"All those things that you used to do that made me fall in love with you? Baby, remind me…"

It's too much.

Stepping out into the crisp winter air, Caroline took a deep breath. She felt like she was suffocating. Turning her head, she looked back at the door she had closed behind her moments ago and knew she wasn't ready to go back.

But neither was she ready to face whoever would come looking for her first.

Needing a break to get her thoughts in order, Caroline started walking away from the Salvatore boarding house. As she approached her car, she looked over the hood to peer into the woods surrounding the house. It was where she had last been forced to face some hard truths.

With Klaus. Or Silas. Whichever.

But he'd been right. She'd been afraid of herself and what she wanted. Did she want to be afraid again?

Without aiming to, Caroline found herself walking into the woods. And if she found herself following that same trail she and Klaus had taken that day, then it was merely a coincidence. It wasn't like she was thinking about him—or thought about him at all, for that matter.

Not at all.

Right now she had needed to get away from her friends and their celebration of the long-awaited fall of Miss Katherine Pierce. She had tried to join in on the fun, even had a few drinks to get herself to mellow out, but something about it just didn't sit right.

So here she was: walking in the creepy old woods to clear her head and figure out why Katherine's death wasn't as exciting as it should be.

Why am I not happy about this? she asked herself. I mean… she killed me. I should be toasting her death along with the rest of them. In fact, I should be throwing the freaking party. So what the hell is wrong with me?

Caroline groaned in frustration and kicked at a boulder sitting in the middle of the clearing. The rock sat proudly at having survived her violence, barely a crack on it. Caroline scoffed. I could reduce you to rubble if I tried.

Moving to deliver a harder blow, Caroline caught herself. "Great. Now I'm fighting with a rock."

Sighing at the pathetic turn her life had taken, Caroline perched on the rock and buried her face in her hands. God… What is wrong with me?

"You prefer who you are now to the girl you once were."

Her head shot up as she heard the words run clearly through her mind.

"You like being strong... Ageless... Fearless."

Once upon a time, Klaus had said aloud what Caroline never allowed herself to admit. She did like who she had become. Becoming a vampire had made her smarter, stronger as a person, and it had forced her to grow up from the shallow and mean girl she used to be.

Caroline loved the person she had become. And it might never have been possible if it wasn't for Katherine.

That's what had her holding back from the celebrating. Yeah, Katherine had killed her and taken the choice out of her hands. And maybe she would have made a real go of it with Matt. Maybe she would have grown old with him and watched their babies have babies.

But Caroline had come to terms with her vampire life. In fact, she relished it, and she just couldn't hate Katherine any longer.

God, I'm even more messed up than I thought. Katherine tried to kill Elena. She actually did kill Jeremy. She's the reason we're all vampires: Stefan, Damon, me, and now Elena. I should hate her for this!

Try as she might, she just couldn't work up hate for the poor human girl lying on her deathbed. All she felt was pity.

Dropping her head back in her hands. Caroline let out a groan of frustration.

"Bad day, love?"

That voice. Caroline bolted off the boulder and whipped around to face a man she had cursed on many sleepless nights.

He stood there, hands behind his back, as if he had every right to be here. As if he had every right to waltz back into her life any damn time he chose. As if she would ever want to see him again after he just left her without a peep from him since he promised to wait for her.

She felt her anger rise.

And then he smiled that devastating smile she knew was only ever meant for her. "Hello, Caroline."

Her lips parted. "Klaus."

Oh, God… was that her voice all breathy and flustered? Ugh.

Caroline gave her head a small shake to snap out of her surprised stupor.

"Wh… What are you doing here? In Mystic Falls?"

Crossing her arms to look disapproving, she was disappointed when her voice came out small and defensive. "I would have thought you'd be out ravaging the debauched streets of New Orleans right about now."

Klaus's eyes narrowed in that knowing way of his. "Why? Would you like to join me?"

Caroline scoffed as she threw a fake smile at him. As if.

Smiling in humor, Klaus looked away from her into the woods leading out onto the Salvatore property.

He had meant to go straight for business, but then he had sensed her out here and like a moth to a flame, he couldn't resist seeing her.

It had been hard trying to forget her, trying to go a single day when he didn't envision her slow smile. He tried to write her a letter but there were no words that expressed how he missed her. It was a torment unparalled to anything he had experienced in his vast thousand years.

And here she was, beautiful as he remembered, soft as he imagined. But he was not at liberty to touch and savor the simple perfection of her that had eluded even his dreams. He would just take this moment and cherish it for however long he would have to spend without her again.

Without turning back to face her, lest she see his emotions on his face, Klaus answered her question.

"I'm here for… reasons." he said, not sure of his true motives anymore.

Caroline turned her head in the direction he was staring. Knowing the path led out to the boarding house, she put two and two together and filled in his blanks. "You're her for Katherine."

Klaus turned his head back to face her as her voice took on a hollow tone.

"Your reason is that you heard she's dying and came to get her magical doppelganger blood for your villainous pleasure."

If he wasn't mistaken, Klaus could swear he heard a hint of disappointment in her tone. Not liking the way her gaze had dropped to the infinite leaves on the ground, Klaus approached her slowly, almost afraid she'd bolt.

"Caroline," his voice urged her to look up at him again.

When she stayed unmoving, Klaus took a chance and cupped her cheek, bringing her eyes up to face him. The sadness he saw hidden in their depths shattered him. He had known she was desolate when he decided to approach her in the woods, he could hear it in her soft mumbling, but Klaus had a feeling he had just made it worse.

"Sweetheart," he started, knowing he owed her some truths.

"I cannot deny that the news of Katerina Petrova's imminent demise did not motivate me to seize a once lost opportunity, but truth be told…" he trailed off to look her in the eye as he came clean.

"Katherine was not the reason for my return. She was merely my excuse."

Maybe it was her earlier mixed feelings for Katherine's death. Maybe it was the way he called her sweetheart. Or maybe it was the way his touch felt safer than anything she had felt since he walked out of her life, but Caroline's eyes watered.

"You were my reason, Caroline. You'll always be the reason I come back."

Her eyes shot up to his. She so wanted to believe him. She needed to know one thing, though.

"D-Do you… still… l-lo…" she tried to voice her question but the words were stuck in her throat.

Luckily, Klaus understood her. He always had. "Do I still love you?"

Never wanting her to doubt again, Klaus stepped close enough so she could feel his heat. "I do. Not a day goes by, here or there, that I am not in love with you, Caroline Forbes."

Up until this moment, Caroline had felt as if the entire world was going on in a blur around her. It was like a movie in fast-forward and she couldn't tell which scene she belonged. But with Klaus's eyes on hers, his thumb drawing slow circles on her pulse point, the world stopped. She had found her scene: the one place where she would always fit.

There was no way she could let him go that easily this time. Not without knowing what he felt like… what he tasted like.

Without warning, Caroline leaned in and placed her soft lips on his warm and inviting mouth.

Sin and heaven, she decided at the first mind-numbing touch of his tongue. He tasted like sin and heaven.

Klaus didn't hesitate at all as she brought her lips to his. He had wanted her for so long, he wouldn't miss a single moment of savoring Caroline Forbes.

Running his hands into the silken strands of her hair, Klaus angled her face so he could get closer to than he was. Caroline moaned her approval as she brought her hands to his waist.

Her deft fingers found their way under his shirt, but they didn't roam far. Flirting with the waistline of his jeans, Caroline dug her fingertips into his warm skin.

He was real. He was steady. And he wanted her. It had been a long time since she had felt this secure.

Caroline put everything she had into the kiss, letting him feel the need she was too scared to voice. She matched Klaus's passion and lifted onto her tiptoes to offer the closeness he craved.

Klaus for his part was lost in the girl in his arms. He let her feel the sincerity of all that he had once promised her. He wanted the world for Caroline, if she would just let him give it to her. But there was no way he was pulling back anytime soon to ask.

His lips had started to wander from her mouth to her neck and back again, when their kisses turned salty. It was enough to have Klaus pulling back to give her a questioning look.

The loss of his heat had Caroline opening her eyes to see why he pulled away. It wasn't until his thumbs started wiping at her cheeks that she even realized she had been crying.

"Caroline," his voice came out hoarse, full of pent up desire.

Knowing she didn't have a reply for her tears, Caroline dropped her forehead against his shoulder and let the tears come freely. Klaus didn't bother asking why. Deep down, he knew what had her so rattled. He just needed another moment with her in his arms before they voiced some more truths.

His hand stroked her hair, while his other hand trailed up and down her spine in a comforting manner. When the tears stopped coming, Caroline stayed there a minute, memorizing the feel of his arms, knowing they could be her home if she let it.

"You're not ready," Klaus broke the deafening silence.

Caroline hesitated, not ready to give this up yet. Reluctantly she shook her head once against his shoulder.

Klaus stroked his hand through her hair a couple more times before he let out a defeated sigh and untangled her from him. Cupping her face in a gentle manner so at odds with his reputation for cruelty, Klaus studied her red, puffy face. Still as ravishing as the first time I laid eyes on her.

"I have to go, love," he said, knowing he should leave before he did something he'd regret later on.

Fear flashed across her face. "Don't go, Klaus," she asked brokenly.

"Please… don't go. I just... I'd forgotten what it was like… what you were like."

If he was a stronger man, Klaus would have stayed. But Klaus was not a masochist. He couldn't stand the pain of being around her and not having her be his.

"I have to go, Caroline," he repeated. "For both our sakes."

Giving in to one last slow and heart shattering kiss, Klaus let her feel just how much leaving her destroyed him.

One minute he was breaking her heart with his kiss and the next he was standing at the edge of the clearing, leading away from the Salvatore's and her friends.

"One day, you'll be ready. You'll be ready to defy your friends and follow your heart. You'll be ready to move on without them and explore the world as your playground. You'll come to me?" he asked, his uncertainty clear on his face. "When you're ready?"

Caroline pursed her lips, wishing she were ready enough to stop him from leaving her again. On a whisper meant only for him, she vowed, "I promise."

It's been a while since I wrote Klaroline! Not going to lie, I'm kind of nervous :/

The Klaroline kiss promo provided surprising motivation and all of this just came pouring out!

Please review and let me know if you liked it!