Author's notes: Thank you all so much for reading, reviewing and adding this story to your favorites/ alerts! Since there won't be another update before Christmas I wish you all happy holidays!
"I can't believe that they are sleeping right now while Katherine is still on the loose." Stefan said to Elena while he was standing in the doorway to the living room and watching Damon and Bonnie sleeping on the couch.
"Cut them some slack, they are probably exhausted." Elena replied and smiled.
"You're right, but after what just happened we really need to come up with a plan to get rid of Katherine once and for all."
He took Elena's hand in his and lead her upstairs to his room to give his brother and Bonnie some privacy but also to have some on his own with his girlfriend as well.
When Bonnie woke up she found Damon staring at her. She simply loved the way his eyes sparkled when he smiled at her.
"I need to get up and get some blood." Damon said loosening his hold on his girlfriend.
Bonnie looked at him frowning.
"What is wrong?" Damon asked.
"Do you sometimes get the urge to drink my blood?" she inquired hesitantly.
Damon reflected on her question for a moment before answering it.
"As a vampire you always want to drink human blood. And especially when your attracted to someone it can lead into cravings that you have to learn to control. So yes, I would love to drink your blood, but I would never do anything that you're afraid of or that you don't want."
"I remember when you bit me after I've destroyed the crystal. Does it always hurt like this?"
Damon cringed thinking back of that day.
"Not if both of them really want it. And I hope you know that I'm really sorry now for what I've done during that night."
"It's okay, Damon. I guess Emily wasn't that nice either."
The very next day Damon appeared on Bonnie's front porch to pick her up. They wanted to have some coffee together and spend some time alone before meeting with Elena, Stefan and Alaric Saltzman to discuss their proceeding according disposing Katherine. When Bonnie stepped out of the house and was about to walk to the car Damon hold her back.
"I realized something after what happened yesterday." Damon announced and looked seriously at her.
"Damon, I'm really sorry about that. I would never hurt you on purpose." Bonnie replied afraid that he might have reconsidered the whole ordeal and changed his mind.
"I know that and I love you and I'm not angry. It wasn't your fault. But we have to make sure that you won't be compelled again."
Having said that Damon pulled a box out of the inside pocket of his leather jacket and handed it to Bonnie.
"Open it, it's for you." he said when Bonnie just kept looking at him.
She did as told and found a simple but beautiful silver bracelet with a small pendant in the box.
"The pendant is filled with vervain." Damon explained.
"I would love it even without the vervain, it's beautiful." Bonnie exclaimed in awe.
"Where did you get it in that short amount of time? Do you always store some gifts for potential girlfriends in your drawer?" Bonnie teased.
Damon smiled at her joke.
"No, it was my mother's." he eventually replied.
"Oh my God. I'm sorry. I don't know what to say and I'm not sure if I can really accept it." Bonnie said embarrassed.
"Please, keep it. I really want you to have it and I can't imagine a more suitable person to wear it than you."
Bonnie threw her arms around the vampire and embraced him tightly.
"Thank you so much." she whispered into his chest.
"You're welcome." Damon answered and placed a kiss on the top of her head before resting his chin on it.
"We could drink our coffee here at my house." Bonnie eventually suggested and looked up.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I want you to come in."
The small smile that was always present on Damon's face whenever Bonnie was around became much wider when he followed Bonnie into the house. The young witch got the coffeemaker ready and prepared two mugs. When she poured some milk into her cup Damon approached her from behind, wrapped his arms around her and started to nibble on her earlobe. Bonnie giggled and turned around.
"The coffee is ready." she announced.
"Who cares." Damon mumbled and captured her lips with his.
Bonnie closed her eyes and let him deepen the kiss. She found herself getting lost but eventually braced herself knowing that it wasn't the right time and broke the kiss. Damon pouted in a playful manner and looked at her with puppy dog eyes.
"You're truly impossible, Damon Salvatore." Bonnie laughed.
"Tell me something that I don't know."
The coffee was cold when they finally sat down to drink it but neither of them cared. The distraction that had been responsible for the cooling down of the once hot beverage had simply been too enjoyable to regret it.
As Jenna and Jeremy were both out and Katherine wouldn't be able to come in they had decided to meet at Elena's house, and when Damon and Bonnie finally arrived the others were already gathered in the living room.
"Okay, let me recap the whole situation. For all we know Katherine returned because of Stefan. We have no idea where she's staying, she's older and therefore stronger than you and she's causing trouble until Stefan decides to break up with Elena and runs back into her loving arms." Alaric said sarcastically.
"You got it." Damon replied dryly, went over to the stereo and turned the radio on.
"We're not here to party." Elena said slightly annoyed and attempted to turn it off again.
"I know, I just want to make sure that Katherine won't be able to eavesdrop in case she followed us." Damon explained.
"We have to find a way to lock her up. Damon and me could confront her then. And therefore we will need your weapons." Stefan said looking at the history teacher.
"I could do the spell that locked the vampires up in the tomb." Bonnie offered.
"No offense, but do you think you're strong enough?" Stefan inquired.
"I've practiced a lot, so yes, I think that I'm strong enough now. But nevertheless we should give it a try with you or Damon first."
"I'll do it. I trust you, but in case you won't be able to lift the spell again you should lock me up in my bedroom." Damon smirked.
"And where do you intend to lock her up?" Alaric inquired.
"At the boarding house." Stefan answered.
"But how are we going to lure her?" Elena asked.
"She's playing games the whole time, I would say it's about time that we start to play, too. But this time we make the rules." Damon stated.
"Care to share your ideas with us?" Stefan asked.
"Katherine is watching and following us. And I bet if you and Elena would perform a little breakup-scene at the Grill or elsewhere in public it won't take long until she shows up. "
"Do you think she's going to believe it?" Elena asked.
"That's not the important thing, she will definitely get curious and it won't take long until she's going to visit Stefan."
Eventually they all agreed to the plan and while Stefan and Elena were discussing their upcoming performance, Bonnie practiced the spell with Damon and Alaric went home to get his weapons and bring them to the boarding house. Since they didn't want to waste anymore time Elena and Stefan drove to the Grill where Stefan broke up with Elena telling her that he didn't want anything happen to her or her family. Elena was so stressed that the tears came easily and she was convinced that their act had been believable. Still crying she headed home where she wanted to meet with Bonnie. The young witch hadn't been idle. In the meantime she had cast her spell and when Stefan returned he went straight into the living room knowing that he wouldn't be able to leave it for the time being. Though he didn't plan on either. He would wait there until Katherine would come. And just as Damon had predicted it, it didn't take long. In the dead of the same night the front door of the boarding house was being opened by the female vampire. She went straight into the living room where Stefan was sitting in front of the fireplace.
"Hello Stefan. How are you doing, love?" she asked in a seductive way.
"Stop playing games and tell me what you want."
"I want to be with you, Stefan."
"But why now? After almost 150 years."
"Why? Because of that little bitch called Elena. I was always watching you over the years. And there's never been a girl you were interested in. But then I noticed that you are actually in love with the Gilbert girl and I knew I had to interfere, because I realized that we belong together. I love you, Stefan."
"You're not capable to love anybody else than yourself." Stefan spat out.
"Are you seriously rejecting me?"
"I know that you're used to always getting what you want. But not this time."
"Don't be so sure about this. I know that you like living in Mystic Falls again and that you have a couple of friends here. From now on they should keep looking over their shoulders. And you won't be able to protect all of them at the same time."
"Save those threats, it won't be necessary to protect them." Stefan told her.
"What did you do?" Katherine asked sensing that something was wrong.
"The more important question is what else we are going to do." Damon stated and also entered the living room.
Katherine was alarmed and attempted to leave but jumped back when she made contact with the invisible barrier. The female vampire hissed angrily and bared her teeth. Stefan took advantage of the fact that Katherine was currently focused on Damon and pulled out one of the vervain filled darts. He hurled the sharp and dangerous object towards Katherine and managed to hit her in the back. Katherine immediately pulled it out and turned around.
"Nice try, but I'm a lot stronger than you think. This amount of vervain doesn't affect me at all." she taunted.
"We've already assumed that. It was merely a distraction anyway." Stefan said calmly.
Katherine gave him a questioning look though when it finally dawned on her it was already too late. As soon as she had turned her back towards Damon, the older Salvatore had pulled out a stake that he pushed into her back right into her heart. The only noise that could be heard was a gasp from her and then everything went quiet. The moment Katherine's withered body fell to the floor Stefan and Damon looked at each other both of them swallowing hard. She was really dead. They were both relieved that it was finally over but it was still hard for Damon to realize that his reason to live for for the past 150 years was gone.
"We did it." Stefan eventually said.
"I need a drink." Damon simply announced and went over to the bar.
He didn't waste his time with filling a glass but lead the bottle to his mouth and took a large sip.
"She and her manipulating doings were the reason that we hated each other, Stefan." he eventually said looking at his younger brother.
"You used past tense." Stefan noticed.
"Observant as always. I don't know when it happened and of course I can only speak for myself, but I've realized that I don't hate you anymore."
"Neither do I."
"I drink to that." Damon grinned and raised the bottle before taking another sip.
"And let's never get a girl between us again." he added.
"It's a great feeling knowing that I have my big brother back. I guess even vampires need their brothers sometimes." Stefan said and approached Damon.
"God, this is getting way too gooey for my liking." Damon sighed but nevertheless pulled Stefan into a brotherly hug.
After having recovered from his surprise Stefan smiled and happily hugged him back.