Takes place immediately after Daddy Issues. The fic then branches off.
I don't own Vampire Diaries. Rated T for now.


How can we stop telling lies?
It comes so easy like dead to the flies.
You say you don't notice what an enemy that you've made of me.
-Last Goodbye (Shaman's Harvest)

I.

To say that she was pissed off was an understatement, but underneath all that anger and rage was something that burned with so much more pain – betrayal. Her heart felt as though it had been squeezed to death, and every time she thought about it, all she could envision was his face; his guilty face looking down in surrender, in acceptance.

After everything she had done for him; after risking her life to ensure he wouldn't be alone through the transformation –this was how he paid her back: with a bowed head and a dejected expression? When she had seen him run into the trailer, she had been overjoyed. The pain had been unbearable; it was unlike anything she had ever experienced before. A few years ago she had broken her ankle when a cheer-leading stunt went wrong. She had thought that had been bad, but compared to the torture she experienced inside that iron cage, it felt like nothing now.

She insisted she was fine, but she wasn't. Her mom, "the workaholic" who barely had time for her own daughter, was still at the station leaving Caroline an empty, soundless house. Part of her had been grateful that her mother wasn't there – there would be no possible way to explain the wounds that plagued her skin and in the end she would just have to compel the woman into forgetting – something Caroline tried to avoid as much as possible. But still, she hated the silence – sometimes absolute silence could feel louder than a crowded room – especially to someone with advanced hearing. With a quiet house, Caroline could hear every rustle outside; every creak in the old home; and every car that drove past. Every sound made her uneasy.

Thank God for Stefan – in all her life she had never met a more genuine guy. Elena was lucky to have snatched up someone whose heart was so pure. She didn't know how someone who craved human blood could still be a genuinely nice guy – especially when compared to his brother. But she could tell that he did care about her; and he saw through her tough façade (something she couldn't decide was either a good thing or a bad thing). But then again, someone who lived for over a hundred years and who experienced everything she was currently going through was bound to be insightful. There would be no fooling him with a pretty smile and sweet words; a fact that made her uncomfortable.

She sat in that shower for a long time – the scolding water leaving red blotches all over her skin. And when she saw the dried blood staining the white tub, she broke down, allowing the tears to drop and blend with the water. The wounds had closed by now leaving only irritated marks that would fade by morning – but inside Caroline knew she was a little traumatized. How can one not be after experiencing what she did?

But Stefan brought her exactly what she needed.

They talked all night – at first it was really depressing. They wanted to know what happened and she told them. When she spoke about her time in the cage, she couldn't seem to look at their faces. The entire time she described what happened, she fumbled with the soft blanket that covered her lap, staring at the embroidery. She made sure to leave out any unnecessary details, trying to provide just enough information without getting too descriptive. She didn't want their pity or apologies – just their support was enough. She also told them about Tyler – told them about her frustration and disappointment over his apathy before adding in, with a bowed head, that before all this happened, he had kissed her.

Being typical girls, they seemed to focus on that the most.

She talked about her problems with both Matt and Tyler (who was no longer welcomed in her home); Elena talked about her plans with Stefan, and Bonnie talked about her disgust with Luca and his sneaky father. Both were surprised to hear that Jonas had actually been the one who rescued them – enabling the wolves and giving the three of them the chance to get away. It seemed Elijah was keeping up with his promise – something that Elena seemed pleased to hear but which discouraged both Bonnie and she.

After they got the dark and gruesome details out of the way, they attempted to have a normal, old-fashion sleep-over. No more vampire talk or werewolf talk – just three girls in dire need of 'girl time'. So they painted their nails, watched a few movies, pigged out on junk food, danced away their sugar high, and then crashed and slept until late afternoon. Needless to say, Caroline was feeling tons better by Saturday.

By then, her wounds were completely gone and she looked as good as new. Inside was a completely different story, but if she could convince people that everything was fine by being her normal perky self, then everything would be okay. So she pulled on one of her favorite outfits, tied a white scarf around her neck and pulled her hair up away from her face, her head held high and ready to face the day.

The school was having an open house for interested incoming freshman and she agreed to sit at a table to hand out school information and direct confused parents in the right direction. The simplicity of it all seemed ridiculous, but normal sounded like a good thing to her right now. So without waking her mom, she got her car keys and took off.

By the time she got there, it was already crowded and Caroline had to weave in between frustrated parents and arrogant teenagers in order to find her table. As she broke away from the crowd of people, she took a deep sigh of relief spotting Bonnie in the distance at an art table. The blond smiled a little and waved. She was about to venture over there when someone called out her name. She turned around and saw Matt stepping up in front of her. He looked a little upset and she immediately tilted her head.

"Hey Matt, are you okay?" She asked with uncertainty.

The blond shrugged a little and looked at her, squinting his blue eyes in the sunlight. Caroline squirmed slightly under his intense stare, feeling as though she was being examined.

"Look Caroline, I need to know what's going on with us. I mean, I thought we were going to clear everything up on Friday but then you bailed and I-"

"Look Matt, I'm really sorry but Bonnie needed-"

"Don't lie to me, Care." He said with a little disappointment in his voice. "Bonnie was at the Grille when I called you; she looked fine to me."

Caroline opened her mouth to try and explain but came up blank.

Matt sighed softly and took a small step forward. "So you're lying to me now?"

"No, no Matt. It isn't like that; I just…" she trailed off, fumbling with her fingers and trying to think properly.

"I just don't get it. I mean you tell me you love me and then you refuse to talk to me."

"I know and I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have told you like that."

"Caroline, I'm happy you told me, but I'd like to know where we stand now, you know?"

"Yeah, I know…" But despite her agreement, she couldn't bring herself to tell him anything. God, she had just wanted to escape all this drama for one day, but with Matt around asking questions she was forced to remember why she originally broke up with him - to protect him from everything, but especially from herself; from the horrible, blood-thirsty animal that existed inside of her. She could feel her face warming up, tears beginning to form, but she took a deep breath and held them back, biting her lip softly.

"Look, I'm sorry Matt."

"You keep saying that Care, but I don't know what you're apologizing for. Just- tell me what's going on, please." His voice was desperate and he reached out and grabbed her hands, looking into her eyes and pushing his forehead against hers. She could tell by looking into his eyes that he knew something was wrong – because the worry and concern was oozing off of him in barrels.

Caroline breathed in and smelt his scent; smelt the warmness of his heart and his general concern, and it made her head reel. She closed her eyes and licked her lips, breathing out slowly. There was nothing more she wanted to do than fall into his embrace, but as they stood there, the gentle breeze sweeping around them, she could suddenly hear his heart beating, slowly speeding up from their proximity; she found herself losing to his scent and quite rapidly it began to overpower everything else. Before she lost herself, she quickly reopened her eyes and stepped back, clearing her throat and sucking in the oxygen around her, obviously flustered.

But as she took a step back, a face a few yards away caught her attention. Tyler was standing by a table, his eyes glued on the couple and his face expressionless. Caroline gulped and quickly looked away, staring at the ground and wrapping her arms around herself. Matt noticed her sudden discomfort and glanced behind him, also noticing Tyler who looked away as Matt tried to make eye contact. When the blond turned back around, a small scowl was on his face.

"Did something happen between you two?"

Caroline shook her head and looked towards the distance, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable. She had thought she could be strong about all this, but seeing his face again brought back all that anger and hurt and the more she tried to ignore it, the more she actually thought about it. Matt noticed her sudden anxious behavior and gripped her arm, stepping closer again.

"Caroline, did he do something?"

She shook her head, but she could feel her body tensing, "No, I just- We aren't exactly friends anymore."

"What happened?"

She tried to shake off the question by laughing it off a little, "He's just an ass."

Matt didn't seem to need much convincing, but before he could comment, Caroline pulled herself out of his grasp and smiled a little. "Look, Matt I have to get to my booth. We'll talk soon, I promise."

Matt opened his mouth to argue but within seconds Caroline had disappeared. He let out an irritated sigh as he turned around to look towards Tyler. After taking another glance at Caroline's retreating figure, he turned and headed towards the football table.

xxx

"Hey, did you do something to Caroline?"

Tyler straightened up and let out a small sigh when he heard Matt's angry voice.

"What are you talking about?"

"I was just talking to her and she took one glance at you and practically ran away. Did you do something?" Tyler could hear the warning in his voice, like he already suspected it, he was just searching for confirmation. Tyler remained silent, trying to remain composed and unbothered as he glanced off towards her direction, trying to spot her.

Matt let out a bitter laugh and shook his head. "What the hell is going on with you guys? It's like no one can give me a straight answer anymore."

Tyler shook his head a little and turned his back to his best friend, "Believe me, you really don't want one."

He began to walk off, but Matt refused to leave it at that.

"What did you do Tyler?" He could hear him behind him. The jealously was practically dripping off of him, "Did you kiss her?"

At the question, Tyler stopped and turned around, staring him straight in the eye. Matt was only chopping at the tip of the iceberg – the real problems between them were so unbelievable that Matt's little head wouldn't even be able to comprehend it. But if he wanted the truth from him, Tyler wouldn't hold back. He didn't exactly appreciate the tone of Matt's voice –as if Caroline belonged to him and Tyler was forbidden to ask her out. Technically they were still broken up.

"What if I did man?" Tyler let out a small shrug and narrowed his eyes. "She doesn't belong to you."

Matt glared at him for some time before he pulled back his arm and punched Tyler across the face. It was just what Tyler needed. He had been searching for something to vent on; it was unfortunate that it became his best friend but Matt initiated it and there was no way he would back away from it now. The anger inside of him blinded logic and reason leaving only a wild animal, and as soon as the initial shock wore off, Tyler sent a powerful punch at Matt. They ended up on ground and by the time someone managed to pull him off of Matt, the poor guy had a bloody nose and busted lip, half of his face covered in blood. Tyler's lip was also bleeding and Matt managed to get some more painful punches in before the coach pulled the two away from each other.

By this time, a circle had formed around the pair and everyone was staring. The coach was yelling in both their faces, telling them to cool off or they were off the team. The principal and staff quickly came over, one talking to Matt while the others tried to reassure the parents that this was a very rare incident. They managed to get things moving once again, but a lot of the students were still watching them. Tyler stalked off, but turned his head back to glance at Matt, noticing the nurse trying to get a good look at his nose. Blond hair caught his eye and he noticed Caroline watching in the distance. She was staring at Matt and breathing slowly, her body tense. She was a good few feet from him and it took Tyler a second to realize that she could smell the blood and was trying to control herself.

She turned her head and looked towards him, a look of alarm on her face. They made eye contact for a brief second before Tyler looked away and turned a corner, his knuckles white and his breathing labored.

xxx

Jules took a few deep breaths glancing up towards the sky that was visible through the trees. The fire besides her was still lit but dying, crackling gently every now and then. After a moment, she closed her eyes and rubbed her head. Three days after the warlock raped their minds and she still had a fierce headache. She hadn't been expecting them and if they wanted to go after the vampires again, he would need to be dealt with. But she didn't care much for the vampires anymore – all she wanted was Tyler and now they had him. Jonas had told them to leave town – it seemed the blood-suckers had power on their side as well. They really didn't stand much of a chance – not against vampires and magic. She wanted to leave.

But Brady had other plans and seeing as he was the alpha male, he had a lot of authority over what they did. She was older than him, and he didn't seem to mind listening to her, but she had a feeling he would not agree to leave – not now, especially not after learning about the moonstone. The stone was the reason Mason had left the pack in the first place; he had to get the stone from his older brother's possession – it was too rare to leave with people who had no idea of its power. Jules had encouraged it – thinking about it now, she wished she would have said no.

Footsteps from behind made her reopen her eyes and turn around.

"No one said anything about witches." Brady sounded agitated, his eyes dark and tired. "Why the hell would warlocks be on the side of vampires?"

Jules let out a sigh and shrugged, making a small face. The smell of burning flesh was still tangent in the air. Trying to ignore it, she stepped forward, biting her lip, "Brady, the situation has changed. There are too many factors against us; we need to leave now."

Brady eyed her before moving forward, "Are you kidding? They have the moonstone now – that belongs to us." He turned his back to her, staring into the fire. "Besides, they killed too many of our own. If we backed out now, it would be dishonorable."

"More of us will end up dead if we stay here. I told you, I wasn't interested in revenge! I just want Tyler."

"The situation has changed; the moonstone is top priority now. If they break the curse – all of us are dead!"

"And how do you plan on getting it? Huh? They have it, and they aren't going to give it up without a fight." Jules insisted, walking forward to look at him with icy eyes. He could see the fear in them, but they couldn't just walk away from this. It was his duty to avenge his fallen brothers and to take back what rightfully belonged to them – besides his pride had been damaged; he had to get it back.

Despite Jules's panicked point of view, Brady seemed calmed and convinced. At her words, an amused smile appeared on his face, his eyes hot with hunger. Jules tensed and took a small step back, shaking her head softly in disbelief. "That's exactly what you want." His silence was all the confirmation she needed, "Brady, we aren't a match for them. The next moon isn't for another week and a half! How do you plan to successfully take them down?"

The man in questioned turned his head to stare at her. "We use our heads this time – it's as simple as that."

Jules tilted her head, "What are you thinking?"

He smiled with victory – it was never hard to convince Jules to do as he wanted. She was a good and honest little pistol who would rather protect the pack then stand up for what needed to be done. But it was why they made such a good couple – he was blinded by pride and she by precaution.

"It's true – we are no match for the vampire's – not against all three. But we can easily deal with them one at a time – they are almost weak when separated. And they have so many tasty weaknesses."

"You want to kill them off – one by one? What about the warlock?"

"He is precisely why we need to move quickly and quietly" Brady remarked, taking a few steps closer to Jules and taking her hands, squeezing them gently. "We take one of them, find the moonstone, kill them, and then leave – very quietly and very quickly." He emphasized again, tilting his head in closer and breathing in her scent. She relaxed a little in his arms, but her face was still wary.

"Are you telling me this has nothing to do with revenge?" she whispered out skeptically.

Brady in turn offered a smile, "Not mostly."

"I still don't like this – Brady if more of our own die…"

"We play the game my way; if we loose more, then I'll do what you want." He promised, brushing his nose gently across hers, his lips hovering just above hers. His hands were slowly moving down her arms, stroking her sides.

"What do we do first?" Her voice was breathless as her body leaned against his, bending to his touch. At her question, an eager smirk formed on his lips. "I was interrupted last time; I never got to finish with blondie."

Jules looked slightly disappointed for a brief second, "Why her?" She even sounded slightly…jealous?

"Because out of the three, she is the one with the lose tongue."

Jules was hesitant, "Are you sure you can get the answer out of her?"

The smile on Brady's face was haunting. "Of course I can."

Jules remained quiet and bit her lip, looking away from him for a brief second before pulling out of his embrace. His eyes followed her as she walked back towards the trailer. As she opened the door, she turned back around to stare at him with uneasy eyes. "Be careful, Brady."

He turned around to face the dying fire, the smile still strong on his face. "I always finish what I start," he muttered, chuckling softly and looking up towards the sky.


Reviews would be splendid - decides whether or not I should continue. I apologize for any spelling/grammar mistakes - it's late and I wanted to get this up before I went to bed. Enjoy!