AN: This happened because motionoftheocean dared me. Enjoy!
It was an out of body experience to be quite frank. Bonnie felt like a stranger looking in at her body. She saw herself walk tiredly into her and Damon's shared apartment. She saw herself frowning at the odd noises coming from the guest bedroom then carefully walking to investigate. It was the middle of the day and her boyfriend should have been at work so she wasn't expecting anyone home. Cautious, she reached for the baseball bat ready to plummet any intruder. Today was not the day for anything to go wrong in her life. She'd already had a stressful enough day at work; Amanda was rumoured to get the promotion not her and the coffee machine broke down meaning she had to take a five-minute walk to the Starbucks. The last thing she needed was to be robbed of her earthly possessions.
She saw herself tiptoe to the bedroom increasing panicked at the loud groans and moans. Then opening the door only to behold her boyfriend of three years and childhood best friend tangled together in a position only recommended by a bored contributor at Cosmo.
That was when she connected back with her body.
Damon and Elena jumped away from each other scrambling to cover themselves with the sheets and comforters, excuses already being formed at the tips of their tongues.
"I-I-I...," Bonnie didn't know what to say. There was nothing to say. She'd just witnessed the two people she would have willingly died for having admittedly experimental sex in the sheets she'd bought last year when they moved in together.
"Bonnie, I swear I can explain," Damon tried standing up from the bed with a pillow covering his front.
"No don't bother," Bonnie replied calmly dropping the bat with a thud. "I think the picture is very clear. I hope you two are very happy together. Just make sure to never call or contact me again."
"Please Bonnie this was a mistake. It'll never happen again," Elena was already sobbing for some reason. Bonnie didn't understand why she was the one crying, it's not like she just walked in on her boyfriend and best friend having sex.
"No need to explain," Bonnie moved on wooden legs out of the guest room and into the main bedroom. She locked the door to make sure neither of them scrambled behind her. Without thinking much, she went to her closet grabbing two suitcases and loading whatever she touched into it. Underwear, blouses, jeans. Through the not-so-thick walls she could hear foot stomps and raised voices in the other bedroom. No doubt the two fornicators were hurriedly dressing themselves in an effort to damage control.
She didn't want to hear their excuses or justifications. There was nothing, not even the promise of stopping the apocalypse via afternoon delight, that would make what she had just witnessed make sense.
She wanted to get the hell out of the apartment, the city and even the state. The biggest distance she could put between herself and Damon would not be enough.
"Bonnie open the door please," said her shitbag ex banged on the bedroom door.
She didn't answer. She just zipped up her bags and looked around wondering how she would make her escape. Bonnie spied the bedroom window and gave thanks for the first time that they lived on the ground floor. She opened the window latch and pushed out both suitcases then climbed out herself. The window didn't open too far but there was enough space for her to maneuverer herself out.
All those months of Pilates had made her wonderfully limber.
"Bonnie please," Elena pleaded on the other side of the door but her voice was faint at this point.
Bonnie refused to listen only focusing on making sure she didn't land on her head and split it open. If only that morning she'd known that she would need to climb out of the window, she'd have worn some more practical shoes instead of heeled boots. At least they were cute.
Bubbling with relief at her shaky landing, Bonnie immediately brought out her phone and opened up Uber calling a ride. She paused. There was no destination in mind. Obviously, she couldn't just pack up and leave California completely so she settles for the next best thing. She googles random bars and picks one with a considerable distance where no one would think she goes. The Rusty Nail. Definitely not a place anyone would ever think she'd frequent.
It's just $15 thankfully.
Her Uber arrives and the driver is a friendly middle-aged man named Henry who offers her water and M&Ms. She likes him already.
"Going on a trip?" Henry tried with upbeat conversation.
"Something like that," Bonnie answered mechanically.
"No, I have no idea where I'm going. I just found my boyfriend and best friend since kindergarten having sex so I've just decided to leave my apartment and get away from those lying assholes," She stated in an artificially cheerful voice.
Henry, unsure of what to say, offered her the AUX cord and another bag of M&Ms . Bless his heart.
The rest of the car trip was spent in blissful silence until they got to the bar. The Rusty Nail had an upscale but rustic aesthetic going on for it. The ceilings are high with dangling lamps and there are pictures of snowy mountains and green forests hanging on the wall. It gave off a warm, natural feeling. It's exactly what she needed right now.
If the patrons found it odd to see a woman with two suitcases lumber her way to the bar and hastily ordering a gin and tonic, they say nothing. The bartender kindly brought her the drink which she drank in one go.
"Another one please," Bonnie felt a bit lightheaded. Drinking was not something she did often so it wouldn't take long for her to get buzzed. Good. That was what she wanted.
Her phone was still ringing but this time Elena had joined in on the calls so she put it on silent and temporarily blocked their numbers until she could call her mobile provider to permanently block them.
With her phone out of bounds for the moment, there wasn't much to do to occupy her mind. The bar had a large flat screen showing nothing but football. Probably the only thing those who visited here were interested in. With nothing to distract her, it was inevitable that the gravity of what had just occurred hit her.
Damon had cheated on her. With Elena. Elena, her best friend.
She, Bonnie and Caroline had known each other since kindergarten and moved to San Francisco together after college. They met Damon and Stefan in college. Damon had been a snarky asshole in the beginning but he'd grown on her gradually and after a few years they admitted their feelings after everyone had graduated and started dating. Those were the three best years of her life, or so she thought.
He and Elena had hooked up a few times before Bonnie had started dating him but they claimed that was where it ended and no one questioned it. After all they'd given no indication to the contrary. Stefan had dated Caroline during freshman year but they broke up and remained friends. The idea wasn't strange within their friend group.
For all anyone could tell, Damon was blissfully in love with Bonnie and vice versa. Sure, he'd been pulling away the last few months and they'd had a few fights recently but that was normal with relationships. There were rough patches. But this was more than a rough patch; it was a whole pothole in the road. And with Elena of all people. That just made it hurt ten times more. How long had it been going for? How long had they both been laughing at her behind her back?
All the relationship advice she'd sought from Elena. Her worries and fears. The gratitude she felt thinking her friend had nothing but her happiness in mind with her assurances and counsel. What a fool she'd been all along.
Her chest felt like it'd been caved in with a bulldozer. A hollow space left in between her ribs. Gosh, no wonder people died from broken hearts. She left like she was barely holding on. To think that earlier that morning she'd kissed him in bed and told him she loved him. Damon had said he loved her too. Was it her face he saw when he spoke those words? Or was he thinking about Elena? Had she just been Elena's little avatar? Who else knew about this? She believed there was no way Caroline and Stefan knew but refused to tell her.
But then again up until a few hours ago, she'd have said there was no way Damon would cheat on her...
Bonnie didn't even realize she'd been crying until she felt the teardrops on her leggings. She quickly wiped them away with her sleeve but it wasn't quick enough apparently.
"Bonnie Bennett?" A familiar voice inquired and she cringed internally because was there no end to her shame? He was the last person she wanted to see. With his perfect brown hair, blue grey eyes and clean stubble there was no explanation other than she'd fucked up immensely in a previous life and this was karma coming for her ass.
Bonnie wiped her eyes with her sleeves and turned to meet the questioning gaze of Malachi "Kai" Parker, her now ex-boyfriend's boss.
"Oh Mr. Parker. Fancy running into you here," She smiled weakly. Of all the times they had to meet. Couldn't it have been last week at Coco's where she was dressed to kill clubbing with Stefan and Caroline? No, it had to be at a bar where she was bawling her eyes out after a break up.
Kai Parker was Damon's very handsome and very wealthy boss. They'd met a few times during the company events he would bring her to. The office Christmas party was particularly memorable. Each time she'd been flustered and shy in his presence since he was the man who signed her boyfriend's checks and she didn't want to embarrass him. He was the CEO of Gemini Solutions, a cybersecurity firm with a net worth in nine figures. Damon worked as the head of acquisitions. Technically he was his boss's boss.
"Just Kai please," He said with an easy-going smile. "I've told you that before I think."
"Oh sorry. Kai then," She corrected herself.
"You're Damon's girlfriend, right?" He recalled summoning a fresh wave of tears as Bonnie sobbed once again.
Kai's eyebrows furrowed at the sight of the weeping woman, "Are you alright? Is Damon with you?"
She snorted patting her damp eyes, "Nope. He's the reason for all this." Seemed pretty tactless to expose that in front of Damon's boss bit after all that happened his professional appearance was the least of her worries. "Found out he's cheating on me. With my best friend. So, no. He's not here."
He gave her a sympathetic look digesting the information. "Well that's unfortunate on your behalf." He reached into his jacket pocket and brought out a monogrammed handkerchief. "Here."
"Thank you," She said, cleaning her wet cheeks with it.
"I can't imagine how you must be feeling," Kai started unsure of how to go about the conversation now.
Bonnie shrugged, "I think I'm taking it well enough all things considered. I hope he's at least a good employee because I'll tell you, he stinks as a boyfriend."
He laughed, a loud and hearty noise that made her almost smile. Almost, "Well he's certainly made me lots of money so I'll have to reluctantly say yes."
"That's good news for you but bad for me. If only he were an all-round incompetent moron," She sighed morosely.
"Are you planning on taking a trip?" Kai spied her bags.
"Nope," Bonnie pops the p tugging a loose curl behind her ear. "I just hightailed out of there grabbing whatever I could carry."
"Ah," He sounded even more sympathetic than expected and she suddenly wonders what he's doing here. Surely, he'd be getting drinks at some five-star bar with Elon Musk where supermodels serve the tequila shots in their cleavage. Or wherever it was tech CEOs hung out. "I guess it all happened very quickly."
"Very in the moment. I couldn't even get out through the front door since he was banging on it. I had to take the window," Bonnie explained nonchalantly.
His eyes widened, "That's...wow."
She nodded taking another gulp of her drink, "Which all leads to me drinking right here, boyfriend less and homeless. So, what brings you here?"
Kai's mouth twitched, "Well nothing quite as interesting as your story. I'm just hanging out after a day at work."
"Isn't this place too shabby for your tastes?" Bonnie wrinkled her nose. At this point she was beginning to lose her filter. A few drinks ago and she'd have been appalled at herself. But two drink Bonnie said everything that was on her mind.
"Have I given you that impression?" He sat on the stool next to hers and signalled for the bartender.
Bonnie shrugged, "It's just Damon talked all the time about how much of a pompous dick you are. Pompous dicks don't hang out at places like this."
Instead of getting offended, Kai just curled his lips into a mischievous smile that made her heart skip. Damn, he was fine. In the past she'd noticed and tried to ignore storing all matters of attraction solely for Damon but since she was free there was no crime in looking anymore. "I think we've established that he's not a very smart person. Cheating on you is offence number one."
"You're so sweet," She groaned. "Trying to make me feel better after I've just blabbed all my personal problems to you in one go and just ruined your night for no reason."
"Nothing is ruined," He declared. "Besides I own this place."
"Really?" She hadn't been expecting that. Well it didn't really surprise her but the place felt quite homey. More pub than bar really.
"Well I'm a part owner really. Opened it up with a friend," Kai explained, thanking the bartender who brought a beer for him. She didn't recall him actively ordering. Go figure.
"You are just full of layers Kai," Bonnie said coyly leaning forward.
He chuckled, "And you are more interesting than I thought."
They chatted for a while, just about nothing in particular. He told her about his company and work, careful not to mention any details about Damon. She told him about her job as a writer for a magazine where she'd been gunning for the position of editor but was being overlooked in favor of another writer. It was a pleasant conversation and it managed to keep her mind off of her sorrows for the moment. Kai was a decent conversationalist. He listened carefully and contributed enough to make the other person feel involved.
Through the corner of her eye she spied her phone ringing and groaned internally. It was Caroline who no doubt was calling her after hearing from either Damon or Elena that she wasn't answering them. The cowards probably didn't tell her why. She didn't answer and sure enough Stefan was next to call.
If Klaus called her too then she would lose it.
Kai saw her expression and where her eyes had wandered to, "He's the one calling you now?"
"No," Bonnie sighed dreadfully, feeling more sober now. "It's my other friends. He probably called them to say I wasn't answering. I doubt he even told them the real reason why. I just don't want to talk to any of them now."
He nodded, "I understand why you'd feel that way but maybe send them a message to say that you're ok. Just so they don't worry too much."
Not a bad suggestion considering Caroline had once tried to file a missing person's report when Bonnie didn't answer her phone for an hour because she was napping. She picked up her phone and typed a quick text to both Caroline and Stefan saying that she was fine but wanted to be left alone. That probably caused more questions but at least they'd know she wasn't in any physical danger.
"The worst part is that I actually thought he was going to propose," Bonnie confided, looking wide-eyed and sad. That was what hurt the most. For a week she'd gotten it into her head that he was going to propose after finding a vaguely itemized receipt for a jewellery store. She'd been gearing herself up for it all week, feeling twinkles of excitement at the prospect of becoming Mrs. Bonnie Bennett-Salvatore.
Kai swallowed, "I'm truly sorry for the disappointment. You don't deserve that."
She chuckled humorlessly, "You barely know me. And don't apologise unless you somehow caused all of this."
"I do know that you deserve some kindness," He stated with a wink. It shouldn't have made a warmth pool in her stomach but it did. Why the hell did Damon give the impression his boss was the spawn of hell?
"Can I get a coke please?" Bonnie asked the bartender.
"Done drinking for the night?" Kai inquired, tapping his fingers against the bar.
She grabbed her purse rummaging inside to bring out her credit card, "Seeing as I currently don't have a home to go to, I need to find a hotel. I can't exactly do that drunk out of my mind now can I?"
The bartender brought her coke but Kai waved her away before she could pay and dropped a fifty. "I got this one Ryan."
Ryan the bartender grabbed the money and nodded, "No problem sir."
Bonnie frowned, "You didn't need to do that for me. I'm heartbroken not broke."
Kai stood up from the stool straightening his blazer, "Consider it a favour. Didn't I say you needed some kindness tonight?"
She really did. Bonnie ran her fingers through her curls sighing, "Thank you so much. You're the reason my night hasn't been an entire bust so thanks for keeping me company. Now I have to find a hotel that won't cost me an arm and a leg." In San Francisco that was like finding a phoenix.
"You could stay with me," Kai offered without hesitation.
Bonnie blinked, taken aback by the offer, "That's super generous but I'm going to have to refuse Kai."
He raised a hand to stop her before she could go any further, "I understand your reservations but hear me out. I have more than one bedroom so space won't be an issue. You won't have to spend money on an expensive room and I'll even drive you to work tomorrow. Plus, you won't be alone."
Bonnie wanted to argue more but the truth was that she was tired. So tired. The stress of the day had sunk into her bones and she wanted nothing more than to lie down and forget about the outside world for a few hours. She deserved a fucking a break. So what if it happened to be with the boss of the cheater formerly known as her boyfriend?
But she still recognized that she needed to think clearly and not let the volatile emotions raging within get the best of her.
Or not mostly get the best of her.
"How do I know you're not offering just so you can lure me somewhere and kill me?" She crossed her arms across her chest and jutted her hip to the side.
Kai grinned, "Because I promise not to? But seriously I'll even insist you text your friends where you're going. Give them my address if you need to."
Bonnie bit her bottom lip, "That's a lot of trouble you're going through for little old me." She couldn't stop the tears that flowed once again. It was all just so overwhelming. In less than 24 hours she'd gone from being in a happy relationship to being comforted by a man she'd met five times before today.
He placed his hand over her shoulder still maintaining some distance between their bodies but the gesture was still comforting. She found that she didn't mind it at all. "Hey, it's not a problem at all."
She sniffled for a few minutes more while Kai patiently brought out another handkerchief. "I feel bad that your pretty hankies are being ruined by my snot."
"At least they're being ruined by a pretty girl," He said with a wink.
Bonnie rolled her eyes but smiled anyway.
He drove her to his high-rise apartment downtown. Figures he lived in a place that cost more than hers and the rent of everyone she knew combined but his penthouse wasn't exactly the minimalistic expensive box she'd imagined. It was expensive of course; she spied a Goya in the living room and willed herself not to squeal out. She had Klaus to thank for that since they hung out a lot recently. But it felt well-lived too. The walls looked too good to even touch but they were also filled with pictures of little kids playing.
"My siblings and I," He said, seeing her looking at it.
"You have a lot of siblings," Bonnie had counted four.
Kai dropped the bags he'd helped her with on the marble floor. "Not a lot. Just three. I have a twin sister Jo and a brother and sister who are also twins, Luke and Liv. Liv is actually getting married next month."
"Still a lot to an only child," She remarked curiously taking in her surroundings.
"Yeah well sometimes I wished I was an only child. Waking up with peanut butter on your pillow from age eight to sixteen will do that to you," He said walking to the kitchen.
Bonnie giggled following him, "Sounds like a dream."
Kai opened his humongous stainless-steel fridge and brought out a pitcher of water then some glasses. "It is. They're totally crazy but I love them all the same." His tone was fond. He poured her a glass of water which she accepted happily and drank furiously. She didn't even realize that she was so thirsty.
"Thanks," She dropped the glass on the counter with a little pant.
"You're very welcome." Kai dropped the glass in the sink. "Now would you like me to show you to the guest room." She agreed and followed him through the long hallway, past some rooms and to a wide oak door. He opened the door to reveal a well-kept guest room. It reminded her of a hotel room but without the minibar.
Oh, never mind, there was one tucked in the corner.
"This is awesome," Bonnie excitedly remarked, walking around the room. It had its own en-suite bathroom.
"If you need anything, just let me know. I'm right across from you," Kai spoke pointing to his own bedroom just opposite from her.
She stood up from the bed walking towards him, "Thank you so much for everything. You didn't have to do this."
"No, I wanted to. Stop thanking me before I get a complex," He smirked, patting her shoulder.
Bonnie fiddling with the tip of her hair feeling her chest thump in anticipation. A burst of confidence overtook her senses out of nowhere and before she knew it, she was on her tiptoes pressing a kiss onto Kai's surprisingly soft kiss. When she pulled away Kai blinked looking utterly taken aback.
"What are you doing?" He whispered rooting in that spot.
She bit her bottom lip staring at him right in the eye, daring him. "Unless I've been reading everything wrong, I'm obviously attracted to you and I assume that you're attracted to me too. If I've made a fool of myself let me know and we can pretend the last 40 seconds didn't just happen."
Kai just stared at her as if he were seeing her for the first. Oh goodness, what had she done? The guy was just trying to be a good Samaritan but she had to let her stupid impulses and insecurities get the better of her. Now she'd ruined a good thing. Her palms felt sweaty. She was about to run to the bathroom and lock herself inside when his hands slowly rested on her hips taking her by surprise.
"Bonnie, you're a very gorgeous woman but I really don't want to take advantage of you considering all you've been through," He sounded firm but she could still detect the slight waver in his voice and it almost made her smile. He did want her.
"You aren't," Bonnie insisted. "I'm sober and consenting. You aren't making me do anything I don't want to."
"You just got out of a relationship. I don't think this might be the best thing for you," Kai muttered feeling her closer. She wrapped her arms around his neck inhaling the scent of his cologne. Sharp and poised, just like him.
Her hands gripped his shoulders, "Trust me, this is exactly what I need." Her lips traced against his beard and he groaned slightly.
"If you have to stop at any point, please tell me," Kai pleaded roughly before swallowing her mouth in a sensuous kiss. She moaned, grabbing the back of his head to press his mouth deeper into hers revelling the way his hands explored his body before grabbing her thighs and urging her to jump.
With her legs wrapped firmly around his waist, Kai walked them both to the bed. "This is not how I imagined my day ending," He mused lying in between her legs before attacking her neck with his lips.
Neither did I, Bonnie thought as her eyes fluttered enjoying his teeth on her skin and his weight on her body as their night took a passionate turn.
Should I continue or toss myself off a cliff?