The gown was a work of art. It was constructed from lace and lace appliqués. The romantic silhouette of Elena's wedding gown featured lace capped sleeves with a v-shaped neckline. The back of the dress had a key hole shaped back and a dreamy flared skirt that trailed behind her like a puddle of cream. Elena wore her hair in a simple up-do, her hair swept away from her face and pinned with a jeweled comb. She was glowing, preening in the mirror as she applied her dark red lipstick. This was it. This was the beginning of eternity with Damon. There had been a tightening in her chest for weeks. Nerves, she told herself. She knew she would relax once she was Mrs. Damon Salvatore. Elena smiled to herself. Mrs. Damon Salvatore. She would have never thought in a million years that this is where she would be. And yet, she wouldn't have it any other way.
It was high noon in Mystic Falls. It was a beautiful fall day and the leaves, colored red and gold, fluttered off the trees and into the breeze. They chose a small chapel deep in the woods as their venue. It was beautiful, solitary. It was made of gleaming cedar beams with a large high ceiling. There was no electricity but it wasn't needed with its large, wide paned windows. The sunlight streamed through the glass, tiny dust particles dancing in the focus. They chose to elope in a non-denominational ceremony. It was they against the world, after all.
Elena stood in the in front of the large mirror, surveying herself. She picked up a bottle of her favorite Chanel perfume and carefully sprayed a light mist at her neck. She felt lightheaded as she looked in the mirror, her lashes fluttering sofly.
"We look perfect," she heard herself say.
Elena tensed instantly and stepped back. A half moan escaped her lips as she nearly tripped over her own feet.
"No, no, no!"
She hands lifted suddenly, her palms facing out.
"Calm yourself," Katherine said softly.
"I knew it was too good to be true! I knew it! Oh, God…"
"What do you want?" Elena felt herself beginning to panic.
"Well, I'm trying to see goodbye if you'd just relax."
Elena froze, her eyes slowly rolling up towards the mirror, catching her reflection.
"I'm leaving," Katherine continued.
"I thought you were already gone," she said shakily.
Katherine shrugged lightly.
"I almost was…that fucking Priest really had it in for me with his chants and prayers. I got very…weak. Sometimes I couldn't even feel you, hear you. It was just…darkness. But I held on—even when I didn't know if I was holding on to anything at all."
Elena sat down on her vanity stool, her head bowed. She slowly put her hands in her lap.
"And so you got stronger."
"And leaving? Why now?"
Katherine looked up into the mirror.
"I'm old, Elena. Older than you know. I've seen this world change before my eyes. And yet, I've never really noticed it. I ran for so long that the whole damn world passed me by. Klaus is gone now. My sire is dead. And I never really realized how much of my livelihood was wrapped up in him. What's left? I fought for my life. I fought for my freedom. And now here it is—so close. And I don't feel like I want it anymore. Anticipation is an interesting thing. I don't have anything left to fight for."
"You don't want to fight me? You're giving up that easily? You don't want to fight for this body?"
"On some level," she laughed lightly. "On some level I do. Please don't tempt me. Because, as you know, I do love that body. But if I did and won? Damon would never let me be. I couldn't rest. He'd always be there, trying to find you somewhere inside me. Trying to bring you back. Unless I kill him."
"Calm down. I'm not going to kill Damon. I don't want to kill Damon. I already killed Stefan. I'm just trying to do the right thing, damnit. Let me do it without having to make a spectacle of it."
They sat quietly for a long moment. Her hands slid over the lace of the dress.
"I had always wanted to get married," Katherine said absently.
"Where will you go?" Elena asked, changing the subject.
"Where does anyone go? I don't know. It's dark there. Maybe it's hell. Or maybe it's heaven. Or maybe it's nothing at all. I can't be sure until I've arrived. All I just have to…let go. Let it be. Quite like putting a lovely gun to my temple and squeezing the trigger."
"How do you do it?"
"Like this, my sweet," Katherine whispered.
Elena strained, listening. She tensed, waiting for her body to convulse—waiting for something to happen. But there was nothing. Not a sound, not a tremble. Only silence. And perhaps that was what was the most telling of all. The nothingness. Katherine was no more. And yet, how could she be sure? Wasn't she sure last time? Perhaps not. She had always felt this pressure—a heavy load upon her shoulders since the exorcism. And perhaps that had been Katherine. Because here and now, that feeling was nowhere to be found. And Elena knew somehow that that feeling would never be coming back.
She bowed her and braced her arms on her knees for a moment. There was a soft knock on the door. Elena turned to see a plump, sweet faced woman. She was their non denominational pastor.
"Are you ready, sweetheart," she asked kindly.
Elena bowed her head and said nothing for a long minute, her fingers fiddling with a stray thread on her dress. She could feel the pastor becoming slightly uncomfortable in Elena's lack of response. She mustered up her energy and thought of Damon waiting for her.
She finally looked up at her.
"Yes," she managed to whisper.
'So this,' thought Damon, 'is what an angel looks like.'
She was a vision of lace with her dark ruby lips curled upward as she floated towards him. She held her bouquet of wildflowers—Cornflowers, Queen Anne's Lace, Lilacs, Roses and yes, Jasmine—tied with a loose ribbon and in between her clasped hands. She walked through the wooden pews until she was standing with Damon.
"Good afternoon. We are brought here today to celebrate the marital union of you, Elena Gilbert, and you, Damon Salvatore. Marriage is not to be entered lightly. It is a blessed union between two people that binds them to a pledge. It is a promise to hold your love sacred to one another. It's a promise to share your lives together. And it is also a promise to enrich each other's lives. This enables you both to share in your dreams, your hopes and your desires—even in time of uncertainty. This is why you are here today…and now you may recite your vows to one another."
Damon said nothing for a long moment. His hands clutched hers, his thumb sliding across her fingers. His eyes were warm as they swam into hers. He marveled at how this day had come into fruition.
"From the moment that I met you, I always knew that somehow that moment was going to define the rest of my life. And it hasn't steered me wrong. You are my reason for being. You, Elena, are my saving grace. Every moment with you is a moment that I want to remember for a lifetime. You are what I was always looking for when I didn't know I was looking for anything at all. I am honored and humbled to be called your husband. And I am the luckiest man on earth to call you my wife."
"From the moment I met you, I knew that there was something…there was something about you. Even when my eyes were averted, my mind always came back to you. I was in love with you even before I could admit it. You've saved me. I'm your saving grace? No. No, Damon, you're my saving grace in more ways than I can properly express. You are the most amazing man I have ever met. Every layer, every depth of your soul is an adventure that I look forward to discovering. I feel so incredibly blessed to be marrying you. And I am privileged to call myself your wife."
It was like hovering on the cusp of paradise. It was warm, inviting. And when they kissed, the entire world was hushed for a brief moment—a moment that belonged to only Damon and Elena. And finally, after all of the horrors and all of the tribulation, they were awarded happiness. They were husband and wife.
Damon carried her over the threshold of the Salvatore Boarding House.
"You are now the Lady of the Manor," he purred sarcastically as his mouth dipped to her neck, kissing her soundly. Damon set Elena onto her feet and slowly untied the blindfold that he had placed over her eyes.
Elena gasped with pleasure. The entire house was alight with candles and fresh flowers.
"Welcome home," he said softly, watching her.
Elena gathered the skirt of her lace gown into her hands as she walked around the room. Lilies, roses, lilacs, gardenias—they were everywhere. The house was consumed with the sweet scent of ripe blossoms. She turned back towards him with the sweetest smile on her face.
"Damon," she breathed, "this is beautiful."
He watched her with a selfish pleasure. The candles cast a golden glow across her skin and she looked like a goddess in lace. And the lace itself was like a gift wrapping to him—begging to be torn apart with eager hands as if it were Christmas morning. He could feel his body beginning to stir by just looking at her.
"Very," he agreed, though his mind was not on the flowers.
She moved towards him, her hands sliding up his chest and clutching his lapels.
"What are you thinking," her eyes danced.
"What do you think," he drawled.
Elena shrugged and bent her head back, her mouth turned upward. Damon bowed his neck down, his mouth fused over hers. His tongue roamed over hers like warm velvet and his hands slid across her waist and spanned the small of her back. He pressed her against into him, a low growl rumbling in his throat. His lips drifted to her cheek and he pressed her head with his and she automatically bent her neck to the side giving him access to her neck. As his fangs sunk through her skin and released her dark blood, his mind wandered back to the first time he had tasted her. She had been lying underneath him in a scant blank dress. And he had drunk from her with an undeniable thirst much like now. She was dying then and it was one of the most beautiful moments he'd ever experienced. And here now—another beautiful moment with his wife, his immortal Elena. She moaned and her fingers dug into his back, kneading into his skin over his dress shirt. She could feel the wetness of her blood as it dripped down her neck. She thought absently about her dress. Her hands slid up his chest and grabbed a fist full of his shirt. She pulled at it roughly, buttons tearing from their threads and onto the ground. She pushed the shirt apart, sliding her fingers over her chest. She bit into his arm, through his shirt, as her mouth was already lingering close while Damon drank from her. She tore through his skin brutally, ripping the remnants of cotton that stood between them. His blood dripped onto her tongue like thick syrup. Damon hissed and released his fangs from her throat and took hold of her shoulders. His mouth sought hers again and they kissed, their blood mingling on their lips and tongue. His worked quickly with the buttons on the back of her dress. And soon she wasn't wearing it at all. Damon gathered her in his arms and, quick as lightning and up the stairs, had her in bed. She unhooked her bra and threw it across the room. Damon shrugged off his ripped shirt. He unbuckled his pants and discarded them along with his boxers. Damon slid down her body, pulling her lace panties down her thighs and past her feet. He cupped her small foot in his hand and kissed the inside of her ankle. His hands massaged upward, cradling her calf and his tongue slid over her shin. He divided her legs and bent her knees—guiding them over his shoulders. He placed an open mouthed kiss at her inner thigh as he inched forward. He felt Elena shudder with anticipation. His mouth settled in between her legs, his tongue sliding across her clit—achingly slow. Elena arched slightly into him, but Damon grabbed her hip and pressed her back into the mattress. He savored her, he explored her folds, discovering with his mouth. And then he returned back again to clit, lapping at her with attentiveness. His tongue's pace began to quicken, flicking over her with the rapidity of a guitar strum. He pressed his hands in between the sheets and Elena, gripping her ass tightly. Elena threaded her hands in Damon's hair, her back arching and her neck thrown back.
He moaned appreciatively and slid his fingers passed her warm folds and inside of her wet slit. He felt her tense almost instantly, her body beginning to tremble. A heat began to intensify between Elena's legs and she felt a warm ball of pleasure building inside of her. The pressure began to mount and mount and mount…and suddenly, all at once, it melted away—Damon had stopped. He lifted his face, her juices glistening on his chin, and looked up at her. She was outraged.
"Damon, don't stop!"
She tried to press his head towards her, but he shifted away, smiling wickedly. Damon climbed up and positioned himself on top of Elena. He took his hard, thick arousal in his hand and positioned it at her opening. He rubbed it back and forth, stimulating her clit. And then suddenly, he slid inside, pressing himself deep in her. Elena cried out, her hands gripping his shoulder blades. Damon let out a ragged moan, trying to restrain himself from selfishly putting his pleasure forefront. And so his pace was slow, he began rebuilding that wonderful pressure that had been forming inside of her. Elena hooked her arms under his, curling her hands onto his shoulders. She bit lightly into his collarbone, moaning softly. Damon reached his head downward and nudged Elena's face upward. He claimed her kiss and gave her his. His tongue sought, claimed and delved into Elena's welcoming mouth. She nipped at his tongue and he bit her lip in kind. His speed began to quicken as he pressed into and nearly withdrew from her body's tight and moist embrace. His arms circled behind her shoulders, pressing his chest to hers. Any gallant ideas he had left of forgoing his pleasure first had evaporated. Instinct had taken hold and gratification became his body's primary objective. He could feel Elena's thighs shaking as she squeezed them into his sides. He couldn't possibly have been harder nor more turned on in this moment—she was his. This would be his for the eternity and he reveled in it. She reveled in it. And as they reached the pinnacle of pleasure, they bit into each other's throats—pleasure pouring from their throats and radiating in between their legs. They couldn't have been more satisfied.
Later, with Damon sleeping, Elena had slid downstairs to retrieve her wedding gown. There it lay—across the living room floor in a beautiful heap. She lifted it and saw the dark stain of blood that had poured into the sleeve. Normally, she imagined that she would have been upset. Her fingers drifted over the stain lovingly—a garnet bloom borne in the heightened throws of passion. She wouldn't wash it, no. It would be a visual reminder of the nights that they became animals, enthralled in the embrace of love and lust for one another. As she stood there, thinking on this, she shut her eyes. She was becoming aroused with a memory only hours old. Her eyes opened and drifted towards the stairs, thinking of Damon asleep in their bed. Their bed. How far they had come. She was no longer that scared, cancer ridden girl on his doorstep. She was a strong and dangerous woman. A vampire. It was a powerful feeling. She pressed the dress to her as she walked slowly up the stairs. And when she would get back into the room, she would crawl into bed and awaken Damon with her mouth. He belonged to her. And although she knew that she had his heart in her hands, she also knew that he had hers in kind. Elena had never quite grasped the concept of destiny but she felt sure that this was meant to be.
Elena would never mention her final stand with Katherine to Damon. She would never utter her name or think too long on her. She would always have a dull ache inside of her whenever Katherine crossed her mind. Not so much that she missed her, but perhaps because her soul knew that a piece of itself would always be missing—lost into the darkness.
Damon never spoke of Katherine either. And if she crossed his thoughts, it was a mild mixture of pity and contempt. He would always feel the need to hold Elena close at those times. He would pull her against his chest, her hands running through her hair. He marveled at every moment he had with her. She had indeed tamed the beast inside of him. And although he had never quite let go of his instinctual ruthlessness, Elena created a calm in him that he had never before experienced. Enduring over a hundred years of misery was worth it, when he could spend an eternity of happiness with Elena. No longer cold and no longer cruel, he was finally happy. They were finally happy.
A/N: I began this story over 8 months ago. I didn't know where it was headed and was going with the flow. And while I may have taken an unorthodox approach to this fanfic, I am generally pleased with how it came out. I want to thank everyone that took the time to read this—even those who only read the first chapter. I appreciate every praise and criticism that I've received. So thank you very much—we are all kindred spirits in our admiration for Damon and Elena. This is not my last Vampire Diaries fanfic. I have plans for more D/E fic as well as others. Again—thank you J