|How Never Became Forever
Author: morvamp PM
Elena's established rules and guidelines for her relationships. She knows how to stay emotionally detached and when to cut the cord. But then she meets Damon, who could potentially change everything. AU. AH.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Damon S. & Elena G. - Chapters: 26 - Words: 160,444 - Reviews: 1,202 - Favs: 580 - Follows: 504 - Updated: 09-18-12 - Published: 12-05-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7611314
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This story came to me after I read a particular quote. It's from the show Grey's Anatomy, which I don't watch (no offense to those of you that do) so I have no idea how it relates to that show, but it gave me inspiration for this story. It's below because I had to give it props and plus, I'm absolutely in love with it.
I hope you like the first chapter. :)
At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don't keep other people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That's how we're made.
So, you can waste your life drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.
. . .
I pulled on the incredibly tacky bronze handle of Jerry's Pub and stepped inside of the local bar; the familiar smell of stale beer and peanuts attacking my nostrils as I did.
Thank God I go back to school tomorrow, I thought to myself as I searched the sea of friendly faces for my two best friends. I finally spotted them towards the back of the pub, nestled in a booth between an elderly couple and a group of teenage boys sporting Mystic Falls High School varsity jackets.
I shook my head with a slight grin slashed across my lips and once again found myself thanking God; this time for no longer having to attend that damn high school. I then made my way to the back of the bar, my black high-heeled boots clanking against the old hardwood floors as I did, and slid into the cracked leather booth.
The high school boys' necks, sitting in the booth directly beside ours, craned as they watched my ass disappear against the seat. They lingered a few more seconds, drifting between my girlfriends and I, before they finally went back to their own business.
I'd gotten used to this attention long ago. As a matter of fact, we all had. It started a year and a half ago when our trio arrived at Richmond University for our freshman year. We were deemed the small town girls with a stylish flare, which boys found impeccably endearing. Or maybe they just thought we'd be easy to hit in the sack. I'm not sure.
Point is; we'd all experienced the gawks, dropped jaws, and lingering eyes long enough to have become immune to it by this point. So I ignored it and my friends did the same.
"Here's your Miller Lite, my dear," Caroline said with a genuine smile on her face as she pushed the amber bottle in front of me. "It'll have to do since our old friend Ben behind the bar has no idea how to mix a seabreeze."
I laughed at the statement, finding it all too fitting that the single bar in Mystic Falls wouldn't know how to make the simplest of cocktails before I lifted the chilled bottle to my lips. I took a sip of the beer, enjoying the taste as the hops slipped down the back of my throat because regardless of whether it was my first choice or not, it was still alcohol.
"Did you tell him that it was just vodka, cranberry, and grapefruit juice?" I asked as I set the bottle back onto the sticky wooden table.
"Yep; apparently they don't have grapefruit juice," Caroline scoffed with a slight roll of her eyes.
"Ladies, it's fine," Bonnie reasoned from across the table. "We're headed back to Richmond tomorrow and there'll be plenty of cocktails and boys to make up for this drought when we get to the dorms."
"We're gonna need as many of both as we can get," I declared as I lifted my bottle into the air and my two friends clinked their drinks to mine.
We did this because tonight we were celebrating. Winter break had officially come to an end and we'd be returning to our regularly scheduled lifestyle tomorrow. We just had to get through the last remaining hours and it seemed easier to bear with alcohol; everything was really.
Truth was; this was our hometown. It housed the sandbox where the three of us met for the first time and held all of the memories of our childhood and adolescent years, but none of us ever enjoyed coming back. It wasn't exactly that we weren't nostalgic or appreciative of certain memories this place gave us; we were, but there were other individual reasons we all despised this town.
For Bonnie, it was the lack of potential guys prowling the streets and pub. Everyone in this town was old news to her; no one was original or exciting. She'd either dated or refused them all. For Caroline, it was her high school boyfriend Matt Donovan. He'd been her first love and the first guy to ever break her heart and the threat of bumping into him was always lurking around the corner. And for me, well for me it had nothing to do with boys at all. It was something much more tragic, but I wouldn't let myself think about that tonight. Tonight was about celebrating, not reminiscing.
The bottles sent a clank echoing through the air as we all took a sip of our beverages and lowered them to the table. "I say the first thing we do when we get back is go shopping for outfits," Bonnie announced; a twinkle of excitement lighting up her cinnamon irises. "Mex's is going to be packed tomorrow night and we need to look our best."
"You can count me in," I cheerfully declared, loving the sound of dancing around in a new sequined top. It was a much better alternative than sitting in a musty bar feeling entirely too overdressed like we were now.
Caroline's perfectly shaped brows shot up and a few wrinkles appeared between them as she questioned, "Aren't you going to spend tomorrow with Mason?"
The image of my boyfriend's pale blue eyes, fluffy hair, and sculpted chest briefly drifted across my vision before I pushed it away.
"I'll be with him for a while in the morning, but I'm ready to end things," I answered dismissively before a smile slid across my lips. "Which leaves me free to party with my favorites."
"Elena," Caroline whined in opposition. "I like Mason."
"You like everyone," Bonnie scoffed with a disdainful glance in the blonde's direction.
"Not true," Caroline refuted defensively. "I hated Trevor Davis in pre-school. That little bastard stole my building blocks and refused to give them back."
"Point taken," Bonnie sarcastically responded before her eyes focused in on me. "Why are you ready to end things?" she asked before her hands shot frantically through the air. "Wait, wait, wait! Let's do the game."
"Must we?" I groaned because I really wasn't in the mood to listen to my friends shout out guesses as to why I was ending things with my current boyfriend. It had been fun the first time, way back in freshman year when I broke up with Dean Keller for chewing gum every time we started making out, but over the years it had gotten old.
Unfortunately for me, partaking in the game hadn't become old or dull to my best friends. My emotionally screwed-up rules and regulations for dating, as Caroline liked to refer to them, were an excellent source of entertainment. I would decide I was ready to break up with a guy and they'd partake in figuring out why I chose to do so. It was simple and harmless really, but a blatant reminder of the guarded female I'd become.
"Of course we must," Bonnie chastised as her tongue stuck slightly out of her mouth and her eyes drifted towards the ceiling; clearly in deep thought over her first guess.
"Did he try to wrap his arm around you in the movie theater?" Caroline asked; officially starting the game I considered my own personal hell.
"Please," I scoffed and took another swig of my beer. "Even I'm not that ridiculous."
"I'd beg to differ," Caroline muttered under her breath before repeating my action.
"Did the sex get stale?" Bonnie questioned at an octave a little inappropriate considering the words that had left her lips.
The older woman seated behind her turned around and scrunched up her nose in disgust before turning back around.
"Surprisingly it didn't," I offered with a slight cock of my head. That fact genuinely surprised me since more times than not, it did.
"He tried to get you to talk about your past didn't he?" Caroline asked confidently.
I had to give her credit because, more times than not, this was the reason I broke things off with guys. It was my cardinal rule number one: no talking about myself too richly and certainly no divulging into my past.
So, I clanked my beer against hers and commended, "Good guess, but no."
"Did he say the unforgivable phrase?" Bonnie questioned with a mocking cringe and a slight chuckle.
For that I reached across the table and slapped her on the shoulder. To everyone else, I love you was a cherished phrase; something girls dreamed of hearing from their significant others. But for me, it resulted in the screeching tires and slamming the car into reverse effect. I didn't want to hear those words from anyone, especially not someone I'd recently met. They were reserved only for those that held a special place in my heart; those I'd known since I'd lived, well, here.
I imitated the obnoxious sound of a game show buzzer and declared, "Wrong again! But feel free to keep trying."
And they did.
One beer for me and four drinks for each of them later, they still hadn't guessed the correct reason I'd decided to break up with Mason. It was getting almost absurd, but still the girls kept spitting, well slurring, out guesses.
"He tried for back door access didn't he?" Bonnie asked, resulting in another glance from the elderly woman behind us. I was pretty sure the woman was going to wrap her wrinkly fingers around my friend's neck and strangle her if we kept this up.
So for the sake of my best friend's life, I threw my hands up into the air and exasperated, "Game over. I think we've been at this long enough, so I'm just going to tell you!"
But Caroline's hand shot into the air as she snapped her fingers and proclaimed, "No! I know why you're breaking up with him."
"Fine, you get one last guess," I subsided with a soft sigh and a roll of my eyes.
I placed my chin to rest of the palm of my hand as she declared, "It's been three months!"
"It totally has!" Bonnie exclaimed before her mouth dropped open in astonishment and her hand slapped across her forehead. "How could I not remember that?"
"Maybe because you've had a few too many to drink, you lightweight," I deadpanned, which resulted in a heated look from my ebony friend.
"Don't go all fun police on us now, girl. I respect your two drink limit, but the rest of us like to let loose every once in a while," Bonnie slurred out.
"Or every night," Caroline giggled beside her.
They clanked glasses, spilling a few drops against the cheap wooden top of the table and sipped their beverages.
I quickly thanked whoever the hell would listen that my friends had taken a cab to the bar tonight instead of driving themselves.
"But you're really breaking up with him because it's been three months?" Caroline whined; a judging sadness flooding across her greyish blue eyes.
"You know I am, Care," I reasoned softly. There was just something about my friend's endless optimism that always inserted itself into my chest, making me feel terrible for dragging her through my relationship dismissals.
"But if you like him, then why?" she stressed, resulting in a roll of Bonnie's eyes beside her.
She knew perfectly well why I had to break up with him. It wasn't anything new since this three month cut-off had been one of the rules that I'd established first for my dating life. It was the precise time where things in a relationship either became dull or heavy. The relationship either became too much of an established routine without any excitement or deeper questions started being asked. The latter led to cardinal rule number one and if I ignored that rule, emotions started to get involved.
At that point, I'd start to really know the guy and he'd really get to know me. Feelings became involved, heart's become bare, and eventually I love you's would be exchanged. Then a month later they'd decide to take advantage of your bare heart and crush it between their fingers, leaving you shattered and emotionally unstable for months to follow.
This train of events would happen because in real life princes weren't waiting around the corner to sweep you off your feet. There were only villains in this world and they hurt you enough without offering yourself up for prince charming to do the same. Some could consider me a cynic, but I just saw it as realistic. I was simply protecting myself from the inevitable hurt.
Caroline knew how I felt about this, and yet, she always had to push the issue. I couldn't hate her for it because she'd always been a hopeless romantic. She was your typical drop-a-single-flower-petal-at-a-time type of girl; always wishing for the love of her life to appear. We simply had different opinions when it came to relationships; that's all.
Normally, I would have bickered back and forth a few minutes trying to get her to understand the importance of my so-called ridiculous rules, but I was already mildly irritated with my friend's buzzed behavior and decided against it. It wouldn't have gotten through the alcohol in her system anyway.
So, I slid my butt off of the seat, vaguely noticing the teenagers staring at me as I did, and declared, "I'm gonna grab a water from the bar. Do you guys need anything?"
"I'll take another," Bonnie answered cheerfully.
"Me too," Caroline added enthusiastically.
"Of course you would," I muttered as I turned away from the table and made my path to the bar.
There was a band playing in the middle of the tiny pub, which had earlier referred to themselves as S.O. Stereo, and as a result the place was now packed. It made it relatively difficult weaving my way through the crowd, but after a few shoves and slick maneuvers, my elbows made contact with the dripping bar.
I immediately lifted my arms from the wood and wondered if a soaked shaggy dog had recently shook itself off on top of it, when Ben approached me.
"Hey Elena, what can I get you?" he asked me with familiar googly, appreciative eyes.
"I'll just take a water and the regular for the girls," I answered as my head drifted to the side. The band was in full performance mode and the crowd was cheering along. The sounds coming out of the speakers were awful enough to make my ears bleed and I momentarily wondered what anyone saw in them.
"Here you go," Ben announced as he set the three drinks on top of the bar. "It'll be $7.50."
I swiped a 10 dollar bill from my clutch and threw it onto the bar as he added, "You know, you're looking pretty good these days."
The guy was unfathomable. He'd been trying to get into my pants since high school and although he was nice and friendly, he really did nothing for me. I'd made this crystal clear in the past, so it honestly blew my mind that he still continued to try.
I lowered my head and rolled my eyes as I stretched my fingers around the three drinks. I then muttered, "Thanks," and turned around to head back to the table.
I'd only made it a few steps when the back of someone slammed into me, sending my water and the girl's alcohol all down my front.
"You have got to be kidding me," I exasperated as the plastic cups toppled to the floor and I flicked the liquid from my fingertips.
The body in front of me turned around; revealing a guy who appeared to be about a year or two older than myself. Everything about him was dark; the deep wash of his jeans, the leather of his jacket; even the strands of his raven disheveled hair that seemed to fall effortless around his chiseled face. He screamed bad boy with the capability of ripping your heart from your chest.
But then I caught sight of his eyes and I have to admit, I briefly faltered at the sight of them. They were the most remarkable shade of blue I'd ever witnessed and they completely contrasted with the rest of his physical appearance. There was a warmth swimming inside of them that gave a girl the thought she could trust him, but I knew better that to fall for that shit.
You couldn't trust anyone; especially not someone who looked like this guy did.
"I am so sorry," the guy said as his eyes roamed over my soaked attire. "Here let me get you some napkins."
His hand extended towards my back, attempting to guide me towards the bar, but I pushed it away and scoffed, "I'm fine. I can get them myself."
I reached over, snatched a few from the holder, and started patting my stained shirt; absolutely refusing to let my eyes make contact with his again as I did.
"Look, I'm really sorry about that," he reasoned. "At least let me buy you replacements."
"It's really not necessary," I replied in a clipped tone, still trying my best to salvage my favorite red camisole.
"I insist," he urged.
I finally lifted my eyes to look at him. There was just something so genuine about the way he was looking at me now; like he truly felt terrible that my drinks had ended up over my front instead of in my stomach.
"Fine," I succumbed with a sigh, because the girls would be dramatically devastated if I came back empty handed. At least, this way I wouldn't have to fork out any more money. "Ben, I need three more drinks. Same as before."
"I really am sorry," he said as I once again resumed my efforts of salvaging my shirt. "Do you think it's going to survive?"
I glanced up at him again with a confused expression on my face. His eyes drifted to my top, signifying it was what he was referring to, as I rolled mine and huffed. "Probably not."
His eyes narrowed a bit at my tone but there was the slightest ghost of a smirk on his lips as he assessed, "You seem to have a chip on your shoulder."
I grimaced at his statement; finding it entirely fitting that this guy would assume that he knows everything about me. So I challenged back, "And you seem to be hovering around where you're not wanted."
"I need to pay for your drinks don't I?" he countered as his hands floated into the air; an innocent expression on his face.
He'd cornered me there and when I opened my mouth to speak, I found myself at a loss of words. He had a point and I couldn't exactly ask him to hand me the money and leave.
So I said nothing and just focused my attention on my shirt until Ben came back with the replacement drinks. He sat them on the table as my assaulter handed him a 10 dollar bill and I gave up on my shirt. I threw the saturated napkins onto the bar and reached for the cups when the guy interjected.
"Look, you seem like you could be a nice girl under different circumstances, so let's try this again," he attempted as his hand stretched out and hovered in the air, waiting for mine. "I'm Damon."
"And I'm not interested," I quipped back and picked up the drinks.
He momentarily appeared taken aback by my disinterest, which didn't surprise me in the least. This guy didn't exactly seem like the type who got rejected often.
But then he recomposed himself and crossed his arms over his chest. "So you're telling me you don't feel it?"
"Feel what exactly?" I asked in a slightly irritated tone.
"Our chemistry; our potential," he answered with a grin slashed across his lips. "You and me; we could be something big."
The line was extremely cheesy, but for some reason it seemed like he meant it. Like he knew from the moment his eyes landed on me that we had the potential for some epic romance that changed the way we both saw the world.
It was absurd and I couldn't resist the laugh that escaped from my lips after I heard it.
"Does that line work on many girls?" I asked mockingly as I set the drinks back onto the bar. "Because it's really not having any effect on me."
The grin on his face disappeared and he looked somewhat offended as he responded, "I don't use it with other girls."
His eyes were directed on only mine now; they weren't roaming over my body like most did. The change was nice really, but that didn't mean I had to fall for his whole nice guy act. The guy was dark; that was easy to see. He had the capability of grinding my little heart between his teeth and spitting it back out onto the floor.
Plus, by no means did he fall into my typical dating category.
I went for the sweet guys; the ones that wore polos, had relationships with their mamas, and knew how to treat a girl. They were the safe ones, the ones that wouldn't think twice about breaking my heart before I broke theirs.
Damon didn't seem to fit any of those bills. If anything, he represented the exact opposite of what I usually went for. He was an unknown, something that held the potential for excitement; certainly something original, but dangerous. With him, I wouldn't even know how to begin to protect myself.
So I laughed again, making sure to edge it with something icy and quipped, "Sure you don't."
His eyes narrowed skeptically and I found the need to continue, "Look, I get it. You're not used to being rejected and now that you are, you feel drawn to me. It's just the chase and as soon as I walk away, you'll forget all about me."
"Oh, I doubt that," he refuted with conviction; the smirk slashing across his lips again.
I sighed and rolled my eyes because clearly the concept of me rejecting him wasn't breaking through his cocky wall. "I guess we're just gonna have to agree to disagree then."
"Or you could give me a chance," he countered lightly; a spark of hope appearing in those impossibly inviting eyes of his.
"I can't," I replied softly, imitating the tone I'd taken earlier with Caroline. It annoyed me slightly that this guy had already managed to creep under my skin the same way as my best friend, but I pushed it aside and added, "I'm sorry, but it's never going to happen."
I then lifted my drinks from the bar and turned around. I'd only taken two steps when Damon suggested, "You're gonna regret walking away."
I sighed and paused for a second as he added, "You never know, you might have even liked me."
That's the problem I thought. Aloud, I said, "Well, I guess I'm just gonna have to take that chance," and started walking away.
"You could still turn around," he called out after me. His voice was light and cheerful, not desperate like the plea would have sounded coming from anyone else.
And at that, I had to shake my head because that was something I never did; you never looked back.
So, I didn't and declared, "Never."
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