AN: Um, okay. So...this isn't the TVD crossover I should be writing. I should be writing the Lila Bray 'verse reinvention, but what can I say? This story just called out to me yesterday and I had to finish this chapter. Honestly? I kind of forgot about this story a little bit. Funny thing is, this chapter has been almost-finished since before TVD season 2 started. I literally only added two scenes and then it was done.

Now, some things about this story in case you've forgotten because it's been so long: Caroline is not a vampire in this story, but Tyler is a werewolf, Damon is a vampire, Ruby is a demon and Dean is a hunter. It takes place sometime in the future of TVD (sometime pretty soon after Caroline and Tyler's graduation) and in an unknown timeline of SPN. I'd say sometime in the future. Also, if you've read part one of 'love the way you lie' (which if you haven't then this won't make sense) then you know that Caroline and Tyler are engaged and she is currently pregnant with their first child.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

love the way you lie


Something pulls her under in the mornings.

It's almost like something is yanking her deep into ice cold water and she has to fight to wake up. That scares her. Really. It does. But what truly scares the shit out of her is that sometimes she wonders what it would be like to just...not wake up. To stay sleeping forever and live in the dreams that tell stories of something other than this. Sometimes, she wonders what it would be like to sleep for eternity.

The part she never admits, not even to herself, is that not waking up is starting to look good.

There are a lot of reasons to stay.

The main one is to keep Damon from hurting someone else. But...there are other reasons as well. She remembers one of them when she comes home from shopping (well, what the fuck else is there to do in this podunk town? Besides, something about spending all of Damon's money on pointless things she doesn't need or want makes her feel a little bit vengeful and better about her empty life) to a terribly drunk vampire who is currently brooding by the fireplace. That is never a good sign.

She approaches him cautiously with a small frown dancing on her lips. ''Damon...'' She takes the nearly empty glass from his hand, risking a violent outburst, and then she cups his face gently. ''Damon,'' she says again. ''What are you doing?''

''Why do you think it's always him?'' He mutters darkly. ''They always pick him, Ruby. Why do they do that? Why him?''

''Who?'' She crouches in front of him, lifting his chin up to meet her eyes. Contrary to what people believe, this is not a onesided relationship. She does care about him. She shouldn't. Not after what he's done. But she can't stop. ''Stefan?''

''Don't say his name,'' he grounds out through his teeth. ''That bastard. He takes everything from me.''

In an attempt to placate him, she moves her hand to his shoulder.

''Katherine never loved me. Elena won't let herself love me.'' He shakes his head at their names, either unaware or uncaring of her flinch. ''...They all want Stefan. It's always Stefan.'' He scowls and bats her hand away like she's unnecessarily pestering him. With a glower, he wrenches the glass from her hand and drains what little is left in it before turning and throwing it against the wall, watching the glass shatter, oblivious to the way she jumps. ''Fucking bitches.'' He stands there for a minute, angry and drunk and when she puts a hand on his shoulder again he whirls around to face her, startling her. He looks at her with thoughtful eyes, glazed over with scotch and pain. ''But not you.'' He clasps her hand in his own before she can pull it away and kisses it, making her shiver in something other than fear. ''You won't leave.''

Positive she's not meant to see the vulnerability lurking in unusually soft eyes, she looks away from him and pretends she can't feel that ache in her throat. ''No,'' she assures him quietly. ''I won't leave.''

The moment is gone as quick as it came and in the span of two seconds, he's dropped her hand and roughly shoved her onto the couch. When she lifts her eyes, she sees the glimmer of the fire dancing in his eyes. Great. The only thing that makes her more nervous than a vampire is a drunk, emotionally fucked vampire with a control problem. ''Because you're not Katherine,'' he says plainly, running a finger down her cheek. She sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose. ''And you're not Elena.'' He kisses her shoulder with gentleness he does not possess and her heart hammers so loudly against her ribcage she knows he can hear it. ''And you know what I'll do to you if you leave me.''

It's a vague threat. One she's heard for a very long time and if she's being honest, it's beginning to lose its edge. But she doesn't dare tell him that. She knows if she does, he'll go to great and gruesome lengths just to make sure she's still petrified of him. He pulls away from her, just long enough to show off his sharpsharpsharp fangs and the veins that tell her he's thirsty, and then he grabs her by the hair and sinks his teeth into her already scarred neck.

She means to scream.

Instead, she digs her fingernails into the couch and doesn't make a sound.


Ruby grimaces at the annoyingly cheerful blonde and squints against the much too bright sunlight. ''Kid,'' she rasps out through her sore throat. ''Now's not really the best time.''

''Oh, wow.'' Caroline frowns, little wrinkles of concern appearing on her otherwise flawless skin. ''You look like death. Are you sick? Oh. Are you hungover?''

''Sure. Let's go with that.'' It sounds better than 'I got the shit kicked out of me by my drunk vampire boyfriend after he finished feeding off of me.' It doesn't sound better by much, but at least it sounds slightly more dignified. ''What are you doing here, Forbes?''

''I'm here to take you shopping,'' Caroline announces happily. ''Go get dressed.''

Ruby blinks, swallowing back a tired groan. ''Caroline,'' she starts slowly, tugging her robe tighter around her body. ''Can't you just get a pet or something?''

''Well, I wanted to get this cute little kitten, but Tyler doesn't like cats''

Ruby arches an eyebrow curiously. ''Is that a werewolf thing?''

Caroline's eyes light up as if she's just been given the answer to a really hard math question. ''I don't know. I'll ask.'' She turns around briefly and that's when Ruby catches sight of Tyler and two other guys that are most definitely werewolves (finding a werewolf in a crowd has never really been a hard thing to do) leaning against their car like big brutish bodyguards. ''Tyler!'' Caroline calls out, still smiling incredibly brightly. ''Honey, does your fear of all things feline have anything to do with the werewolf thing?''

Tyler visibly stiffens, goes red and then shakes his head and pinches the bridge of his nose, grumbling out a, ''No, Caroline,'' as the men at his side dissolve into rowdy laughter.

Caroline giggles in the doorway, absently smoothing down her shirt as she turns back to Ruby. ''I am going to be such an embarrassing wife. It's a good things werewolves mate for life or else he'd never put up with me forever.''

''That's great, kid,'' Ruby rolls her eyes and moves away from the door, mindlessly picking up an overturned vase of plastic flowers. Nothing stays alive in this house. Not even the goddamned flowers. ''But I don't play well with children, so you're - ''

''For your information,'' Caroline informs her hotly. ''I'm eighteen.''

''Exactly. Call me when your age doesn't end in teen.''

''Ruby, I'm about to become a wife and a mother. Does that sound childish to you?''

''That depends on how you approach those roles.'' Sighing heavily at the unpleasant and unwelcome need to be polite to the girl, Ruby risks a glance over her shoulder. ''Look, Caroline - ''

''Dean thinks it would be a good idea for you to get out of the house.''

Well, that's certainly not making her want to go. She scowls and whirls away from Caroline so she can't see the way her eyes flash black for the briefest moment. ''You can tell Dean to suck it. I'm a big girl and I can take care of myself.''

''Oh, come on.'' Caroline takes a big chance by stepping over the threshold and Ruby tenses, waiting on baited breath for Damon to make his move. She knows he's around here somewhere and he's probably heard every word of this conversation. If the mention of Dean isn't enough to make him feel a touch homicidal, the fact that his greatest annoyance is inside his house just might do it. ''Can you blame the guy for worrying?'' Caroline's saying. ''He's worried about you. He loves you and wants to have your babies, okay?''

''Well,'' his voice sounds like sugar coated poison and his arm feels too heavy slung across her shoulder. Ruby does her best not to flinch at Damon's sudden presence but gets the feeling she fails horribly when he sends her that familiar 'don't make a scene' warning glance. ''That doesn't sound biologically possible.'' He grins lazily and winks at Caroline. ''Hi there, Sweet Caroline.''

There's a noise like the deadly snarl of an animal from the doorway and Ruby lifts her eyes in time to see the two unfamiliar werewolf goons launch themselves towards the doorway only to realize that, no, two big dudes do not actually fit through the door at the same time. Damon laughs at the spectacle, Caroline sighs and puts her hands on her hips and Ruby can't even find the energy to find it amusing. The two men in the doorway receive what looks to be quite a harsh shove and Tyler strides through to take his place halfway in front of Caroline, one hand holding on loosely to her wrist.

Damon's laugh is loud and hearty, but Ruby is not stupid enough to think that he actually finds this situation entertaining. ''Look, Ruby,'' he smiles and squeezes her shoulder painfully. ''Puppies. Let's keep one.'' When both of the big guys remain stoic and unflappable, Damon's smile fades and he turns to send Tyler a disappointed head shake. ''This is the crack team you've assembled, chief? You must be deeply ashamed.''

''Dude,'' Tyler says. ''Back the fuck up.''

Damon rolls his eyes. ''Eloquent as always, dog boy.''

''Okay!'' Ruby holds her hands up and bravely steps in between the vampire and werewolf. ''Caroline, I'll go out with you, all right? Just get your stooges out of here before there's a re-enactment of Twilight.''

''Really wish people would stop comparing me to that shit,'' Tyler mutters.

Damon nods solemnly, tipping his glass to the wolf. ''Amen.''

''Are you drinking?'' Caroline butts in, eyeing the glass in Damon's hand with disdain. ''It's not even noon yet.''

''Congratulations,'' Damon drawls. ''I didn't know you could tell time, Care Bear.''

When Tyler actually growls like a dog, it is so time for this to be over.

''Ruby,'' Caroline grins as she's dragging her wolf guards to the door. ''You've got yourself a deal. I'll meet you in one hour at The Grill.''

Ruby sighs as she watches Caroline pull them out of the house and feels Damon tense beside her. The anger is coming off of him in waves and she knows what's coming next. A hand clamps down on her neck, aggravating the tender and still healing wounds. ''I really hate that girl,'' he says tersely. She tries to move out of his grasp and he responds by grabbing her wrists and pulling her to him. ''Caroline was talking about Dean,'' he states. ''Tell me, Ruby,'' he drops her wrists and chooses to stroke her hair instead, officially putting her on edge. ''How is good ole' Dean?''

Something about the way he says Dean's name chills her to the bone and a thousand terrifying scenarios run through her head, all ending with one very bloody and very dead Dean Winchester and one very pleased and very full Damon Salvatore. ''Stay away from him,'' she pleads, not even bothering to hide the urgency in her voice.

Damon breaks out into a wide smirk that somehow only manages to make him look more beastly. ''What?'' He asks innocently. ''You don't trust me?'' He lets out a short bark of laughter, looking thouroughly amused by the look on her face, and then he grabs her by the hair and pulls. ''Good.''

''God,'' Caroline's complaining as she looks down at her stomach with dissatisfaction. ''I swear I look way more than four months pregnant.'' She continues to grumble under her breath for a moment, picking through the racks of maternity clothes for something acceptable and then a gasp escapes her lips, followed quickly by a startled shriek.

Ruby looks up from the book she's flipping through just to be sure Caroline hasn't choked on her tongue or something.

''Oh. My. God! Tyler!'' She whips around with wide eyes to shoot her other half slash bodyguard a panicked look. ''Tyler!'' She screeches again. ''What if it's a litter?''

Ruby looks up again and catches Tyler's wide eyed look that tells her that big strong teen wolf is about to have a panic attack and then she goes back to the book in her hands. It takes her about a minute and a half to decide that this book is both horrifying and boring at the same time. Flipping it shut, she tosses it carelessly on a nearby shelf and announces, ''I'm never getting pregnant.''

''It does, on occasion, suck,'' Caroline agrees in a deadpan, holding up a dreadfully boring shirt and eyeing it with both hesitance and practicality in her eyes. Odd for Caroline.

Ruby huffs in annoyance and grabs the shirt, putting it back with a declaration that it is, ''not you, kid.'' Without waiting for a response, she grabs Caroline's hand and drags her over to a rack of dresses that are not her personal style, but they're definitely Caroline's. A safe, non threatening, non intruding distance away, Tyler follows and his eyes move with Caroline. ''Is he going to follow us around all day?'' Ruby asks, slapping Caroline's hand away when the ex-cheerleader goes for one of the more cheaper, practical dresses.

''He's on edge,'' Caroline says, sparing a glance in Tyler's direction. ''It's a full moon tonight. He gets all jumpy and twitchy. Kinda like he's overdosed on Red Bull. Plus, I think he's worried one of these days I'm going to say something that'll piss Damon off so much he'll rip my throat out before Tyler can go all overprotective and wolfy.''

''Hmm.'' Ruby hands Caroline two of the more stylish options and resists voicing her own opinion. Mainly because her own opinion would most likely be some form of ''maybe you should learn to control your mouth'' and it occurs to her that saying that might be labeled rude. Without a glance in the other girl's direction, Ruby moves over to the more high priced clothes where all the pretty things live.

''Uh, okay...Ruby, these are all very expensive and our mothers aren't exactly happy about the baby so they've kind of cut us off and - '' Caroline is quite rudely cut off when Ruby tosses a credit card in her direction and the younger blonde fumbles to catch it. ''Ruby, I...I can't take your money.''

''It's Damon's,'' Ruby says, handing Caroline a shirt. ''Go nuts. Buy the whole fucking store.''

''Oh...'' Caroline pauses. ''Okay!''

''Mmmhmm. Furnish the nursery, buy baby clothes, buy a nice starter home, start a college fund for the little cub - hey, need a new car?''

''You get a lot of pleasure out of spending his money, don't you?''

''It almost sickens me how much.'' Ruby tosses a few dresses in Caroline's arms and it should freak her out how natural shopping is becoming for her. It doesn't. ''So, let me ask you a question,'' she says as she steers Caroline towards the dressing rooms with Tyler shadowing their every move like a caged animal. ''Why exactly am I here? And don't say it's because of my awesome fashion advice. If you're trying to get me to talk...''

''You don't have to talk about anything you don't want to talk about,'' Caroline assures her. ''We're just bonding,'' she adds simply. ''We could be friends, you know.''

''No offense, but I don't really have friends.'' Anymore.

''You have Dean.'' Caroline breaks out into a smirk before Ruby can respond. ''Then and Dean aren't exactly friends, are you?''

''You look great,'' Ruby offers, doing everything she can to be amicable and friendly instead of standoffish and rude. ''Tyler, doesn't she look great?''

''Huh?'' Tyler looks up from his phone to plant his eyes on Caroline. ''Oh, yeah. You look hot, babe.''

Ruby shakes her head and bites back a smirk. ''He is so good with words.''

Tyler sighs impatiently. ''Caroline, my dearest love, you look beautiful and radiant and it is taking all of my excellent self control not to ravish you right here, right now.'' He slides his gaze to Ruby. ''How's that? Better?''

''Well,'' Ruby crosses one leg over the other. ''It's a bit much for me. But Caroline's blushing so...yes. Much better.''

Caroline squeaks, cheeks growing even redder, a smile so wide on her lips that it must hurt her jaw. And don't think Ruby doesn't notice the way Tyler's lips twitch and he catches her eye in the mirror. It almost makes Ruby feel old. She never blushes anymore. Though, Damon never gives her anything to blush over. The compliments stopped moments after they started a long time ago.

''That's both sweet and pathetic,'' Caroline says, ''but I think I like the blue one.''

Tyler perks up suddenly, looking genuinely interested. ''Was the blue one the strapless one? Because that one made me want to rip it off of you.''

Caroline frowns and runs a hand over her stomach. ''...Is that good?''

''It means he wants to screw you.'' Three heads swivel around to face the newcomer and suddenly this little outing makes a whole lot more sense to Ruby. In the doorway, Dean leans against the doorframe and shrugs at the looks he's receiving. ''What? It's true. You know it is.''

Ruby pinches her lips together and has to look away when he looks towards her.

''Oh, thank God,'' Tyler practically leaps to his feet, bouncing on the balls of his feet, all coiled energy and jittery nerves. ''Your turn, man. You play Harrison Ford to their dual Whitney Houston, okay? I gotta in circles or something.''

Dean blinks and opens his mouth to say something most likely offensive. Just like old times, Ruby jumps in before Dean can make an ass out of himself. ''Full moon tonight,'' she explains. ''Tyler's a little...energetic.''

Dean shrugs again and throws himself down into Tyler's now vacant seat. ''Whatever. Go knock yourself out, Oz.''

Ruby keeps her eyes carefully forwards, watching as Tyler presses a kiss to the side of Caroline's head like an obidiant dog (pun very much intended) when she demands one, and Dean...Dean keeps his eyes carefully on her.

''Be back before sundown!'' Caroline calls after her fiance's retreating form. ''You have to be in that cage, remember! No close calls anymore!'' When she catches sight of a middle aged woman staring at her curiously, she sends the woman a devious smirk and winks. ''We're kinky.'' And then she disappears into the fitting room, leaving the woman blushing, Dean smirking and Ruby actively avoiding Dean's gaze. She keeps her eyes on anything but Dean and he ignores everything but her.

''You're not even going to look at me?''

She whips around to face him with a nasty looking glare, leaning closer just so she can hiss at him. ''Doesn't it make you feel like a dirty old man to be in cahoots with two kids?''

''They're eighteen.''


''What exactly about this makes me a dirty old man? Do you think I'm a bad influence? It's not like I'm buying them beer and encouraging them to stick it to the man. Hey,'' he raises his hands briefly. ''I'm not that girl's father. I can't tell her to stop worrying about you. I know it's hard to believe, but maybe there are people out there who actually care about you.''

She turns to face him with a mean looking smirk when the word father slips through his lips and it's clear she's been spending way too much time with Damon when words like acid fall from her lips with the pure purpose of hurting him. ''How is Ben, Dean?'' She sneers visciously. ''Or does Lisa even let you see him?'' Unlike Damon would, she regrets the words intensely as soon as they're out of her mouth.

Like a flip has been switched, Dean closes off from her with ease, smile slipping from his lips, body going rigid.

Regret washes over her like a wave as he turns away from her. Well, damn it. This bitch problem is exactly why she lost him in the first place. ''Dean - ''

''You know what?'' He leans closer, closer than he's been in a long time, effortlessly pinning her against the chair with just the spark in his green eyes and the determined curve of his mouth. ''You can be as much of a bitch as you want. And you can lie to me until you're blue in the face, but I can see right through you and you know that. Whether you like it or not, Ruby, I know you. I know you better than anyone else does and I know you're not mad at me. For starters, you don't really have anything to be mad about. You're the one that left me. And you're not mad because I've interrupted your life. You're scared out of your mind.'' He shakes his head and leans back in his chair. ''You wanna know something else?'' He continues flippantly. ''You walk around this town acting like nothing can touch you and the bites don't hurt and that's a damned lie. You think you're strong, Ruby. But you're really not. Not anymore. You stay with him, don't you?''

''I'm strong,'' she says bravely. ''Because I stay.''

He looks at her for a long time as if trying to tell her with his eyes that her reasoning is fucked beyond belief. ''The strength comes from leaving,'' he says at last. ''Haven't you ever watched Lifetime? You say he can't kill you, but the truth is, sweetheart, there are a lot of ways to die.''

Despite the fact that he has done most of the talking, when silence fills the air she is the one left breathless and swallowing hard. She sinks down farther into her chair and throws a hand over her face because her head is spinning right now. She glances at him out of the corner of her eye, but now he's the one avoiding her gaze. That tells her, in no uncertain terms, that he's done talking and yes, the Ben comment definitely got under his skin.

The silence lasts for what feels like a long time and then he breaks it. ''It doesn't change a thing.'' His voice startles her and she looks down at the ground instead of him. ''The way you act. It doesn't change a thing. Whether or not you still love me like I love you, I am not going anywhere until you're okay.''

She doesn't know what to say to that. She doesn't know what to say to any of that. No one has ever fought for her like Dean is. Hell, he fought for her even after she left him. Lucky for her, Caroline chooses that moment to announce that her zipper is stuck.

Oh, thank God for cheap, faulty zippers.

''I think this has been a very fun and productive outing!'' Caroline's voice is cheerful and bubbly and goddamn it, the kid's growing on her. Instead of simply tolerating Caroline for the sake of being polite, Ruby is quickly finding she might actually be entertained by her presence. She sends a sidelong glance towards the girl who is currently juggling her many shopping bags, shooting down Ruby's offer of Dean's assistance. A small smile threatens to slip over her lips but she somehow manages to fight it off.

''Oh, yeah, sure,'' Dean drawls. ''If you're a woman.''

''Hey!'' Caroline whaps him with one of her many shopping bags and shoots him a bright smile. ''You totally had fun.''

''In what universe did it look like I was having fun?''

''Well, you certainly seemed to enjoy checking Ruby out.''

''What? I was never...'' Dean trails off and sends a smirk towards Ruby with twinkling eyes. ''Fuck it. I did that.''

Before Ruby can attempt a half smile, her body is tensing automatically and she's latching onto Dean's wrist, stopping him in his tracks mere seconds before Damon steps onto the sidewalk with that same bloodthirsty smirk that comes to him much too easily. ''Dean Winchester,'' he greets pleasantly. ''How nice to see you again. What brings you to town?''

''Eat me, Edward,'' Dean sneers.

While Damon is momentarily distracted, Ruby reaches over to roughly yank Caroline behind Dean because there is no way in hell she's dumb enough to think Damon hasn't connected the dots yet. Plus, Caroline has a mouth that is going to get her unbelievably dead one of these days and Ruby is not okay with that day being today.

''You shouldn't say things like that in this town,'' Damon warns, draping a possesive and heavy arm around Ruby's shoulder when she moves forwards to push him away from Dean and Caroline slightly. ''Haven't you heard? There are vampires in this town.''

''I've killed plenty of vampires,'' Dean remarks casually. ''What's a few more?''

That's when Damon decides to drop the whole friendly routine. Ruby doesn't think it suits him anyway. ''You'd be dead before you tried,'' he says lowly. ''Just like you'd be dead before you touch her.''

''At least he's not the one draining the blood from her body!'' Caroline snaps. ''You're the one Ruby should be afraid of, Damon!'' She makes a move to step out from behind Dean, probably to do something stupid like assault Damon with her shopping bags, but Dean moves with her, keeping her at least remotely safe behind him. Even though if Damon really wanted to, he could tear a hole right through Dean's chest and kill Caroline. Dean doesn't look all that happy about having to protect the mouthy pregnant chick. He looks like he'd much rather be protecting Ruby.

''Watch your mouth, blondie,'' Damon snarls.

Ruby doesn't think twice before she leaps into the fray, pushing at Damon's chest and doing her best to meet his eyes before his fangs come out. ''Damon...hey,'' she digs her fingernails into his arm and locks eyes with him. ''Just take me home, all right?'' There's this feeling starting in her chest and spreading to the rest of her body, something familiar and strong. She's got her hands clawing at Damon's arm and Dean's fingers are clutching at her jacket and...she doesn't really want to go home. Something in her loves Damon, twisted as he may be. But what she still feels for Dean is something else entirely.

Out of instinct, she turns around and her eyes meet Dean's. He's pleading with her not to go, he's pleading with her to stay and...oh, she'd love nothing more than to stay with him. When she finally tears her eyes away from Dean, she looks back to Damon and tries to smile. ''Take me home.''

He looks at her for a long time and then the darkened look on his face brightens and he smiles a wide, fake smile. ''I think that's the first good idea you've had in a long time.'' That's when she knows he saw that look passed between her and Dean and man, is she ever going to pay for that. His hand is grasping her upper arm hard enough to cut off the circulation within seconds and with a smirk thrown carelessly in Dean's direction, he yanks her towards him and pulls her away.

When they're safe enough away from Dean and Caroline and the risk of Damon turning around and snapping Dean's neck just to piss her off is lower, she wrenches free of his grasp and shoves him away from her with enough strength to make him stumble. ''You're an ass,'' she declares before speeding up to get away from him.

She misses the almost surprised look that crosses his face for a brief second.

It's been a long time since she's pushed him away.

She's not sure if it's Dean, Caroline or if something inside her has finally snapped but she's had enough. She's much more than enough. Things are just getting way too out of control and he's getting more and more monstrous with every passing day. And she just doesn't know how much longer she can keep this up.

It happens as the sun is setting. There are fangs in her neck, her blood is sliding down his throat and it all catches up to her. Her eyes are closed and she's remembering things the way they were before this bloody mess. He's taking her away. He's taking her away from the person she used to be. The person she's supposed to be. He's taking her away from Ruby. And the worst part is he doesn't care. He doesn't give a damn that he's draining her dry. There is nothing good about Damon Salvatore. Not when it comes to her.

She honestly doesn't mean to do what she does next. It's just that she can see Dean in her head and the place where she belongs and this isn't it. She reacts out of instinct before she even knows what she's doing. Her hand closes around an object on the desk she's backed up against and the next thing she knows, he's reeling back and clutching at his throat, falling to his knees and coughing on blood. Heart beating impossibly fast, she throws herself as far away from him as possible, catching herself on the wall, letter opener still gripped tightly in her hand.

''What the hell did you do that for?'' He chokes out, blood streaming from his slit throat.

''I can't do this anymore,'' she says quietly, bracing herself for his inevitable outburst. ''I can't keep letting you do this to me.''

His hands, stained with blood, reach for her as he rises to his feet but she points the letter opener at him with black eyes. It barely deters him. ''Do you really think you have a choice?'' He grasps her wrists and twists the weapon out of her hands, pulling her to him. ''This is the way we work, Ruby.''

''Well, I don't work this way,'' she screams, struggling in his too tight grip. ''I cannot do this anymore! You're going to kill me!'' It's the first time she's admitted that out loud and it scares her to death. She doesn't mean to cry, she hates crying, but some things you can't help. ''You're going to kill me, Damon, and I won't let you.''

''You can't leave,'' he states.

''Damon - ''

''You can't leave!'' His grip on her wrist tightens so drastically she's afraid he'll break them. ''You can't leave me. You love me. You - ''

''I don't love you!'' He freezes and for the first time in pretty much ever, she sees hurt that she has caused in those blue eyes. But it's not enough this time. It's not enough to make her stay. ''I don't love you like I should,'' she clarifies. ''Some part of me does, but...I don't love you enough to stay like this.''

''No,'' he shakes his head and when his voice actually trembles, she almost breaks. ''No.''

''I'm sorry,'' she cries and she means it. She does. Damon means something to her. He could have meant everything to her. But she needs to be Ruby and she can't be Ruby with him. He won't let her. ''I'm sorry, Damon. I am. But I can't love someone who does this to me. If you wanted me to love you then why would you do this? Why would you treat me like this?''

''Because this is what people expect me to be!'' He shoves her away from him and turns away. ''People expect me to be a monster.''

''No! Don't play that card, Damon. If you wanted to be better then you would be better. You don't want to be better,'' she shakes her head. ''Not for me.'' She must look like a mess. With her hair in disarray, blood on her wrists, her neck and staining her dress. ''If you wanted to be a man, you'd be a man.''

He doesn't say anything but his silence speaks volumes. She looks at him like she's trying to see something that isn't there. Like she's trying to see the man he should have been. But all she can see is a crazed vampire who uses her and abuses her and treats her like his own personal whore slash blood bank.

''There's nothing more to say,'' she mutters, brushing past him. She almost expects him to grab her and break her into a million little pieces when she dares to move away, but he doesn't. Instead, he remains turned away from her and lets her go.

''We could go away somewhere.''

The whisper in her ear sends shivers down her spine. She slides her gaze to Dean like he's just promised her the world and can't bring herself to look away from him. ''Somewhere,'' she echoes. ''Somewhere where?''

Dean leans his elbows back against the picnic table and looks at her with a smile. ''Anywhere,'' he says. ''We could go anywhere you want. Somewhere warm, somewhere cold. Name the place, we'll go there, Ruby. Just leave him. Leave him before the next body he buries is yours.''

It's a tempting offer. She wants to leave. Of course she wants to leave. She wants to leave so badly, but there is a strong hand pulling her back to Damon like he's made out of gravity. ''I can't leave,'' she whispers regretfully. ''Damon would be angry.''

''Fuck, Damon,'' Dean says passionately. ''I can take you away.''

''And that sounds nice.'' She nods and bites down on her lip, cringing when the familiar coppery taste of blood assaults her tastebuds. She will never understand vampires. ''But if I leave, he'll just find someone else to feed off of. I already told you I can't let that happen.''

His eyes harden and he sits up straight, leaning over to her. His rough fingers brush hair away from her neck and she swallows. ''There is one way to make sure he'd never hurt anyone else ever again, Ruby. You know that.''

She laughs and tilts her head back to stare at the stars and the full moon. ''Isn't that the plot of a movie? The woman and her lover make these plans to kill the woman's abusive boyfriend and live a grand life far away on some deserted beach just the two of them? You know how those movies usually end? They get caught.''

''There's a very big difference between a movie and this situation we're in here, babe.'' He stands and looks down at her intently. ''Damon is not a man. He's a monster.''

She looks down at the scars on her wrists and arms that prove Dean is right on the money with that comment. Damon Salvatore hasn't been a man for a very long time. He gave that up a long time ago. ''Maybe,'' she licks drawn, bitten lips and looks up at him apologetically. ''But I still don't think I could kill him.''

''You know,'' he crosses his arms and smirks bitterly. ''The Ruby I knew would've kicked his undead ass the first time it happened. She would've beat him to hell and back until he swore up and down that he would never do it again. She would have turned that monster into a man. What happened to her? Huh?''

She stands, brushing off her jeans. With a soft, sad smile, she grazes her fingers over his cheek. ''She gave her heart away and never really got it back. There are a lot of things you can't do when someone else holds your heart, Dean. Have you not learned that yet?'' The eye contact does eventually get to her and she looks away. When she moves to draw her hand back, he catches her wrist, pulls her back to him and leans down to kiss her. She doesn't stop him. It feels remarkably like stepping back in time to when she was happy and it's a feeling she wants to hold in her grasp for as long as she can. Her arm curls around his neck, gripping at his hair and he lazily throws an arm around her waist to tug her closer. She is the first one to pull away eventually, gazing up at him with eyes that beg and plead for more. ''I should get back,'' she rasps out, taking a step away from him.

''Ruby, don't - '' He reaches out to grasp her elbow, but she darts away from hm, shaking her head.

''No. You can't...You can't just kiss me like that, Dean. Not when you have to leave eventually and I have to stay.''

''You don't have to stay.''

''You know I do.''

''You kissed me back,'' he argues effortlessly.

''Of course I kissed you back,'' she snaps. ''You're Dean.''

She's gone before he can decipher what that means, or if it's good or bad.

She goes home to Damon because despite her epiphany earlier tonight, she is too far gone to actually leave him. He'll punish her for screaming at him like that, for slitting his throat with a letter opener, but Dean and Caroline and the rest of the town will be safe and the people who think of Damon Salvatore as a savior to this town will never have to know the truth. She is still mourning the loss of whatever it was she could have had with Dean when she steps in the door.

Damon is in front of her in the blink of an eye, looking lost and delirious and like he's gone off the deep end. ''Hello, Ruby.''

''You've been drinking,'' she comments needlessly.

He shrugs. ''Keeps me warm.'' He pauses and stares at her like he's trying to find something that isn't there. ''Can I ask you a question?''

''I'm tired, Damon.''

He ignores her. ''How can you love him? How can you love him and not me? It's not like he's any better than I am. He's a killer too, you know.''

''He's a hero,'' she snarls.

''You're deluding yourself. He's a hunter. Hunters are killers. That's the way the cookie crumbles, sweetheart. And just so you know...'' His lips twist into a grotesque smirk and his strong hand wraps around her scarred wrist, yanking her to his body roughly. ''You're going to stay with me. You're going to stay with me forever.'' He says it so hollowly it gives her shivers. It's like a dead promise in her ear and it frightens her more than it should. His eyes twinkle with danger and beastly enthusiasm. With a brief glimpse of his fangs, he turns and leaves her standing there with a strong sense of foreboding and chills running up and down her spine.

She follows after him, heart in her throat. When she reaches him, he's standing in a doorway, looking at something with pride gleaming in his eyes and honestly, she has no idea what to think. Except that he's obviously well on his way to losing the one fragile thread of sanity left in his cold body. When she cautiously peers over his shoulder, everything freezes and her blood runs cold.

Unconscious and bleeding from both a wrist wound and a head wound, Caroline lies lifeless on the couch as blood drips from her fingertips.

Damon smiles.

end part two

AN: I swear I'm working on your words in my memory (are like music to me) in which Damon is not such an evil bastard.