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Ch. 8:

Alexei was laying next to Damon, watching him as he slept. She gently reached over and stroked his cheek and he unconsciously smiled in his sleep, making her grin. Suddenly, she stiffened, sitting up quickly, and Damon, feeling her change of position, slowly woke up and looked at her.

"Whatsit?" he asked, sitting up in confusion.

Alexei jumped out of the bed, grabbing a shirt as she went, and pulled it on as she walked to the window.

"Lucifer." She breathed.

She ran to out the door.

"Huh?" Damon said in confusion.

He grabbed a pair of pants and followed her out.

"What's going on?" Stefan called as he came out of his room, Elena right behind him.

"How should I know?" Damon asked crossly. "She gets up, she says Lucifer, she runs out, all in 3 seconds flat. I'm still trying to figure out why I'm awake."

He ran down the stairs, leaving the other two staring after him.

"Did he say Lucifer?" Elena asked.

The two of them quickly followed the other couple outside. Standing in front of the house was Lucifer, a few feet in front of Alexei.

"What are you still doing here?" she demanded.

"I like this planet." He said, nonchalantly.

There was a surge of power and Alexei's sword appeared in her hand. She leveled it at her brother and he chuckled.

"Oh, calm down, Gabriel." He told her. "I have something for you."

He snapped his fingers and Katherine appeared. She was bloody and broken, barely conscious.

"I don't want her." Alexei said, her voice cold. "The agreement was for you to take her, and I wouldn't kick your ass back home."

"Well, I have an amendment to our agreement." He replied calmly. "You either agree, or I leave her here with you. Or, well, somewhere near here."

"You always were a spoiled brat." Alexei said, lowering her sword. "What do you want?"

"Nothing much." Lucifer said, shrugging. "Just bind your pets to you."

"Why?" Alexei asked suspiciously.

"Well, I've lost their souls, but I don't want Michael to have them." He told her. "However, if you keep them, their power can't be used against me. Bind them to yourself, and I'll take Katherine away from here. Leave your little planet alone. For now."

Alexei stared at him for a moment before growling. Finally, she turned back to the others.

"What is he talking about?" Damon asked.

"Remember what I told you about drinking my blood?" she asked.

Damon nodded.

"This is why." She told him. "If you were to drink my blood, it would change you. Bind you to me. On the most basic levels, you would never be able to drink any other type of blood. Your body wouldn't accept any other blood. But on a higher level, you would be bound to me forever. Even after death."

"What do you mean?" Stefan asked.

"If you were to die, and you were bound to me, you would never be able to move on." She told them seriously. "You couldn't move on to Heaven or Hell. You would be bound to me and to the Earth forever."

"But Elena would be safe?" Damon asked.

Stefan looked at his brother in shock.

"If Lucifer takes Katherine away, she will be." Alexei replied. "If he doesn't, he won't just let us kill her. We'll have to track her down and do it ourselves, and Elena will be in danger the whole time."

Damon nodded and looked at Stefan.

"I'll do it." He said, looking away from his brother. "Elena will be safe, and I can think of worse things than being stuck with you for eternity. At least you won't be able to leave me behind again."

"Never." She agreed, smiling softly.

"Me too." Stefan spoke up. "If it'll keep Elena safe, I'll do anything."

Alexei nodded before turning to her brother.

"You have your answer." She told him. "Now, please get your ass off my planet and take her with you."

"It'll be done soon?" he demanded.

"Within the fortnight." She agreed. "I'll need to make some arrangements, but you have my word."

"You'll forgive me if I don't trust your word." Lucifer told her.

Alexei sighed.

"Your trust issues would give a psychiatrist a field day." She muttered.

She ran a finger across her palm and a thin cut followed after it and blood welled to the surface.

"By my blood and the blood of our lord, I swear to bind Stefan and Damon Salvatore to me for the rest of time." She told him.

There was a flash and the cut healed itself.

"Are you satisfied?" she asked.

"For now." He agreed.

He grabbed Katherine by the arm and pulled her up.

"Until next time, Gabriel." Lucifer said, nodding.

"Try not start any more wars." His sister told him, sighing. "You know it upsets me when you two fight."

"Everything upsets you." He told her before disappearing in a flash.

"Bastard." Alexei muttered.

She turned and walked back to Damon, wrapping her arms around him. He sighed and wrapped her in his embrace, resting his cheek on her head.

Stefan walked Elena to her locker and stood, leaning next to her as she got her books.

"So everything goes back to normal?" she asked quietly.

"As normal as things can get with two vampires and an angel." He replied, smiling. "At least I now know why things always got so out of hand when ever Alexei was with us."

"You talking about me?"

The couple turned to see Alexei standing behind them, dressed in a tight pair of jeans and a tank top, causing a back up as all the boys stopped to stare at her.

"Why does Damon let you out, dressed like that?" Stefan sighed.

"What makes you think Damon was in any condition to protest what I was wearing this morning?" Alexei shot back with a grin. "He was still recovering from last night."

"TMI." Elena told her, grimacing as she shut her locker.

Alexei laughed and swung her arm around the other girls shoulders as they walked off, leaving Stefan to follow.

"Why don't the two of us have lunch after school today?" Alexei asked her. "Just the two of us. The boys can go have their last meal before their…diet change…and we can have a nice relaxing meal waiting for them."

"Sounds like fun." Elena replied.

"Good." Alexei said, smiling. "Meet me out front. We'll take the convertible."

"Isn't Damon going to object to you taking his car constantly?" Stefan asked.

Alexei opened her mouth to answer when her phone rang.

"Speaking of…" she said, flipping it open. "And how are you this morning, my dear?"

"You…took…my…car." They all heard Damon growl. "AGAIN!"

"I left you my SUV." Alexei said, pouting slightly.

"IT'S MY CAR, ALEXEI!" Damon shouted as she held the phone away from her head.

"And I promise to take good care of it." She said in the direction of the phone. "Love you. Bye."

She quickly hung up the phone.

"You enjoyed that too much." Stefan said, grinning.

"What can I say?" she said, smiling. "I missed you guys."

Stefan just smiled as he followed his girlfriend and his brother's mate to class.

Elena laughed as she and Alexei sat at the grill, eating and talking.

"A dress?" Elena asked through her laughter. "Really?"

"Really." Alexei confirmed. "I don't think I've ever seen anyone that drunk. I still send him a picture of the night ever year. It never ceases to amuse me. I'll make you a copy."

Elena chuckled and took a long sip from her soda.

"So you're probably wondering why I suggested this little dinner." Alexei said after a moment.

"I figured you'd tell me when you were ready." Elena said, shrugging.

"You heard me tell Damon that I was given the power to turn one mortal into an immortal?" Alexei said, swishing her drink around with her straw.

"Yeah." Elena said slowly, wondering where Alexei was going with this.

"Well…" Alexei said. "Damon's immortal already. I don't need to use my power to keep him with me. And I get to keep Stefan! It's a twofer deal! Get a mate, get a brother for free!"

Elena laughed.

"The only thing is…" Alexei said, sobering. "If Stefan lost you, I don't think he'd want to stay, and by binding him to me, he could never move on. Never be with you again. I don't think he's realized that yet, and I don't think you did either."

Elena was quiet.

"What if I could give you another option?" Alexei suggested.

"What do you mean?" Elena asked.

"I was given the power to turn one mortal into an immortal." Alexei said.

"Damon." Elena said, nodding.

"Any mortal." Alexei corrected.

Elena's mouth opened but no sound came out.

"Elena, I can give you forever with Stefan." Alexei told her. "But you need to be sure. You can't undo it once it's done. If you chose forever, it will be forever. There's no going back."

Elena nodded but stayed quiet.

"Take some time." Alexei told her. "You need to be certain. Talk it over with Stefan and when you decide, let me know. Not for nothing, but doing this would also keep your blood from tempting Stefan and he would never be able to hurt you if he lost control for some reason. You'd be totally safe. But the choice is ultimately yours. You understand that right? Neither Stefan nor I can make this decision for you. You have to accept it of your own free will."

Elena nodded again.

"Good." Alexei said. "Now, has Stefan ever told you about that time in Vancouver?"

Damon and Stefan made their way into the mansion to find Elena and Alexei waiting for them in front of the fireplace. Elena was reading a book on the couch and she smiled when Stefan bent down and kissed her softly. Meanwhile, Damon went to Alexei and stared at her.

"How long has she been like that?" he asked.

"A few hours." Elena replied, shrugging.

Alexei was sitting on the ground, her sword laying straight out in front of her on the ground, with her eyes closed. She had her hand stretched out, holding it about a foot away from the sword, which was glowing a pale blue light.

"Alexei, what are you doing?" Damon asked. "And why do I have a feeling I'm going to be saying that a lot?"

"I'm getting reacquainted." She replied, not opening her eyes. "And if you don't know better than to ask that question by now, you'll never know."

She lowered her hand until it was an inch away from the hilt. The closer she got, the brighter the blade glowed, until the others had to squint to see. Finally, she grasped the hilt and it flared brightly once and went dark.

"Hi there." Alexei whispered, picking it up and holding it up straight. "Long time no see."

"Oh good, she talking to the sword." Damon said, sitting down on the couch.

Alexei stood. As she got to her feet, the sword disappeared into thin air. She crossed the room and plopped down next to him, kissing him on the cheek.

"I'll have you know, it's a very lively conversationalist." She told him.

"Of course it is." He muttered.

"Oh, hush." She said, pushing him slightly with her shoulder as he wrapped his arm around her and she curled into his side. "I need to reconnect to it before I can bind you two to me. It's been several millennia since it was with me on a daily basis. It's like rebuilding a friendship with a sibling you haven't talked to in years and suddenly moves into your house. It's a part of me, but I have to get used to having it here all the time."

"When are we going to do this?" Stefan asked.

"I think it'll be in about a week." Alexei said. "We're going to have to miss school for a few days afterwards. Doing this will weaken me, which I'm sure is why Lucifer is insisting on it. He wants to punish me and this is the only avenue I've left open for him. Also, you two will need time to get used to the effects of my blood. You'll only need to feed every so often, maybe not for years, and you'll notice it is more potent than human blood. Your soul will allow you to keep control, though, so you shouldn't lose control like you do with human blood."

"What do you mean, 'more potent'?" Damon asked.

"The blood of the angels is pure, even more so in the case of my brothers and me." Alexei explained. "We were the first, so our blood is the most powerful. It's like…cocaine cut with something else, versus pure cocaine."

"Is it going to be safe for Elena to be around?" Stefan asked.

Alexei and Elena exchanged a look and the archangel got to her feet, pulling Damon after her.

"That's something the two of you need to talk about." She told him. "Damon and I are just going to go upstairs. Just hear her out and you two discus it. And I mean discus it, Stefan. It's her decision. Not that you have to make a decision today, but you need to talk this out together."

She smiled and pulled a confused Damon along by the hand.

"What's going on, Alex?" Damon demanded as they reached their room.

Alexei turned and smiled brightly.

"You haven't called me Alex in years." She said, wrapping her arms around his waist.

"Yeah, well…" Damon said, looking embarrassed. "Hey, no distracting. What are they talking about?"

Alexei sighed and sat down on the bed, leaning back on her elbows so she was stretched out in front of him.

"Ah, ah!" Damon said, waving a finger at her. "Spill. Now."

Alexei sighed and sat up.

"I still have the ability to make a mortal immortal." She told him. "I don't need to make you immortal, so I offered it to Elena."

"You offered immortality to Elena?" Damon asked in disbelief.

"I like her Damon." Alexei told him. "She a good influence on you, and she definitely good for Stefan. I haven't seen him this happy in a century. So she stays mortal for a few more years, grows up a little more, decides if this is what she really wants, and, if after all that, she still wants him forever, that'll be my wedding gift to them."

"Oh, so you're already planning the wedding?" Damon asked, moving so he was standing over her.

Alexei smirked up at him.

"Damn straight." She said. "You're gonna look hot in your tux."

Damon grinned and leaned down to kiss her. After a moment, he pulled away and her smirk had turned into a real smile.

"I'm sure the bride will be annoyed when you outshine her at her own wedding." He whispered, kissing her sweetly.

"Who's getting married?"

The vampire and angel looked and saw Stefan and Elena standing in the doorway.

"No one right now." Alexei said, standing up. "Are you guys done talking already?"

"For now." Elena replied. "Thank you for the offer, Alexei, but I'm just not ready to make that decision."

"I know that." The angel replied, smiling. "I just offered now so you were making an informed decision when you finally do make it. Now, who wants dinner? I'm starving."

She strode out of the room, grabbing Damon's hand as she passed and dragging him after her. Stefan wrapped his arm around Elena, and they followed the other couple.

Stefan sat with Elena and Alexei at school, watching them laugh and eat lunch. Suddenly Alexei's smile brightened as Damon approached.

"Hello, love." She said as he kissed her cheek. "And what brings you to school this fine day?"

"I heard a rumor that a strange body appeared in the woods." He said in a low voice. "Our kind of weird."

"So it's starting." Alexei said.

"What do you mean?" Elena asked.

"Well, strange things tend to happen where ever I am." Alexei answered. "That's why I never spend too long in one place. We're gonna have to get used to things like weird bodies showing up."

"Oh great." Damon said, sitting down.

"I could leave, if you prefer?" she said sweetly.

"Over my dead body." He replied.

"Or undead, as the case may be." Elena said, making Alexei laugh.

"So I suppose we're going to have take care of this?" Stefan asked.

"Oh yeah." Alexei said, grinning. "Comes with the territory with being the Earth's caretaker. Gotta fight evil in all its forms. The worse of which is drawn to me. Are you guys up for helping me?

"I've got nothing better to do." Elena said, shrugging with a smile.

"Someone's gotta keep you out of trouble." Stefan added.

Damon took her hand and kissed it.

"For better or for worse." He told her.

Alexei grinned.

"Let's go to work." She said.

A/N: So we're done. Let me know what you think.