A/N: Here is the epilogue for TWHL and it has been one hell of a journey. This was my first fanfiction published on this website and I want to thank all of you for sticking with me through writer's block, student teaching, graduation, etc. Enjoy this one shot from Elena's point of view of what happened after Isobel's arrival.

Disclaimer: I own nothing!

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Damon had been right, of course. We had barely made it two months before Katherine showed up in town. I hadn't been able to get away from Damon for any length of time since he was determined she was trying to kill me. We fought often during those two months when he wanted to follow me into bathrooms and drive me everywhere. I know he loves me so intensely but at the same time, I needed some space.

Katherine entering our lives let to a lot of issues. Stefan and Damon had been affected greatly when she showed up on my doorstep. Damon had immediately gone on the defensive, staying with me every night. Jenna usually knew about my nighttime visitor but we got to the point where he snuck in regardless. It was definitely different waking up in Damon's arms everyday but at the same time I loved spending those hours with him. When we were together in sleep, we dreamt together and everything was wonderful.

Stefan had been dealing with his addiction to human blood and thankfully Damon supported him throughout. When Damon wasn't with me, he was coaching Stefan and Caroline through their cravings. Yes, Caroline had been turned soon after Katherine's arrival. It took her awhile to come to terms with her new life but Caroline eventually embraced it.

Matt and Caroline had broken up and Caroline sought comfort from an unlikely source. Caroline and Tyler hit it off as they grappled with their changes. The first full moon for our newest werewolf was spent in chains with Caroline by his side. She had changed so much in the last year, maturing into a woman I sometimes didn't recognize. At the same time, she was bubbly and would do strange things like singing on karaoke night drunk.

Bonnie had taken a long time to come around. After the death of her grandmother, Bonnie left town for awhile. She went to stay relatives and began practicing with her gift. She had learned a lot but at the same time, she had lost a part of herself. I didn't know the Bonnie that returned to Mystic Falls.

She tried to kill Damon within hours of her return. When she was unsuccessful she went after Stefan, and in a fit of rage she attacked me. Damon and Stefan wrestled her away from me but were unable to subdue her. She became our enemy as we dealt with tomb vampires released from their prison. She was our enemy when Katherine waged an early war with us. She only came around when Caroline was turned. It was then she realized, she couldn't vampires as a whole.

We were tense for a long time and it took us that year to come together again as friends. This past year saw a lot of lost friendships and a lot of loss of life. We lost Isobel a few months ago. My father/uncle John followed her soon after. Finally we lost one of the greatest lives for many of us. Jenna was murdered in front of me over something that should never have been realized.

Katherine had come to town, seeking a way to end the sun and moon curse. She had been ruthless as she played us time and time again over a moonstone. She had won until being locked in the tomb when an original vampire came to town. Elijah was good at striking deals but was a fool when it came to trust. He put his faith in his brother Klaus who came to kill me.

The battle with the original was drawn out. Through the loss of lives and the end of a myth, we learned valuable things about each other. Jeremy and I learned how to grow up and Stefan and Damon found each others as brothers. In the midst of these revelations, Damon and I broke up.

I found myself needing space and time to think about things. Damon and I had come together during a vulnerable time in my life. I had been a child needing someone to guide me. I may only be seventeen but I found myself needing to grow up. When it came to me making my own decisions I found that he stopped me at every path. It was painful and it resulted in so much hurt.

Damon never wavered in his protection, camping outside my window every night to guard me from Katherine or Klaus. He watched me at school and he let himself waste away. I barely slept and in turn I barely ate. I was a shadow and I quickly realized he was as well. We rekindled our romance two days before the sacrifice.

We spent the day in bed, making love and apologizing to each other. We discovered some interesting things about ourselves during our time apart. He learned he needed to take what I needed into account more often and I learned he loved me more than anyone had ever been loved before.

Damon was injured in the battle against Klaus. The bite of a werewolf was fatal to a vampire and during the battle, Damon was bitten. We spent days together as he fell into delusions. He was not himself and it tore at me. I promised him I would not leave him no matter what. Three days later, Stefan found a cure. Klaus' blood could heal him. We only had one vial of his blood since Elijah had killed him while a deal was being struck.

It was used and soon enough Damon was back to being himself. He had a new sense of life and decided we needed to live. We needed to truly live and not just have a white picket fence life. He whisked me away for the summer and we did all sorts of crazy things. We sky-dived in South America and rock-climbed in Europe. We participated in boating races and hiked through rainforests.

It was a journey of a lifetime and I fell in love with him all over again. We didn't just do crazy adventurous things but we did small time adventures too. We took cooking classes in Italy and language classes in France. We toured with the best of them and of course, we made love in every place we went. Our connection exploded and I found myself praying for it all to never end.

It hasn't. I graduated high school with Damon by my side and I got into NYU with a full ride for Journalism. Damon followed me and we lived in the big city for four amazing years. I kept in touch with those who remained in Mystic Falls. Matt became a deputy sheriff while Ric took over the Salvatore Manor. Stefan went to college in California and decided to stay there for awhile.

Jeremy and Bonnie found each other during our battles with Katherine and Klaus and had chosen colleges in Louisiana. Bonnie was fascinated with New Orleans and Baton Rouge while Jeremy found the architecture inspiring. Two years into Bonnie's university years she discovered she was pregnant. Jeremy had been ecstatic and the two of them welcomed Grayson Alaric Gilbert into the world seven months later.

Caroline and Tyler had opted to study in Wyoming, preferring to live in small towns and mountainous areas while they adjusted to their changes. Tyler had done extensive research to discover what would happen if he became a vampire but the jury was still out on that front.

We met twice a year at least to keep in touch but we knew many of us would be unable to see each other once those who didn't age became noticeable. At our last meeting, Tyler and Caroline announced their desire to marry and we were all invited. Caroline asked me to be her maid of honor while Bonnie would be a bridesmaid. Tyler had turned to Jeremy for best man and asked Damon to stand in as a Groomsman. It was a beautiful ceremony on a beach in Southern Virginia. That night Damon proposed. He got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I accepted rather quickly and we found ourselves in the midst of more wedding plans.

This was twenty years ago and I hadn't fallen any more out of love with him. I had turned two years later when I was 29, determined to not reach my thirties. Damon had laughed at my silliness but I knew he was relieved. We hadn't discussed it too often but I knew he worried I would chose to grow old and die. I didn't and we had found ourselves happily married and bloodsucking fiends with no redeeming qualities.

Since that battle with Klaus, we had not had other life and death battles for the fate of the world. We ran into occasional skirmishes but in the end we found a sense of normalcy. I had been with Damon for 33 years already and I couldn't imagine living without of him. He told me of his plans to steal me from his brother all those years ago and I had laughed at the time. He had been so guilty and I had fallen for him a little more.

He had won my love from the moment I met him and he had promised to keep winning my love until the end of the world. I believe him and I promised to never give up on him.

~Elena Gilbert Salvatore

October 21, 2035

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A/N: So that's all folks! Obviously there won't be a sequel but I urge you all to follow my other stories. Getting Into Bed is going to have a sequel coming out this summer titled The Mornings After. Currently I'm writing an AU/AH Delena story called What's Wrong With Us?. Please check it out!

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