"So he didn't tell you where he got it, then."
"No. But I didn't ask either, so…"
Elena let out an uncomfortable breath before pulling the hair back away from her face.
"O—kay what was that?"
"What was what?"
Bonnie stared at her suspiciously. "That sound. You always make that sound when you know something bad that you're not supposed to talk about."
Elena shrugged but didn't answer any further.
They were halfway up the road leading back to the mansion when Bonnie suddenly stopped.
"Elena. What's going on? Where exactly did Kai get this necklace?"
She clutched the turquoise stone pendant between her fingers and observed Elena's face carefully, gauging her reaction.
Elena walked back to her and looked her straight in the eyes. "Look Bonnie, this time I can't talk to you about this. This is something you need to ask Kai about—it's between you and him and as much as I—hate to admit it, it's not my business." She acquiesced with a tight smile.
Bonnie gave a fleeting look at the pendant again, then looked off in the distant, gnawing on her bottom lip pensively.
"Okay. Fine. I guess I'll let you off this one." A light smile touched her bow-shaped lips as the two women resumed their walk back to the mansion.
# # # #
While Elena and Damon sat in the living room catching up on each other's day, Bonnie wandered into the kitchen where Kai was presently making dinner.
Ever since her near-death incident, he'd formed the habit of cooking dinner every night and it wasn't long before Damon figured out that cooking had become Kai's coping mechanism; almost losing Bonnie had just about scared the hell out of him and then some.
Bonnie pushed the swinging door open and for a brief moment, she just stood there, quietly staring at his back.
It was strange seeing Kai jacketless—tonight, all he had on were dark wash, stressed jeans and a plain grey fitted T-shirt.
And was he barefoot?!
Bonnie's eyes widened in surprise and then a playful smirk broke out across her face.
Barefoot Kai? Now that was kind of sexy.
"Liking what you see there, Bon bon?"
She startled but scowled when Kai tossed a very arrogant smirk over his shoulder.
"Seriously? How do you make it through doorways with that ego?"
"Effortlessly! I just turn sideways." He responded, not missing a beat as a boyish smirk replaced its arrogant counterpart.
Bonnie scoffed. "And there it is. The snarky comeback."
She pushed off the wall lightly and walked up beside him, eyeing the mouth-watering unknown substance simmering in the saucepan by his elbow.
"That is the creamy tomato basil sauce that's going with the pasta." He responded easily, turning his attention to the pasta boiling in the larger pot on the back burner. Lifting the lid, he tested a noodle or two and nodded his head in satisfaction before replacing the lid and turning the burner off.
"Is there—anything you can't make?"
Kai thought for a moment. "Oatmeal?"
Bonnie stared at him. "You're kidding me. Of all the things and you can't make oatmeal?! That doesn't make any sense! You just put the oats in a bowl, add water and stick it in the microwave for a minute!"
"I know it's crazy but I've tried so many times and I just can't get it right. It always comes out too sticky and dry."
"Do you put it in for a minute?"
"Just enough water to cover the oats?"
"Well you're doing something wrong because I've never heard of anyone who can mess up a bowl of freakin oatmeal in the microwave."
"Well! Now you have." He hip checked her playfully and reached into the drawer to pull out the hot pads.
Bonnie shook her head in disbelief; how does someone mess up microwave oatmeal?
With her back to the counter she leaned against it, her arms casually folded across her chest.
"So. How's it looking?"
Kai flipped off the remaining burner, lifted the lid and lightly stirred the sauce, taking a few whiffs of it.
A triumphant smile spread across his face and Bonnie had to roll her eyes, though unable to hide a smile of her own.
"Oh Ms. Bennett, you are about to experience the most incredible foodgasm of your life."
Bonnie reared back from him. "E-excuse me?!" She sputtered.
"What? Foodgasm. You know like—do you ever leave your house?"
"Oh. Foodgasm. Right. Yes."
Kai eyed her skeptically. "What did you think I'd said?"
Bonnie pulled her lips together in a tight line and avoided his eyes. "Not 'foodgasm'."
It hit him and Kai couldn't help but snort humorously. "Wow. I don't know how you got—that out of 'foodgasm.'"
"Shut it, Malakai."
She was still avoiding his gaze but he could tell she was blushing furiously. The embarrassment was dripping from her voice as he set the hot pads aside and came to stand in front of her.
"You know, most times when people used my full name? It was because I was in trouble or they were pissed as hell. But when you say it, for some crazy reason, I don't get that same feeling of—dread; it just sounds like you're trying to flirt with me."
Bonnie gasped. God, this guy came up with the most bizarre assumptions.
"O—kay well I don't know where you got that from—"
"Maybe it's the way you say it." His voice came out a bit softer this time and Bonnie felt that all-too-familiar feeling of excitement and panic wash over her.
"I don't—say it in any particular way."
"You do. You don't think you do but—you do."
"Hmm." Was all she said as she looked away and fixed her eyes on the stove.
Kai couldn't help but notice how her body language changed. Her one arm wrapped around her waist in a protective manner while her free hand fidgeted nervously with the pendant dangling around her neck.
His eyes zoned in on the anxious movement. "Does it help?"
It was the first time she met his eyes. "What?"
He nodded towards the necklace. "The pendant. Does it help? Do you feel safer with it?"
Bonnie's eyes softened and she couldn't help but feel warm inside at the thought that he was still worried about her.
"Yeah—I do, thank you."
Kai nodded but said nothing else.
"Actually I've been wanting to ask you—where did you get this from?"
Suddenly, his eyes darkened a shade and he looked away. After a moment, he met her eyes again. "It was my mother's."
Bonnie's breath hitched and she stared at him wide-eyed.
"And ever since she died, I've been looking for it for most of my life."
"How—how did you find it?"
He hesitated, knowing this was the part Bonnie was definitely not going to like.
"Daddy dearest had it. Turns out he's—had it all the time. Most likely stole it right off of her dead body after he killed her. It definitely wasn't on her when we burned her."
Bonnie swallowed hard, looked down at the floor and then back up again. "So—how did you find out he had it?"
Kai looked straight into her eyes then. "I found out the night after you were hurt."
"You went out looking for him."
"I don't understand—I mean I guess I'm trying to figure out how you got it if he had it. I'm guessing he didn't just give it to you willingly, did he?"
"It doesn't matter. What matters is I got it back and it's yours now."
He made to turn back to the stove but Bonnie's hand on his arm stopped him.
"Kai—it matters to me. How did you get it back?"
Kai's jaw clenched and this time it was him who refused to meet her eyes. "Bonnie, don't. Don't go asking questions you don't want to know the answers to."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
He turned on her and his expression was hard. "Exactly what it means. Don't. Ask questions. You don't want. To know. The answers to."
"Seriously? You're gonna do this now?" Bonnie was frustrated with his secrecy and his persistence to avoid her was getting irritating.
"Look, I'm just doing what's best okay? Just drop it."
"No!" She shouted.
Kai stared at her in surprise.
"No. Because the last time I 'dropped it'? You were gone for three fucking days and you almost didn't come back. So no, Kai I'm not 'dropping it'."
Kai rubbed a hand down the front of his face and groaned. "God, Bonnie we've been over this, just stop."
"Fine. I'll stop when you tell me what the hell happened that night and how you got this!"
Kai let out a heavy sigh and turned around again to face her.
She stood firm with arms folded across her chest and her plucky lips set in a determined frown.
Honestly, he would've smiled at how adorable she looked if it weren't for the fact that in the next five minutes, she would very likely go back to hating him once she knew what he had done.
"Fine. You're not gonna let this go so—fine. He was wearing it when I found him. I put two and two together and I knew there was no way in hell I'd be able to get your magic back or siphon his while he had it. So I fake surrendered, made him believe he had me and then at the last minute, I got the upper hand and split his skull in two. Needless to say, I didn't have to bother with the whole siphoning aspect of my plan; killing a witch automatically frees any magic they may have obtained dishonestly."
Bonnie was quiet during his entire explanation and when it ended, she still kept perfectly still and didn't utter a word.
After about ten seconds—which felt like an eternity—Kai let out a breath and threw his hands up in surrender. "There. Now you know. Now you've got a legit reason to hate me again so congratulations, you don't have to waste any more time pretending."
He turned away from her, unable to bear the look of renewed hate and judgement that doubtlessly blazed in her eyes.
But instead, he was caught completely by surprise.
Bonnie grabbed his wrist and stopped him before he could walk away and as calmly as he'd ever seen her, she walked around from behind and came to stand right in front of him—her fingers slipping down to entwine with his.
For what seemed like ages, she just stood there, quietly looking up into his eyes and for some unexplainable reason, the look she gave him had him holding his breath.
"I don't hate you. And I'm not pretending." She said this so softly, he almost had to strain in order to catch it.
"I may not always like you—and I definitely don't always agree with the things you do. But—I don't hate you. I did once…but not anymore."
Kai was frozen in place and he could only stare back at her, mutely—his head spinning in confusion and elation at her words.
Then, her hand slipped from his and came to rest on his chest as she spoke. "I know you did what you had to do. Your dad was evil and he would've killed me and anyone else who got in his way."
She noticed how Kai's entire body went rigid at the mention of his father killing her and a small smile broke across her lips.
"It's okay. What you did, had to be done and I understand that. So don't worry." She ended her little speech with a brief understanding smile before her hand slipped from his chest and she turned to walk away.
But Kai was shaken out of his stupor the moment she touched him and his whole body ignited.
He grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back towards him.
"Oh no you don't!" He uttered in a husky breath right before pulling her into his arms and crushing his lips against hers.
Bonnie barely felt his strong hand wrapping around her arm, before she was being roughly pulled back to him and she didn't have the chance to breathe before his mouth was on hers, attacking her lips aggressively.
What—in heaven's name?!
It happened so fast! One minute she was telling him that what happened with his father was okay and the next, he was trapping her in the most deliciously painful embrace and devouring her hungrily with his mouth.
This wasn't at all what she had expected and her head and her heart were once again at war with each other. Was this right? Could she really afford to let him get this close to her? What about everything that had happened before? It was the past but that didn't mean the hurt and pain just went away—Kai had put her through so much and even though he'd apologized, they still had yet to sit down and have a candid conversation about it.
Not to mention that she'd delivered a few of her own blows and stabbed him in the back—literally.
Maybe he'd deserved it then. More than deserved it but that didn't make it right with the way things were now…
It all came rushing in and once again, she felt herself shying away from all the overwhelming feelings of passion and she fought him.
Kai felt her body instantly tense and he knew, her head was getting in the way again.
Damn it, this woman was the most infuriating, stubborn, rational person he'd ever met in his entire life! And considering the woman his mother was, that was saying a whole lot.
Well this time, he wasn't gonna let her off so easy—he could fight back just as hard as she could.
With his arms still wrapped around her waist, he backed Bonnie into a corner and then pulled out of the kiss to look in her eyes.
"Stop fighting me." He ordered, breathing heavily as he pinned her with a determined stare.
"Stop—kissing me—I t-told you—not to."
"You told me to stop touching you."
Bonnie squirmed in his arms but he held her fast. "It's the same thing."
"Well I might—if you'd stop fighting me." He reiterated, pressing his body against hers for good measure.
Bonnie let out a frustrated moan, wriggling in his arms again.
"That didn't sound like—a protest—Bonnie."
She looked up into his eyes—they were blazing.
"Shut up and let me go."
"No." And with that, he landed another firm kiss to her parted lips, letting his tongue lightly flick out and drag across her bottom lip.
This caused Bonnie to hiss and she shook her head. "Kai, I'm serious. Stop it."
"Why? Do you hate it?" He asked seriously but his eyes never lost their passionate fire as he stared her down.
Bonnie's gaze faltered slightly but then she looked back defiantly and answered, "Yes."
Kai's jaw ticked and his stormy eyes bored into hers, narrowing slightly. "Liar." He shot back before gripping her chin roughly in one hand and pulling her mouth to meet his.
Bonnie tried to pull away but his grip on her chin only tightened and she knew she was losing the fight.
Just before his lips touched hers, he paused and looked deep into her eyes.
"I told you—I wasn't going to let you get away again." His breath ghosted across her parted lips and she gasped at the sensation—she could practically taste him.
His grey eyes flickered to hers one last time before his mouth spread into a devilish smirk as he claimed her lips again.
This time, Bonnie fought back half-heartedly.
She hated to admit it but this man's kiss was criminal and his fiery touch was so consuming—she was addicted to it.
She couldn't keep running like this; Elena was right.
Denial was only making things worse and in truth, it made it that much harder for her to keep resisting Kai even when a part of her so desperately wanted to.
She wasn't sure how much longer that part of her could hold out.
Every time she was near him, she could feel herself slowly giving in—the walls she'd so carefully constructed were gradually crumbling and being in his arms like this—those walls were crashing down with a vengeance.
She felt one of Kai's hands move to the small of her back where his fingers slipped beneath the fabric and danced across her bare skin.
Oh good Lord in heaven, he'd found the chink in her armor—that was her breaking point.
A shock of electricity went right through her and her whole body quivered as his fingers continued caressing the small of her back, moving over to settle on the sensitive dip in her hip.
Bonnie couldn't fight it anymore and a drawn out moan broke from her lips.
"Oh—damn you." Her voice quivered against his lips, causing Kai to smirk triumphantly and tighten his arms around her even more.
"See? I knew—you liked me." He uttered hurriedly between kisses.
"Shut—up." She groaned back, eliciting an amused snort from him as his arms tightened around her, crushing her body to him.
"K-Kai we—need t-to talk."
Kai pulled out of the kiss just briefly and gave her an exasperated glare. "Don't—talk when I'm—trying to sweep you of your feet, Bon."
At this admission, Bonnie just couldn't help herself and she let out a laugh. "Did you just say 'sweep me off my feet'?"
"Yessss, yes, I did now shut up and let me kiss you."
And before she could get a word in, he was swooping in and capturing her lips again, leaving her with wobbly legs and gasping for air.
After a few blissful indulgent moments, Bonnie reluctantly pulled out of the kiss. "Listen—we really need to talk but—not now; we still have dinner to finish and—"
"You're right." Kai sighed heavily, running a hand through his hair.
"Hey—don't worry, this isn't—this isn't me 'running away' again."
At this, he let out a chuckle and met her eyes with a boyish smirk sparkling in his own.
"Oh I know; it would be pointless even if it was."
She rolled her eyes but a smile broke out across her face. "Yeah well anyways—we've got dinner to finish. So….."
Kai looked deeply into her eyes and wordlessly brushed the backs of his fingers down the length of her cheek.
"Your eyes are incredible, you know that?"
She stared at him incredulously. "My eyes?"
He nodded, smiling hesitantly. "Yeah. Actually that was the first thing that struck me when I first saw you."
Bonnie bit her lip, glancing down at the floor and then back up.
Kai's eyes turned a little stormy as he gazed down at her intensely.
"Hey." He tilted her chin up so she would look in his eyes.
"We'll talk. I promise."
She caught anxiety flash in his eyes for a split second but his voice was gentle as he spoke to her.
"Thank you." She smiled gratefully and he nodded once before planting a chaste kiss on her forehead. The two were putting the final touches on dinner just before Damon poked his head in with an expectant look and an irritated scowl creasing his brow.
"Okay, what the hell are you two doing? Food should've been done by now!"
Bonnie rolled her eyes and let out a snort. "Okay calm down, Killer—dinner's ready."
"God, finally! Elena!"
Bonnie and Kai shared a private look between them—each wrapped up in the same thought:
If they only knew…