Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created by L.J. Smith, as portrayed in the TV series created by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec. All rights to their respective owners. No copyright infringement intended.
Author's Note: Thank you SO much for all your kind reviews. Another story finished… yay! : ) Enjoy!
~ Epilogue ~
"How is she?" Liz Forbes asked Damon, who was in the hospital waiting room.
"The doctors say it's an acute stress reaction, but she will recover within days, maybe even hours."
"Risk for PTSD?"
"Some, but Elena's strong. She's resilient."
"Damon… you know that's not…"
"Not a guarantee, I know. But I have faith in her. She'll come through this."
"When you feel up to it, I'm going to need a formal statement."
"Of course. We could do it right now. The trauma counselor is in there with her now, so I won't be able to see her anyways."
It was a series of fortunate events that turned a potential disaster into a manageable situation. The chest wound Zach suffered was not fatal and he was still conscious when the paramedics got to him. With his last strength, he had managed to reach his phone and call Damon, who excused himself from the secretary of education's company. Immediately putting the pieces together, Damon had grabbed Ric and found the sheriff, who in turn had alerted her deputies and the paramedics. Together, they found Jenna dancing and Elijah, being outnumbered, fled the scene. On their way to the boarding house, Damon had briefed Liz on Kat's – Elena's – history and explained the situation.
Elijah was on the road when he heard the news over the radio. His employer was dead. Elijah shrugged. He had been paid in advance and this worked out wonderfully.
When Elena returned to the boarding house, the carpets had been replaced and all trace of Kyle was wiped away. She still couldn't bring herself to enter Damon's bedroom, though. There may be no evidence left of what transpired there, but she could still picture it in vivid detail. Damon understood, and moved into her room instead. Towards the end of the summer, he would be going back to the city and his regular job at the college, and he asked Elena to come with him. She happily agreed.
Jenna and Ric returned to California, and they helped Elena take care of the paperwork surrounding her supposed death. The story they went with was that Elena was rescued but suffered from amnesia and that was why she didn't come forward sooner to contest her death certificate. With her death certificate declared invalid, Elena was able to use her own name and high school diploma to apply for college. She was accepted and would start in the fall.
The last night before Damon and Elena were set to leave for the city, Damon insisted there was something he wanted to show her. It was already dark outside, and Elena didn't know where they were when Damon parked the car. He got out a lantern from his trunk and grabbed a picnic basket before taking her hand and leading her through the woods.
When they reached a clearing in the woods, Elena gasped. The full moon shone bright, reflecting in the water. Damon laid down a blanket and placed the basket on it. Then he asked her to take a seat and disappeared into the darkness of the woods.
"Damon?" Elena asked, unnerved.
The next thing she knew, the clearing lit up with garden lights. She could see the waterfall clearly now, as torches were set around it. Elena looked around in amazement, staring at Damon in awe as he returned.
"I called in a favor or two," he shrugged. "Don't worry, they'll make themselves scarce soon."
"Who?" Elena asked, but then she heard a giggle that could only belong to Caroline.
Damon opened the picnic basket and got out a bottle of champagne, as well as an assortment of cheese, crackers and grapes.
"Wait… the falls… full moon… candle light… are you hoping to get lucky tonight?" Elena winked at Damon.
"I'm already the luckiest man alive," he smiled and captured her lips with his.