"I will always. Choose. You."

The air is dense with unsaid words. She looks at him, tries to ignore the emotions she sees flash across his shimmering blue eyes. She stops breathing, her heart pounding in her chest. She knows he can hear it, yet he remains silent. He's waiting. Challenging her.

Reluctantly, she breaks their intimacy. "Goodnight Damon," she says, offering him one final lingering glance.

He watches her leave, releasing an unsteady breath. He moves to follow her, then stops, balling his fists at his side. It takes everything in him not to say something more, something that may change their relationship forever.

Crossing to the shower, Damon pulls off his shirt and turns the hot water on. Steam begins to pour into the open bathroom.

A door slams.

He looks up and Elena is walking toward him. There is purpose in her stride. Her eyes are fixed on him. Only him. He can't speak. She stops a mere inch from his body. He can feel the heat radiating from her, so dense he could almost taste it.

She places a hand on his bare chest, slowly running it up to his neck. She can feel the fire of the contact beneath her palm. Scorching. Primal. She sees the animal return to Damon's eyes. Her hand lightly grips in his wild dark hair, pulling him to her.

He meets her lips hungrily, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her against him. She tightens her grip on his hair, holding him there, punishing him for the way she feels. When she runs her tongue along his bottom lip, he growls, backing her against the wall, deepening the kiss. Steam continues to flow from the unattended shower, whiting out the world around them. He runs his lips down her neck and back up again, sealing it with a final earth-shattering kiss.

He braces a hand on the wall above her head. When he pulls back he's breathing heavy. He doesn't know where he found the strength to stop.

"Tell me you don't feel that," Damon pants. "Tell me I'm alone in this."

She stares up at him, biting her lip to suppress the shaking. Arousal hums through her body like a bass drop. "I needed to know."

"And did you find what you were looking for?" He slides his free hand down her back, just beneath her shirt to the soft skin beneath. She jumps at the friction, leaning into his touch.

"You were right," she whispers. "You were right all along."

He holds her gaze with an impossible intensity, wondering how in the hell this just happened.

Suddenly, he hears a noise in the hall. Footsteps. He presses a finger to his lips and mouths 'Stefan.' The noise passes by, and Damon takes a very difficult step back. Tears glisten in her eyes. She pulls in an unsteady breath, and walks toward the door. Her hand is on the knob when he stops her.

"I won't be able to forget it this time," he says.

"I won't either."