Hey there!

Thanks a lot for your dedication and love for my story; it makes me happy to see how much you guys love it. As you know, holidays are coming and that means a whirlwind of activities, plus for me it's the busiest time of the year at work so I might not have a lot of time to write, meaning there's a chance you won't get another update until January after this one, please do not despair because I have every intention of finishing this story, and hopefully I'll manage to squeeze an update before the years end.

Enough with the talk now, please enjoy


I need your grace, to remind me

To find my own

If I lay here, if I just lay here

Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

.

-Snow Patrol-

.

The two brothers were sitting next to each other in a large dark red leathered couch that was placed up against the wall of the small dark office of their new acquired warehouse. The room was scarcely decorated and had its walls painted in a dull cream color, the only pieces of furniture with some character were the couch they were currently in and a wooden crafted liquor cabinet that held Damon's precious possessions.

While Damon enjoyed fine good things he didn't expect the place where he conducted his dirty affairs to ooze extravaganza; that was John's style, not his. He needed nothing more than a place secret enough to keep him under the radar; his need to brag about his affairs was his step-father's great mistake and was proving to be his downfall.

Damon's eyes were fixed on the scattered pictures on top of the small wooden table placed in front of them while his brother's attention was entirely on his phone, Damon didn't even need to ask to know who was taking over Stefan's attention.

He was about to make some snarky comment when the heavy metal door to the office opened and one of his most trusted colleagues walked inside. The elder Salvatore raised his eyebrows in direction of the newcomer before leaning back on the couch, arms stretched wide on each side of him "Look who decided to show up, it was about time"

The tall blonde man rolled his eyes at the same time he raised a middle finger in direction of his friend "Don't give me hell, I've been doing exactly as you asked" He muttered as he headed straight to the liquor cabinet.

"Took you long enough"

The other man grabbed a tumbler and poured himself a big amount of bourbon "Bite me, Damon" He said at the same time he raised his glass in direction of his friend.

Stefan exhaled deeply "Can you two stop bickering like an old married couple?" He muttered as he turned off his phone and placed it inside his jean pocket.

Damon and his longtime friend Alaric shared a smile before their expression turned somber, their minds switching to business mode. Besides Stefan and Enzo, the man Damon trusted Elena's life with, the only other person to know about their new warehouse was Alaric Saltzman.

The blonde man had been Damon's friend since childhood and one of the few he had trusted his secret with, Alaric had seen hell itself alongside Damon and ultimately shared the same goal as his, to end the monstrous empire that had risen under John Gilbert's thumb.

Damon trusted him with his life and knew for sure the man would always have his back.

"What's with the Russian, do we have what we need?" Alaric asked as he moved, tumbler in hand until he was in one of the black leather chairs placed in front of the brothers.

Damon nodded solemnly, his eyes acquiring that frosting blue glow that made his enemies piss themselves "It's all set, it's crucial that we thread carefully the next days or everything will blow up in our faces"

Alaric took the tumbler to his lips and sipped slowly "You think he can smell it?" He asked.

Damon released a deep breath, a flicker of exasperation crossing his features "Something tells me he can but I can't be sure" He murmured "My instincts seem to be off regarding him lately"

The blonde man sitting in front of him chuckled "Maybe you're too engrossed in something else" The knowing look the other man gave him was enough to start a fire in Damon's veins if it were any other man he would already have his hands around his throat for the implications in his words.

Instead, he limited himself to throw him a dark look and a warning "Don't go there, Ric"

Alaric grinned with pleasure, knowing his words had been enough to push Damon's buttons, bickering with his best friend was one of the blonde's favorite hobbies. But deciding it was enough for the moment, he took his attention to the other Salvatore brother in the room "Is everything ready for tomorrow?"

Stefan nodded, something dark shone in his eyes and made an uncomfortable feeling settle in Damon's chest "Yeah it is" He answered.

"You sure she'll be there?" Alaric asked.

Stefan grinned "I sent the invitation myself, I am sure she'll be there"

Alaric gave him a curt nod "Good, fewer people we have biting our ass, the better"

With a deep breath Stefan abruptly stood up from the couch "Speaking of, I'll leave you two to it. I have a party to plan" His words were accompanied by a wink in Damon's direction; the older brother raised his hand in a dismissive gesture and watched his brother stride away from the room.

It was a good plan but something in his gut didn't let him be completely on board with the party, they were walking a very thin line and he couldn't be sure everything wouldn't come shattering from underneath him.

Sensing something was troubling him, Alaric stood up and went to the cabinet to fix him a drink "He took down Rodriguez and his men" He commented casually as he poured ice into a tumbler.

Damon sighed "He did" A triumphant proud smile stretched across his face as he looked at his best friend "He designed the strategy all by himself"

"Smart kid" Alaric answered as he filled the tumbler with the dark amber liquid "Do you think he'll settle with being your underboss?" His tone was nonchalant but there was no fooling Damon

"You're feeling overly confident today my friend" The low dangerous tone in Damon's voice made the other man stop his actions, his eyes rising to meet his across the room.

"What, can't you see the hunger for power brewing in him?" He asked before moving towards him, drink in hand, Damon remained silent and realization dawned on Alaric "Unless…oh right"

Damon didn't wait for the other man to offer him the drink, he grabbed it and dawned it all in one gulp while Alaric went back to his place in the black leather chair "People won't follow him, Damon, not while you're—"

Damon cut him off with the banging on the tumbler against the wooden table "I have no boss material Ric, I lack the social skills for it" He answered truthfully "I am a hitman, there's only one thing I'm good at"

Since he was a little boy Damon had been groomed for one thing alone, being a murderer. No matter how hard his grandfather tried to turn him into the great drug lord he was, Damon had been trained to be nothing but a soldier, John Gilbert had seen to it.

He was no one's boss; he was just a man with a perfect skill to end people's life.

Alaric stared at him intently, a frown marring his forehead "I wouldn't be so sure about it, look everything you've managed to set up on your own. You'll be an amazing boss, the organization will thrive under your hand I am sure of it"

But I don't want it.

He wanted to scream, wanted to disappear and not know anything of that forsaken world but he couldn't, not when there were so many things to do.

Damon's eyes went to the pictures scattered on top of the table "We'll see. We have a war to win first"

Alaric's expression darkened as his eyes followed Damon's train of sight "It made me sick to my stomach… what you send my way" The words dripped with the same fury Damon felt burning through his veins "I want nothing more than to see that son of a bitch in the ground"

A half-smile stretched on Damon's lips "You and me both buddy, you and me both"


By the time night had settled in, Damon and Elena found themselves relaxing with takeout sushi and a bottle of Elena's favorite rosé while the soft voice of Michael Bubble sang in the background something about believing in good things.

They were currently on Damon's new penthouse, the place he had surprised her with after she had that terrible incident a couple of days ago in the streets of New York, he still wasn't able to shake off the dread that had settled over him when Enzo had called him letting him know a strange man had followed Elena.

He only had been able to breathe when he had her back in his arms, safe and sound in the new place he had found for himself, Elena had loved it, an all the fear and nervousness she had felt minutes earlier had vanished with her excitement over the new place.

True to his style, Damon had acquired a private, full-floor penthouse in the heart of Manhattan, featuring 360 degrees panoramic views, wraparound terraces, and a private elevator lobby. It included a large living room with two fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a formal dining room.

Plus, a sexy master suite that had become Damon's favorite place in the entire pad.

The master suite was an urban bedroom with gray walls and dark hardwood floors with a walk-in closet behind glass doors, it was scarcely decorated, not that it was needed with the floor to ceiling windows overlooking New York City.

But the windows weren't the best part, nor the huge flat screen embedded into the wall or the queen-sized bed with its black soft sheets, no, Elena's and his favorite part was the in-room-Jacuzzi where they were currently resting.

Elena moaned in delight as she stuffed an entire roll of sushi salmon into her mouth, her eyes nearly rolling at the deliciousness in her mouth. Damon stared at her from the other side of the Jacuzzi, amusement all over his face "Is it good, isn't?" He asked cheekily before taking a sip of his glass of wine.

"Don't be mean" She told him with her mouth still half-full with food.

Damon smiled at the cuteness she represented at the moment, with her short hair piled as best as she could on top of her head and her cheeks full with food, tendrils of damp hair stuck to her face as she tried to balance the small plate so her food wouldn't end up in the water.

"You are adorable," He said after staring at her in silence for a couple of seconds.

Elena sighed and ate another bite before placing the plate on the edge and grabbing her glass "I can believe you actually live here" She said as she leaned back further into the water, her eyes taking in the lavish room around her.

Damon chuckled before touching her calf with his foot in a playful gesture "You speak as if your apartment was a dumpster" He joked.

Elena laughed "It sure does feel like it now"

He rolled his eyes playfully before nudging her calf again "So dramatic" Their eyes locked together for a couple of seconds, true contentment shining in them.

Damon took a small sip from his glass before placing it at the edge of the tub and hunching over to her, his hands found her shoulders and he started massaging them, her eyes closing at the pleasure of the act "You could move in then" He said casually after a couple of seconds "You wouldn't live in a dumpster anymore"

Elena laughed, not truly paying attention to his words but focusing on his hands on her shoulders and the need that had started pulsing between her legs "Yeah right"

Damon swallowed deeply, his face leaning forward until his nose was mere inches from hers "Why not? We've lived together before"

Elena's eyes opened at this as if her mind was registering he was actually being truthful "It was different" She said.

"Why?" He asked before his lips ghosted over hers, his hands sliding from her shoulders to her back and pulling her into his body, her legs locking around his waist as she settled into his lap. He removed a runaway hair from her face and caressed the skin of her neck "What's the point of being apart?"

Elena's breath rushed out of her and she allowed him to remove the glass from her hand "You really mean that" She whispered, a look of pure shock on her face before she leaned down and kissed him, her tongue delving into his mouth almost immediately "You taste like salmon" She said breathlessly after they pulled apart.

His lips twisted in a sensual smirk "You love salmon"

"Yes I do"

Damon nuzzled his nose with hers and was assaulted with a surge of tenderness for the girl in his arms; he saw the way her eyes flickered towards the window for a brief second and the worry that clouded them.

His fingers found her chin and brought her attention back to him "What is bothering you?" He asked, knowing full well there was an intrusive thought circling around that pretty head of hers.

Elena sighed and slumped into his arms, her face going to rest against his neck, their slick bodies joined together as close as they could without him being in her "I am afraid" She confessed.

Damon's hand moved up and down her back, his fingers tracing each indent on her spine with deft fingers "You don't have to be, I told you no one will ever get close to you again"

"Is not that, but— I can feel something terrible is coming Damon" Her voice wobbled slightly and it made something ache deep in his chest. "And the fact you are hiding things from me doesn't feel right"

The sigh he released was slightly impatient "Len, I told you—"

She interrupted him by moving her head again from him, her back straightening up once again so she could stare at him "I know what you said, I'm just telling you I am afraid" Her hands cupped his face and forced him to not move his gaze away from her "Something is brewing and I don't know how it'll end up"

He gave her what he hoped was a convincing smile and dropped his forehead into hers "You needn't be afraid Len; don't you trust me to keep you safe?"

Elena's eyes bore down on him, gold flecks that starred his every dream were fixed on him "I do" She finally said after a while, her body relaxing against his once again.

His lips widened into another smile "Then stop worrying and just enjoy now" A gasp escaped her mouth when his fingers got lost between her legs "Enjoy us" His lips found hers and once again and they allowed themselves to be swept away by the passion that burned between them.

Hours afterward they were curled around each other in Damon's silk sheets, his fingers tracing random patterns on the soft skin of her back as he listened her breathing evening out "I wish we could stay locked in this room forever" She murmured, already half asleep.

Damon sighed and tightened one arm around her, his lips found the top of her head and he kissed it gently. He understood her sentiment pretty well because it was the feeling that invaded him during their time in Colombia, the need to keep her locked away from all harm, to escape to a paradise only they knew of. To escape all the violence and pain that had followed him ever since he came into the world.

Damon Salvatore would never call himself a victim but he didn't like the name of predator either and though there was a time where he relished in the power and greatness that being La Parca brought him, lately he found himself wanting to erase that name forever, wanting to vanish and never again had to be him.

Elena murmured something in her sleep and made Damon lower his eyes to stare into her face, so soft and innocent. When he looked at her he still can see that sweet loving girl that had followed him everywhere when they were children, though it didn't always seem like it, he did so many things to preserve the innocence of that little girl and he was willing to do so many more to preserve the woman she came to be.

His fingers found the skin of her cheek and graze it lightly before he went to place another kiss at the top of her head; he tightened his hold on her and brought her closer to his body as he allowed his eyes to start closing.

As the winds swirled around New York skyscrapers and a beautiful girl lay sleeping in his arms, Damon Salvatore found himself praying for the first time in his life, hoping his grandfather had been wrong and there was, in fact, someone up there who could help him step out of the mess around him.


Please sorry for any typos, I keep switching the tense of the verbs for some reason and I am unable to spot them until it's too late, so sorry for that!