Over the course of the next weeks, Elena's life had continued to turn upside down. Stefan had been kidnapped by the tomb vampires but Damon had rescued him. It had been nothing short of scary but Stefan was recovering nicely. He hadn't been in school during that time, and even more so, she saw Damon more often. Damon picked her up from school everyday and they would hang out for a few hours at her house. She would do her homework and Damon would read one of his many books, and she found some solace in the small sense of normalcy in her life. However, she knew that all the time she spent with Damon couldn't have gone unnoticed by Stefan.
At the moment she was headed to the boarding house for dinner. Damon said that Stefan was better and she should come spend time with him. It was such an odd request from Damon, but truthfully, she missed Stefan. She wanted to help him get better but he hadn't wanted her help she stayed away. Her stomach was twisting in knots and as soon as she stepped through the door of the boarding house, a chill ran up her spine. "Stefan?" she called. "Damon?"
The next thing she knew there was a rush of air by across her cheek, a rough tug on her neck and Stefan appeared in front of her. "Hi Elena," he said softly.
Elena swallowed and rubbed her neck, realizing her necklace was missing and she immediately noticed it dangling from his fingers. Her brows creased together in confusion at his demeanor. "Give me my necklace," she demanded.
"It's mine," he said with a shrug.
"You gave it to me," she said sadly. "What's wrong with you?" He had a weird glint in his eye that she had never seen before and she didn't like it. Where the hell was Damon? She had never been truly scared of Stefan, except for right now.
"You think I like smelling you all over my brother all day everyday?" Stefan asked, raising an eyebrow. "You have no idea how much I love you and you're throwing it away for him."
"Damon is my friend Stefan," she said, softly. "Nothing has been going on. You didn't want to see me, remember?" She wasn't taking the blame for this. She couldn't believe that he thought something was going on with her and Damon.
"He's playing you Elena!" Stefan flared, causing her to jump. "Can't you see that?"
Elena rubbed her temple tiredly. "I'm going home." When he was calmer she would talk to him and work this out.
"No, you're not," he seethed, slamming her into the front door. "Guess we're doing this the hard way."
"Let go of me," Elena said struggling against his hold. There was a slight pain in her shoulder blades from the force of his blow. Stefan had never ever hurt her before now and she could feel her fear flowing through her veins. Damon had told her enough about the things he had done and how it was natural for them to thrive on fear.
Stefan's eyes dilated as peered into hers. "You're going to call Damon," he said, in a soothing voice. "Tell him you hate him and don't want to see him every again. You're in love with me."
"Call Damon," Elena dumbly with a nod as she pulled out her phone. She tried to fight his compulsion but there was nothing she could do. Her heart was crying out as she found Damon's number in her emergency contacts and she pressed send. She giggled as Stefan kissed the side of her neck and she listened to the dial tone as she waited for the older brother to answer.
"Hi Beautiful," Damon answer playfully. "I'm running late."
Oh god, Damon. She loved his pet names for her. She would probably never hear them again. "I was just calling to tell you that I don't think we should see each other anymore," she said as Stefan's hands moved under her shit. "I'm in love with Stefan and I don't want to see you." She felt sick inside, unable to do anything. Powerless to make her own choice on this matter.
"And you hate him," Stefan whispered in her ear before nipping softly.
"I hate you," she said immediately and Stefan took her phone from her, ending the call. I'm so sorry Damon. He had no reason to question her. They were barely friends at this point, everything between them still rocky and new. He killed her birth mother after all. Ever since their trip to Atlanta he had been less of a dick, at least to her. He had a soft spot for her and she had no questions over that, and she knew that he had been… devastated after Katherine's betrayal and she had helped him through that. But for all of it to be ruined just like that, was killing her.
"Now," he said with a smirk as he tugged her toward the stairs. "You'll all mine."
Damon's head was swimming as he downed his umpteenth glass of alcohol. He had done everything he could to stay wasted. So when he was at home he could pass out and not have to look at Stefan's face or hear anything that may have been going on. He couldn't take it. Someone said his name in a soft voice and nearly snarled at her. He turned his body toward the witch that had a worried look on her face. "Have you seen Elena?" Bonnie asked. "Recently."
The sound of Elena's name warmed his heart a little and he couldn't help but be concerned about the girl. But he wasn't about to ask Bonnie how she was doing. "Not for two weeks," he muttered. Two weeks since she had plowed over him. It wasn't like he was putting the moves on her. He thought they were friends but apparently something had set her off. For the life of him, he didn't know what he had done.
"Something's wrong," Bonnie said firmly. "She's not herself… and she has weird bruises on her. She keeps saying she fell."
"She's clumsy," he said simply. She wasn't the most graceful person out there, so for her to trip over herself now and then didn't really phase him.
"It's something else," Bonnie said stubbornly. "She can't remember things. She has like holes in her memory, forgetting plans we made. She seems confused and Stefan… is mean to her."
Damon closed his eyes to try to focus through the haze the alcohol had him in. Different scenarios ran through his mind but he couldn't really settle on one. "Is she wearing her necklace?" he asked. "The one that Stefan gave her?" Maybe she lost her necklace and a vampire had gotten to her. But it wasn't like Stefan to miss something like that and handle it. The more important point, Bonnie wouldn't be standing her all but begging for his help. She hated him.
"No," Bonnie said as realization dawned on her face. "She's not."
Now the pieces started to fall into place. "Where is she?" he asked, getting to his feet, trying to shake off his drunken state as quickly as possible. He didn't think Stefan could be compelling her but Damon had been so drunk that he hadn't been paying attention to anything.
"Jenna's out of town," Bonnie said. "I'm supposed to meet her at her house for a little girl time, that she had to practically beg for."
"I'll try to talk to her," he said. "Break her compulsion. But I'm going to need you to do a spell to keep Stefan out."
"You really think Stefan is hurting her?" Bonnie asked.
"You do too or you wouldn't be standing here talking to me," he said, leaving the restaurant. Fear for Elena was quickly sobering him up as he headed to her house. He had thought her conversation with him on the phone had sounded strange but he had ignored it and let her do whatever she pleased with his brother. But now, if Stefan was compelling her, everything made sense. Stefan wouldn't want her anywhere near him.
"I'll be right down Bonnie!" Elena called as she struggled to cover her broken wrist. Easier said than done. It was hard enough to get dressed in the morning and the flimsy wrap on her limb didn't do much. She managed to convince everyone she had a sprain not a break but normal tasks were becoming more difficult. Eventually she was going to need medical treatment, but that would mean getting Jenna involved.
"So I figured it out," Damon said, startling her.
She gasped, out of surprise and slight jostle of her sore ribs as she faced him. "What do you want?" she asked coldly. "I was pretty clear that I wanted you to stay away from me." This was the first she had seen him since her phone call. He had to notice that her necklace was missing. He was going to notice everything else too.
Damon clenched his jaw and his eyes flickered to her wrist that was bent at and odd angle. She favored her left side, and he could feel the rage towards his brother boiling over. Carefully he approached her, not wanting to scare her anymore than she probably already was. "I'm stubborn," he said softly as he concentrated his senses and gently held her upper arms. He was a lot stronger then his brother. He could easily break Stefan's compulsion.
Elena pushed at the solid wall of his chest with her good hand. "What are you…" she trailed off as Damon's power moved through her mind, unlocking her confusion. Her memories carefully slid into place, reality colliding with the illusion Stefan had built around her. Her eyes filled up with tears as she focused on his face. "Damon…"
His hands gently cradled her cheeks as he thumbs caressed her wet skin. "There's my girl," he whispered.
Warmth spread through her at the sheer closeness of him. His words washed over her, soothing her, calming her. "It was like being stuck in my own mind," she said with a sniffle. "I tried to fight it. I really did."
"Shhhh," he soothed, wrapping his arms around her. "I got you now."
Elena gasped in pain and pulled back from him. "Sorry," she said turning a light shade red.
Her injuries were obviously a lot worse then he thought. "What's wrong?" he asked gently grabbing her hand, causing her to cry out. He paused and gently pulled the sleeve up, revealing the purplish peeking out from the ace bandage. "It's broken." His fingers carefully unwrapped the bandage from her, wincing at the damage. Definitely broken. Over the years he knew how to break a wrist in the proper way to cause pain. It killed him to see Elena suffering from it. "What happened?"
"I fell," she said automatically, trying to pull her hand away as a knock sounded at he door, causing her to jump again.
"Spells up," Bonnie said worriedly. "How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine," Elena said, trying desperately to move her wrist from everyone's line of sight. She didn't want Damon or anyone to see her like this. She wasn't weak. She was going to pull through this.
"I'll um… leave you two alone," Bonne said. "I'll call you tomorrow." She smiled softly before leaving the two brunettes along.
"Let's get you fixed up," he said, gently guiding her to the bathroom. He dug around in the unfamiliar cabinets gathering the various items he would need. "Elena," he said seriously. "I can help you feel better. I just need you to trust me."
"I don't want your pity," she mumbled, squeezing the sweatshirt around her. She looked scared and nervous and he couldn't blame her.
"It's not pity Elena," he said firmly. "It's concern. I can't help you if aren't honest with me."
She bit her lip as tears stung her eyes once again. "Help me get his off," she pleaded, her hands tugging at the hem.
Damon carefully maneuvered the fabric around her injury, finally tossing it to the floor, leaving her in a sports bra. It had been over a century since he had felt sick, but now, staring at her marred flesh, made him sick to his stomach. "Elena," he said softly as he took in the various purple, blue and black colors on her smooth skin. He glanced at the items on the counter which wouldn't do anything for half her injuries. Stefan did a number on him. "Um… if I give you some of my blood, all these will go away and you're wrist won't hurt." He couldn't remember the last time he had offered someone his blood purely for their own safety. "I know it's scary, but afterward you won't be in any pain."
Elena chewed on her lip but the pain was unbearable so she nodded. "I trust you," she said softly.
"We should sit," he said softly going back her room, locking the door so they wouldn't have interruptions. He sat with his back against the headboard, and she slowly climbed between his knees, wincing when she moved the wrong way. "Just relax." His hands gently ghosted over her back, hoping to calm her somewhat and he bit into his wrist carefully before moving it around to in front of her. As soon as he felt the suckling motion from her lips he used his free hand to expertly set the bones in her wrist. She cried out against his flesh but his blood worked quick. He pulled his wrist back and licked the wound closed. "Okay?" The bruises started fading from her skin and he was sure she'd be more comfortable moving around now.
"Yeah," she said moving the stiff joins of her wrist around. "Thank you." She relaxed against him, surprised at how safe she felt with him.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he asked carefully, leaning his cheek against the top of her head. He wanted to rip Stefan's head off right this second but he knew that would come later. What mattered right now was the girl in his arms.
"He was always mad at me," she said softly. "I was always in trouble and I never knew why. I knew he was making me be mean to you and I couldn't make it stop. It just got worse."
"Bonnie thought something was wrong," he said. "Took both of us to put it together." He carefully moved her next to him and pulled the covers over them. "You should get some sleep."
"You're… staying?" she asked with a yawn.
"Yep," he said smugly as his arm banded around her waist gently but firmly. "You Miss Gilbert are stuck with me for the rest of your life."
A soft giggle escaped her lips. "How will I survive?"