A/N: Umm, so yeah, another D/E one-shot, because I was inspired by my girlies at FF, so this is for y'all (especially you, Steph!).... And I kind of have this thing of being obsessed with book quotes, so I included yet another one...:)

Disclaimer: I don't own The Vampire Diaries...sad, I know.


CLANG!

Elena awoke with a start and looked around her room quickly, making sure that she was alone. In the darkness, she couldn't make out anyone else, but when she looked out her open bedroom door, she could see that the kitchen light was on downstairs, when she clearly remembered she had turned it off before trudging upstairs to her room.

She gulped and looked around her room for anything that she could use as protection against an intruder. Choosing to use a figurine of a ballerina that she'd gotten from Jenna for her ninth birthday, she made her way into the hallway slowly, making sure to step as lightly and breathe as quietly as she could.

She vaguely recognized that she was alone that night. Jenna was out with Alaric, and Elena didn't really want to know the reason why she was coming back so late, and Jeremy was at...well, she didn't actually know where Jeremy was, but he said something about having to look up research at the library.

She froze as the floorboard underneath her feet creaked.

"It was about time you woke up," she heard someone from the kitchen call, and she let out the heavy breath she had been holding in relief as she ran down the stairs quickly, all past fear forgotten as she was assured that the second presence in her house was a familiar one.

"Damon," she acknowledged, before realizing that he shouldn't be in her kitchen at midnight. "Why are you in my kitchen? This doesn't make regret inviting you in that night any less, you know," she told him.

"Even when I'm here, slaving away, making you food?" he replied cockily, giving her a taste of what was on the wooden spoon.

She hated to admit it, but it was delicious. But he couldn't know that, because then he might think it was okay for him to walk in and out of her home as he pleased. And it most definitely wasn't.

She nodded at him, indicating that she liked whatever it was he was preparing.

She narrowed her eyes as she studied him thoroughly. It had been approximately seven months since Damon found out Katherine had been toying with him all along, and it scared Elena to see him so miserable. Every time she would see him, she'd take mental notes on his progress, like how he finally gave her that cocky smirk or how he would invade her personal space again. She would pretend that it irked her, but she was happy he was getting back to his normal self.

Stefan seemed to be worried about Damon as well, always trying to make him cheer up and convince him that he was better than Katherine. It was harder with Stefan being worried about Damon as well, because then they would discuss his progress, and they would always try to avoid the awkward and unnecessary post-breakup talk, their main focus being the elder Salvatore brother.

Stefan and Elena broke it off exactly four months ago when he lied to her, yet again. He swore it was only to protect her, even after she firmly declared that she'd rather be in danger knowing the truth than being safe believing lies.

And part of why she appreciated Damon was also because he never lied to her. Never. Sure, at times he may not have admitted things straight out of the blue, and at times he would be a little too blunt, but she honestly can't recall a time since the first moment they met when he's lied.

"Is there any reason as to why you're looking at me like that? I mean, I know I'm irresistible, but really..."

Damon's voice knocked her out of her reverie, and she once more wrote in her mental notepad that Damon being a complete narcissit was how he acted before the whole tomb ordeal. She rolled her eyes at him, deciding to change the subject because she knew she wouldn't be able to from a coherent answer to his question. "You never did tell me why you came."

He smirked at her, but then turned serious and shrugged. "I just wanted to see you, and since nothing was holding me back from doing as I pleased, I decided to come. And make you food, because you've been losing weight recently," he explained.

She raised an eyebrow at him and crossed her arms. "So you decided that the best way to engage in my company was to nearly give me a heart attack in the middle of the night?" She ignored his jab about her weight, though it made her stomach flutter that he noticed when something so minor changed about her.

He shrugged once more, eyes amused. "I always did do things my own way," he answered smugly.

She found her lips pulling up at the corners against their will. No matter how much she would deny it, she liked having Damon around. It was fun to talk to him, because a simple conversation always ended up turning into witty banter, and she found that strangely endearing.

But, once again, he couldn't know that.

She shook her head, trying to dismiss her previous smile. What had previously been a smile of his own pulled down into a grim line as he narrowed his eyes at her.

He'd never understood teenage girls, and he was sure that he never would, but Elena Gilbert wasn't making it any easier for him to dive into the adolescent female psyche. Needless, to say, he was confused by her strange behavior.

He started for her, making her take a step back with each one he took forward. When her lower back was pressed against the edge of the counter and she had nowhere else to go, she sighed. "Damon, what have I told you about invading my personal space?"

He cocked his head to the side. "Elena, what have I told you about not caring?" he retorted.

She pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows, determined to not let him get under her skin, but gave up once she saw the multitude of questions in his eyes, trying hard as hell not to lose herself in the blue depths. She laid a hand against his chest, but--surprising both of them--made no attempt to push him away. "And what have I told you about not believing you?"

His eyes sparkled with amusement and she cursed her heart for leaping when his lips placed themselves into the smirk that she was supposed to despise.

She let her eyes fall down to his lips, and she couldn't stop her own lips from parting at the undeniably drool-worthy sight.

Dammit, he just had to be born looking all perfect. Dammit...

"Touche."

He was leaning and her lips parted a bit further of their own accord. She knew what he wanted, and that in a matter of seconds he would get it if she didn't make any interruptions.

But the nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach wouldn't stop and she just had to say it.

"Damon, I don't want to be the rebound girl." He paused, not leaning any closer, but not moving away either. She swallowed, looking up at him, expecting to find some trace of anger or sadness or even confusion. But all she found in his features was pure amusement as he smirked once more.

"Trust me, Elena, you could never be the rebound girl," he assured her. "You're more than that."

And then his lips made pressed down onto hers, and she didn't think anymore. All thoughts of Stefan, of Katherine, of everything, left her mind. All she could see behind her lids was Damon's image.

It was gentle, their lips made no movement as they just made contact. She was surprised by the fire that seemed to ignite within her. As if she was an unlit candle and Damon was her flame.

They pulled away when Elena's need for air became necessary, and they stared into each other's eyes for exactly 3.7 seconds before Damon's hand fisted in Elena's hair and her arms went around his neck and their mouths made contact once more. For real, this time. While Damon seemed in charge of everything else, it was no doubt that Elena wore the pants when they were kissing. Her tongue traced Damon's lower lip, asking for entrance, which he gladly granted.

She smiled into the kiss, thinking about how high on Damon she was at the moment. She pulled his arms tighter around her frame, needing more of him, but never seeming to get enough. She distractedly wrote down in her mental notepad that he just made a huge leap in progress.

When Elena's lungs simply couldn't take it any longer, she pulled away panting.

"That was..." he started.

When she regained some of her breath, she took his hand and held it in both of hers. She hesitantly looked into his eyes, afraid to find regret in them. When she didn't, she smiled lightly.

"Unexpected? Surprising? Amazing? Long-awaited? Incredible?" she offered.

He smiled, and her heart started thumping rapidly against the confines of her chest at the sight and she committed it to a memory. One that she would forever cherish. He gave her hand a light squeeze and caressed her cheek lightly.

"All of those are understatements." She grinned at him. "Though I did realize something tonight..."

She cocked her head to the side in question. "What would that be?"

He smirked, leaning in once more. "Kitchens are definitely our scene."


The Vampire Diaries: The Return, Nightfall

"He wanted her to believe him, to trust him.
He didn't want Elena as a one-night bleeder.
He wanted her to choose him.
He wanted her to see how much better suited she was for him than to his mousy, milksop brother.
His princess of darkness.
That was what she was meant to be.
With him as king, consort, whatever she wished.
When she saw things more clearly, she would understand that it didn't matter.
That nothing mattered except them being together."


A/N: Yep, I cut it off right there, so you're free to make up your own ideas of what happened afterwards, I just really needed to get a DE one-shot out of my system, so yeahh...

REVIEW!!!!! :)