitchen table for an appropriate place to put Kol for the meantime. He could be a useful pawn. Actually both men in the room could be.

"He has Damon," He replied, tossing the body onto the wooden surface. "Can you be of use, or not?"

"Yes, I know exactly where he is. My sister talked to him a few hours ago. She's been trying to negotiate with Klaus for his blood. We're supposed to dagger Kol and offer a trade for Damon but Stefan and Matt have been unsuccessful in finding Rebekah's dagger and Bonnie was supposed to be here helping us subdue Kol, but I guess we won't be needing that." Jeremy went on as he stood on the other side of the table, examining the vampire in front of him.

"Damon's alive?" He asked, calmly not to attract just how relieved he felt. His entire body unclenched itself, as he felt an overwhelming smile overtake his entire face.

"For now, but my sister says he's not doing great. He's apparently hallucinating but he was coherent enough to speak to her for a few minutes."

He jaw twitched at the very thought of the doppleganger whore anywhere near his Damon but his jealousy would have to wait until Damon was safe.

"So what do you want to do with him?" Jeremy asked, gesturing to the unconscious body in front of him.

"What would YOU like to do to him?" He asked, strolling slowly toward the hunter. "I'd imagine you'd enjoy seeing him die?"

"Sure, sort of. If only to complete my hunter's mark. But I don't have the white oak stake, and that's the only way this bastard dies." Jeremy spat.

He reached into his jacket pocket, producing the white oak stake and he passed it to the kid. "Would you care to do the honours? I need to make a phone call."

Jeremy hesitated for a moment, staring down at the stake and back to him but he took it, feeling the weight. He turned toward Kol, patting down his jacket, then his pockets until he found what he was looking for. The Originals cellphone. He swiped it open, breezing through his contacts. "But isn't he your friend?"

"Hm." He looked up, and back down at Kol. "We were friends. Centuries ago. But he's outlived his usefulness to me. Look I can do it myself, but I would imagine you'd like to complete your hunter's mark. Or do you wish for Damon or Stefan or your sister to kill multiple humans for you? It is your choice."

Jeremy seemed decided from that, as he gripped the white oak stake, taking a turn around the table, looking for the best angle perhaps. He supposed the human would be squeamish, it was in their natures.

He felt the phone in his hand vibrate, and he answered it immediately, clearly he didn't need to go through his contacts after all. He put it on speaker phone, wanting his new found companion to hear the conversation too.

"Kol, you bastard. Finally. You better not be after my hunter. I may not have your dagger but I can make your life miserable. So you better-"

"Kol can't come to the phone right now. I'd ask if you'd like to leave a message but your brother will be dead by the end of this phone call." He resided from memory.

How could he ever forget those words?

"You-"

"Me."

"You better be joking mate." Klaus snarled, a clear threat behind that statement but he simply chuckled.

"I'm afraid not Niklaus. In fact I have him right here with me, and your precious hunter. Say hello Jeremy, and do confirm we have his brother." He stretched out his hand to point the phone closer to Jeremy.

The kid just stared at him, his mouth falling open. "Are you insane?"

He brought the phone back closer, though he knew it was unnecessary but it was for show. "I think that was sufficient enough for you."

"My brother cannot die you imbecile." It was clear Niklaus was trying to sound brave, but he could feel the fear just underneath.

"True, unless one possesses the white oak stake. Which I do. Which our dear friend Jeremy is about to use on your brother. Care to hear." He could hear a commotion in the background but he ignored it, coming closer to the Gilbert boy, gesturing toward Kol. "Please Jeremy go ahead, he's stirring."

The kid paled, taking notice that the Original was infact twitching slightly. It would take a minute or two for the vampire to come back to himself, but Jeremy didn't need to know that.

"Don't you dare. What the hell do you want?" Klaus snarled as he came back to his phone.

"What do you think? I want Damon Salvatore. And your blood." He said simply.

He heard the hybrid snort. "Fine, fine. Can we meet? I have Damon at my house. I can be there shortly, say an hour?"

"I don't know Niklaus, why should I make deals with you? How can I possibly trust you? We've never met." He bemused.

"You have my word." Klaus's voice sharp and clear.

It almost sounded like he meant it.

"See your words means nothing to me Niklaus, because I know you. And where would the fun be if I let you win." He simply held out the cellular device as he watched Kol lunge at the kid, seeing the stake go right through his friend's heart. Good reflexes. A pity perhaps, but he enjoyed the theatrical screams from Kol, only for Niklaus' benefit. Maybe a little too for Damon.

"I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did," He said, taking the white oak stake out of Jeremy's hand as he watched the Original go up into flames. "Come find me Niklaus Mikaelson, or run like the pathetic bastard we both know you to be"

And he hung up. It felt good, but not as enjoyable as ripping that hybrid's head off, and plunging the stake into his heart.


"Turn here."

He took the next sharp left, noticing they were coming to the outskirts of Mystic Falls, where the larger mansions were located. He glanced over at his companion, who was clutching the door for dear life as he stared out the window. "Klaus' house is just on the top of this hill. Could you slow down?"

"No,"

"So what are you planning?" Jeremy asked. "You do have a plan right?"

"Of course. Niklaus will no doubt come back to his house as he knows my intentions towards Damon. He'll want to kill him, out of revenge. He could be there already. Let's hope not, for I'd like to have the element of surprise. Then, I plan on taking his blood, and killing him. No objections I imagine."

"You can't kill Klaus." Jeremy exclaimed, as he pulled the car into a dense set of trees, hoping to camouflage the car.

"And why not? Do not tell me you care for the hybrid?"

"Of course not, but he's the sire line of my sister. My friends. Damon. He dies, they all die. Didn't Damon tell you that?"

"I did not know that Klaus was his sire." His anger resurfaced, why did that bastard deserve to live? But he supposed he could just rip him to pieces and scatter them across the globe. He suspected the man couldn't regenerate without a head. "Then we better hope that Damon is alive,"

The two of them stepped out of the car, and he took a moment to cover the car with some underbrush and some small trees he ripped from the ground. He'd have to clean the car after this, he knew how Damon was about cleanliness. Especially towards his cars.

"Why are you doing this? I didn't know Damon had friends who cared enough about him. Maybe my sister. Or his girlfriend. Where is she anyway?" Jeremy asked as he came toward him.

"Who?"

"Damon's girlfriend? Caroline told Matt that he showed her some picture of a woman. And we heard him on the phone. He was all sappy. Pam I think her name was." Jeremy said, it took every part of him not to burst out laughing. Pam and Damon? "I hear she lives in Louisiana with you. Yeah, you were in this picture too."

"She's my progeny," He said as they made their way up the driveway, toward the extensive house in front of them. It was regal, in white with beautiful pillars at the front, with a large pavilion in the center of the driveway, with a fountain and a few trees in it. The windows were massive, and square and blocked out with curtains from what he could see. There was no car anywhere to be seen, or any lights turned on. Though this was not certain the hybrid wasn't skulking about, waiting for them. "We own a bar together."

"Why didn't she come?" Jeremy questioned.

He wondered if he should lie or straighten this mistake out but this could turn out to be amusing for him later on. A game perhaps. "I needed her to tend to our establishment while I was away, both of us cannot leave. And she requested that I save her beloved, as she is not strong, or old enough to take on an Original on her own. Besides I consider Damon a dear friend."

"Might want to choose better friends." Jeremy snorted as they finally were close to the front door. What a pointless, endless driveway.

"I'd hold your tongue hunter. Damon is here because of you. You failed in killing those humans in the first place. In fact, you'd be currently dead if it wasn't for the man." He snarled, throwing the door open a bit more violently than he needed to. "Look, there's a balcony on the second floor. Find it. And keep a look out. Tell me if you see anything. I'm going to find Damon,"

And with that, he sped around the house, first to check the house for Klaus but he hadn't picked up any sound, or scent of the hybrid.

He did however, smell the putrid scent of rotting flesh as he made he was back toward the one room he hadn't opened. He bit his lip, as he trudged toward the door, his feet feeling as though they were made of led. His eyes danced along the walls, towards every corner except the door itself. He couldn't hear any breathing, or coughing or anything, It was silent, except the accelerated heart rate of the hunter a few rooms down from him. He fidgeted for a moment at the doorway, his hands weak as they clutched the doorknob.

He closed his eyes, as he opened the door, feeling like a damn frightened human. He'd been dreading this moment- was he alive or dead.

Would he be able to handle either?

He opened his eyes, taking in the darkened room, only moonlight to illuminate the room, to Damon, unmoving, chained to the headboard of a king sized bed. He felt physically ill as he dragged himself closer to his Damon. To his Sol. His sun.

Damon's eyes were open, unblinking as his mouth too was slightly agape. His skin was deathly white, sweat stuck to every visible orphis of his body. And there it was, on his neck, the nasty bite that started it all. It was massive, veins were protruding out of it, as it was covered in pus and blood.

He ripped apart the chains, watching Damon's arms fall to his side, not stirring him in the least. He carefully put them to his sides, tucking in his Sol. He hadn't noticed until he reached out to stroke Damon's cheek that his hand was shaking, his other wiping away the blood from his eyes.

He leaned forward, bring his lips to those of Damon's whose were cracked beyond relief but it didn't matter.

He was too late.

But then, he felt a twitch. It was so slight he almost missed it but he threw himself away from Damon's lips, to watch the man blink, his mouth close and open again and then a horrid cough escaped those chapped lips.

He was alive.

"Damon, it's Eric. Look you have to promise you'll hold on. Just awhile longer. I know you can do this for me. You're stronger than you ever let yourself realize. And you're braver than anyone I know. Please." The eyes didn't move, or register him but he hoped, if any part of Damon was in there, that he could hear him. "Hold on for me Damon. I can't lose you. Besides I promised I'd always protect you, and it's a promise I intend on keeping."

"He's here." Jeremy called out to him. "Or at least his car is pulling up."

"Thank you, wait by the door. I'll be there in a moment." He answered, watching as the kid left before he kissed Damon again. "I love you Damon. I'm not going to lose you today. Not for at least a thousand years."

He didn't turn back as he made his way out, not needing to see it again. He would always have this image of Damon imprinted in the back of his mind for the rest of eternity.

"So what's the plan?" Jeremy asked he fell into step beside him as they made their way down the stairs. "You're bleeding by the way,"

"Right. Thank you." He said, as he wiped the blood from his eyes away with the sleeve of his jacket. "Attack, what else is there."

"Klaus is strong." Jeremy pointed out he motioned toward the hunter to take a seat. The kid did what he was told but it was clear he was beginning to worry. "Shouldn't we be hiding?"

"We?" He snorted, as he took a seat next to the boy, so close their knees were touching. "I only needed directions dear boy. You are merely here as a courtesy. And perhaps a distraction. It depends how much stronger he is than his brothers."

Jeremy didn't get to respond to him, as they both turned to hear the door slam open, Klaus storming in, look of pure madness following as he came toward them, a stake in hand. Jeremy stiffened next to him, and he slid an arm over the boy, staying put as he smirked at Klaus who clearly had murder on his mind.

"Niklaus, so glad of you to join us. It's disrespectful to arrive after your guests." He said, tutting as ran his fingers through Jeremy's hair. "I've been getting to know your hunter. Quite a boy. Skilled too. His mark should be completed anytime."

"You fucking bastard." Klaus seethed, throwing the couch across from them, to the other side of the room, his eyes solely focused on him.

"What? Did you think you were going to go on, forever living the way you do? You must have expected one day that someone would oppose you. Though I hear your siblings do that quite often. I suppose I'm the first to actually pose a real threat." He went on as he took out the white oak stake, rolling it between his hand on his thigh. "Actually no. That would be your father. Not your true father, Kol once told me you're a bastard child. Is that true?"

He knew this was a raw nerve for the Original, and he didn't have to wait for Klaus' next move as he could see the man move toward him with vampire-like speed, and he too took aim at the hybrid, meeting him in midair, and throwing the man across the room, going right through the living room wall, and into the foyer.

"Stay here," He warned to Jeremy who just nodded blindly at him as he threw his leather jacket onto the couch, throwing the stake into the hunter's lap.

It didn't take long for Klaus to recover and he felt himself be thrown into the nearby window of the foyer, hearing the glass shatter behind him, feeling shards of it dig into his back. He grinned murderously as he lunged, the hybrid too slow for him as he grabbed ahold of his shirt, throwing him into the stairs, and he ripped one of the bannisters from the floor, thrusting it into the hybrid's chest.

Klaus panted, his eyes wide as his hand scrambled over the large, white pole sticking out of his chest. "Don't tell me this is all the great Niklaus Mikaelson can take? I thought you a better fighter?"

He admired Klaus for a moment as he ripped the wood from his chest with one pull. He wanted the hybrid to fight. What was the fun with just defeating him? Besides, if he couldn't kill the bastard, he'd enjoy towing with him.

But he needed to end this soon.

Klaus came after him but he moved out of the way. Again, and again as they sped about the first floor, from the foyer, to the living room, to the kitchen, to a nice room overlooking the porch to the backyard, to the living room again.

Once there Klaus lunged at him again, but this time he ran straight into the attack, kicking the stake out of his hand as he shot up, gripping Klaus' short dirty blond hair, and tugging, hearing the distinct sound of flesh tearing from itself, and then the cracking and faint break of bone- blood just spraying him- and he stood back onto the ground with Klaus' severed head in his hands, as he took notice of the audience on the couch, staring at him in awe.

"You-" Jeremy stuttered, looking at the now dismembered body on the floor, to the head in his hands. "You literally ripped his head off." The kid got off the couch, bringing his jacket and stake to him. "Wow. Who are you?"

He assumed the question wasn't meant to be answered as he took the stake, putting it in his back pocket. "I'm going to feed this blood to Damon, and bring him downstairs. Do you think you could bring the car around? We should leave. I would hate for one of his other siblings to appear. The keys are in the pocket of my jacket."

Jeremy just nodded, clearly still in shock as he made his way out of the house. He fled up the stairs, and back into Damon's room with Klaus' severed head in tow. He gently pried Damon's mouth opened, letting the hybrid's blood drip into his mouth. He closed it, dribbling some of the blood on the wound for good measure. He watched, fascinated for a moment as Damon swallowed, the wound itself beginning to already appear to heal, his skin noticeably less deathly looking.

He sighed, realizing he'd been holding onto a breath he didn't need as he saw Damon coming back to himself. He was going to survive.

He gathered his Damon into his arms, carrying him that which one would carry a bride, making his way down the stairs, seeing Jeremy had returned. The kid crouched over laughing, bewildering him.

"What?"

"Oh if only Damon was conscious. He'd kill you himself if he knew." Jeremy snickered, making him smile as well. It was true, Damon didn't like him to coddle him. Or treat him like a woman. But he didn't think he'd mind now.

"Well we shall keep this our secret then." He said, as he made his way toward the front door. "Would you please put Niklaus' body in the trunk?"

He didn't bother to see if the kid had answered, as he took Damon to the car, putting him in the back seat. He then put Klaus' head underneath the passenger's seat. Jeremy came up behind him, and threw the headless corpse into the trunk. He studied Damon for a moment, he'd closed his eyes now, and seemed to be asleep, the bite on his neck still healing itself away.

He took the driver's seat, Jeremy already in the passenger seat and he drove off, and toward Mystic Falls once more.

"Would you like me to drop you off at your house? Or would it be alright if I leave you at the Boarding House?" He asked.

"Damon's house is fine. Actually apparently we're all meeting there. My sister's request. I informed my friends of what happened. She wishes to thank you in person." He hissed as Jeremy looked over at him. "Stefan too. I hope that's okay."

"Of course," He gritted out, wanting nothing less to meet Elena Gilbert, and plunge a stake through her heart. "How is the mark? From here I can actually see the black ink,"

"You can!" Jeremy exclaimed, making him falter for a moment as he took off his shirt, revealing his inked arm, and chest. "I think it's completed. But we'll know more when we see Professor Shane and Bonnie."

"Who?" He wasn't able to get a response as he lost his concentration- the car swerving as he was completely shocked as a now, obviously awake Damon sunk his fangs into Jeremy's naked shoulder, drinking greedily. He could see the human was fainting, and he grasped Damon's neck, hearing it snap as he fell back into the seat, feeling guilt rise inside of him. He wouldn't let the kid die now.

Jeremy's eyes were blinking slowly, as his heart rate steadily declined, his breathing accelerating. He shook his head, needing to deal with another of Damon's messes, as he bit into his wrist, shoving it into the hunter's mouth as he kept the other hand on the steering wheel. The kid immediately took to it as he pulled into the Salvatore boarding house.

He yanked his wrist back, satisfied the kid got enough. His blood was potent for his age. As he gave Jeremy another once over, his wound was already healed. Go figure.

"You okay?" He asked, as he stepped out of the car, reaching over to haul Damon out of the car. He would be unconscious for awhile now- but as he inspected closely- he was back to normal. The bite healed completely.

"Yeah," He kid murmured.

"Good, I'm going to put Damon to bed." He said, throwing the man over his shoulder, making his way toward the door.

"What do we do with Klaus' body?"

"Bring the head inside, leave the body there. I'm sure you all can figure out what you'd like to do to the man whose tormented you. I'm sure you can think of something creative." He answered, turning back around for a moment. "Oh, Jeremy just so you are aware, my blood is different from Damon's or any of their species. You will feel high, as if on drugs. And you'll have heightened senses, and abilities. My blood is powerful, so it could take a day or so for the effects to pass."

"Okay. Thank you, by the way. For everything." Jeremy said genuinely. He just nodded at the kid before making his way into the familiar house, up the stairs and into Damon's room.

It was the same as he remembered, except the bathroom was clearly remodelled. He stripped Damon of his soiled clothes, putting him a fresh pair of boxer shorts, before tucking him into bed. He leaned down, kissing his forehead softly.

"I promised I'd always protect you my Sol


 

Chapter Text

There was a faint muffled sound buzzing in his ear that would not cease and he groaned, hugging the pillow tighter as he attempted to will himself back to sleep. But the now incessant headache that was hammering at his skull would not let up, so he rolled over, his eyes opening only to immediately shut at the lights that were flashing about his retinas fast enough to make any epileptic have a seizure- made the small task impossible.

It was then he registered the excruciating pain emanating from his neck as he instinctively rubbed it comfortingly. He attempted again to open his eyes, only enough to take in the darkened room- though impressively blurry, was his bedroom.

But how was he here?

Louisiana. Eric. Elijah. Stefan needed him home. Mystic Falls. Klaus. Jeremy. The mark. Elena. Kol.

He shot up as the muddled mind put the pieces back together- his fingers searched his neck for a bite.

Nothing.

But how?

I promised I'd always protect you.

It couldn't be.

He jumped out of bed, regretting that decision instantly as he was unbalanced, his hand reaching out to level himself. It took him a moment to compose himself, then took off toward the door, only to realize he was not dressed, and quickly changed that before running down the stairs.

Eric took another turn around the Boarding house main living room, his eyes lazily drifting over the multitude of books on the shelves. Jeremy was on the other side of the room, pouring himself something from the small bar. They hadn't said a word since arriving here about a half an hour ago. He considered going back upstairs, but he knew Damon needed to rest. He had a trying day and deserved to recuperate.

"Here."

He was jolted out of his thoughts as the kid held a glass of amber liquid, which from the scent he surmised was bourbon. Not surprising since he knew Damon preferred it to others.

"I can't drink alcohol, or consume anything that isn't blood," He said, taking the glass, only to pour it into Jeremy's, almost overflowing it. "But I appreciate the gesture."

"Oh sorry. I didn't know. Here," The kid put his glass on the shelf, watching a bit of it slosh on the wood before the kid took his own. He then produced a switch blade.

"You don't have to-"

"I don't know where they keep the blood bags." Jeremy hissed as he ran the blade over his wrist, putting it on top of his glass, watching it fill up the glass rapidly. "Besides consider it an exchange. You gave me yours."

As it was three-quarters full, the Gilbert boy passed it back to him, his wrist still bleeding extensively, and he extracted his fangs, pressing the tip of his thumb into his fang, then rubbing the blood onto the wound. It healed instantaneously.

Why he was being generous, was beyond him. Or the kid for that matter.

"You should watch what vampires you give blood to. But thank you." The kid stared at him, confused as he brought the glass to his lips, taking a lengthy swig. He wasn't expecting the blood to taste so rich, so unique. For a hunter, he expected it to be appalling but it was rather pleasant.

"Jeremy you're okay. I was so worried."

His eyes shot up as he watched as a petite brunette lunged herself at the kid, wrapping him tight into a hug. "I didn't think Kol would come back so soon. I shouldn't have left the house."

"Don't worry sis, I'm fine." The kid insisted, returning the hug.

"We were all worried," Came a voice behind the siblings, and he spotted a blonde girl and a darker skinned girl. It was her who spoke, and he could surmise by Damon's general descriptions that that was Bonnie. And the blonde was Caroline.

And of course, the other was none other Elena Gilbert.

Might not be in her best interest to stand so close to him with a stake in his pocket.

"So Kol's really dead?" The blonde asked. "What about Klaus?"

"Yup, staked him myself. And Eric here ripped Klaus' head clean off." Jeremy exclaimed as his sister let go of him. The kid turned to him. "This is my sister Elena. And that over there is Caroline, and that's Bonnie."

He was about to speak, when he was lost his words as the doppelganger whore as he enjoyed referring to her as, wrapped her arms around him, holding him tight. "Thank you. I am so grateful that you showed up when you did, you not only saved my brother's life but Damon's too. And I am truly indebted to you. We all are." The girl looked up at him, her chocolate brown eyes- though to some would melt their hearts, only made him want to roll his own in disgust. "Thank you."

"I think I'm the one who needs to really thank him."

It irked Damon seeing Elena's arms around Eric, but that jealous thought disappeared as he took in the thousand-year-old Viking in his living room. He was just how he'd last seen him, beat up leather jacket, wife beater, and jeans. He was predictable as always but breathtaking in all his grandeur. He'd really come. He'd really saved him.

"Damon." Arms wrapped tightly around his torso, Elena's scent overtaking him, making him want to throw up.

There was only one pair of arms he wanted around him.

The kid's blood caught in the back of Eric's throat as he took in a now perfectly healthy Damon. His hair deliciously disheveled, his shirt flipped in obvious haste, giving him a peak of his well-defined chest. And that smile. Goddamn, he never got sick of seeing Damon's beautiful smile.

And like that his fury raced as Elena took off after his Damon, putting her arms around his Damon. Touching his Damon.

Staking her was becoming more and more on his to-do list.

"I am so glad you're okay," Elena whispered into Damon's ear making him even more nauseated.

He didn't return the hug, actually he forcefully removed her from him- it was for her best interest really- Eric had murder in his eyes.

The room and the people in it became a background as he made his way towards Eric, his Eric and he wrapped his arms around the man, taking a long inhale of the man's scent. He was home.

"You came for me," He whispered into Eric's chest, as he felt cold arms encompass him too, holding him firmly. He never wanted to leave them again.

"Of course Damon, there was nowhere else I wanted to be. I would never let you die." Fingers encircled the side of his face, as those icy blues delved into his own. "I promised I'd always protect you."

"I really didn't think you'd make it," Damon muttered, feeling foolish for thinking so. He should have known better.

"So where's Pam?"

Eric was thrust back into reality as that nauseating, annoying voice- like nails on a chalkboard- pierced his ears. His arms instinctively held onto Damon tighter for a moment, but he let go of his man knowing he'd get all the time to touch the younger vampire once they were alone. Or perhaps after he massacred Elena and her friends.

Damon felt cold as those arms disappeared from around him, and his temper boiled as his head snapped toward Elena's direction. Clearly he looked murderous as her obvious bitterness and jealousy toned down. How dare she interrupt his moment with Eric.

"What?" He snapped.

Elena took a noticeable gulp of air. "Your girlfriend. Pam."

"My girlfriend?" His body went rigid, as he glanced over at Eric. Fuck. He'd meant to correct them, but it was just too damn funny hearing Eric being called his girlfriend.

He should really remedy this.

Expecting confusion, even anger, he was met with amusement as Eric stared him down, a coy smile playing at those devious lips. Were they going to play their little game?

Eric saw the question in Damon's eyes, then the understanding. Since the forties, once their relationship became more intimate, they'd kept their relationship of sorts a secret. Not only because homosexuality was considered a sin, and a criminal act in some areas in human communities, it wasn't accepted in his species of vampires either. It wasn't hard, most assumed they were friends, and either one of them was dating Pam as she was usually in their company. But of course, they weren't- he was guilty of it more- able to keep their hands from each other. So, they started making a game of it. They'd let people assume, even make up a lie, and waited for people to clue in. To figure out. Of course too, whoever initiated the damning touch, or slip of the tongue- won the game. And had to give the loser a blow job whenever, wherever the winner wanted.

He had a feeling too that Damon might need this as he wasn't quite ready to tell his brother. Or Elena. Or his friends. And he didn't mind. He enjoyed playing after all,

"Pam wasn't able to make it I'm afraid. She sends her regards Damon and wishes she could be here, but I needed someone to tend to the bar in my absence. She was obviously devastated."

It took everything in Damon not to burst into laughter. He was pretty sure Pam would rather have silver needles shoved into her eyeballs then come help rescue him. "Oh, I'm sure she was." A small chuckle escaped him but immediately stifled it. "I'm sure she misses me terribly. As I miss her. My girlfriend was the only thing I could think of when I was dying."

Damon's eyebrows furrowed as Elena was looking between them, before settling on him- was their guilt in her doe eyes? Jealousy?

"I'm confused, who is Pam to you?" Elena asked.

"She's his progeny," Jeremy answered for Eric. "Whatever that means."

"I am her maker. She is my progeny, or childe if you prefer. She is a daughter to me, my only progeny."

Eric was startled as Damon swiftly moved behind him as he finished speaking, and he immediately surveyed the room but didn't see anything that would warrant worry.

"Jeremy run. I can't be in the same room as you or I'll kill you." Damon called from behind him.

He took a step back, exposing Damon back to the room. "Your hunter killed Kol, so the compulsion has worn off. You've missed a bit since being incapacitated."

Damon felt pride swelling in him. His little student became the master. He strolled over to the kid who was looking at him bizarrely, clapping him on the shoulder. "Good job my little hunter that can! You make your old teacher proud, I can feel the tears."

"Fuck off-" Jeremy snarled, pushing him away, but a small smile escaped the kid.

"So the mark's completed then?" He mumbled, taking in the tattoo that was snacking up Jer Bear's arm. "Woah I can see it."

"How are you feeling by the way?" He was startled as cool fingers ran along his neck, examining the skin.

"Good! My blood lust is surprisingly low though."

Eric smirked, clearly Damon didn't remember their car ride home. "Well, you attacked Jeremy, almost killing him. I was able to stop you, but you took a lot of blood."

Damon cringed but noticed the little Gilbert was in seemingly good health. Did Eric give the kid his blood? "Sorry little Gilbert, thanks for the donation, though." Jeremy just gave him a bored look, and then his brain processed what Eric had just said. "Wait, so you two teamed up? Against Kol? And Klaus?"

"Yup," Jeremy replied smugly. Damon had an inkling it was Eric though who did most of the heavy lifting. "Your friend here ripped Klaus' head clean off."

"What? Seriously?" He stared at Eric who just nodded, before gesturing toward the fireplace, and he followed Caroline's concerned eyes, until his landed on the severed head of Klaus. He looked back at Barbie for a moment, seeing her face pale, a hand going over her mouth. The only person who gave a damn about that fucking hybrid.

Eric watched with slight fascination as Damon strolled over to the head, grabbing it from the mantle, swinging it around by the hair. "I'm Klaus" The accent was atrocious, but he chuckled anyway. "I have a fetish for daggering my siblings, blond barbies who I give creepy horse drawings too and of course, watching sexy men dying in my bed."

"What the hell did you do to my brother!"

Damon paused, his body going rigid as he stared straight over at Rebekah who stood in the doorway of the front door, Stefan next to her. He looked between Klaus' head and the two of them. "Uh, it's not what it looks like" He shrugged.

He knew she was going to attack him, and braced for it, only to open his eyes to see Rebekah pinned to one of the columns near the fireplace, Eric's hand wrapped tightly around her neck. Was it wrong that he found it arousing when Eric went all protective over him? It should hurt his masculine ego- but honestly he found endearing and Eric was sexy as hell all flustered.

"And where do you think you're going?" The viking asked, still able to hold the Original with one hand. He knew Eric was powerful, but he never realized the extent of it. But then again Eric had held Elijah down easily too, but he'd assumed Elijah knew he was surrounded and backed down.

"Let...go...of...me" Rebekah wheezed as Eric continued to choke her.

"Not until you calm the fuck down. Or I can happily rip your head off too," Eric's hand tightened, watching in amusement as the blonde dug her nails into his skin trying to loosen his grip. He bared his fangs, making her pause, her eyes going wide.

"You're one….of them." The blonde vampire gasped, still needing air. "He'll kill….us all. They hate us."

"Just you darling, if you try anything to harm Damon. That's what your brother Kol did, and I had him staked. Klaus bit Damon, so I ripped his head off for fun. I told you brother Elijah if anyone ever tried to hurt Damon again, there would be consequences." He took out the white oak stake- pointing it next to her heart. "So either get over your little outburst or I stake you, your choice. We both know you can't win this fight."

"Damon you're just going to let him do this?" Damon's little brother interjected from the doorway of the living room. 

"I don't let him do anything. Eric does what he wants. He's protective that way. He's my family Stef, something I know you struggle understanding." Damon said, making him smile. 

"What?" Stefan exclaimed, but he wasn't paying him much mind. 

"I promise...I won't do anything." Rebekah wheezed. "All I want...is the cure. To be human."

He studied her for a moment, seeing the truth in her pale eyes. He just nodded, letting her go- watching as she crumbled to the floor, gasping for air. Damon's little brother went to Rebekah's aid, giving him the dirtiest of looks- clearly there was still some chemistry there since the 20's.

"I'm fine too, by the way," Damon chimed in behind him, tossing Klaus' head to Rebekah. "Thanks for caring Stef, I feel the love."

Watching his own brother care more about Rebekah Mikaelson unnerved him, so he headed toward the bar, walking past Barbie and Sabrina, Caroline flashed him a soft smile- it was almost comforting. He poured himself a generous amount of bourbon, noting their collection of liquor was low. Clearly squirrel boy was developing a drinking problem.

"So what's the plan now?" Jeremy asked, cutting the tension.

Damon took his glass, noting that Eric had settled on one of the couches, and he moved toward him. He took a sip, before setting on the coffee table and falling into the couch, his head on Eric's' leg. It was as if that was a queue, and Jeremy took a seat on the other end of their couch by his feet while Elena, Bonnie and Caroline too the opposite couch. Stefan and Rebekah then took the two chairs face in front of the fireplace.

"We go for the cure. Klaus is out for the count," Stefan answered. "And the mark is completed, right?"

"That's what it looks like, but and I hate to admit this, but we're going to need Shane to make sure of that. And the tombstone." Sabrina piped up.

Eric wasn't paying much attention as he kept his eyes on each occupant, noting Rebekah's disdain, and Elena's jealousy- Stefan eyeing him suspiciously.

"Is she coming with us?"

Rebekah snorted at Elena's comment. "Yes Elena, I am coming."

"Who is all going?" The kid asked.

"I'm staying behind. I need to properly say goodbye to Tyler." Barbie answered.

"Eric and I will be heading back to Louisiana tomorrow night. I'll go pick up Lydia from the Gilbert lake house in the day, and we'll head out by nightfall" Damon replied, tilting his head up to get confirmation from him.

"What you aren't coming with us?" Elena exclaimed, her face falling.

"Well no, why would I? I mean the only reason anyone wanting me back was for the white oak stake. Think I delivered. And besides, I'd rather be wining and dining on the locals in Lousiana."

"You should go Damon."

Damon's head shot up as he stared at Eric. "What?'

"Well, you almost died completing this mark. You might as well see it to the end. And besides, isn't one of your goals to shove the cure down Niklaus' throat? I'm sure you'd regret not watching your tormenter turn human." Eric simply replied.

"I'd prefer him over Elena." Rebekah snarled.

"And I'd prefer he come with us. And I won't go if Damon doesn't." Elena insisted.

"Then you should come, Damon."

Damon snorted, rolling his eyes at his brother. Of course he'd say that after what Elena said. He knew his brother didn't want him there.

"So not going isn't an option? Joy" He feigned enthusiasm, raising his glass to them before emptying the contents. "I seriously can't wait."

"Then we leave tomorrow night." Rebekah said as she got up, her brother's head still in her hands. "Where's the rest of my brother?"

"In the trunk of Damon's car." Eric replied, and Damon watched as the Original stormed out, Stefan following behind her like a love sick puppy. It was practically gag worthy.

Caroline and Bonnie took their leave next, forcing Elena along with them. It was clear the girl wanted to say something to him, but Barbie herded her away, as Jeremy followed behind. When he knew the door was closed, the cars started did he move in a flash, straddling Eric's hips.

He didn't waste a moment as he dipped down, capturing Eric's lips in his own, his nose crashing into the vikings'. His lips were frigid but smooth like granite, and he gasped as an icy tongue ran along his own lips, teasing him mercifully to open up. With a squeeze of his ass, his eyes flew open, his mouth falling open in surprise and Eric's tongue slipped inside. All he could taste was blood and bourbon, his favorite combination as Eric continued to explore his mouth. The older vampire pulled him even closer, his hands instinctively wrapping themselves around Eric's neck.

This was it. He could take the shit brother, the doppelgangers, the bites, the Originals, the fucked up shit he seemed to deal with on a daily basis when Eric was kissing him. Nothing else ever mattered. The world could go to hell, but as long as his viking was with him, it didn't matter.

He moaned into Eric's mouth, as the older vampire dug his fingers into his back, drawing blood. His lungs ached, each breath felt like his lungs were on fire, but he forged on, never wanting to for the moment to end. But it always did. Eventually.

"I didn't think I'd see you again." He breathed out, frustrated that the only effect their kiss had on the viking was the little smirk adorning his face.

Eric knew there were more to the words, he knew Damon was referring to the phone call. "I know Damon." His hands lazily ran along Damon's upper thighs. "For a moment I didn't think I'd see you again either."

"So we can both just pretend that didn't happen?" Damon asked, a blush dusting his cheeks a light pink.

"Are you embarrassed?."

"I'm not, it was just sappy. Something out of a trashy romance. It was the bite, I swear," Damon huffed, but his eyes gave it all away.

"Mmhmm."

"It was."

"Of course."

"Really." Damon insisted, and he just shook his head with amusement. "I hate you."

He nodded, cradling Damon's face with one hand, as he licked along the other side, playfully nibbling on his earlobe. "Your erection says otherwise."

Damon snorted, though he gasped as Eric gripped his hard on roughly, playing with it through the tough fabric and his head fell back as the viking continued his torture with his tongue, and fangs along his neck.

He almost fell back into the sexual haze, letting the world slow but he became way too aware of his surrounding as he hear the familiar click of the doorknob, and the turning and he found himself off Eric, and on the other side of the room with his empty glass, staring at an arrangement of decanters.

He just realized the downfall of their game. And how much he despised his brother. At least the thought of his brother helped kill his erection.

"Close call," Eric whispered, winking at him. He just flipped him off as Stefan came into the living room.

"Can we help you?" The sarcasm was just oozing off those words as he strutted back toward the two couches, deciding to sit across from Eric this time. He wasn't sure if could trust himself.

"Damon, can we talk?" Stefan looked between the two of them. "Alone."

Like hell he was leaving. "Nope." He grinned over his glass as Stefan's expression turned sour.

"We shouldn't antagonize the Originals Damon, especially since Klaus is our sire." Stefan lectured, crossing his arms as he stared between them. "Not that I don't appreciate what you did for my brother."

"I'm sure you do." Eric snorted, the two of them sharing an obvious look.

"See I think this is a Stefan problem. I'm not worried, are you worried Eric?"

"Nope."

He shrugged, shaking his head. "I wouldn't worry too much Stefan. I'm sure Klaus won't kill you. I think he thinks you're too pretty, I'd lock that down Stef."

"Is this all just a game to you Damon? You were just dying, from Klaus, and now he's not a threat to you?"

"Not when I have Eric." He winked at the blond.

"He's one of them, Damon!" Stefan exclaimed, throwing his hands up in clear exasperation.

"One of what? The original species of vampires? I know Stef, hard to miss." He teased though he turned serious. "I trust Eric with my life, I don't care what he is. And he doesn't care what I am. He stepped up when no one else did. You left me to Klaus, so you could run off to Rebekah. To help Elena. Do I matter to you at all?"

"Of course Damon, we're brothers."

"And Eric is family to me. So he stays. And we'll deal with Klaus if he comes running. But he's currently decapitated, Kol's Elijah is nowhere, and Rebekah wants to be human. So I think we don't even have to worry." He shrugged, putting his empty glass on the coffee table. "So was that it Stefan? Because I think Eric and I would like to retire for the morning."

His brother looked exasperated, as he just stared at him, then the viking, clearly he had more to say but didn't know how to say it. In front of Eric. He knew a lecture was coming from Stefan when Eric wasn't around. But he wasn't in the mood to deal with one of those famous talks about his life choices. "But-"

'So nothing. Come Eric, I have a room in the basement for you." He said, jumping from the couch and heading to the other side of the room.

He paused as Eric didn't follow him, instead, sitting up slowly and making his way over to his brother. The viking put a hand on Stefan's shoulders, giving him a rare smile. "It was nice to finally meet you, Stefan."

Stefan just brushed it off, huffing as he just nodded, disappearing to- from the sound of a door closing- his room.

He waited until Eric was near him before they headed down the hallway, and toward the basement door. "That went well."

"I don't think your brother likes me."

"He's just worried about Elena, don't take it personally."

He felt a hand on his shoulder, and he stopped. The viking cupped his face, giving him a sorrowful glance before he kissed his forehead softly."Your brother cares for you too."

He just gave Eric a dejected smile. "Honestly Eric, it doesn't matter. It's what the Salvatore brothers do." He grabbed the viking's hand pulling him in the room at the end of the winding hallway in the basement. "All that matters is you're here. And we should be leaving."

Eric paused, taking in the fairly large room. It used to be a wine cellar, but he'd covered the room into a bedroom in the seventies, hoping the next time Eric visited him after one of his relatives passed away. But he'd left Eric before he'd come back again, so the room was left vacant, but he'd updated it a few years ago after Katherine broke his heart.

It wasn't anything special, just a king size bed with a titanium headboard, to be able to withstand vigorous sexual activity. The bedspread was black, the room was painted black with white crown molding and red night tables on either side of the bed.

"Look, Damon, I know we've argued about this, but I know you did want to be human again. And yes Damon, I know it's been a few decades, there's an option for you now. And I think you should consider it." Eric said, turning his attention back to him.

He immediately rolled his eyes- why were they still on this subject? "I don't want to be human." Was Eric unhappy he wondered. "I'm happy. Are you? Does it bother you I'm not your species of vampire?"

'No of course not."

"Then why are you so insistent on this?"

"Because I don't want you to live with any regrets " Eric reached for his shoulders, holding them both with each end- staring deep into his baby blues. "Just go. Consider it. Even if you don't wish to be human, I think your brother does. And your friends. And you might as well finish what you've started."

"But I don't wanna" He teasingly whined, running his hands over his clothed chest. "I want to do other, more sexual activities."

"Then you have to forfeit the game." Eric simply replied, starting to unbuckle his belt. "And I'll cash in now."

"Woah, Woah, I didn't say that."

"Then you'll have to go."

"Fuck you. Then I'm leaving you here." He stared down at Eric's tented erection in his boxers- his pants completely open now. He then met Eric's eyes again. "Unsatisfied."

He yelped as Eric grabbed him, throwing him onto the bed, before towering over him. He didn't have a moment as the viking brought their lips together- taking his breath away. Eric's hands were everywhere, as they continued to kiss, making him moan out into his mouth, as arched into the viking's firm body.

Then before it even got started, it ended- Eric stood up and moved to take off his leather jacket, throwing it onto the dresser on the wall opposite the bed by the door. He turned back, gesturing toward the door with a hand. "Goodnight Damon."

He snarled, now unsatisfied twice as he headed toward the door- stopping as he faced the older vampire."I hate you."

Eric just squeezed his ass as he passed him. "I love you too"


 

Damon stepped out his Camaro, his body on autopilot as he went up the path toward the Gilbert lake house. To say he never wanted to see this house again was an understatement. He'd be glad to see this whole area go up in flames for all he cared. Why he even bothered to come down to Mystic Falls was beyond him anymore. He cared about Stefan, and he'd always be there for him, but he wondered if it was ever reversed, would Stefan do the same?

After being bit by Klaus, after almost dying, he wondered why he ever doubted his feelings for Eric. But a part of him was glad for the closure.

He stepped inside the house, only to drop his keys in surprise.

Standing there, in the smallest black lacy nightgown he'd ever laid eyes on, was none other than Elena Gilbert in all her stunning glory. It was see through, exposing her milky skin, and her matching black bra and panties. The makeup was smoky, her hair straight as ever.

He couldn't move as she swayed toward him, and her fingers ran along his chest lightly. "See anything you like?"

"What are you doing?" His voice was pathetically shaky as the girl just giggled, pulling him toward the living room. This was something out of his wildest fantasies.

"Well I said we'd talk after you were healed, and here we are." She pushed him, and he let himself fall back into the couch, Elena straddling his thighs. "But I think we both know what you really want."

"What are you talking about?" He was at her complete mercy as she started to unbutton his shirt.

"When I visited you at Klaus'. You told me you wanted this. I know you were lying to your friend, but he's not here. So we can do this." Elena leaned forward, kissing along his jawline. "I know how long you've wanted this."

This was all shades of wrong.

His hand snapped up, gripping Elena's hand tightly, feeling the bones bend. "First of all, that's my line." He pushed her, maybe too roughly, as she collided with the coffee table in front of them. "Second, I was hallucinating. Whatever I said to you, wasn't to you." He felt dirty as he buttoned his shirt back up. How did he fall for these things? "Third. What the hell? Seriously, what the fuck Elena! I'm seeing someone. And I don't know how many times I have to say it before it goes through your ditzy head of yours, but I'm happy. I'm in love. She's the only one for me or some shit girls say."

It was then he heard a distinct banging on a door, and a muffled scream.

"You didn't-" Elena bit her lip, not meeting his eyes and ran up the stairs, and into the main bedroom, unlocking and opening the closet to see Lydia- terrified. "I am so sorry Lydia."

"She's fucking crazy." Lydia shuddered, as she took a step back, her eyes wide. He pulled the shaking girl out, glaring at Elena behind him.

"You locked Lydia in the closet so we could fuck!" He said, flabbergasted.

"She was in my way. This was the only place I knew I'd find you alone." Elena pleaded with him, taking a step toward him, but he stormed passed him, Lydia in hand.

What was the world coming to? "You need help, Elena. You'd never do this when you were human."

His anger flared as she stood in his way of the front door. Damn her, and her vampire abilities. "Please Damon, you don't understand. I love you. I need you."

"What you need, is help. Or maybe a good vibrator." He snarled, pushing her aside, as he threw his keys at Lydia who scurried out toward the car. Toward freedom. He turned back to Elena, wanting nothing more than to snap her neck. "Listen here. Leave me the hell alone, and find the love that you had for my brother. Because he's the only Salvatore brother who will ever be with you."

"But Damon-"

He tuned out her shrills, realizing he was going to have to tell Eric. Tell the viking

everything, and honestly, he feared for the girl's safety.


 

Eric was beyond furious as he hurtled through the Salvatore forest back to the boarding house. After he'd awoken, Damon fessed up about first kissing Elena. Then her coming on to him while dying. And his favourite moment, trying to seduce him while he's away picking up Lydia from the lake house so no one to bother them.

He needed space to think things over. Kill an innocent girl on the outskirts of town who may or may not have looked a little like the doppelganger whore just for fun. And blood. He'd like to stake her, but Damon pleaded with him, that she was just confused and needed time to rekindle things with his brother. How Damon ever kept loyal to that poor excuse for a brother was beyond him.

But off his fury, all of his pent up rage, was nothing compared to the overwhelming fear of losing Damon. She represented Damon's human life. And though the younger laughed off the notion of being human, he knew Damon never wanted this life. Never wanted to be a vampire. He'd been tricked by his brother. And the only reason he'd stayed a vampire for those decades was to clean up after Stefan. To look after the only family he had left.

And sure, he'd taken Damon in during the twenties. And molded him into the vampire he was today, but what if Damon did decide to become human. He wanted that for Damon, whatever the cost. But he didn't want that to mean that his älskling would experience the love he'd felt for Katarina all those years ago- for Elena.

He couldn't lose Damon for the second time.

As he stepped out of the thicket of trees, the moonlight illuminated the moving steel that was coming up towards the driveway. As it slowed to a stop, he couldn't help himself to speed toward it, throwing the door open.

"What the hell!"

He watched the petite brunette jump almost out of her seat as he now sat next to her in the passenger seat, her fingers still around the key in the ignition.

"We need to talk Elena Gilbert. Away from curious eyes and ears." He simply stated, closing the passenger door.

"I don't think we have anything to talk about." The girl said, her hand reaching for the car door.

"You open that door and you'll lose an arm." He heard her gasp as he arm fell back to her side, the other taking the keys out and putting them in her purse.

"What do you want?" Her voice was shaky as she couldn't meet her eyes, instead focusing on the front door. He assumed she was hoping for a savior.

"You know what I want to talk about." He leaned forward, resting his arm on the headrest of Elena's seat, as he towered over her, his face inches from her. He could see, and physically feel the vibration of her shiver. "Your little games with Damon have to stop. He's happy, so leave him alone. Before I force you to stop."

"I love him." She whispered, her amber eyes meeting his blues. "I know he's dating your progeny, but you have to understand that I care for him. That I need him."

"You don't know what love is little girl." He snarled, his fangs showing themselves, making her cower in her seat. "So stop your pathetic little crush and find someone more suitable for you. Like Damon's all-American, apple pie, boy next door little brother."

"I don't love Stefan anymore." Elena insisted, growing more bold as she bared her own fangs. But he frightened her again as he snapped his mouth just a breath away from her, making her cower in her seat once more. "He loved me you know" Her voice was just a whisper as he eyes were trained on her hands in her lap. "Damon loved me for three years."

"He was never in love with you. He was in love with the idea of you. If Katherine hadn't broken his heart, he'd never gone after you. In fact, if he'd never loved her in the first place he'd want nothing to do with you."

"Yes, he would! He loved me for who I am."

"No, he loved you because you are a doppelganger of the women he did love. Damon wouldn't have paid you any mind if not, because frankly, he can do better. He's one of kind, an absolute gorgeous vampire, who could have any women he pleases. Why would he waste his time on such a plain jane type like you? He wouldn't even notice you in a crowd."

"Why are you saying these things?"

There were tears in her eyes, and he knew if he was human, it might affect him. Or maybe if he was kinder. But this was about his Damon, his älskling.

"Because clearly someone needs to stop sugar-coating it for you. The world doesn't revolve around Elena Gilbert. I think it's time for you to realize that."

They both went silent as a whirl went by the windshield, but he'd seen the figure.

"Who was-"

He didn't get to hear the rest, as he jumped out of the car, and sped toward the figure, catching up to him as he made his way toward the doorway of the living room- throwing him across the room, past the couches and toward the sitting area by the far windows on the left-hand side of the room. He went for Damon next, who was by the liquor, pulling him to the other side, past the couches, an arm protectively in front of him- crouched in an attack position, fangs bared.

He watched as everyone in the room jumped up from their current positions on the couches, to look over at the sudden commotion on the room. Rebekah shielded Stefan, as the witch began mumbling something, while the hunter stood in front of her, as the blond vampire stood by herself, her back to him.

His eyes locked on Klaus, who was now recuperating from his sudden blind side attack.

"Original barbie, did you put humpty dumpty back together again?" Damon asked from behind him.

"No, I swear. I was going to once we'd gotten back. I don't know how this happened." Rebekah shrugged.

"You put my body too close to my head dear sister. My blood called out for its other half." Klaus mused as he began to pace back in forth, waving a stake wildly around. "How dare you side with them, sister? That freak of a vampire over there, killed our brother Kol, and took my head off."

"I killed your brother! Don't blame Eric for that, and he deserved it. He tried to kill me!" Jeremy exclaimed.

"I wasn't talking to you hunter. And I'd shut your mouth, I'm at a point where I'm willing to have you haunt me for a century just to watch you scream." Klaus snarled, his focus back onto Eric. "Now listen here, Eric, or whoever the hell you are. I'm going to rip you limb from limb, and play with you until I decide when to stake you."

Everyone in the room turned toward him as he laughed, straightening up. "You don't scare me Niklaus. We both know I'm stronger than you. And I'm faster than you. I can easily rip your head off again. So I'd shut my mouth before I decide that I'm bored of you, and this conversation,"

"Then I'll kill Damon." Klaus spat.

"You can try, but again, you'll have to go through me." He winked, and that clearly pissed Klaus off as he lunged at him, only to be bounced off an invisible barrier.

"What the hell?" Klaus snarled.

"I've put a spell on that area. It should keep Klaus inside until we get back." The witch said, making him ease up slightly.

"Are you sure it can contain him?" Elena asked, exposing her presence. Their eyes met for only a moment, before she looked away, tears still in her eyes.

"It should. At least for a few days. I thought it was better than them going against each other again." Bonnie replied, waving between the two of them.

"You fucking witch, let me out. I'm going to rip your throat out." Klaus snarled, but it was obvious the room was ignoring him so he turned toward his sister. "Rebekah do something."

"I will not have you ruin this for me Niklaus. You'll be there for a few days, plenty of time for me to get the cure, turn human and be rid of you forever." Rebekah announced, storming off toward the front door. "We should leave. Now."

"I agree." Stefan replied, following behind the blonde, as they made their exit.

Jeremy gave Klaus one last look, before he too, took his sister and they headed out of the Boarding house.

Bonnie turned to face him, and Damon. "Damon says you'll be staying, so I trust you can deal with Klaus in case he somehow breaks my spell."

"Of course. No harm will come to any of you on your adventure from Niklaus. I can ensure you of that." He replied.

"Good." And like that, she took her leave.

He turned back toward Damon, wishing they didn't currently have an audience of two. "Be safe Damon. Don't do anything reckless."

"Please, my middle name is reckless." Damon teased, as he pulled him into a hug. "You too Eric."

"And do consider what we talked about." He insisted as he let the vampire go, wishing to kiss him.

"Don't keep your hopes up. But I will." Damon put his hand on his chest, clearly feeling the need as well. But they were still playing, after all. They shared a silent moment, staring at each other, before Damon's hand fell and he too, headed toward the front door. He turned, facing the living room again. "Take care of him Barbie, don't let him get in too much trouble with your Original boyfriend. I have a feeling these two will no doubt want to wipe them out, and measure. See who's the strongest of them all."

Damon then took off, his infectious laughter following him out as the door closed behind him. He glanced over at Caroline, and then Niklaus, wondering how he was going to enjoy spending the next few days in this fresh hell.

Chapter Text

Everything was blurry as he ran, jumping the last steps and throwing open the door to safety. But he couldn't stop now. Not when he was behind him.

He heard the car horns as lights flashed about him but he wasn't paying attention, his eyes straight ahead. It was then he saw the thicket of trees illuminated by the moonlight and he bolted toward them. Trees flew by. The darkness encroached, shielding him from dangerous eyes.

But he kept going.

His lungs were screaming at him. His feet ached from the exertion. His heart was pounding. If it wasn't the sheer fear of death- he'd be unconscious.

There was a colossal tree ahead, shrewd in darkness and he willed himself further. As his hands touched the rough bark on the opposite side, he doubled over. His breath was ragged as he filled his lungs. His senses were on overdrive but there wasn't even a cricket.

Was he safe?

"You'll never escape me."

His heart flew to his throat as he swiveled, taking in the smaller, blond man behind him. All he could see was his silhouette, and as it moved, he did too. He could feel the fingers brush his clothing, missing him by inches as he escaped. But his foot caught on something hard, throwing him to the ground- feeling something sharp stab him in the side, as pine needles dug into every conceivable crevice of his body.

His attacker stalked slowly toward him, licking his lips as he edged away from him- each inch was pure agony.

He knew it was over. He was dead.

But, a shadow casted behind his hunter and he watched- mesmerized and petrified as blood sprayed the air as the body before him came apart in two. His savior held the head up for a moment, before tossing into the bushes.

Then the eyes of his defender were on him and his breath hitched in the back of his throat. They held power, wisdom, and drew him in. The shadows withdrew themselves from the man as a soft hue of light fell on him, like a natural spotlight.

Black pants. A black dress shirt. But the buttons were undone exposing the milky white skin underneath. Every inch of muscle was visible, inviting hip dents, chiseled chest that only God himself could have sculpted. The splatters of blood should have taken away from the appeal, but on him it just made him seductively dangerous.

His statuesque guardian angel continued to come toward him, with elegant poise and a manner of grace. Everything about him was superior, and imposing and he wondered in a passing thought if this beast was once a ruler. One of a great nation.

Those pale blues hadn't left his as he took a knee, taking him all in. He felt self conscious and he attempted to curl into himself, but a hand reached out for his shoulder and he found himself laying on the forest floor. He instinctively stretched out his legs as his savior towered over him, a strand of blond hair falling in his face.

He could feel the flush of his skin as the other hand took a handful of his tattered shirt, and with one small tug- it tore. And he found himself shirtless.

"You're injured."

He couldn't feel anything over his beating heart as his eyes were trained on those red, smooth lips like that of an apple.

He was paralyzed as they lowered, until they touched his fevered flesh. His fingers curled into the dirt as they ran down his skin, along his chest, and his torso until they paused, over the gaping wound in his side. It was almost obscene watching that tongue licking over those lips, eyes on his until they came in contact with blood.

He moaned out as his blood was engulfed, his body arching into those lips as his eyes fluttered shut. He was excruciatingly hard and sparks flashed about his eyelids as a hand closed around it.

It was then lips met his own, and he tasted copper from his own blood that stained the others. His hand flew up, grabbing the strong arm that held him down, wanting to touch any available skin. Teeth sunk into his lip gently, and it was then he realized the silky shirt he'd felt had disappeared. His eyes burst open to see his savior smirking below him knowing the little trick he'd just played.

The beast's head fell back ever so slightly, and long fangs gave way from his gums. He gasped, his heart hammering away as he watched him press his thumb into his tooth, then rubbing the blood along his lips. His tongue darted out, and lapped up the blood. He saw the effect he had- as his savior gasped and he went further as he licked around it, before putting his lips over it, and sucking.

With a soft pop, it disappeared and he found himself being held down- two hands held his own arms behind his head. And his lips found themselves on him again, along his neck, feeling his fangs nipping on his flesh, not breaking the skin. They went lower, as his hands too followed. He felt himself being manhandled, and like that, he'd lost his jeans.

Those damn eyes were staring up at him, daring him to watch as his boxers were peeled away so painfully slow- feeling himself springfree of that cotton prison. His lips twisted into a sadistic smile, and with one graceful movement, the God took the entirety of his cock in that glorious mouth.

"Fuck...Eric…"

He jerked awake, as the soft rocking ended with a sudden thud. He blinked a few times, taking in the small confines of the boat. The sun shone brightly, making the sand appear white, as he took in the long beach, that led to a forest, and a vast mountain.

He was grateful that there was only three passengers on theirs, except all eyes were on him.

"We're here sleepyhead."

Jeremy attempted to glare, but he instead found himself blushing as Damon just winked, giving him a knowing smile before jumping off the craft and up the beach. He couldn't even make eye contact with Bonnie as he scurried off the boat after Professor Shane.

When he did manage to take a glimpse of Bonnie, she was blushing too.

Did they know? Did he moan out that name in his sleep?

Even just thinking of it, made his erection twitch in the confines of his jeans and he conjured up images of sagging grandmothers to will it down.

What was happening to him? He'd never, ever dreamed of a man before. Nothing that sexual before anyway. Was he gay? Did he like men?

Did he like Eric?

What the fuck was happening? He liked Bonnie. Not some vampire. Some alluring, tall blonde man.

No. He needed to stop thinking about this.

"Couldn't this island have been somewhere fun, like Europe. Where did you take us?" Damon whined from a nearby log, sharpening a machete as he stared down Shane.

The entire trip here him and Professor Shane were at odds. It was clear Damon did not like him. He couldn't blame Damon, there was something off about him. Especially since he may have been the reason for the mass murder of 12 people at the Young farm.

"We're two hundred miles off the Nova Scotia coastline. The whole point was to hide Silas and the cure where no one would find it, so they hid it on the world's most obscure, desolate island." Shane replied, turning toward him, and Bonnie who now stood near him. "Bonnie will need an up close look at your hunter's mark. It might be best to take photos."

He felt his face go hot as Damon snorted. "Kinky."

Usually he wasn't one to shy away from being shirtless, but there was an audience, including his sister and he felt a little objectified as he tugged off his green t-shirt. Immediately Bonnie took out her cellphone, snapping pictures. She glanced up for a moment, giving him a sympathetic smile. "If there was a better way, I would do it. But it saves you from having to keep taking off your shirt for me to study the mark."

He attempted to give her a charming smile, knowing he should feel ecstatic about Bonnie admiring his body- but he kept going back to his dream.

"Doesn't bother me at all."

Bonnie's face flushed and she moved behind him, her hands gently running over his skin. "These symbols must have been left for the hunters, so they can find the cure. And this must be the story of Qetsiyah and Silas. According to Shane, Silas asked Qetsiyah for help making a spell for immortality. She helped make him immortal, only to learn that he planned to use the same spell on another woman, not her. When she found out, she freaked."

"So Qetsiyah killed the other woman?" He enquired, as his eyes went along the tattoo, piercing the tattoo together with Bonnie's story.

"Yeah, Silas was immortal. She couldn't kill him. So she trapped him in a cave, and buried him alive instead."

"Does it say the hunter's purpose in all this?"

Shane popped up beside them, giving him an eerie look as his eyes roamed over his body, and the tattoo making him increasingly uncomfortable so he put back on his shirt. "I was wondering when you'd ask. Qetsiyah created a cure for immortality, and then she buried it with Silas, hoping that he'd take it and die, and end up on the other side with her for all eternity. But he wouldn't give her the satisfaction. So, many centuries later, her descendants created the hunters to find him, cure him and kill him. You know what? I'll explain on the hike. " Shane's attention turned to the vast mountain in front of them, past the beach, and the forest. "Come on. We gotta get going."

Shane took off, as Stefan, Rebekah and his sister were making their way toward them, and they followed after Shane. Bonnie just shrugged at him as she passed him his backpack, then she took her own.

He jumped, startled as Damon came to stand in between them, his eyes trained on Shane. "Stay close Jer Bear. You too Sabrina. I don't trust him. There's more to this than meets the eye."

Usually he'd ignore Damon, or push him aside but he couldn't agree more with the elder Salvatore and he and Bonnie shared a look before they just nodded, and Damon nodded in understanding before they too followed the Professor.


Eric finished buttoning up his silver and black tapestry vest, tied the black tie around his neck and he then swung the black, glossy suit jacket over top. He did up the middle button, leaving the rest undone. He picked up the pocket square off the black dresser, of the same pattern as the vest, and folded it neatly into the front pocket. He then slipped into his black dress shoes, feel constricted in the skin tight black glossy pants that went along with the ensemble.

As he dressed he was eavesdropping on the commotion upstairs.

"Good evening Klaus. You look pathetic."

It was a voice he didn't recognize, but he clearly knew the Original.

"Tyler stop. You shouldn't be doing this. Let's just go home."

That one he knew. That was Barbie doll Caroline, who'd stayed with him in the Salvatore boarding house all day. They hadn't spent any time together, but he'd heard her walking about- not speaking a word to Niklaus, no matter how much he attempted to antagonize her.

"You should listen to your girlfriend mate. When this spell ends, I'll look different. Angier. Maybe I won't look like anything because I've gouged your eyes out. "

"All you will look like is human. Because my friends will be back with the cure. And one of us will shove it down your throat."

He shook his head as he made his way out of his room, and toward the basement stairs.

"I'd like to see you try Tyler. None of you are strong enough."

"Then we'll get Damon's friend Eric to. I heard he ripped your head off. That must have hurt your ego."

"He got lucky."

His smile widened as he burst through the door, strolling toward the living room. The room had gone silent as everyone turned their attention to him. "Did I Niklaus? Because I remember that night much differently."

"You're Eric?"

His eyes flickered from Niklaus, to the boy, barely a man standing next to Caroline. His scent is familiar, was he a hybrid too?

"Yes, Eric Northman." He answered, extending a hand to the dark haired kid as he came to stop in front of the couple. "You must be Tyler."

The hybrid kid nodded, grasping his hand in his own. "Love your work. I hear you actually took off Klaus' head. I am sorry I missed that."

"He was lucky."

"Well if Niklaus doesn't stop his incessant nattering, you might get to see me do it again." He promised, giving the Original a deadly smile, and a wink.

He watched as Klaus flinched, ever so slightly.

"So what are you doing here? Shouldn't you two kids be going on a date?" He asked, not caring in the least but he was a little curious.

"We were just about to leave actually." The blond girl insisted, attempting to drag the boy away, but he stayed put.

"Actually I'm here to gloat." The kid exclaimed, flopping down on to one of the couches facing toward the Original. "He killed my mother, and I'm going to sit here, and watch him suffer in his misery until our friends come home, and we'll shove the cure down his throat, and I'll get to snap his neck myself."

He shook his head, so young. So weak. "Is that wise?"

"What?"

"Antagonizing Niklaus without the cure in hand? We do not know if this cure actually exists, it is still very much a wives tale." He said, shaking his head at the boy. "Also, you are, what, a newly made vampire? I wouldn't say much older than a year, maybe two. What makes you sure you can take on Niklaus, and live?" He chuckled lowly. "Or what makes you think that spell will keep him? And if he breaks lose, what power do you have from stopping him from killing your pretty girlfriend? Your friends? Maybe another family member?"

He almost laughed as the hybrid child attempted to attack him, but he stepped out of the way, watching him fly into the wall. The girl stared at him, and back at Tyler, clearly unsure of what to do.

"He's right Tyler." The girl said softly.

"What? You're taking his side?" The kid exclaimed.

Well at least one of them was level headed.

"He killed your mother Tyler. And twelve of your hybrid friends. He's ruthless, and until we have the cure, maybe you should try to stay away from Klaus." The girl said, going over to the hybrid, offering to help him up but he ignored her- getting up on his own.

This was getting dull now, and he needed to leave to meet the King of West Virginia. He didn't think the King would appreciate him being late.

He stepped around the couple making his way toward the front door. "As much fun as this has been I'll be leaving now." He paused, his hand at the door knob, staring back at Caroline. "Do watch your boyfriend. And Niklaus.


Damon wasn't paying much attention as Shane was nattering on about his dead wife, and blood and the cave. Clearly the nutty Professor was missing a few marbles. For most it would be a touching story, and he knew his bleeding heart brother, and the rest of the scooby gang were just teary eyed but he wasn't buying it. This guy was the definition of creepy, and he didn't like the way he had his control over Sabrina and this entire expedition.

Who the fuck let this guy crawl into their little group?

"Hey Damon, I'm out of water. Can I have some of yours?"

The Gilbert boy was already reaching for his water bottle that was strapped on the side of his bag, but he slapped it away. "That one has bourbon." He stopped, unzipping his bag and passing him another bottle. "This one has water."

"You've been drinking all day?" The kid exclaimed.

"It's not like I need to hydrate to survive." He shrugged.

"So you believe Shane. A magic well? Seeing the dead?"

"I think the nutty Professor snacked on the poisonous wildlife."

"It's a nice thought though. Seeing dead loved ones." Jeremy said wistfully.

"Can't you already see dead people?" He snorted. "But I see you point. Though there's always a deadly price for seeing the dead."

"Yeah that's true."

He was lucky he saw the arrow in the corner of his eye, as he grabbed his hunter that could, pushing him to safety. He saw a set of eyes, and a darkened figure in the bushes, and before he could kill him himself, the mysterious killer fell face first. Dead. An axe in his back.

"What the hell was that?" He asked, not really to anyone in particular as he went over to observe the corpse, not seeing anyone in the thicket of trees.

"I don't know, but someone just saved our life." Jeremy exclaimed, coming closer to him.

He snorted, his eyes still trailing over the area. "Yeah hatchet man. Really makes me feel welcome to Silas Island."


"You Eric Northman? King Erasmus has been expecting you. You may pass."

He nodded to the large bouncer, and the red velvet rope was opened, and he strode through, and down the long stone corridor. As he made his way through the tall archway leading into the main room, he paused.

He'd only heard stories of Erasmus Crane, and his Kingdom but it was more grotesque than he'd expected. The entire palace was a gothic cathedral converted into a nightclub, though that was being generous. More like a brothel.

The decoration was tasteful, as there was a grandiose chandelier above him that provided most of the light to the room, hanging two stories above him. An expansive bar ran along the left hand side of the room, behind the vast columns- and in between those were tables, some occupied, others not. On the other side of the room, behind a half-wall of glass, was a white couch that wrapped around that entire three sides, round silver tables and chairs, with colossal columns that were made of black marble. On top of them was the white stone that arched, with smaller chandeliers hanging between each arch.

But the main attraction was clearly the center of the room, as the black marble tile walkway that separated both sections, led right to the altar.

And on top of that extravagant carved wooden altar, was currently a blonde women clinging to the edge, her hands chained together as she was fucked with vigour. She was covered in blood, her throat extensively bitten, as well as multiple other parts of her pale body. Behind her was none other than Erasmus Crane who was currently busy, and there were several women fawning over him, as they sat below the altar, and the few steps that led up to it, staring up, watching the display.

His eyes roamed the other patrons, as they were all in stages of sexual pleasure, open feeding, some dead bodies lay on the ground.

He shook his head in dismay, walking past the iron staircase, glancing up at the next floor which were a large balcony with small rooms, red curtains and a black pillar separating each one, with their own light source, and a couch, or a pair of chairs but they all opened and faced the altar- even the railings were just a simple iron pattern, completely see-through. In them, there were couples of all sorts, one male was handcuffed to the railing and was being brutally fucked by another man.

His attention drew back to the King, and above him, past the lengthy black curtains behind him, the balcony that hangs over the stage, which holds a metal table and chairs, though vacant, to the beautiful circular stained glass window, that was illuminated by the moonlight.

"Eric Northman!"

His focus is drawn back to the boy King as he waves him over, still inside the girl who, as he takes closer inspection, is currently now unconscious. As he comes toward them, she's thrown off, and his security comes around to collect her. His so called fan girls flock up, but he waves them down, and they stay put.

Erasmus Crane was for all intensive purposes everything he despised about their species. He was an old victorian vampire, from an aristocratic family as a human. His maker was a notirious pedephile who'd been banished from England centuries ago for his behavior but he'd hidden his perversion long enough to become King of West Virginia. It didn't stop him though from courting Erasmus, and turning him on his eighteenth birthday. However it was when he'd turned a small child a few decades ago, he was sentenced to death by the Vampire Authority, and his royal consort, Erasmus was made King.

Erasmus himself may on paper be eighteen, but he didn't look a day over sixteen. With his boyish looks, pouty lips and undeveloped face. He was appealing all the same, with his slicked back dirty blond hair, hairless and muscular body. It was just enough to show off his abdominal muscles, but not make him look large- still appearing scrawny.

The King slipped into a pair of black pants, loose on the top but tightened on the calf as he finally came to stop at the bottom of the stairs, the girls making space for him.

"Eric Northman, it's a pleasure to finally meet you. Queen Sophie Ann speaks highly of you, so does the Magistrate." Erasmus gestured for him to come up the steps, and he obeyed noticing the chains that hang above them, with cuffs on the ends and all. "I do hope your journey was successful to my Kingdom."

Erasmus extends his hand to him, and he accepted it- bothered a bit at how the boy King ogled him. As he let go, Erasmus gestured to the throne like chairs behind the altar and he took the closest seat, the King taking the other chair.

"Can I offer you something to drink?" Erasmus was already gesturing to his security who nod, disappearing into the shadows. "What's your preference? Boy? Girl? Foreign? Virgin? Children? I won't tell if you don't."

He's not necessarily a kind person, in fact most would consider him a psychopath but his one taboo was feeding from children. He only fed from them when they were dying- sparing them a slow, and painful death. But their blood was addictive, so pure. Many vampires fell to it, and died for it.

"I prefer foreign blood." He remarked, as he watched several humans being hauled onto the stage, forced to crawl on to the altar- to display themselves for purchase.

His eyes skimmed over the lot, it was a diverse group of humans, ten in all- all of whom were poorly dressed, with little to no clothing, and clear signs of torture, and bite marks. Obviously Erasmus liked to play with his food.

The boy King was pacing the altar, pointing at the first human. A black muscular man, well over six feet, close to his own height. "This is Adebisi, I acquired him on my trip to Africa. He's from Nigeria. African blood, found right can be quite pure." He moved on to two women, both who appeared to be maybe eighteen, with their young white faces, and long brown hair, and dark eyes. Identical twins. "These are Charlotte and Scarlet, from Alabama. Southern virgin blood, Or they were. I had my fun with them, but they still taste spectacular, I promise." They smiled and waved at him shyly and he nodded in return, watching as Erasmus moved to the next girl, in her twenties he'd estimate, with bright red hair, sharp blue eyes and a curvaceous body. She too smiled shyly at him.

"This is JJ, cute little Irish girl. She was a gift from a friend. There's something about redheads, they even taste fiery." He watched as the King stroked her cheek once, before moving onto another male- this one older, perhaps in his late twenties. He looked German, with his blonde hair, and blue eyes. "This is Alden, from Germany. A tourist to this fine church, and now he's mine." He walked past the next three girls, all caucasian, young, with varying colours of dirty blond, and brown hair, with average figures. "These are Nicole, Brittney and Rebecca. Nothing special, their blood is average. They are more fun playthings than anything- gifts from my sheriffs. Sad they don't ever get me anything exquisite."

He then moved again, stopping at the end of the altar, where a girl, perhaps sixteen or seventeen sits, a small boy clutched in her arms. There was a familial resemblance, with their light brown hair, and bright hazel eyes. The girl was stunning, with her pouty lips, and curvaceous body. The boy looks to be seven or eight, and he's just adorable. He's the only one who has an outfit- consisting of a t-shirt and shorts. A sharp pang of sorrow fills him, as he knows exactly what life is like for this boy under constant glamour by his tormentors. The boy was staring at him from the crook of his sister's arm, studying him. He smiled, giving a small wave, and the boy beamed, waving in return. "This is Kaarina and Kael, sister and brother. Both virgins. Another gift, from the Magistrate in fact on his trip from Russia. They're from a remote village in Russia. They are by far the finest in my collection."

Erasmus reached for the boy, and took him from his sister's arms, putting him on the ground. The girl looks devastated, but she remained still. The boy ran to him, climbing into his lap. His bloodlust was on overdrive as he kid snuggled into him, staring up at him with those innocent eyes, his little hands clinging to his arm. "Hi, I'm Kael Volkov. What's your name?"

"I'm Eric Northman" He replied, running his hand through the child's brown hair.

"Are you going to feed from me?" The little boy extended his arm to him, seeing the blade marks running along them. At least they had the decency not to bite the child. "I'm the King's favourite. He only lets us out when there's special guests. Are you special?"

"Kael stop asking questions. Eric does not want to talk to you." Erasmus snarled.

Immediately the child's face fell, and he produced a knife from his shorts pocket, offering it up to him.

"Please, sir. Feed from me instead. My brother has already been-"

He cringed, tightening his grip on the child as Kael clung to him as his sister is brutally slapped in the face by Erasmus, and he watched as she fell to the floor, clutching her cheek.

"Eric will have whatever he wants. None of you have any say." Erasmus began to pace about the altar, making each human on it shudder, all staring downward, not able to face their King then looked toward him, his anger disappearing immediately- instead a cheshire grin spread in his face. "I do apologize for my blood bags, sometimes they forget where they are."

"It's alright." Though in his mind, none of this was. His attention went back to the child in his arms, and he took the knife from him, slipping it back into Kael's pocket. "I appreciate the offer Kael, but it appears you've already been fed upon recently, and you should rest. Get your strength back."

"I don't mind, I like you." The child smiled up at him, even through this hell he still had his innocence.

"Eric, don't worry about Kael here. He has plenty of blood." Erasmus commented, patting Kael on the shoulder, before walking toward the girl, pulling her over by her hair. "Or if you prefer, have his sister, it is almost equal in taste. I insist, as my guest. That you have some. "

The boy King then threw the girl to his knees, and she immediately composed herself, resting on her knees, and displayed her long neck to him. Surprisingly it wasn't littered with bite marks like the others on the altar. But he could see others on her thighs and stomach.

"I don't mind. Please." The girl pleaded, running her hands over his legs.

The King, his security, and a few of the guests above them were all staring at him, and he knew he had to feed from her. It was customary. If he refused the King's offer, he'd pay dearly. It was against the law to go against the Authority, even the monarchs. But he wasn't sure if he wanted to feed from the girl in front of her own little brother. But it was better than feeding from the child.

He reached for one of her arms, and pulled gently closer to her, and he sunk his teeth in her neck. He outwardly moaned as it pooled inside of his mouth, and swallowed it down. Her blood was just how it smelled, exquisite. It reminded him of centuries of ago, the blood from the peasants. The purity. He could almost taste the Russian homeland.

It took a lot of will to release his fangs from her, wanting to drain her dry. He hadn't tasted blood that refined in a few years. It was full-flavoured, no wonder it was Erasmus' favourite. A sick part of him was curious to how the child would taste, but he'd never take blood from him. He was too innocent. Too young.

"Good. Right?" Erasmus beamed, pulling the girl to him, and he dragged her back to his seat, his fangs sinking exactly where his had been.

He shielded the child's eyes from watching his sister be fed upon, reaching into his pocket and produced his business card, giving it to Kael. "Here, something for you to play with."

He knew the child may not understand, but it had his phone number, and if his sister could find a phone, and escape- he'd help her and her brother leave this place.

"Take you brother, and sit with the others. We might want you later."

He picked up Kael, and handed him over to his sister, who gave him an appreciative smile, before going back to their place on the altar. He turned his attention back to the King. "Thank you, for everything your majesty."

"Call me Erasmus, please." The blond insisted, admiring him. "So where is your little whore the Magistrate has told me so much about? He does live in Mystic Falls, Damon is his name right?"

"Yes." He gritted through his teeth, it took him everything not to defend Damon's honour. "He's away with his brother. They needed to get something."

"Ah, a pity. I've heard he's a beauty. Do you share?"

"No, Damon is mine" He growled then, he never shared Damon. He was his.

The King chuckled, leaning back in his chair, wagging his finger at him. "We both know you can't claim one of them. An abomination, a mutation of our species. They're vile, disgusting- a stain on vampire existence. Of course, fucking them is okay. But anything else is frowned upon, we both know that."

"I don't care about the rules. I've never liked the Authority. Neither do you clearly, feeding from children is all but forbidden now, with their plan on mainstreaming with humans soon."

The king snorted, chuckling darkly. "Mainstreaming, what a vile idea. We should be making humans our pets, not trying to be seen as equal to them. They are nothing, but a food source, and who lets their food have any say?"

He nodded at the King, not sharing his enthusiasm. He was against mainstreaming, he did consider humans inferior creatures to them, but having them as pets? That seemed unnecessary cruel, and where would the fun be if you couldn't hunt them? Besides letting humans know they existed, just spelled trouble. There were already hunters, did they need more problems?

"So." deciding to change the subject. He'd come here for a reason. "In your note, you wanted to more about the other species."

There was that maniacal laugh again, as the Erasmus shook his head. "That was just an excuse to see you." The king turned, facing him again. And staring at him, with that dreadful lust in his eyes. "Sophie-Ann has told me so much about you. Same with the magistrate and I was curious. There aren't many vampires your age left. The King of Mississippi is, but he's crude, and his royal consort is a whiny bitch. But you." Erasmus smiled. "You're different. The last king, my maker, was a viking too" For the first time that night, he'd seen genuine emotion, as the King's face fell. "He met the true death, by the authority."

The blood was coming back up as he put the pieces together. Did Erasmus want him? He couldn't deny the similarities he, and Erasmus' maker barred, from the long blond hair to the blue eyes, to their height. Erasmus' maker, Bard, had been in a different clan than his, but he'd met the man as a human. Only once. Though he'd already been turned.

He needed to shut down whatever unpleasant thoughts Erasmus was having.

"So Eric, why Damon? Why not take a real vampire as a lover?" The boy king asked.

"I wanted Damon, I don't know how else to say it. I take what I want." He shrugged, feeling dread creep up his spine, guessing where this conversation was heading.

Erasmus dramatically sighed, giving him a pitying glance. "Don't you find him vile though? You deserve better."

"Do I?" His eyes raked over the king's body. "Are you offering yourself to me Erasmus."

"What if I was?"

He leaned back into his chair. "I'd say no."

"Because of your little whore?" The boy king snorted.

"Yes."

He flinched, wishing he'd been paying more attention as he found himself with a lap full of Erasmus, as he straddled each of his thighs. "So quick to reject me. You and Bard are so much alike. When I was human, Bard didn't want me at first either. But I changed his mind, I can change yours." He felt cool lips on his own frigid flesh, as Erasmus began to kiss along his neck, and he pushed the King off, ever so gently. He didn't need to find himself meeting the true death by the Magistrate because he'd upset the King.

"My liege, as tempting as this offer is, I will decline. You are not my type, as they say." He said, trying to be polite, but a part of him itched to throw the King off, and stake him right where he lay. "It's not like you are lacking in women."

"I do not want women!" Erasmus exclaimed, jumping from his lap, and stomped his foot. "I want you." He watched as the boy king fell to his knees, crawling to him again. "I can be whatever you want me to be. Punish me. Whip me. Spank me. Fuck me. Make me yours." Hands were sliding down his clothed thighs, as Erasmus smirked below him. "How often do you find a King, begging on his knees."

He can't attack the king. He can't attack the king. He can't attack the king.

He leaned forward, his lips to Erasmus' ear. "I am not Bard." He straightened up as he saw the sadness flash in his eyes. "I cannot begin to imagine the heartbreak of losing a maker, but I am a poor replacement. Find someone else Erasmus, I am happy with Damon. You should find someone to make you happy as well."

He stood then, the King's hands falling from his thighs and he made his way toward the altar. He wanted to get out of this dreadful palace.

"Alright I'll play."

His eyebrows rose as he turned back to the boy king, who just gave him a sultry smile. "Goodbye Eric, I will see you soon."

That was ominous he thought, be he wished to be back at the Salvatore boarding house, having a long bath and going to bed. Him and Damon would be leaving the state soon anyway, and this whole, awful experience would be behind him.


He could smell it.

He had to stop, his hand grasping the doorknob as the smell washed over him, invading his senses. The decay. The putrid smell of rotting flesh. But that distinct scent- it sent shivers through his spine and he burst through the front door, images of Damon, pale, cold and distant on that bed ever so present in his mind as he stalked toward to living room.

He first saw the hybrid kid on the couch, his back to him, and then Niklaus who has a deadly smile curled around his lips, though as their eyes meet- it wavered.

And then he saw her. Caroline. She was staring at him now, over the shoulder of her boyfriend, her fingers clutching her bleeding neck and he realized, somehow Niklaus had bitten her.

"You have to help her!"

He can't help as his eyes narrowed, staring at the insolent hybrid kid below him. Did he now?

Barbie doll rushed to her boyfriend, giving him a sympathetic look before clinging to the hybrid, and he stepped around them. "Tyler, please. Just take me home. I can't look at him."

"Car, I'm not going to let you die. Damon's friend can fix this. He saved Damon."

"We can't ask him to risk his life for me. We don't even know him."

He tensed, as the recent emptiness between him and the basement door was filled with the brazen brat who was all but furious, giving him an unworthy glare. "You will help Caroline."

"Will I now?"

He can't help the smile that spread on his face, and he headed back toward the living room, the werepup following behind him.

"You helped Damon, you can help Caroline. Just get Klaus' blood."

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the Original hybrid take a step back, but he ignored everyone, taking a seat on the couch, crossing his legs.

He cocked his head at the hybrid kid. "Why don't you get Niklaus' blood? I mean, when I left you were so cocky, so confident that you could end Niklaus yourself. So do it. You don't need me." He gestured toward the man himself, and Tyler looked just livid- he considered masking his smirk but he couldn't help himself. He'd warned the pup.

Caroline attempted to reach for Tyler, but he pushed her off- harsher than he'd expected. Her too, as her eyes narrowed behind the kid's back. "You're just as bad as him. Fine I'm weak. I can't take on Klaus. Is that what you want to hear?"

"Yes, it is," He paused, wiping off a speck of lint on his pants before returning his gaze to the kid. "See you remind me of the newborns. You think you can take on the world with this strength that has been blessed on you- but you never learn to respect your elders. It's why so many of you perish in the first few years."

"Tyler let's just go."

He honestly takes pity on the girl, but the kid is relentless as he continues to ignore her, coming closer toward him. "Fine, I'm weak. And stupid. But this is about her. She doesn't deserve to die!"

He's quickly getting bored of this predicament, and his eyes flickered to the girl. "And why should I help her?"

"Are you kidding me?" The kid snarled at him. "Are you fucking kidding me! She's dying, and you're asking why you should help her!"

"Tyler-"

"No Car, this is disgusting. He's almost worse than Klaus!"

The Original snorts behind all of them. "What can you expect? He's a vampire, their species doesn't experience human emotions. They don't care about life, they take it."

For once, he honestly agreed with the hybrid.

The kid's face flickered between a variety of emotions, but it settled on confusion. "But you saved Damon."

He shrugged. "He's family. I would do anything for my own."

He watched, noticing Niklaus watching too, as Tyler just paced in front of them, Caroline all but abandoned him as she took a seat on the couch, curling into end, her head resting on the arm- her eyes distant. The kid stopped, clearly becoming dejected. "Please, you are the only person who can save her."

"Perhaps I am. But what's in it for me?" This was just becoming fun as he watched Tyler seethe, and the kids took a lunge, but he was prepared, and he was off the couch- his hand constricting around the broad neck- watching the colour drain from his face.

He glanced back to see if Caroline would be a problem, but she doesn't even seem to notice.

He raised the kid higher, his legs kicking and struggling but he didn't let up- he wasn't having a good night. "Now that wasn't smart, was it?"

The kid's eyes look twice their size, as he clawed at his neck, seeing those eyes turn a few shades yellow. Was he going to turn? "Let...me...go."

He looked to the ceiling, dramatizing his contemplation before his eyes found Tyler's again. "You want me to help your girlfriend. You'll leave."

"No."

"Just do what he says Tyler. Please."

Both of them turned their heads as Caroline stood in the distance, her fingers still over her neck. He let the pup go, and made his way back toward the couch- wishing for anything to be bored somewhere else.

"You can't trust him Car! He's evil!"

He just shook his head as he took out his cellphone, how was he evil now? Wasn't he their only hope. His mood only soured more as Damon hadn't texted, or called. Where was this cure?

Hopefully he was okay.

"Look he's our only chance against Klaus. And you are angering him, like you angered Klaus. And somehow I'm in the middle. I'm tired of this."

"Car-"

"No Tyler, Somehow I don't matter. You chose your hybrids over me. You chose Hayley over me. You choose your obsession with Klaus over me. Why couldn't you just have run away with me?"

And why did she put up with the mutt? She could do better he thought.

"He killed my mom. My friends."

"I know Tyler, but that's what Klaus does. Why can't you just accept Klaus will always be stronger than you. Just let him win. You have me, that should be enough. We could have been happy, running away. Building a life together."

He glanced up from his phone to Klaus, who looked just as smug as ever. But when he hears the possibility of them running away like star crossed lovers, there's a clear hatred, and sadness. So Damon was speaking the truth of Klaus' love for the girl. Why did he bite her then? And not the pup? Clearly he didn't mind killing his progenies.

"It is but-"

"No Tyler, I can't listen to this. Just go. Okay."

He snags a glimpse of the couple, Caroline has all but turned away from Tyler, pushing away his hands from her. "But-"

"Please."

That's all it takes it seemed as the pup tucks his tail between his legs, and walked out of the Boarding house. The girl turned back to him, and she walked over to the couch, taking a seat across from him.

"Look I'm sorry about Tyler. Life hasn't been good to him lately, and he's just lashing out."

"Never apologize for someone like him. Come." He stood up, gesturing toward the stairs. "Let us speak upstairs, away from Niklaus. I'd like to hear your side of the story."

"Don't trust him Caroline."

"Why? What's he going to do that you haven't? Kill me?" The girl snorted as she twisted herself toward Niklaus, hand on her hip. "I am tired of people telling me what to do. You're just scared he'll actually take your blood again. Because poor immortal Klaus has finally met his match." She stormed off then, toward the stairs and he gave Niklaus his most predatory smile as he trailed behind.

The girl was on a mission as she navigated her way upstairs, clearly being here plenty of times. As she made her way toward Stefan's side of the house, a side he's never explored, did he reach for her, and pulled her gently towards Damon's bedroom. As they reached it, he let go, striding into the room, across from the bed to the fireplace that had a speakers on top of it. He took Damon's iPod, scrolling through his music before selecting the playlist- Music From Fangtasia.

"Eugh what is this? Can't we listen to some Taylor Swift or something?"

He eyebrows furrow in confusion, not even sure who that is- though he assumed it was some teenage pop musician. Girls like barbie doll were predictable in their music selection.

"It's just background noise, to stop curious ears from listening." He said as he slipped off his shoes, hanging his suit jacket from Damon's bedpost before throwing himself onto Damon's king size bed, making himself comfortable. He was looking forward to the night he'd get to defile Damon on this bed.

He eyed Caroline, who was still standing at the doorway, looking almost lost. "Come in Caroline, I don't bite. Or at least, I won't bite you."

She took a step into the room, clearly looking for something and he realized Damon didn't have any seating except his bed. He rolled his eyes, patting the comforter, signalling for her to take a seat. She came toward him slowly, and finally took a seat at the edge of the bed, her back against the bedframe.

"So, do tell. I'm curious, how is it you are the one bitten? And not that mangy mutt you call a boyfriend?"

The girl sighed, tucking a strand of blonde hair behind her ear. "I got too close to Klaus and he was able to spear me with a lamp and bite me. He's trying to get us to call Bonnie to remove the spell. He was just insulting Tyler, and rubbing it in his face about killing his mother. His mother! But Tyler is just as relentless, and had to remind Klaus his brother is dead. I'm sick and tired of their little feud. Men and their egos, I swear."

He chuckled, he liked this girl. She was tenacious. He liked that in a woman. "So why do you put up with it?"

She looked at him, throwing her hands up in clear exasperation, and flopped onto the bed, wincing. It's then he noticed her skin was becoming more pale. "Honestly, I don't know anymore. I was considering breaking up with Tyler, when he was sneaking around with Hayley. With those hybrids. But I didn't want Klaus to somehow think he'd won. And then the bastard killed Tyler's mom and how can you break up with someone after their mother is murdered?" She bit her lip as her eyes found their way to his again. "Sometimes I think Tyler is the safe choice. I have.-" There was a pause, as the girl brushed her fingers over the ghastly bite on her neck. "I have feelings for Klaus." Her gaze drifted down to the dark comforter. "And I know that makes me the worst person."

He just shook his head, ever still so young. Not that he approved of Niklaus as a suitor, for anyone. Except maybe Stefan, those two in his mind almost deserved each other. He moved down the bed, cupping her face gently. "I know we have just met Caroline, but never feel guilty about your feelings. He's a vampire- a thousand year old vampire, I cannot begin to fathom to you how many humans, werewolves, vampires he's killed. For our kind, murder is a past time. You are still so young to understand. Murder does not make the vampire. It's the heart. Do you believe Niklaus loves you?"

She just nodded at him, noticing her gaze wavering from coherent, to incoherent. "He's kind to me. In a way he's not with others. There's a soul in there, but every time he lets me in, he does something like killing my boyfriend's mother and I lose faith in him."

He's tempted to snort, and roll his eyes at the obviousness of it all, but the girl is dying after all- she deserves some respect. But it's such a classic move. Bad boy is only good to the innocent wide-eyed girl he wants. Girls want to fix them, boys want to corrupt them. He wondered if this was a ploy, or if Niklaus really did have a heart under those fangs.

"Here's some advice I can give you, one I gave to Damon years ago. You either have to accept, and love every part of the man, or let him go. Niklaus will always be a killer. He'll always be selfish. That is ultimately who he is. So either accept his flaws, his evil, or embrace it. Be corrupted into it. It doesn't mean you have to be like him. But you might need to embrace the darkness that lingers inside you. The vampire part of you, that wants you to drink blood, kill and fuck. "

"But why can't he change?"

"He will, if he loves you. He'll bring out your darkness, and you will bring out his light. That is what a relationship is. Bringing out the best in each other, and ourselves." He said.

"How is being like Klaus, the best part of me?" Caroline asked him, her eyes wide.

"It'll teach to be strong. To be independent. To never rely on anyone else. To do whatever it takes to get what you want in this world. It's how you survive."

"You sound just like him." Caroline laughed lightly. "I can see why you and Damon get along so well"

She attempted to smile at him, but she fell into a coughing fit, seeing the pain flash over her face. He supposed he should do something about that. "Look I'm tired, and you're sort of becoming distorted. I just want to sleep."

He hummed. "Well then we'll just have to something about that, won't we?"

"Then you'll help me?' She asked him, her face brightening.

"I don't need to. You just need to help yourself."

Caroline furrowed her eyebrows at him. "I'm confused. Have I started hallucinating, or are you talking in riddles?"

"Do you think you can trust me?" He asked, rolling off the bed.

She shrugged. "I shouldn't but seeing what you did for Damon, and how protective you are of him, makes me think I can."

"Alright then." He said, and he scooped her up in his arms.

"Woah, where do you think you're taking me?"

"To Klaus." He began making his way out of the bedroom, and toward the stairs. "You say he loves you, then let him prove it to you. If he cares for you, he'll save you. No matter how cruel, how horrible you think him to be- the good in him will have to save you."

"I won't save her." Klaus called out as they'd found themselves back in the living room.

He bared his fangs, making Niklaus flinch, and he put the girl down in the spell bounded area."We'll see."

"Are you sure about this? He bit me." Caroline asked, her big eyes starring up at him.

"And he could have easily staked you." He replied, shrugging. "This is your chance to know the truth Caroline, because in my experience, no one can honestly love someone and let them die in front of them because of a little inconvenience."

"She'll die, and it will be on you Eric Northman." Niklaus called out as he went toward the basement.

He snorted, turning back to the hybrid. "We'll see Niklaus. And we all know it'll be on your conscience, she means nothing to me."


"We should have brought a guitar, get a sing song going. Invite the axe murderer."

Elena glanced across from the fire in front of her, seeing the silhouette of Damon as he took a swig from his water bottle, though from the scent, and the fact that Damon was clearly not sober anymore made her guess it was bourbon.

She felt left out as Rebekah and Stefan shared the log next to her, and Damon, Jeremy and Bonnie were sharing their own, though Damon was leaning his head against the bark, his feet outstretched toward the fire. Professor Shane had retired to one of the cabins for the evening, and they decided to stay up awhile longer.

Damon was still ignoring her. In fact he'd said maybe three words to her since their journey to Canada. Not that she tried much either, his friend's words were still a sharp pain in her heart. How could he attack her like that? Shouldn't it be Pam, Damon's girlfriend the one to criticize her. And how dare he say Damon never loved her? What did he know? She knew how Damon felt, she had the compelled memories to prove it. Who was Pam to Damon anyway? Or Eric? They knew each other, for what? A year. These people, the ones around this fire were his true friends. His family. The ones who truly loved him.

"So Damon, how do you know Eric?"

She perked up at her brother's question, seeing everyone else also stare in Damon's direction.

"Why does it matter?" Damon huffed.

"I have to say, I'm curious too. He's one of the original species of vampires, old too. They hate us, they think we're vile. Disgusting. A disgrace to their species." Rebekah said, rolling the tombstone between her thighs as she too was staring at Damon.

"It's a long story."

"Well brother, we're in front of a campfire. I think this may be the best place to tell a story." Stefan added. "Can't be that long, it's only been a year."

A mischievous smile crawled onto Damon's face. "Who said we've only known each other for a year?"

"I know all of your friends Damon, or lack of." Stefan insisted.

"Well then brother, and all, gather around as I tell you the great tale of Eric Northman and Damon Salvatore." Damon joked, though his expression went serious as he stared downward at his water bottle for a moment, before his eyes met hers. "Eric and I met in the 20's. At a bar, you might remember it Stefan, it's now called Gloria's"

"No." Stefan said slowly, confused.

"Yeah, I would have remembered someone as tall and handsome as your friend. And you for that matter." Rebekah insisted.

"Well Barbie Klaus, you were a little preoccupied with my brother to notice much of anything." Damon snorted, taking a drink before he continued. "Eric made a proposition with me. He knew I was worried about Stefan, and how your Original friends were corrupting you, bringing out the Ripper side of you. So he offered to contact a hunter, which I learned when Michael came, was daddy dearest, to come and kill them, in exchange for my knowledge of daylight rings."

"Wait-" Rebekah interrupted. "You're the reason Mikeal came. The reason we had to flee. The reason my brother daggered me in the 20's."

She watched as Stefan put a hand out, holding Rebekah back from Damon, who just shrugged at her. "I did what I thought I had to for my brother."

"But why you? Stefan had a daylight ring? Why not a witch?" Jeremy asked.

"You'd have to ask Eric, Jer Bear."

"You never asked?"

"I made a deal with him, that was it. And I told Eric everything I knew." Damon said simply.

There was something else, Damon was hiding something she thought, watching the man as there was something in his expression. She couldn't quite put her finger on it, sadness? Warmth? Sentiment?

"But how are you still together?" Jeremy asked, then a small gasp escaped her little brother as he seemed embarrassed. "As friends I mean."

Damon didn't seem at all offended by the idea, instead laughing at Jeremy. "We ended up travelling the world together. Eric taught me everything I know about being a vampire. I used to be this pathetic lost boy, who worried about my soul, my immortality, humans and killing them. But Eric taught me to revel in the kill. To enjoy feeding. To accept and live for my blood lust, because it makes me a superior species.'

"Wait-" Stefan leaned forward on the log, his face contorted into sheer discomfort. "So he's the reason you changed, when I saw you in the '40s."

Damon nodded, his face to the stars. "By then, I'd lost my humanity. Eric and I had travelled Europe together, we'd partied our way through World War II."

"Partied?" Bonnie gasped, she too was taken aback. How could anyone consider World War II a party?

"Sure. We both joined the military, Eric joined the SS, I was a soldier in the Italian army. They were mostly covers, as we drank, and fucked our way through towns in Germany, Italy, France, Austria. Name it, we went." Damon seemed wistful, a soft smile on his lips as he still stared up into the night sky. "World War meant we had our pick of bodies, and blood."

"I didn't know any of this." Stefan said, looking confused, and maybe a little disheartened.

"I never told you Stef. Eric and I have a... complicated relationship," Damon shrugged again. "I didn't think we'd still be together all these years. I thought after our decades of searching for the equivalent of daylight rings for his species, and coming up with nothing- he'd find no use for me. Like you said Rebekah, his species doesn't like ours. And Eric hasn't always been pro witch-made vampires."

"So how are you two still friends?" Jeremy asked.

She was getting a little concerned with Jeremy's clear curiosity about Eric. The whole trip he seemed to talk about the other vampire. And she didn't want him getting anywhere near her family- she didn't trust Eric. Not anymore.

"I guess everything changed when he saved me. In the 50's, one of Stefan and I's relatives called us home. I got there first, but he'd sold me out to this group called the Augustines, and Dr Whitmore to do experiments. For over a year, I remained their guinea pig, but Eric came for me. And since then, he promised to always protect me like his own. Eric considers me his progeny, and I consider him my maker." Damon answered, straightening up, putting his water bottle back into his bag. He seemed, uncomfortable all of a sudden. "As much fun as this is, I'm tired so I'm going to bed. Try not to wake me up Jeremy."

Damon stood up then, nodding at all of them before heading toward the cabin him and Jeremy were sharing for the night. It was clear Eric meant the world to Damon, but how did he never mention the man for the three years of knowing him?

"Damon never told you about Eric?" Jeremy asked, clearly to Stefan.

Stefan just shook his head, obviously discombobulated. "No, not once." Stefan leaned forward, his head in his hands, and she watched as Rebekah rubbed his back gently, making her seethe a little. "But honestly I spent a lot more time with Lexi, than I did with my own brother. And after the 20's he became a whole other man. And I couldn't be around him. And Damon disappeared for decades at a time sometimes. I can't believe I didn't know. What other things is my brother keeping from me." Stefan stared over at Damon's cabin. "Do I even know my own brother?"

If Stefan didn't know about Eric, did she even know Damon?


"It's gone."

"What?"

"The tombstone it's gone. And so is Shane!"

"I didn't find Jeremy on the trail, and his gear is still here. What are we going to do?"

Damon punched the nearby tree, as he watched everyone having a freak out. When he woke up this morning, somehow Jeremy disappeared from under his nose. They decided to split up to look for the kid, and now somehow Professor Nutty all but vanished from four vampires and a witch with the tombstone.

What the hell was happening?

He knew he should have just tortured the Professor until he got what he needed, and killed him. Then none of this would have happened in the first place.

"We need to split up again. Find that bastard, and rip out his throat." Rebekah snarled.

"I suggested torturing him yesterday," He shrugged.

"We have to stop wasting time and find my brother." Elena insisted, looking around frantically, still clutching her brother's pack.

"And Shane!" Rebekah reminded.

"I'll do a locator spell on Jeremy, hopefully it'll lead to Shane too." Bonnie said as she began to pull things out of her bag, presumably for the spell.

"I'm sticking with Sabrina. One of us has to protect her," He started, moving toward the witch in question.

"I'll stay with Bonnie, Damon, she's my friend."

"She needs a vampire a little bit older. So how about Original barbie, you and Stef go head up the search party. We'll come find you when we find Jeremy," He insisted, shooing them with his hand.

"Don't either of you think of betraying me!" Rebekah snarled, and she and Stefan headed back into the forest.

Elena looked between each group, until she bowed her head and headed slowly toward his brother and Rebekah and they disappeared into the thicket of trees.

"Alright," He turned to face Bonnie. "Let's get that juju going."

Sabrina seemed conflicted, her hands paused over the dirt, as she bit her lip, contemplating something, before looking up at him. "I don't know if I should do this. I can't exactly control my magic anymore. This expression, is dangerous. And Shane is the only one who knows how to keep me from going over the edge."

He sighed, hating this bastard even more as he knelt down- looking directly into Bonnie's eyes. "Listen to me Bonnie, I won't let it consume you, okay? I promise. Just focus on finding Jeremy, and we'll figure out the rest. You're stronger than he knows, and if you let him think he has control, then he does. Okay?" He smiled at her reassuringly, and she nodded, mumbling something under her breath.

He moved out of the way, and behind the witch waiting for something to happen, and he was started as the dirt was set on fire, and a path set out, into the trees.

"Is that normal?"

"No, not really." Bonnie said, and he offered his hand, helping her up. "But we should follow it right?"

"I guess, it's the only lead we have." He shrugged, taking his own bag, and swinging it over his shoulder, then grabbing Jeremy's too.

They both headed into the forest, following the fire as it would extinguish just enough in front of them as they followed it. It was silent as they continued on, there was something off about this but he trusted Bonnie's magic.

"Can I ask you something Damon?" Bonnie asked, taking him out of his thoughts.

"Why not?" He shrugged.

"Why didn't you ever tell your brother about Eric? You two seem close, didn't you want them to meet?"

He almost tripped over a stone as he was completely taken aback from her question. He wasn't sure how to answer, without giving it all away. He'd wanted them to meet, sure. But he didn't know how to explain his relationship with Eric. They were friends. Lovers. Family. But he'd never let himself believe they'd be together forever, he was going to be with Katherine. But now, everything changed, and his prospects with Eric changed. And soon he'd know. It's not like they could play their game forever- one day he'd slip up. And he wanted Stefan to know, he just wasn't sure how accepting his brother would be with him having a thousand year old vampire boyfriend.

"I guess I didn't think he'd approve. Actually I didn't think either of them would approve of each other. Eric and Stefan are two very different people, and they happen to both be the most important people in my life, and I didn't want to ever have to choose between them," He explained, as Bonnie just nodded along. "Besides, I wanted the two to meet in person, and every time I saw the one, the other wasn't around."

"You should still have told him Damon, he's your brother." Bonnie insisted, as she ducked under a tree branch. "Stefan seemed really upset last night."

"Well I don't know if you've noticed, but my brother and I have a complicated relationship."

Bonnie snorted, which turned into a laugh. "I've noticed." Her laugh started to die down as they both stepped over a large log infront of them. "So how does Pam factor into all of this? Were you two together before this year?"

He paused, for a moment, figuring out what lie to tell. He might as well stick closely to the truth. "We've been together on and off since the '30s. But I eventually left when I came back for Katherine, I always thought she was the girl for me."

"Wow, and she took you back?"

"It was like we were never broken up when I saw her again. I mean don't get me wrong, we fought. And she's worried about my feelings for Elena."

"Do you still love Elena?"

There was almost no doubt in his mind that he wasn't anymore. "No, not anymore. I learned my lesson with the petrova doppelgangers."

He stopped as Bonnie grabbed his arm, forcing him to face her. "I'm confused, so if you and Pam have been together for over 50 years, how could Stefan never have met her? Even know about her? And you've never talked about her. She doesn't even seem as important as Eric is to you. She isn't even here, it's hard to imagine her not coming for you when she thought you were dying."

He felt himself pale, he was impressed. Bonnie was seeing through this charade pretty well. "Bros before hoes Bonnie, bros before hoes."

"What?"

"My relationship with Pam is complicated, let's just leave it at that." He said, shrugging off her hand and continuing on the fire path, only to be burned and he jumped back. "Looks like you have to be ahead of me." He took a step back, looking over at the path behind him. "Wait, I swear the trees were different from those ones."

He pointed toward the thicket of trees behind him, and Bonnie followed his gaze, and she looked back at him- bewildered. "We better continue,"

He just nodded, following behind her, and as they passed through a bush did they see some figures in the distance. Bonnie began to run ahead, and he trailed behind her, worried about the fact there were three figures ahead of them.

"Jeremy!" Bonnie exclaimed, and he saw the kid turn toward them, smiling.

"Bonnie!"

The kid was all but tied and gagged, by some man, who looked like he's come from a native american movie- with paint on his face, and a surprisingly amount of fur for clothing. And Shane was just standing there, smug as ever until their eyes lock as he came out of the trees, his expression wavering.

"Massak, you were only supposed to guild Bonnie here, no one else was supposed to follow her." Shane snarled.

He ran past Bonnie, the kid, and the Professor's accomplice before his hands encased around the nutty Professor's throat, watching in delight as he gasped for air. "I guess today just isn't your day huh Professor. Now I'm going to ask real nice, and you're going to tell us where this cure is, and I'm going to snap your neck!"

It was then his head felt like it was on fire, and he was thrown back, his hand losing it's grip and he fell to the ground, clutching either side of his head. He was about to curse out Bonnie, only to notice it wasn't her. It was that weird accomplice, who apparently was a witch. Go figure.

"Stop!" Bonnie exclaimed, actually running over to him before turning back around to face the witch, the wind swirling around them. "Leave Damon alone!"

"Tell your vampire friend to stop. And I will leave him be." The witch said, all too calmly and Bonnie turned around to him, and he just nodded weakly.

The pain instantly disappeared, and a hand was eye level with his, and he took it, letting Bonnie help him up.

"What are you doing? Knock him unconscious, Damon was never part of my plan. He'll get in the way!" The professor exclaimed to his friend.

"This is not my problem. You wanted me to get the witch and the hunter away from their friends to you. I have delivered, mostly."

Jeremy stared at both of them, and Bonnie turned to him, and all of them shared a silent perplexed look. He knew they should have never trusted this maniac.

"Fine." The Professor rearranged his backpack, clearly not worried about his predicament. This guy seriously gave him the creeps. "Here's the thing. Massak here is a witch. A talented one at that. If any of you escape, you will not be able to find us, or your path back. And you need me to find Silas and the cure."

He shrugged, walking over to Jeremy- glaring at the witch until he let go of Jeremy's leash and he ripped each rope apart, freeing the kid. He clapped him on the shoulder, as he gave the kid a once over, to see if there were any marks on his body- but he seemed uninjured.

"Thanks Damon." Jeremy said as he took off his gag.

He nodded to the kid, his attention going back to the Professor. "Alright Shane, you have all the pieces, lead us to this cure. I'm itching to rip out your throat."

"Then you'll lose Bonnie. She'll need me to complete her expression, and without me she'll die." Shane exclaimed almost happily, and he watched from the corner of his eye as Sabrina paled.

"Let's make this real clear." He strolled over to the Professor, letting his fangs slide through his gums, feeling the veins beneath his eyes surge. "I may not usually give a crap about Bonnie Bennett, but we bonded on the fire yellow brick road, so once you become of no use, and you will, I'm going to kill you. Nice and slow. And I'll find a way, so you don't even get to see your dead wife, or child in the afterlife. So if I were you, I'd pray to whatever God you worship, and take us to this mystical cave,"


Dear Eric,

I hope you'll reconsider my offer. Until then, I thought I might provide the necessary equipment, though I suspect you already have some variation of what I have provided.

I do look forward to seeing you again, do bring Damon along next time. With any luck, the Magistrate, and your Queen will accept my offer, and you'll become one of my sheriffs.

Sincerely yours,

Erasmus.

His eye twitched, as his hand crumpled up the card, and he threw to the ground. Clearly the King was going to become more of a problem- he had no desire to become a sheriff to that sniveling, childish psychopath.

Clearly Erasmus was going to be a bigger problem than he'd originally thought.

"What is that?"

The voice was distinctly different from Niklaus' which he'd been tuning out since coming up from the basement for the night, only to see Caroline standing in the doorway of the living room, perfectly healthy in a fresh pair of clothes. He turned back to the black and red St Andrew's cross in front of him, made of metal, with cuffs attached to the top of each end, that could be easily adjustable. It was made of titanium he wagered, the strongest, and lightest metal- able to hold a vampire without it breaking.

"It's a St Andrew's cross." He stated simply, turning back to the blonde. "I see Klaus healed you."

Caroline gave him an easy smile, as she twirled for him, her waist high pleated green, black and grey plaid mini skirt rising, exposing her pale skin from the thigh high black tights she was wearing underneath. "You were right."

"I usually am." He smiled, glad to see her healthy again.

It would have been, almost sad to have seen her die.

"So what's a St Andrew's cross?" She asked him, strutting over, past him, examining the his gift.

"It's for BDSM play." Klaus answered for him.

"Was I talking to you?" Caroline snarled, a hand shooting to her hip as she glared at the hybrid. "If you ever want me to ever consider talking to you again, you'll shut up!"

He watched, amused as Niklaus just huffed, throwing himself into the chair by the window, his attention drawn outside.

"He's right though. It is for BDSM play," He stated.

"Like something out of Fifty Shades of Grey?" The girl stared wide-eyed at the Cross, then at the boxes wrapped in black wrapping paper underneath it. "Are you into BDSM?"

"I've heard the book is riddled with factual errors, and depicts the community in the wrong light, but I suppose to simplify, yes."

She cocked her head at him. "You didn't answer my question."

He wasn't sure if he wanted to go into detail of his sex life with her, and Niklaus but he wasn't ashamed of it either. "Yes, I do partake in the lifestyle. Most vampires do. Or at least older ones. Sex gets boring after a few decades, especially with the same partner. BDSM can add flavour to vanilla sex."

He took a seat on the faded red couch, as he watched the blonde blush, her eyes still examining the object in front of her before moving to him, taking a seat next to him.

"So why do you have one? Here?"

"It was a gift from the King of West Virginia. He's become, somewhat infatuated with me."

"And he wants to strap you to that thing?" Caroline gasped her eyes glancing from the Cross to him again.

He smirked, shaking his head. "It's the other way around."

Her lips formed an O as she grasped just exactly what he meant. "Wait...are you gay?"

"I don't identify myself as gay, but I've had male lovers. I prefer females however."

Though currently his lover was a male, but he kept that to himself. He wasn't about to lose the game now. He prefered, hopefully, being found, balls deep in Damon somewhere.

"Do you like the King. That way?" Caroline asked, her cheeks reddening.

Oh so, so very young.

"No." He said. "But he likes me. I remind him of his maker, we are both vikings. He met the true death a few decades ago. I think he's attempting to fill the void left by his death. And they were very active in the BDSM scene. In some ways I almost pity Erasmus, I can't imagine the anguish of losing his maker."

"So, you're a viking?"

"I was, as a human." He replied, knowing her next question and he decided to answer it before she asked. "And yes, that does make me over a thousand years old. I'd guess Niklaus and I relatively the same age, though I do believe I'm about a hundred years older."

There was silence then as the girl in front of him absorbed the information he'd provided, and he crossed his legs, his arm over the couch, toward her, and he watched the blonde. His eyes flickered to Niklaus who appeared to be ignoring them, but he knew the hybrid was consuming their conversation.

"So may I ask Caroline," His eyes were drawn to the front door. "Not that I don't appreciate your company, but why aren't you with that mutt of yours? I doubt being in the company of two, thousand year old vampires is your first choice. Especially one who bit you."

He regretted asking immediately as her entire face fell, her eyes watering and he watched a stray tear fall down her cheek. He didn't do sad, he didn't do consoling. But he didn't think leaving would be appropriate, especially since he didn't, dislike the girl.

"We broke up." Caroline's hand shook, wiping away a tear."That's actually sort of why I came over. It just happened, and I don't know what to do. I don't even know why I'm here."

Her big, blue doe eyes were just staring up at him, making him feel increasingly uncomfortable. He found himself looking anywhere else, seeing they'd captured Klaus' full attention as he was staring at them from his chair.

He didn't do teenage angst. The most time he spent around women, was Pam, and he appreciated her emotionless demeanor.

"Am I terrible person?" Caroline asked, her lip quivering, more tears threatening to burst. "It's just I went to see him, and we fought. Like we've been doing. About Klaus. About his obsession with killing him. About the hybrids. About Hayley. And I understand he's in pain, he lost his mom. But I just kept thinking about what you said about love yesterday. And how, when I was dying, I didn't hallucinate about him. I didn't even think of him. And I just couldn't take it anymore."

He nodded along, at this point wishing he was with the King, at least he could deal with a psychopath but this. Not his forte.

"Look Caroline, here's some advice. If you don't love him, no matter when you broke up with him, it will hurt. I imagine. Preferably best to do it sooner, rather than later." He patted her shoulder, an attempt to comfort. "How about this? I was going to go out, find someone to eat. Why don't you come with me, perhaps blood, and liquor will take your mind off of it. You don't seem like the worst company to have."

Her eyes went wide. "I don't feed from humans. Just blood bags."

"And what did I say about exploring your dark side." He shrugged at her, leaning back against the couch, his eyes holding hers. "Look, you can either wallow, cry, and do whatever else teenage girls do over heartbreak, or live a little. You almost died today. You should celebrate that. Go out, have fun. Feed. It's only one night."

"But I-"

"No buts. Come on. You don't really want to spend your night staring at Klaus, or doing homework, or watch lame romance movies do you?"

He could see he was wearing her down, as her face was completely expressive.

"Don't do it Caroline."

He snorted, as Klaus chimed into their conversation. He was standing now, staring over at them, and Caroline met the hybrid's eyes, her expression darkening.

She turned back to him. "Promise me you'll at least stop me if I go too far."

"Caroline don't-"

His smile widened, knowing he'd just won her over. Now tonight could potentially be fun. "Where would the fun be in that dear Caroline? But I'll help you clean up, if it comes to it."

Her expression wavered, but then he saw it. Just a ficker. Something dark in her eyes. Something primal.

"Okay. Just one night right?"

"First human is on me."


She should guilty. She knew that.

She'd just broken up with Tyler. Her friends were god know's where, risking their lives to get a cure. But here she was, at a nightclub. With Damon's friend Eric.

And she was actually having fun.

It was nice to have to think about the moral consequences of her decisions. Not thinking about her conflicting feelings for Klaus, a monster. Worrying about her friends.

No, instead she had a bottle of jack in her hands. Dancing on top of a bar with a bunch of human girls around her age, with blood running down her face.

And honestly, for a long while, she felt alive. Happy. Carefree.

They'd compelled the entire bar, flipped the closed sign and took over. She'd been hesitant at first, but Eric had pulled some brunette girl not much older than her to their booth. He'd bitten her neck, and offered her a taste. She should have said no, and she knew a lecture from Stefan, her sobriety sponsor about this was coming but she'd wanted to ignore the pain. Just for the night.

And maybe she shouldn't trust some thousand year old vampire she didn't know well, but she felt connected to him now, after he'd helped her. And she couldn't deny, she was curious about him. About his species. His relationship with Damon. And she couldn't deny either, he was attractive. And mysterious.

Where was Eric anyway she thought as she paused, surveying the nightclub, to see the

tall blond, in a booth off in the distance, surrounded by a group of girls, with his fangs deep in some redhead's neck.

She knelt down, grabbing a bottle of bourbon, before jumping off, heading over toward the occupied booth. As she got there, she compelled some to leave, except the one currently being fed upon, and she slid the bottle across the table, to Eric and she took her seat on the other side of the viking.

"I have to say, I'm actually having fun." She admitted.

Eric's fangs retracted from the girl, and he smiled wickedly at her. "I saw, nice show up there."

She blushed, taking a swig from her bottle, eyeing up the blond. "Aren't you going to drink?"

"I can't, the downside of my species, Though I have to say, I've always wondered what bourbon really tastes like, Damon tells me it's second best to blood. That's hard to believe." Eric commented.

"Can I ask? You and Damon. How did that happen?" She asked.

Eric's entire body changed in front of her, from dark, dangerous and content to something else. Something softer. Happier. But it disappeared, and his pale blues found hers again, his face returned to stone. "That's a long story."

"How long can it be?" She shrugged, taking the wrist of the girl that Eric was offering to her. "I told you my deepest, darkest secret. Can't you at least tell me how you met?"

Her fangs sank into the girl's skin as Eric spoke again. "We met at a bar, like this one. In Chicago, in the '20s."

She extracted her fangs, staring up at the man. "Wait, the 1920s? I thought Damon only met you like a year ago."

"Yes, the roaring '20s. We've been together for decades, almost a century now. Damon was different man then. Kinder. More human. A lot like you actually. Afraid to have a little fun. I wanted him to explain daylight rings to me, so I made a deal with him. I'd help his brother escape Niklaus and Rebekah by contacting a hunter a knew after them, Mikael. After that, well I liked Damon. He was, an enigma. And I wanted to corrupt him, what can I say." Eric said, clearly reminiscing and she felt the blood catch in her throat.

Corrupt?

"Is that, what you're doing? To me?" She felt heart heart sink and she started to furiously wipe the blood with a napkin from the table. Feeling betrayed.

Her hand froze as Eric' took hers, taking the napkin from her, and wiped his thumb along her lips. "You missed some." And he brought his thumb to his lips, sucking on it. "No Caroline, you're a bit different. I thought you should have some fun. Damon was self destructive. It's probably hard to believe, but Damon was disgusted with who he was. His brother convinced him into becoming a monster, killed their father, And then ran off, becoming a ripper. Damon lost his humanity, lost the girl he loved, lost his brother and Damon just sort of floated for decades. When I found him, he was close to stepping out into the sun without a ring. And someone as exotic, as compelling as Damon, didn't deserve to be so miserable. So I took Damon under my care, and I taught him how to embare who he was. I helped Damon accept, and embrace his vampirism, seeing it as a gift, rather than a burden."

She wasn't sure if she should feel touched, or disturbed. Damon was a psychopath, or at least he was sometimes. He was tricky to understand, he'd kill on a whim, but there was something selfless in Damon too. She knew he could care deeply too. It was hard to believe though, Damon once cursed his existence. Would he really have killed himself?

"But why not ask Stefan about daylight rings? What did you get out of helping him?"

"I got Damon."

Her eyebrows furrowed even more. This conversation had become more confusing, than helpful.

Her ears perked up as she heard the song change, to Super Bass by Nicki Minaj and she slid out of the booth. "Come, dance with me. We're having fun tonight right?"

The man just laughed at her. "Dance to this? What is this? Noise? I don't dance anyway. Besides, I'd rather watch you dance again."

She blushed, again as Eric licked his lips at her and she felt her phone vibrate against her thigh, and she thanked the Gods for the distraction.

"Elena?" She answered, seating next to Eric again.

"Hey Car,"

"What's wrong?" She asked immediately, hearing the worry in her best friend's voice.

"We need your help!" Elena said, hearing her sigh. "Look, it's a long story, but this morning Jeremy went missing, so we went looking for him. When we came back, Professor Shane and the tombstone up and vanished. So Damon and Bonnie stayed behind and did a locator spell, and Stefan, Rebekah and I went looking again but that was hours ago, and the sun's gone down and we can't find them. Any of them. We've tried calling Damon, Bonnie, Jer, but nothing."

Her heart leapt into her throat as panic for her best friends start amounting. Eric gave her a curious look but she couldn't tell him anything. Not until she knew everything. "Do you think Shane is behind it? I mean, he's shady."

"No, I mean I don't know. Not alone anyway. I mean, my brother is stronger than him, Bonnie is a witch and Damon's more powerful than all of them. He must have accomplices."

"I'm so sorry, I wish I could help."

"Well there might be something you could do from your end." Elena replied.

"Sure, anything." She said.

"Shane's looking for the cure right? And he has all the necessary pieces, so we need to find him with the sword. We have pictures of Jeremy's tattoo, we just need to translate it."

"Klaus isn't going to tell me where the sword is."

She could hear in the background Stefan and Rebekah arguing over the fact that Klaus would or wouldn't give up the sword. But it didn't matter, Klaus was trapped in the Salvatore boarding house, and she had a thousand year old vampire who would clearly do anything for Damon.

She decided to interrupt the little squabble going on, on Elena's end. "Don't worry, I'll find it. Just send me the pictures, and I'll figure out a way to translate it. I promise."

"Thank you Caroline."

"Bye."

She pressed end, and she glanced up to have Eric's face much closer to her's, clearly expecting her to explain. "Elena needs our help."

"Our help? Since she's currently attempting, rather poorly to seduce Damon, I'll pass. But you have fun." He smirked, leaning back against the couch, rather bored now.

"Damon's disappeared, with Bonnie and Jeremy and they could be in trouble." She explained further, watching the worry creep onto the viking's face.

"You should have led with that, what do we have to do?" Eric said, as he pushed the girl aside, and helped himself out of the booth.

She grinned, apparently Eric was easy to manipulate too. "We need to find a sword. It'll be in Klaus' house."

He looked confused for a moment, but just nodded, and she almost had to run to catch up to his long strides. "We better get going then, daylight will be in five hours, and we're already almost a half an hour out."


Damon almost jumped for joy as they, finally make their way to a large hole, in a monstrously sized cave. They'd been walking for hours, and since he was the only vampire, it was at the sluggish, most excruciatingly slow pace. It must have been almost all night, as he'd seen the sun speak over the horizon as they'd came to the entrance. Their mercenary witch friend, disappeared after that with the tombstone he'd thought was supposed to be important to this whole thing, but apparently it was just payment.

He watched as Jeremy was belaying down into the hole, Bonnie securing her harness as Professor Shane looked on. He didn't need one, so he jumped into the hole, landing several feet downward.

There was nothing spectacular down here, no Silas. No cure. Just more rocks, and darkness. He grabbed on of their battery powered lamps he'd tied to his bag and put it down, illuminating the area. Moments later, Jeremy landed, giving him a nod.

They stood in silence, watching Bonnie belay herself down, but her rope slipped, and she came hurling down, and he moved, catching her at the last second.

"Thanks" Bonnie said as he put her down.

"Hey guys, I'm coming down" Nutty professor yelled down to them.

Jeremy came in close to them. "So, guys what do you think is going to happen once we open this tomb, and he gets to Silas?"

"We kill him." He replied, and Bonnie and Jeremy gave him a stern look. "What, I'm serious. Best plan."

"Do you two trust me?"

Jeremy nodded immediately, and both of them turned to him. He sighed deliberately. "Fine, yes. I trust you."

"Then trust I won't let Shane anywhere near Silas."

Jeremy put an arm on Bonnie's shoulder, giving her a look and he wanted to roll his eyes and throw up at that level of concern, and devotion. Get a room already. "Don't do anything reckless though Bon. If your expression gets out of control, Shane is the only one who can help you."

"Don't worry about me. If he tries anything, Damon won't have to kill him, I'll do it myself."

He beamed, slapping her shoulder playfully. "Now that's the spirit."

"Did I miss something?"

His mood sourced 100% as Professor Shane landed, on two feet, coming toward them now. Snapping this guy's neck was becoming more and more on his to do list.

"Is this just amazing? Once we raise Silas, all our sacrifices will have been worthwhile, and we'll get what we want" The professor went on like they weren't even there.

If he didn't despise the man so much, he'd almost be impressed. Convincing that pastor to kill twelve people. And orchestrating the hybrid massacre. That took some psychopathic skill, he wondered if he realized that. This bringing them back bullshit was getting old. This mission was dangerous, if Silas raised the veil to the other side, there would be a lot of people aiming for his heart. And he wasn't sure if Eric could protect him. Hell, he bet the viking had more enemies than him.

"Isn't it what you want?" He snarled.

"And he could kill us all." Bonnie pointed out, and he gestured at the witch wildly, trying to get the nutty professor to see reason but he just ignored them as he was glancing around the cave.

The three of them shared a worried look.

"Listen." The professor was staring at them now. "Just so you don't get any ideas, if anything bad happens to me, something even worse will happen to all of you."

He snorted, not buying it fully but he wasn't will to risk his life either. He didn't want to die in some cave, in nowhere's land.

"Fine then." Jeremy exclaimed, throwing his hands up. "Where is this stupid magic passage Bonnie and I are supposed to open."

The determination in Shane's face falters, did he not know where it was? "Just look for anything else out of place. Something that's not occurring in nature." He watched, amused as the nutty professor went even more insane as he threw himself to the ground, wiping away the dirt. Who wipes away dirt in a cave? Seriously? "Like a geometrically perfect circle."

Well hot damn, maybe the professor still had a few marbles left as he noticed the circle too.

"This is it. This is the spot!" Shane exclaimed.

Him and Jeremy shared a smirk, and he moved into the shadows, leaning against the cave wall. He wasn't needed for the spell. And besides, he needed to honestly start planning on his kill plan. Maybe skinning him alive, that sounded fun.

"Alright Jeremy, you'll need to take off your shirt so Bonnie can begin the spell." The professor instructed, making him want to joke about Shane wanting to see the kid naked again, but he stopped himself, instead watching as Jeremy took off his shirt. Shane ushered the kid into the middle of the circle, Bonnie following along. She put his hand on his chest, took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. "Alright just breathe. Focus on what you can do. Don't be afraid of what you can't do."

"You can do this Bon. Just like you taught me at the lakehouse. You're in control." Jeremy reassured.

He observed as Shane was staring at the grown, madness in his eyes. Then back at Jer Bear, and the tattoo. "That's it. It's just like drawing breath. Pull the power to you."

His eyes widened as the tattoo began to disappear, and it's then the cave began to rumble, rocks, and debri fell all around them. He wasn't sure what to do. The rocks were becoming larger, the tattoo disappeared. Above them, he saw a hunk of cave ceiling about the crumble, right over part of the scooby gang, and he reacted instantly, grabbing them both, and bringing them to safely.

As the debris settled, he let go of Jer Bear and Sabrina, turning around to see an opening in what was once the cave wall he'd been leaning on, and the nutty professor trapped under a massive boulder. And by the smell, and awkward angle of his leg pinned beneath, he broke his leg.

He turned back to the pair, looking them over. "You two okay?"

"Yeah." The kid replied, grabbing his discarded shirt from the ground. 'You did it Bonnie!'

"No, we did it!" Bonnie smiled.

"Hey guys, can I have some help." Shane called out to him. "I think my legs broken, I'll need your blood Damon. And for you to remove this boulder from my leg."

His smile turned murderous, as he stalked over to the professor, feeling the veins protrude from his eyes, as his fangs snapped out from his gums. "Looks like you've just become expendable."

Chapter Text

"Well if it isn't little miss party girl. Have fun with your new vampire boyfriend last night? Poor little orphan Lockwood. Losing his girl, and soon his life."

Caroline just snorted as she continued strutting into the living room, placing her laptop and the sword on the coffee table before taking a seat on the couch. It'd taken longer than she or Eric had originally thought, and the other vampire left before sunrise leaving her to retrieve the sword. After he'd left, it only took her a few more hours to find it and she came straight to the boarding house.

"Jealous?" She asked.

It was Klaus' turn to snort. "Not particularly. You could do better, love."

"Let me guess, you?" She puffed, not even giving the hybrid a glance as she brought up the photos of Jeremy's tattoos.

"Went through my home I see," Klaus said, changing the subject.

"Yes, found this in the attic." She gestured to the sword on the table as she continued to search, what language was this tattoo in?

"Need my help with anything, love?"

"Nope," She replied, taking the sword out of the blanket it was concealed in. She then unwrapped the leather on the top of the sword, revealing the hilt which, she hypothesized was the key to deciphering the hunter's mark. "See, I was playing around with the handle, and I found this."

"And what do you think 'this' is?" Klaus asked.

She finally stared up at him as he leaned against a column, their eyes meeting. "It's called a cryptex." Klaus' eyes widened in surprise. "What? I've seen the da Vinci code. You turn the different sides to the different symbols to get the translation on the other side." She gestured back to her computer. "And with the power of the internet, and pictures of Jeremy's tattoo Elena sent me, all I have to do is cryptex away."

She didn't like the smirk growing on Klaus' face, the one that was equal parts sexy as hell, and equal parts spine chilling. "Right. Well, might I suggest you use the magic of the internet to purchase an Aramaic-to-English dictionary from your nearest retailer."

"But…" Her face went pale as suddenly her mouth went dry as she stared at the sword, to her computer, then back at Klaus. "That's a dead language. It hasn't been used since biblical times."

"Qetsiyah's native tongue, I'm guessing," Klaus smirked, as began to pace at the border of the spell. "You know, even if you had the best dictionary in the world, it could take days to translate." She watched as he sauntered over to the wingback chair, taking a seat, his eyes never leaving hers. "Perhaps weeks. "In bas so-teen-too ara-ma-eet."

"What does that mean?"

The hybrid grinned. "If only you spoke Aramaic."

It was her turn to smirk. "If only I had a thousand-year-old viking boyfriend to ask." She quipped sarcastically, as she retrieved her computer, and sword and headed toward the basement. As her hand grasped the handle, she turned. "Oh wait, I do. Thanks for the help Klaus."

She didn't give him a second glance as skipped down the stairs, and through the hallway until she found a door. She paused before she knocked softly.

Nothing.

"Eric?" She called out.

Still nothing.

She wasn't sure what to expect as she opened the door, peering into the darkness, just seeing a king size bed. Eric did say to wake him the moment she found the sword, but she'd hoped to do it on her own. But if he could translate Aramaic, it would only take a few minutes.

She crept up to the bed, seeing the viking laying on his back, hands clasped together like he was in a coffin. She touched his shoulder. "Eric?"

His eyes shot open, making her stumble back. "Caroline." The other vampire sat up, turning on the bedside lamp. "Were you able to find the sword?"

It took her a moment, as she took in a completely shirtless Eric, the comforter and sheets pooling in his lap, leaving little to the imagination. Was all of Damon's friends so attractive? "Yes." She gulped, taking the sword from under her arm, and placing it on the bed. "It's in Aramaic, do you speak the language?"

"I do." He said simply, picking up the sword, his attention focused on the handle. "And you have the pictures of Jeremy's tattoo."

"Yes." She gestured to the computer in her hand.

"Good, could you turn on the overhead light, I need to be able to read this properly. It's been a few years since I've last seen Aramaic."

She nodded, putting the computer down on the bed and walked back over to the door and flipped the switch. As she turned back around she came face to face with a very naked Eric. Her hands flew to her eyes as he opened up a drawer. Dear God, he's hung like a horse. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

"You're naked!" She squeaked. embarrassed at how high her voice got.

"Yes, I always sleep in the nude," He replied simply. "I've never understood people's shame of their bodies, besides it's more comfortable."

"Not like you have anything to be ashamed about." Her eyes widened as her hands slapped over her mouth, feeling her face go hot. "I mean I find it comfortable too." She squeezed her eyes shut, not even able to look at the viking. Get it together Caroline, he'll think you're flirting with him. "I mean-"
"As much as I'd love to see where your next thought is going, we have a tattoo to decrypt."


 "Look at us." Bonnie scoffed. "A newbie hunter, an alcoholic vampire and a witch who needs adult supervision. How are we the ones that made it this far?

Damon snorted as he took a swig from his bourbon-filled water bottle, following behind Sabrina and the little hunter that could. "I'm not an alcoholic."

He almost ran right into Jeremy as he stopped. He watched as he reached for Bonnie's arm, stopping her, and pulling her toward him. "I'm glad we're here together."

"Me too."

He rolled his eyes, making it a point to make fake gagging noises as he stepped around them, examining their surroundings. "Get a room."

They'd been walking for a few minutes now, and there was still an expanding tunnel in front of them. Where was this stupid cure?

"So Damon, you never said what you're going to do with the cure?"

He turned back to see Sabrina sprint to catch up to him, and he waited before continuing on through the cave. "So?"

"Are you going to take it?" Jeremy asked behind them.

He sighed.

"I don't care about the cure. In fact, I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to be a vampire." He snorted, as he waved his flashlight into the darkness. "But Eric wants me to reconsider, that's why I'm here."

"What?" Both of them exclaimed.

"Let me get this straight." He snarled as Bonnie grabbed a hold of him, forcing him to stop. "Your friend Eric wants you to take the cure, and you're actually considering it?"

"Yes, why is that hard to understand?"

"You don't listen to anyone!" Little Gilbert exclaimed.

"Why does he want you to be human?" Sabrina asked.

What was with the fifth degree? He knew they'd had a moment being kidnapped together, and were now after the cure, but when did they all of a sudden care so much about his personal life?

"It's complicated."

They both made an unrecognizable sound behind him. He tried to take a step forward, but again, someone was pulling on his arm. Remember when they hated you? Good times.

He found himself staring back at the Bennett witch again. "You keep saying that about your friend Eric. You haven't been giving us straight answers since he's come to town."

"You really want to know?" He snarled, watching as the two of them just nodded. Why were people so interested in his life all of a sudden? "Eric and I met in the '20s-"

"We know this part." the kid interrupted.

He outwardly sighed, narrowing his eyes at the boy. "I know. What I was trying to explain is that when I was in the '20s I was a different person, like I told you both last night. When Stefan and I were shot by our father, we had Katherine's blood in our system. Now I didn't want to transition, but Stefan convinced me to." He leaned against the stone wall, as the memories came flooding back. "I know this will be surprising to hear, but I used to be the good brother. At least, when it came to killing and feeding from humans. I wasn't overly comfortable with it but Stefan took to it like a real champ. He ended up leaving me, to ripper it up. I'd promised my brother an eternity of misery, so I left him in the wind. But when I saw him again, Lexi had put him back on the wagon. But he fell again, and for a decade, I followed him. I cleaned up his bodies. I watched him get uncomfortably close with Klaus and Barbie Klaus. I was miserable. I myself only fed just to survive, and it was usually on the sick and dying. All I ever wanted was to be human again or to die. Many nights I used to wait until sunrise, convincing myself I'd take off my ring, and I'd meet the true death by the sun."

"Wait, really?" Bonnie actually seemed to be pitying him. This is why he didn't divulge his private life. "You really considered taking your own life?"

"And how does this have to do with Eric wanting you to take the cure?" Jeremy interjected.

"Because when Eric took me in, he told me he saw death in my eyes. And promised to teach me how to accept my fate. He couldn't make me human, but he could teach me how to enjoy being a vampire. He was simply being the maker I never had. Or I thought was locked in a tomb for 150 years." He sighed, realizing he needed to make his point. "So now that there's a cure, Eric wants me to consider taking it because he knows that's what I wanted all those years ago. He doesn't want me to have any regrets. And he just wants me to be happy. He'd give me the world if I asked. "

"Wow."

"He really cares about you," Bonnie added.

"We've been friends for a long time, why is that so surprising?" He snorted. "Now can we get back to actually retrieving the cure. We still don't know for sure if it's even there."

He watched as the newbie hunter and the witch who needed adult supervision nod, and he thanked the Gods, before stepping around them, and back into the path.

For a long moment, everything was silent. All that could be heard was a bit of scurrying which he imagined was rats and the sounds of the rocks, and dirt beneath their shoes as they kept moving. But it was all ruined when the Gilbert boy just had to ask.

"So will you take the cure then?"

Damn hunter's curse or I swear I'd snap his neck.

"Sharing and caring hour has ended. Let's just focus on finding the stupid thing."


 "–There's only one dose Stefan. Caroline trusts you all can be civil about it, and discuss who should take it here, in Mystic Falls." Eric replied back to Stefan in Italian, due to the fact the younger Salvatore wasn't sure if Rebekah was in earshot.

"Only one? You're sure?" Stefan replied to him, his Italian not as strong as his, but he was still able to understand.

"Yes."

"Alright thank you." There was a pause as he heard Stefan sigh. "Thank you for everything, Eric. I'm sorry about how I treated you when I met you."

"It's already forgiven. Do tell your brother though to text me the instant he has service that he's not dead.

"Will do. And we'll try to bring it home. Bye."

He pressed end, before passing the phone back to Caroline. They were both laying on his bed, the sword, Caroline's computer and their notes thrown at the end- already forgotten.

He peered over at his blond companion, who had her eyes closed, a hand through her hair, an obvious worry etched in her Barbie-like features. "Did Stefan agree with our plan?"

"He did." Their eyes met, as she turned to look at him. "So will you put your name in the running?"

She just gave Eric a sad smile. "No."

"Really?"

He wasn't expecting that.

"Promise not to tell my friends this?" It was more a formality, but he nodded, he didn't care enough to spread the girl's secrets. "I like being a vampire. Last night just reminded me how much I like being strong. Being fearless. Being ageless. I was a nervous wreck as a human, I cared so much what people thought but now, I just live. I like that." He was startled as the girl began to laugh. "Besides it doesn't matter, it's not like I'd get it anyway. Either Rebekah will take it because she can. Or Elena gets it because poor Elena can't handle being a vampire."

"Do I hear some resentment? I thought you two were best friends?" He asked, interesting to have some gossip to tell Damon when he got home.

If he got home. No, he wasn't going to think about that.

"No, I mean, I love Elena, I do but you weren't here. I mean, yes, she's lost a lot of people. And it's sad. But even before her parent's died, everything and everyone revolved around her. People will do anything for her. And I would too, of course, it's just–" Caroline crossed her arms over her chest as she met his eyes again. "Let's just say when Elena says jump, everyone just asks, how high?" A hand came to rest on his forearm. "I say this because I actually like you but I'd warn your progeny Pam. Elena gets what she wants, and you weren't here to watch Damon fall over backwards for her. Out of us all, he'll do anything for her. He's killed for her. He's lost his best friend because of her. He almost lost his brother because of her. He almost died for her. There's no one more devoted to Elena Gilbert, than Damon Salvatore."

A few weeks ago that would have sent him on a killing spree, as the worry ate away at him. But he promised himself, after almost losing the Italian, he'd trust his feelings for her were over. After all, he'd called him, not her before dying. He'd confessed his love. He'd been honest with the girl coming onto him.

But he hated hearing the hold that treacherous whore had over Damon. He'd give anything to put her head on a pike.

"I'm not worried. Elena was a passing thought for Damon. He's been with Pam for over fifty years. He'd thought he lost her when he left to reawaken his maker Katherine from that tomb. And when she didn't love him, he needed someone to take away the pain of losing the two people he loved most in the world." Eric explained, having a bad taste in his mouth using Pam's name. "It helped she looked just like Katherine."

"Wait! Damon's been with Pam for fifty years?" Caroline gasped, clearly it took her a minute to put two and two together.

"Yes."

"And he left her to go after Katherine?"

He took a deep breath, collecting himself. "Yes."

"And Pam just took him back after all of it? Just like that?" Caroline whistled softly. "I would have killed him."

He couldn't help himself as he chuckled, he'd had the exact same reaction when Damon first left too. He'd almost done it too. Almost.

"It wasn't exactly like they picked up where they left off. Damon mourned Elena. He mourned Katherine. Drank my supply of bourbon a dozen times over. They fought. They fucked. But they both knew, it was never over. A love like theirs doesn't die. She wanted him to have everything, even if that meant leaving to figure out his love for his maker- and she waited. They had eternity after all." He explained carefully, not wanting to give himself away.

Caroline yawned next to him, but he was sure he heard an awe in there too. "That's sort of sweet. I have to say, it's weird to know Damon is actually capable of loving someone for fifty years. I expect it from Stefan, not Damon."

"It's because you don't know Damon."

"Ouch. But I guess you're right." He heard her stifle another yawn. What time was it anyway? "So what about you Eric? Have a special lady, or man in your life?"

If only, she knew.

"Why?" He leered over at her, giving her his charming smile. "Would you like to be mine?"

He stifled a laugh as he watched the blonde shift further away from him on the bed, gaping at him, as a variety of emotions flashed over her face. "No! I just-"

"Because you and I keep finding ourselves sharing a bed." He interrupted. "And I'm starting to wonder."

"Your, your-" Caroline's face was completely flushed.

"And we both know you have a thing for blonde, thousand-year-old vampires." He leaned over onto his side, propping his head on his hand as he gave the girl his full attention. She was now just frozen, red, her mouth open. "Now wouldn't that just get right under Niklaus' skin if he heard us together."

"You're despicable you know! I can see why you and Damon are so close!" She huffed, fleeing from the bed.

"Oh, you have no idea." He drawled, watching as she snatched her computer from the end of the bed, not even able to look him in the eye. "Don't worry, love" he imitated Klaus' accent. "Though typically southern blond girls are a weakness of mine, I have someone else I desire to be mine."

"So you were-"

"Just fucking with you. Yes."

"But why?"

He sighed, propping his head up with his arm, surveying her from the bed. "We've just met, and already I know more about you than your friends. You almost died, you broke up with your boyfriend and your friends could potentially be dead. Through this, I've been your one source of stability. It is common to seek out love and affection from someone in order to dull the pain, and since I've been next to you through this entire episode, you might consider me a prime candidate. I'm just making sure you haven't because I'm not interested. At all. And we both know how you like sexy, older thousand-year-old vampires." He gave her his best seductive smile as he ran a hand through his blond hair. "Though I'm obviously the better looking, taller, stronger one of the two."

He knew he laid it on thick, but it worked as Caroline began to laugh, leaning against the door for support as she roared. He needed to make sure the girl didn't develop any feelings for him, and the way she'd looked at him earlier made him realize he needed to stop whatever inkling of sexual thoughts coursed through her head. And he actually liked her well enough to just keep their relationship, friendly. She was fun, almost not at all how Damon described her. She might also be useful as an asset to him later on.

"Full of yourself much?" Caroline snickered, shaking her head. "You and Damon could be the same person sometimes, I swear." She took a deep breath, grinning at him now. "I think I'll be able to get over you, don't worry."


 Rebekah hung back in the shadows of the trees as she overheard Stefan's conversation with Damon's friend Eric on the beach. She was impressed they'd thought of speaking Italian to stop her from knowing there was only one dose of the cure. Too bad she'd dated an Italian in the fourteenth century- and spent many summers since in the country.

So there was only one dose? That meant she was on her own now- Stefan would give the cure to Elena. Same with the Bennett witch and her little brother. Damon was debatable, but she knew he once would do anything for her so she imagined he'd be willing to risk his life again to get her the cure.

Clearly she was on her own then.

It was pathetically easy, she noted as she ran toward the unsuspecting duo as she snapped Stefan's neck with ease. Then Elena's a moment later.

Now all she needed was to follow the directions Eric had given Stefan, hide in the shadows and grab it at the last second.

She would be human again.


 They'd gotten lost a few times, but here they were. It was similar to the same caverns they'd passed, but this one had a narrow alcove, with a stone altar pushed against the stone wall. There were inscriptions carved into the grey slab, all around it on the top; he couldn't make out the language. Something old, he surmised, something dead. And laying on top of that altar, was something vaguely human. A creepy mask that reminded him of some ancient replica of Jason's mask from Friday the 13th was covering the face, and there were chains wrapped around the body. Silas, he presumed.

Clutched in his hands was what they'd come for. A box. A very small box. Dread seeped into his pores are he realized just how screwed they were.

"Is that it?" The kid waved his hand over at the box. "This is the cure. How is that supposed to cure every vampire in the world?"

He heard Sabrina sigh behind him and he just took enough steps into the alcove to lean against the cave wall, closing his eyes. "I don't think it is, Jer."

"But." Jer bear seemed conflicted. He couldn't blame him. His eyes were still closed as he heard them move about, listening to the faint drops of water from various areas of the caves. He took a deep, unnecessary breath as he ignored the world. Why did he ever let himself think that life could just throw him an easy one once and awhile. "You aren't going to take it and leave us are you?"

"What?" He opened one eye to stare at Jeremy, realizing he must be speaking to him.

"You never said if you wanted the cure or not. If there's only one you can easily just take it, and leave."

He sighed. "I wouldn't do that Jer-bear, I don't want the cure. At least not when there's only one. It doesn't matter anyway, once Rebekah catches up to us, we're screwed. Or I'll shove it down Elena's throat for you. Or we have to accept the horrifying realization that there's a thousand-year-old hybrid trapped in my day room, who's ready for blood because we killed his brother. Let that sink in."

"Fuck." Jeremy breathed out, before charging over to the desiccated body, attempting to wrestle the box out of his hands. "It's stuck. Help me out Damon!"

He rolled his eyes, considering ignoring the kid for demanding his help but it didn't seem like the time to be his usual snarky self so he walked over to the body, pushing Jeremy aside. He tugged with all his vampire might, but it wasn't budging. Fuck. Could this get any worse? "It's like fossilized in place. Even I can't make it move, it's like trying to bend stone."

"Oh my god!"

He spun around at Sabrina's gasp as she stared at the entombed figure. "What?" The girl was slowly moving backward, obviously distressed. He glanced back at Jeremy who clearly didn't have a clue either. "Bonnie! Spit it out!"

"He's been frozen like a vampire for 2000 years. There's only one way we're going to get the statue to unfreeze." The girl explained.

His head shook slowly as his eyes found themselves drawn back painfully to the thing in question.

"How's that?" Jeremy asked, obviously the little lightbulb hadn't sparked.

"We have to feed him our blood." There was a hitch in her throat as she and Damon shared a look. "If we want the cure out of his hands… we have to wake him up."

The kid took two steps back, sharing the same horror he'd faced moments ago. There was a shared silence then, as they all stared at the body.

"No!" He exclaimed, throwing his hands up in exasperation. "We have no idea what this, Silas or whatever can do-" He paused as he gestured toward where they'd come from. "Out there in the world."

"Well, what do you suggest Damon? I'm all for not waking him up either!" Bonnie snapped.

His mind reeling with possibilities. They could wait for Rebekah, she was stronger than him. But then she'd most likely take it, snap their necks and be on her merry way. He could call Eric if he could find some damn cell service, and get the viking to fly here. But of course, that meant waiting around for sunset, or for Eric to arrive, giving Rebekah plenty of time to get here. Perhaps if Stefan and he pooled their strength. Or he could call Godric, but that meant waiting even longer.

The thought of Eric, and seeing the desiccated body, however, brought an obvious plan to mind.

"You know, last year, before I left, I remember distinctly driving around a desiccated body of my dearly beloved sire to my bloodline," He remarked, taking a step toward Sabrina. "And I do remember that was all thanks to a certain witchy juju"

"Are you insane?" Bonnie gapped, her eyes shifting from him to Silas. "First, that takes some serious magic, dark magic. What happens if I lose control? Second, we need to have a balance, we'd need to stop a human heart. And I will not kill Jeremy. Third, how do we even know it'll work on Silas? And who says once we feed him blood, we'll be able to hold the connection long enough for the spell to work?"

"I have the Gilbert ring remember Bon? So it'll be fine. I'll just come back to life." Jeremy commented, flashing his ring.

Sabrina just shook her head. "You're a hunter Jer, what if the ring doesn't work? I'm not risking it!"

"What about Professor Shane? He may be insane, but he's human. And since you wouldn't let me kill him, he's a viable option." He suggested.

"I'm not killing Professor Shane!"

"But don't you want to!" He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively at her. "Just a little." He just laughed as Sabrina just gawked at him. "Fine, put Jer bear's ring on him."

"But," Bonnie bit her lip. "What if I'm not strong enough? He's two thousand years old. What if I lose control?"

He beat Jeremy to Sabrina, and he gave him a warning look before taking hold of either side of Bonnie's shoulders. "You're a Bennett witch Bonnie. A long line of strong, badass witches. You now have expression, which from Professor's natterings, was what power Qetsiyah wielded when she took down Silas. Besides," He paused, as he leaned forward so their eyes were at the same level. "Remember what I said to you at camp. I won't let it consume you, Bonnie, I promise. You're in control. Jeremy and I will both be here to keep you grounded. Okay?"

There was uncertainty in her brown eyes, but she nodded. And he nodded back, giving her a small smile.

"Alright," He stepped back, away from Sabrina. Jeremy was just gaping at him, but he ignored it. "What do we have to do Sabrina?"

"Well, Jeremy will need to feed Silas. When he starts, you'll need to have a physical connection to his bloodstream, something that connects to his heart. But you'll need my blood in your system, this will bridge us together so when I stop Shane's heart, you'll have the power to stop Silas' " Bonnie explained. "It'll take a minute or two for it to take effect, hopefully long enough to pry the box from his hands."

"Sounds easy enough." He laughed, as he threw his backpack he'd been carrying to the corner of the cave, keeping the flashlight handy. And taking some rope he hadn't used to belay down into the cave. "I'm going to go grab the nutty professor. You two say your I love you's or whatever. Be back in a minute."

He didn't wait for their reply as he sped through the twists, and turns of the cavern, following Professor Shane's distinct scent. It only took him moments before he reached the entrance again, seeing the helpless psychopath where they'd left him. Trapped under a boulder.

"I don't suppose you've changed your mind about sharing your vampire blood with me have you?" The Professor asked as he surveyed the damage.

"I have actually," He said, bending down to grip the edge of the boulder, and pulling up. The nutty professor screamed out as he lifted the rock off him, rolling it to the side. "That looks painful."

"Please," the Professor hissed. "Give me your blood."

He smirked, enjoying watching Professor Shane struggle, his leg completely smashed. It was almost unrecognizable as a bone protruded proudly from the mess. He shook his head, moving to lean against the cave wall, as he took out his phone. "I need to text someone first."

"Seriously!"

"We're about to kill you to stop Silas, and if that doesn't work and he kills us I'd like to say goodbye to my boyfriend," He said simply as his fingers moved over the keyboard of his iPhone. Hopefully, someone would drag his maybe dead body near a cell tower so Eric would eventually get the text message.

"I won't help you stop Silas. He will be raised, and all our sacrifices will be worth it." Shane stated.

"Riiiiiight. Says the human with the broken leg, to the over hundred-year-old vampire." He said as he moved toward the Professor, bending down. "Don't worry, we're not actually going to kill you. Just stop your heart. We have a special ring that will keep you alive. We just need a human heart. And you will do this because I say so. Or you'll wish the pain you felt was your broken leg. Because I'm sure I can think of at least a hundred ways to torture you without killing you."

He flinched as the Professor reached for his arm. He slapped it away, but those insane eyes held him. "Please, Damon. All I want is to see my family again. I did this all for them. Raising Silas means I'll get to see them again. Isn't there someone you want to see again?"

Ric. He shook the thought from his mind. Ric wouldn't want him to risk his life, the life of everyone else, to bring him back.

"The only person I want to see again, is Eric. And he's alive and well, waiting for me to get home. So we're going to do this." He grinned, his fangs sliding out from his gums. "First, I'm going to take a blood donation, I haven't fed in hours. And that was from a blood bag. Second, I'm going to tie you up, and then feed you enough of my blood to fix your leg. Now if you don't behave, I'll let you suffer. Got it?"

He didn't wait for a reply, however, before he sunk his fangs into the Professor's neck. He struggled like they always did but he concentrated on his heartbeat, making sure not to kill their only key to stopping Silas. As it slowed, he stopped. He bit into his hand, shoving it into the Professor's gaping mouth, before retracting his fangs. It was barely a second before he pulled his hand back- he couldn't risk losing any blood. He needed his full strength.

It was enough, as he watched the nutty Professor's leg heal all on its own. While he was distracted, Damon roughly grabbed a hold of his hands, tying them together, and then running the rope down his body, and tying his legs together in a sort of hogtie fashion.

"Damon please, you have to reconsider," the professor begged him.

Fuck was he annoying. He eyed Shane's tattered pants, and he ripped off a long, bloody strip and shoved it into his mouth, creating a makeshift gag.

"Perfect." He beamed.

He picked up the professor with ease, throwing him over his shoulder. "You know, it's usually me being the one tied up, gagged and manhandled. You better hope this works because I would like very much for my last time with ropes and gags with me on the receiving end. With Eric."

He was mostly talking to himself, as he began to speed through the cavern again. He'd managed to escape death just days ago and somehow he was back risking his life for a pointless cause. He hadn't even gotten to have sex with the viking, not once.

He better get to see the older vampire after this.

He'd arrived back to Silas' cave, and he dumped the Professor onto the floor near Bonnie. Both Jer-bear and Sabrina gave him an odd look.

"Why is he tied up?" Bonnie asked.

"And gagged?" Jeremy added.

"So he doesn't run away. Or try to change either of your minds." He said, holding out his hand at Jeremy. The kid looked at him for a moment, bemused, before his eyes widened, slipping off his family ring. He took it, bending down, and shoving it onto the professor's finger. "Remember guys, he's the bad guy. He killed, God knows how many people to free Silas. So no regrets."

Jer bear and Sabrina nodded, and the witch held out her wrist to him. "You need my blood."

He stood up, taking Bonnie's arm. He sunk his fangs into her wrist, feeling her hiss. He didn't linger, poking his thumb into his tooth, rubbing it on her broken skin. They shared a mutual worry, but he stepped away, moving toward the two-thousand-year-old fossil.

This was it.

He jumped up onto the altar, deciding straddling Silas was the easiest way to control the situation as long as possible. Hopefully, his weight, his vampire strength, and those chains would hold him long enough. He wondered, for a moment, if Eric would consider this cheating?

Jeremy stood next to him, as Bonnie kneeled in front of Professor Shane, her hands out over his chest. The nutty professor squirmed but was still tied down.

"Alright." Sabrina breathed, as she glanced over at them. "Now or never right?"

"Yup." He said, as he snatched Jer bear's wrist before he could protest, and bit into it, shoving it into Silas' mouth.

He heard the two suck in their breaths, as Shane stared wide-eyed at the desiccated corpse he was currently going to first base with. For a long moment, nothing happened but then he saw two eyes shine brightly from underneath the mask.

"We're up!" He screamed, shoving his hand right into Silas' chest, his fingers encircling his heart.

Bonnie began saying something in latin, and he could feel the connection establish. He tried to loosen the box from the fossilized hands, but it didn't budge.

All of sudden, one hand shot up, grabbing Jeremy's wrist, holding him steady.

"Damon!"

He grabbed a hold of Silas' hand, trying to break the grip but it wasn't moving. It didn't matter anyway, for, in the next second, the other hand shot up, right into his own chest. He screamed, hearing the bone snap in the wrist he was holding- seeing Jeremy jump back. It took every ounce of energy to keep his other hand deep inside of Silas.

"Take the box!" He bellowed, choking on his own blood, as a hand squeezed tighter on his heart. He wasn't sure if Jeremy did what he said, as darkness encroached in his eyes, as he felt death's embrace.

But then, it ended. He felt the hand go slack in his chest cavity, and with the rest of his strength, he pulled it out, falling over, and off the altar, onto the stone floor.

"Damon!" Jeremy's face came into vision- blurry and distorted.

"Did you get it?" He coughed, wiping away blood from his lips. "The cure?"

"Yes."

He grimaced as he attempted to smile, rolling onto his back. "Good. Good."

"Isn't this sweet!"

He froze as he heard a voice that didn't belong to any of them echo through the alcove. Elena? He was sure that was her voice, but there was something off. Was his brother here too? Rebekah?!

He opened his eyes long enough to see Jeremy take a step toward his sister. "Elena?"

"Guess again little Gilbert."

His blood went cold. Katherine.

Damon watched, helpless, as Katherine shoved a knife straight into Bonnie's side before she could use magic against her. He reached for Jeremy, trying to save him but his fingers grasped air as Katherine sunk her fangs into his neck, drinking him dry, before tossing him to the side. He inched himself away, trying to hear for Jeremy's heart beat.

He observed, helpless as Katherine just picked up the box, before turning to him. "It's nice to see you again Damon. Do give my best to your brother."

He blinked, and all there was was darkness.


 "If you want to cover up I suggest you do it now."

That was the only warning Eric got as Caroline burst into Damon's bathroom, as he lay soaking in the tub, some soft old Swedish music playing in the background. He didn't move, didn't even bother opening his eyes, as he continued to lay in the bath, no bubbles to cover any parts. Apparently, this was becoming a daily occurrence.

"Can I help you, Caroline? Or were you just waiting for another opportunity to see me naked?" He purred.

"You wish weirdo." Caroline snorted, coming straight up to the bathtub.

He opened one eye, seeing the girl just staring down at him, he arms crossed over her chest. He could see, though, the inner struggle, as she maintained eye contact with him.

"You've peaked my interest. What?" He asked.

The girl would be terrible at poker he thought as her entire expression saddened, worry etched in her baby blues. "Elena called. Apparently Rebekah snapped their necks earlier and went off to find the cure herself. I've tried calling Bonnie a dozen times. Jeremy too. You haven't heard from Damon have you?"

"No."

The stress he'd been trying to soothe came racing back. He was beginning to seriously regret letting Damon out of his sight.

Caroline's shoulders sagged, as she lowered herself onto the floor, leaning against the porcelain tub. "We've been searching for this cure for almost a year. We thought this was our hope to be human again. And now, my friends could be dead. And there's only one dose. We should have just left it alone. We should have known a cure for vampirism was too good to be true."

He felt her worry, as his own plagued him. He reached over, running his fingers through her hair in an attempt of comfort. She tensed, staring back at him, but didn't pull away. "Caroline I-"

"Take your hand off of her."

He didn't need to follow the direction, as Caroline shot up, her back to him, as her hands were extended from her sides as if to protect him. His other hand lazily fell over the other side of the tub, his fingertips grazing over the white oak stake that was hidden from view.

"How did you get out?" The girl demanded.

A cruel smile crawled up Niklaus' face. "I fear something awful has befallen your friend Bonnie." He took a step toward them but stopped as Caroline visibly tensed. "Don't worry love, I'd never hurt you. Now your new vampire boyfriend on the other hand..."

"You've done enough!" Caroline shot back, making him stare up at the girl. Was she ever fearless. "You leave Eric out of this!"

"He killed my brother Kol."

"And you killed Tyler's mom. And twelve hybrids. Elena and Jeremy's Aunt Jenna. And fuck knows how many more!" Caroline seethed. Did she just swear? "Go home, Klaus."

Klaus took another step toward them, and he watched as the girl bared her fangs at him. He considered intervening but he was curious who'd win this fight. He'd, of course, make sure Niklaus didn't kill her

"Move aside Caroline. This does not concern you!" Niklaus spat.

Her legs bumped into the porcelain tub, as she kept herself between them. "You can't kill Eric."

"Not only can I, I will. I have a reputation to uphold."

"I'm not asking you to forgive him. Just, not tonight Klaus. Please." Caroline pleaded.

Niklaus took the last remaining steps between them, cradling her face in his hand but Caroline pushed him aside, tears on the edge of her eyelids. "I will grant you this mercy Caroline. Only for tonight." The hybrid retreated back, but paused at the doorway."I say this because I care, don't trust his kind. They're incapable of love."

He snorted as Niklaus disappeared, his hand easing up from the white oak stake. Those who didn't know their kind always thought they were heartless. Sure, they were incapable of experiencing human emotion, but that didn't mean they didn't feel. Perhaps mostly hunger, and lust but they could love.

"That was unnecessary for you to do Caroline, but I appreciate the gesture." He said as he got out of the tub- his soak now ruined.

He went over to the towel rack, wrapping a large, absolutely fluffy off-white towel around his waist. After, he walked to the sink, examining himself in the mirror. His fingers went through his hair, perhaps he should get a haircut soon.

He stiffened as he heard a sniffle, and he was drawn back to the blond. "Caroline? Are you okay?"

Her back was to him, but she just shook her head, as it fell downward, her arms encircling her. "I just used perhaps my only leverage with Klaus to save you. Not Tyler." She whispered. "He's going to kill Tyler. He's going to kill all of you if we don't get the cure." He noticed as she began to shake, ever so slightly. "And now Bonnie might already be-" She choked. "What about Jeremy? Damon?"

He'd forgotten for a moment that the witch and Damon had been together, and the same distress he'd felt just days ago began to creep up on him. Damon was a vampire he told himself. He could live through things a witch couldn't. But those thoughts weren't soothing.

He reached out through his blood connection with Jeremy, hoping to know the kid was still alive but he felt only a flicker. And great amounts of fear.

He didn't even react as Caroline came to wrap her arms around his naked torso, feeling her tears trickle down his chest. "Can we just pretend for a moment. Cut the male bravado. I'll be Damon, you be whoever I need you to be and just hold me because I don't know if I can handle saying goodbye to someone else I love, okay?"

"I don't think-"

"No." Caroline clung tighter onto him. "Just pet my hair, and tell me everything is going to be okay."

"Fine." He wrapped an arm around her, picturing Damon instead in his arms. He brushed his fingers through her hair. "Everything will be okay, älskling."


 

Text Received: 10:13pm

From: Damon

I realize we keep coming back to phone calls, leaving notes, and messages and if all goes well then this text is pointless but everything has gone to shit here. I'll spare you the details.

Just know I'm not getting sappy and shit again but what I said when I called you is all true. I'm just not ready to say goodbye to you again just yet. So if we raise Silas and things go south, you better convince the fucker to bring me back. Or I will haunt you! Or you know, we spend the end of days together. I"m thinking, France?

Caroline didn't mean to snag a glimpse of Eric's cell phone as it vibrated on the coffee table. But it was just automatic as her phone lay right next to it, and she read the words on the screen as it lit up.

She glanced over at the front door as her heart raced, noting the older vampire hadn't returned before she re-read the words.

Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. What did Damon mean by phone call? And sappy? And spending the end of days together? She knew they were close but this seemed to border on something more intimate.

Maybe she was reading too much into it. They were obviously close, Eric did come from Louisiana to save Damon from certain death. But wouldn't he want to spend the end of his days with Pam? Not Eric? Shouldn't she be here?

"Did something happen?"

She almost jumped right out of her skin as she stared up at Eric as he leisurely strolled into the living room. "What? No. I haven't heard anything. Your phone went off, though."

She observed the man as he moved, and in the next instant in the same spot as before, except his phone was in his hand. She hadn't even seen him speed by. Her focus was solely on his facial expressions as he read over the words. She saw his cool and collected mask fall, worry creep over his bloodless features, then a soft smile. But it ended with obvious anguish.

What did they really mean to each other she wondered.


 

Damon groaned, blinking his eyes, feeling the all too familiar sensation of coming back to life. He rubbed his neck in a vain attempt at comfort as his mind pieced together the last thing he remembered. They'd come to some desolate island near Nova Scotia in Canada looking for the cure. The cure! Silas!

It all came coursing back as he rolled over to notice it wasn't stone. It was grass. There were trees in the near distance, as he himself was leaning against a log. His eyes shot around until it landed on something familiar in the moonlight.

"What happened?" He croaked out to Bonnie who sat next to him. "Where are we?"

Clearly startled, Bonnie jumped only to relax as she stared down at him. "Katherine took the cure, and broke your neck." He winced at the words, still feeling the aftermath. "We're back outside, from Silas' cave. Rebekah found us but left after she found out about Katherine, and took off to find her. Stefan and Elena came about an hour later. Stefan carried you out."

"Fucking bitch," He said. Somehow he wasn't surprised, though. Doppelgangers just enjoyed ruining his life. It was all coming back but wait. "How are you still alive? I thought she stabbed you." He frantically glanced around as he noticed that he and Bonnie were the only two in the clearing. "What about Jeremy?"

"He was pretty far gone, but his wounds started healing themselves. We thought maybe Silas for a second, but Jer remembered your friend fed him his blood" He nodded along, furrowing his eyebrows as Bonnie stared down at him, biting her lip. "Hope you don't mind but Jer took your blood while you were unconscious to heal my wounds."

"Nah, the world wouldn't be the same without you, Sabrina." He shrugged. "So where is everyone anyway?"

"Jeremy is getting firewood. And Stefan and Elena went to search for Katherine, and Rebekah."

"She's long gone. I doubt even Rebekah will find her. She's been running from Klaus for centuries, she knows how to slip away from an Original." He snorted, groaning as he pulled himself up enough to lean on the log with his back, instead of his head. "I can't believe we got fucking played by Katherine Pierce. Again."

"Yeah."

It was then he finally took in the Bennett witch. There was something off as one hand was clinging to the log, her eyes squeezed shut in concentration. "You okay Bonnie?"

"My magic... doing that spell and being stabbed. Almost losing you and Jeremy. My emotions are just all over the place, and my magic is just reacting to it. That's all."

"I didn't know you cared." He teased only to realize the seriousness of her words."Wait, no, don't say that's all. Are you losing control?"

"Damon it's fine." She said, but her entire body gave it all away as he swore he felt the vibrations of her magic as it rolled off of her.

"No, I promised I'd help you keep it in control. You look like you're about to burst." It took all his energy to propel himself off the ground and move to sit right in front of her. "Are you losing control?"

Her eyes opened again to stare at him. "Maybe."

"Okay. Okay." He tried to reassure himself as he just frantically nodded, realized he knew nothing about how to control magic. "We can do this." He placed a hand on her knee. "What does Professor Shane usually do?"

"Distracts me. Tells me to breathe."

"Okay." He got onto his knees and placed both hands on her shoulders. "Now look at me, Bonnie. Right in my gorgeous blue eyes. And breathe."

"Damon-" He smiled as Sabrina snickered.

"Ah come on Bon-bon, I see how you look at me. Just stare right at my handsome immortal face." He winked, playing it up.

It worked as she shook her head, grinning.

"You wish." For a moment, he'd thought perhaps that was it, but a tree behind the two of them burst into flames, and he realized it was far from over. He winced, his mind racing at what to do next. It was then he heard the distinct ringtone of his phone and Bonnie met his eyes. "Your phone."

"They can wait." His eyes went to the fire behind them, and back to the Bennett witch, trying desperately to remember how someone would comfort him when he'd gone over the edge. A story came to mind. "You know, in the 50s I was kidnapped by this Augustine group, and their doctor, Dr. Whitmore, he experimented on for a year. Horrible stuff. I lost myself there, and when Eric found me, I wasn't the same. I had horrible nightmares. I wanted to switch off my humanity but Eric wouldn't let me. He'd stay with me, every day and he helped me through it."

"Really?" Bonnie asked, having her full attention now. The blaze was beginning to simmer.

He grinned, nodding. "Yes. And I am going to pass along his wisdom, and hopefully, it'll help you. You are too strong to live life hurting. You are too amazing to let them win. Professor Shane may have created this expression, but now it's yours. So own it. Don't let it destroy you, let it define you." He grasped her face with both of his hands like Eric would do to him. "You are one of the strongest people I know Bonnie. So tell your magic to suck it, you're in charge."

"You might want to watch yourself. Your humanity is showing." Bonnie commented, smoke billowing behind them as darkness encircled them once again. "You and Eric are really close, aren't you?"

"You could say that, yes." He let her go, as he collapsed back next to her. "Feeling better?"

"Actually, yeah."

"And you doubted me." His attention was drawn to his discarded phone in the grass. His screen lit up and he immediately groaned. "20 missed calls. Fuck."

"Yeah, your phone has been going off since we came out of the cave. I guess we have cell service again." He was barely listening as he skimmed Eric's numerous messages. Now that it was all over, maybe he shouldn't have texted the Viking. These days he never seemed to have good news for the older vampire. "Who is it? Pam?"

"No, Eric. I gotta call him back. You going to be okay?" He glanced over at Sabrina, seeing her taking out her own phone, seemingly back to normal.

"Yeah."

He didn't have the energy to leave, so he just pressed call hearing it ring not even once before someone picked up. "Eric."

"Damon." He sighed as the familiar modulated, sultry voice soothed his eardrums. "You have to stop leaving me notes and messages."

"We're you worried about little old me?" He teased, already knowing the answer- not that Eric would testify to the fact.

"Just tell me you're okay and you're coming home."

"I'm okay, and I'm coming home," He repeated.

"So what happened? You mentioned raising Silas?"

"Yeah, the cure was trapped in his fossilized hands. So we raised him just long enough to grab it and with Sabrina's witchy juju we dissociated him again. Almost died." He paused, stretching his legs out as he stared up at the night sky. "Then Katherine came and stole the cure, almost killing Bonnie and Jeremy. Snapped my neck for good measure."

"Wait, did you say Katherine?"

"Yeah. She must have been following us this whole time."

"Tell me she didn't get away." Eric snarled into his ear. He knew just how much Eric despised her, wanting to plunge a stake through her heart. At this point, he'd pay to see the viking disembowel her.

"Well my brother, Original barbie, and her doppelganger are looking for her, but I don't have much hope."

"Fucking cunt."

He guffawed. "My feelings exactly."

There was a momentary silence, and he realized then that somehow during his conversation with Eric, Jer-bear was back- building a firepit.

"So you're okay?" Eric's gravelly, yet honeyed voice washed over him, the world becoming background noise.

"Yes, I'm fine. My neck's sore, but it's mostly just my ego that's bruised. I can't believe we lost it to Katherine fucking Pierce." He was tired of talking about his ex-whatever she was to him. So he decided to change the subject. "I miss your face like hell Eric."

"Come home to me then," Eric replied back in old Swedish. He still wasn't willing to lose the game just yet.

"I will as soon as I can. I just want to get in bed next to you."

"And fool around?'

The idea sounded appealing, but at this point, he wasn't feeling it. "Honestly, after all, this shit, I just want to lay beside you. I want your arms around me. And I just want to sleep. Sleep for days."

"I think that can be arranged."

"And you know. I'll let you do whatever you want to me. As long as we're together, that's the only thing that matters."

"After this, I'm never letting you go further than arm's reach."

"Good" He genuinely smiled for once, but it disappeared as he first heard, then saw his brother, Original Barbie and Elena come out of the thicket of trees. Now the moment was ruined. "My brother, Elena, and Rebekah are back. I got to go." He paused, knowing full well they couldn't understand him but there was one thing he wanted to say to the viking. After the day he had, it was all he could think about. "I love you."

"Love you too Damon. Be safe."

Chapter Text

"I...just stop talking."

Eric granted his request, as he kissed Damon fully. The intensity of it made him come undone, his fingers scraping along the viking's fevered skin. He was freezing and burning at the same time, his skin so hot, yet Eric's mouth so cold. He was on fire, as his shirt was torn from his body, those hands gripping his now naked waist. The kiss continued, fast, heated, carnal as their tongues dug deep and toyed together. He gasped, pressing himself closer into Eric- his arms coming around the man's neck, his fingers twining through his hair. The vikings own inched further along the smoothness of his skin. Deeper. Lower. He let out a wanton moan into the other man's mouth, his lungs screaming at him to come up for air but Eric just kissed him harder. His heart was hammering, fit to burst.

It couldn't be helped as he finally pushed himself off Eric just enough to heave in oxygen. He opened his eyes, just to shut them in shock as Eric gave him no time to catch up on breathing as the man just kissed him again. Brutally. Fighting and winning instantly the claim for dominance as the man's one hand fisted into the tangles of his hair. His mouth was fierce on Damon's, his fingers biting into his hip. He made a strangled sound, feeling like he was being pulled apart. One more touch and he was sure to die; he would never survive this.

Not that he wanted to.

Could someone die of pleasure? Though if he was going to die of pleasure, he'd much prefer to, at least, have Eric' cock buried deep inside him.

Not that it mattered, because in one fluid movement, he found himself sprawled out onto the other couch opposite of the one he'd occupied, alone- his legs still splayed like was straddling something. His eyes shot open in surprise to find himself catching a book thrown his way. Another blink and Eric was splayed out on the other couch, one leg bent up, the other spread out along the entirety of the surface, and over the armrest. Propped in his hands was a book, making it appear as if it was the most casual thing in the world to read a book in one's tight, black briefs.

"What the fuck-"

His head shot up as he heard the front door open of the boarding house, and he found himself mimicking his boyfriend's pose, feeling his heart hammer against his ribcage. And he'd thought they'd be able to have a quickie while his brother was in the shower.

"Stefan?" He grimaced as he recognized that voice. "Damon?"

"Caroline what a surprise."

His eyes narrowed into slits as Eric called Barbie into the living room. When did they become friendly enough for first names?

"Eric is-"

Caroline paused as she took them both in, her barbie eyes wide, her jaw lax as it hung open, probably catching flies.

"Yes?" He spat out, his eyes still trained on the book in his hands though the words on the page were just a blur.

"Why are you in your underwear Damon?"

He tensed, as a million thoughts raced to an excuse. "It's my house! Why do you care? Enjoying the view?" The girl just snorted at him as she crossed her arms over her chest. Then a thought came to him. "Why aren't you asking Eric?"

There was a look between the two blonds, one that set his teeth on edge. He almost growled as the girl dared to grin at his viking. "I've already seen him naked a few times. Him wearing anything at all is a shock."

It was him now whose jaw was on the floor as he just stared at the viking- his heart stopping. "Excuse me what now?"

"Well it all-"

"Was I talking to you Barbie?" He snapped, though through his bristling fury that was screaming to surface there was an overwhelming fear of being replaced. "Explain. Now."

Eric had the audacity to just nonchalantly shrug at him. "She was the one who kept coming into my room while I was sleeping. And then she interrupted my bath time." The viking raised an eyebrow at him, as he closed his book, putting it on the coffee table. "Did you thinking something more happened? That we fucked?"

He attempted to laugh, but it came out more as a weak puff of air. "No,"

His eyes narrowed into slits as the man guffawed, throwing his head back against the pillow, his other leg stretching out giving him a delicious view of Eric's herculean body. "You're a terrible liar darling."

"Fuck you."

"Maybe later."

"You know it's rude to just change languages to talk about someone while they're right in the room."

His attention was drawn back to Barbie who was rooted in the same spot, arms still crossed over her chest.

"Oh, are you still here?" He sarcastically replied, running a hand lazily down his chest. "What a shame."

"Ignore Damon, he's in one of his moods." Eric teased. "Can we help you with something Caroline?"

"One of my moods?"

"It's about Klaus." Caroline completely ignored him, as did the viking. The girl strolled further into the room, coming to stop at the edge of Eric's couch. "I ran into him at the Mystic Grill. He's leaving town to look for Katherine. Apparently he has leads on her whereabouts. We can't let him get to the cure first." She looked between the two of them now. "So what are we going to do?"

"We?" He snorted. "When did the three of us become a we?"

"Damon this is serious. If Klaus gets it first, who knows what he'll do with it."

He was getting sick and tired of Klaus and the cure. Why he and Eric were still here was a bit of a mystery.

"Look Barbie, if you care so much, why don't you seduce him. I'm sure he'll give you anything if you spread your legs." He said as Caroline glared at him. "Eric informs me you're single, so that shouldn't be much of an issue."

The blonde's attention shifted to Eric. "You told Damon?!"

"I tell Damon everything,"

There was silence as Barbie observed them, clearly flummoxed. Why he wasn't sure. They weren't being too obvious? Were they?

"Why are you half naked Damon?"

He almost jumped out of his skin as his brother stood in the doorway of the parlour, his hair still dripping wet. Clearly he'd just finished his shower.

"Why do people suddenly care if I wear clothes or not? This is my house if I want to sit and read a book in my boxers, I will." He exclaimed, though from Stefan's expression, he wasn't buying anything he said.

He wasn't going to let it phase him as he flipped the page with more flourish than needed, and pretended to ignore them. It didn't last a moment though as he heard, then watched his brother sniff the air.

"Are you burning something, Damon?"

His eyes shot to the fire, then to Eric who looked ever so smug, and he glanced back to the fireplace to see a piece of his black shirt sitting on the burning logs. That was the last time he wore a Tom Ford shirt when he wanted a quickie.

"Just some old rags that were laying around the house." He lied, glaring over at Eric as he chuckled. "You owe me a new shirt asshole."

"So what are you doing here Caroline?" Stefan asked, and he sighed in relief.

Barbie turned to face his brother. "I ran into Klaus and he's already leaving town to find Katherine and the cure. So I came here. We need a plan."

"Yeah, Rebekah texted me about Klaus just a few minutes ago. I'm going to go meet up with her, hopefully, try to convince her to work together with us. We need an Original on our side" Stefan replied.

"Is that the kids are calling fucking these days?" He jested, his eyes still peeled on his book, but he did glance over at his boyfriend for just a second to see him smirking. "If you're going to whore yourself out Stef, it should be to Klaus. Make sure he wears protection though, who knows where he's been."

He let his trademark smirk escape as he heard his brother seethe. "I swear Damon, how many times do I have to say I've never been with Klaus."

"Eric, be a dear and corroborate my story. You remember my brother and that hybrid psychopath," he grinned over at the viking.

"Rutting together in a darkened alley in Chicago in the '20s? I have no idea what you're talking about, you'll have to be more specific Damon," Eric replied smugly, winking at his brother.

Caroline had the exact same expression on her face when she'd first arrived. "They're just joking right Stefan?"

"I…" It was obvious his brother didn't know what to do with himself as his fists were clamped to his sides, the muscles of his jaw working as he clenched and unclenched his teeth. But underneath that rage was the flushed worry and wide eyes of someone who'd been caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar. "It was-" He almost felt a little sorry for his brother as he was clearly trying to save himself. "It happened once. Okay?!"

His own eyes widened at that confession. "Just once? Who are you trying to fool Stef?" He wasn't going to let him off that easily though.

"Fine, Twice." He raised his one eyebrow at Stefan expectantly. "Fine maybe more than that. It didn't mean anything. I was drunk on blood. I barely remember it, and I'm pretty sure he compelled me. I mean who knows what's real and what's not with Klaus."

"Sure blame the compulsion. Take the easy way out." He teased mercilessly.

"Fuck you, Damon."

That was it as Stefan turned on his heel and stormed out of their house. He laughed to himself, shaking his head. He didn't know why his brother was so embarrassed about it. Having sex with a thousand year old vampire could be the most pleasurable feeling in the world.

"That was just cruel!" Caroline chastised.

Was she still here?

"Then go comfort him. Or are you jealous he's had Klaus first?"

"Can't you do something about him?" Barbie gestured to him while focused on Eric.

"They're brothers Caroline, it's in their nature to belittle each other. Besides I think it's good Stefan admits his past with Niklaus. He has nothing to be ashamed about."

He didn't have to look at Eric to know there was a double meaning behind those words.

"Exactly."

The room descended back into an irritating silence, and he wished Caroline would fuck off so he could go back to enjoying the viking to himself. Preferably naked.

"So do you think-" He tilted his head watching the blonde princess ponder. "Do you think they still like each other? That way? Does that mean they're gay?"

He snorted, as he and Eric shared a look. "I think the term you're looking for Car bear is bisexual."

"Why do humans insist on labels. Fucking a man, or a woman. Does it matter? Sex is sex." Eric said. "Though I have a feeling pertaining to your brother, I imagine Klaus is probably one of his only male lovers."

"Probably one of his only lovers in general," He added. "But to answer your question Barbie, I don't think my brother has any real residual feelings for Klaus. But those months he was with Klaus and was back to his old ripper self, he could have very well fallen for the psychopath again. I mean, Klaus only likes ripper Stefan. And my brother's dark side likes to have fun and he doesn't care where that fun comes from."

"And it doesn't surprise you that your brother slept with a man?"

"What he does with his cock is his business." He shrugged as he found himself glancing back at Eric. "Now don't you have a prom to plan or something?" He dismissed her with a hand, gesturing toward the door. "Why don't you skedaddle while the adults go out and have fun."

"Are you two going drinking?"

"Maybe." He uttered, eying up the blonde. "It's only for those who drink from the vein, so you're not invited."

"Eric invited me out last time, and I had fun," Caroline mentioned, sending a pit to the bottom of his stomach. "Can I come? Tyler told Matt about our breakup and he's bound to tell the rest of my friends. I'd just like to forget about everything for tonight."

"Wait," he said, mostly to put two and two together. "You went to a bar with Barbie? And she actually fed on a human?"

"I was bored, and she isn't the worst company in the world." Eric shrugged as if that statement wasn't the craziest thing he'd heard today. "If you'd like to come, Caroline, you're more than welcome."

"What? No, she's not. I wanted to have fun!"

"Then lose the game." Stormy blue eyes met his own. "I don't plan on making this easy for you."

"Fine. You'll lose in a day anyway."

"Oh, I plan on winning Damon. You'll cave first. I know it." With a wink, Eric turned back toward their guest. "Well I need to get changed. So do you Damon. Let's say an hour, and we meet here."

"Hold on, what will your humanity sponsor say, Caroline? You don't feed from humans." He brought it up in the hopes of guilting the teen into changing her mind and letting them enjoy their night. Alone.

"I do now. Well, tonight anyway. I want to have fun, and let loose." Caroline giggled, as she turned on her heel and headed toward the door. "Alright see you both in an hour. I need to change too."

He cocked his head to the side, and then to the other- the entire evening taking a bizarre twist.

"What have you done with sweet innocent Caroline?" He asked, flabbergasted as he began to search the living room for what he'd been worried would be found by unwanted visitors. "And where did my pants go?"

Eric strolled past him leisurely, one finger pointed up as he passed. He glanced up only to see his denim jeans hung over the banister of the second floor. How the hell did Eric manage to get them up there?


Eric supposed he deserved this. He did say he wouldn't make their game easy, so why should Damon make it easy either? Though with his brother, the girl he'd used to love and the rest of what Damon lovingly called the scooby gang here, he was expecting a bit more restraint.

They'd been bar hopping all night. Somehow their evening with just Caroline turned into a hunt for Katherine. The girl had texted one of her friends, Bonnie if he recalled and now they were all here. Caroline was next to him in a small booth overlooking the rest of the room, with a brunette girl, maybe a few years older than the teenager, sprawled out on the table, her head and arms towards them for easy access to her veins.

None of it mattered though as his attention was drawn to Damon who was standing on top of the bar, his black dress shirt undone, revealing his sweat-sheened muscled chest that just begged for a tongue to lap up the droplets of blood trickling down his stomach. With a pair of remarkably tight black leather pants that never failed to make his mouth water. He didn't need to see Damon's backside to know exactly what that ass looked like in those pants. They left nothing to the imagination.

The music changed, to something slow and sensual and those simmering eyes, so blue, alert and intense met his own. The stare was longer than necessary as Damon stood there, the girls around him forgotten. Then the beat changed, becoming hot and heavy and so did Damon. He began to move, rolling his hips slowly and seductively, his eyes never leaving his. A hand trailed down the chiselled muscle of his chest, before throwing his arm outright, spreading them wide. His hips thrusted forward to the beat as his shirt slid off his broad shoulders and down his arms and to the floor.

"What the hell is Damon doing?"

He heard the girl beside him but his eyes couldn't quite leave the scene in front of him. The erotic movements of Damon's hips casted a spell over his attention; demanding it, requiring it…

The bass dropped, and Damon jumped, his legs spread wide as he slid onto the empty metal table a few metres from the bar. He leaned back as his body convulsed in rhythmic waves his hands running lazily over his chest.

"I do believe it's called a strip tease." He finally was able to answer, his eyes drifting to Caroline for a moment who was also transfixed on Damon's performance.

His attention drifted back to his lover whose back was completely flush with the table, legs spread surprisingly wide for how tight those leather pants must be. He came back up just as slow as he'd went down, his hands slithering lower until they reached the front of his pants. The blood in his throat was caught as those fingers went inside pushing the pants lower on his body revealing those delicious hip dents. It didn't last long, as his hands came back out, but he began to gyrate and thrust his hips, accentuating the fact this was beginning to get to the brunette too.

"He's surprisingly good at it. He must be drunk, or does he realize he's giving the entire bar a show."

Blue eyes met his own and Caroline's voice was drowned out by the intense stare he found himself basking in. Damon's arms shot out, and he slithered down onto the metal of the table. The beat changed again and his eyes widened a fraction as Damon's legs shot open, his ass in the air, as his body lay flat against the table. And then he began to move, using just his hips to move his supple ass back and forth his mind wishing to any God that would listen that those pants would just disappear. He continued to shake his behind to the beat but moved to give him a much better angle of his property.

"Damon is a stripper for me at Fangtasia actually, it's how he earns his keep. Though he does it mostly for the attention." He replied, though this time he didn't bother to acknowledge the girl. He didn't think he could.

Raising himself from the table slowly, Damon twisted and thrusted his body in ways that just shouldn't be possible in pants like that. The man made it look easy though, as he worked his body in the deadliest, most erotic way, his eyes falling on him, and lingering. Sweat painted the defined and tanned skin of the vampire, the lights making him gleam and shimmer. Rhythmically he moved back to his hands and knees, his legs spreading. His hips began to gyrate again, moving in the most sinful and quick ways as he practically fucked the metal table, the muscles in his arms working overtime as they carried his weight. He bit his lip so hard he could taste blood, needing a distraction or he'd lose himself. And the bet.

The beat slowed, and with a distinct glint in his eye, he rolled onto his back, presenting himself to him, with his legs splayed wide open, his body writhing in a way that left him breathless, his mind replaying thousands of imagines of the man writhing beneath him.

But then the music slowed, and Damon stilled his movements. It ended, and the vampire rolled off the table and went back to the group of now even more eager women he'd abandoned during his strip tease.

"He strips really? Not something I was expecting." He smiled at the girl as he was finally able to form a single coherent thought. "It obviously worked, I think he got the entire bar's attention. Doesn't it bother you that he's blatantly flirting with those women when he's with your progeny."

Sure the women were hanging off Damon's arm, but he wasn't paying them much mind. His attention was now drawn to his phone. "He's just playing with food."

He felt the familiar vibration of his cell phone, and he took it out of his pocket. Curious.

Text Received: 1:30am

From: Damon

So how's that self-control now?

He looked up just in time to see Damon wink at him. Bastard.


"Find anything?"

"Define anything. Books in strange languages. Loads."

Caroline swiveled from her position by the bookshelf, waving about a few thick, old leather bound books.

Her and Bonnie had been rifling through Professor Shane's office for a good twenty minutes now and they'd found little to nothing on the cure. Not that they were expecting to find much- why Stefan thought they'd be able to recreate the cure to begin with was a long shot but with no information on Katherine's whereabouts, they were desperate. She just wished she could speak Latin, or some other witch language because these books could hold the answers.

"I guess just add them to the boxes for the Salvatore house. Damon said he'd come by in an hour to help us load the car and take some for him and Eric to translate." Bonnie replied as she glanced up from the Professor's desk, gesturing to the haphazard pile of boxes by the door.

She nodded, sauntering over across the small space and throwing them into one of the larger boxes with Damon's name scribbled on the side. "Does the school know about Professor Shane?"

She turned around to face Bonnie in time to see her shake her head. "I don't think so. I wish Damon hadn't killed him, this could have been a lot easier."

"Why did he?"

"Why does Damon do anything." Bonnie sighed, putting a notebook on top of a pile in front of her on the desk. "It was odd, though. One minute I was asking Damon about Eric, and Shane cut in and then in a flash his neck was broken and Damon tossed Jer his ring back."

She furrowed her eyebrows. "What did Shane say to provoke Damon?"

Her best friend cocked her head to the side. "Well, I was asking Damon about the differences between Eric and his species of vampires. I didn't even realize Shane had come back alive until he became to speak. All he said was isn't Eric the one you wanted and then, that was it. I don't even know what Shane was talking about. Damon wouldn't elaborate. He seemed on edge, so I didn't try to press the issue. I mean, he did kidnap us. And threaten us. And who knows what he would have done when we turned our back on him. Not that I condone murder to solve our problems, but I am glad to know Silas won't be raised. At least by Shane."

She hummed, still perplexed. Not that she could argue against Bonnie's logic. "Those two seem odd to you?"

"Damon and Shane?"

"No, Damon and Eric." She corrected, grabbing the last few books of interest from the bookshelf before taking a seat in front of Professor Shane's desk. "Their relationship, it's odd right?"

"Honestly," Bonnie paused, a small burst of laughter spilled from her lips. "This is going to sound terrible, but I'm surprised Damon has friends at all."

"Right!" She exclaimed. "Especially ones like Eric."

Her best friend pursed her lips, cocking her head to the side again. "Especially ones like Eric?" She brought her hands together as she leaned forward on the desk, her eyebrows raised at her. "Is there something you aren't telling me Car?"

"No." She shook her head smiling, but turned serious as Bonnie continued to stare at her. "No, I swear. Nothing like that." She bit her lip as the memories of the last few days were conjured back up. "It's just, Eric's nice. Like really nice. I mean he's a bit of an ass, like Damon. But he cares about him so much. You should have seen how easy it was to get him to decrypt the sword once he found out Damon had been kidnapped."

"It doesn't surprise me. Damon told us a bit about his relationship with Eric when we were on the island and from what I gather, they both care deeply about each other. I think they're very close." Bonnie replied.

"Maybe too close?"

Bonnie stared at her, confused. "What do you mean?"

"It's just when I went to the boarding house yesterday, Damon and Eric were both sitting on the couch, both in their boxers like it was the most casual thing in the world. Then when we were bar hopping last night, Eric told me Damon is a stripper for him at the bar he owns. And the way he was staring at Damon when he was dancing…" Her voice drifted off, as her own thoughts weren't sure where they were headed.

"What? You think there might be something more?" Bonnie asked.

"Maybe. At least from Eric. He told me he's had both male and female lovers." She declared.

"He's bisexual?"

"I guess."

"So you think he likes Damon?" Bonnie asked, with confusion as the girl appeared to process just exactly what she was trying to get at. "But Damon has Pam."

"Exactly."

Bonnie furrowed her eyebrows as she placed her head in her hand. "What?"

"Well I mean think about it. Damon's dating his progeny Pam and is obviously not into guys. Though not disgusted by it." She added, remembering her earlier discussion with Damon about his brother and Klaus. "And Damon's attractive enough I guess. And we both know Damon isn't as heartless as he'd like us to believe." Her mind was racing as she was trying to piece it all together to make Bonnie understand. "And he's the one who came here to Mystic Falls, by himself. And Pam just happens to be back in Louisiana to look after their bar while he's away. And they haven't left yet, even though Klaus now wants them both dead. So maybe the reason Eric wants Damon to look for this cure so badly, is because he's figuring out a way to tell Damon how he really feels."

"You got all that because of some looks he gave Damon last night." Bonnie chuckled as she shook her head but then abruptly stopped as if a thought just came to her. "Now that you mention it, Damon did express how close they were when we were on the island. He told us Eric would give him the world if he asked. And Damon did tell me that when he'd been kidnapped, Eric saved him. And looked after him for months after." She slapped her hand on the desk, making Caroline jump. "Also he did call Damon like 20 times in the span of an hour."

Her eyes went wide. How could she have forgotten?

"Because Damon texted him."

Bonnie stared at her. "Texted him what?"

"I can't remember the exact wording but Damon told Eric if the world was going to end, they should spend it in France." She recalled.

"Just the two of them?"

"I think so."

Bonnie shot out of her chair, pacing behind the small space between it and the filing cabinets. "Oh come on this is crazy. What now we're on the conclusion they both want each other. This isn't some soap opera Caroline."

She shrugged. "But what if they do?"

"Then it's none of our business." Bonnie paused, taking a seat back in Shane's chair. "Look Damon will be here soon to collect the boxes and we need to finish going through Shane's stuff. And I need to meet up with my dad, he wants to go over the Christmas festivities."

"Is that still happening?"

"I don't think so. He just became mayor and he doesn't think it's a good time. We just lost Carol Lockwood."

"No, he can't. What if we plan a Christmas party for the town?" She asked, a plan forming. "Some soft music. Some apple cider. Some mistletoe."

"This is about Damon and Eric again isn't it?"

"Oh come on." She wagged her eyebrows at Bonnie suggestively."They'd be cute together."

"You don't even like Damon that much."

"Well you do, since spending a few days with him in Canada. And I've gotten close with Eric. So why not?"

"Because I don't want to die."

"It'll be like Love Actually. Or some other Christmas-themed love story. All we need is some mistletoe, mood lighting, slow music and for the two of them to admit their feelings for each other!" She exclaimed, the idea of playing matchmaker was thrilling to her, even if it was for Damon Salvatore. Though she had to admit, they'd make a sexy pair.

"Before you go full Caroline about this, talk to my dad okay?" Bonnie insisted, as she brought out another notebook from Professor Shane's desk.

"I will."


Bonnie stepped into the Mystic Grill, giving Matt a half wave from across the room, before looking about the restaurant. Her eyes landed on Damon, who was sitting uncharacteristically by the windows, all alone with a bottle of bourbon. She took a few more steps in, not bothering to acknowledge the vampire but her discussion with Caroline yesterday still haunted her.

Damon didn't like Eric? He didn't like men. Right?

But that nagging feeling she'd experienced on the island came crawling back. She'd thought it was odd Damon cared more about Eric then he didn't his own girlfriend. He was all Damon could ever talk about. Of course, that could mean they were just close friends, knowing someone as long as they did must amount to some attachment shared by each other. Her and Caroline were just as close and she didn't think of her but anything other than her best friend.

Though thinking of Caroline made her realize the blonde would kill her if she didn't take this opportunity to attempt to pry information from the older Salvatore. Perhaps it would put this whole business to rest.

She took a deep breath, gathering her wits before strolling over to Damon. He didn't even acknowledge her as he continued to stare out the window, a glass to his lips.

"Mind if I sit with you?"

Damon's bright blue eyes met hers, obviously startled but his face remained unemotional. He shrugged, and she took that as a yes, so she sat down across the small metal, circular table from him.

She wasn't sure where to start, they weren't exactly close. "So Damon, how's the translating going? Find anything?"

"Nope." There was a pop from where his lips formed the P, as he continued to fixate on something outside. "You?"

"No, nothing useful anyway." She replied, taking in the reclusive vampire. If she didn't know any better, she'd think Damon was upset. "You okay?"

"I'm fine, just waiting."

Her eyes darted from the window to Damon. "Oh, for who? Stefan?"

"No, he's with Rebekah. Or Elena. Or someone." Damon's eyes narrowed as if he was trying to remember. "At some point we did talk, and then he left.." He shook his head, grinning as he finished off the bourbon in his glass. "No I'm waiting for Eric, but apparently Caroline is at my house holding him up."

"Oh," She paused, unsure of what to say. "She and Eric got pretty close I guess when we were finding the cure."

"Close, ha." The laugh was forced as the eldest Salvatore poured a generous amount of liquor into his glass. Blue eyes shot up to stare her down. "Tell me something Sabrina since you're here. Does she have a thing for Eric?"

"A thing?"

"Yes, does she like him? Does she write his name on the edge of her notebook with hearts around it? Does she want him to ask her to prom?" Damon asked with a flourish as his hand gestured about with a glass in it, droplets of bourbon raining down on the table.

"Why do you think Caroline likes Eric?" She asked carefully.

Damon snorted. "Oh come on Bon Bon, it's not exactly I'm just pulling the idea out of thin air. Were you not there two nights ago to witness their epic friendship? I mean Barbie is drinking from the vein, all because Eric asked oh so nicely." Damon leaned forward, an eyebrow raised. "Besides, we both know she's got a thing for blond thousand-year-old vampires."

"Look, I'm against Car feeding from anyone but she's had a tough week. We all have, and Eric was there for her through Klaus trying to kill her, to breaking up with Tyler. So they got close," She paused, needing to phrase the next part just right. "Would it bother you if she had feelings for Eric? I mean, he's your friend, wouldn't you want him to be happy."

"With her?" Damon asked, huffing as he attempted to laugh, but it came out more like a strangled puff of air. "If you think Klaus is a psychopath, you haven't seen anything until you see Eric standing in a pool of strangers blood, fangs out, and body parts littering the floor." A shiver ran down her spine at his description but goosebumps littered her skin at Damon's glazed over expression. "Barbie is a sweet little princess who couldn't harm a fly." The older vampire came back from his daze to acknowledge her again. "I just don't think she realizes behind that charming smile, and dangerously sexy modern viking look he's got going on, he's a monster. I'd just hate to see little red riding hood get eaten by the big bad wolf."

"Are you worried about Caroline?" She tilted her head to the side as she smiled. "Your humanity is showing Damon."

"No. I don't care what happens to Barbie." Damon huffed, taking a swig of his bourbon. "Nevermind, it doesn't matter." He shook his head as his gaze lingered solely on her. "What about you Sabrina. How are you doing? Any crazy witchy juju attacks the nice townspeople of Mystic Falls should be worried about?"

"Not since that time on the island."

"Good." The eldest Salvatore went from captivated to not even present in a blink of an eye. "Good."

She craned her neck to glimpse what could capture Damon's full attention. Standing in the doorway of Mystic Grill was the man himself, Eric. She didn't want to be caught staring at him, so she turned back to the eldest Salvatore brother.

It was so obvious when their eyes met though, as Bonnie observed Damon's entire persona changed. His shoulders relaxed, his back straightened, and he brought his glass from his lips to the table. There was no hint of a smirk, a sneer, or even a bit of a tease as his lips curled upwards. It blossomed into one of Damon's rare smiles, his cheeks dimpling as the corners of his eyes wrinkled. His teeth shone bright, just like his eyes, but it only lasted a moment as the man ran a hand through his hair, looking down at the table and back up, but, this time, his signature crooked tight lip smile replaced the one before.

"Damon." She stole a glance up at Eric who stood at their table, mirroring Damon's crooked grin as they both stared at each other. Her own heart fluttered at the intensity of their gaze, wondering if anyone ever focused on her the way they did to each other. "Bonnie."

Her hands flew to her face, feeling the rush of heat flood upwards from her neck to her cheeks and she couldn't imagine how flushed she must appear. She tried to meet the older vampire's eyes, then Damon's but she found herself staring at the tabletop instead only able to manage one word. "Hi."

"I see you were able to tear yourself from your Barbie girlfriend, or is she parking the car?" Damon snarled at Eric.

If only Caroline was here, she'd adore this. Did Damon know how jealous he sounded? Or perhaps Caroline's theories were poisoning her perspective.

"Are you jealous älsking?" Her hands flew to her mouth to stifle her gasp. "I'm just trying to get to know your friends better. Perhaps if you were nicer to them, they'd want to spend more time with you too."

"Oh trust me I spend too much time with them already." Damon gestured lazily in her direction. "See look at me, spending time with Bon bon."

"Yes, Bonnie the witch. It's nice to see you again. How's your magic? I hear you've been struggling with controlling your expression."

She felt suddenly like a spotlight was shone on her as Eric stared directly at her. Caroline may say he was nice, but the other vampire exuded destructive power. "It's better. Thanks."

She forced a small smile in a vain attempt to be polite and the table fell into silence. She struggled to come up with anything to say, knowing she'd be retelling this story to Caroline the first time she saw the cheerleader.

"Well as much fun as this has been, we should get going Eric, don't you think?" Damon asked though clearly it was more of a statement as he finished off his glass.

"I don't think you should drive anywhere in your condition Damon, and besides Caroline has informed me that apparently in Wheeling and Beckley, there's been a massive theft of blood bags. She thought perhaps it could be the work of Katherine. I told her we'd take Wheeling, and Stefan and Rebekah could take Beckley."

Damon scowled. "Just the two of us? No Barbie?"

"Yes, the adventure will be just yours and mine tonight." Eric replied, and she watched, fascinated as the eldest Salvatore's face lit up like Christmas came early. She'd never seen him so genuinely happy before. Perhaps Caroline was on to something. She had to admit, they'd make a sexy couple.


Damon could still feel the searing touch of Eric's hand on his lower back even though they'd left the hospital. It was a simple touch, a large hand settling on the small of his back as they'd walked out. But with the little to no contact he'd had with Eric for almost a month now, the slightest whiff of the viking's scent made him pop a semi. A touch almost gave him a happy little accident.

He was already tired of playing their game, and he'd only been back in Mystic Falls for three days. Usually, at least, they'd get to fool around when they were alone but the boarding house might as well be a twenty four hour convenience store with the amount of traffic in and out. Rebekah always visiting his dear brother, Caroline visiting his boyfriend. Jeremy once under suspicious circumstances, the boy couldn't even look at Eric in the eye without turning into a tomato. Though the viking wasn't wearing any clothes besides a flimsy towel that did not leave anything to the imagination- all for his benefit of course.

But now they were alone. So blissfully alone. He was almost grateful for this flimsy useless waste of their time in Wheeling. This city was dreadfully dull, and they'd learned nothing from the surveillance footage. At least they were now heading to find some sort of nightlife, if this deadbeat town had any.

He glanced over at Eric who insisted on driving. His hands were casually holding the steering wheel, staring out onto the road, his legs spread apart. He licked his lips, cocking his head to the side an idea forming.

He casually reached over and brushed his fingers along Eric's knee, keeping his gaze focused outside his window. He waited several seconds, keeping his hand still, waiting for a reaction. Receiving none, he casually went lower, rubbing small circles as he went. His fingers grazed over the viking's jeaned crotch, feeling the strain of something trapped beneath. He smirked, giving it a soft squeeze, feeling Eric tense under him.

"Damon I'm driving,"

He unbuckled his seatbelt. "Then just sit back and enjoy."

His nimble fingers made quick work of pulling open the belt and unbuttoning his jeans. He tugged the zipper down, finally able to close his fist around his prize.

He watched as the muscles in Eric's jaw twitched, his eyelids fluttering in an attempt to stay focused on the road- his knuckles white around the steering wheel. And by god, he hadn't even started yet.

His eyes scanned the road, watching a car sped past them, and they were surrounded by darkness again. Deciding it was now or never, he quickly leaned over, his hot breath ghosting over Eric's cock causing the thigh beneath his hand twitch just the tiniest bit. A slow smile crossed Damon's face as his own manhood throbbed in approval of his dirty thoughts.

Let's see how long it takes Eric to either ram his beautiful Camaro into a tree,or pull over to the nearest ditch to fuck him senseless. It's not as if they could die in a car crash.

He wrapped his fingers around the length, giving it a few little twists of his wrist, watching in slight fascination as the now steadily throbbing cock dripped a bit of pre come. Taking that as an invitation, he lowered himself further, dragging his tongue along the head. The car jerked, and his other hand clutched the viking's thigh.

"I need to keep my eyes on the road."

He craned his neck in an uncomfortable position to stare up at Eric from beside his erection to see him staring down at him. He batted his eyelashes playfully as he ran his tongue lazily up from the base to the tip. "So keep your eyes on the road then." With that, he moved forward, taking the viking into his mouth.

He heard Eric let out an animalistic moan, feeling the car jerk again, making him smirk. Hot flesh slid across his tongue as Damon's eyes fluttered shut, his own manhood aching. He took as much of Eric as he could fit, and then some. There was a bump, and Damon overshot it and had a horrible moment where his throat rebelled against the cocktip at the back of his tongue. He pulled back, taking some deep breaths as he readjusted himself. It was his first time in awhile, and it didn't help the precarious conditions he was in. He relaxed against Eric and slid back down.

He was impressed with Eric's self-control and reflexes. He'd hoped by now the viking would swerve off into the nearest rest stop, parking lot, anywhere convenient and fuck his brains out. He couldn't last much longer.

Feeling confident, Damon slid back along the hardness in his mouth, pulling all the way off. A trail of saliva connected his bottom lip to Eric's length. Obviously displeased at this, he felt Eric's long fingers curl around his hair.

"Ah ah, both hands on the wheel," He tutted, swatting the viking's hand away.

"Damon-" He knew Eric was trying to sound admonishing but he took the opportunity to wrap his lips around the head of the man's cock again, and it just came out as a long reluctant groan of pleasure.

He sucked it back in and the next bob of his head was shallower, more controlled. He experimented a little, no two bobs were exactly the same as he attempted to find a comfortable way to do this while teasing the hell out of Eric. That self-restraint would be shattered. He flicked his tongue around the bottom of Eric's cock sporadically, garnering the reaction he wanted as the car shot forward.

Someone honked at them, and a blush emanated from his cheeks, but it didn't stop him from continuing to slide his tongue, up and down, treating Eric's length like an ice cream cone. The viking was his favourite flavour.

The car swerved to the right, and slowed and he moaned around the vampire's erection in approval. Fingers tugged at his hair again, forcing him further down, as hips jutted forward, and his nose hit the base taking in the unique musky scent. He heard the keys being turned, not fully off as the radio continued on, being turned up to drown out what he suspected was a carnal sound from the viking.

He continued to work, hollowing out his cheeks as he felt Eric throb against his tongue, bobbing his head and sliding into a maddening rhythm.

And then a bucket of cold water was dumped on him in the form of two sharp knocks against the driver's side window. In an instant, he shot up smoothing out his disheveled clothes, and messy hair.

He couldn't even acknowledge the driver's side, as the music was turned down, and he could hear the window being rolled down. Please God be a human they could compel.

"Hey." His stomach leapt into his throat as the worst person he could have imagined was standing outside their window. His brother.

"Stef, what, what are you doing here?" He choked out, glancing over at his brother, and back outside.

"Rebekah and I thought we'd meet you in Wheeling and this is the only bar in the town. We didn't find anything in Beckley." Stefan replied, and he couldn't help stare at his brother. Was his brother really going to be this cool about it? "So when did you start this?"

"What?" He stuttered, feeling his face go hot as was lost for words. "Well ah, what?"

Stefan just laughed, and he glanced over at Eric for help but the viking just shrugged. "Letting someone else drive your car. You never let anyone drive your Camaro." He found himself laughing nervously as he just nodded vigorously. "Though I gotta say, I didn't even see you when I pulled up behind you two. But your windows are seriously tinted, for a second when you rolled down the window Eric, I thought I'd gotten the wrong car."

"Nope, just us." Eric said, patting him on the leg. "I didn't trust Damon to drive. He drank a little too much bourbon at the Grill before we left."

For someone who was just receiving fellatio from his boyfriend, Eric was pretty damn smooth. Though the panic of seeing his brother just ruined arousal he'd had, and his ability to form any real thoughts.

Stefan just shook his head as he leaned on the window sill. "I can't blame you, have you seen yourself Damon? You're a mess. How much did you drink? You're completely flushed, and your pupils are dilated." Was there a hole he could bury himself in? At least, his brother was completely dense. "Well, Rebekah is already inside, so I'm going to go find her. Perhaps you should go slower this time Damon, it's only eleven."

He flashed his little brother the finger, as Eric rolled the window back up. He watched his brother disappear into the shadows, realizing the viking had parked them in the only spot in complete darkness. Thank God for small miracles.

"So…" Eric spread his legs wide as he put an arm out over his head rest. "You going to finish?"

His fist connected with the viking's crotch as he just snorted. "There. Happy?"


This was maddening. He'd forgotten just how terrible at this game he and Damon were playing. All he wanted to do was fuck the smaller vampire on every conceivable furniture in the Boarding house. He'd even conjured up detailed plans for his favourites while Caroline rambled on, or Stefan nattered on. But he was determined to win, he wanted Damon to succumb first. He wanted the other vampire to admit to their relationship, to his brother, his friends. He would particularly enjoy ruining that doppelganger whore's day.

Eric looked over the top of the large leather book that was sitting on his lap, and around the room. He was leaning back against the couch in the parlor room of the Boarding house, reading up on ancient magic, trying to find a spell to make a cure. Damon had been sitting across from him, but he'd disappeared into the kitchen.

He sighed, finding nothing of use, and softly turned the old, stained page of the book, and was on the second paragraph when he heard a floorboard creak and Damon was back in the room. He gave him a nod, before going back to his research. There wasn't much to say, or they could do with Stefan upstairs. Unless he wanted to lose.

His concentration was shattered as he heard the distinct sound of tearing plastic and he eyed Damon, only to see him take out a bright pink popsicle. He furrowed his eyebrows at the sight, but he went back to reading.

Now this page actually mentioned Qetsiyah and Silas, and creating an immortality spell, but nothing on the opposite, though he supposed perhaps if one was well versed in magic they'd know how to make the opposite of this spell. If it worked, the author states, this was only a hypothesis.

His eye twitched as he heard a pop, and he glanced back over at Damon to see him eating the popsicle. His lips were pink with the cold and food colouring and after a moment, very slowly opened up and kissed the top of the Popsicle softly, almost affectionately. Damon's lips parted again, just an inch and his tongue slid out to take a quick lick, before diving back in.

The bastard was teasing him.

Did he seriously go out and buy popsicles for this?

He shook his head, clearing his throat as he dragged his eyes away from the innocently perverted act in front of him. They'd been so rudely interrupted last night. Of course he'd thought when he saw Stefan, he'd won the bet and he'd get to hold another blow job over Damon's head but the younger vampire was clueless. That animal blood must completely dull a vampire's sense of smell.

Eric chewed his bottom lip and cursed himself as he looked back over at Damon only to see him lick the tip of the candy casually. Eric's chest hitched as his eyes widened as he watched that tongue lick and lap up all the flavoured ice it could get with a minimal amount of work. Clearly he had an insatiable taste for popsicles, for he continuously brought his tongue back out, searching for more.

He shook himself, scowling as he turned the page with an elegant flick of his finger, perhaps harsher than necessary. He wasn't going to let Damon and his wondrous mouth, that should be planted between his legs because that's where it belonged, ruin his concentration. No, he wasn't going to think of all the times those lips had been wrapped around his cock.

Almost by their own violation, his eyes left the words on the page, and back on that mouth. The tip of the popsicle was sitting on Damon's bottom lip and his tongue was darting in and out, licking and tasting the flavour. Then Damon opened his mouth up in a small O, and slowly slipped the entire thing right in, tightening his lips around it. Eric swallowed back a moan, feelings his pants constrict around him, and his grip on his book tightened. Thousands of images, vivid images of him doing wicked things on his own male anatomy flood his brain, making it impossible to think of anything else.

He swallowed back a low growl, wanted nothing more to rip that popsicle right out those greedy lips and shove his cock in its place. It took all his energy to keep himself seated, but he couldn't tear his gaze away from Damon. The popsicle was back in his mouth, making a dent in his cheek and pushing it outward.

Ocean blues met his own, and Damon stuck the entire popsicle in with one fluid motion. Lips locked around it, and Damon's eyes fluttered closed, moaning out as if the flavoured ice was the nectar of the Gods. His imagination took over, and instead of the vampire being across from him, he was kneeling before him, his head between his legs. His mouth wrapped around his dick, worshipping it like he should.

As if the universe knew his resolve was about to crumble, the Boarding house door crashed open, and he reverted his gaze back down to the yellowed pages. He didn't need to look up to know exactly who it was.

"Oh good, you two are here." He heard Damon seethe as Caroline strutted into the parlour, taking a seat on the other side of the couch he was occupying. "I need to talk to you about something."

Damon snorted. "What flimsy excuse have you come up with this time to be with Eric? Need help with your geography homework?"

"No," Caroline snapped, but her anger wavered into confusion as she took notice of Damon. "Are you eating a popsicle?"

"Yes,"

"Why?"

Eric smirked. "Yeah, Damon. Why are you eating a popsicle? You going to choke on a banana next?"

Damon's eyes widened into saucers, suddenly choking on the savory sugary confectionary. "I was craving something sugary, and these were in the back of the freezer."

He stifled a laugh. "Don't you mean something salty?" He wet his lips as he stared at Damon. "I think you want to wrap those plump, fuckable lips around my cock, and suck on it with all your worth. I think you want me to thread my fingers through your hair, and thrust right up into your pretty little mouth like I own it. Because I do. I own every orifice of your exquisite body, and I think you want me to mark it. To ruin it. To let the world know who exactly you belong to."

Damon looked just delectable as a light blush dusted his cheeks, his pupils were blown and his lips swollen, stained a dark pink, opened ever so slightly. His expression was blank as if trapped in his own fantasies.

"What did you say to him?" Caroline asked, looking between the two of them.

"Just teasing him," He focused back on the baby vampire. "So Caroline, why are you here?"

"Oh right," the girl exclaimed, opening up her big leather bag, taking out a binder. "Every year Mystic Falls hold a Christmas festival but Carol Lockwood died, and now Bonnie's dad is mayor and he wanted to cancel, worrying about vampire attacks. Anyway, I convinced him to hold a Christmas party, but I need a venue, Bonnie's house is too small. Usually, we hold it the Lockwood manor, but I refuse to ask Tyler if we can use it. So," Caroline paused as she glanced over at Damon, and back at him, "The Salvatore Boarding house is the only place big enough to hold a proper party, and enough parking."

"No!" Damon exclaimed, jumping up from his seat, and paced around the area from the couch to the fireplace. "I will not have people ruin priceless furniture. Or my persian carpets!"

"Please, Damon!" Caroline pouted.

A thought came to him. "What about the west wing?"

Caroline and Damon both stared at him. "What's the west wing?"

"No!" His lover's eyes were heated as his expression turned dark. "I'm not letting the town of Mystic Falls into my home."

"Damon that entire part of the house is unused. You literally have a ballroom that is locked away. Just let the girl use it for the night."

He knew these weren't the words his Sol wanted him to say but playing on his jealousy, and now his neurotic behaviours was just too much fun to pass up. He loved rilying Damon up, to watch him burst.

"You have a ballroom?"

"Haven't you ever wondered where that day room leads?" He turned slightly to point behind them, at the alcove.. "Or what is under Damon's room?"

"I've never even been in the day room."

"Damon, why don't you show her?"

He almost felt a little guilty as his älsking pouted. "Please no."

"Then I'll ask Stefan." Caroline blurted out, watching as Damon's face fell, knowing he'd lost.

"Fine." Damon sighed. "But only this once. And only in the ballroom. There's a private entrance to it anyway from outside, so the guests can come in that way." A mischievous smile crawled up the Italian's face. "And Eric will pay for it, won't you?"

"I'll give the girl whatever she wants, just to watch you slowly panic over your antique hardwood floors." He replied, smirking as Damon frowned.

"Why do I put up with you again?"

"Because I fuck that pretty little ass of yours."

"Right, that's why." Damon snapped his fingers as he grinned, before walking past them both. "Well Caroline, come along before I change my mind."


Tonight was the night. Finally. He and Eric were going to be alone. Stefan was going over to the Gilbert residence for dinner, worried about Elena as no one had seen or heard from her in a few days. He'd almost forgotten she'd even existed.

Caroline and Bonnie were with Eric, who was paying for the new furniture for the party next week and then the viking would be coming back, alone. Barbie and Sabrina and her dad were set to pick out a caterer. And they would be alone. All alone.

He wasn't going to waste this opportunity, so he'd travelled to the Whitmore college to borrow some sorority girls for dinner. He'd even found an AB- virgin which was exceptionally rare- just for the viking. Nothing like virgin's blood to get you in the mood.

He'd closed the red curtains of the living room, relying on the fireplace and a few candles strategically placed around the room, in order to give the space a sensual ambience. He'd even opted for classical music to serenade them in the background. He didn't bother with a shirt either, just clothed in his tightest dark, Levi jeans that Eric once said accentuated his ass in the most delectable manner.

He was growing increasingly bored though, and hungry so he reached for the nearest girl, a plane jane brunette and sunk his fangs in her while beckoning another, blond one closer to him. He left the third, the rare virgin on the couch, wanting to share her with Eric. He extracted his teeth, just to sink them back into the other, enjoying her blood more.

"Started without me?"

He pushed the girl to side as he eyed Eric, standing in the doorway of the parlor room, the shadows cloaking his lower body, only his platinum blond hair, and sky blue eyes visible from the darkness. He swayed his hips lazily back and forth as he beckoned Eric with one finger into the room. "I left the best for last."

"Why is it so dark in here?"

Damon gritted his teeth in frustration as that shrill voice that haunted his nightmares came barreling into his home. Why was this happening to him?

"You said we'd be alone!" He snarled as Barbie popped up beside Eric carrying a large cardboard box, Sabrina just behind her with a few more, smaller boxes.

"I know."

"Why are there three girls in your living room Damon?" Bonnie inquired as she set her load of cardboard boxes on the ground.

"Well I thought perhaps Eric and I would eat in tonight because I thought the judgy little scooby gang that seems to follow us everywhere was busy." He snapped, pouting at Eric. "But I guess I was wrong."

Caroline just sauntered into the room, heading toward the first girl, the brunette. "You weren't wrong, we were supposed to see a caterer tonight but they cancelled, so instead we are decorating. I mean, we only have a week and that ballroom is empty and in need of some serious work if it's going to be ready by the 21st." She placed both her hands on each side of the girl's shoulders. "Dinner time is over boys, these girls can be of use helping us tonight." Barbie stared right at her. "Now, go start unpacking the car and bring the boxes to the side entrance on your left."

He seethed as he just watched, helpless as Barbie bossed around the other two blood bags, and they disappeared to do the girl's bidding. Then she and Bonnie headed toward the day room, and past the doorway on the left and into the ballroom, leaving behind the boxes they'd entered with.

"I do apologize that our night is ruined Damon, unless of course you were planning on forfeiting."

"Nope." He replied, eying the doorways before giving the viking his most smouldering look, as he gestured to his naked torso, knowing Eric could smell the blood pooling over his mouth, and dripping down his chest. "But just look at me Eric, covered in blood. Don't you want a taste?"

The viking eyed him up and down, his tongue wetting his lips. "You know, I had so much planned. I would have ripped that virgin's neck open with my teeth and let her blood cover your entire naked body and I would licked every drop off until my tongue had explored every inch." Eric disappeared into the shadows as his manhood announced itself as it throbbed. "Then I would dipped my fingers in her blood, and used it to open you up to me. Nice and slow until you were a withering mess on the floor, just moaning out my name like it was the only word you knew." He swallowed back the moan that threatened to escape, following his lover's voice in the darkness. "And finally I would have indulged you. I'd make you whole as I thrusted myself in you. And you'd look so beautiful taking my cock, your legs wrapped around my torso trying to get every inch inside you. And you would because your body was built to fit mine like two puzzle pieces." He nodded absentmindedly as he stood there, his erection aching in the confines of his jeans. "And I would have made you come. Over and over until your throat was raw, your body sheened in sweat and your entire world would just be me, my cock, my hands, my mouth." He shivered as Eric stood right in front of him, towering over him like the God that he was. "Because you Damon Salvatore will now and always be mine."

Those words were like a drug, whispering at him to fall to his knees. To give himself fully to the other. He wanted to belong to him, he needed to be.

Own me, want me, love me, take me...

"You two going to stand there, or help us?"

He couldn't even function enough to snarl at the interruption from Barbie, simply robotically heading toward his bedroom- but he managed to gasp out one thing. "I have to take a shower."

A hand halted his movements, almost making him come undone. "Until this game is over, you're not allowed to come unless it's my hands touching you."

His head shot up to stare Eric, realizing in that moment he was utterly and royally fucked. And not the fun way.

Chapter Text

"And how did we end up being suckered into helping?"

"You were the one who wanted the alone time."

"Well, I didn't think Barbie would follow us to the furniture store. I mean really, I swear there's some sort game they're playing that's called- let's not let Damon and Eric have any alone time."

Eric couldn't help but snicker at Damon's comment as they pulled into the boarding house driveway. It was actually him who suggested to the girl to follow along, he wanted Damon nice and wantoning all the time- and always being denied. He wasn't going to lose.

His eyes narrowed as he spied a man dressed in a black suit standing casually at the front door, an earpiece in his ear. He knew those types of men, he prayed he was wrong, though.

"Who's that?" Damon inquired, gesturing to the man as they stepped out of the moving van they'd rented.

He shrugged, moving to stand next to the younger vampire, a hand possessively placed on his lower back as the man came up to them. "Eric Northman?"

Damon stared up at him, clearly confused but he just nodded at the stranger.

"The King of West Virginia hereby cordially invites you to his annual Christmas Party tomorrow night," The man stated, passing him a thick, off-white envelope with his name written in beautiful cursive on the front. "He insists that you make it, and to bring along your pretty little whore with you."

"His what?" Damon snarled, but his hand shot up, covering Damon's mouth to stop him from upsetting Erasmus' personal guard.

"You may tell his highness that I am honoured to come, and I will bring along Damon," He answered, wanting nothing more than to do the exact opposite.

He knew this was coming, how could he not? He'd hoped to leave Mystic Falls, and this godforsaken state but his need to find Katherine and rip her heart out and take the cure from her outweighed his annoyance with the boy King.

The man just nodded and spoke into his earpiece as he walked away. He took his hand away from Damon's mouth as they watched a black town car pull up, and take the King's guard away.

"What the hell was that?" Damon snarled immediately as the car sped off into the distance.

He sighed deeply. "I'd hoped I wouldn't have to deal with this,"

Damon cocked his head at him, and he gestured for them to take a seat on the porch. "Deal with what?"

"The King of West Virginia," He placed a hand on his Sol's knee. "When I came to save you, I needed to call in some favours. One of them being with the King of West Virginia, Erasmus. Now Sophie Ann was the one who procured the favour for me, but I went to him to thank him, and by his invitation. But that night," He took a moment to sigh, unsure of how to tell Damon exactly what happened. "He came onto me. I remind him of his maker Bard, who was also his lover. But he died, and now I believe Erasmus is trying to fill the void he left."

"With you?" Damon asked, and he nodded softly watching as his face flicker with varying emotions but it settled with anger. "When were you going to tell me, Eric?"

"I'd hoped I wouldn't."

"Of course, you did."

He knew he was playing a dangerous game being this close to Damon right on the step of the Boarding house but he risked it anyway, cupping Damon's face. "Älsking, I hope you would know by now that you're the only one I want. You are mine, as much as I am yours."

"Did you tell the King that?" Damon spat but didn't push him away. "Because I don't think he got the message. He called me a whore Eric. Is that what you call me to your friends?"

"I don't." He insisted. "It's his way of attempting to devalue you to himself and to me. It's also not exactly acceptable practice to have a mate who's of the other species, and it's not recognized by a lot of my species as legitimate. Like a vampire dating a were, it's taboo."

Damon stared into his eyes, obviously searching for something- perhaps the truth in his words. He'd been successful for the majority of their time together to avoid his kind, only spending time with those who were more liberal to the idea. "Good, because I'm not just your whore Eric." A grin spread on his face, as he poked him right in the chest. "I guess I'll just have to go with you tomorrow and make sure that King damn well knows exactly whose bed you go home to."

He hummed, leaning forward to run his tongue by the skin near Damon's ear. "I think you mean, I'll bring you, and make sure Erasmus knows exactly who is mine. And who gets the privilege of being in my bed."

"Oh it's a privilege is it?"

"Yes, and you're the only who has it." He purred, nibbling on his earlobe. "Mine."

"You're a possessive fucker you know that?" Damon said a soft moan breathed out in his ear.

"Only when it comes to you."


Damon stood in front of the mirror in his bedroom, staring at his own reflection. It wasn't as if he wasn't aware of the BDSM community. In fact, he and Eric sometimes partook in the lifestyle, only in the bedroom of course. He wasn't used to having his clothing chosen by Eric but if they were going to go to this Christmas party then it was mandatory. At least, the ensemble was simplistic, just some tight black leather pants that laced up in the front, with a loose fitting black long sleeve shirt, that's v-neck was a little deep. He knew he could play Eric's sub, it wasn't hard especially knowing no one he knew was going to be there to witness it. Though he knew he'd have to watch his tongue all night, and not step out of place. Who threw a BDSM themed Christmas party anyway?

"It's too bad I can't take you right here on your bed."

He smiled, turning to give the viking a better view only to find his words caught in his throat. It wasn't often he got to see Eric in a suit and it was always worth it. This one was purely black, the pants, the suit jacket, the shirt, even the tie. Except a type of floral pattern on the jacket, that was a midnight black. And one flower in the same colour on the tie. It all looked so gothically medieval. "You could." He shrugged, feeling the need too. "But then you'd lose the game."

"With how loud the music is downstairs from where your friends are decorating, they probably wouldn't even hear us," Eric said as he came closer to him.

"Even if they did, they probably wouldn't know what we were doing." He joked. "I can't believe how utterly clueless they are."

"Me either." Eric's fingers caressed his neck, something dark swirled in those blues, they even made his eyes darker. He couldn't quite place it, he'd never seen the viking so, possessive? Hungry? Wanton? "I have something for you."

He just nodded as Eric took out a small black box from his pocket, passing it to him. He lifted the top off and stared at the tiny strip of leather. His eyes darted from it to the viking- confused. Was it a whip? No too short. And it had funny little silver things on it. It looked like a belt but it far too small for his hips. Then it clicked, a collar.

"Are you buying me a puppy?"

Eric smiled, stroking a soft fingertip down his neck. "No, it's for you to wear."

"You're not serious." He said, deadpanned. "I'm not a pet."

"You're only my pet in the sense that I own you. People put collars on animals to mark their ownership- this is the same philosophy." Eric said. "It's a part of the BDSM community, and it's the only way I can prove to the King and the rest of his court that you're mine." The viking smiled softly. "You don't have to wear it if you don't wish to. It was just something I read."

He took in the soft black leather in his hands. It was soft and bent easily. It wouldn't be uncomfortable and he'd hate to deny Eric anything. This just seemed, odd. He wasn't against it, he just didn't understand the appeal. Wouldn't he look like a complete idiot? But it didn't matter, Eric owned him, and if putting on a collar exemplified that fact, then so be it.

He passed the collar back to Eric, tilting his head up. He knew he couldn't put it on himself. The viking slipped the band of leather around his offered neck. His hands slipped the leather band through the buckle. Two fingers went next to his heated skin, slipping between neck and collar to figure out the proper tightness. Eric buckled the collar and then drew his fingers over the circumference, feeling his skin next to the soft leather of the collar.

"Does it please you master?" He joked but paused as Eric leered at him, his eyes hooded. "Seriously, one thin piece of leather around my neck gets you hot and bothered?"

"It has been awhile." Eric teased back, taking a step away from him. "Do you remember what I told you last night?"

"Yes. To behave. To pretend to be your submissive little pet."

"Yes. Just remember, Erasmus is different from Sophie Ann. He doesn't approve of your species, and I imagine neither do his subjects. Just stay close to me. Don't let anyone touch you. And try to hold your tongue. I don't wish the King of West Virginia as an enemy for either of us." Eric grasped both sides of his shoulders. "I promise I'll make this up to you Damon."

"It's nothing Eric," He said, as he pulled the viking down for a quick kiss. "Besides, I think it'll be fun to watch him try to take you to bed."


Damon was furious. He knew the other species could be unpleasant, volatile even but the King of West Virginia and his followers were downright obnoxious. He'd been used to Eric, and Queen Sophie Ann of Louisiana, and even the patrons of Fangtasia being pleasant to him. Of course, he hadn't realized the amount of influence and threat the viking posed to any vampire that dared to say anything about their relationship. Or at least, he suspected anyway.

Eric had always been against vampire authority, their rules, and their system. He'd once threatened to stake the King of Germany's progeny because he flirted with him. He'd always proclaimed, fuck the authority whenever he'd have to deal with any of them, in any capacity. But now, he was a sheriff in Louisiana, at their mercy. He never understood what happened in the four years or so when he'd left the viking that made him decide to join their ranks. Eric never spoke about it.

And now, here they were. Watching Eric attempt to kiss ass should be hilarious but the whole thing put his teeth on edge. He was currently kneeling next to Eric's legs, his head against the vampire's thigh as they were forced to watch a crude BDSM display. It wasn't anything overtly fancy. There was a young, naked man- a vampire from how quickly his wounds healed- chained to a Saint Andrew's cross that was displayed on a stage in the centre of the converted church. They were sitting a few feet away, Eric, the King of West Virginia and the Magister in throne-like chairs. It was clear there wasn't usually seating in this area, as the sheriffs of West Virginia and whoever else was part of Erasmus' court was sitting a story above them in semi-secluded rooms separated by a black pillar and a thick red curtain. Or behind them, by the bar or the seating area across from it.

The vampire on display had his head bowed with his hands and feet stretched. He was covered in red and green wax from an earlier scene. At least, they were being festive for the holiday season. Now, his master he assumed was whipping him mercilessly with a silver tipped cat o nine tails. He was crying out in pain, bloody tears running down his cheeks as welts appeared and disappeared on his naked flesh. Through the painful cries, he could hear the pleasure, he was clearly loving it, his cock absolutely weeping.

The slave wasn't the only thing moaning and he glanced over to his left to the King and the Magister. The chairs were set up so they formed a semicircle, Erasmus in the center, Eric to his left, and the Magister to the right. There was a pretty blonde girl, who couldn't be older than eighteen just going to town on the King's cock as if it was held the secrets to the universe. Erasmus, on the other hand, didn't even seem to acknowledge her, instead his gaze shifting from the crude display to Eric. He wondered if the viking knew just how deep the King's obsession with him was because the instant he'd met him an hour earlier, he knew the younger vampire wanted his boyfriend. His eyes said it all, and the fact he completely ignored his existence and continuously referring to him as Damien. Or whore. Never speaking directly to him, just about him. And Eric just let him, which made his blood boil- only ever correcting him in saying it was Damon. Not Damien.

But sadly this wasn't the worst of the night, oh no. the Magister was just as equally horrifying, as per usual. Not because he despised his species, or wanted his Eric. No. Ever since he'd met him, there was a lecherous gleam in his eye. Every time he was in Louisiana on official business, he'd always appear in Fangtasia. He tipped well, but there was something threatening in the way he watched him. Always in the shadows. Always asking if Eric had decided to share him with the patrons. At least, he respected the fact he was Eric's and never asked twice. Eric said it was because of who he was- the Magister of North America. Apparently he considered himself above other vampires, always upholding the vampire authorities law with almost religious fervor. But Eric also said that the Magister was nothing more than a sadistic savage who hid behind dogma, like he did in the Spanish Inquisition as a human, to revel in the torture and cruelty the position gave him.

So BDSM must be right up his alley he thought as his eyes flicked over to the man, who had a brunette girl between his legs. Unlike Erasmus, or even him and Eric, he was turned older. Perhaps in his forties, early fifties with a crypt keeper type face- pale, eyes sunken in and thin lip. His hair was grey, buzz cut with an obvious receding hairline. He was small too, with a lanky body. Overall, he just gave him the creeps. It was intensified when their eyes met, and he fucking grinned at him like a snake would to its prey.

He supposed he should be attending to Eric's needs like the two teenage human girls were for the Magister and the King. He turned his head to stare up at the viking, and back to his crotch to see he wasn't aroused at all. Even he had popped a semi. He reached up to perhaps entice him, but Eric just shook his head and ran his fingers through his hair so he brought his hands back into his lap.

"What's wrong with you Northman? You've always treated that pretty little parasite of yours like a precious pet, keeping him locked in cages. At least, let him do what I imagine he's masterfully skilled at." The Magister sneered, leering at him from what he considered to be too close of a distance. "Or at least, I hope he is because you've kept that pretty whore of yours for far too long when it's given you nothing but trouble."

Damon furrowed his eyebrows at the Magister's comment but he didn't have time to process it as Erasmus' interjected. "Perhaps Eric's bored of it. Sex with their species should be illegal, I mean who knows what diseases they carry. They are practically human." He bit his tongue from laughing at the stupidity, vampires couldn't contract diseases. "Jorge, can't you make it possible? The authority can't possibly approve of their species? And with their plan on mainstreaming, shouldn't they eradicate their entire bloodline?"

He seethed, but kept his eyes downcast, taking every ounce of strength to keep his promise to behave. He calmed down slightly as fingers came to rub soft circles behind his neck. He needed the touch. The connection.

"Actually Roman, the guardian to the authority and his chancellors are attempting to find a way to extinguish their species before continuing their plan to coexist amongst the humans. There were reports of a few of them suddenly meeting the true death a couple of years ago. And reports have come in again these past few weeks of more sightings of sudden death amongst them. We have no idea what's caused this odd phenomenon but the authority has employed witches to root out the cause. And to find a way to kill the Mikaelson family, whose immortal bloodline they descend from. There are daggers that Niklaus uses on his own siblings but it doesn't kill them. Just immobilizes them. Their father, Mikael, possessed a stake that was rumored to be able to kill his children and for a while, we'd hoped he'd just take care of them himself but he disappeared." The Magister remarked, his stomach suddenly in his throat. "The only opposition Roman faces is Nora, one of his chancellors. And one of Eric's maker's progenies"

"You have a sister in the vampire authority? Why the fuck are you just a sheriff then?" Erasmus asked.

Eric's fingers hadn't stopped stroking him, even as he felt himself having a mental breakdown. The only weapon that could kill him, Klaus and the rest of his supposed inferior species was sitting in Eric's suit jacket pocket. The fucking irony. At least, they didn't know. What was he going to do? The viking wouldn't let them kill him right? Was he the reason Nora was protecting him? He'd never even met her.

"What will killing them really do? We've coexisted with them for centuries and I'm sure if the authority approached Niklaus and his siblings they'd be willing to cooperate. I can't see them being opposed to coming out to the humans." Eric remarked, his fingers brushing through his hair.

He'd laughed when Eric told him the authority was considering this idea of mainstreaming. Humans should never know they truly existed, they already had enough trouble with hunters. He couldn't see humans willingly living amongst supernatural beings that considered them food. Now apparently it was going to be the reason he met the true death.

"And confuse their small minds? No, it's simpler to just bring their entire species to extinction like the dodo bird. They've been the reason there is so much speculation of vampires existing, especially in North America to begin with. They never have properly organized themselves, and they spawn like a disease. I mean, how many progenies does your whore have?" The Magistrate asked, obviously not really interested as he continued. "The Mikaelson family, for the thousand years they've plagued the earth have never bothered to take control of any of their sire lines. Instead choosing to quarrel amongst themselves. And we've let them, even with disastrous effects. They had their chance, and now we will end them."

The fingers in his hair tensed, and he didn't need to see the viking to know he was furious. "You know, there are many of our species that co-exists among Damon's. Not everyone will want to mainstream, and not everyone will want to kill their friend and/or lover."

"No one wants to fucking mainstream except the fucking authority." Erasmus spat, shoving the girl between his legs head further down his cock until she was visibly choking. "They preach that we should respect our food. Our food! We're vampires. We come from Lilith. We should not have to degrade ourselves to this synthetic blood they have some Japanese company making. Humans are food. They are slaves. They are whatever the fuck we want them to be because they are nothing."

"I agree with you, Erasmus. Humans should be nothing more than servants. Really, we should just take control of their earth and make it our own. There would be no wars. No more petty squabbles between nations. There would just be us, and them." The Magister said as he watched the King, and the girl with amusement as she slowly began to fade before staring over at Eric. "What about you Northman?"

Sure, he was a sadistic asshole on a good day but these two took the cake, He wasn't exactly pro-equality among vampires and humans but slaves?

"Well, my first thought is that it won't be like a romance novel. There will be no happy ending. It'll be war. We bow to the humans, they'll cut our heads off. They'll find our weaknesses and exploit them to continue being the species on the top of the food chain." Fingers dipped into the skin underneath Damon's collar, wishing he could just curl into the viking. He felt dirty. "We already have to deal with weres and shifters knowing we exist."

"Exactly!" The King jumped out of his chair, the girl falling to the ground in an unconscious heap as he zipped up his pants. "I'm hungry. You hungry?" Erasmus gestured to the shadows and he watched as his guard came back to life. "Bring me my collection. Only the best for Jorge and Eric." They scurried off as the boy pivoted around to face them again, clapping his hands together. "Besides, we need to celebrate. We do have something to celebrate, right Magister?"

"Of course, have I ever disappointed you, Erasmus? It's the least I can do for always indulging me on my visits. And it 'll give me another reason to come to West Virginia more often." He shuddered as dark eyes raked over his body, and somehow he felt utterly violated without even being touched. "Shall I tell him. Or would you like the honors?"

"Oh, I do. But I think everyone should know too. Don't you think?" He was so confused as he watched the King hop onto the stage, forcing the 'entertainment' to stop. "Attention. Sheriffs. Members of my court. Sorry to interrupt you, Vladimir, I promise we'll go back to the show in a moment." The master nodded, and moved back into the shadows to let Erasmus have the floor. "I'd like to announce tonight, to all of you that there will be someone new joining my Kingdom, and subsequently becoming part of the court. I'm happy to say that Eric Northman, a previous sheriff in Louisiana will now be sheriff of area 2 here in West Virginia." Deafening cheers erupted in the room, and he literally felt what he considered home back in Louisiana being ripped away from him. From Eric. Could he do this? Could this really happen? Of course, they could, the Magister had ultimate authority over North America, and the royals, and their sheriffs. "Please inform the vampires living in your areas. And do introduce yourself to him at some point throughout the night."

He stared up at Eric, seeing him smile though he knew right away it wasn't real. He brought his hand up to his, squeezing it tightly in a vain attempt to give him some support. How could this be happening?


Damon paused at the doorway of his ballroom in the Boarding house, slightly awestruck. He had to give Caroline the benefit of the doubt, she transformed this room. It used to be simple, with wooden floors, and identical colored wooden paneling, with a hand carved white stone fireplace with their family crest in the center and high ceilings- painted white with gold trim that formed an oval in the center, and squares surrounding it with the same thick, detailed gold trim. The ceiling stayed the same, with the beautiful gold chandelier in the center, with crystal beads hanging from it. The floor was now stained a lighter color, making them look new and the walls were now painted white. Before, they'd left the high windows with simple, yet horrifyingly ugly curtains but now they were decorated with thick, off-white drapes that took over most of the top of the window, but were fastened at the top too so the rest hung to the side to let the moonlight shine in. Even, as he took a step inside, the glass door that he'd come through was adorned with identical curtains, making the door to those who weren't paying attention to appear as a window too.

The chairs they'd bought were now in between the windows, facing each other for conversation. He didn't understand at the time why the fabric was light blue and the wooden frame painted white but they went with the room. He noticed as he glanced over to his right, where the outdoor entrance was, she'd painted the foyer white too, and a huge Christmas tree was in the center, currently being decorated by Bonnie, Elena, and Caroline. He nodded in their direction, as he wasn't here for them and continued into the room.

Jeremy, Matt, and Stefan were wrapping white and silver garland around the four pillars on each side of the of the room. And then there was Eric who was floating up in the air, hanging snowflakes from the ceiling. That's one way to use your ability to fly.

"Eric!" He shouted over the soft Christmas music playing the background. "We need to talk."

"Can we talk after I finish hanging these snowflakes? I promised Caroline I'd do them tonight, she wants to see if she likes them or not." Eric replied.

He seethed, almost seeing red. "Oh, so it's not just the King of West Virginia and the Magister that you let treat you like a bitch. It's Barbie vampire over there too!" He snorted, gesturing behind him.

Eric stared down at him, making him take a step back at the anger he could see resonating in the vampire's eyes. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me."

"Do you want to do this here?" Eric snarled as he landed onto the floor, his face going completely neutral. "Because we can do this in front of your brother and his friends if you want to."

"I don't give a shit where we do this," He snarled too, crossing his arms over his chest as he noticed that Stefan and Jeremy were staring at them, but Matt was still oblivious. "We will talk about what happened last night. You can't avoid this forever."

"There's nothing to discuss Damon."

"Excuse me?"

Eric too crossed his arms over his chest. "What do you want me to say, Damon? There's nothing I can do, except being beside you to protect you. They're the fucking authority, and I may disagree with their methodology, but a vast majority don't. Why do you think we're still here. Why do you think I wanted you to find the cure? It's the only way I can save you."

It took him a minute to process exactly what the viking was saying to him, but he realized something "Wait you knew? You knew this was their end game?"

"Nora told Godric, that's why he was coming up to Shreveport. She's been trying to stall the Authority, long enough for me to hide you." Eric took the remaining steps between them, placing a hand on his shoulder. "I won't lose you a second time Damon, I won't."

"But what about my brother?" He wasn't in any mood to be touched, or to be tricked by Eric right now and he shoved the appendage off of him. "What about your precious Caroline?"

"I don't give a shit about any of them." The man let out an exasperated laugh, and in that moment, he could see the weight on Eric's shoulders. "You're the only one that matters to me."

His anger simmered as fear took its place and he ran his hands through his hair as he saw all eyes were on them. Stefan. Elena. Caroline. They were all going to meet the true death, and they didn't even know it.

"But I can't just let them die." He silently pleaded with the man he loved, hoping the viking would understand he couldn't just save him this time. He knew it was a lot to ask. "My brother may be a royal pain in my ass, but he is my family."

"Then we find the cure, and shove it down Niklaus' throat," Eric stated simply as if it was the simplest thing in the world. "What happens to him, happens to all right?"

He was almost impressed with Eric's plan if there wasn't an obvious flaw. "We don't know if that'll work, or if we can find the cure at all."

"Then I'll hide you if I have to. And your brother. Whoever else you want until we find a solution." He hated how easy his body relaxed as those hands came to rest on either side of his arms. "If one cure can be made, then so too can another. Your bloodline was made with magic, and anything created with magic, can be undone with magic- it's the rule of nature. "

"But I don't want to be human Eric. I like being a vampire."

"Then I'll make you my progeny."

He had to take a physical step back in order to process the gravity of what Eric just said. He never took the idea of making a vampire lightly. In a thousand years, he had one progeny, and Pam only was turned because she practically forced him. "What?"

"I'll make you my progeny," Eric repeated. "It's what I've always wanted. I want my blood coursing through your veins. I want to feel the connection I have with Godric, and the connection I have with Pamela, with you. I want to be your father, your brother, your everything."

"Do you know how fucking cheesy you sound? Your everything." He needed in that moment to deflect because his heart was seizing in his chest and he was struggling to breath over a simple statement.

"You don't understand Damon, but you will. I'll be able to feel you. To always feel you. To always know you're alive, even if we ever part." For a third time, Eric's hands came to rest on his arms. "I want to possess you, body and soul."

He wanted to point out to the viking how possessive, and girly he sounded but instead he found himself saying something he was glad was in old Swedish because he'd be crucified by every person in the room if they heard. "You already do."

It was worth it though to see a rare, genuine smile erupt on his lover's face. "So will you accept my blood? Will you be my progeny?"

"As long as you promise one hell of a feeding spree once you turn me." He joked, moving away from the viking to realize the room had been deserted. Clearly they were given some privacy. "And we get the hell out of Mystic Falls."

"We can't, it's in my district that I sheriff"

He snorted. How could he have forgotten that part? "That's bullshit."

"I agree but there's nothing to be done."

"Can't we kill the King? Make it look like an accident?" He wiggled his eyebrows at Eric suggestively but he just snorted. "What? Maybe some people fall on stakes, it could happen." He laughed outright at that and Damon smiled but it fell apart as he remembered the night before. "Seriously what is the point of vampire royalty and vampire authority?"

"Why do humans have governments?" Eric shrugged. "We are on the top of the food chain, and we need some semblance of control or the world would fall into chaos. Vampires would have been outed centuries ago. We'd feed willingly on children. People like Erasmus and the Magister would most likely enslave the human race. Though I hate a lot of their rules, it keeps order and balance among our world."

"Well I say fuck their authority." He exclaimed, but something dawned on him. "Should we tell them? About them wanting to kill our species of vampire?"

"And induce panic among them, right before Christmas? Before their party?" The blond just shook his head at him. "Let them live in ignorance. Ignorance is bliss." He gave Eric a pointed look. "I'll know more from Nora, and the King I imagine. Besides they won't go forward until they find a way to kill an Original and unless any of us tells them I have that very weapon, I think you will all be safe."

"Okay." He trusted Eric with his life, and we would trust his brother's and the rest of the scooby gang's too. The viking went back to hanging snowflakes, pretending he supposed that all was well. A mischievous thought came to him, seeing things hanging from the ceiling. "You should really hang some mistletoe up there."


Caroline huffed, shoving the worn photo album back in its rightful spot on the bookshelf. Her eyes scanned the rest of the shelf, finding nothing relevant to her search and she moved a few steps to her right to the next, identical shelf. This time, she took her time taking out each thick, worn leather bound album and began to pile them on the floor next to her. She found five in her search and she took them from the floor and moved to the faded pink patterned arm chair that overlooked the floor below in the Salvatore library. She propped her legs over the wooden banister, grabbing the first album from the pile on the end table and began to flip through the weathered pages.

"Car, there you are!"

She froze, peeping over the book, to see Bonnie and Stefan staring up at her from the doorway across the room, next to the fireplace. Not seeing Damon among them, she sighed in relief and continued her search.

"What are you doing in here Caroline?"

She bit her lip, unsure if she should tell Stefan. "You don't mind if I look through your books, do you Stef?"

"No, Damon might, though. These are mostly his." Stefan replied. "What are you looking for? We already searched in here for any information on the cure."

"It's complicated."

She closed the first one, still finding nothing significant except more relatives of the Salvatores and she put it to the side before picking up the next one.

"Those aren't books." She almost lost her footing on the railing as Stefan appeared next to her. "Those are photo albums. Why are you looking at pictures of my relatives?"

"It's complicated." She said though this time with a lot less confidence.

Stefan just stared down at her, flabbergasted. "Can I, at least, help you find what you're looking for?"

She sighed heavily, looking to Bonnie and back to Stefan. "I'm looking for pictures of Damon with Eric."

"What?"

"Seriously Car, you're still on this. I thought that's what the Christmas party was for."

"It is," she insisted. "But come on. Aren't you curious about them? The fight they had last night in the ballroom? There's something going on between them and I want to know what. If they've been together for so long, there has to be proof right? I checked Damon's room already, and I didn't find anything. But then I realized, he wouldn't keep a photo album like that, about a man his brother has never met until now in his bedroom. He'd hide it in plain sight. So I figured, he'd stash it in the family's photo album collection. That wouldn't arouse suspicion at all, and why would Stefan ever look at photo's of his relatives, right?"

Bonnie laughed weakly as she finally made it to them and took a photo album from the pile before taking the wingback chair on the other side of the end table. "You sound insane you know that?"

"I'm confused, what exactly are you curious about the two of them?" Stefan asked.

"Oh come on Stefan, there's clearly something more between those two besides friendship," She snorted, as she continued flipping through the pages.

"You think Damon and Eric are together?" Stefan asked, clearly dumbfounded. "But Damon, he's not… he's never... " His eyebrows were knitted together, head tilted to the side.

"Then why did he never tell you about him?" She interjected.

Stefan's mouth opened then closed, and she just shook her head as she waited for him to process. Meanwhile, she put the album to the side and picked up the next one. This one was slightly different from the others. In gold cursive was Photographs written beautifully at the top of the dark brown leather book. The entire thing was tied together with a black string. It looked well cared for, the leather smelled as though someone treated it recently with polish. She undid the bow and opened it to find exactly what she'd been looking for.

On the first page was just one black and white picture of Damon and Eric, leaning against a bar, both dressed in black and white tuxedos. Eric's hair was longer, almost to his shoulders and Damon's was curly but still the same length. They were both smiling to the camera. In beautiful cursive, it wrote over the picture, Chicago- 1923.

"I think I found it," She said, and Bonnie and Stefan took each side of her chair.

"That's the same speakeasy I met Rebekah and Klaus, but in 1922," Stefan commented.

"Clearly they stayed after you left." She said, and she flipped to the next page. This one was just titled New Orleans- 1927. This time, there were four people sitting around a small wooden table. Eric and Damon were sitting next to each other in the center of the picture, this time just dressed in white shirts and black vests. Next to Eric was Pam, or so the little name stated under the photograph. Her hair was pinned, and she was in what she guessed was a white dress. And next, to Damon was someone named Godric, in a full black suit with a hat. Eric was whispering something into Damon's ear, and he was grinning. Pam seemed disgruntled as she stared into the camera, and the other stranger, Godric was smiling innocently at the photographer. He looked younger than all of them, maybe sixteen with his light brown hair and doe eyes and plump lips. It all screamed innocent. Why were they spending time with a sixteen-year-old? "Who's Godric?"

She looked above to them and Bonnie and Stefan shrugged. "He looks young, though, I hope he's a vampire," Stefan replied. "So that's Pam?"

"Yes,"

"She doesn't look his type." Stefan leaned closer to the photo. "Not that my brother exactly has a type besides beautiful women, and she's clearly gorgeous but he likes younger girls. Girls a little less curvy. Innocent ones, usually human. She looks powerful, she looks like a real woman. Not the girls my brother usually brings home."

"Her expression sort of reminds me of Katherine though but it's only one photograph, let's look at the others," Bonnie suggested.

She flipped through them slowly, watching the decades go by. Each picture represented different places, different countries. Usually, a bar, though. They went from black to white to color. From the United States to Europe. They paused when they made it to the 1940s, seeing that Damon wasn't lying when he'd said he and Eric disguised themselves as soldiers. Most of the pictures were just Damon and Eric, standing next to each other. Or sitting next to each other. As the years went on, Eric's arm appeared over Damon's shoulder. But that was the only sign they became close. Pam and Godric appeared in some of the photo's, so clearly he was a vampire. Pam was in more of them than Godric, and she never seemed happy. Did the women ever smile? There was only one photo, from the 1980's, in New York where Damon had his arm wrapped around Pam's waist but neither of them was smiling. There was another in the 1960's where the two of them were dancing but other than that, the majority of them was Pam standing by Eric. Or being near the viking.

If Pam and Damon were dating, these photos didn't give any proof towards it.

Except perhaps the last picture, the one she'd seen weeks ago with Damon, Eric, and Pam, with her smiling down at him from where he was sitting on a bench, with Eric leaning against him. Written underneath was Proof that Pam Can Actually Smile. It was the only picture that proved that perhaps Eric and Damon were something more too.

"These pictures don't exactly prove much," Stefan commented as he moved away from her chair, only to take the one Bonnie had been using. "It doesn't prove my brother is dating who he says he's dating either but I think we're back to square one."

"Maybe they do," Bonnie replied.

She stared up at her best friend. "What do you mean?"

"Well think about it. These were taken since the 1920's a time when homosexuality was considered almost a crime. If they were ever together, maybe they had to hide it. Maybe these were the only photo's they could take." Bonnie answered, shrugging. "Or maybe like we talked about a few days ago, they've never been together and don't know how to. Or maybe we're all crazy and they're just friends."

"Well, all I can say is there's something definitely up with my brother. Or at least, I think so." Stefan answered, scratching his head. "I mean I feel like I don't even know him anymore."

"Well I guess it's onto plan B," she shrugged, closing the photo album.

"What's plan B?" Bonnie asked.

"You'll see."


Caroline pulled at her dress, feeling a bead of sweat drip down her neck but she took a deep breath before barreling into Damon's room and continuing on into his on suite bathroom. She paused as she noticed Eric was soaking in the tub, and not in the shower like she'd suspected. She looked over at the shower across the room. Was Damon in the shower while Eric was bathing?

"Can we help you?" Damon's head popped out of shower door, steam bellowing around him.

"I need to speak to Eric."

"Right now?" Damon huffed, going back in and the sound of water running stopped abruptly. She gasped as the vampire just strolled out of the shower and she covered her eyes. "Don't play coy Barbie, you've seen it allllll before."

"Maybe I don't want to see all of you." She huffed.

"But you don't mind seeing all of Eric?" She opened her eyes to see Damon raise an eyebrow, with a white towel wrapped around his waist. "Interesting. Well, I'll give you the room."

"Clearly you don't either!"

"I was in the shower first," Damon called out from over his shoulder as he closed the door behind him.

"So what do I owe the pleasure, Caroline?" Eric asked. "Or do you just enjoy seeing me naked?"

She wanted to snort but her nerves were shot. Why she was so nervous was beyond her. "Will you be my date to the Christmas dance?"

Eric raised an eyebrow at her, and she could hear something large shatter in the next room. "Why Caroline, I'm flattered. I thought I wasn't the thousand-year-old vampire you were interested in." She watched his movements as he ran a hand down his naked chest. "But I thought we discussed this."

"We did." She replied, forcing her eyes away. She came here on a mission and would not be distracted by a very attractive, very naked man. "Tyler and I broke up, and I need a date. And Klaus just decided that I need to be escorted. I might have said yes if he'd asked instead of demanded and so now I'm looking for my own date to show him I can be escorted by whoever I want to escort me."

"Ah, so I'm the friend you bring to make the guy you like jealous." Eric snorted. "Not that I don't want to star in your rom-com, but I'd prefer to stay out of your drama Caroline. But thank you for the offer."

"Please," she pouted. "You're the only one he'll see as a threat and I don't want him stalking me all night. I'm not over what he did."

"What about that kid, with the brown hair. And the letterman jacket?"

"Matt?" Eric nodded. "He's an ex-boyfriend of mine."

"Stefan?"

"Elena's ex-boyfriend!"

"Um, Jeremy?"

"Elena's little brother, not that it stopped Bonnie." She giggled. "Please, Eric. I spent these past two weeks getting this party ready and everyone else has a date."

Eric took a moment, looking her up and down with an odd look in his eyes. Maybe hunger? Scheming? "Perhaps you're right. If everyone else has a date, how could I deny the girl who put all the work into this event go all alone? What would your peers think?"

"So you'll take me?"

"Yes." She stiffened as she heard a growl and then the bedroom door was slammed shut. "Do you have a dress?"

"Not yet, but I have-"

Eric smirked, shaking his head. He reached over, grabbing his discarded black leather pants and pulled out his wallet. He opened it, passing her a black credit card. "Here. Buy whatever dress you want. No limit." She stared down at the card and back at him. "If I'm going to play this part, I might as well do it properly. I imagine Niklaus has bought you gorgeous dresses before. Or jewelry. I would, but my progeny says I have a terrible sense of fashion for women so go buy whatever dress you'd like."

"Really?"

"Really."

"Okay, thanks!" She slipped the card into her purse. "So you'll pick me up at 7?"

"Isn't that when it starts?"

"Yes but I want to make an entrance." She grinned down at the blond. "I mean I am trying to get back at Klaus."

"Alright, seven it is."

She turned around and let herself out, smirking as she did. If she couldn't get them to admit their relationship or feelings than she'd play on one primal instinct- jealousy.

Plan B was a go


"Didn't I tell you weren't allowed to touch yourself without my permission?"

He watched- from where he was leaning against Damon's doorway- the younger vampire wretch his hand away from himself as if he'd been burned. He licked his lips, loving the sight of Damon, naked, stretched out on his bed, so wantoning. So needy. But of course, he was disappointed Damon broke the one rule he'd stated. What was to be done about that?

"You did," Damon panted, still lost in the throes of passion. The brunette stretched out his legs wide, gesturing him inside. "But I figured you were too busy with Caroline, but I'd love if you'd finish me off."

A low chuckle emanated from his throat. "Are you still jealous over her älsking?"

"No," Damon huffed, reaching over for the blanket on the end of his bed, but in a flash he pushed Damon onto his back, his hands pinning his lover's over his head.

"Never hide yourself from me."

"Then fuck me," Damon whinned. "Let's go back to when it was just you and me. When you were my viking, when the world wasn't going to shit."

He lowered himself to capture Damon's lips in a chaste kiss. "I will always protect you, Damon. No one, and I mean no one, will ever take you away from me. Even if that means we live on an island that hasn't even been charted on a map and we're forced to drink animal blood for eternity."

The younger vampire grimaced but it transformed into a smile. "You know the most insane thing about what you just said is I believe you. And I actually wouldn't mind living on some island, drinking fish blood if that meant I'd get to spend it with you. And we both know how much I hate animal blood." Damon's fingers intertwined with his, and those eyes he always found losing himself to, stared back at him. "I should be furious with you but instead, I like the prospect of being yours. Completely. I want you to be my maker Eric even if that means Pam will be my sister."

He found himself laughing even though he felt something spread within himself that was almost human. He'd always wanted Damon, since the first moment he laid eyes on the pathetic mess that was Damon Salvatore in 1922. Godric had always taught him that being a maker was one of the most arduous things a vampire could do, but it was also the most important thing they could do. Their blood was sacred and who they chose should be someone worthy. Godric had considered him worthy because of his natural ability as a warrior. He'd considered Pam worthy because she was ruthless, confident and always knew what she wanted. Besides, he found it admirable she had the audacity to cut herself open and force him to choose to save her or not. She knew what she wanted, and he found her amusing. And there was Damon who he'd first found attractive. But as the years went on, and he got to know the Italian- he found him worthy. He was fiercely loyal, even if he wouldn't admit to it. He was caring, loving and would do absolutely anything for the ones he cared for. There was never a dull moment with Damon. And for decades, he'd taken the younger vampire in, and he'd treated him as though he was his progeny. But now, he had the chance to actually make him.

Of course, they still had a long way to go.

He nuzzled into Damon's shoulder, kissing along the available flesh to him. He could actually feel the vibrations of the trapped moans in his lover's throat and he licked over the pulse point. Damon's heartbeat tapped a fast beat against his tongue, and his breath quickened, coming out it short gasps. Eric continued kissing every inch of his neck while his large hand cupped Damon's cheek. He could still smell the sunshine and the day on his skin.

His hand trailed down and over so his fingers were scraping lightly on the flesh of Damon's back, as his mouth moved downward, forcing him closer to his body. Eric's tongue encircled one of his nipples and the body underneath him arched, and he rewarded the gesture with his teeth scraping over it. He gave the other the same treatment, and Damon was a writhing, panting mess.

"Please Eric一"

He glanced up from the flesh he was taking the time to memorize all over again, to see his lover staring down at him, his eyes stormy, and lustful. He just smirked, bringing both of his hands to Damon's sides, as he dragged his tongue lazily over the encompassing flesh, making patterns with his saliva. There was a specific spot low on Damon's hip, near his crotch he was heading toward and his fingers danced along the edges until they reached the curve of Damon's hip and he held the brunette in place. He reached his destination, and he sucked, licked and nipped at the tender flesh, and the man beneath him came alive- thrashing and moaning out his name like it was the only word that mattered in this universe.

He moved south, skipping Damon's leaking erection to his inner thighs, knowing this was another sensitive spot for his mate. He kept one hand on Damon's stomach, as the other kept his thighs splayed open as he kissed the inner, hypersensitive skin. He worshiped it, like one would at an altar, wanting the one man who held his world in his hands to scream out his prayers to him. He wanted to hear those selfish prayers and he wanted to fulfill every single one of them.

But perhaps not today.

Seeing he'd accomplished his mission, he moved to the window, opening up to the balcony.

"-Eric?"

He turned back to his lascivious pet, sprawled out on that bed, looking absolutely ravished. His pupils were blown wide, his hair a disheveled mess and his skin flushed as his bite marks were fading from that tanned flesh. It took every ounce of him to stay put. "Didn't I tell you not to touch yourself? And you disobeyed me and for that, I'm going to leave you unsatisfied. And you're going to like it."

"What?"

He paused, his foot out the window. "If I were you I'd make yourself decent because your brother, Caroline, Bonnie, and Elena just pulled into your driveway to do the finishing touches on the ballroom for tomorrow night and this room reeks of sex."

"You're a bastard!"

His laugh followed him out as he disappeared into the night


He wasn't waiting. And he definitely wasn't sulking in the corner, drinking the party's supply of bourbon. Thank god for open bars though

Damon was tired of the charade he and Eric were playing. He wanted this to be over, he was regretting ever trying to hide his relationship with the viking. They'd been together for almost a century now, what was there to be ashamed of anymore? If his brother didn't accept his relationship with Eric, that was his problem.

Of course, he wasn't going to lose either. He'd made it this far. But why did he have to agree to be Caroline's date? Not that he was jealous of the vampire barbie. She was Eric's type, though, young and blonde but her personality of nagging perfectionism, that was accentuated by her obsession with being a teenage prom queen that was both judgy yet so naive of the world- was not endearing. In fact, if she continued to flutter about in his life, he might just 'accidently' stake her.

Except Eric clearly saw something in the blonde nightmare that plagued their lives and he didn't understand what. They spent a few days together, so what? He'd spent years with her, even slept with her, and he just didn't see the lasting appeal. Though he supposed the girl was caring, kind and selfless, some people found those traits admirable. Not that he did. Nor Eric. Which was why it was that much more puzzling to him.

Though he gave the girl credit, she did know how to decorate. The theme was a winter wonderland, and the room was decorated in white, silver and light blue. Even the lightning had a soft blue hue to it. He was standing near the fireplace, to the side, and it was lit, with two identical white trees on either side of the mantle. Behind him, to the side, was a small bar, fully stocked. It was silver, with white icicle lights and tinsel fascined to it to go with the theme. On the other side of the fireplace, a large buffet was out, with all sorts of Christmas themed food.

In the center of the room, they'd place down some sort of material that appeared to be some sort of metal flooring for the makeshift dance floor and surrounding the square floor were circular tables with white tablecloths, silver, and white chairs- with small, fake snow covered pine trees as centerpieces.

He spotted Elena and Stefan sitting next to each other, both of them smiling and laughing. He found himself smiling too, glad to see Elena was getting over her little obsession for him. Everyone else was here too, Rebekah and Klaus were stashed away in another corner of the room, looking as if someone kicked their puppy. He almost felt sorry for them, but then he remembered they were both complete psychopaths and he reverted his gaze with a smirk. Bonnie, Jeremy, and Matt were at another table conversing amongst themselves.

"So," he turned to see Sheriff Forbes standing next to him, surveying the crowd with a drink in her hand. "Your friend Eric, what's he like?"

"What?"

"My daughter tells me he's her date for this evening and I've yet to meet him." Sheriff Forbes replied. "I hear he's a friend of yours from Louisiana. I looked him up, Eric Northman doesn't exist."

"That's because he's a vampire, Liz." He answered, seeing her pause.

"Seriously," the woman sighed. "Please tell me he's nothing like you. Or God forbid that original vampire Klaus that stalks her."

He smirked. "Well he is thousand years old, he used to be a viking."

"Please tell me you're joking?"

"I'm afraid not. Actually, he's a part of a different species of vampire completely. They're older, much more powerful, and are less human than we are." He replied, bringing his glass to his lips. "And Eric is a nightmare compared to Klaus."

The Sheriff laughed. "Now you're just making this up Damon."

He turned his head slightly to face her. "I wish I was but I'm not. Their species hides better than ours, no fault on Mystic Falls and the founders council for not knowing. It's a big scary world out there sheriff, it's hard to know what all goes bump in the night." He took a sip of his drink before continuing. "But I wouldn't worry about your daughter and Eric, they're just going together in some vain attempt to make specific people jealous."

There was a pause as the women stared at him confusingly. "Oh." He hummed, raising an eyebrow at her to finish that thought. "I didn't know you were interested in men."

He felt his stomach hit the floor. "What gives you that impression?"

"Damon I'm a trained investigator. You may have fooled my daughter, your brother and whoever else, but you're clearly upset about it. And I know it has nothing to do with Caroline." Liz smiled softly at him, patting him on the arm. "I'm not judging Damon, though I have to say, it is surprising with all the womanizing you do and how much you really seemed to love Elena."

"I was in love with Elena. And I am a womanizer." He answered, wondering how in hell Liz, Sheriff Forbes, Caroline's mother, in two minutes figured out something his brother and the rest of the scooby gang failed to see for weeks.

"So is that him?"

He followed her eyeline to the entrance of the room on the other side of where they were standing. Eric was always able to captivate the room, with his tall stature and this time was no different as he spotted the older vampire right away. Like the first, like every other time, everything else in the world slowed, and disappeared from his vision and all he saw was him. Standing there in an ordinary black suit, white shirt, and black tie, he was anything but, making the bourbon in his mouth catch in his throat.

He'd cut his hair.

From almost reaching his shoulders, his blonde hair was now darker, short, just reaching his ears and it was held back with some gel. He didn't think the viking could be any more attractive but he'd been proven wrong. Damn him.

"He's handsome Damon. You should tell him how you feel before anyone else decides to take him. Even I'm thinking about it, and I hate vampires."

He chuckled, realizing in that moment how much he'd missed Liz. "I'm afraid he's taken, Liz. He's been mine for almost a century now. But let's keep that between us for tonight, shall we?"

She choked on her drink, nodding and he patted her softly on the back, before winking, giving her a small wave- disappearing into the crowd.

Eric offered his arm to his date, as they walked over to the side entrance to the Boarding house- ever the gentleman that he wasn't. Caroline accepted and they rounded off the small stone path to the open walkway that was roofed with wood. There were tens of makeshift white trees decorated with lights, and small green pine bushes also adorned with white lights.

"Wow, this all came together beautifully Caroline." He complimented honestly. The girl certainly knew how to decorate. And throw a party.

"Thank you!" The baby vampire exclaimed. "I really didn't think it could be done in such short time, but we did it. I did it. This town sure could use one night where there isn't death and mayhem. No secret vampire end of the world crises. Just a simple dance."

"Because you and I aren't vampires. Because that room isn't filled with a dozen more. And witches, werewolves and whatever other supernatural beings lurks in this supernatural magnet of a town." He teased.

She giggled next to him as they slowed, waiting for those ahead of them to get in. "At least, no one is killing anyone else."

"I can't make any promises I won't. I might have to defend myself against your boyfriend."

"He's not my boyfriend."

"He might as well be." He replied, wondering why in hell the hybrid didn't just take what he wanted. But he was going to enjoy getting under that fucker's skin. "You know Caroline, I always thought you were a girl who'd want to match the theme of her dance. You're not in white, silver or blue. Not even the classic red and white."

He glanced down at the bubbly blonde who was wearing what he considered a surprising strapless black and gold evening gown. He didn't pay much attention to women's fashion but it was well crafted, beautiful even. The top half was sparkled with gold flecks that almost covered all of the black fabric, but it petered out as it went down. It reminded him of stars in the night sky.

"I knew you'd wear black, you don't wear anything else so I figured I'd, at least, try for us to match." She answered as they made their way into the entranceway, walking around the massive Christmas tree, toward the ballroom. "Besides black and gold are in this year for Christmas colors."

"Of course." Though he didn't understand how black and gold were in any way tied to Christmas.

"Shit." His eyes widened as he stared down at the girl, surprised to hear her swear. "My mom has already spotted us. She is NOT going to approve of you."

He'd never thought about her having parents before, and he followed her gaze until he spotted a familial face across the room. Next to Damon.

He smirked at him, running his hand through his shortened hair, emphasizing his recent trip to the barber. But as he stood there, Caroline on his arm, he wished it was Damon instead. How'd they ever gotten this far with neither of them losing was almost impressive if it wasn't infuriating. But Damon needed to be the one to lose, if he didn't know it yet. He needed to tell his brother, to tell his friends- that wasn't his place.

Though Damon wasn't making it easy in that black suit and dark silver shirt. Not that he ever did. Damon was his, and he liked the world knowing it.

"Where do you want to sit?"

He hummed, almost forgetting the girl was there. "Wherever you want."

 

 

It took every ounce of strength not to show any emotion as he watched his Eric, his viking, dancing with Barbie. It took even more not to rip her throat out, and storm out of the room with the older vampire. He should just lose. Who cares? Except that's exactly what Eric wanted and he wasn't going to fall for this cheap ploy. Let him ruin his night with that blonde baby vampire, he wasn't going to let it ruin his evening.

"Hey Damon,"

As if the world just wasn't awful enough, here came the rain. "Elena."

Apparently saying her name was an invitation, and she took the vacant seat next to him. He supposed a version of him a year or so ago would have had his breath taken away by her, in that revealing white and red strapless ball gown but now it just annoyed him.

"Can we talk?"

"I've said everything I want to say to you, Elena." He needed more bourbon for this conversation. "Shouldn't you be with my brother."

"We only came here as friends," she said, clearly a double meaning by the simple statement.

He felt for his brother, he really did.

"He loves you Elena, and he always will. He's a good guy, he'd do right by you."

She nodded, tucking a strand of her chocolate brown hair behind her ear as she met his gaze. He found himself faltering as he recognized it. It was the same look she had when she used to stare at his brother when she'd confessed her love to him in her kitchen. The same look Eric gave him when the viking didn't think he noticed. A very look he probably gave to the love of his life- it just wasn't her.

"I know, I just don't love him anymore," she whispered, staring off into the crowd. She turned back to him, forcing a small smile. "Will you, at least, dance with me? Just once. As friends. Like we used to. You, at least, owe me that."

He considered it for a moment, reminding himself that perhaps it might be a good idea to try to have a friendly relationship with the girl. Of course, she'd probably lose her head after Eric finished with her.

"Damon!" His attention was taken as he stared over at Bonnie who stood across from him by the edge of their table. "You promised me this next dance, remember?" She turned to face Elena. "I hope you don't mind Elena."

Clearly it did, but she just shook her head and he was out of his chair in a flash, practically dragging the Bennett witch to the dance floor. He clasped their hands together, as his other one perched on her hip and he lead them across the floor. "Thank you. I owe you."

"It was nothing," Sabrina replied. "I know you and Elena are on shaky terms. She loves you, you don't."

"I wish she'd see that."

"It'll take some time, but she will. You know that better than anyone else. That's why you left Mystic Falls a year ago right? To get over Elena."

He grimaced as those memories came rushing back, most of them foggy, with him drunk and on a killing spree envious of his own brother. "I did."

"What she sees in you is beyond me."

"Oh, Bon bon stop lying to me, and yourself. You know I'm devilishly handsome, I'm what every girl wants." He teased, watching as she laughed.

"That's what you think."

"I don't know little witch," The hair on the back of his neck raised as what he considered what was probably the actual devil's voice ruined their moment. "Damon isn't half bad looking."

He scowled, finding it dreadfully disturbing the hybrid found him attractive at all. "I think you're mistaking me for Stef. He's on the other side of the room, so why don't you go over there. Or better yet, go home."

"Oh darling," He winced as the bones in his shoulders were bent, and Bonnie took a step back from him. "You're hurting my feelings."

"You don't have any."

"Klaus let Damon go. Now." Sabrina seethed.

"Or what?" Klaus raised an eyebrow at her. "You reveal yourself to the entire town of Mystic Falls that you're a witch." He took a step toward her, his hand still on Damon's shoulder. "Run along little witch, before I decide that the mayor and I need a little chat. He is your dad right?"

Sabrina paled, glancing between the two of them. "Go, Bonnie, it's fine."

She nodded, mouthing apologies before she disappeared into the thicket of people.

Before he could protest, Klaus' hands were all over him and he found himself chest to chest with the hybrid. One hand dangerously close to his ass, the other clasped in his- his fingers whitening.

He wasn't going to be intimidated so he put his own hand on the blond's waist and let himself be lead. "What do you want Klaus?"

"Perhaps I want to fuck you." The hybrid grinned, primal. "Or maybe I'm just trying to send a message. You're the only thing that matters to your friend Eric."

"In Mystic Falls yes," He replied, wondering where the hell the viking was anyway. "I wouldn't do this Klaus, and I say this with sincerity. Eric has friends, powerful friends. You threaten me, he kills Rebekah, Elijah. You kill me. He kills you all. And don't think he won't."

Klaus just snorted, but for once he was sure he could see behind that mask. And he was sure he saw fear in those eyes. "I'm not afraid of your little friend, mate."

"You should be."

"Look, Damon. Pass along a message to your viking friend. Stay away from Caroline, or next time I'll be the one to plunge a stake through his heart. But unlike me, he'll stay dead." Klaus snarled, and he let him go, stalking off.

He took an uneasy breath, fearing a little for Eric's life but mostly just wondered what in the world Caroline saw in him. And did the hybrid actually almost touch his ass?

Eric leaned against the small metal chair as he surveyed the dance floor. He hadn't much of a chance to speak to Damon throughout the evening, always being forced to dance, or being introduced to the townsfolk and forced into what he considered the worst past time- small talk.

He was surprised he hadn't been threatened by Caroline's mother, but she'd been actually quite pleasant to him, but there'd been an odd gleam in her eye- as if she knew something he didn't.

He was bored now, though, as he watched the clueless humans dancing. He wondered what it was going to be like when they knew. When they realized what he was. What they all were. Co-existing was going to be strange. Horrible probably.

His gaze found Damon on the other side of the room, Bonnie in his arms. He felt a flutter of something familiar, but he knew they were just friends. Damon always said the Bennett witch hated him the most.

He turned his attention to Caroline who fell into the chair next to him, infuriated. "I can't believe him."

If only Pam could see him now, trapped in teenage drama. She'd probably have him committed. How Damon survived three years of this was baffling to him. "Trouble in paradise?"

"Klaus asked me to dance." The girl let out a strangled laugh. "Actually no, he demanded a dance. Going on about staying away from the other species of vampires. Telling me he was trying to protect me while in the same breath taunting the fact he chased off my ex-boyfriend Tyler. We may not be together anymore, but he killed his mom and forced him to leave the only home he's ever known. I swear I'm done with him."

"Behind all that animosity, and hatred lies the truth, Caroline. You want him, and why are you denying yourself that."

Perhaps he should take his own advice as he sought out Damon again in the crowd only to pause once he found him. Bonnie was no longer in sight, and all he could see was a hand. A hand belonging to the very hybrid- near his property. He was touching him. His Damon. His älsking. They were sharing the same air.

A mantra began in head, repeating over and over- there are too many people to glamour. Too many witnesses. It wasn't doing much good as his hand bent the table's edge, his gaze penetrating the hybrid's back- hoping he'd drop dead.

"Are you okay Eric? You're shaking." He barely heard her over the cloud in his head, that was filling with every conceivable way he'd like to hurt Niklaus.

The hybrid took a step away from his Damon, and he found himself on his feet, knowing he had murder in his eyes.

Without another thought he stalked after the blond, Caroline buzzing behind him as he made his way across the room at a human pace. She was saying something like Eric don't do this and He's not worth it but it all came out as white noise- he was on a mission.

He caught up Niklaus who turned to face him, but in the next moment he had him pinned behind the doorway to the entrance way- his fingers squeezing the life out of the weaker vampire. The hybrid's eyes turned yellow, but that only made his grip tighten, his fangs snapping out of his gums. "I fucking dare you, Mikkelson."

"Let...me...go…" A hand came up to snap his wrist but he broke the offended appendage with his other hand.

"Or what freak? You going to hurt me?" He laughed. "The only reason you're alive is because I can't kill you, without killing Damon. But don't think for a minute if you test me I won't lock you away in some basement, dissociating for the rest of your miserable, immortal life."

He could actually feel the anxiety rolling off of the other blonde who appeared next to him. "Eric, please don't do this. He's just mad I wouldn't dance with him."

"He crossed a line Caroline. Damon is mine." He slammed the body in his hands against the wood in emphasis, hearing it crack. "You do this again Niklaus and I'll kill your family. But tonight, you better take a good look at Caroline because she's the only reason I'm granting you this mercy."

He watched the hybrid's eyes meet Caroline's and he then proceeded to break Niklaus' neck.

"What did you just do?!" The baby vampire exclaimed, as the body in front of him now sagged against the wall, threatening to topple over. "You're so lucky I compelled everyone away. But people are going to come through at any moment. Do something!"

He shrugged, but with vampire-like speed, he hoisted Niklaus over his shoulder and sped through the walkway, and into the gardens until he found a secluded bush and threw his corpse behind it before returning to his date in seconds.

He continued on though, ignoring whatever the girl was saying as he sought out the one man he'd wanted all night.

He was easy to spot, dancing, though this time with Bonnie again- Damon's back was to him.

He grabbed his mate, forcing him to spin around to face him. His expression was first of anger but it dissolved into confusion.

He didn't wait to give his Sol any explanation, or anytime to process before he planted both hands on either side of Damon's cheeks and kissed him like he owned him.

He tasted like bourbon, like he always did, with a faint aftertaste of blood. Damon's hands came to rest on his suit jacket, pulling him in closer, their bodies flush. Being this close he was surrounded by the unique scent that was Damon Salvatore- bourbon, sunshine and leather and he found himself being aroused by it.

With a heavy heart, though, he let him go. He'd proven his point. He wanted everyone in Mystic Falls to know who the fuck Damon belonged to. He'd hate to have to start a murder spree.

"You...you kissed me." He watched as his mate brushed his fingers over his lips, dazed. "You lost."

"I did." He put his hand on Damon's shoulder. "He touched you, and I couldn't let that stand. And then I realized that I'm done pretending you're not mine. I'm sorry if this isn't exactly how you wanted to tell your brother or your friends."

"Oh who cares." He found himself being forced downward and lips met his again in a demanding, yet surprisingly quick kiss. "Let's ditch this snooze fest. And dear God you better fuck me. Fuck me for days."

"What about-" He couldn't actually say her name as Bonnie stood a few steps away from them, her jaw almost on the floor. "And your brother."

"Don't care. Fuck me against a pillar. Or a table." A hand ran down his chest. "As long as your cock is in me, I really just don't care. I'm done with the longest sexual tension that's ever happened. Ever."

"Right and the 30's to the 40's when you finally gave yourself to me and then wouldn't let me have you was just a cake walk." He snorted.

"Hey, I was figuring out some things." Damon huffed as he pulled on his arm, leading him toward the door to the day room. "Let's go Northman. Sex. Now. You. Me. Bed."

"And I thought I was the incorrigible one."

Chapter Text

Caroline shook her head in dismay as she took in the mess that was just surrounding the Salvatore Boarding house. She couldn't imagine what it must look like inside too, if the driveway was littered with tinsel, and other assorted Christmas decorations. That didn't even include the garbage. She was starting to regret her decision to throw a Christmas party at the house of Damon Salvatore- clean freak. Borderline OCD. Germaphobe. Maybe next time she'd reconsider heading the cleaning committee too.

She continued on, as she pondered last night's did have the satisfaction of being correct about Eric and Damon though. She knew those two were more than just friends. She just knew it! It was weird though to imagine either of them gay… well maybe not Damon. He was obsessed with looking good. Designer labels. She'd heard him once humming the lyrics to a Lady Gaga song when he didn't think anyone was paying attention. Not that that exactly qualified someone to be homosexual., maybe a little bi-curious?

She walked through the french doors on the side of the house, only to be bombarded with overtly loud rock music. Maybe Stefan had started cleaning without her. Wouldn't that be a Christmas miracle?

She sped through the dance hall, into the living room, finding the source of the music, but no Stefan. Or Damon even. She reached instinctively for the dial to turn the volume down to call out for Stefanー

"NO!"

She flinched as she whipped around to see Stefan standing in the doorway but it was too late.

Errrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicccccccc pleeeeeeeassssssseeeeeeeee∽

She paled. "Is thatー"

Stefan appeared next to her, readjusting the volume while he nodded.

"But-" She furrowed her eyebrows as she counted the hours but then shook her head. "It's been like twenty-four hours." She looked between Stefan and the basement door. "Have they been like that since…"

"Yesterday." Stefan finished her thought. "Yeah." Stefan shivered in what she imagined must be disgust. These were the days when she was thankful to be an only sibling. "I left for a few hours, so maybe... but I've heard the other species has stama but…" The words out of Stefan's mouth clearly were killing him a little on the inside. "You said my brother could be with Eric but I just…"

"It's going to be okay Stefan," She flung her arms around the confused brunette. "So your brother has a thing for thousand year old male vampires. He sounds pretty happy to me."

Stefan paled at her innuendo. "Please Caroline-"

She couldn't help herself as she guffawed, her head falling back as tears trickled down her cheeks. She just shook her head, unable to say a word as she pushed Stefan toward the ballroom. As hilarious as this situation was, they needed to clean before Damon decided to get off Eric's dick and look around.

 

Damon couldn't focus. He could barely breathe. Hell, he could barely hold himself together as Eric entire presence enveloped him.

Could he actually die from pleasure?

Could the viking encompassing him, moving within him, kill him like this? It would be so satisfying… so fucking incredible.

Even with his vampire healing abilities, he was always trying to catch up. It didn't help he came more often than Eric, ever the generous partner. But he was starting to wonder how much longer he could keep going like this, but through his drowsy euphoria, he just kept holding on.

He was jolted back to awareness as Eric hands dug into sides, leaving imprints. He was just a ragdoll as the viking pulled his legs up and over his head- all he wanted to do was sag into the mattress and pass out into a blissful coma but he knew Eric was far from done.

He groaned… or screamed as the blond planted himself back inside. Eric didn't give him any time to readjust as he started with a inhuman speed and he rolled his hips into the viking as his toes curled around the headboard to give him some leverage.

All he wanted to do was pass out, and be attached to Eric like this for eternity. He always went from one extreme to another when they were together for this long. Not that he could tell what time it was, he always lost track of the hours when the viking was inside him. He lost sense of everything except Eric, and the ripples of pain and euphoria ebbing through him.

Then the viking shoved so hard into him, every inch of that cock was buried inside and Damon bellowed a loud yell, followed by incomprehensible words and slaver which drooled down his chin. He choked and gasped, the sweat poured off him as he painted himself white, the edges of his eyes going black.

He could die right now and die blissfully.

 

"Niklaus has left Mystic Falls to go after that bitch Hailey. He thinks she has information on Katarina."

Stefan nodded along as he leaned against his car.

"Do you think she knows anything?" Caroline asked, beside him.

"My brother swears she's the one who tipped off Katarina about where we were going in the first place." Rebekah replied, across the way from them. "Or at least that's what Elijah told me."

"Well if you hear that Klaus finds her, I can do a locator spell on him and we can track his movements."

"Yeah but we need…"

He realized he'd lost their attention, and he turned around to notice a medium size moving truck roll up the driveway. With pretending he was deaf these days in his house he hadn't heard it. He looked down at Caroline with an inquisitive brow, knowing he didn't order anything. His brother certainly didn't from his current position. Caroline just shrugged at him, her eyes trailing back to the current mystery.

Confusion intensified as a girl jumped out in a silky black robe and fuzzy stilettos, her long, luscious pale legs catching the moonlight. In her hands were two boxes, wrapped beautifully in green and red wrapping paper and white ribbon. His words were caught in his throat as she glided right past their little group as if they were invisible to her, her lavender scented blonde hair the only introduction he got.

"Scarlet, you made it!"

His eye twitched as he spotted his brother's friend, lover, fuck buddy, whatever they were, leaning casually against the pillar by the front door- in just a pair of black briefs. "And you were able to get every gift for Damon?"

"Yup," She gestured back to the truck behind him. "And wrapped, just as you requested. Where is Damon?"

It was Eric's turn to gesture behind him to his boarding house. "In the basement." The girl took a step toward the house but he watched as Eric grabbed her arm. "No removing any instruments in or around Damon, except the mouthpiece. I can put that back when I get downstairs. Just feed him, don't touch him. No matter how much he begs."

He could hear the smile in her tone, while he was trying to quell the blood that was threatening to come back up. "Yes, Eric."

She disappeared into his house a moment later as Eric stayed put, looking them all over- slow and decisive. "Any news about the cure?"

Before any of them could stop her, Caroline responded. "No. Klaus has left Mystic Falls to go after a lead about Katherine, but we're hopeful it's just a dead end. You?"

"Well I've been a little…" Eric gestured behind him. "Preoccupied at the moment but I have vampires looking for Katarina. I'd like her head on pike above our bed board." A shiver shot straight through his spine as a wistful smile spread on the blonde's face. "And the cure too I guess."

"Since you and Damon are shagging like rabbits, and have been for what I'm guessing has been many a decades, I'm assuming you'll be giving the cure to him." Rebekah interjected, a hand on her hip.

He cringed at the statement, not wanting to even begin thinking about how long Damon kept Eric from him. Or their sex life. He'd never thought though that he'd want the cure. Damon loved being a vampire. Or did he? At this point his brother was almost a stranger to him. What else didn't he know?

"If he wants it, yes."

"And if he doesn't?"

Eric sighed, giving her a pointed look. "I know what you're trying at but my alliances lie with Damon, and Damon alone."

"So it's up to Damon who gets the cure if you find it first."

That caught everyone's attention, and they all stared at Eric expectantly. He thought they were all in this together, but perhaps it was them against Damon and Eric. And they'd lose easily to someone who could overpower Klaus.

"Yes. My guess is he'll take it though." He observed as the colour drained for Rebekah's face. He knew how much she desired to be human, he almost felt sorry for her. Almost. "So I'd run along and follow your brother before I get my hands on it."

Rebekah hesitated for a moment but like that she disappeared into the darkness. There was an uncomfortable silence then, he wasn't sure what they were going to do now. An Original vampire and a thousand year old viking vampire as enemies. What was the point anymore?

"Damon said he wouldn't want the cure." Bonnie spoke up softly, her eyes darting around. Perhaps expecting Rebekah to return.

"He does now." Eric paused, his soft blues meeting his own for moment. "I will be making him my progeny," His own eyes widened at the statement. "But I wouldn't be opposed to shoving it Niklaus' throat if it meant what happened to one, happened to all and all of you were turned human in the process."

His mind was racing at the prospect of his brother because a vampire of the other species but he needed to know one thing. "So you are on our side."

"If it can be done. Then yes."

All eyes shifted to the one person who'd be able to make it possible. "I'll look into it, but it's definitely 've done it before." Bonnie shrugged.

Eric smirked. "Then consider me an ally."

"And if Niklaus finds her first." He added.

"That won't be much a challenge. Especially considering in a matter of days I will have my vampire family with me, including my maker Godric."

"He's the kid in the photos!" Caroline exclaimed, almost killing him. She'd been silent for most of the discussion. "He's YOUR maker? Not the other way around. How old is he?"

"Yes. He's over two thousand years old." Eric tilted his head to the side, confused. "What photos?"

"The ones Bonnie, Stefan and I found in the library. I was trying to convince them the two of you were together." He felt his face flush as he glanced around. "Guess I was right."

"You knew?"

"I had a guess." Caroline shrugged. The blond turned, her hand waving at the truck still parked in his driveway. "So what's with the truck?"

"Oh. It contains all of Damon's Christmas presents."

As if that was the most natural thing in the world.

"You're serious?" Caroline's eyes widened as she stalked over to the truck. She glanced over at Eric, who nodded and she opened up the back. He felt his mouth open a little as he stared at a mountain of gifts.

"I like to spoil him." The vampire shrugged, "Besides, we have this standing tradition that I'll pay for every item of clothing I rip, or tear." He cringed again. "I have a bad habit of being impatient to get Damon naked."

He could actually feel the bile rising in his stomach. Or blood. Or whatever.

"So just hundreds of John Varvatos shirts?"

"Pretty much." The blonde smiled before taking a step back. "Well as fun as this has been, I have a fully fed lover waiting for round two or twenty, depends on how you look at it."

Why was everyone so insistent on talking about his brother's sex life?

"Trying for a world record or something?" Caroline joked, and he shot a glare in her direction. Was he invisible?

He was thankful for a blissful moment when the vampire continued going back into his house before he called out and now he just wanted to drop dead. "No that was New York in the 70's. And it was two weeks."

 

"Damon!"

Damon paused, unconsciously wrapping the blanket around himself further. He'd really hoped he'd be able to sneak past the scooby gang and to his bathroom to have a long bath. He'd been with Eric for three days, and he couldn't even imagine what he looked like. Let alone smelt like.

"Yes dear brother?" He asked, turning around the face the four occupants in his living room. His brother the only one standing in the group.

"We may have a lead on the cure."

Not what he was expecting, and he wasn't sure how to respond. "Great."

"Did you want to come?" His brother couldn't meet his eyes. "We could use you and Eric."

He'd been too busy on Eric's dick to talk to his brother about his relationship. Perhaps this was the best time- with witnesses. "So you're cool with-" He couldn't find the words as his hands gestured to the basement. "All of this."

"It's not the biggest surprise. No." His brother answered, the blood draining from his face. "I mean I always thought maybe you'd had a few drunk one night stands with men not…"

"A thousand year old viking vampire lover who I let fuck me up the ass for decades?" He interjected.

"DAMON!" Caroline exclaimed.

"What?" He asked, as he looked over his brother to Caroline on the couch behind him. "That's what we're all thinking." He brought his attention back to his brother. "Must be a Salvatore trait."

"What?" Stefan choked out.

"We both have a thing for blonde thousand year old vampires." He smirked. "At least mines sexier."

Stefan sighed, rubbing his temple. He wondered sometimes how he was the older of the two of them. "Difference is I don't love Klaus."

He wasn't expecting that and all his quick retorts were caught in his throat that he answered honestly. "True." He could feel a cold breeze on his undercarriage and he was realizing he was still naked. "As much as I'm loving this brother bonding moment over our trysts with men, I have cum running down my thighs. So I'm gonna go,"

"Oh my god…" Caroline choked, his brother just going white. "Too much information."

"Next time don't interrupt my walk of shame to my bathroom." He sing-songed as he turned to make his way to the staircase. "Ask Eric about going after the cure."

"I heard my name." Eric appeared next to him, fully dressed. Bastard. "I hope you were speaking well of me."

"Always." He gave the viking a nice slow once over, before winking. "No complaints."

"Better not be." He groaned as the elder leaned down to kiss him. "I fucked your brains out."

"Shhhh, not in front of my brother." He moaned out as those lips and fangs kissed softly along his jaw. "Errrrrriccccc."

"He's definitely at least heard that for the past three days." The bastard chucked into his neck, as his hands snuck into his blanket.

"Shut it you." He giggled, trying, not so hard to get the vampire off of him but those hands were doing great work on making him hot all over. "Eric I have to wrap your gifts and if you keep on like this it'll be new years."

"Are you two always so…" Caroline started, thanking the heavens to hear her voice just for the fact that Eric paused, his eyes snapping toward her direction making the Barbie pause.

"Sexual?" He asked, as he slipped out of Eric's grip, his blanket still intact. "He is. Can't keep his hands off." He teasingly pushed the viking over toward the little group. "Go talk to them about the cure or whatever. I could be human by Christmas, and isn't that what you asked from Santa?"

He didn't give the viking any time to respond as he dashed to his bedroom. He seriously needed a bath.

 

It was clear when they got through with Hailey, she knew nothing of Katherine's whereabouts since the island. Why they wasted their time with this nonsense was beyond him but he'd been asked to tag along with Damon's little friend group and he figured it was a perfect moment to be alone with Stefan.

He'd been a little... enraged when he'd kissed Damon, outing him to the entire town. He'd honestly meant for Damon to do the confessing, but now that he'd made a mess of it, he needed to take responsibility. Damon could jest all he wanted but he knew Stefan meant the world to him, and he wanted his blessing.

"Caroline already left with Bonnie." Eric called out to the brunette as he opened the passenger door of Damon's Corvette. "I don't mind driving you back to Mystic Falls."

Stefan gave him a once over, seeing the slow eye roll. Huh, it's genetic. "I guess I don't have a choice."

He smirked, shaking his head, as he rounded the car going into the drivers side.

It took a few moments, but Stefan finally settled into the seat next to him.

He didn't give the younger Salvatore brother a chance to change his mind as did a quick u-turn and headed back toward Mystic Falls at frightening speed.

There was a long pause as he put together his thoughts that he almost didn't hear Stefan. "So are you going to tell my why you bribed Caroline to ditch me and force me to get a ride home with you."

"We need to talk."

"You're fucking my brother. End of story."

So he was going to be blunt about this. He could work with that. "It doesn't bother you? That I am of the other species?"

"No." He glanced over at the younger vampire, seeing his jaw tighten.

"Okay."

He went to turn on the radio, knowing he wasn't going to get anywhere with this petty teenage angst routine. "Fine. You know what? All of this fucking bothers me. What do you want from my brother? Your species despises us."

"I want what every vampire wants. A mate." He paused, letting that thought be ruminated.

Stefan finally fully acknowledged him as he stared. "You've claimed him?"

He nodded.

He watched from the corner of his eye as the teen slumped into the chair, a perplexed look gracing his features. "You okay Stefan?"

The younger vampire ran a hand through his hair, not saying a word. He knew this must be awkward, not knowing your older brother had a relationship with a male for decades. Not only that but a vampire of another species, who also happened to be over a thousand years old. He'd be hurt if Pam or Godric would hide something so important in their life. However he knew that they would share those details with him because they were family. Stefan and Damon had a strained relationship, and both never seemed to want to repair the growing cracks.

He knew this secret was just another colossal earthquake.

"Why didn't he tell me?" It was just a whisper, but he'd heard it nevertheless.

He knew the question was a self reflection but he answered it anyway. "Your brother always thought he'd end up with Katherine. I was just a stop along the way."

A strangled laugh came from the brunette that made him tense. "Oh Katherine. Always goes back to her. The great Salvatore curse."

"She did have quite the hold over you boys,"

"I wish we'd never met her." Stefan shook his head. "But then again we'd be dead if we hadn't. It's a real catch 22."

"Well when we find her, and take the cure, I have no problem holding her down and letting you stake her."

He couldn't help but smile as Stefan's infectious laugh filled the car. "Knowing Katherine, she'd somehow survive that." He felt eyes on his and he turned his head, meeting Stefan's pale blue ones. "This feels weird to say because usually I'm the one threatening my brother about his relationships, but if you hurt my brother, I will find a way to kill you."

"I'd expect nothing less."

 

"Merry Christmas."

It was all worth it when Eric watched Damon's face light up as he strolled into the ballroom. He'd asked Caroline to keep one of the Christmas trees up by the fireplace. He moved a couch in front of it to make it cozy. It didn't help he'd gone a little overboard with the gifts.

"Merry Christmas Eric." It was followed by a kiss as Damon fell into his outstretched arms.

"What in God's' name are you wearing?" He asked as he let the Italian go, giving him a curious once over. He never thought he'd see Damon in red and white, or at least not in a plaid onesie.

"A joke gift from Caroline." Damon shrugged. "I wore it in case she crashed our Christmas. You know so next time I don't walk around the house naked." The younger vampire smirked as he turned around, pointing at his butt. "It has a butt flap for easy access."

He could get behind that. "We'll have to test that later."

Damon just snorted as his eyes landed on the mountain of gifts in and around the tree. "Obviously." Eyes and wiggling eyebrows met him as he stared at the younger vampire. "So are any of these breakable?"

"Some."

"Oh well, risking it anyway."

He outright laughed as Damon just threw himself into the pile, watching them tumble around him. "I love our John Varvatos Christmas tradition. I was running low."

He took a seat at the couch as he watched Damon unwrap gift after gift after gift. He wasn't exactly the most creative gift giver. Mostly black t-shirts, jeans, shoes. Obviously bourbon, and some other little small things. What was there to give someone when they had everything already? Honestly Damon was always enough for him.

"Aren't you going to open your gifts?" Damon called out after a while, appearing next to him, with a small pile.

He went for the first one. A small box wrapped in black and gold wrapping paper. He ripped the annoying paper to reveal a small white box.

"Wireless headphones. So you can listen to your swedish music in the bath." Damon explained.

He continued on, receiving some new jeans, take tops, a jacket which Damon explained was for the winters in West Virginia. A book about viking history he was looking forward to having a good laugh at because of historical inaccuracies.

"Thank you Damon," He leaned down to kiss Damon who was still unwrapping one of the last t-shirts he'd given him.

"You're missing one!" The younger one exclaimed, jumping up and running toward the tree. With his back turned Eric slipped out his last gift to Damon from his pocket. Damon appeared a moment later with a similarly small box as the one in his hand. He paused, looking at the one in his hand. "Trade? You first though."

He passed his to Damon as he took the other one. He hoped they didn't have the same idea as he ripped away the shiny red and green paper. When he opened the black lid, he paused.

A key?

"It's to the Lockwood manor." He stared over at Damon who joined him on the couch. "Look we can't stay here with Pam and Godric. Besides I think I've scared my brother for life and he deserves some peace. And I know we'll be fucking like rabbits, all over the place so I figured we needed our own place." Damon curled into his shoulder as he continued. "Besides that stupid brat of a King said you'll need a nest so I figured I'd jump on the house buying before we end up in some god awful movie rental place like Fangtasia. Besides Caroline told me Tyler needed money and I figured I'd help the kid so I bought his house. Not like he'll need it anyway." Damon stared up at him as he ran soft circles over his chest. "But we'll be gutting that place. Obviously."

He wasn't ready for words as he kissed the top of Damon's head, appreciating the thought immensely. He didn't think the Italian could surprise him anymore, but he'd been proven wrong. "Thank you Damon."

"You won't be thanking me once Pam and I start fighting over wall coverings." He chuckled at the thought as Damon's eyes found his own again. "So…. can I open yours?"

"Of course."

Damon tore right into the paper eagerly, throwing off the black lid to his little gift. The younger vampire took a long moment before his head shot up staring at him, and the contents of the box. "Are you asking me to marry you?"

He smiled, shaking his head. "You weren't exactly the biggest fan of the collar, so I figured I'd do something more pedestrian. We'll be spending nights with the King, other sheriffs and other members of the court. So I figured perhaps rings would be the best symbol of who each of us belongs to." He took out the first black and silver titanium band, showing the inside which had Sol (sun) inscribed inside. The other had månsken (moon). "I know it bothers you the little respect the King has of our relationship so I hope rings may just show exactly how serious we are to each other."

Damon just ran his fingers along his jaw as the other, with his other hand in front of him, palm down, ring finger sticking out. All the air felt like it was taken away as he slipped the simple band over Damon's finger. Damon took his, and slipped it on his own finger.

He couldn't help but thrust his hand out, giving it a good once over. Squeezing his fist and then letting his fingers spread back out. He observed as Damon did the exact same thing.

"It's weird but it sort of makes our relationship more intense somehow."

"It's not freaking you out, is it Damon?"

The only answer was a lap full of the other, and those damn lips on his own. "No, I kind of like it. After our coming out, it just feels right. No more secrets."

He nodded. "No more secrets."