Elena gasped as someone whisked her from the foyer as Elijah focused on his hand. Her eyes widened when she found herself curled against Damon's solid body, his hand over her mouth. Her arms slid around his middle and she hugged him tightly with relief. She knew they would come for her. She didn't even care if they weren't supposed to be friends anymore, she had never been so happy to see him in her life. His arms pulled her tightly against him, checking for injuries before slipping something into her hand. Her heart dropped slightly, realizing she was going to have to go face the vampire that compelled her. She shivered but nodded her agreement to Damon. He pressed a hard kiss to her forehead before gently pushing her out of the room.

Elena felt sick to her stomach but she begged Elijah not to hurt her friends. Once he was at the top of the stairs, she threw the grenade at his face, his face sizzling, but just as quickly as the burning started, it stopped and the wounds healed. But Stefan came down the stairs, firing stakes out of his arms. She flinched as Stefan tackled Elijah to the floor and before he could recover, Damon was thrusting a pillar into Eljah's chest and straight into the wall with a satisfying crunch. A smile bloomed on her face as all the tension faded from her body before she trampled down the stairs. Damon took a step toward her, slightly surprised when she flew into his arms. "You came," she whispered.

Damon hugged her tightly for a minute, inhaling the strawberry scent of her hair, before pushing her away, feeling the daggers in him from Stefan. "Course we came," he said smiling. "Took us a little bit but we found you."

"You okay?" Stefan asked, showing every ounce of control to be calm with her. He rested a hand on her shoulder, trying to distract her attention from his brother.

Elena nodded shakily and Damon took a step past her, towards Rose. "Don't hurt her," she said softly. "Please."

Damon's fists clenched. "If you harmed one hair…"

"Damon," Elena said tugging on his arm. "Let's just go. Please." She didn't know why she was feeling sorry for Rose, but the woman was heart broken over Trevor, so Elena had sympathy. Anyone that Katherine ruined, she had sympathy for.

"The car isn't far," Stefan said, gently guiding her toward the door. "Come on."

Elena chewed on her lip as her eyes met Damon's. "You're coming right?" she asked softly, not wanting him to hurt Rose while she was out of the way. Rose could easily take him out. She had a lot of years on him.

"I'll be right behind you," Damon confirmed. "Don't worry."

*(*(*(*(*

Elena changed into her pajamas and dragged a brush through her hair before brushing her teeth. She was happy to be home and safe for the time being and she was beyond tired. She left her bathroom, pausing when she saw Damon sitting on her windowsill. "Hi," she said softly. She remembered the last time he was in her room, and the tragedy that followed but she tried not to let the memory cloud her head too much.

"How are you feeling?" he asked, not moving from his seat.

"Tired," she said honestly. "Thanks for rescuing me." She didn't want him to think that she didn't think about him. It wasn't just Stefan that came to get her. The ride home had been a little uncomfortable but she had laid down in the back seat to relax for the trip. Something was different with Damon and Stefan, but she didn't want to know about it just yet. It might not be any of her business anyways. She watched him closely as he got to his feet and held out her necklace. "I thought that was gone." She didn't realize how much she relied on her necklace until it was gone, however she felt safe with Damon. He would never compel her.

He smiled a little and fastened it around her slender neck. "We need to talk," he said, suddenly serious.

Her face fell, a little saddened that the moment was ruined. "Uh oh," she mumbled.

"So when did you start being Stefan's personal blood bank?" he asked raising an eyebrow.

Her blood froze. "He told you?" she asked. She knew if Damon ever found out he'd flip, in concern for her safety but Stefan had needed her. Damon was bound to find out sooner or later, she was just hoping it wouldn't be now.

"You have to know how dangerous that is," Damon said, folding his arms.

"I can't believe its taken you this long to figure it out," she muttered. "Only did it when you were around."

"I don't need the details," he grumbled.

Her eyes widened and she rested a hand on his arm. "That's not what I mean Damon," she said her cheeks red with embarrassment. What kind of floozy did everyone think she was? "I did it that way incase he lost control." In case Stefan couldn't handle it and she needed to call for help.

"You still should have told me," he said, his face softening. "Or Stefan should have had enough sense to tell me. He could have so easily snapped your neck before I'd be able to get to you."

"You said he needed to go back on the human blood," she pointed out, raising an eyebrow slightly.

"But not yours!" He flared, clenching his jaw not wanting to wake up the rest of her house. She could have sworn she saw the black veins under his eyes for a fraction of a second as he got himself under control. "God have you learned nothing being around us Elena?"

"What difference does it make?" she asked, folding her arms.

Damon rubbed his face and collapsed on the edge of her bed before reaching out to take her hand gently. "Listen to me," he said softly. "I want Stefan strong too, but not at your expense. You know how precious your blood is to him, how good it tastes. With everything that's happening right now, we can't risk him losing control."

Elena squeezed his fingers comfortingly. "He's not anymore, since the break up." This was a serious matter between her and Damon and rather then continue their banter, she decided to just let it go. Damon had been there for her when Stefan had lost control last time. Damon had been the only one there for her.

"I hate to break it to you babe," he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "But you're not broken up. You're like… soul mates or something poetic like that."

Elena sat on the vacant spot next to her bed, staring at the carpet beneath her feet. "I know this is hard for you," she said softly. "I know that you care about me and… I just know its hard for you." She didn't want this to be about Stefan. While she cared for him, she cared about Damon too. She could see the good in him.

Damon shrugged. "I messed up Elena, not you," he said somewhat sadly. "Don't make excuses for what I did."

"I'm not," she said firmly. The memory of her brothers broken body would always be burned in her brain, so would Damon's face when he took an arrow in the back for her, when she told him she used him. They weren't the same people anymore. "But it's different now. I was just angry at you, for good reason. But I did miss you and I wanted us to be friends again." She had always kept her feelings for Damon bottled up so she could be loyal to Stefan, but he wasn't in the picture anymore. But what did that mean for them? "I just need time."

"For?" he asked, his brows creased in confusion.

She could have laughed at how clueless he was to what she was trying to tell him, but it was hard enough for her already. "For us to be more," she admitted. "I don't even know if we can be more than friends but I'm going to need time to figure that out."

Damon tried to ignore the hope that swelled in his chest. "Elena I'll wait as long as you need, but even still, you're my friend and that's enough."

"I know," she said smiling a little.

"You should get some sleep," he said, getting to his feet. He leaned down to kiss her forehead softly. "I'll be close by if you need me."

"Good night Damon," she said fondly.

"Sweet dreams Elena." And he was gone, nothing but a slight breeze against her face. Her fingers rested against her locket as it fell against her chest and she crawled into bed. She snuggled up with her bear and her eyes fluttered closed, a small smile on her face.