Chapter Sixteen - Done Running

Francesca looked up at Ethan in disbelief, she couldn't believe after all these years, thinking he was dead, he was now standing right in front of her as a vampire.

"Ethan?" She whispered his name again.

"Yes, yes, it's really me." He answered, as he helped Henry to stood up from the floor.

"But, how?" She asked, as she stood up from the floor as well and faced the two men.

"I can answer that." Henry said smugly. "I always make sure I have a plan B."

"Plan B?" Francesca asked, confused.

"Why, yes, see, I always knew you would run away from me at some point. So I turned Ethan, to be my right hand man and to keep an eye on you. He knows you better than you know yourself." Henry explained.

Francesca looked over at Ethan in surprise, she couldn't believe he had spied on her, her whole life.

"I know what you're thinking." Ethan said, as he looked at her with an evil grin. "You're thinking, 'I can't believe he has been spying on me', am I right?"

Francesca turned her head away, as Ethan began to laugh at her. She couldn't believe this was the same man she had loved and married all those years ago.

"Okay, enough chit-chat, now that you're here, you know what to do." Henry said, as he handed the wooden stake to Ethan then took a few steps back.

Ethan looked down at the stake, then looked up at Francesca before saying,"You have no idea, how long I have waited to do this."

She took a deep breath and tried not to let her fear show, as Ethan slowly walked toward her then began to walk around her. He leaned toward her to whisper in her ear,"Don't worry, this will be over quickly."

As he walked back in front of her, she closed her eyes, as she waited for the stake to pierce her heart.

She didn't have to wait long until she heard the stake plunge into a heart, only it wasn't her heart.

She snapped her eyes open and gasped in surprise when she saw that Ethan had stuck the stake into Henry's heart.

Henry gasped in pain, as he looked into Ethan's eyes, he couldn't believe his 'right hand man' had just betrayed him. Ethan never took his eyes off of Henry till he fell to the floor dead, only then did he look over at Francesca's surprised face.

"Wh-What? What's going on?" She stuttered.

"I'm sorry if I scared you." Ethan said sincerely.

"B-But I thought-"

"I was never planning on killing you." Ethan said, interrupting her.

"You were tricking him?" She asked, as she pointed to Henry's dead body.

"Yes, yes I was." Ethan said with a smile. "I only pretended to be on his side all these years so I could kill him when the time was right."

"Oh." She mouth, as she took a quick step back when he took a step toward her.

"It's okay, I'm not going to hurt you, I promise." He reassured her, as he held up his hands in surrender.

Francesca took a deep breath, then sighed quietly, as he wrapped his arms around her and held her tight; something he had dreamed of doing since the two were pulled apart so many years ago.

"God, it is so good to see you again." He whispered, as he rested a hand on the back of her head.

"So you didn't mean what you said before?" She asked him, after the hug was over.

"About what?" He asked, confused.

"About following me for years?"

"No... well, I tried, but you're a hard person to find sometimes." He said with a laugh.

"Yeah I've gotten good at running and hiding." She said, sadly.

"Not anymore, now you are free. You can do whatever you want and go where ever you want to go." He pointed out. "So where are you going to go?"

She looked down at the floor and smiled as Damon crossed her mind. She looked up at Ethan as she said,"Home. I'm going home."

"Where's home?" He asked.

"Mystic Falls." She said smiling.

"Oh, going to that Salvatore guy?"

"How do you know about him?" She asked, confused.

"Just cause I couldn't find you, doesn't mean I don't know what you've been doing." He said quietly.

"Oh." She breathed out. "I'm sorry, Ethan."

"Oh, no, don't worry about it." He said, as he waved her off. "What we had was a long time ago, but we've both moved on."

"I'll always love you, Ethan, you'll always have a place in my heart but..."

"You love Damon." He finished for her.

"Yeah, yeah, I do." She said smiling.

"Then go to him." Ethan said, as he rested his hands on her shoulders. "He's a lucky man."

"Thank you, Ethan." She said, as she quickly hugged him, telling him to keep in touch.

She turned to head for the front door, then quickly turned back around. She pointed to Henry's body before asking,"Hey, what are we going to do with him?"

"Don't worry, I'll take care of it."

"Just make sure- make sure he is really dead." She quietly said, remembering she was tricked before.

"I will." He promised.

She flashed him a small smile, as she whispered,"Good-bye, Ethan."

"Good-bye, Francesca." He said back, as he sadly watched her walk out of his life.

It was only after he heard her car leave that he whispered to the empty room,"I'll never stop loving you."

- (o0o) -

Damon sighed as he opened the front door of the Salvatore mansion, he quickly walked inside then slammed the door shut. He had been searching for a couple of days, but still haven't been able to find Francesca.

"Hey, any luck?" Stefan asked, as he walked down the stairs and looked at his brother.

"No, I'm still nowhere close to finding her." Damon said sadly.

"Maybe you should go up to your room and rest, I know you must be tired." Stefan suggested.

"I'll rest when I find her."

"Come on, brother, just a small nap." Stefan pushed. "I'll make some calls while you sleep, if I find something I'll come get you."

"Alright fine." Damon said with a sigh. He hated to admit it, but his brother was right, he was exhausted.

"Have a good nap." Stefan said with a knowing smile, as he watched Damon walk up the stairs.

Damon took off his jacket as he opened his bedroom door. He threw the jacket across the room as he glanced down at the floor and took a few steps further into the room.

When he was almost to the bed he finally looked up, his eyes widened in surprise when he saw Francesca sitting in the middle of his bed holding a small white kitten.

"Ces." He whispered in disbelief. After all the hours he spent searching for her, he couldn't believe she was right in front of him again.

"Hi, Damon." She said smiling.

"Wh-Where were you? I've been looking all over." He said, as he walked closer to the bed.

She sat the kitten down on the bed before rising to her knees and moving toward the edge of the bed to stand in front of him. "It doesn't matter right now."

"God, I can't believe you are here." He said, as he laid his hands on either side of her face. "I'm so sorry about everything."

"Don't worry about it, none of that matters. This is all that matters." She said, as she leaned forward and pressed her lips against his for a tender kiss.

"I love you, Damon Salvatore." She said, after the kiss.

"I love you too, Francesca Daniels." He said smiling.

The two kissed a few more times, before he pulled back and said,"Just one question?"

"What?"

"What is that?" He asked, as he pointed to the small white kitten that had curled up on his bed.

"That is our baby kitten." She said smiling. "I found her all alone in the streets. I figured we could name her and raise her together."

"You know, cats can live for a very long time, you going to be around for that?"

"That is the plan." She said. She shot him a look, as she added,"If it's okay with you?"

"It's more than okay with me." He said, as he folded his arms around her waist.

"Good, cause I'm not going anywhere. I'm done running." She said with a smile, as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

He leaned toward her then stopped when his lips were only inches from hers. "You sure? Cause if you're going to run, you better do it now. If I wake up in the morning and you're gone, I'll hunt you down and kill you myself."

She laughed then said,"I'm not leaving you ever again. I promise."

As he closed the gap and pressed his lips against hers for a passionate kiss, she couldn't stop the smile that came upon her face. For years all she did was run and hide from her feelings, but now she couldn't imagine being anywhere other than in Damon's arms and like she promised him, she was never leaving again.

Now she was calm and happy. For once in her life she was finally done running scared. Now she was standing still.

- (o0o) -

a/n - Well there it is, the end of this story. I really had a blast writing it and i hope you all enjoyed it. I purposely didn't name the kitten, but if any of you wanted to suggest a name i would love to hear it. I want to give big thanks to everyone who read this story, favorite it and left reviews. Each and every review meant the world to me. Thank you all so so much!