"It's stunning." Caroline lied starring at the dazzling sequins lying on a soft bed of bubble gum pink wrapping paper in a beautiful white box. She unfolded more layers of candy floss pink wrap and there it was, a sparkling black Versace dress.
"I picked it up in Italy two weeks ago." Stefan beamed flaunting his perfectly white teeth. She smiled lifting it up from the box, the sequins danced in the sunlight and she tried hard to mask her disappointment. She had been dating Stefan for two years and he still gave her dreadful gifts. She despised it, she hated sequins and she loathed Versace. It looked like a large black disco ball twisting in the light.
"Thank you, baby" she preened the fabric before folding it back into the box. He leaned toward her placing a peck on her soft, rosy lips.
"So, how was your vacation?" Caroline continued, pouring him a glass of sweet tea. It was sweltering hot outside and if it wasn't for the air conditioned bedroom, she would be melting in her cherry-print sundress. She pursed her lips, the Lancôme gloss was dripping off her mouth.
"The Maldives were wonderful. I can't wait until graduation. I want to take a year off next year, do a bit of traveling." he sipped the tea, the ice clanking against the glass.
"How continental" she smirked diverting her blue eyes to the view outside the window. Students scrambled around the campus grounds registering for classes and lugging their luggage up to their assigned dorms.
"I missed you" Stefan said, breaking her from her spell.
"You're the one who wanted space during the break." she tucked a long strand of blonde hair behind her right ear and glared at him sitting pretty in his green tee-shirt and blue faded jeans. He had acquired a golden tan. Stefan nodded, shifting in a eighteen century velvet chair that her mother had imported from France in a bid to recreate a historic chateau in the study for their house. The chair looked ill-fitting in her bedroom in the sorority house, displaced around the lavender walls and frilly white comforters.
"How was New York?" He grinned sheepishly.
"Cold and damp."
"At least you went shopping on Fifth Avenue."
"That novelty is worn on me." she sighed. The New York vacation was nothing more than a compulsory visit with her father as detailed in the custody agreement.
"I hated being away from you but I think it did us good."
"It did?" she asked nonchalantly picking a chocolate truffle from a silver platter on her nightstand.
"Yes, it made me come to a few conclusions"
"Conclusions?" her eyes widened. She didn't like the sound of that.
"I've made dinner reservations at Augustine's. I thought we should…talk'
"I'm hosting rush tonight for the new pledges" her voice croaked. Was he actually dumping her? Was Stefan Salvatore dumping the Caroline Forbes? This was incredulous!
"Quite the busy schedule" he smiled reaching out for her hand.
"Why don't you just tell me" she murmured trying to read his clear green eyes. Four weeks without speaking to Stefan had been a cruel and unusual punishment for her, she wasn't sure she could stomach anymore. Maybe he had been cavorting with some island fillies in Missoni bikinis throughout the entire vacation. The mere thought of him engaging in some locationship made her livid.
"I've met someone" he said softly.
Before Caroline could even utter a word, Lexi barged in the room carrying a heap of clothes which she summarily dumped on the gleaming wooden floor.
"I'm stumped." she cried raking her pink coated nails through her tousled blonde bob.
"I have nothing to wear for the rush party" she plopped on the cot adjacent to Caroline's with her feet dangling on the side. She looked exhausted.
"I've been rummaging through my closet all morning and the party is six hours away. I'm going to look like a mess in the society pages tomorrow. Shouldn't rush parties just be about the pledges? Now it's about who wore what and who fucked who.' she crossed her long legs, tapping her foot.
"Is that sweet tea still cold?" she pointed her feet to a livid Caroline.
"Did I interrupt something?" Lexi rose from her bed and lunged for the sweet tea.
"Yes" Caroline frowned at her while Stefan shook his head smiling.
"When is the hairstylist coming?" Lexi peered at her ruddy face in the gilt mirror, completely ignoring Caroline's temperamental mood.
"Greg will be another two hours, why don't you go and play with something until then." Caroline gritted her teeth in response.
"I'm actually still waiting for the manicurist, Celeste is running late. You don't mind if I wait here do you?" Lexi perched herself on the arm rest where Stefan was sitting and played with the crystal glass.
"Stefan, come" Caroline flew from her position and sprinted across the room with Stefan firmly in tow. She'd had enough of Lexi's antics and couldn't keep her head straight.
Stefan had met a girl.
They sat inside his car under the shade of oak trees draped in Spanish moss in front of her sorority house. Caroline was determined to handle this like a lady. She would not cry, she would not cry.
"Did you meet her in the Maldives?" She sniffed grasping her hemline.
"Then it's infatuation, momentary…I don't approve Stefan but I understand" she wiped her nose with the back of her hand. Very ladylike!
"She goes to Whitmore."
"She goes to my college?" she screamed. Didn't she know everyone worth knowing around the campus?
"You don't know her. She'll only be starting out this year"
"Obviously, how could you do this to me? What will everyone think?"
"It's not about you Caroline, I'm in love with her" he dug his pockets for a green polka dot tissue and handed it to her.
"You're in love with me"
"Caroline, you know we've been growing apart for months now. I can't leave a lie anymore.'
"You can't just wake up and decide its over!" she shouted. Was she leaving in some strange nightmare? Did he forget who she was; she was Caroline Forbes, heir to Forbes industries. Thousands of boys would give their right arm to date Caroline Forbes; hundreds of mothers would love for their sons to marry Caroline Forbes. She was beautiful, privileged, polite, talented, refined, well bred, in fact she was close to perfect.
"You know you don't love me anymore either." he spoke softly.
"That's ridiculous, of course I love you"
"You love the idea of us" Stefan snaked his arm around her shoulders kissing her glossy hair.
"We are Home & Garden Stefan, perfect and classy. What is she, a trashy Cosmo? 'She blubbered into the handkerchief.
"I love her Caroline" he repeated reaping her heart in half.
It was futile to fight it, Stefan; the boy she had adored since elementary school had convinced himself that he was now in love with someone else. The only thing Caroline could do now was to wait, wait until he woke up from this delusional state. She slithered off the leather seat nodding to him and strode across the busy steps leading to the house and closed the door behind her. It was done, at least for now.
"Why do you keep doing this to yourself?" Damon asked as he pulled up his low slung jeans, he fastened the top button and then placed both of his hands on his lean hips.
"Doing what?" Katherine lifted an eyebrow, easing her gaze downward to the jeans resting low on his hips. She hated how good he always looked, he looked even better in the mornings with disheveled hair and that fuck-off rock star attitude.
"This." Damon gestured to the bed with its rumpled sheets that still carried the scent of their morning sex. She followed his gaze to his bed and shrugged.
"What's the matter Damon, you growing a conscious?" she chortled, easing into her dress.
Damon chuckled low in his throat and shot a glance, "Not a chance. Just figured you'd wanna upgrade from a fuck buddy to girlfriend material and there's plenty of classy fuckboys around campus who'd be willing to put up with your attitude"
"I like fuckboys with more grit than glamour" she smiled, feeling a raw and uncomfortable ache in her throat.
"Atta girl" he winked and slapped a hand to her buttocks as he brushed past her.
"It's a win-win situation isn't it?" Katherine whipped her head around, eyes fixed to his gloriously tight butt.
"Listen, I'd love to stay and chat but I got young minds to destroy with another party tonight"
"You're not supposed to have a party during rush" she said over her shoulder as she gathered her jacket and shoes from his floor among the pile of clothes that seemed to forever decorate his floor. His room held the faint odor of sweaty socks and jock straps but Katherine figured that all the rooms at Kappa Tau Beta smelled like that. In fact she knew for a fact that most of the boy's rooms smelled like day old sweat and beer because she'd slept in so many of them.
"Are you gonna start playing the narc now" he raised an eyebrow, running a gaze over her.
"Who would I tell, the Barbies?" she rolled her brown eyes, raking a hand through her dark curly hair, "They don't even like me."
"Okay. Please go bore someone else with your woes" With his hands firmly on her shoulders, Damon directed her out of his bedroom and slammed the door shut.
"Screw you Damon!" she yelled at his door. When she descended the wooden stairs she was met with raucous applause from the rest of the boys in the fraternity house because they obviously got off on cheering walk of shamers in the morning. Katherine walked out with her head held high and raised her middle finger at her audience.
Caroline had decided to drive home because she needed the sanctuary of her old bedroom without her sorority sisters sticking their noses into her business with Stefan. She called out for her mother and when she received no response, bounded up the stairs and headed into her old bathroom. Shutting the door firmly behind her, she locked it and then dropped to her knees on the floor, her hands firmly gripping the toilet seat. That empty and lost feeling was creeping into her again and she needed to purge to regain control of her senses and her life. Sticking two fingers into her mouth, she bent over the toilet and spilled out the contents of her stomach. A sob climbed up her throat as her fingers probed her mouth and she couldn't fight it anymore. Caroline allowed herself to cry with tears and vomit running down her chin as she emptied herself of all her emotions. Throwing her head back, she smiled through the tears and wiped her nose with the back of her hand.
She felt beautiful and weightless again.
She had cried herself empty by the time her mother came back and was on a mission to drink herself into a half stupor. Caroline looked up from her pink iPhone as her mother marched into the living room area in a yellow sundress dress and patent leather pumps.
"Hi Sweetie, what are you doing here?" Liz slipped off her sunglasses.
"Am I not welcome in my own home anymore? '' She closed her twitter window. Wasn't it insane that Stefan had already updated his status to read; Stefan misses B? How insensitive could one boy be? Who the heck was B? Did this mean that she had to update her status to say, dumped and miserable?
"I thought you were hosting girls for rush."
"We are…I am…but I just needed to get away from campus" she waved her mother off and redirected her attention back to her cellphone.
"Honey, you know that being a sorority vice president is a very important job. A lot of girls count on you and when Rebekah passes you her baton you should be ready."
"I know, I'm practically campus royalty"
"Are you curling your hair?' she placed her leather tote on the mahogany table sitting under a Jackson Pollock and approached her daughter.
"I'm wearing it in a ponytail"
"That's...Uh...Interesting," she stammered and offered her a tentative smile before quickly adding, "Why don't you try the beach waves, you always look so fresh and appealing."
"I don't want to look fresh and appealing tonight. "Caroline rolled her eyes, reclining on the toffee velvet sofa and kicked off her Kate Spade pumps.
"Am I missing something, Have you been crying?"
"Stefan dumped me" she blurted. It sounded so brutal when she said it out loud.
"He says he's met someone' Caroline curled her feet underneath her body. Liz stood looking shell-shocked and starred at her daughter.
"How can he just meet someone?" Caroline continued.
"I'm sorry to hear that honey." Her mother took a seat next to her crossing her legs.
"How am I supposed to show my face at school again?" Caroline looked at her apprehensively.
"You'll be fine, you'll meet someone else"
"He's the Brad to my Jennifer."
"There'll be plenty of new boys and you can focus on your ballet again or maybe horse riding and of course there's the sorority."
"No one will ever be like Stefan. I'll die all alone" she cried indignantly.
"You won't die alone; you'll have your cats" her mother chuckled smothering her with a hug. Caroline fought back a smile. How could her mother make jokes at a time like this?
"I hate him" she sniveled, burying herself deeper into her mother's chest.
"I'm going to go and freshen up," her mother kissed her forehead smiling. "You will go back to campus, look fresh and appealing and make those pledges wish that they had your life" she reaffirmed as she walked out, her flowery scent lingering behind.
Caroline sat slumped in the chair checked Stefan's twitter update yet again.
…Stefan Salvatore is so darn happy rite now, dinner 2nite with adorable B.
Had he not humiliated her enough, when was the insanity going to stop? Who was this other girl? How can she waste an entire evening going to some stupid rush party when she could be trying to figure out the born identity of this horrible B? Tempted to call him, text him, anything to remind him that she still existed, she decided to keep her dignity, a least for a while.
…Caroline Forbes hates Stefan Salvatore, he can't even kiss. Imbecile!
Five minutes constitutes a while in crazy girl land. She pondered whether hate was too harsh a word to publish over tweeter but then again, this was the same boy who had chucked her like she was last season's trend. Maybe a little hate mail is just what the doctor ordered, she beamed.
Bonnie made her way up the blue carpeted aisle, checking for her seat number. She'd insisted on flying economy even though her father thought it would be better for the daughter of a Washington DC senator to fly first class. It was a short flight and she hated to depend on her dad's clout and power. She wanted to blaze her own trail because that's what her mother would have wanted. Pausing in front of a two seater section, she glanced at the empty seat and the boy seated next to it. He had short wind tossed brown hair and gray eyes that rivaled the sea on a foggy morning. Bonnie gave him a curt nod before stowing away her carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment and then ruffled through her backpack for a book. She settled down in the aisle seat next to him and focused on the contents of John Green's latest book.
The sound of the service trolley coming down the aisle jerked her back to the present and she snapped her book shut as she suddenly realized how hungry she had been.
"Chicken or beef?" the flight attendant asked, smiling down at her.
"I don't eat traumatized animals." Bonnie replied simply, pushing her long tousled brown hair back from her face, "I'll have the veggie burger and salad please."
The woman handed her a Styrofoam box with her meal before giving her neighbor his chicken meal.
"What about road kill?" her neighbor asked once the attendant had left their section. He peeled open his box, set his comic book aside and picked at his cold chicken with the tines of his plastic fork.
"Excuse me?" she whipped her head around and glared at him.
"I heard you tell the flight attendant that you don't eat animals. What about road kill, is it also off the menu?" He asked, his smile dimpling his cheeks.
"I see that you're of the mindset that humans need to exploit animals for survival" she snorted, diving back into her meal.
"We are still inherently cavemen" he gave a low, throaty laugh which she hated.
"Your profundity is so stupid, animals have feelings. How would you feel if someone ate your face?" she asked, feeling faint with anger but refusing to look at him.
"You mean like cannibalism or first base?" he chucked, taking in a mouthful of chicken.
"I'm starting to question the evolution of men, starting with your ill-advised choice in jackets." Bonnie's eyebrows bunched together and she studied him closely.
"What's wrong with my jacket?" the boy raised his eyebrows, a mock pout painting his face.
"Did you retrieve it from your school's circa nineties time capsule?" she asked coolly, packing her meal away and retrieving her back pack from under her seat.
"You're a real piece of work." She heard him scoff before she pulled out her iPod from her bag.
"What are you doing?" he asked, his eyes darting between her and the iPod.
"I'm tuning you out" Bonnie said and plugged a pair of ear plugs into her ears then cranked up the music in her iPod. Thankfully it was only a two hour flight to Mystic Falls, she thought as she closed her eyes and leaned back in her seat. She didn't notice the smile touching the boy's lips when he flipped through his Marvel comic book.
"I thought that you were my Chinese food"
"I'm looking for Rebekah" Caroline's brows pinched as she breezed past him, her chin thrust out.
"And you thought my sister would be hiding out at Alpha Zeta Pi?" Klaus raised an eyebrow, a smug smile playing on his lips.
"Plotting your rise to the throne, Klaus?" she retorted, glancing at him over her shoulder.
"You can always plot with me, love. Our schemes would make for great pillow talk" he smirked and stopped short of cupping her chin with his hand but lifted his eyes to hers instead, "Not that there'll that much talking"
"Au contraire, I think your many sexual inadequacies might make for great pillow talk." A pink flush crept up her cheeks but she defied it by looking directly at him.
"I hope you're liberal enough to discuss your own shortcomings"
"I'm Caroline Forbes, I have no shortcomings"
"You shouldn't be afraid to let the world see your weaknesses Caroline" his voice softened as he crept closer to her.
"Enough" flustered, she waved him off and squared her shoulders," When you do see your sister, tell her that I'm looking for her."
"Anything for you, princess"
"Are we seriously considering her as a pledge?"
"Her father is a senator" Caroline caught her bottom lip between her teeth as she scrolled down her tablet. She resized the picture of a mocha skinned girl in a yellow bikini and made it larger. This Bonnie Bennett was petite, reasonably attractive and would fit in like a dream at Gamma Phi Beta. Caroline really had nothing to worry about but still with Stefan gone she vowed to throw herself into this new task. She would spread the cheer, win Bonnie Bennett and cement her status as Campus royalty.
"But she's a geek not to mention radical. She's a radical Peta freak who screams fur is murder at New York's fashion week" Lexi cried, peering over Caroline's shoulder. Rolling her blue eyes, Caroline shot Lexi a glance then looked down at the tablet again.
"You know her?" Liv leaned closer, studying the picture with narrowed eyes.
"Liv, this is Gamma Phi Beta, we do our homework." Caroline tossed her another glance, her eyes afire with frustration. She heaved a sigh, tossing her blonde hair back over her shoulder before getting back to examining Bonnie's flaws.
"It's like watching the Titanic sink all over again" Lexi jolted Caroline from her militant task and prompted her to look up from the tablet. Katherine filled the doorway, a leather jacket tossed over her shoulder and a short dress encasing her curves. Caroline truly felt sorry for her because apart from looking boozed out and worn out, it was the brunette's third walk of shame in the past two weeks.
"Or a car crash, you just can't look away." Liv clicked her tongue, pushing her wild blonde curls off her face to trail Katherine's long legs with her blue eyes.
"You smell like Kappa Tau Beta, maybe you should've pledged Sigma Gamma Rho because that's where your kind belongs" Caroline added as she rose from the couch. She was quite in awe of Katherine's brazen attitude. Was she not afraid to get arrested in that dress? Campus police could even mistake her for a prostitute, the mere thought alone made Caroline's heart race.
"And what's my kind, slut?" Katherine tossed them a grin as she sauntered into the study lounge in her ice-pick sharp heels.
"If the crown fits" Lexi said defiantly, arms crossed against her chest.
"Yeah, pity Gamma Phi Beta found my daddy's oil money so attractive" Katherine sighed and paused to give them a once over before strolling past them to the stairs that led up to the girl's bedrooms.
When they landed at the airport, it was already uncomfortably hot and Bonnie had to strip off her jacket, remaining only with a green jersey tank top and a pair of tattered jeans. Shielding her eyes from the sun, she scanned the crowd for her boyfriend. A slight panic rose in her chest and then she saw him in all his bronzed and gorgeous glory. She raced to him, dropping her bags in the process and jumped into his arms nearly crushing his chest. Stefan pulled her into his arms and lifted her off the ground until her legs were wrapped around his waist.
"Hello, boyfriend." She said huskily, her fingers skimming the nape of his neck until they entwined into his messy, brown hair. Stefan's warm green eyes traced her face as a big smile spread across his face.
"Welcome to Mystic Falls, Bonbon." He whispered before his mouth moved over hers and smiled into the kiss when her breath caught from the sensation of his lips.
A/N: Hope you guys enjoyed this!