Caroline's Keeper

Chapter 1: A Surprise Visitor

She walked home feeling dejected and stupid, and deep in sorrow. Matt had broken up with her, again. But this, this breakup stung more than the first, because when he had ended things with her months earlier, secretly, she was relieved. It was for the best, because there was so much she couldn't tell him. But then she had. She had told him everything! Everything that had been keeping them apart, and because she was stupid enough to believe that what they had was true love that came with understanding, she believed wholeheartedly that Matt would be able to come to terms with her being a vampire.

After all, wasn't she really the same person she had always been, minus a craving for blood, but she had that totally under control! She hadn't fed on a person since that one unfortunate night. She made extra careful to not be tempted. She may have lied to protect Matt from the truth, but she never intentionally set out to hurt someone. She would have never hurt Vicki.

When he had first accused her of it, she was devastated. How could he think that she would do such a thing? She had only been a vampire for a few months and Vicki's death was much earlier. Even if he couldn't pinpoint when Caroline started to change, and perhaps he hadn't even been paying attention, did he really think her capable of such an act?

She really believed he would absorb the shock and talk to her about it, and come to his senses and realize that while she may be a vampire, she would never have killed his sister. Of course, she wasn't naïve enough to think this would be easy. There would be more questions, she was sure, surrounding Vicki's death. But it wouldn't be lying if she really didn't know, would it?

And there would be questions about Tyler, maybe. Tyler. Her heart panged. Why did it do that? Why was it panging about him? He wasn't even worth thinking about. But again, Tyler was not a vampire, and what he really was, well, she could omit that. There was no need to bludgeon him with the truth.

She would ease him into it.

She could tell him about Tyler later.

But as it turned out, she wouldn't have that chance.

She thought they had turned a corner; they had gone to the dance together, but as they were there, she could feel it. She could feel him shift farther and farther away from her.

"What's wrong?" He took her hands off his shoulder and pulled her outside.

"Listen Car, I can't do this anymore." She was frozen.

"Can't do what?" He sighed with annoyance. She didn't realize how often throughout their relationship he had done this. As if she should be a mind reader or something.

"I can't do this." He motioned with his hands. "Me and you. You're a vampire. A vampire." His voice rose.

"Shh. Keep your voice down. Look, I know what I am, and I thought we were getting past all of this. I mean isn't that what tonight was?" He laughed.

"Yeah, tonight was all about me and my vampire girlfriend being so in love and being normal teenagers. Is that what you thought?" She pulled back.

"Yes. No, I mean, no, I didn't think you had gotten over it, but I thought we were on our way."

"We'll never be on our way. Don't you get that? Even if I could accept that you're a vampire, and that you, yourself, didn't kill my sister, one of your kind did. You're a monster. You're just hiding behind a mask. How could I love someone who is so disgusting?"

"I'm not disgusting! How can you say that?"

"Be honest with me, Car. Have you ever killed someone?" Silence. Hesitation. "I knew it. How can you stand there, and tell me you're not disgusting or vicious when you killed someone? How can I be with you?"

"You know what Matt? Not everyone's perfect, okay? I'm not perfect. Neither are you. Neither is Elena. Nobody. I made a mistake. When I turned, I was out of my mind. Try thinking about having no control over your body and having heightened instincts. I will live with that death for the rest of my life, so don't sit there and judge me for something that you've never gone through! I never wanted this. I didn't ask for this. So, you want to end this? Fine. But it will not be because of how disgusting I am. It will be because of what a judgmental coward you are. And you keep that in mind next time someone doesn't tell you something that they think you wouldn't approve of or understand, and you tell them otherwise. Just think of that."

And with that she walked away. From Matt, from a life she wanted so much.

She sighed and thought of Stefan and how lucky he was to have Elena in his life. How lucky that she understood and accepted and loved him in spite of everything. Would she ever have that?

As she got to her front porch she unlocked the door. She was about to go inside when she felt a presence behind her. Matt? Could it be? But the face she was expecting, or rather hoping to see when she turned around was the last face she had ever been expecting.

"Hi Caroline." And there on her porch stood Tyler Lockwood. Former friend, and perhaps a newfound enemy.