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"You have to try this one." Damon watches as Elena takes another bite of the peanut pie that Liz Forbes managed to surprisingly make. Elena takes a second and then third bite and Damon can't help but chuckle. She looks up at him and blinks with wide, doe eyes. "What? Do I have something on my face?"
Damon can't help it when he pulls her closer into his side and presses a kiss to the crown of her head. He can't get enough of her. The urge to have her—mark her—is strong and growing. It's starting to cause a fire to grow beneath his skin.
"I can't try it if you eat it all," he mumbles against the side of her forehead and instantly feels Elena blush again.
"Then maybe you need to be quicker because this is so good." Reluctantly, like a small child debating whether they want to share or not, Elena puts a small amount on her fork and holds it up for Damon to try. "Here."
Damon snorts at her 'generosity' or lack of. He accepts the pie however and smiles. His recipe is better than this and if he's feeling obliged then he wouldn't mind sharing it with Elena.
However, out of all twenty-five pies he's thinking that he should just deem whatever pie Elena likes the best the winner so they can get out of the stuffy tent and away from Carol Lockwood's prying eyes. He can sense her leering at him and he wants to roll his eyes. Didn't her husband just die weeks ago?
Doesn't she have class or tact at all?
But Elena hasn't seemed to notice, or if she has, then she's doing a very good job at making it known that they're together and other females need to back off.
Elena's been glued to his side for every pie tasting. Her small, delicate hand has been wrapped around his lower back and at times her fingers either hook around one of his belt loops or slip into his back pocket.
She may not have teeth to mark him with, but she's doing a pretty good job at physically claiming him.
"So the peanut pie is the winner?" Damon asks.
He watches as Elena sucks on her lower lip while her eyes glance between the strawberry rhubarb and the pie she's holding.
Watching…waiting…Elena slowly raises another bite of pie to her mouth. Her pink, little tongue is competing with the dessert she's holding for who gets to touch her moist lips first. Her tongue wins as Damon wants to yank Elena's lower lip from her teeth and let his mouth sink down onto it.
He tells her just that.
"If you keep biting your lip," he warns darkly; lowering his voice to the appropriate sound. He smirks when he sees her eyes dilate slightly. "I'm going to be the one biting you instead." He stands behind her and allows Elena to feel just how hard she is making him through her thin navy dress. "And somehow we'll have to fix the problem you're creating."
Elena's body tenses slightly and for a split second Damon's afraid he's pushed her too far too fast, but then she sets her forgotten plate down before taking his hand and pulling him through the tent.
"Liz's pie should win," she decides hastily.
Damon allows Elena to pull him; only stopping her for two seconds to turn to Carol. The older woman looks surprised at their hasty approach.
"Carol, the peanut pie, number fifteen wins."
And then Elena is pulling Damon away; not even waiting for Carol to say something.
"That was rude," Damon chastises with a deviant smirk. He doesn't mind at all when Elena's hand tightens around his and she pulls harder…faster…
"Somehow I don't think you'll be complaining in a minute or two," she mumbles.
Damon has to pick up his pace as Elena leads him through crowds of people. The hand she's holding tingles and his skin is electrified. A droplet of sweat drips from the back of his neck down his shirt collar and all he wants to do is rid himself of it and drape himself with Elena.
He wants to be inside of her. He wants to know every inch of her; inside and out.
Turning a corner they hit the edge of the woods.
The music is dim over in this part of the town; no longer are there people loitering around.
They only walked five minutes away from the crowds but to an unknown visitor it could feel as if they walked five miles away to earn some privacy.
Elena doesn't stop at the edge of the trees as she walks further into the darkness. Damon doesn't miss the way her thighs rub together when she turns around with her back planted firmly against a giant tree trunk.
Her dress shows little cleavage, but when her chest rises and falls, his eyes trail to the top of the fabric.
Damon leans his hands on either side of her head while staring down at her.
The low, setting sun flickers through some of the trees above them, reflecting off the smooth rocks below them and making Elena's eyes seem like they're glowing with desire. Damon grabs onto her lower waist with one hand, feeling how her body leans towards him automatically.
Elena and Damon are both panting once the silence surrounding them settles over the couple; making itself known. Elena licks her bottom lip, her heart fluttering under her dress and her innocence shines through. She makes Damon feel like a teenage, human again; sneaking around behind the barn and stealing kisses when they weren't properly courting one another.
Damon allows his fingers to trail along Elena's soft face, pushing hair behind her ear. Her skin is hot beneath his touch and he can't keep the smile off of his face. He has gone eerily quiet and Damon knows that Elena's feeling self-conscious as a blush sneaks up her face, but Elena's unable to look away once their eyes meet again.
She breaks the silence; surprising Damon. "I've been thinking…"
Like nearly every other male in Mystic Falls, Damon is no stranger to admiring Elena's chocolate eyes and creamy skin. She is a girl blessed with naturally good looks that can stop any warm-blooded male in their spot. But being this close to her, he can't help but notice for the first time just how small and delicate she is.
Anything Elena wants; she'll get from him.
Her tiny fists gather the front of his shirt and she pulls him incredibly closer. "I want you to feed from me."
Damon has to make sure that his dead heart is still beating very slowly; indicating to him that he's still standing in front of Elena and hearing her correctly. Because there is no way that she just said what he thinks she just said.
For once in his century and a half life, Damon is nearly speechless. What he says next comes out awkward; even to his own ears. "I don't think you know what you're asking for, Elena."
"I do," she nods her head slightly. "You need blood and I just happen to be filled with it. And it's not like it would be our first time. You did it just the other day, and…"
She hesitates and looks down at the ground. Furrowing his brows, his fingers lightly go under her chin and lifts her face so she's back to looking at him with her big doe eyes.
"And what?" He whispers because this moment feels too intimate to break it with normal voices.
Everything around them has faded and the carnival forgotten.
Taking a deep breath Elena says, "And you liked it, right? Biting me?"
His fingers dig into the tree near Elena's head to keep his predator at bay. "Of course I liked it," Damon tries to keep the snarl out of his tone, but it's hard when she's practically wrapping herself like a present and presenting herself with a giant red bow. "But blood sharing can get personal; especially the more you do it."
"Personal how," Elena breathes against his lips.
The way her fingers graze down his arms, leaving feather light touches over his bare wrists has Damon's control slipping easily.
What was he saying? Oh yeah, personal…
"Blood is life," he explains, "It's the very thing that keeps you and I alive. Even I have blood that circulates very slowly through me. And it's not just the taste that vampires crave, but it's the feelings that come with it."
"What do you mean by feelings?"
"When I bit you the other day I felt everything that you were feeling and more. I probably knew your feelings better than you did in that moment because that's what you open yourself up to whenever you let a vampire bite you."
Damon can't believe that Stefan didn't share this with Elena. How could he have dated this girl and not shared with her one of the many perks of being a vampire? His brother is an idiot.
"What did you feel when you bit me before?"
Damon smirks. "How much you wanted me; which was practically a given because come on—I'm hot and everyone knows it."
Elena rolls her eyes even though a blush coats her cheeks. "I'm starting to regret offering my blood if your ego is just going to inflate even more," she jokes. "I'm trying to be serious, Damon."
He knows that with just enough embarrassment and crude language on his end Elena is close to just dropping the subject, and so he presses a kiss to her forehead before continuing.
"I saw a mixture of colors," he admits. "I saw red, emerald green, a dark blue, and white. A lot of white with grey around the edges."
"What does that even mean?"
"What those colors mean is your life. They represent something about you. By taking your blood I was able to tap into what makes you…you."
He can see the questions forming in her mind just by looking into her eyes.
"You do that for everyone you feed from?" Elena's question is filled with awe and astonishment, and Damon holds back a chuckle when he sees a flash of jealousy fill her eyes.
"Vampires can block it out if they choose. Sometimes it's nice to just do a snatch, eat, and erase kind of thing. But with you, it was like I couldn't stop it. You overwhelmed me. A human overpowering a hundred and seventy year old vampire," he chuckles. "Who would have thought?"
"And is it like that for humans too? If I were to," she nearly chokes on her words as she quietly asks, "to…to taste you?"
"It can be," he admits reluctantly because he just can't lie to this girl.
"Well isn't this sweet," Stefan's cruel voice fills the silence and Damon feels Elena's body tense under his hold. Stefan walks slowly into the clearing and his smile is twisted and spiteful. Damon's seen that look on his brother before; and he's sure this won't be the last time either. "My ex-girlfriend and my brother; both stabbing me in the back."
"Stefan," Elena goes to step towards his brother, but Damon grabs her and keeps her behind him. There is no way that he's letting Elena get that close to his brother who seems to be teetering on the edge right now. "Please don't be mad."
Stefan's green eyes flash something bright and Damon prepares for a fight. "You know," Stefan says coldly; as if his emotions are detached from his body. "I expected this from a woman. I mean, all females are just bitches in heat; begging to be fucked."
It's as if Elena can read his mind before Damon even acts, because her hands grip him and her nails dig into his upper arms to anchor him in place. "Damon, don't," she whispers and pleads.
"Watch it, brother," Damon growls as his hands curl into fists.
"But you," Stefan sneers while settling on Damon, "Had me fooled. I mean, I knew Elena had some twisted leash latched around your neck; pulling you around like some sort of dog, but really," Stefan chuckles humorlessly, "You're just going to lie to your only brother about being with her. Didn't you just tell Stefan that there was nothing going on between you and Elena?"
Damon frowns as Stefan takes a step closer. His grip tightens on Elena's hand, pushing her further behind him. "Since when did we start referring to ourselves in third person, Stef?"
"Shoot," it's not Stefan's voice anymore even though the figure in front of them still looks like his brother crazed on human blood. "Do I still look like the brooding vampire? My bad." With a snap of his fingers and a blink of an eye, Stefan disappears and instead Damon is looking into his blue eyes.
"Damon," Elena looks between him and the other Damon that takes another step closer. "There's…two of you."
"Still not myself?" Damon's voice asks. "Damn, I thought I had this spell down."
"You're a witch?" Elena asks as he snaps his fingers again and she's staring into the blackest eyes she's ever seen before.
Damon hears her heart skip a beat and her hold on him goes slack. Chancing a look to his side Elena's lips are parted slightly and a cold sweat has broken out on her forehead.
"It's you," she whispers and her voice is so small and shaky that a growl rips from Damon's chest that anyone could make his girl feel this scared and paralyzed with fear.
"You know him?" Damon asks.
"You know him," Damon asks and it's like she's in a trance as she steps apart from Damon.
"This isn't possible," Elena murmurs to herself as she takes in the teenage boy in front of them. Not once in any nightmare had she recognized or even remembered the face that haunted her. However, the black eyes and the piercing, mocking stare is familiar and she just knows that whoever this is, is important.
"I'd love to introduce myself right now, but…" his voice is carefree as if he's playing a game. They watch as he cups his ear as if he's listening to something in the distance. For the first time since coming to the small patch of woods with Damon Elena strains her ears to listen.
"What are you doing?" She hisses as she hears yelling and screams of destruction.
The mystery male smirks. "You hear that too? Sounds like we're missing a good time." He bows with a large exaggerated arm motion. "Until we meet again, my Lovely Elena." Elena reels back with disgust when he winks at her before turning to Damon. His impossible black eyes darkening even more. "And Damon…looking forward to you too."
With a snap of his fingers he vanishes into thin air.
Elena turns towards Damon, realizing for the first time that the screams and yelling they hear are coming from the carnival they left. The carnival where her brother and aunt are, and all their friends. "Damon?" Elena calls out, and luckily Damon is already a step ahead of her.
He grabs onto her hand and he leads her through the brush. "I hate magic," he mutters and Elena frowns. "And you still have to answer my question. Do you recognize him from somewhere? Because it sure as hell seemed he recognized you."
"He knew your name too," Elena points out quietly because she knows not to push Damon. Damon naturally is a closeted jealous vampire. He likes to play it cool and use his arrogance to earn him points as playing the jerk in their small group of friends, however, Elena secretly knows that although Damon plays it tough, he still has the human within him who used to be a hopeless romantic.
"Not to mention he turned into you," Elena spits. "And Stefan…how is that possible?"
But her question is pointless as they come into the clearing and she stops dead in her tracks. Damon shields her once more and Elena has to stand on her toes to see over his shoulder, but she's not sure she wants too as she sees the bon fires that were contained before spitting to life.
Crowds of people are running, rides nearly destroyed, and Elena swallows harshly as she spots one of her old neighbors lying lifelessly on the ground off to the side.
The large weeping willow trees that are scattered among the square are bursting with flames; the fire climbing higher and higher up the leaves.
To Elena it looks like the flames are floating and the trees are moving, but that's not possible, is it?
Just then there's a creak and metal crunching as Elena and Damon look towards the Ferris Wheel. It's slowly crumpling, like a soda can being squashed. There's a group of people at the top of the machine, the carnival worker long gone or killed unexpectedly.
There's a man dangling from the top as if he couldn't decide whether to stay in his cart on the ride or jump to his fate.
"Damon," Elena breathes, "We can't leave them."
Damon nods. "Find Stefan or Bonnie and stay close to them." He starts off towards the ride and Elena runs after him.
"Wait!" She doesn't stop until she reaches Damon, grabs onto his face, and pulls him down to meet her in a kiss. When she pulls back Damon's smiling softly. "This time," she swallows, "I promise to listen to you."
There's another sound of metal crunching before Damon nudges her in the direction of her friends. He can faintly hear Bonnie and Caroline together.
"Go," he urges and she watches him leave before she turns and runs through the damaged square.
"Elena!" Bonnie yells.
Her two best friends crush her in a hug. "What the hell happened?"
"The horsemen showed up and look," Caroline reveals her clavicle and Elena sees the lightning marks on her friend's perfect, clear neck.
Through all the chaos and panicked people fleeing the scene, Elena wants to take the time and laugh at just how stupid her group of friends seems to any outsider. Of course, she thinks dryly, that during an attack in Mystic Falls, her group of friends would be stationed at the crime scene.
Everyone else has fled, but her group of friends.
Even some of the police that were on duty at the carnival left.
Stefan and Damon are walking towards them and Elena worries her bottom lip as she sees Stefan being supported by Damon, a slight limp to his walk.
Embers from the trees float down from the sky and it's astonishing to Elena that there are no more wild flames scattering the large trees.
"Everyone okay?" Alaric calls out from behind Elena. He has a crossbow hanging at his side idly while Jenna stands close by.
Her aunt's scared with wide eyes but she's slowly adjusting to this life of supernatural.
"Yeah," Tyler's gruff voice speaks up as he and Matt and Jeremy also come up behind the girls. "This town is fucked up."
"I can't wait to see what the headlines in tomorrow's paper will be," Matt jokes lamely.
Only the boys laugh as Bonnie scowls slightly at the immature jokes.
Clapping is heard and Elena doesn't think she blinks, but all of a sudden the person she and Damon saw earlier is sitting on an overturned picnic table before them.
Elena knows—can feel it in her body—Damon inching closer to her to subtly protect her.
"I was expecting way more deaths," the voice of the culprit rings out. "I'm impressed you guys. Good work. Yay team!" He cheers.
"Who are you?" Stefan frowns.
Hazel, styled hair outlines a lean, tense face. Small black eyes, set symmetrically within their sockets, watch hungrily over Elena's group of friends. A light red trace of a scar reaches from the bottom of the left cheek, first running towards thin lips and ending on his right cheekbone leaves an aching memory of countless sleepless nights in Elena's mind.
She remembers him now.
This is the face of Malachai Parker, a true warlock-hunter among the supernatural world. He stands towering above others, despite his skinny frame.
There's something intriguing about him, perhaps it's his air of indifference or his sociopathic tendencies, but nonetheless, Elena shrinks back and breathes a small sigh of relief the moment she feels Damon's fingers intertwine with her own.
"Uh guys?" Tyler calls out. "We have company."
"I seem them," Ric confirms as Elena squints into the distance.
The four horsemen are walking behind Kai as he jumps up from the table.
"Don't," he snaps viciously and then chuckles as Ric lets out a groan of pain. Elena quickly looks behind her to see Alaric frozen in agony with his crossbow raised and then back to Kai who chuckles humorlessly. "I really didn't want to have to hurt anyone."
Kai's one hand is raised as if he's holding Ric in place.
"That's enough," Damon demands as he steps forward.
"You're right. You're right," Kai drops his hand and Alaric pants with pain. "Wow," Kai rubs his hands together, "Where are my manners? Most of you don't even know me yet. I must be nervous."
Elena peeks over Damon to see that the four horsemen have stopped behind Kai, a good twenty feet behind and are just eerily standing there; watching.
"I'm Malachai Parker…Kai for short. I mean," he says willingly as his eyes look over their whole group. "It's like my parents expected me to be evil or something. Who names their kid Malachi?"
"Uh-uh-uh," Kai tsks as he wags his finger naughtily at Damon. He approaches as Elena feels Damon locked in his spot. "Did you learn nothing about what I can do when I hurt your buddy just now? I expected better from you, Damon."
Kai is now nose to nose with Damon, however, he's still slightly shorter than him.
Damon releases the wooden stake reluctantly and Elena's eyes widen as she watches the veins in his arms. It's as if he's trying to use all his strength to resist, but whatever Kai is doing, is no match for Damon.
Kai's mood switches again as he takes his eyes off of Damon and everyone watches in apprehension of this new comer.
With a yelp, Elena is yanked towards Kai's body and he holds her against his chest. His chin nudges her dress aside and he rests his angular chin on her bare shoulder.
"We don't want any trouble," Stefan calls out.
"Bad move," Damon snarls, but as he tries to rush forward his legs are rooted to the same spot he was in. "Kai! If you harm her, I'll—"
"Bring me a bloody and painful death…yada yada yada…it's something I've heard a hundred times before from a hundred different vampires just. Like. You." With every word he speaks she can feel his mouth graze her cheek and Elena tries to break free, but Kai's grip is strong; much like in her nightmares.
Stefan's holding his hands up in a surrender motion; standing next to Damon now. "We don't want any trouble," he says again. "Just let Elena go."
"Let me guess," Kai whispers in Elena's ear as if it's some big conspiracy. "That's Stefan. Damon's brother." Kai looks back at her friends and Elena tries once again to move away, but his hands are quick and he twists her left arm behind her back in a sickening hold. She feels something crack and she cries out in pain. She would drop to the ground, but Kia is keeping her up.
"Stop!" Caroline cries out. "You're hurting her!"
Kai looks Stefan up and down and instead of whispering to Elena this time, he smirks. "I can see why you broke up with him," he goes on as if he didn't just snap her wrist. "He has the hero hair, but he lacks a certain quality."
Elena refuses to put her head down in shame. Instead, she catches Stefan's eye. "Don't listen to him, Stefan."
Damon's growl makes Kai swivel his body and Elena's so they're facing him. "Unlike him," Kai picks up Elena's good hand and makes her wave lifelessly at Damon. "Now Damon's unpredictable…wild…is that what you look for in your boy-toys, Elena, something feral?"
"Stop," Elena pleads with him but she just knows that he won't. He never does.
"I mean," Kai snickers against her neck. "Look at him. If I didn't use my magic to contain him he would be ripping me to shreds and using my bones as a toothpick."
Kai turns them slightly again. "And then there's Caroline—the bubbly, dumb blonde. And Bonnie Bennett. Uh-oh," Kai mocks before waving his hand towards her friend and Bonnie is rendered unable to speak. Elena hadn't noticed it before but her friend was chanting something, and now there's complete silence except for Kai's breath against her skin. "Can't have your bestie casting a spell—turning me into a frog or anything."
"What do you want?" Jenna calls out.
"Oh sweet, sweet Auntie Jenna. You know, you really did give it your best to keep Jeremy and Elena out of trouble. It will be a bittersweet moment when I finally corrupt your niece and make her kill you and everyone else that you guys love."
"Kai," Damon hisses, "I swear to God if you harm Elena further I'll—"
"Okay, okay," Kai rushes out with a gleeful chuckle. "There's only a few more." Pointing at each individual left, Kai is able to correctly point out and say, "You must be Alaric—the history teacher turned hunter. Tyler—the almost wolf boy. And Matt—the…I don't really know what you are? Human? Just a human who's dumb enough to stick around this group?"
Elena's tired of having to listen to Kai. She has to listen to him in her nightmares. And now she has to listen to him in real life? How is that fair?
"What do you want?" she hisses.
"Isn't that obvious?" Kai chirps while digging his knee into her back. "I wanted to meet all of you once and for all. Usually, I don't like to get attached to the people I'm going to be killing, but you guys all seemed so interesting, plus…" His finger trails along her cheek and Elena turns her face away. "You're really pretty"
"So that's it?" Alaric asks. "Your plan is just to kill us right now?"
"He's already doing that with all his talking," Damon taunts. "I'm dying from boredom."
"That would be too easy," Kai answers Ric. "The killing will come. Right now? I just came for the power."
Elena is forced down onto her knees as Kai wraps a firm hand around her clavicle. The fear and pain only last a few seconds before black veins start crawling through Elena's body, up through Kai's.
When he lets go she doesn't feel any different. He doesn't look any different.
But she does.
Feeling her neck, she can practically see in the reflection of Kai's eyes the lightning marks on her skin.
His eyes are the last thing she sees before he snaps his fingers and disappears once more.
Kai takes the four horsemen.
Elena, and her group of friends, are all left unharmed for now—confused, pissed off, and a little scared.