Title: Raven and Maiden

Author: skysamuelle, BETA: Emmy

Challenge 3, Theme 3: One Taste

Post 1.14, Damon still watches over Bonnie.

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Vampires are carnal creatures; it's not a secret. They take and want, feed and fuck, all with the same boundary-free intensity and remorseless self-indulgence.

Unless their name is Stefan Salvatore, Damon considers with a mocking inner smile, ruffling his feathers absently as he watches the scene unfolding before his raven eyes.

The witch doesn't notice him, and he vaguely wishes she were doing something more interesting than chatting up silly Caroline via her cell. Like, maybe undressing with her blinds open, so he would have a sound reason to waste his time on her.

Still, he has to concede that it's interesting, the way every line of her tight little body relaxes when she is in animated conversation with her closer friends. It becomes sinuous, as inviting as that artless glow of her smile, when she tilts her head and laughs. A low, guilty laughter, like she found it impossible to laugh in her mourning.

Bonnie Bennett is all he doesn't want, hotness notwithstanding. Naïve, trusting, loyal, nearly mature for her age, way too honest and humble. Scared of all that sacred power dormant inside her (shame on that).

No wonder that Stefan likes her, on second thought.

She is exactly the kind of girl their father would have considered suitable for marriage (to his brother), sorceress bloodline aside. A perfect Maiden.

Damon is not the kind of man who would appreciate that anymore, the kind that keeps doors open for blushing beauties, cares for anyone's opinion –let alone his brother's- or takes care of other people.

Katherine broke him out of that. Deep down, he has always known she was poison in his veins, that she would burn him from the inside out someday, even before learning she has never been inside that grave.

The difference is that before, he believed they were meant to consume each other, equal in that sweet quest for destruction.

Wanting Elena makes sense because it's the easiest doorway to erase Katherine completely, from his heart and his memory. Wanting Elena means seeking to reverse history and going after her is demanding that the universe rights a wrong. Having Elena would be finally seeing that face in his mind and not recalling his sire.

Wanting Bonnie is purely a purposeless caprice.

He is watching her out of curiosity and filthy voyeuristic pleasure, perhaps a desire to observe all the ways her grief has broken her.

Sometimes, he just wishes he could rip her open, set free the darkness she has to be hiding somewhere inside.

Once upon a time, there was a boy who wanted simply to reach out and touch something beautiful, something intense, and to be touched back by it.

That boy doesn't exist anymore, except in Stefan 's most remote, shame-filled memories and Damon's own.

Yet…Bonnie turns, her resentful eyes meet his and hold on, unsurprised and accusing. They say 'I-fear-you-not, you-evil- vampire'.

Maybe she had noticed of his discreet scrutiny, after all.

Good Little Witch.

He should stay, if only to taunt her better and to rise to the silent challenge, but his instincts have him flying away before he can articulate a proper thought.

Sometimes he wishes he never had that first, one damning taste of her.

He can still feel her ancient blood lingering underneath his skin, taunting him with the promise of a primitive heat. A beautiful incandescence begging to be awoken.

She had been heady from the first sip, enough so to startle him out of his rage. Almost heady enough to scare him and definitely enough to leave a powerful impression.

He remembers it so clearly than every time he sees her pretty face, or smells her presence the taste fills his mouth again.

An addictive blend of aged wine and dark chocolate, if he needs to define it with boring human terms of comparison.

Damon has tasted witches before, and none of them has ever lingered in his veins like this. Someday- he promises himself- he will understand what makes Bonnie Bennett so tantalizingly different.

Wait and see, he will get one more taste.

Title: Identity

Author: skysamuelle

Challenge 3, Theme 5: I know you are but what am I...

A Bonnie-centric, post 1.14 drabble. Our favorite witch questions her real nature, and her kinship with a certain vampire.

Bonnie runs her fingertips reverently along the edge of several pages, bittersweet sadness squeezing the breath out of her as she takes in her grandmother's writing.

There are notes about the next Dark Moon ritual – it makes something in her gut ache, realizing that Sheila had planned to be there, the next month- and a recipe for pumpkin pie.

Bonnie bites her bottom lip hard to not cry, not again, and most especially over this.

The old Grimoire allows her to feel closer to her grandmother but still…it hurts, it hurts so much, more than anything else she has ever experienced. She would prefer being the one cold and dead, rather than submitting to this torment of guilty consciences and loss.

For the first time she believes she can come closer to understanding how Elena could emerge from last summer as a changed person. You just can't withstand a pain like this and stay the same as you were.

They say the distance from those people you have loved and lost becomes a part of you eventually, but that idea hardly makes anything easier, only more unfair.

Bonnie knows what Stefan is, but she never forgets who he is either. He is always going to be a person and a friend first and a terrifying beast second.

This is why she will never blame him for disrupting their ordinary lives with his arrival. He helped her to accept her cumbersome heritage and he made Elena happy again, and this somehow matters more than anything he could have done before coming back to Mystic Falls.

Stefan is a man, not a monster.

But his brother…oh, Damon is another story all together. Even his first name seems to pay homage to what he is: a demon, a creature who revels in destruction and darkness. The fact that he is capable of love doesn't redeem him because Damon Salvatore chooses to embrace the animal within.

Damon is a monster because vampirism defines his nature and character. He is at his most cruel when he plays with truth for his purposes, a predator gently coaxing his prey toward the set trap.

He is calculating and narcissistic, shameless in pursuing his interests…yet every flaw is easily overlooked in the moment's heat because he looks like sex on legs, his eyes are so blue and his voice ever so …convincing.

Bullshit.

Elena could be softening up toward the brother of her boyfriend, but she doesn't have the basis to draw the lines. Leopards and lions can like you, but that doesn't mean they will warn you before tearing you apart.

Stefan is still a man where Damon is pure vampire, that's the truth. The fact that she can see it, so easily…Bonnie is afraid of what it could mean.

What is she? An otherworldly creature or a cheerleader? A Daughter of Nature or a girl?

It was Caroline who convinced her to try out cheerleading, and it was because of her friendship with Elena Gilbert that she became a permanent fixture of the popular crowd of Mystic Falls.

And all along, there was deep down, a little voice whispering that nothing in all that could truly define her. That pompom practice and parties were distractions, unable to taint that self-aware and calm core existent at the very bottom of her.

She is terrified that her life so far has been a charade, a waiting game. That underneath the affection she has for Elena and her parents, the calling of Wind and Hearth is stronger, powerful enough to shatter the façade. Storms used to get her so unusually excited when she was a little girl… she used to watch by the window, waiting to catch the lightning as it struck, listening to the rain.

And her grandma used to smile over it. "Just like a true Salem's child." Sheila commented once, stroking Bonnie' s wind-blown hair affectionately.

Perhaps she is a monster, too.

It would surely explain why she feels the way she does when he is nearby. That sense of instinctive recognition burning low in her belly, contradictory as it both warns her of the danger and draws her toward it.

She resents Damon the most for how easily his superficial charm and outside appearance distract from his true self. At his core, he is a predator.

Like calls to alike--that is the very first law of magic.

Bonnie hates the concept of seeing in the older Salvatore a twisted reflection of herself. Yet…

There's no denying she was a witch a long time before she began receiving visions and regularly meeting vampires. Some secretive part of her knew it. Always.

Bonnie has never been the kind of girl to be fearful of change. Magic had not scared her shitless only because it threatened to shatter her sense of normalcy, or it could not be properly controlled.

Magic had scared her because it threatened to change her, to define her. Like there was another Bonnie Bennett inside her, fighting to get out and take over.

What is she, really? Human, despite that white-hot, stubborn force humming under her skin, screaming to not be denied?

Or just another monster in disguise?