Hi Everyone! I just want to apologize for how long I made you wait, if you're still reading lol. But I wanted to wrap this story up and not leave you without an ending. This is the second to last chapter...and it's nice and long! I hope you enjoy.

Chapter 39: Call My Bluff

Two Days Later:

Damon stared at the ceiling of drab motel room, his mind clear for the first time in months. There was no guilt, no pain, no suffering; but there was also no compassion, no happiness...no love. He wasn't sure which was worse, but it didn't matter either way. Nothing mattered.

The only sounds in the room beside the hum of the mini fridge, was the hitched mewls and whimpers of the mauled girl on the bed beside him. He had been feeding off her for days, waiting until she was at the brink of death before healing her and starting all over again. He didn't bother with compelling her to be unafraid, or to stay calm or even not to struggle. Her only orders were not to leave.

"You ever wonder why motels put up this tacky wallpaper. Hm?" he asked turning his head to her. "No one likes it...hell, I'm sure there have been many poor souls who have blown their brains out because of it." He chuckled to himself. "So why do it?"

Her tear-filled doe eyes stared at him in fear. "Are you gonna kill me? Because if you are, just get it over with."

He pouted. "Well way to take the fun out of it. We're bonding."

Her lips trembled, her body shaking due to blood loss and her voice was hoarse from her screams for help that never came. "What am I doing here? What do you want with me?"

He sighed dramatically, putting an arm around her shoulders and pulling her in close to his side effortlessly, despite her resistance. "I'm bored...and when I get bored I kill things. I've done a whole lot of that in the last couple of days, and it just doesn't seem to do the trick anymore. So I'm trying something a little different." He smiled devilishly at her. "Call all your friends." His pupils retracted as he looked into her eyes. "We're gonna have a party."

...

"I'm getting nowhere with this." Bonnie grumbled tossing the grimoire on the coffee table.

Caroline sat down beside her. "Why isn't the locator spell working?"

The witch shook her head. "It could be a number of things. He could know a witch that's doing a counter spell, the spell might not be specific enough, or..." She didn't want to say aloud what the other option was, because in all honesty it was the worst case scenario. "I don't know..."

Caroline's brows furrowed deep on her forehead. "You don't think he's dead do you?" she whispered glancing at Elena staring blankly out the window, as if expecting him to walk up the driveway of the Boarding House.

Bonnie bit her lip. "I hope not."

"Maybe it's you." Elijah uttered smoothly, folding his hands neatly and precisely in his lap. He crossed his leg over his knee and gracefully leaned back into seat. "Perhaps you're not strong enough, Ms. Bennett."

His tone was even, but came across snide and condescending. She glared in response. "It's a locator spell, Elijah...I've done it a million times."

"That may be true...but magic has its consequences."

His words pulled Elena out of her trance. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"She's been using a lot of magic lately, and from my mother's grimoire no less...she was a powerful woman. Those spells aren't for amateurs. It's draining you."

"I'm fine." Bonnie disputed.

Elijah nodded. "Right...so the nose bleeds are normal then?"

Elena shot a concerned look at her friend. "Nose bleeds? Bonnie...what is he talking about?" When her only response was silence, Elena pressed on. "Bonnie!"

"It's nothing, Elena; I'm fine." Bonnie distracted herself by flipping through the grimoire. "Nothing in here is working. I'm going to grab a few things from home." She grabbed her sweater and purse off the arm of the couch and rushed out the door.

Elijah stood gracefully and helped himself to the wet bar. He reached for the half full canteen of bourbon but was promptly stopped.

"Not that one...not the bourbon." Elena's voice was a mere whisper, but he could hear the pain in her voice like a warning shot. He carefully placed it back down and opted for the scotch instead.

Caroline sighed loudly. "So what now...Bonnie was pretty much our only hope at finding Damon." She bit her lip. "We can't let her use all this magic if it's hurting her. There has to be another way."

Elijah took his time, savouring the taste of the scotch on his tongue before speaking. "There may be...but it won't be easy. Elena, you need to decide what bringing Damon back is worth to you."

She crossed her arms over her chest defensively. "What does that even mean? It's worth everything. I think you of all people know what it's like to lose the love of your life. What lengths you'd go to, to have them back." She raised her brow in challenge.

He was impressed by her tenacity. For such a young woman, she had an abundance of devotion and loyalty, to which she fought for to the end. "There is a chance we can restore Damon's humanity…but you must put your trust in my hands." Elijah held out his hand in front of her, and Elena immediately knew what he was asking for. Her eyes met with his and they exchanged a silent conversation.

Caroline glanced back and forth between them; staring each other down almost testing each other to see who would break first. "Meaning?" She drawled, standing carefully. "What are we getting ourselves into, exactly?"

"Okay." Elena agreed simply. "But I need you to promise me Jenna and Jeremy will be safe. I don't want them getting involved." She held his gaze hoping her understood the implication behind her words. If Jeremy knew what was about to happen, he would only be putting himself in harms way trying to protect her.

Elijah nodded once. "Consider it done."

Elena's slender fingers found the clasp of the thin chain around her neck, and she quickly dropped it into Elijah's awaiting palm.

Caroline held out a cautious hand. "Whoa, wait a minute Lena! You're just going to jump head first into something you have no idea about? You are not thinking rationally." She swiftly crossed a path to stand in front of her friend. "Please...for the love of God Elena...think about this."

Elena squared up to her friend. "I have thought about this, Caroline. What would you do if it were your mom?"

The blonde shook her head in dismissal. "That's different; she's my mom, she's family!"

"Damon is my family!" She interrupted.

...

Bonnie entered her house silently as to not wake her grams. It was close to midnight and she was sure to be asleep. She didn't step three feet into the dark house before the light in the living room turned on.

She turned around quickly and forced a smile. "Hey Grams...I didn't think you'd still be up."

Sheila pushed herself out of the arm chair to her feet gingerly. "I got a call today."

Bonnie's heart leaped in her chest. "Oh yeah?" She feigned ignorance. "From who?"

"I think you know."

The young witch shrugged. "Not a clue. I'm in a bit of a rush...can we talk about it later?" she headed for her room, but Sheila held her hand out, which halted her granddaughter in her tracks.

"We talk about this now, Bonnie." The dead stare of disappointment cut through Bonnie like a blade. "How could you? Your own mother?"

Bonnie dropped her feigned indifference. "Mother? Abby is not my mother."

"She gave birth to you!"

"She left me!" Bonnie screamed back with tears in her eyes. "It doesn't matter where she went or what her reasons were...she left me behind. Her coming back after ten years and calling herself my mother does not make her my mom."

Sheila knew she couldn't contest with that. She knew how heartbroken her granddaughter was when Abby skipped town all those years ago, and the resentment that continued to build each year when Bonnie's calls and letters went unanswered. To the young witch, she was abandoned by her mother, and left with her barely-there father. But Sheila knew that the reason behind Abby leaving was more about protecting her family than abandoning them.

"You stole her magic, sucked memories from her brain and locked her in her room for days. Just what do you think you're doing Bonnie Bennett!"

"I'm trying to help my friends!"

"By unleashing one of the most dangerous vampires on this Earth? You have no idea what you are doing, Bonnie; magic is not something to be toyed with!" The vein on Sheila's forehead bulged through her anger.

Bonnie narrowed her eyes. "I know what I'm doing, Grams. I'm stronger than you think. Now let me go." She tried to break free of the invisible force that was holding her but was unsuccessful.

Sheila offered her granddaughter a sad smile. "I'll let you go, sweetheart. But I'm not giving you back your magic." The surprise on the young witch's face was laced with a rage she'd never seen before. "Not until you're ready to use it properly."

"You stole my magic?!"

"I had to. You've been abusing your power. That's not what we do!"

"Using magic has gotten us all out of life or death situations, Grams. I'm not abusing it!" She argued.

"You would have never been facing life or death situations if it wasn't for you dabbling into things you know nothing about; sending Elena to 1964? You were barely floating feathers before you attempted that spell, and you almost got her killed!"

"Oh so this is my fault?" Bonnie shook her head in disbelief. "Whatever..." she ran up to her room, slamming the door hard behind her.

...

The Next Day:

Elena and Caroline sat in the corner booth of the Grill, scanning the floor for Bonnie. She had asked them to meet her there at noon and it was nearly 1pm. They were concerned when she never returned last night and were eager to find out what she'd come up with on locating Damon.

Elena stared at her phone, willing a call or text message to come through. Elijah had left early this morning to meet with one of his contacts, and she'd heard nothing from him either.

"Still nothing?" Caroline asked. "Do you think he bailed on us?"

Elena sighed heavily and tucked her phone in her purse. "He wouldn't. He'll call. Where is Bonnie?"

A figure came to stand in from of their booth. "Hi Elena! Caroline!" The girl smiled brightly.

"Hi Dana." Elena muttered as politely as she could.

"Did you guys hear about that big party tonight?"

"Ugh...not now, Dana." Caroline brushed her off with the roll of her eyes.

The brunette shot her friend a look. "I don't think we're going." She stated hoping to put the unwanted conversation to an end.

Dana frowned, seemingly confused. "Oh, I just figured because it was at your boyfriend's house, you'd be there." She shrugged, about to walk away.

Elena grabbed her arm quickly. "What? The party's at the Boarding House?" She shot a concerned look to Caroline who looked equally as worried.

Dana smiled widely. "Yeah! The whole school knows about it. I think even some college freshman are going."

"Who told you about this party?" Caroline pressed, her pupils contracting as she stared into Dana's eyes.

"I don't know..."

"You can go now." Caroline dismissed. After the girl walked away, she continued. "Well I guess we don't need to go looking for Damon anymore."

"Well that's convenient, because I'm all magic'd out." Bonnie plopped down into the seat beside Caroline. "What was that about?"

"Apparently we're having a party." Caroline stated with a false smile.

Bonnie raised a brow. "Don't really feel like now is the time, Care."

"Damon's having a party." Elena mumbled. "Tonight...at the Boarding House."

"Well that doesn't sound good. What are we gonna do about it." Bonnie questioned.

Elena shrugged. "We're gonna go."

Caroline's jaw nearly hit the table. "You're kidding, right? It's obviously a trap!"

"I know...but we have to go. We've spent all this time looking for him, and now he's coming to us. We're going." Elena turned to Bonnie. "What did you come up with?"

Bonnie huffed, and slammed her back to the booth's back rest. "Nothing. My magic is blocked. Grams thinks I've been using my magic irresponsibly." She decided not to tell her friends why her grandmother took her magic; the last thing she needed was them siding with her.

Caroline laughed at the irony. "So now we're walking into an obvious trap without a plan. And if Elijah bails we're right back where we started."

"Elijah won't bail. He'll follow through. I trust him." Elena assured confidently.

Bonnie and Caroline shared a subtle side glance at each other while Elena pulled out her phone starting at the blank screen, willing it to ring. Caroline was starting to have doubts in enlisting Elijah's help and Bonnie was hesitant to get into something she herself couldn't get them out of, but Elena was so certain that they could save Damon. As much as they wished to believe that as the truth...neither were convinced that it was possible.

...

Elena stood in a small clearing in the woods not far from the remains of Fell's Church. She remembered Damon saving her from the tomb beneath it what felt like eons ago. So much has changed. She didn't even know that man anymore.

She wasn't completely naive in thinking that she may never get him back, but she had to have hope that, someday, she would, otherwise what was the point? So she waited for Elijah to meet her with, hopefully, the answer to saving Damon.

"I haven't kept you long, have I?" Elena spun around at the sound of his gently tone. She hadn't heard him approach.

"I just got here. Well I have some good news." Elijah gestured his hand with the roll of his wrist, urging her to continue. "Damon's coming to us."

He arched a brow. "Bonnie managed to locate him?"

"No. Her Gram's cut off her magic. Long story." She waved off, "Damon is throwing a party tonight at the Boarding House. It's obviously a way of getting our attention, which means he's probably about to do something really stupid."

Elijah cracked a half smirk. "And I assume you want to attend this party?"

"I have to! He compelled half the town to show up. If I don't go people will die." She exclaimed.

"If you go, you will die." His answer was evenly toned; almost disinterested, but the way he shifted his weight and the clench in his jaw proved that he was bothered by this.

Elena sighed. "He doesn't want kill me. He would have done that by now if he did. Honestly, knowing Damon, this Damon, if he really wanted to hurt me he'd just let me live. He knows I'd sacrifice myself for any of my friends...the real punishment would be having to live with watching them die."

There was a tense moment, where they shared an understanding. Elijah always felt that he and Damon shared many of the same traits, the same traits that were passed down the Brethren Lineage; loyalty, passion, gumption...but for a moment, he saw the same traits as that of his brother, Nicklaus.

"So, what's the plan…did you come up with anything?"

"I'm afraid I can't share that with you Elena."

Elena's eyebrows furrowed and her jaw clenched as she tried to hold in her emotions. Rage, fear, heartache...they flooded to the surface at once, as if they all were fighting to be released first. "What...why not?" Anger seemed to be the one to present itself prominently. When he left her question hanging in the air, she continued. "Can't you just compel him to flip the switch?"

Elijah had the decency to look remorseful. "It's not something that's been done before, successfully. Unfortunately, it goes much deeper than that."

"What do you mean?"

"His humanity is a part of him, Elena. My will has no power there. It is ultimately his choice."

Scoffing, she threw her arms in the air. "So now what?" She paced the ground in front of her. "We just sit and wait? I can't do that, Elijah." She pleaded.

"Go to the party. Drink with your friends." He urged, and her response showed she wasn't too impressed.

"How can I possibly have fun at a time like this?! People could die!" she exclaimed painfully; the words getting caught in her throat. She was holding back the truth from even herself. People will die, people have died…and Damon was the one who did it. Yet, she didn't want to have to see it first hand.

"Let him see you there enjoying yourself. The more you pull him in the farther he'll run." He tucked a hand into the pocket of his slacks. "I'll handle the rest."

"I don't like how evasive you're being." She commented suspiciously. From her memories of Tatya and from her time in Mississippi, she'd known Elijah to be trust worthy, open and loyal, but now he was being neutral and mysterious. His usual candor had vanished and she was having a hard time reading what his intentions were.

Elijah closed the gap between them and placed his palms firmly on her shoulders. "I will protect you at all costs. You have my word." His eyes locked fiercely on hers. "So you should go to the party…drink with your friends." He paused, watching her pupils dilate. "You don't need to worry about Damon. I'll take care of everything."

"I'm not worried," She mindlessly echoed. "It'll be fun…"

Moments later he was gone, and Elena made her way back to her car. Feeling a slight sting on the skin of her shoulder, she smacked it, looking at her palm for the mosquito.

People milled about all over the boarding House. Red cups littered majority of the surfaces, and music filtered through every room. It looked like any other high school party, but only a select few knew better.

Caroline surveyed the room cautiously; her ears peels for any sign of Damon and her senses subtly searching for spilled blood. "This is weird."

Bonnie sighed. "The fact that we're waiting for Damon to come kill everyone?" She stated sarcastically, covering up and deflecting the range of anger she was feeling. She had no magic, her family wouldn't help her, and she couldn't help her friends. Bonnie didn't want to admit that she felt guilty. What Grams said was starting to make her skin itch with discomfort.

Caroline rolled her eyes. "Besides the obvious…" She glanced around again her arms spread out. "What's weird, is the fact that its been 3 hours…and he's not even here!"

Bonnie nodded in agreement. Her eyes narrowed curiously as something caught her eye. "And what's weirder…Elena seems to be having the time of her life. Guess that makes one of us." She mumbled under her breath.

Caroline's jaw dropped. "Are you kidding me right now!" She stormed over grabbing Elena by the hand and pulling her down off the table she was dancing on. "What the actual Hell are you doing, Elena."

She shrugged finishing what was left in her cup. "I'm having fun! You should join me." She moved to get back up on the table, but Caroline's firm grip and stern glare held her back. "Look…the harder I try make Damon flip the switch, the farther he's going to run from me. Maybe if he sees I can have a little fun without him, it'll hurt. And that's something." She pulled her wrist from Caroline's grip to scratch her bare shoulder, getting rid of the itch. "I'm going to the basement to get more ice."

"Wait!" She pulled Elena close and whispered in her ear. "What's happening with Elijah?" Caroline hated being stuck in the dark. She wasn't satisfied until she had all the information possible.

"He said he'd take care of everything."

Caroline rolled her eyes, and began to question her friend further, but two guys fumbled to the ground beside them in the middle of a bloody fight. More people seemed to surround the area, urging the match to continue. Caroline took it upon herself to try and pull them apart and put an end to the fight, but they continued to punch around her. Glancing around for Elena, she spotted the top on her head bobbing through the sea of people.

"This isn't right." She mumbled to herself.

Elena weaved and pushed her way through the crowd, making her way to the basement door. Her heart fluttered in a way that was more than familiar. He was here. Her steady hand turned the handle, with no fear. She walked down the steps slowly, aware of her surroundings. She flipped the lid of the cooler and her hands shot to her mouth to muffle her scream. The body of some poor girl was stuffed inside; her body covered in purple-blue crescent shaped bite marks showing darkly in contrast to the lifeless grey pigment of her skin. Elena shut it quickly and turned around to empty her stomach in the corner, placing her hand on the wall in front of herself to keep steady.

Taking a moment to clean herself up, she reached for the phone in her back pocket.

"Sorry you had to see that…" a voice rumbled from the darkness. "Actually…I'm really not." A chuckle followed.

Stunned by the broken silence, the phone slipped from Elena's fingers and fell to the ground. "You did this?" Her eyes scanned the dark for him but she was unable to make out his shape.

"You seem surprised." Her head whipped around to the sound of his voice. He seemed to be everywhere. She slowly lowered herself to reach for the phone. "Don't do that." He chastised.

She rose, her eyes darting around trying to place where he was watching her from. Elena continued, feigning ignorance. "Not really." She stated nonchalantly. "Especially after that parting gift you left for me…thanks for that." Unfortunately, the last few words were hard to swallow, and caught in her throat.

He laughed again. "Did you like it? I did it just for you." He cooed in an eerily haunting tone.

She ignored the bile that forced its way up her esophagus again and deflected the comment. "So, are you going to sit in the dark all night, or were you planning on joining the party?" She took slow careful steps toward his voice.

"Who says I haven't. Just because you can't see me, doesn't mean I can't see you." She didn't like the sound of his voice now. There was something different in it that made her feel uneasy. This wasn't the Damon she knew…she wasn't even convinced he was in there. Suddenly her heart pounded, banging against the inside of her chest painfully, as if trying to force its way out. It reflected how she felt in this moment. "Are you scared?" He taunted. "Have I finally struck fear in the heart of the selfless martyr Elena Gilbert?"

"I'm not scared of you Damon." She stated convincingly.

"I guess not." His voice got closer. "But then again…" he appeared behind her, his fingers slithering from around her back up her torso; his arms locking around her like a snake, his nose tracing a path from her shoulder, up the length of her neck to her waves of coconut scented hair. "I wasn't buying that little dance you were putting on up there either." He whispered in her ear, his body swaying gently with hers. Her struggles were no match for his grip and only made him tighten his hold.

"You were watching me? That's not creepy at all." She grunted, tossing and turning. "Let me go Damon!"

"I thought this was what you wanted." He taunted further.

She sighed and stopped fighting, having lost some of her energy. "Not like this." She whispered sadly. "I don't like you like this." Her chest heaved, winded from her squirming and short of breath from his forearm crossing her breast plate. "I can't breathe." She forced out.

Damon ignored her. "Where's your necklace?" His tone was sharp and demanding.

"I don't have it." She answered honestly.

He flipped her around to face him, but still firmly in his grip. His blue eyes collided with hers for the first time, and she couldn't help but gasp by how empty they were. His once endless cerulean ocean blue eyes were now as dark as midnight, and she fell into his thrall. "Where is your necklace?" He demanded again.

"I gave it to Elijah." She closed her eyes, immediately regretting her answer, although there was nothing she could do to stop it.

Every muscle in Damon's body tightened, and it rippled through the woman in his arms. He ignored her whimper and continued his interrogation. "Now why would you do that?"

"Because I trust him."

Damon cocked his head, wheels starting to turn. "Why are you even talking to Elijah, Elena? What are you two planning?"

She shook her head quickly. "I'm not planning anything. This was your party remember."

He pushed her back hard against the wall, the rock biting into her skin. "I'm going to ask you again," he uttered slowly. "What is Elijah up to?"

She looked him dead in the eyes and answered honestly. "I don't know, Damon. Compel it out of me if you don't believe me… but I promise I'm telling the truth."

He let out a ragged sigh and let him fingered trace the side of her cheek, as he had done many times before. Suddenly, those same hands wrapped around her throat, and squeezed mildly as to only apply an uncomfortable amount of pressure. "Then why does he have my mother's necklace?"

Elena studied him carefully, her face red and a bulging vein present on her forehead. "Why do you care?" she wheezed. "Nothing matters anymore right?" her eyes darted to the cooler. "That girl…she doesn't matter. Three people you killed; they don't matter. I'm sure there were more too, wasn't there?" she rambled on, unable to stop the words from tumbling out.

He snarled, his voice a low rumble, his face only inches from hers. "I told you to never take it off."

She couldn't help the laugh that ripped at her throat. "Well judging by the hand around my neck, I don't really matter either. So, what's the difference?" His grip loosened and eventually dropped. Elena's hands instantly rubbed the tender area. "Is it because it's your mother's necklace?" she prodded gently.

"Stop." He stepped back, putting distance between them but she was quick to fill the space.

"I'm never going to stop Damon." She put her hands on his chest. "I'm never going to stop fighting for you…fighting for us. Please…just come back to me, okay?" she looked up at him with tears in her eyes. Her fingers were tracing patterns on his shirt, and her whole body trembled, both terrified and anxious for his response.

His hand held hers to his chest. "There is no us Elena…" He let her hands fall to her sides abruptly. "Stop wasting your breath."

Upstairs, Caroline was at a loss. Everyone was fighting; the girls were pulling each others hair and throwing objects at their spontaneous rivals, and the guys were punching and shoving each other into the ground. "What the hell is going on right now!?" She yelled pushing her way threw the crowd. She grabbed a girl winding back a swing. "Stop fighting, go home and pretend this day never happened." She rambled quickly. She was about to move on to continue compelling the students, but Caroline's words did nothing to sway her. Instead, the blonde vampire received a slap to the face. "Seriously?" With a quick headbutt, the girl crumbled to the ground. She glanced around at the mess around her, Bonnie was around somewhere probably fighting her own battles and Elena was missing in action. "Damon." She grumbled, knowing it could only be his doing. This house brawl had Damon written all over it.

"So that's it?" Elena watched as her once lover turned his back on her. "We're done? You don't care about me anymore?" The tears pooled in her eyes and she didn't bother trying to wipe the away.

Damon chuckled sarcastically. "I don't care about anything anymore."

She took a cautious step closer. "You don't have to pretend with me…" She took another step when he did nothing to halt her. "Does it bother you that I gave Elijah my necklace? Was is because it belonged to your mother?" he stayed silent but the muscles in his back contracted. "I know that she was special to you."

A piercing ringing echoed loudly against the stone walls of the basement. It was the distracted Damon needed.

"Well speak of the devil…" he snatched her phone off the gravel floor and answering in a chipper tone. "Elena's Phone, Evil Dead speaking."

"Just the man I was hoping to speak with." Elena could barely make out the words on the other end of the phone.

Damon raised a brow and shot a look at Elena. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Perhaps this is a conversation better had in person."

The younger vampire was instantly on alert, scanning the room. "Great…when?"

"How about now?" He appeared from behind a wall near the back of the basement, the phone still placed against his ear.

Elena scrambled to catch the phone that Damon threw in her direction and shoved it into her back pocket. She tried to slowly slink away from the tension pulling between the two vampires like a bungie cord, but Damon's hard glare stopped her in her tracks. "What the hell is this?" He demanded.

"I've come to make a deal with you Damon." Elijah slipped his cell phone into the inside breast pocket of his immaculate suit. He seemed very out of place in the dark and dingy room.

"Not interested." Was his abrupt response.

"I feel you could be persuaded once you hear what I have to offer." He smoothly, like a cheetah through the grass Elijah glided out of the darkness of the corner he was lurking in and came to stand in front of the dark-haired vampire. "How would you feel if I told you I have the abomination that killed your brother."

Damon's eyes glazed over and darkened into pools of black orbs. He could feel his fangs itching under his gums and the blood rush through the veins beneath his eyes. Elena's focus snapped between them unsure of what was about to happen. Her body relaxed slightly when Damon controlled himself. "Go on."

Elijah shifted his weight and turned his attention to Elena. "I need your word that Elena means nothing to you." He came to stand beside her, and her heart rate increased.

Damon smiled with amusement. "That's it? Well gee, if wishes were horses…" he teased.

Elijah glanced down briefly with a smirk. "Well then if it's all the same to you," in less than a moment Elena's head was locked in his clutch; one hand under her chin, the other gripping the top of her head and his arms framing her face like a helmet.

"What are you doing!? Elijah…" She pleaded, struggling to pry his fingers from her face.

"Shut up, Elena. The men are talking." He hushed her and redirected his gaze back to Damon. "Nicklaus wants to use Elena's blood to create more of his hybrids. I want to prevent that from happening." He shifted his eyes back to Elena pointedly. "Do you see where I'm going with this."

Damon studied him carefully. He didn't believe it for a second. He had her necklace and had obviously compelled her. But the look on her face said otherwise. She was terrified; fearful of her life, and the pounding of her heart was reverberating through his eardrums. But he wasn't going to fall for this Original vampire's tricks. "How do I know you're telling the true about having Tyler?"

"Elena, I want you to reach into my left chest pocket and pull out my phone." He compelled easily. She did as he asked, reaching with her right, around her shoulder and into the inside pocket. "Check the album."

Damon snatched it out of Elena's trembling hand. "No password? Bold." He bantered. He flipped through the pictures, the only ones there, and felt his blood boil at the sight of Tyler. He was chained to a chair bloody and broken. "Hm…this one's my favorite." He held it up for Elijah to see.

"Oh my God, Tyler! Elijah what are you doing!? This isn't what we talked about." Sheer panic started to set in as the reality of what was happening set in. This wasn't the plan.

"So you are up to something." Damon was satisfied now. He knew this was just a ploy.

Elena let the tears stream like waterfalls. "I thought he could compel you to turn your humanity back on. I went to him for help…I had no idea about this!" she pleaded through her sobs. "Damon please…I'm telling you the truth."

"Time's ticking Damon. Nicklaus will be coming for his minion soon and the longer we deliberate the less likely he'll be there when I return."

"I trusted you Elijah!" Elena snarled trying to fight from his grasp. "You gave me you word!" she yelled desperately. "Please Damon…I don't want to die. Please don't do this." she begged again, searching his face for any sign that he cared.

"You're bluffing."

The screams that tore from Elena's mouth were silenced by the snap of her neck. He released her and the girls body collapsed to the floor like a sac of potatoes. The impact hit Damon like a brick wall, staring at her lifeless body, and the unnatural positioning of her neck. Elena was dead.

As if his whole body was suddenly being filled with lead, Damon dropped to his knees in front of her. He brushed the hair out of her face and traced her features with the pads of his fingers as he'd done many times as she slept. He stared at her…waiting; for her to move, or maybe the faint sound of her heart. But nothing. Elijah was gone in a moment, leaving him alone in the cold basements, staring down at the woman who put her life in the hands of someone else to save him…and he repaid her by sentencing her to death.