a/n: so the ending of this was not planned at all...that was all Damon and Elena, I swear lol. Other than that, this chapter turned out exactly like I planned it :) So this is it for One Kiss :( This story has been so much fun and soooo challenging at times! I'm so glad that it worked out and that you guys enjoyed it! I may or may not do a season three with the same formula, but I will not be continuing this story with a sequel.
And I am kind of starting to write again, so be on the lookout for (hopefully) more frequent updates of my other stories! You guys are amazing! Thanks for making this story so successful!
Caroline had stayed long enough to help Elena get Damon into bed. After that, she left them to be alone with only a look of sorrow and pain to her friend and one of goodbye to her sire. Elena removed his shoes and long sleeved shirt before going into the bathroom to get a damp washcloth and a dry one. She moved the pillows from one side of the bed and sat with her back against the headboard. She pulled Damon's head into her lap and began wiping the sweat from his brow.
"You should go too."
"I'm not going anywhere."
"It's not safe. I already hurt you once."
Elena was silent as she continued to wipe his face. Her other hand began tracing his jaw and tears immediately clouded her eyes. "I'm sorry I didn't get here sooner," she whispered, knowing if she raised her voice she would lose all control she had. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Because I didn't want you to watch me die." Damon opened his eyes to see her first tear shed. "Because I didn't want to watch you watch me die."
He reached up and took her shaking hands in his. Using the last of his remaining strength, he pulled her down so that they could wrap their arms around one another. Elena rested her head on his chest as his chin lay atop her head. Idly, her fingers ran up and down his back as his played with her hair. "Stefan said he'll find a cure," she murmured. It wasn't exactly the truth, but she had wanted it to sound more reassuring than it was. For herself or Damon she wasn't sure.
"Stefan says a lot of things," he muttered.
"Don't get your hopes up, Elena. It will only make things worse if you do." He placed a kiss on her forehead and she felt a tear fall onto her skin. "There is one thing I want you to promise me."
"Okay," she breathed with unease clear in her voice.
"In the top drawer on your side is a-"
"I'm not going to kill you," she said, pulling back to look at him.
He laid a hand on her cheek and smiled faintly. "You might not have to. All I'm asking is that you do it when the time comes."
Elena felt tears gliding down her cheek as she gave a weak nod before returning her head to his chest. She then closed her eyes and moved closer to him. Neither one of them wanted to talk about the eventual outcome or the lack of hope, but she wanted to hear his voice as long as she could. "When this is all over, where are we going?"
"Just tell me," she pleaded, her voice thick with tears.
Damon closed his eyes and inhaled her scent. He was silent for a long moment before he gave in and obliged her. "There's a place down in Florida. It's right on the beach. There's a porch that wraps around the entire second level and the master bedroom has an incredible view of the ocean."
Elena smiled and moved her hand to his side so that her fingers could trace his skin. "Sounds wonderful."
"It is. I used to just lie there for hours and listen to the waves." He placed another kiss onto the top of her head and continued. "Although if you were there with me I wouldn't be able to concentrate," he whispered.
"Tell me more."
"I would serve you breakfast in bed every morning and then we would head down to the shore line and spend all day there. When the sun finally set beyond the horizon, we would go back to the house and I would cook you dinner while you took a shower. Although I would ruin the meal each and every time because I would be too distracted with thinking about you in the shower."
Elena let out a light laugh which quickly turned to sobs as she choked back her tears. At the same moment they tightened their hold on one another; feeling each other's tears on their skin. "I want that," Elena managed to get out.
"Me too Elena. I want that more than anything."
"I love you so much."
"My God, you too are so pathetic. No wonder Klaus chose Stefan."
Elena pulled away enough so that she could turn around and see Katherine standing in the room. She got to her feet and wiped at her eyes, her hand seeking Damon's. "What are you doing here?"
Katherine's eyes flickered to Damon and for a second Elena saw her concern before she looked back at the human girl. "I came to give you this," she said, holding up a vial of what Elena could only guess was blood.
"What is it?"
Katherine smirked a little. "The cure."
Elena's eyes lit up and her body went rigid as a big bubble of triumph washed over her. Just as she was about to step forward, she realized what Katherine had said about Klaus choosing Stefan. "Where's Stefan?" she asked, her voice full of panic.
"He made a deal with Klaus."
"What kind of deal?"
The vampire took a few steps forward until she was standing an arms length away from Elena. "Does it really matter?" she asked. She grabbed Elena's hand and pressed the vial into it. Elena's eyes met hers with question and Katherine only smirked more.
"How do I know you're telling the truth?" Elena asked quietly as she stared down at the contents in her grasp.
"Because I owed Stefan this. He gave me the vervain so that Klaus couldn't control me and he asked me to bring this to you." Her eyes went to Damon and the smirk faded from her face. "You might want to give that to him now," she added and then she was gone.
Elena let out a deep breath she had been aware she was holding and it woke her up from her trance-like state. She turned towards Damon and pushed him onto his back, eliciting a groan from him. She parted his lips and opened the vial before letting the contents drip down his throat. He drank deeply until he had gotten every last drop and then closed his lips again. Elena rolled up his sleeve and watched as the brutal looking bite healed itself before her very eyes.
Tears rolled down her cheek as she sat by his side and waited for him to wake up. When he did, he simply opened his eyes and stared at her. "Hey," she breathed, her voice shaky from the roller coaster of emotions she had just been through.
Taking her by complete surprise, Elena yelped as he surged forward and held her tightly to him. He moved so that his lips could crash onto hers and he kissed her with a fiery passion almost unlike anything else they had experienced before. The grabbed at each other, not caring how hard their fingers dug into the other's skin. It wasn't until his fangs descended and caught her lip that he pulled away abruptly and got to his feet. His tongue darted out to taste the drop of blood that had gotten on his lip and he smirked as she stared back, panting heavily.
"I think we should put off that particular celebration until I eat."
"No, I need more than you can give and I need it fresh," he said, hoping she would catch his drift.
"Oh," she whispered and got to her feet. "How?"
"I'll go to another town, I just need to do it soon." He moved to her side and pulled her to him again. "Why don't you go home and wait for me? When I'm done we'll talk about what to do next, okay?"
"Later," he interrupted and kissed her forehead.
She nodded and pulled away from him. "Later," she repeated and sat on his bed. "But I'll be here. This is my home, remember?"
Damon grinned. "That's what I was hoping you'd say," he said and left without another word.
Elena sank down onto the bed as she continued to stare at the space he had just vacated, her mind trying to process the sudden turn of events. Slowly, tears of joy clouded her eyes and streamed down her face. As she raised her hand to wipe away her tears, she noticed something move from the corner of her eye and jumped when she saw Katherine leaning against the door frame.
"Relax, I'm not here to hurt you."
"Then what are you doing here?" Elena asked wiping her eyes.
"I figured you would have a few questions about Stefan and I didn't want the two of you hunting me down to get them. So I stayed here to talk to you. I'm tired of running."
Elena swallowed thickly. "Is he okay?"
"He went to Klaus to find a cure and Klaus doesn't let anyone have things for free. How do you think Stefan is?"
The female vampire sighed and moved closer to her human doppelganger. "Fine, I'll start from the beginning. But I'm warning you now, you're not going to like what I have to say." She paused long enough for Elena to nod and then she continued. "Stefan came and asked if I knew anything about a cure. I told him that I didn't, but he already knew that. Apparently he was just waiting for Klaus to show up. And he did. He came in with Elijah and killed him right on the spot. That was when he asked what Stefan was doing there. After Stefan explained, Klaus gave him a blood bag and demanded that he drink it. He told Stefan he could have the cure if he agreed to do something in return."
Elena swallowed hard as her eyes squeezed shut. She hated the idea of Stefan being back on human blood especially being around Klaus too. "What was it?" she asked, her breathing shaky.
"He wanted ten years of servitude from Stefan in exchange for curing Damon."
Katherine nodded. "Stefan was...different on human blood," she said and smirked. "Well, I guess you've had a glimpse at how he is."
"But he would never-"
Katherine reached out and cupped Elena's jaw, forcing her to look at the vampire. "The real reason I fell in love with Stefan is because I saw that darkness in him. Damon might have everyone fooled that he's the bad brother, but that's not true and you know it." She let go of Elena and smirked again. "He wasn't just avoiding human blood because he didn't want to kill people; he was avoiding it because he hated that he enjoyed it."
Elena said nothing as she continued to stare at Katherine. As much as she hated to admit it, she knew Katherine was right. After reading about some of the things Stefan had done in the Gilbert journals, she knew anything was possible. "Then what?" she asked around a tight throat.
"He agreed. Anything to save Damon. So Klaus kept giving him blood bags to see how far he was willing to go. After a few more bags, he told Klaus he wouldn't drink another drop until he got the cure. That's when he had me step up and he bit my arm. After a few seconds he gave me his blood and the bite mark healed before my eyes."
Elena could see the fear in Katherine's eyes. "I'm sorry he bit you," she said quietly.
"No you're not," she said and shrugged. "Klaus gave me the vial and released me from the apartment. I could hear Stefan yelling after me." She paused to pout. "He didn't think I would come here."
"Well..." Elena said. "So why did Klaus want Stefan?"
Katherine shook her head. "I'm not entirely sure. All I know is that Klaus is pure evil and he's probably planning something big. He would offer that kind of trade to anyone if he didn't think Stefan could do it."
"Ten years..." Elena mumbled, looking down at the ground.
"Is far too long."
Elena's eyes snapped back up as she studied Katherine. "What?"
"Look, I'm all for Stefan going on a killing spree here and there, but I know what will happen when his servitude his up. There won't be a shred of humanity anywhere in him and he'll likely stay with Klaus anyway." She took a step towards Elena and placed her hands on her hips. "If Stefan's going to do any sort of killing, it's going to be by my side, not Klaus's."
"So what are you saying, exactly?"
"I'm saying that when the time is right, when we figure out what Klaus is up to and form a plan to stop him, we will."
"Well yes," she said, confusion clouding her features. "I was under the impression that you still cared for him as well."
"I do, I just didn't think you would want our help."
"I don't want it, but I need it." She sighed and took a step back. "I heard you and Damon talking about a little getaway."
"If Stefan's out there-"
"You should go. If we're going to go after Klaus, we're going to need everyone at their best and right now everyone is beyond worn out. We both know Stefan well enough to know that he will be holding onto his humanity the best he can for as long as he can. We have time, but not much." Katherine moved until she reached the door, turning back to look at Elena one last time. "Be seeing you," she said and disappeared once again.
Elena stood on the patio outside the master bedroom, staring out at the ocean. The sun was almost completely gone, casting a fiery glow over the water. The slight breeze tugged at her hair and tickled her skin. A smile spread across her face as she felt arms wrap around her from behind followed by Damon's head resting on her shoulder. "Are you just going to stand out here or will you eventually come inside?" he asked, his voice low as to not interrupt the tranquility.
She reached up and placed her hands on his arms. "I have been out here awhile, huh?"
"It wouldn't have to do anything with the fact that you just didn't want to help unpack, would it?" he teased, turning to press a kiss onto her skin.
Elena closed her eyes as he continued to place lazy kisses on her neck. "Maybe a little."
She felt him smirk into the curve of her neck before he let go enough so that he could turn her to face him. "What's wrong?" he asked, searching her eyes.
"It's just..." she started and took a deep breath. "Stefan. I can't help but feel guilty about being here while he's out there doing God knows what for Klaus."
Damon hung his head for a moment before looking back at Elena. He raised his hands to cup her face and smiled lightly at her. "As much as I hate to admit this, Katherine was right. If we go after him now, we'll lose; big time. We need time to recover and form a plan so that when the time is right, we have a chance at succeeding. Besides, we also need time to fix us."
"What's wrong with us?" she asked.
"I forced you to drink my blood. You may understand my reasons, but there's a part of you that doesn't trust me. I need to know that you trust me completely otherwise we're never going to be able to do this."
Damon moved a finger over her lips and smirked at her. "I hate it just as much as you do, but there's nothing we can do right now, Elena. We will get him back. I promise."
Elena nodded and he leaned in to kiss her. "Maybe you could compel me to forget about everything until we're ready to go back to Mystic Falls," she mumbled into the kiss.
Damon chuckled and moved his lips to her neck, his hands sliding down to grab her rear. "I think I'd like to make you forget the old fashioned way," he breathed and nipped at her skin lightly with his blunt teeth.
Elena shivered and her fingers dug into his hips as a reflex. She moved closer, leaving no space between them, and arched her body into his. "Give it your best shot," she challenged, her voice husky with lust.
Damon tightened his grasp on her and lifted. Elena wrapped her legs around his waist and closed her eyes as he used his supernatural speed to get them back into the bedroom. He laid her gently down onto the bed and waited until she opened her eyes. Once their gazes were locked, he slowly started undressing her. Countless times he had made love to her without taking his gaze from hers and still the intensity made her hot and nervous at the same time.
With a lazy grin, he slid her underwear down her legs and then kneeled before her. He kissed his way up the soft skin of her thighs which she parted in anticipation. He nipped at the spot above her femoral artery and she jumped briefly. The action was followed with a low moan as she felt his breath get closer to her core. Damon closed his eyes for a second as the scent of her arousal washed over him. For a split second his mind went to the last time they had slept together; the time he had forced her to take his blood. He shuddered inwardly and felt guilty. If he thought it would have been their last time together, he should have done better. He should have given her everything instead of making it quick and with no connection.
"Damon?" Her voice broke him from his stupor and he looked up at her over her body, giving her a light smile. "You okay?"
His tongue darted out to taste her and her body quivered. "More than okay," he murmured. Pushing all thoughts aside, Damon concentrated on the task at hand; making them both forget. He brought them here to relax and heal and in order to do that, he had to block everything out of his mind. With Elena by his side, he was more than capable of doing just that.
Elena's head ground against the comforter as Damon used his expert skill to work her body. Her fingers clutched at the material, flexing in rhythm to his tongue. A gasp escaped her lips as two of his fingers slipped inside of her body. As they thrust in and out of her, his tongue flicked over her clit, bringing her closer to the edge at a faster pace than every before. Her sighs of satisfaction urged him on and before long her back was bowing off the bed. One hand shot down to his head, her fingers sifting through his hair. "Damon!" she called as he sent her over the edge into bliss.
By the time Elena came down from her high, Damon had already removed all of his clothes and was hovering above her. His lips were attached to her neck, his favorite spot on her body, placing kisses and love bites along the skin. Elena bent her knees and cradled his body to hers, her hands reaching up to sink into his hair. "Still remember?" he asked, his lips having moved to her ear.
"Remember what?" she returned, smirking back at him when he pulled back to look at her.
"Good," he breathed and entered her.
Elena's eyes went wide as her lips parted with surprise. Damon smiled victoriously and captured her lips with his own, swallowing her moan as he moved within her. He started slow and deep, going all the way in before sliding all the way out. With each thrust, Elena's body rose to accept more of him. It wasn't long before he picked up the pace, bordering on supernatural speed. Elena moaned and thrashed beneath him, but never wavered in meeting him with each thrust.
"Damon!" she cried out, her body quivering as he sent her over the edge again. Damon followed her almost immediately, sending her higher into oblivion by sinking his fangs into her neck.
By the time they both came back to reality, Damon was licking up the excess blood from her neck. Elena panted to catch her breath and moaned slightly as Damon pulled out of her and laid by her side. He looped an arm around her and pulled her to him so that she was lying half on him and half on the bed. "Thank you," he whispered.
Elena craned her neck to look up at him. "You're welcome?"
He smiled at her and shrugged, putting his free arm behind his head. "You could have just walked away after what I did, especially when you started thinking about the future."
Elena propped herself up so that she could look down at him. "I would never just walk away from you, Damon. Yes, what you did was bad, but emotions were all over the place and tension was high. If I get my way, I'll never have to leave your side."
"Prove it," he demanded, earning a raised eyebrow and a look of confusion from Elena.
Her eyes widened to the point where he thought they were going pop out of her skull and it took all his resolve not to smile. "Damon..."
He untucked his arm and reached into the nightstand to pull out a little blue jewelry box. He opened it and held it out for her to see. "You don't have to give me a definite answer, but I want you to wear the ring. Think of it as a promise to revisit the question when the time is right."
"And when will that be?" she asked, unable to take her eyes off the ring.
He shrugged again. "When it's right, we'll know."
Elena swallowed thickly and then managed to tear her gaze away and look him in the eye. She studied him for a moment before breaking into a grin, her eyes going shiny with tears. She nodded her head and Damon smiled back. "Okay."
Damon took the ring out of the box and placed it onto her finger. She rewarded him with a searing kiss before returning her head to his chest. She held up her hand and studied the ring, admiring the way the remaining sunlight shone on the gem. "I love you," he said, tightening his hold on her.
"I love you too," she replied, looping her arm around his chest and closing her eyes.
For the first time in weeks, her mind was clear. She didn't feel drained and anxious. She was at peace and it was because of Damon Salvatore. With him, she would be able to face anything and the same could be said for him. Both knew what lie before them and the possibilities that not all would end well, but as long as they had each other, they didn't care. With that in both their minds, they drifted off to sleep, ready to take on anything life had to throw at them.