Caroline found herself sitting on the couch watching an infomercial that was trying to sell her a collection of CD's. The music was old, from the fifties and sixties, and the clips were in black and white. Tonight had been a strange night full of new and puzzling things and the lilting ballads of teenage love, both familiar and romantic, made an effort to take her mind off of the fact that Damon was making her a midnight snack… Strange and unprecedented, this new Damon was unnerving. 'He's going to kill me isn't he?' She thought wryly as she watched the name of the collection flash on the screen for the 10th time. "I think we have this collection…" She said aloud, to no one in particular, and she got up to look through the CD's in the book case next to the stereo. She ran her fingers over one CD after another until it fell onto the one she wanted. It wasn't the collection, but it was a collection of songs from that era. She pulled it out of the bookshelf and busied herself with it in order to avoid looking behind her to where Damon was cooking and whistling under his breath.
Track one started and Etta James careened through the speakers. Caroline stood there, listening, and letting the words float over like silk. She felt them brush against her, hovering over her, and then they brushed their fingers over her arms, coming to rest just below her shoulders. They kissed her neck, and she realized that it wasn't the words she was feeling against her, but Damon. Before she could react he took her hand and spun her around to face him. He leaned against her, his forehead on hers, and he pulled her into a slow rhythm. They were hardly moving, but just having him pressed against her the way he was, humming along with the song softly, made her body heat up again.
"I just can't help but dance to this kind of music." He said to her, his voice a gruff whisper in her ear. She felt his mouth form the words as he spoke them next to her cheek. There movement and the song cradled her into a sort of lull. She didn't even realize what she was doing until after she spoke to him and it was too late to take them back. "I think I love you…" She said..
"I think from the 20's through the 60's was the best music." He said before he heard what she had said. Then she felt his body tense a little bit, and they stopped dancing. He pulled his face away from the nook of her neck where it had been and looked into her eyes. She couldn't decipher what his expression was saying, so she looked down at her feet to avoid it.
Damon put his hands on either side of her down turned face, and pulled her gaze back to his. He could see the uneasy, waiting in her eyes. She hadn't meant to say it, he could tell, but now it was out there. It was the first time in a long time that he had heard it and it took him a while to process it. She obviously took this to mean that he didn't feel the same and she pulled his hands from her face, and turned to walk away. He was a little stunned, so he didn't reach out to stop her. Instead, he simply kept staring into the spot where she had been.
"Caroline…" he said, into the empty space behind her. "I haven't loved anyone in a very, very long time. Not since…" He trailed off, he felt like saying her name would taint the words as she had tainted his life, or rather, dead life, and he didn't want her to have her claws in this moment. This moment was for the two of them.
Caroline obviously took his pause to mean rejection, and she put her hand to mouth to try and stifle any other embarrassing out burst she might let loose and closed her eyes tight. He saw her breath hitch, and hurried to finish. It was so hard for him to say, after so many years of denying it to anyone. "But..." He continued. "I think I love you too."
Caroline couldn't believe her ears. She thought maybe she had heard wrong, so she turned to make sure. Slowly, letting her hand fall from it's position against her mouth, she turned her eyes to him, and saw that he looked just as stunned as she did. Seeing that look on his usually reserved and calculated expressions, she thought he never looked more vulnerable or human. That thought brought her some of her courage back, and she took a step towards him. Her expression gradually turned from surprise to a smile, to an almost cheeky grin as she said. "What?" like she really hadn't heard him.
Damon felt himself relax at her joke, and he smiled his famous smirk, and closed the distance between them in the blink of an eye. He put one hand on his hip and the other over her head as he leaned over her on the wall. He looked down at her, his expression back to playful. "I said… I think I'm falling in love with you." He watched her smile grow, and his followed it.
"What?" She said again, laughing a little as she let the word slip from her mouth. Before she could even get a full laugh out, Damon closed the remaining distance between them and kissed her as his answer. She threw her arms around his neck and he lifted her as she wrapped her legs around his waist.
Both laughing, he sped them back up stairs to her bed, past the kitchen and past the completely forgotten midnight snack…