Chapter Sixteen

Secrets, oh, you spin my head around

I been lookin' for it

I been runnin' out of spells

To make you love me


To make you love me

-Running Out Of Time, Tyler The Creator

Bonnie spent thanksgiving break with her dad. He ended up going to one of Mom's therapy appointments a week before. He said she was mostly all over the place, but she was really trying to move past everything that happened between them. Still somewhat blaming him for stuff, but trying to work past it.

Bonnie was proud of her, but until she takes responsibility for her actions, Bonnie would not meet with her.

She just got into her room when I got a text from Caroline:

Stefan's dad died. I'll b helping him w the funeral arrangements for the next couple of days. Call me if u need anything.

Love u

Bonnie dropped down to the bed. Stefan's dad … Enzo's dad. He died? Does he know?

Bonnie looked back down at her phone, but it's now dead. Bonnie rushed over to the charger and plugged it in, pacing the room for the next five minutes until it would turn on without dying midconversation.

When Bonnie thought it's been long enough, she called Enzo. She didn't know what she'd say to him, or if she should be the one to tell him if he doesn't know. It's just what she'd have to do.

He doesn't answer, which means he already knows or he's at the shop. Bonnie still had no clue what to say, so she hung up before the voicemail greeting ended. Bonnie called Caroline, and she answered. "Hey, I just got your text. Sorry to hear about his dad. How's he doing?"

"He's having a really hard time. His dad was the only family he had left."

Except for Enzo.

Bonnie's heart broke for both of them. "What happened?"

"A semi tipped over on his car and crushed him. The EMTs were surprised he was still alive when they pulled him out, but he didn't make it to the hospital."

"Oh God. That's terrible."

"It's so sad."

"Is Stefan there? Can I talk to him for a second?"

"Yeah," Caroline says, "I'll see if he wants to talk." Her footsteps sound on a bare floor. The phone rustled in her hand and Bonnie caught part of what she's asking. "… Talk to Bonnie?"

There's a pause. "Hello?"

"Hey, Stefan. I am so sorry."

"Thanks," he says. His voice is incredibly sad.

"Did anyone … Does Enzo know?" she felt bad for making this about Enzo, but he had just as much right to know as Stefan does.

"Yeah, I already called him."

"Oh. Okay. Good." Bonnie stopped herself from asking how Enzo was doing, if he's all right. "Well, let me know if you need anything."

"Thanks," he says again and hands the phone back to Caroline.

"We have a few errands we need to run, so I'll call you later."

"Yeah, okay." Bonnie hung up and rubbed her hands over her face and through her hair. She wished there was something she could do to help Stefan, to help Enzo.

Bonnie glanced down at her phone, considering if she should call Enzo again. No, he'll see her called, and he'll call her back when he's ready.

Monday passes without a call from Enzo. she understood he was mad at her, but this is so much bigger than their petty stuff. He's alone in this. The only person who'd know and be there for him is his mom, and she's not sure after everything she's been through with Enzo's dad if she'll even provide much support.

Enzo shouldn't be alone through this.

On Tuesday, Bonnie attended the university's memorial service for Professor Salvatore with Stefan and Caroline, hoping to catch Enzo there. If she could just talk to him … she doesn't know what will happen, but she had to talk to him.

They were sitting near the front in the auditorium, but Bonnie kept looking back toward the doors for Enzo. When the service was about to start, she stood and inspected row after row for hair the same shade as Enzo's.

Music begins, cueing everyone to be seated, and Bonnie still hasn't found him. Is he not coming? He didn't get along with his father, but she expected to find him here regardless.

The dean welcomes everyone and says a few words about Professor Salvatore and his outstanding service to the university over the years.

A few professors share personal stories about their late colleague. She never took any classes with him—she knew he was the chemistry department head and that he was Stefan and Enzo's dad, but the way these people talk about him really made her sad she didn't get to meet him, didn't get to know him.

Bonnie desperately tried not to call Enzo after the service. Maybe he needs a couple of days to deal with the shock. She still believes he'll call her when he's ready.

The funeral is a closed casket. Professor Salvatore was so crushed by the load of the truck that the mortuary couldn't get him to look right again. Stefan was called to identify his dad's body, and it made her heart ache that whatever he saw would be the last visual memory of his father.

Bonnie used to be terrified that her dad and her would get a call that something happened to her mom, and they'd have to go down and positively ID her. Bonnie imagined how torn up she'd look from the drugs and her chosen lifestyle. It used to give Bonnie nightmares. But she also knew her dad would be the one to do the hard part. Stefan didn't get that. He's the only family people knew to call.

Bonnie didn't spot Enzo at the funeral, either. She was shocked he didn't come, not even to stand in the corner. How can he not want to say goodbye to his dad?

Stefan's the final speaker at the funeral. He recalls how his dad used to take him camping and caving, the sporting events they'd to go to, the fun times they shared. It's heartfelt and touching. Maybe this right here was why Enzo didn't come. He would have to hear all the things he lost with his dad when Stefan came around.

Enzo didn't lose his dad in the car crash; he lost him a long time ago.

Class with Professor Shane on Thursday was her limit. Bonnie would talk to Enzo today whether he was ready to talk to her or not. He may think he doesn't want to talk to anyone, but he has to feel something over his dad's death, and he shouldn't face it alone.

When Enzo is absent from Professor Shane's class, Bonnie borrows Caroline's car and go looking for him. He's still not answering his phone, but she was done waiting for him to call her back.

Bonnie checked his apartment first. She didn't see his bike in its usual spot, but she went up to his door and knocked anyway. After a few minutes, she decided he really wasn't home. Off to the shop next.

"Hey, Tripp." He's sitting out in the heat in his rocker. Does this man ever work? Or get sick of the heat?

"Hi, pretty thang. What brings you to these parts?"

"Is Enzo here?"

"No. I haven't seen his scrawny ass at all today."

"Okay, thanks. If you see him, will you let him know I stopped by?"

"I think I can manage that."

"Thanks." Bonnie got back into the car and headed over to the Silas house. Enzo's bike wasn't out front when she pulled up. She asked for Matt. If Enzo doesn't want to see her, he may have them tell her he's not here. Bonnie knew Matt the best and figured she could tell if he's lying.

"Well, look at you," Matt says. "I haven't seen you in a while."

"Yeah, hey, have you seen Enzo? Is he here?"

He shook his head. "The little shit hasn't been answering my calls, either. When you find him, tell him I have his twenty bucks."

"Okay, thanks." She walked toward the car, waiting until Matt closed the door. When he's back inside, she goes around the house and looks for Enzo's bike. It's not here.

She drove to school and searched the library looking for him. Not here, either. She tried the Mystic Grill next. No bike out front, but she goes inside anyway. "Hey, Sarah. Have you seen Enzo?"

"Nope. That boy hasn't been in here in a couple of weeks." She eyed Bonnie suspiciously. Is she wondering why Bonnie was asking her, or does she think it's her fault he hasn't been in?

Maybe the reservoir. That's the only place he could be. Unless he went to his mom's house, Bonnie had no idea where that was.

Bonnie pulled into the same parking lot Enzo parked at when he brought her here. It's empty, but she hustled down to the beach anyway. Everything looks the same as when they left it save for the colors in the sky. She peered out over the water and recalled how happy she was in Enzo's arms when he lifted her out of the water. She didn't think she'd ever been happier than she was with Enzo right then.

Bonnie walked over to the spot where they made love. The exact moment when she fell for Enzo. Or maybe it was the moment she realized she was already in love with him. Either way, this spot reminds her how stupid she had been. How much she gave up because she was afraid of being hurt. Afraid to see something in her future she didn't want to make room for.

And Bonnie knew Enzo loved her. When they were on this beach, he loved her. When he made Bonita Shela for her, he loved her. When he watched Dirty Dancing with her, he loved her. When he switched out the seat of his bike, he loved her. All the times he stroked her hair in bed, he loved her. When she fought with him about Stefan, he still loved her.

Bonnie dropped to her knees in the sand where they laid together and grabbed the grains between her fingers, fighting back the tears. He loved her. And she fought him on it. She fought him harder on pushing him back than she fought to keep him. She doesn't deserve him. He's such a better person than she was. Bonnie was lucky to have the time with him she did.

Bonnie replayed the last few weeks in her head. The time they spent together, they fought, the days he passed her in class without a word, the nights she cried over him, the memorial, the funeral and burial. How he showed up to neither of them.

That's it. Maybe he went there? It's the only place she hasn't checked.

Bonnie ran up the beach, her feet sliding and digging into the sand, and tore out of the parking lot.

When she gets to the cemetery, Enzo's bike is here, and at first she was relieved, but then she was overwhelmed with sorrow for him. He must really be in pain to be here. Bonnie waited in the car for him to come toward his bike, but he didn't, so she parked and walked toward the spot his dad was laid to rest.

Enzo was kneeling in front of his dad's grave marker when Bonnie walked up. She stepped slowly, unsure if she should disturb him, but a dry twig snaps underfoot.

Enzo turns around at the sound and wipes his face.

"Enzo …?"

He turns back to the headstone, sniffing before he stands and turns, facing her. "I didn't think I'd find you here," he says, deflecting.

"Don't do that."

His face was so incredibly sad. Bonnie doesn't say anything. She walks to him and pulls him into her arms.

He folds himself around her and clutches her shoulders, smothering his head into the crook of her neck as he cries.

Bonnie holds him tight against her body. So tight, fearful that she might lose him again. That he'll never wrap his arms around her again.

But the tightest because he's actually crying on her shoulder over the loss of his dad and it breaks her heart. Bonnie was right to come to him. He shouldn't be alone.

When he's done, he pulls away, wiping his face again. "Thanks for being here for me," and then he moves to walk past her to leave.


He faces her again.

Bonnie was afraid of what she'll say and that he'll still walk away from her after she's said it. But she's waited too long already. "I know it might be too late, but I love you. I am irrevocably lost in love with you. I know—"

He takes the three steps back to her in one, cups her face, and says, "Don't speak." The same thing she said to him when he tried to tell me how he felt on the beach. He closes off any other words with a kiss so desperate with longing and everything they've never said but felt this whole time.

He kisses her like he's never kissed her before. It's not the unspoken words she was afraid to let him say. It's everything he's ever felt for her without holding back a single one.

Bonnie and Enzo gave their final presentation report in Professor Shane's class. It goes off without a hitch—they were definitely getting an A in this class. Which will make his girl very happy. That's right. Bonnie was officially his girl now.

And he and his girl had somewhere special they're heading after class. She doesn't know where they're going, though. He likes it this way.

They jumped on his bike. The weight of her behind him, her arms around his middle, are sensations Enzo never wants to lose again. He steers them for about an hour to the historic, luxury hotel. When they walked inside, marble floors and columns greeted them. Blue light filters down from the stained glass above and splashes across the marble in each direction.

"Wow, Enzo!" Bonnie says and grabs his arm. "We're really staying here?" She looks at him hopefully.

Enzo chuckled. "We are. All weekend."

After how busy they've both been with finals and projects the last couple of weeks, we're due for some rest. And quality alone time.

Enzo throws the door to their room open, and Bonnie walks in. "I love it, I love it, I love it!" She spins and squeals, throwing her arms around his neck.

Enzo walks her backward until he can close the door and then lift her up, carrying her over to the large bed framed by golden silk draperies.

Enzo lays her down on her back, the mattress sinking under her weight. He brushes strands of hair away from her face as she penetrates him with her eyes. "I never slept with Klaus," she says randomly. "I couldn't follow through with it."

It doesn't matter to him anymore, but Enzo is still surprised at how glad he was that she didn't. "I couldn't follow through with Valerie, either. I didn't want anyone else after I had you."

"I love you, Enzo St. John."

Enzo never gets sick of her sweet voice speaking those words to him. He blinks and drops his body on top of hers, bending his neck to keep their gazes from breaking.

She exhales deep, a slight moan mingling within.

Enzo kissed her neck and looked back into her eyes. "How much?"

"This much," she says as she rolls her hips and rubs her pubic bone along his thickening shaft.

That turns him on so much, but he looks at her disappointed anyway and says, "Only that much, huh?"

She arches her back and pulls off her shirt. "This much," she says with a devious grin.

Enzo reaches behind and unsnap her bra, taking it all the way off and tossing it to the floor. He dropped low and laps his tongue up the crevice of her cleavage before meeting her eyes again. "That's a little better," he said, keeping his voice monotone. Enzo was nowhere near bored right now, but this is part of the game they're playing. A game that has his manhood straining in his pants, aching to be released and inside of her.

She reaches down and wiggles her fingers along his waistband. "Is this getting closer?" Her voice is low and seductive.

"Slightly," Enzi said and lifted his hips off her.

She stretches her fingers lower and wraps them around his cock. "How about now?"

Enzo sighed into her open mouth as she's getting the words out and kissed her with as much passion as she gave him with her delicate hand.

Enzo takes off his shirt and unbutton his pants as Bonnie keeps her fingers wrapped around him. Enzo pulled the condom out of his pocket and placed it on the bed above Bonnie's head. Pants and boxers down, he kneel low above Bonnie when he undresses her.

Jesus fucking Christ. This woman is so damn beautiful.

Enzo dropped his mouth to her pert nipple and suckled it, trailing his hand along her smooth thigh. He touches the velvety skin of her folds, sliding his fingers up until they're rolling along her mound of nerves.

Enzo sits back so his weight is on his knees and reaches up for the condom, breaking it open with his teeth. Bonnie releases him as he put it on, her eyelids are heavy with desire as she rolls her hips to get him to slide inside.

She feels so good, her eyelids are heavy and flutter with each of his movements. She's beautiful and vulnerable in this position, trusting him completely to take her somewhere great, to set the pace and take care of her at the same time.

She moans heartily and calls his name. "Enzo. Oh God, yeah!"

Enzo stays consistent until she screams his name and her walls clutch him inside her, tugging on the tight skin around his cock. He manages to ride out her orgasm as long as he's going and then they're both sweaty and heaving into each other's mouths as they thank the other with a kiss.

Enzo pulled out and rolled onto his back, not ready to move yet.

Bonnie leans over and kisses him again before sitting up and moving to get off the bed.

He grabs her hips before she can stand, kissing her back, gently, tenderly.

She makes a sweet sound that resembles a purr.

Enzo kisses her once more before letting her get up.

She stands, giving him a full view of her perky ass, the arch in her back, along her waist. She's fucking perfect. She looks back over her shoulder and grins as she struts toward the bathroom.

Enzo snapped the condom off his growing shaft and grabbed another before following her into the shower. They made love under the spray of the showerhead, on the floor, on the bar, on the patio, and then back in the bed. One of their asses marks nearly every damn spot of this room.

Enzo splayed out on his stomach with his arm over Bonnie's belly. He was finally satiated. Fulfilled.

She rolls over onto her side and strokes her fingers along the new tattoo on his back. "Does it still hurt?"


"It's healed up real nice. Looks amazing."

Enzo got the tattoo shortly after his dad died. A banner reading "REDEMPTION". Nothing is certain, but as long as he keeps living, he'll work toward his redemption.

Enzo crawled off the bed and dug in his pants for his wallet before coming back to bed and dropping down next to Bonnie. He rolled over to face her and grab her hand. He stroked his fingertips along her palm and the length of her fingers. Her skin is soft and delicate where his was callused and rough. She's everything perfect in the way he never knew he needed. "I love you, Bonnie Bennett."

She smiles. "I love you, Enzo St. John."

"I don't want to waste any more time with you. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me, the most beautiful person I've ever met. You've touched my soul unlike I thought possible and made me a better man for it. I want to marry you, Bonnie, to make you my wife. Forever."

Her eyes are filling with tears as he pulls the ring he custom made just for her out of his wallet. Enzo sat up and kneel on the bed before Bonnie, presenting the 14 karat rose gold, vine and leaf ring to her. "Bonnie Bennett, will you marry me?"

She laughs, a tear rolling down her cheek as she comes up to her knees to meet him. "Yes!"

Enzo's heart swells so full of joy that he doubts he'll ever be happier than he was right now. Enzo slid the ring onto her third finger. It fits perfectly and contrasts the tone of her caramel skin better than he ever imagined it would.

Once the ring is in place, she throws her arms around him and kisses Enzo. Her lips tell him things her voice does not, how she'll be his forever, how happy he was just made her, how much she needs him, how she never wants to live without him again.

All the things he feels for her.

They made love, Bonnie's naked, wearing only her engagement ring. She's his fiancé, soon to be his wife.

Afterward, he grins with Bonnie lying in his arms. She's holding out her flexed hand, appraising the ring. "It's so beautiful. How did you ever find this?"

"I didn't find it. I made it."

"No way! It's perfect." She stretches her neck to kiss him and goes back to staring at her ring.

The knotted vine along the center connects leaves and flowers around the band with small diamonds in each of the flowers, a large center stone bringing it all together. It was a bitch getting each of the smaller stones to stay in the right spot, and so was making sure all the ends were smooth enough to not snag on anything.

She drops her hand to his face. "I can't predict what my future with you will look like, but I know I'll be happiest with you. And that's all that matters." She kisses him. Enzo rolled onto his back and angled himself better to kiss her deeper.

Enzo doesn't do relationships, but he was going to marry the shit out of this woman.

The End. Thank You All For Reading.