Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, nor the Vampire Diaries. They are the property of their respective owners, I just enjoy playing with the characters.

Bella Swan sat on the blanket as she watched the family of Cold Ones play baseball.

She listened half-heartedly as Esme Cullen prattled on about how her "children" sometimes cheated at the game and how she would have to play umpire or referee. Whatever the proper term was didn't matter because Bella didn't really care either way, as she wasn't giving the woman her full attention, anyway.

Her mind was back in Mystic Falls. She missed her friends and the sunshine and if she was completely honest, she would admit to herself that she missed a certain dark haired, blue-eyed vampire. For what seemed like the hundredth time in the last couple weeks, she was regretting her decision to move to the dreary little town of Forks to live with her father.

She hated the rain, and the fact that everywhere she looked there was some hue of green staring at her in the face. She had never realized just how many shades of green there were until she moved to the rainy little town. Even the damn roads had some kind of green funk creeping along them in the cracks.

As she sat, she thought back over the past year and how much had changed in the lives of herself and her friends. Her best friend, Elena, had lost her parents, Miranda and Grayson in a car accident. It was a loss that Bella herself felt almost as deeply as Elena. Miranda Gilbert had often been the mother figure she so desperately needed in her life as she grew up.

Her own mother was scatterbrained, irresponsible and self-centered. Oftentimes, Bella had felt as if she was the parent, not the child. It was Elena's mother who would bake her cookies, or prepare her favorite meals, and there were more than enough times that Miranda would fix the cuts and scrapes she got when she fell, due to her clumsy nature. She was always there with a smile or a hug.

Grayson Gilbert was the much loved town doctor and he had been the father figure in her life. He had always treated her as if she was one of his own. Bella had loved them both so very much and there was a huge void in her life after their deaths, she had felt so lost afterwards.

It was with that sense of sadness and grief that she and Elena, along with their friends, had started junior year at Mystic Falls High and the first day of school had then changed their lives forever. It might seem like an exaggerated statement to some, but it wasn't.

Elena met had Stefan Salvatore, who happened to be the love of her life that very same day and Bella herself had gained a best friend, a kindred spirit. It was through Stefan that she would go on to meet the person that would impact her both her life and her heart in a profound way.

Damon Salvatore, she sighed and smiled as she thought of his name. He was the most unique and complex person she had ever known. He was snarky, he was witty, he was devious, and he had a violent streak, but yet he was passionate, caring and one of the most loyal beings Bella had ever had the pleasure of knowing. He had a brutal honesty that could cut anyone down, just like the sharp edge of a knife. While it was oft-putting to others, she found it refreshing and it was one of the things that drew her to him. It drew her to him like a moth to a flame.

Damon was considered dangerous by some, and even so to her at first, but she saw something in him others didn't. Pain, anger and insecurity laced his eyes whenever she looked into them. He put walls around himself to keep others out, to keep them from truly getting to know him. He had been hurt deeply and Bella found herself wanting to help him; to help heal his emotional scars, even after finding out that he and Stefan were vampires.

Yes, they were vampires. The real vampires that many often alluded to as being nothing more than a myth. They were lightning fast, they had fangs, daylight could kill them, they were super strong and they drank blood. They only thing folklore and myths left out was that they can eat food and if they had a nifty little daylight piece of jewelry, they can walk in the sun with no harm coming to them.

They were nothing like the Cold Ones, who had marble-like skin, didn't eat food, didn't sleep and from what Bella could observe from watching the ball game before her, were nowhere near as fast as the real vampires she knew. She internally giggled in her mind at their attempts to show off their skills. She knew that's what they were doing. She knew they thought they were invincible, the ultimate predators, the top-dog. She knew otherwise and thought their attempts to show off were pathetic.

She thought back to a couple days before hand when Edward had taken her on a so-called date that included a hike to his favorite place; a hauntingly beautiful meadow filled with purple flowers and teaming with life. It was isolated and seemed out of place in the green forest. It almost served as a metaphor for what Edward himself was; hauntingly beautiful, and out of place with the world in which he existed.

It wasn't the fact he was a vampire that set him apart from the world though, it was his whole personality. He was arrogant and thought he knew everything, simply because he could read minds. He was an elitist snob, always outfitted in preppy designer clothes, he drove a Volvo, and looked down on other's behavior he deemed inappropriate. He also acted as though he was from another time. All those attributes made him stand out like a sore thumb, no matter how hard he tried to play at being human.

When Bella had first met him, she had been intrigued by his beauty and how it set him apart from the rest of the kids at school and she supposed that's what made her want to find out more about him. He had saved her from an accident at school, and then once again when she was stalked by some ill-intentioned hoodlums in Port Angeles. The second time he'd saved her, she had already known that he was some sort of supernatural being, but he didn't confess that little tidbit until much later.

When he finally confessed to being a vampire, of all things, she had shrugged it off as if it was no big deal. To her it wasn't, even though Edward had tried to convince her how dangerous he was that day in the meadow. He had blurred around the meadow to showcase his speed and agility, uprooted a tree to emphasize his strength, and if that wasn't enough, he had stood there pretentiously as he declared he was the world's most dangerous predator. She had bit her tongue to keep herself from laughing outright at the display; she knew dangerous, and Edward Cullen was not it.

That fact had been accentuated even more so when Edward had unbuttoned his shirt, stepping into the sunlight to show her his glittering skin. To him, she must have looked awed by it, as her eyes widened and her mouth gaped, but in all honesty, she was more dumbfounded by it than anything. At the time, she had sort of expected him to sprout wings, and proclaim that he was a fairy as well. She mentally snorted as she recalled that thought.

Against her better judgment, she had allowed Edward to kiss her that day. She had been curious what it would be like to kiss another man… that is if you could call Edward a man, which he was not. Bella compared him more to a little boy and kissing him had been nothing more than a brief peck on the lips. In fact, she would bet money that she could elicit more of an emotional response out of a marble statue.

She had felt squeamish afterwards, and even now, thinking of it made her stomach go into a tight knot. It had been an innocent kiss, but she couldn't shake the feeling that she had betrayed the one she loved, even though he had broken up with her a few months prior. Yes, she still loved Damon. What they had was passionate, all consuming, it was wilder than the wind. Cheesy as it may sound, it was the stuff romance books are made of.

He would never have simply offered up a chaste kiss and been done with it. Oh no, he'd pour every bit of love, lust and passion he had into it. Even affectionate kisses on the cheek from him had been straight from the heart and had made her body tingle. She doubted that she would ever find a love like that again. She most definitely wouldn't find it in Forks and she most definitely wouldn't find it with Edward.

It was obvious that he had never experienced real love as some half-assed notion about lions falling in love with lambs had sprung from his lips just after he kissed her. Bella had thought it was rather conceited to compare himself to a lion when he was really just a mere kitten. She had been sure he pulled the line from some obscure romance book, and was using it as means to impress her. As much as she loved the written word, it would take far more than some line to impress her. It also showed that Edward didn't know her, that she was no lamb. She never had been and never will be.

Later that day, while she was preparing dinner, Edward had confessed to her that he'd been sneaking in her room at night to get used to her scent. She was his singer; her blood called to him and he assured her he had only done it for her safety.

She had been absolutely furious with him at the complete invasion of privacy, though she kept it well hidden, calmly asking him to not do it again. He had simply smirked and nodded his head. That gesture just enraged her even more and once he left her house, she decided to make a phone call. She needed someone to talk to. Someone that understood the supernatural world she kept finding herself in, someone that might be able to give her more information about Cold Ones. If Edward kept up with his stalker-like tendencies, then she would need help to push Edward out of her life.

She had nervously dialed the number and when his soft gentle voice filled her ear, she smiled. She had missed her best friend.

"Stefan?" she greeted softly. Her voice had a twinge of worry and nervousness that he obviously picked up on.

"Bella?" He questioned, "What's wrong?" There was short pause before he prompted her to speak, his own worry lacing his tone. "Bella, what is it? Is it Charlie?"

She shook her head as if he was standing before her. "No it's not Charlie… Wh-What do you know about Cold Ones?" she asked.

"Cold Ones?" he'd asked, with a sharp edge to his voice.

Bella sighed before she answered, a touch of sarcasm to her voice, "Yes Stefan, Cold Ones." She then hurriedly rushed along, "Do you remember me mentioning a, uh—boy named Edward and how I said he was strange? That he and his siblings are adopted, but yet they're all seem to be paired off?"

"Those are the Cold Ones you're referring to?" he clarified.

"Yes…"

"Bella, Cold Ones are far more dangerous than the traditional vampire. They can barely contain their bloodlust and their bites are venomous. If they don't drain you, you will transition into one of them. Either way, you die. They are hard to kill, obsessive by nature and some of them have gifts. What in the hell have you gotten yourself into, exactly?" Uncertainty and concern had crept into his voice with each word he spoke.

She had felt incredibly guilty for making him worry about her. But she had been so immensely curious, at least until the moment Edward confessed he broke into her room. She just had to know what they were. Now that she knew, she needed to know how to ward them off. If an original vampire cold be hurt with Vervain, daylight or a stake, surely, there had to be some way to protect herself from Cold Ones. With that thought in mind, she continued her conversation with Stefan.

"Can Vervain hurt them?" she asked timidly.

"Yes," he answered quietly. "It burns them and repels any powers, just like it does us. Have you been wearing your locket?" His voice was stern as he asked but a strong sense of worry also laced his tone.

"Yes, I never take it off." She answered curtly. "Can you send me some liquid Vervain, though?"

"Why on earth do you need liquidized Vervain?"

Startled by the increased tenor of his voice Bella quickly blurted out, "I found out today that Edward has been sneaking into my flippin' room, Stefan! I am his singer, and he wanted to get used to my scent, or so he said. I don't want him in my room! I want to coat the window and my bedroom door with it to keep him out and with what's left, I plan to drink it so if he decides to ever chomp down on my neck, he will have one nasty surprise…"

There was a long silence between the two before Stefan finally spoke, "Do you need me to come up there?"

Bella sighed and spoke somewhat apprehensively, "No, if you leave town, Damon will play twenty questions, and chances are, he'll follow you. Believe me, it's not worth the headache."

"Hmm-Hmm" was all he said. Bella kept quiet and held the phone to her ear, knowing full well the vampire was about to ask about her relationship with Damon. As if on cue, he spoke.

"Bella, what happened between you and my brother? You two were thick as thieves until the Katherine situation. Did he do something?"

She had bit her lip as a tear fell down her cheek. No one knew just how close she and Damon were. It had been her idea not to tell anyone that they were together… how could she have told perfect Elena and judgy Bonnie that she had fell in love with the bad guy? Not to even mention the thousand lectures that Stefan would have given if he had known. It was bad enough that he and Elena both constantly warned her about being around Damon. Everyone thought they were only 'friends' and it had taken months for them to just accept that fact and the fact that he was a part of her life.

Those thoughts tumbled in her mind as she thought of a way to answer Stefan. Even though she and Damon put up the 'friend' façade, he had to have known something was going on. If he didn't, he didn't know his brother as well as he thought he did. She was pretty sure Elena had her suspicions as well, but she knew better than to ask.

"Uh-No, he didn't do anything," she said. He just broke my heart and told me he didn't deserve me, she thought.

There was another pause in the conversation that was broken when Stefan suggested that he and Elena come up for the weekend, using a trip to the Gilbert's lake house as a cover story. Bella had smiled widely and she was sure Stefan could hear it. "That'd be so great, Stef! You have no idea how much I miss you guys! Forks is just so depressing, all it does is rain, rain and rain some more!" He'd chuckled, then they had carried on with the conversation as she told him all about the Cullens. He told her what was going on back home in Mystic Falls before they said their heartfelt goodbyes.

Bella smiled wistfully as she looked up at the bleak sky and felt the cool chill of raindrops hitting her face. Esme's soft, bell-like voice filled the air, "You seem like a million miles away, Bella."

She turned her head to face the Cold One beside her. Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, she murmured "I was just thinking of my friends back home."

"In Mystic Falls?"

"Yeah."

"You must really miss them." Esme prodded.

Bella didn't miss the curiosity in her tone. She wasn't about to elaborate on her life there, because to do so would just prompt even more questions about her friends, and her life in Mystic Falls. Bella was a loyal friend, above all else; she would never divulge the secrets she kept about her friends and the supernatural world that she knew of. If anything, she didn't think her life was anyone's business but her own.

With that in mind she simply answered, "Yes, I miss them very much. They're my family." She put her walls up and looked away out into the forest, dismissing Esme and her blatant nosiness.

It was then that the clouds parted, the rain stopping and the sun shining brightly. It was probably the first time in weeks that Bella had seen the sun shine and it made her smile. She removed the hood of her raincoat and basked in its warmth. Her moment was short lived when Alice suddenly froze on the pitcher's mound, her eyes closed and her face was an expression of fear.

Before she knew it, Edward was by her side and there was a flurry of movement as the family quickly gathered around her.

Alice quickly relayed that she had had a vison of three human-drinking nomads headed towards the field, wanting to join in on the game. The Cullen family then conversed amongst themselves, making the decision to stay in the field without even consulting her. Bella thought it was rude, especially considering that she would be the one in danger, not them.

She scoffed lightly as the rest of them returned to their places on the field while Edward remained behind. He stood stiffly next to her, offering heartfelt apologies for putting her in this situation, for exposing her to danger.

She scoffed once again, "It's not like you can control these things, Edward." She had bitten the inside of her cheek to keep from adding, it's not the first time I have been in danger, or welcome to my world.

He really had no idea just how many precarious situations she had been in when it came to vampires. This time though, unlike the times in the past, she was fearful and nervous. She didn't fully trust the group she was with and there would be no Damon to rescue her. Her heart felt heavy at the thought.

A few minutes passed when Edward suddenly turned to her and told her to take her hair down; the nomads were fast approaching. She looked at him incredulously, blurting out the first thing that came to mind, "Are you fucking kidding me? How is THAT going to help with anything?" She then proceeded to roll her eyes as Edward stood there affronted by her language.

"Language, Bella!" Esme had admonished. Out of aggravation at the situation, Bella had whipped her head around and glared at the pseudo mother-figure.

"Excuse me, Esme, but there are three people eating vamps headed this way and in case you haven't noticed, I am a walking, talking vampire buffet! Language should be the least of our worries!"

Edward then wrapped an arm around her shoulders, "Don't worry love, we will protect you."

Bella snorted and shrugged his arm off her, and that was when the three nomads made their appearance. They glided out of the forest, one by one and came to a stop, their eyes landing on the group standing there. Two of them fell back as a dark-haired male came forward.

They were all ethereally beautiful as all Cold Ones are, but their appearance was rather disheveled. Their clothes were ripped, torn and dirty, all of them had leaves and traces of dirt in their hair. It was quite a contrast to the pristine appearance of the Cullens.

Edward grasped Bella's hand and gently tugged her forward to join him and the rest of the 'family' in greeting the three burgundy eyed vampires. He had stood protectively in front of her as Carlisle Cullen offered polite greetings to the trio. There were introductions made and Bella could barely hide the shock on her face when Carlisle had introduced her as part of the family. She quirked an eyebrow at Edward questionably and he just shrugged.

Bella peeked over Edward's shoulder, taking a closer look at the three nomads before them. Their eyes had a familiar, malicious glint to them that she had seen before in Isobel Fleming's eyes, Elena's birth-mother turned vampire. The blond male, James looked especially vicious, and had smirked when the darker haired male, Laurent inquired about hunting grounds. They were up to something, she just knew it. What, she didn't know, but she knew the look.

It was the same maliciousness that Isobel had in her eyes when she had kidnapped herself and Jeremy a few days before the yearly Founder's Day event. She had kidnapped her and treated her brutally, demanding a device from Damon as payment for her safe return.

The red head Victoria, reminded her of Katherine, the ex-girlfriend of both Salvatore brothers. She liked to play games and had a vicious streak. A streak that had made itself known when Katherine had beat her to a pulp, simply to send a message. It had been Damon who saved her both times, and even though he had gone on to break her heart, she had a fleeting wish that it was him standing in front of her now and not Edward Cullen.

Bella could not understand why she could see through the friendly demeanor of the nomads, and the Cullens couldn't. Her instincts told her that the three Cold Ones needed to be taken out, and yet the entire 'family' stood there playing nice and making small talk. She minutely shook her head at their stupidity.

The wind blew gently and with it her scent carried through the air. The blond male of the vagrant group inhaled and turned his head in Bella's direction, his mouth turned up into a snarl and his eyes blazing with hunger. He licked his lips, grinning like a crocodile, "You brought a snack?"

With that, Edward had stood directly in front of her and crouched down, growling at the burgundy eyed man. Great! Just provoke him even more, dumbass, Bella thought.

The wind shifted again and the sky got darker as the clouds rolled back in. There was a brief silence that filled the air before it was broken by a male's voice as he approached the clearing.

"If anyone is gonna take a bite out of her, it will be me."

It was said in a threatening manner but the tone had a sarcastic cockiness to it that Bella was all too familiar with… it was the voice of Damon Salvatore.

Her body instantly relaxed, letting go of the fear and the anxiety that had taken over ever since Alice had her vision. For a split second, Bella thought that she was day dreaming as her eyes landed on him, taking in his form.

He stood there on the outer perimeter of the field, dressed in his customary black. It had contrasted starkly with the green hues that surrounded them. As he walked closer, she noticed how his eyes seemed to become even bluer in the sun's light, which to her, made them even more beautiful than they already were. He caught her staring and smirked, but even then, she couldn't pull her eyes away from him.

Memories of the two of them together flashed through her mind like a movie. She could never deny that she still wanted him, she wanted him more than anything in the world. She let out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding and a barely audible "Damon" fell from her lips.

She thought that no one had heard her and her eyes widened in surprise as Edward snapped his head to her then the vampire in question, "You're Damon?" he sneered.

Damon's eyes lit up in amusement as the corners of his mouth formed into his signature smirk.

"You must be the one that's been sneaking into her room. I'll take a guess that Isabella over here still moans my name in her sleep?" Edward's kittenish growl was the reply and Damon's smirk turned into a grin as he replied, "I'll take that as a yes…" He winked at her as he walked by and she couldn't help but smile.

He continued to walk past the grouping and faced the nomads, "So, what makes you think that Isabella here is a snack? Hmm?" His voice was low, threatening; his stance was imposing, his upper body was rigid and his knees were slightly bent. He reminded Bella of a tiger about to leap and attack its prey.

There was a flurry of movement suddenly, and before Bella could blink she found herself on the other side of the field, with Stefan and Caroline standing protectively in front of her. Elena was there, and she had placed her arm around Bella's shoulders, squeezing gently. She offered a wan smile at her before glancing around the field.

Damon used the distraction of the group's entrance to attack James. He had quickly blurred behind the blond Cold One and yanked his arms back with enough force to break them off, tossing one aside and using the other to whack his head off.

Now, that's vampire baseball, Bella thought to herself, amused.

Victoria, had tried to flee the scene, but Damon was much faster and roughly grabbed her by the hair.

"Going somewhere, Red?" he taunted. She had let out an inhuman growl as she struggled to free herself of his grasp. "Stop fighting with me, the more you fight, the more you prolong the inevitable. You are going to die, right here, right now." He told her. With that, he unceremoniously ripped her head off and tossed it onto the pile of limbs that was once James.

He approached the dreadlocked vamp next, "What are we gonna do about you, Ziggy?"

The Cold One was frozen, his eyes wide with fear. When he didn't answer, Damon just shrugged and ripped him apart, adding him to the pile. He then pulled out a book of matches, striking one and tossing it on the pile. A thick cloud of purple smoke filled the air as he walked away from the flames.

He made his way to Bella, and after Stefan had stepped aside, he embraced her in a hug, letting out a sigh of contentment. He gently took her face in her hands.

"Are you okay, Isabella?" She gulped and stared into his eyes, answering with a soft, "Yes."

They both looked the other over, affirming that the other was indeed okay. Their eyes met and she placed her hands over his as he leaned in and tenderly kissed her on the mouth, not caring what her friends or the coven of Cold Ones behind him thought of it.

He was tired of hiding what he felt for this girl. He loved her more than he loved himself. She was his world and compelling her to leave Mystic Falls had been the biggest mistake he had ever made, and he had made plenty of them in the century and a half that he'd been around. He had wanted her safe. Safe from the wolves, Katherine, Klaus and whatever supernatural entity came their way. He had been distressed by the fact that he may not be enough to protect her.

He knew he didn't deserve her; she was too good for him, but he was essentially a selfish being and he wanted her. The last few months had been hell without her around, his heart empty, his soul devoid of any joy. He had even thought about turning his emotions off. Just flipping the switch so he would not have to deal with the ache in his heart.

Today was the day that the world would know she was his. He was going to beg of her forgiveness for compelling her and letting her go. He would do it if that's what it took to bring her home, back home to Mystic Falls, his heart, and hopefully his bed. He smirked at the thought of her naked in his bed as he gazed into her chocolate colored eyes.

What he saw there surprised him. They were full of a warmth and love that he never thought he'd see directed at him again, not after he sent her away. His heart felt immensely lighter knowing that she still loved him. He smiled a genuine smile at her and she returned it with one of her own.

He hugged her close as he promised himself that he would never let her go again. Nothing would come between them, especially the copper headed motherfucker that was trying to woo his girl. Ever since he had arrived, he had felt a slight pressure in his head, though he wasn't too alarmed by it as he knew why he was feeling the pressure, The little shit is trying to get in my head. Good luck, asshole. He thought.

Stefan had filled him in on the coven of Cold Ones, their gifts, and the fact Edward had been sneaking into Isabella's room and that little detail did not sit well with him. In fact, it made fury flow through his veins like a wildfire as he glanced at the Cold One in question. The clouds started darkening once again and thunder sounded.

"Damon." Stefan said in a soft reprimand.

Damon had moved his gaze towards his brother, no doubt to issue some snarky retort when Edward approached them.

"Bella, you're safe now, come on home with us." His voice had more than a hint of command rather than the concern for her or gratitude to Damon for handling the situation. It irked her, and it showed in her features as she raised her head defiantly.

"No." she said, her voice firm with a touch of venom.

Edward chuckled mirthlessly, "You don't think I am going to leave you with a vampire that just maliciously and brutally slaughtered three drifters, do you?" His eyes hardened as they met hers, "You're coming with me." He then took a step forward. Bella took a step back and was about to open her mouth to speak when Damon stepped protectively in front of her.

"You stop right there, Sparkles."

Edward froze, eyeing the group around them. He knew that he couldn't read the minds of traditional vampires, their power and/or age kept him out, but why couldn't he read the humans that were with the group? He studied them as the brown haired male moved to stand beside Damon and the blonde female stood behind them, next to Bella.

Don't antagonize him, Edward, he heard Jasper in his thoughts. They have the upper hand and judging by the fury coming from Damon, he won't hesitate to kill you, too. Leave Bella be.

Edward turned to look at him and shook his head. "Bella is mine, and I am not leaving her with the company of killers, Jasper." He murmured in a venom-laced, condescending tone. He had not expected the other vampires to hear, and was surprised when Damon took a step forward, anger lacing his features. The blonde and the browned hair male glowered at him before their shifting their gazes to Damon.

"I have no idea what kind of fucking morality plane you walk on, Cullen, but that guy was gonna eat Isabella! News flash—there is no way in hell I would ever let that happen! So yes, I killed him! Deal with it!"

Edward stood with his hands on his hips, "There was no need to! We had it under control! You did not need to murder them!"

Bella stood quietly, standing in between Caroline and Stefan. She simply could not believe the arrogance of Edward. She knew the nomads had to be taken out, and yet he stood there berating Damon for doing what was necessary, for doing something that none of the Cullens had the balls to do.

She let go of Caroline's hand and stepped forward, but Stefan caught the back of her jacket to stop her.

"Wait, Bella." He said softly. Bella turned to him and nodded. She stood in her place, just watching Damon and Edward.

She thought Edward was crazy for thinking he could challenge one Damon Salvatore and she had an inkling this would not end well, not at all.

Damon angrily took another step forward, "Are you kidding me, little boy? You all had it under control? What was your plan? Were you all going to talk them to death? Hmm? I will tell you exactly what would have happened, had I not taken them out… either Isabella would have been a meal while Sparkle One and Sparkle Two got away from you. Or if by chance you lot actually got rid of Blondie, then the other two would have come back to seek revenge on both you and her for their coven mate. Those are chances I would never take, they needed to die."

Edward stood there, stunned into silence as Carlisle stepped forward, "Damon, is it?" At Damon's eye roll and nod, he continued, "I am Carlisle Cullen, perhaps we could all head back to our home and discuss things. I am sure Bella and her friends are tired."

Damon shook his head. 'There's nothing to discuss." With that, he turned and headed back towards Bella, taking her hand in his own.

Edward spoke again, his eyes catching Bella's and looking into them imploringly, "Just who is he to you, Bella? Who are these people that associate yourself with? Do you really find it necessary to share air with cold blooded killers?"

Bella had enough of Edward's behavior. His haughty attitude and obvious disdain for Damon and her friends was grinding on her last nerve. Just who the hell does he think he is? She thought. She looked at him as her eyes flashed with anger.

"Tell me, Edward why is it any of your business who I share air with? Why is it you feel that I owe you an explanation for anything in regards to MY life? Tell me just who do you think YOU are to ask questions about me and my friends? Another thing, you do not put down my friends, my family, and act like you are better than them! Yes, some of them are vampires and yes some of them have killed. Every vampire that has existed has killed, it's part of their nature, but it's something you and your family deny yourselves of every day. You don't feed on animal blood because it saves human lives, you all choose to feed on it because you feel that it puts you on a high moral ground, and you feel it makes you more human. I hate to break it to you, but none of you will ever be human. So think on that, Edward and get off your high horse."

Edward was taken aback by her words and scowled. He opened his mouth to speak several times but was unable to get any words out. He could hear the thoughts of his family as they called him several choice words in their heads, then there were more pleas from Jasper to just let Bella be and finally, Alice's vision of her kissing Damon made something snap in him and he growled.

It was then Carlisle placed a hand on his shoulder in a silent reprimand. He stepped forward, making eye contact with each one of Bella's friends before finally looking at the young girl in question.

"Bella, you must understand that we feel close to you, and because of that we have grown protective of you. After Damon's rather violent display, we need some reassurances that you will be safe."

Bella's face softened at the elder vampire's concern for her. "I will be fine, Carlisle. I can promise you that. These are my friends, but more than that, they are my family. Tyler, Bonnie, Matt, Caroline, Elena and I grew up together."

She jerked her head to Tyler, "He is the one that beat up a football player on my behalf for making unwanted advances on me." She smirked at the memory as he laughed.

"The prick deserved it." He said bluntly.

She smiled as she looked at Bonnie, "She is the one I go to when I need to talk or get something off my chest. She is the one that will do anything to protect those she loves." Bonnie smiled at her and nodded.

Bella pointed Matt, "That's Matt, you won't meet a more loyal friend than what he is. He will be there for you, no matter what. He is the one that makes sure I take the time to worry about me when I am the one that worries about everyone else."

Her eyes glistened with pride and love as they landed on Jeremy. "That is Jeremy, the closest I'll ever get to a little brother. Only he would be a brave enough human to try and fight a vampire all in the name of protecting someone he cares about." Bella smiled as she remembered the night he found out that her new found best friend and his sister's boyfriend were vampires. He had stormed the Salvatore Boarding House demanding that Stefan and Damon stay away from Elena and Bella.

Damon snorted, obviously reliving the memory, too. "He should've carved a better stake, his attempts were pitiful," he said with a chuckle.

Jeremy shrugged and muttered "Dick." He then shot a mock glare in the vampire's direction as Bella giggled.

Shaking her head, she continued and pointed to Elena, "This girl here, is my best friend, my sister. I loved her mother and father dearly as if they were my own. Elena, Jeremy and her parents were the family I always wanted, needed even. My own mother was too scatterbrained to bake me cookies or cook a homemade meal. Elena's mother did that for me. I literally lived at their house as I grew up." Bella smiled fondly at the girl, "She is the most selfless person you'd ever meet. There was a time a newly transitioned vampire tried to take a bite out of me. It was Elena who pushed me out the way, telling me to run to safety. She took the brunt of the attack, and was nearly drained. She did it so I would be safe." Bella sighed and licked her lips. 'That's what a true friend would do."

Elena grasped her hand, "You'd do the same for me, Bells."

Bella nodded in agreement and squeezed the girl's hand. "Yes, I would." She said softly.

Bella grinned as she said Caroline's name and gestured in the girl's direction. "Now she is the one I used to fight with over the swings at the playground when we kids, or we'd fight over who would be first in line when the ice cream truck made its rounds." Caroline let out a small giggle as she eyed the girl. "She always has a scheme up her sleeve to make any event better. She's bossy, opinionated and a neurotic control freak, but make no mistake, you mess with any of us; she will kick your ass. She's also the one that got me this ridiculously expensive raincoat when she found out I was moving here, probably thinking that the rain is no excuse not to look fashionable. She always has your back, no matter what."

"Now, this is Stefan. He is my best friend, the over-protective big brother that worries incessantly about everything, to the point it's annoying." She winked at the green eyed vampire as his lips twitched in amusement. "That said, I couldn't even begin to fathom NOT having him in my life. He has been my life preserver, not letting me drown in this crazy world of the supernatural. Not only that, but he has protected me, kept me safe."

Stefan spoke under his breath, "I obviously didn't protect you from everything" as he turned his head towards his brother then tossing a spiteful glance towards Edward.

It was an action that didn't go unnoticed by Bella, who spoke softly, while gazing at Damon, "Some things I don't need protection from, Stef."

She then met Damon's eyes, her smile lighting up her whole face as she looked into them. She inhaled a deep breath and slowly let it out. Her thoughts tumbled inside her head as she tried to think of what exactly he was to her. Friend, ex-boyfriend, ex-lover, maybe even soul mate could describe him, but that was just a small part of who he was to her. Just being near him now made her world a better place, infinitely brighter. Just how do you put that into words? She realized she couldn't. She turned slightly, facing Carlisle and the rest of his coven.

She reached for Damon's hand, squeezing it lightly, "There are no words to describe Damon, not really. Nothing I could say would even begin to encompass everything that he is, or what he is to me. He and I never put labels on what we were, they were never needed, but what I can tell you is this: I would lay my life down for him, and he'd do the same for me. He's done it before, more than once."

She turned back to Damon, licking her lips as she looked up at him, her eyes telling him what she can't say out loud. "I love you" was the unspoken statement. He gently smiled at her, his eyes relaying the same message loud and clear. He reached up and stroked her cheek and she had just leaned into the touch when she heard a sharp hiss.

She was broken out of the spell that her and Damon had slipped into briefly and snapped her head toward the sound. Her eyes blazed like fire as she stared Edward down.

"That's enough Edward, you're acting like a spoiled child that had his favorite toy taken away. You need to realize that I am no one's toy, nor am I a little lamb set for the slaughter. I realize you may have some half-assed romantic notions towards me, but I don't feel the same for you. I would say 'I'm sorry' if I wanted to be nicer about it, but the truth is, I'm not." She shrugged and observed the Cold Ones, who had all gathered to stand behind Carlisle and Edward.

Alice stood with a sad pout and glassy eyes filled with unshed tears. What that was about Bella didn't know, nor did she care. Emmett, the only one she actually liked, looked like a lost puppy. She smiled wanly at him, with a slight regret that she'd never got a chance to get to know him better. She quickly shook the thought off and focused her attention on Rosalie, who stood picking her nails as if she was bored. Bella then moved her gaze to Jasper, who stood stoically, observing his surroundings, just as she was doing. Esme looked forlorn, a mixture of disappointment and sorrow on her face. Finally, she looked at the father figure of the group. He stood watching her movements with a blank expression on his face.

She cleared her throat and spoke again, "You see Carlisle… there is no reason to be concerned with regards to my safety. So, if you don't mind, I think my friends and I need to leave now. We have some catching up to do." She waved half-heartedly at them, then turned to walk in the opposite direction, tugging Damon along with her. The rest of her friends quickly followed as they made their way out of the field, following a trail into the woods.

They walked silently along the trail but had not got very far when they heard a high-pitched shout, 'No Edward!" and it was a spilt second later that Edward was before them, yanking Bella out from Damon's grasp.

"You can't have her! She is mine! I won't allow you to take her back to Mystic Falls!"

Damon's whole body was enveloped with fury as his eyes became red, veins appearing under them, his fangs prominently displayed as he opened his mouth, growling at the one who dared to try and take his Isabella from him. He charged after Edward, pushing him with all the strength he had, sending the Cold One flying into the trees, snapping them. Edward quickly got up and lunged for the vampire.

"Nice try, dick." Damon taunted. He had wound his hand tightly around Edward's throat as he glared menacingly at him, no doubt about to kill him for his actions.

He was about to tell Edward just who his Isabella belonged to when two things happened: The scent of Bella's blood filled the air and Elena's voice rang through the clearing, "Damon!" she shouted. "It's Bella!"

Still holding Edward by the throat, he snapped his head to the Elena who was worriedly looking at something on the ground, her body slumped over it. Tears spilled from her eyes as she repeatedly mumbled Bella's name. Damon's heart lurched at the sight and he angrily threw Edward to the side, blurring over to where Bella laid on the ground in a pool of blood.

"What the fuck happened?" he growled out.

Elena was sobbing, unable to speak when Stefan calmly told him that Bella had stumbled and fell when Edward yanked her away from them. Damon let out another ferocious growl as he eyed the copper colored twat heading their way.

"Bella," he brokenly whispered as he approached them. "I'm sorry." He said as he started to kneel down next to her.

Damon's eyes flashed heatedly, his vampire visage still prominent, "Get the hell away from her!"

Edward froze, taken aback by the anger radiating off the vampire in front of him.

Damon's anger rose even further when he didn't move, and his tone become laced with a threatening edge to it. "Now!" he spat out.

Edward felt as if his heart would leap out of his chest as he nervously backed away, never taking his eyes off Bella.

Damon then quickly surveyed the scene, taking note that most of the Cullens had fled the area. Daddy Vamp and Boy Wonder were the only ones who remained behind.

His eyes fell onto Bella, assessing her injuries, her heart beat was slow, her breathing shallow and she was losing blood at an alarming rate. He was about to bite into his wrist to feed her his blood when Carlisle stepped up to them. "She needs to go to a hospital." He stated.

Damon threw an incredulous look at him and spat, "And tell them what?! That your little boy pushed her onto the ground?"

Carlisle sighed, "She needs blood, Damon. If we don't get her there soon, she will die."

Damon stubbornly shook his head, "Not on my watch, she won't." He then bit into his wrist placing it over her mouth and grunted in frustration when he saw the blood just flowing out the side of her mouth. She wasn't swallowing it.

"Damn it, Isabella, drink the fucking blood! Do you hear me? You are not going to die in the woods like an animal, I won't have it!" His desperation was evident in his voice and as their close friends looked on, some were surprised at just how much he did care for the girl.

Edwards face was scrunched up in disgust, "You're giving her your blood!?"

Damon whipped his head up to the petulant tween, "Do you really think this is the first time I have given her my blood?"

He briefly thought of one of the best moments in his life, a memory he cherished. He closed his eyes as the image came to his mind of Bella's legs wrapped around him as he was moving inside her. His mouth was placed on her throat as he climaxed, drinking from her, and her own mouth on his neck as she drank from him.

He savored the memory before gently picking Bella up and placing her in his lap, her head resting on his shoulder. He bit into his wrist and tried once again to get her to drink. She still didn't swallow and he took a deep calming breath before hastily ripping her Vervain filled locket off her neck.

"Wh-Why are you removing her necklace? She is never without it." Edward asked.

Damon blatantly ignored him as he focused to get inside Bella's head. He needed to get her to drink his blood. That was his only concern at the moment. He didn't need to be bothered with questions right now. He relaxed, his vampire visage fading as he did so.

Stefan politely answered the question instead, all the while casting apprehensive glances to his brother and the girl he considered a sister. He sent a silent prayer to a God that he wasn't quite sure that existed and prayed that whatever Damon did would work. He felt that Bella was much too special not to be part of this world, and now realizing that perhaps his brother had found love again, he feared what it would do to him if he lost it. If his inklings were correct, he knew that it'd be very likely that Damon would flip the switch on his emotions.

Damon had finally slipped into Bella's head and grinned at what her mind had conjured up. She was dreaming of the two of them on a Ferris wheel, and it was just the two of them in the cab as it stopped at the top. He watched himself and Bella as she climbed into his lap, kissing him hungrily. Her skirt had hiked up and she wore no underwear. She quickly undid his pants, springing him free, then slid down onto him, moaning.

He would be the first to admit he rather enjoyed what he saw, and any other time he would have taken the opportunity to at least make part of her dream come true. He smirked at the thought as he manipulated her dream so that they were at her favorite spot in Mystic Falls, the library at his home. She looked around confused until Damon spoke up, "Well, well, well, who knew you had such a dirty mind, Isabella?"

She blushed deeply and spun around, looking at him, her eyes wide. "Wha-How!?" was all she could manage to say.

Damon walked to her taking her hands in his. "I'm in your head. You fell, remember?" Her brow furrowed and she shook her head no.

"Fuckward snatched you away from me and you fell, hitting your head on a rock."

Her face turned into a scowl as she looked up at him. "I-I remember, now… Did you give me your blood, yet?"

He sighed and replied, "I couldn't get you to drink. You're losing a lot of blood right now, and you need to get some of my blood in your system."

He bit into his wrist and offered it to her. She took it without hesitation and suckled on his wrist. He carefully maneuvered her to the couch and settled her in his lap. He knew she was not only drinking in this dream world, but in the physical world as well and the relief he felt was palpable as it coursed through his veins. The only hope he had left was that it'd be enough to save her. If it didn't, she'd die with his blood in her system and it would give them the gift of time. Time for her to live, even just a little bit longer, or maybe eternity as a vampire. A large part of him hoped for the latter if it came to that.

While Damon was giving Bella his blood, Carlisle stepped forward addressing Stefan, "Is it really wise for her to be drinking vampire blood? What if she were to die?"

Before Stefan could answer, Edward had marched up to them, scorn marring his features. "If she dies she goes into transition… do any of you not care about her soul? She'll be a monster!"

Elena was more than flabbergasted at Edwards's outburst and threw her hands up in the air. "Of course we do! If she dies, it will be HER choice if she wants to become a vampire. Not ours, not yours, but Bella's! You have no say in what we do or what she does! If and when she ever becomes a vampire, she won't be a monster… that much I promise you!"

Stefan then spoke up, pointing to his brother, "He is trying with everything he has to save her. You should be thankful he's able to do that. Remember, if she dies, it's on you. You hurt her, so don't be a self-righteous jackass."

Carlisle made his way towards Bella and Damon while the group was distracted by his son's outburst. Innately curious by nature, he wanted to see if the vampire's blood was indeed healing her.

Damon lowly growled out "I told your son to stay the hell away from her! The same applies to you."

"I won't hurt her… I am a doctor. I can help." His tone was calm and placating.

"I don't care."

Carlisle felt a hand on his shoulder and he turned to see Stefan standing right next to him. "My brother has made it more than perfectly clear he doesn't want you, nor Edward anywhere near Bella. I would strongly advise you to leave them be."

Edward crossed his arms over his chest and sneered, "And what will he do? Kill us, too?"

"Yes" was the simple reply from Stefan. Edward scoffed and chuckled until Stefan fixed him with a stony stare. Edward met his gaze and felt a chill course through his body as he realized the truth behind Stefan's answer.

He was watching Bella intently as Damon fed her his blood. Her color came back to her cheeks, her heart became stronger, and her breaths were no longer shallow. He was amazed by how well vampire blood healed, but that thought soon dissipated as he realized that it was Damon's blood in her system. A surge of jealousy run through him and he scowled again.

Damon didn't miss the action, his eyes held a trace of mischief as he went back into Bella's mind. "You're getting stronger. Are you up for a little fun?"

She arched her eyebrow in a gesture to continue. "Eddie boy is making all sorts of commotion, and is positively seething I am feeding you blood. The dick was more worried about your soul than saving you. Another thing, he's said at least twice that you're his."

He shook his head and vehemently stated, "There's no way in hell that you are his. How about we prove it to him?"

She cocked her head, removing his wrist from her mouth and asked, "How?"

Damon chuckled, "Well I am in your head, which means I sorta ripped your pretty little locket off." Bella fumed at the thought for a moment before he spoke again, "It was absolutely necessary, otherwise you'd be dead if I couldn't get you to drink."

Bella nodded in agreement as he placed his wrist back on her mouth. "But it also means that little fucker should be able to get into your head, if I let him."

She smiled against his wrist, and a mischievous glint sparked in her eyes as she pulled her mouth away. "What do you want to do?"

Damon cocked his head to the side, "How about we show him just who you belong to?"

Bella finished drinking and licked the wound clean. He became momentarily distracted by the way her tongue sensually licked the blood as she looked up at him through her lashes. He inhaled a sharp breath and closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation. Bella grinned at his reaction.

"And just who do I belong to, Salvatore? Hmm?" She bit her bottom lip waiting for his response.

He opened his eyes and removed her lip from her mouth, lightly running his finger against it. He eyed her hungrily as he pulled her closer, whispering in her ear, "Who do you think you belong to, Isabella?"

She shivered as the words washed over her, the close proximity of him making her insides tingle. She looked up at him and a smile slowly spread across her face.

"You," she murmured. "I belong to you." She wrapped her hands around his neck, stood on her tip toes and pressed her lips to his, letting them linger there for longer than what one might be consider an innocent kiss.

She pulled back, looking him in the eye, "Is he listening?"

Grinning like a Cheshire cat, Damon nodded. "He's growling like a little puppy-dog, guess he's not liking what he's seeing."

Bella returned the grin and the dream world they were in faded before finally going black. Then she heard Damon telling her to wake up as she opened her eyes. She was acutely aware of the fact that she was in fact sitting in Damon's lap like she had been in the dream he created for her and she blushed a deep crimson when she realized everyone's eyes were on them. She heard Damon chuckle behind her and she playfully smacked his leg before standing up.

Damon got up too, standing behind her and wrapping an arm around her waist to steady her. Elena smiled, running up to Bella and hugging her. "I am so glad you're okay!"

Bella returned the hug with a "I am, too." She took in the group and smiled widely at them all, letting them know that she was perfectly fine.

Edward approached, his hands on his hips as he looked at her sadly. "You belong to him?" he questioned, his voice barely above a whisper. Bella thought it was a rather pitiful sight.

"Yes," she answered honestly, "He is mine and I am his." She felt Damon's arms tighten around her as she spoke the words, silently reaffirming that he felt the same.

Edward looked down at the forest floor dejectedly and sighed. He stood that way for a few minutes and she couldn't help but think he reminded her of a sad little boy. Maybe because that's all she could see him as; a petulant, spoiled little boy.

She never was one to deliberately hurt someone's feelings, but she could not shake the feeling that Edward deserved what he got. He had brought these things upon himself and she would not be responsible for whatever he had deluded himself into thinking, in regards to her. Oh no, she felt that he needed to face the truth, that there was never a chance for them, her heart belonged to Damon. It would always be Damon.

He spoke in a defeated tone, not looking at her, "You love him."

It wasn't a question, it was a statement. A statement that needed verification, so she answered with a soft, and revered, "Yes."

The word seemed to echo out into the clearing and she met all her friends' eyes, daring them almost to protest. Not that it'd matter, anyway. She loved Damon and nothing would change that fact. There were some shocked faces and there was a certain amount of disapproval across Bonnie's features, which had made her heart sink just a tad. Her spirits were buoyed, though when Stefan winked at her and smiled.

She heard Matt proclaim, "And another vamp gets the girl." To which she giggled, and felt Damon's chuckle vibrate along her back and the warmth of his breath on her neck as he planted a kiss there.

He moved his lips to her ear and whispered, "I love you, too."

Bella closed her eyes had her heart soared. For a moment in time she forgot where she was because those three little words was all she ever needed to hear from him. She never even noticed when Edward was pulled out of the clearing by his so-called father.

Damon had stood behind her, with a malicious smirk, a dark glint in his eye as he opened his mind once again to the mind-reader, "That's right you little shit, she is mine. Don't you forget it! Oh, and if you even look at Isabella again, I will end you. What I did with the nomads was nothing more than child's play in comparison to what I would do to you. Do I make myself clear, Sparkles?"

Edward had snarled and attempted to launch himself at Damon when Carlisle held him back. "That's enough Edward, she clearly does not belong to you, but I am sure you knew that. We will have some things to discuss when we arrive home, won't we?"

It wasn't spoken loud enough for human ears, but Damon smirked at them as they left the clearing. His smugness was evident as he spoke, "Who would want you anyway, especially after they've had me?"

With one final growl from Edward, the two remaining Cullens had left the clearing.

The girls had run up to Bella then, Caroline pulling her out of Damon's arms. She hugged her tightly, then held her at arm's length, and blurted out "So you and Damon? Really, Bells? Do you know what kind of guy he is?"

Bella scoffed at her, "This is why I never wanted to tell any of you anything about it. All you ever do is tear down Damon, and I didn't want to deal with the judgy bull crap from all of you!"

She run her hand through her hair out of frustration, eyeing each one in the group, "I know the things Damon has done, but what all of fail to see or choose to overlook, is the good he has done."

She looked at Elena pointedly, 'How many times has he watched out for you? How many times has he saved your ass?" She then looked at Stefan, "Who helped you with that little human blood addiction you had last year? Huh?"

She sighed, "Yes, I love him and I fought that fact for so long…I really did! But sometimes, the heart wants what the heart wants. Mine just happened to want Damon." She shrugged as she looked pleadingly at the group to accept her love for Damon, to accept their relationship if they were to resume it.

They were silent when Elena suddenly spoke up, "When did this happen?"

It was Damon who answered, "What exactly do you think was going on between us, Elena? What do you think we were doing for hours on end at the Boarding House while you were busy getting it on with my brother?"

Bella smacked his arm lightly as he grinned. "Hush you! They don't need the details!"

"Oh my God!" Caroline shrieked as Damon's insinuation became clear to her. "You slept…"

She was cut off as Stefan covered her mouth. "I don't think Bella needs you broadcasting her activities, Caroline."

"Oh, don't worry about it, Stef. Now that you guys know, I am sure Damon will have no issues broadcasting it himself." She rolled her eyes and smiled at the thought.

"Who me?" he asked teasingly.

'Yes you! Don't try the innocent look with me! It doesn't suit you." He chuckled, and the two started getting lost in their own world, it didn't last long though as Stefan broke the silence.

"If you two were together, then why did you leave, Bella?"

Her face became masked with sadness as she remembered the night Damon broke up with her. It had been shortly after Katherine had beaten her. It had been the second time someone had used her to get to him and he just couldn't handle it. He was livid and had gone on a rampage not long after rescuing her.

He had then come to her room late that night, a mess of torn clothes, blood and dirt. There had been guilt in his eyes, his shoulders hung as if he carried a burden, his voice barely a whisper as he spoke.

"I don't deserve you," was the first thing he had said. She had gone to him and tried to take him in her arms, but he had refused to let her, instead, brushing her aside. He had then moved to her closet grabbing her suitcase, randomly tossing clothes into them.

"I want you to leave," he'd said bluntly. Bella had been almost speechless, standing there bewildered. He had continued throwing stuff in her suitcase and there was a wildness about him that she had never seen before. "I want you to leave because I cannot fucking protect you!"

"Damon." she had whimpered tearfully. "I won't leave you."

"You have to!" he shouted "Don't you get it?! I love you! That fact makes you a target, and what if I am not around to save you the next time someone comes after you? Huh? What if I am not enough to protect you from the wolves, Katherine, or whatever else comes along? You deserve something so much better than this! You don't deserve to have a killer for a boyfriend, you need to go to Forks and stay with your father! Get away from this place and get away from me!"

Tears had fallen down her face as she felt her world shatter completely around her. She had walked up to him, forcibly telling him, "I won't go! My place is here with you! I love you, Damon and nothing you do or say will change that! Nothing!"

The last thing she remembered was him stilling his movements, and taking her face in his hands. He had sighed and closed his eyes, taking her face in her hands, "Do this… do it for me. I need you safe, Isabella. The world would be so dark without you in it, I can't risk your life anymore. I can't."

That was the last memory she had of the night and the next day she had found herself packed and ready to go to the airport. She shook her head at the memory as something niggled her mind. She had her suspicions that he compelled her and her anger flared slightly, but she shook it off for now and answered Stefan's question simply.

"Damon broke up with me. That's not the whole reason I left though, apparently someone thought it wasn't safe for me in Mystic Falls." She cast a glance to Damon indicating she knew exactly why she left. He tensed momentarily under her gaze but seemed to brush it off.

Stefan had nodded and left it at that. The group made their way out of the clearing, finally making it to the vehicles they had rented and heading back to Bella's house. Once they got there, she had sent everyone but Damon inside. They stood in the driveway quietly, neither of them not knowing exactly what to say.

"You compelled me." She stated finally, not wanting to beat around the bush.

"Yes, I did." He took her hand in his and pleadingly looked at her. "I think you understand why I did it, and before you even ask…I do regret it. These last couple of months have been absolute hell without you, so you can yell at me, you can chew me out, but nothing will even come close to making me feel the way I felt without you. I don't say this often, so don't expect it… I'm sorry. I am sorry I hurt you, I am sorry I sent you away, I am sorry I compelled you, but I will never be sorry for loving you or doing what I can protect you. I don't expect to have your forgiveness, but I do want you. Like you said when I was in your head, you belong to me. Call me a possessive ass if you want, but it is what it is, Isabella."

She stood there, taking in every word he said. She saw the regret in his eyes, she saw the love he had for her, and the intensity of her own feelings overwhelmed her. She surged forward, and wrapped her arms around his neck, and as he wound his arms around her, she begun to speak.

"You are an ass. You have never denied that, but let's get one thing clear…Love isn't about who deserves who, Damon. It's about loving someone, and accepting them for who they are. You are a vampire, you kill, you drink blood, you're irrational at times, but I care nothing about any of that, because I love you, and that means all of you, the good and the bad. The heart wants what the heart wants, and mine wants you. I love you. I will always love you, and I will never be sorry about that." She smiled softly, "Another thing, I am just as possessive as you are, so not only am I yours, you are mine."

Damon smiled and lent down to kiss her. His lips had barely brushed hers when she spoke again. "Don't ever compel me again." She grabbed his face in her hands, "I mean it, don't do it."

He sighed but nearly stumbled back as she surged forward and kissed him, passionately. He moaned as his hands moved to grip her hips and she took that as an invitation, plunging her tongue into his mouth.

The kiss became heated and somehow they found themselves against Charlie's cruiser, her legs wrapped around his waist, her body seeking friction against his. They broke the kiss, and he moved his lips to her ear, nipping at them lightly.

"I want you," he whispered. Bella shuddered and moaned as she felt her legs clench around him. She pressed herself closer to him and kissed him once again. She was almost breathless when she ended the kiss, lightly nibbling on his lip.

"Isabella…" he pleaded, his eyes full of lust. She gave him a saucy grin as she unwrapped her legs and slowly slid down his body.

"Come with me," she purred, and sauntered off, her hips moving suggestively. Damon groaned with want as he followed her.

He saw that she was headed toward the woods, and grinned. When they were far enough under the cover of the trees she spun aground with a seductive smile on her face and took off her raincoat. Damon mimicked her movements, tossing his leather jacket aside and inching his way closer to her.

She had just taken off her sweatshirt when he approached her from behind. He unhooked her bra and discarded it onto the forest floor.

She let out a loud moan as he cupped her breasts, tweaking her nipples with his fingers. He bent his head to her shoulder, leaving a trail of kisses before taking his tongue and trailing it up her neck. She turned and wound her hands in his hair, tugging on it gently while he grabbed her ass, pulling her to him as he kissed her, his tongue fighting for dominance with hers.

She pulled back from the kiss when she needed to breathe and then quickly unbuttoned his shirt, taking it off and tossing it behind him. She traced the planes of his chest, lightly trailing her nails down to his abs. Once she reached the waistband of his pants, she quickly undid the buckle and unsnapped his pants, her hands making their way inside and grasping his arousal in her hands. He tilted his head back, enjoying the warmth of her hand on him. Bella smiled at the sight of him, basking in the pleasure she was giving him and kissed along his neck and shoulders.

He grabbed her face suddenly and kissed her again, then he reached down and unbuttoned her jeans. They came off easily, along with her socks and shoes, and she found herself against a tree, her legs wrapped around Damon. She could barely contain her moan as he entered her. He rested his head against hers, "I love you, Isabella."

"And I love you."

With that, they continued their tryst well into the night, reaffirming their love for one another. They made up for lost time, and promises were made that this would be the beginning of forever.


Special thanks to my fabulous beta, Cuinawen. She is so dedicated that she beta'd this story while sick with a virus and tonsillitis. She will never know how much I appreciate her, both as a beta and a friend. EWE, Twinnie! You're the best! *Leaves a Tootsie Pop behind for you*