Damon kicked open the door to his house, Elena cradled against his chest. "Stefan!" he yelled. "I need bandages." He headed upstairs, carefully depositing Elena on his bed. "Wake up, Elena," he said, his fingers slowly moving her hair from the deep bite of her neck. He couldn't believe that she had lost so much blood already and wasn't dead, but he was very thankful.
Stefan appeared in the doorway with the bandages he had asked for. "What happened?" he asked, worriedly coming to Elena's side.
"She's lost a lot of blood," Damon answered, swabbing the two puncture wholes. "She's been in and out the whole ride, babbling about stupid things that don't make sense. Her necklace is missing and she couldn't tell me what happened." Someone knew about her necklace and did this to toy with them, or him. He wasn't sure if Stefan was involved yet, but they had called him, not Stefan.
"She called you?"
Damon sighed. "Sort of," he said, meeting his brother's gaze. "New player in town maybe." He was already running through the list of people that would do this kind of thing and Katherine was at the top. Could she be back in town? Trying to screw with his head? This didn't seem like Katherine's M.O though. Katherine kidnapped her prey and tortured them, not leave them around in cemeteries.
"I'm not sure," Stefan said, shaking his head. "She needs to go to the hospital."
The silence was broken when a groan escaped Elena's lips and Stefan left the room. "Elena?" Damon asked. "Open your eyes, baby." Her heart was still beating irregularly and incredibly fast, but she was talking. That was a good sign.
"Damon," she whimpered in confusion. "What…"
"You've lost a lot of blood," he said, gripping her hand. "Do you remember who bit you?"
Her eyes were unfocused and she seemed to be in another world. "Bit?" She struggled to sit up, but Damon prevented her. "How bad?" Her memory was a jumbled mess. She couldn't remember the last few hours, and if the mumblings he had heard in the car were any indication, he knew something was wrong with her, more than the loss of blood.
"You should be fine," Damon said, as Stefan joined them with another necklace in his hand. Typical Stefan. More concerned about Elena being compelled then surviving the mess she was in right now.
"Can I be alone with my girlfriend?" he asked.
Damon clenched his jaw but got to his feet, waiting for Elena to ask him to stay, but it never happened and he allowed Stefan to take his place. He felt sick as he watched Stefan slip the necklace around her neck and a goofy grin appeared on Elena's face. This was not good.
Damon paced back and forth the length of the porch and his fingers twirled Elena's cell phone. He had no choice as he pulled it out and dialed the witch. She picked up on the second ring and he jumped right in before she could hang up on him. "I know I'm not your favorite person, but I need your help. Something is wrong with Elena." There was no response on the other end for a moment, but Bonnie told him to stop over. He hung up and stared at the door for a moment before he headed to his car. He hated leaving Elena alone, but she'd never get help if he didn't leave.
Bonnie was on her front porch waiting for him as he pulled in and she ran down the steps to meet him. "What happened to Elena?"
"She's been bitten by a vampire," Damon said, folding his arms. "She lost a lot of blood. Whoever bit her knew that her necklace had vervain in it, and they took it. She's very vulnerable right now." He paused pinching the bridge of his nose. "Stefan gave her a new one I think, but something is still wrong. She's not herself."
"Why'd you ask me?" Bonnie asked, raising an eyebrow.
"She's your best friend," Damon said. "And it's not her fault your grandmother died. It's mine. So please help her." The witch had no reason to want to help him, but he hoped she could get over it and help Elena. Her powers were the only ones strong enough to get into Elena's mind like that and fix whatever was wrong.
Bonnie stared at him for a moment and nodded. "I just need to grab some things."
Damon paused when he returned home, feeling the shift in the air around him. He smelled the coppery and metallic taste of blood in the air, specifically Elena's, and he headed upstairs, Bonnie hot on his heals, finding her in Stefan's room. His heart would have stopped if it was beating as he watched Stefan feed off of the poor girl, and before he could react, Stefan dropped to the ground, clutching his head. Damon glanced at Bonnie who was chanting quietly and he wasted no time slamming his fist into Stefan's temple, knocking him out cold.
"Stefan's the one that bit her?" Bonnie asked, in shock before coming to her friend's side. "Elena let him?"
"Told you that something was wrong," Damon said. "Stefan compelled her, made her crazy and no I don't know why." He wasn't sure that it had been Stefan; he only had a faint suspicion. He never imagined his brother would go this far to get what he wanted, but it had been confirmed moments ago.
"Stefan…" Elena whimpered, and it pierced his undead heart to hear the broken sound coming from her lips.
"It's Damon and Bonnie," the witch said, touching Elena's hand. "Elena?"
"It hurts," Elena said her eyes fluttering open. "Make it stop."
Damon stared at her for a moment before he scooped her up, taking her back to his room. He left her with Bonnie as he went back to get his brother, dragging his body downstairs to the cellar. He stared at Stefan for a long moment before heading back upstairs. "How is she?"
Bonnie looked up at him. "I broke the compulsion," she said. "I can't do much for the bite. I'm not strong enough yet." The bite had been pretty nasty, and deep. Elena was going to be feeling that for a few days. He could help her, but he doubted that's what she needed right now.
"Thanks," he said, softly, sitting beside the sleeping girl.
Bonnie got to her feet. "I'm going to head out," she said. "You know I don't like you but I know you love her. And she's got a soft spot for you. So don't hurt her."
Damon narrowed his eyes as the witch left but he calmed himself when Elena started whimpering from the bed. "Elena?" he whispered, sitting next to her shifting body.
She seemed to relax slightly and she stared up at him. "Damon," she said, softly. "What happened?" Her eyes were clearer now, and he could see that she was still in some pain. He wished he could take that pain away, but at least she was getting back to herself. That's all he could ask for really at this point.
"Right now, just get some sleep," he said. "We'll talk about it later." He gripped her small hand between his and kissed her knuckles. "I promise." She needed to recover from the blood loss, and she didn't have the energy to fight with him as she passed out once again.
Sometime before dawn, Elena began whimpering as well as tossing and turning beneath the sheets. Damon had taken up residence along side of her, his back against the headboard, stroking her hair softly. The nightmares hadn't stopped since she had fallen asleep, but the time between them increased when he was comforting her.
"Stefan," she pleaded, causing him to wince. After everything that happened, she was still after his brother. "Please…no. Don't… please don't hurt me."
Or not. His heart went out to her as he shook her shoulder gently. "Elena." Tears slid out of her eyes as she cried out in her sleep and he slid an arm under, gently lifting her up to rest against his chest. "Wake up sweetheart," he said, stroking her cheek.
Elena pushed against his hard chest. "Please…"
"It's me, Damon," he said soothingly. "You're safe now. No one is going to hurt you." He could kill his brother for making Elena weak. She was a strong woman, and she could handle almost anything that was thrown at her, but Stefan had broken her down, and the anger that Damon felt towards his brother was intense. It was even worse than finding out about Stefan's betrayl with Katherine.
His words penetrated her mind and she relaxed against him with a shudder. "Sorry."
"Nonsense," he said, hugging her tightly. "You haven't slept much. Go back to sleep."
"No," she said, pushing him back slightly. "I want to know what happened to me. The truth."
Damon sighed and swung his legs over the side of the bed. "Stefan bit you," he said. "Took your necklace, made you forget that he hurt you and turned you into his personal snack. He called me from your cell phone so I could find you, but when I brought you back here, you wanted to be with him. The witch came over to break the compulsion so I could help you."
"Oh god," Elena said, her hand going to the bandage over her neck. "I remember… you got hurt and we…" A deep blush crept across her face. "We kissed and I told Stefan about us, but then it's all a big a blur." She swallowed and stared at him, worrying creasing her brows. "How are you feeling?" she asked, peering over his shoulder to see his chest and abdomen, which were fully healed now.
"Told you I would be fine with some rest," he said, turning toward her. She still showed signs of worry, even when she was the one that was hurt.
"Where's Stefan?" she asked.
"He's locked up," Damon said, grabbing her hand. "He'll never hurt you again, I promise." He leaned forward to kiss her forehead tenderly as she leaned against him easily. "I'll take care of it." And he would hold her at night to chase away the nightmares, and one day, he knew she'd be sleeping peacefully along side of him.