Ugh. I know I suck so much at updating within a responsible time and responding to your reviews, but I promise it was because I literally HAD NO TIME. My bosses decided that I was apparently superhuman and piled on the work. Plus, I moved, which was a time suck all in itself. So I'm terribly sorry for taking so long to get this last piece up and hope you guys can forgive me.
Also, I had someone point out that the dates were wrong in the last two chapters and I just HAD to change them because otherwise it would have bugged the hell out of me. So yeah, super sorry for the three email alerts.
And finally, I had a lot of you request certain things in this epilogue and I wasn't able to include them all, but I tried my best. It's not as long as most of my other chapters, but it was really just written to wrap things up and show where everyone was. Not much dialogue, just a general overview.
Hope you like it!
- Some Time In The Future -
I watched the sun come up over the horizon of Mystic Falls and stretched out my legs across the mixture of dirt and grass below as I soaked in its warmth. Rays of light streaked across the sky and through the various tress of the forest illuminating it with different hues of pinks and purples, but I peeled my eyes from the landscape to momentarily glance at the ring that allowed me to bask in its image.
It was the same engagement ring from my alternate lifetime I'd lived so many years ago; funny how certain things like that remained the same between the two. The transition had happened the day I'd reached Damon's age. It seemed to make the most sense and it allowed us enough years to completely stock pile the old cellar, which had now been converted into a gigantic refrigerator, with bags of my previous human blood. I thought about that supply now and felt content in the amount of years it provided for my future with Damon. I hadn't always been the greatest with math, but I knew enough to understand it meant we had at least a millennia together.
I smiled considering this time frame as my hand responsively slid its way across the blades of grass where Damon typically sat with me each morning. It would have been nice to start today of all days with him, but duty called about an hour ago and I couldn't hold it against him.
Taking one last look at the golden sky, I lifted myself from the earth and charged my way back into the woods. I side-stepped trees and ducked under branches as I tore through the neighboring forest of the boarding house. This morning routine was something I had started the day of my transformation. At first it had been Damon's way of settling my over-electrified body, but after years of adjusting I'd managed to reign in the extra boosts of energy.
The only reason the routine stuck around was because it gave me control. I loved how the earth felt under the soles of my sneakers and the way the wind swept through my hair when I pushed myself to my limits. The momentum was invigorating and the way my vision seemed to take in everything despite the speed was powerful.
Being a vampire had its upsides and every morning I took advantage of them.
When I found myself back at the doorsteps of the, our, boarding house I was surprised to hear the faint rustling of papers inside. I quickly opened the door only to find Damon sitting at the desk in the parlor. His feet were propped up on the dark wood and he was reading today's edition of the Mystic Falls Times.
He only ever did this to check out my articles. The ones I decided to write in this lifetime because I'd forgone the published novelist profession this time. Of course, the vampire semi-fiction's had been a breeze to write since I'd already written them, but in this life they'd simply been saved on my computer. I'd decided that whatever I'd lived through belonged to me and the people who'd been through the experiences with me. Those moments and the emotions I'd felt during them were precious and at this point I wasn't ready to share them with the world.
So, instead of the series about my vampire whirlwind of a romance, I'd settled for hard hitting news that struck Mystic Falls. Yeah, the town wasn't exactly crawling with newsworthy events like the big cities, but it kept me busy and gave me an outlet for my writing. It worked for now and novels could come later if I changed my mind. That was the beauty of eternity after all; nothing was ruled out indefinitely.
At my appearance, Damon scrunched up his nose in disgust and remarked, "You smell like pine." And then he shot me a sideways smirk just to solidify the fact that he was joking, before his nose scrunched back up.
Even in this new life, the perfection of his face, scrunched and all, still managed to slow me down when nothing else could. I chuckled softly at the image before I glided my way over to stand behind him. I lowered my head to place a kiss on top of his dark mess of hair and quipped back, "You love it." I then reached forward to grab the glass of blood seated on the desk in front of him and took a quick sip.
When I set it back down, I repositioned myself in front of him and inquired, "I thought you were helping Liz this morning with the animal attack." I made the quotations sign with my fingers around the last two words as the vision of Damon leaving his side of the bed at the crack of dawn this morning drifted across my memory.
He peered at me over top of the newspaper he was still pretending to read and explained, "For once in this town's history, it really was an animal attack. So I wasn't needed."
I nodded my head responsively at his information and took another sip at the blood resting on the desk. As I set it back onto the wood, Damon's feet flew down to the floor, the newspaper was thrown to the side, and I was pulled into his lap. His face was enticingly close and the seductive glint in his eyes instantly informed me of where we were headed.
Damon's fingers traced down my jawline and along my collarbone, hovering right about the edge of my camisole. The touch of his skin no longer felt like ice cubes against my warm flesh. Instead it matched the very temperature of mine, but that did little to reduce the chill it sent down my spine.
"Or I might have told her I couldn't work today because you needed my help setting up the backyard for our big event," he mused with a sly grin stretched across his lips.
Big event was an extreme overstatement. There were a measly 11 people showing up this afternoon because we'd only invited people close enough to us to know what we were. It was going to be quite the intimate affair and Liz had gotten an invite, so she knew how little preparation was needed.
"For all of the guests that we invited," I replied sarcastically. "She actually bought that excuse?"
"Probably not," he answered as his head lowered down to the sweet spot of my neck. I felt a blend of quick snips from his extended fangs and soft kisses as he continued, "But regardless, I'm here, which gives us an extra hour to kill before Caroline shows up to destroy the backyard with her tacky decorations."
His hands had started making their way down the curvature of my sides, tracing over every divot he'd memorized over the years. By the time his hand made it to my thigh, my entire body was vibrating in sweet anticipation because he always knew exactly which moves cranked the bass on my internal stereo up to sonic blast. I knew he could feel it, the same way I could tell when he was turned on, but I didn't want to make it that easy.
Because Damon and I were equally matched at everything, except in the bedroom. This was where his appeal got the best of me and I seemed to lose all of my well-established control. One smoldering look from him and it suddenly felt like I was human again. Heart jump-starting in my chest, pulse rate accelerating to an ungodly speed, and wobbly knees practically begging me to fall over submissively.
I cherished and loathed the feeling simultaneously and occasionally tried to grasp for the upper hand.
So, in an attempt to do so, I smiled politely, removed myself from his lap, making sure my butt rubbed right against the bulge in his pants as I maneuvered myself up, and halfheartedly objected, "Too bad I need to start getting ready. Sorry sweetie, but today's an important day and I need to look my best."
He was up in a flash; hands wrapped around my waist and eyes desperate as he pleaded, "Why must you torture me? You know I don't care what you look like this afternoon."
He was pressed against my front now, allowing me to feel the effects of my work. I fought back a laugh, but failed miserably as it escaped along with my words. "Because you make it so easy."
His face transition from desperate to demanding at the sound of my enjoyment in his agony. His eyes narrowed seductively, goddamnit it was happening already. Then his hand latched onto the base strands of hair under my neck, and he playfully threatened, "This won't last long. You know I'm stronger than you."
Of course I knew that, but it didn't mean I couldn't take advantage of the moment with the feeble resistance I still had left. So I flashed out of his hold and to the other side of the room. My finger wiggled back and forth as a smug smile played on my lips and I teased, "Nobody likes a bragger, Damon, and besides, I'm faster than you."
He was against my back within an instant, hands roaming slowly over my sensitive areas. When one of his hands drifted beneath the fabric of my top and the other between my thighs, my equilibrium was knocked askew in that way he only had the magic of doing. My eyes then involuntarily closed and an unnecessary breath escaped from my lips.
"Which only comes into play if you really wanted to get away," he whispered, his breath brushing lightly against the skin of my ear. I could feel his smirk through my closed lids, but was powerless against the wonder his fingers was now working between my legs.
"When did I get this easy?" I breathed out as he strummed masterfully against my clit, forcing my legs to buckle from beneath me.
I fell into his hold as he chuckled and replied, "When you came back from your witch concocted blast through the future."
Then my back was on the sofa and Damon's hands had repositioned themselves to rest on both sides of me. I groaned at the lack of contact he'd started and abruptly stopped because my body was in full needing mode at this point. I couldn't pretend to resist any longer; I needed to feel him on and in me.
He knew it too, because he was looking down at me with a conceited smirk that I would have normally swatted off of his face if I hadn't been so turned on, and he teased, "Now who's got the upper hand?"
I rolled my eyes at how easily I'd been defeated and answered begrudgingly, "You do." I then demanded, "Now stop teasing me," as my hands latched onto the sides of his face.
I heard him chuckle and mimic my own phrase, "But you make it so easy," before I captured his lips with mine. Then all talking ceased as his tongue slid into my mouth; circling and stroking mine in masterful succession. There was no exploring anymore; he knew every inch of my body, even the once mysterious canyons that dove inside. He'd long since discovered and claimed them all, figuring out all of the special spots that made my insides sing in pleasure.
It's exactly what he was doing now as his lips pressed roughly against my own and my legs wrapped their way around his waist. He rubbed against my center, only building my increasing surge of longing to an excruciating level when I felt his lips break away and the wind of a position change.
My camisole was ripped over my head and my cotton shorts were thrown to the ground as my legs straddled Damon's. My body was humming in anticipation as I slowly started to lower myself onto him, but before I could, my hair was whipping around my face and I was pushed against the wall.
My legs were spread open, each one resting on a separate shoulder as he inched his face forward and his tongue slid between my folds. I couldn't tell you what he was doing down there. Maybe he was licking out the alphabet; maybe he was just flicking his tongue up and down in the way that mimicked the sensation of a vibrator. All I know was that he was doing it masterfully and if I wasn't already lifted from the ground, I could have sworn my body was drifting somewhere towards the heavens.
Those pearly gates were just beginning to gleam across my vision when we flashed to a new location again. Apparently my moaning had been too much for Damon to endure because my legs once again straddled his on the sofa and this time I was able to slide onto his length.
He entered me smoothly, like I was lined with the finest silk and I had to fight off my first surge to release right then and there. As his hands slid to take firm hold of my hips, I began grinding on top of him. With each motion he slid seamlessly against my inner walls and I lowered my lips to once again devour his. I inhaled him in, loving the way his scent filled my lungs giving me life and aiding to my desires, as his hands started making their way to various locations of my body.
They were all over me; tangling themselves in the strands of my chestnut hair, latching onto my hips, sliding down my back, and somehow massaging my bare breasts all at the same time. He was everywhere, on and in every surface of my body and still I couldn't get enough of him.
His moves were precise; his motions patterned specifically to match mine almost as if we were designed for one another. When I picked up the pace, he sped right up with me; jerking my hips back and forth, up and down, every which way they would go to keep the pleasure building. And it did, rapidly.
As a vampire, my body was practically indestructible. It possessed the capability of bending, stretching, and twisting whichever way was required, but still, when my breaths turned into moans and finally into a repetition of his name and I reached that point, I seemed to shatter like frozen rubber. And like always, he broke with me.
I shivered and shook as my pieces continued to break before finally I collapsed on top of him. I took deeps breaths, more out of familiarity since I didn't need them, and relaxed my head against his shoulder. I let my lids drift closed, feeling content for the moment in remaining intertwined simply like this, only to have Damon's lips connect with my neck.
The kisses started out innocently enough, just sweet pecks along the lower curve that met with my shoulders, but then I felt his goddamn fangs and damnit if I wasn't already spilling out liquid lust for our second round.
That was all it took for me to feel Damon's satisfied smirk against my skin. I vaguely heard him muse, "Good, because we still have a half hour and I'm not nearly finished with you yet," before my hair was whizzing by and we landed on the floor missionary style.
And for just a brief second before he picked up where we'd left off, Damon gazed down at me with that familiar worshiping look in his eyes. His fingertips slid across my forehead removing a strand of my hair that was blocking his view of my face and I acknowledged that this was easily the most perfect way to ring in our wedding day.
This time, the wedding went off without a single hitch. There had been no moment of doomed information before the ceremony or hysterical crying. Okay, so maybe Bonnie had let a few tears slide down her cheeks when she and Jeremy's twin toddlers, one boy and one girl, walked down the aisle. The first carried the wedding rings on a simple white pillow and the second floated white rose petals through the air and onto the ground with her mind.
And alright, there had been a few tears as I walked down the aisle in my mother's wedding gown towards my future husband with Ric's arm laced through mine. And yeah, maybe Caroline bawled her eyes out when we'd spoken our personally written vows, complete with vampire lingo since everyone knew what we were. I think I even heard a sniffle from Meredith when we kissed passionately, setting the marriage in stone, and Damon arched me backwards for the dramatic effect.
But those were all tears of joy, emphasizing the happy faces and cheerful excitement that surrounded the day. They were expected at a wedding, even one designated for vampires.
That excitement extended into the reception, which consisted of one large table where we all sat around and ate the assortment of dishes each guest had supplied. Chatter and laughter filled the air as we took in the food, the champagne, and the general pleasure of each other's company.
Then the sky darkened, Caroline's white Christmas lights switched on, and the music started in.
And for such a small gathering of people, we had the ground shaking. The girls were haphazardly whipping their hair through the air and jumping to the rhythm of each song's particular beat, while the guys each took turns busting into random silly dances to evoke laughs from the others.
As I turned to look at Damon now, he was butchering some Irish jig with Stefan in an attempt to get Ric to keel over laughing. They were successful of course and I found myself giggling at their playful demeanors and marveled at how close they appeared now.
Their relationship had taken quite a beating over the years and it was the main reason we had held off the wedding for as long as we had.
Those initial months after we'd rescued Stefan from Klaus had been brutal, consumed with threats towards my life through the bars on the cellar door and terrifying looks of carnal hunger in those hazel orbs of his. It had gotten to the point where I wasn't sure we'd ever see the true Stefan again, but then moments started appearing where his features would soften and we'd see a spark of life behind the monster lurking before us. Eventually, he came back fully.
Stefan knew that the relationship he had left with me was no longer present, but the original plan was still orchestrated. My relationship with Damon was kept a secret from the fragile younger brother until we both knew he was ready to deal with it. When that finally happened, all of the progress he'd made vanished and Stefan reverted back to the monster.
It broke my heart knowing that mine and Damon's choices had done this to him and after a few more weeks, I was finally able to step through the door caging Stefan in and actually talk to him. I knew it had to be difficult for Stefan to hear why my decision had changed, but ultimately he'd understood. That doesn't mean he wasn't heartbroken. He was and it reflected on his expression every day, although I knew he did his best to hide it.
For the next few years, Damon and I resisted behaving in ways that would dig the knife around Stefan's heart any more than it already had been. We'd limited our episodes between the sheets to solely my bedroom and we didn't partake in PDA when Stefan was around. It was difficult, but we made it work for Stefan's sake and we made up for it when we were alone.
Finally, the day came where Stefan was ready to move on, not just from me, but from Mystic Falls. I know it pained Damon having to say goodbye to his brother, and I didn't miss the irony in this situation at all, but he'd gone along with his brother's decision.
Stefan had only been gone six months when we'd received the first call informing us that he was alright, actually better than alright. And the reason behind that was here with us today. The vampire's name was Elizabeth and she lit up Stefan's face in a way that I hadn't seen in so many years. She made him happy, that was easy to comprehend, but she melded back the pieces of his broken heart. And for that I would forever be grateful because I knew how much of an impact that had on setting up the building blocks for a solid relationship.
After we received the call about Elizabeth, Damon had popped the question. Finally content that his brother had moved on and we could just be without causing him more pain. And a few months ago, Stefan and Elizabeth had moved into their own house here in Mystic Falls.
This happened because everyone always came back. Caroline, Tyler, Bonnie, and Jeremy had at least. They'd all left for the big apple, while I stayed behind with Damon to care for Stefan. They'd all attended their dream schools while I took classes at Mystic Falls Community College, but I wasn't resentful. I'd made my decision and to this day, I still stand firmly behind it. I'd still been able to take my required writing classes and get my necessary degree and I'd still found a job that kept me happy.
As for the others, they'd all attended the same schools they had in my first trip into the future. But instead of finding jobs in the city of New York, they'd all come back home afterwards. They liked to joke it was because they missed the simplicity of Mystic Falls, but we all knew the real reason. They'd come back for Damon and I, and besides Mystic Falls was never simple; if anything it was more dangerous than the crime threating the streets of New York City. Still, Caroline had been the only one to ever come clean and actually admit they'd come back for me. But, honestly, I didn't need the truth; all that mattered was that they had.
Once they came back, it amused me in the beginning once my friends started picking jobs because they all seemed to resemble the ones they'd chosen before.
Tyler had become the football coach at Mystic Falls High, while Caroline had taken the director's position for all of the programs and plays at the school. She was stuck conversing with mellow-dramatic teenagers all day, so naturally she often caught herself acting like one. But every time she did, she'd immediately reassure me that the job would benefit us later down the road. She'd become a master at costume make-up and she insisted we'd need her expertise at applying slight wrinkles and streaks of gray to our hair when we "get older." At that, I always laughed.
Bonnie had also taken a job at a school, but her choice had been Mystic Falls Community College. She taught the same class her grandmother had before she passed and it was obvious she loved her work. She was one of those people you wanted to smack across the face because they'd been lucky enough to land their dream job, but I couldn't have been more pleased for her. Because she was happy and therefor Jeremy was happy.
Instead of taking a job at Virgin records, he'd started taking on freelance jobs. Whenever someone needed a Graphic Artist to design a print campaign or website, he was their guy, which worked out perfectly when the twins showed up because he was able to work from home. They hadn't exactly been planned, but needless to say, they'd been a pleasant surprise.
And then there were those that had remained exactly the same as last time. Liz was still the sheriff of Mystic Falls and Ric was still happily married to Meredith. The only thing missing was a date for Liz, but Caroline had assured me that she was in the process of hooking her mother up with a co-worker and to keep my fingers crossed.
As I looked at the gathering of my friends now, I realized that everyone I loved was here, even those I never expected to love the way I did. But that's what happened when life works out perfectly. Knowing what the universe already intends to throw your way really helps in making that happen and not a day goes by when I don't mentally thank Bonnie for letting me peer into my future.
It was because of her spell that I'd been able to get my life set on the right track this time and also the reason I had the strength to withstand the crap the universe still attempted to throw my way. I was stronger, wiser, and so much happier than I ever thought I could be.
The music playing from Caroline's IPod then switched tracks into a slow dance and instantly Damon's eyes caught mine from across the back patio. He didn't even attempt to cross the distance at human speed, and instead flashed before me, hand sliding around my waist and pulling me in.
"Hello Mrs. Salvatore," he purred with a devilish grin, resulting in tingles all the way from the tips of my toes to the point of my nose.
"Hello Mr. Salvatore," I replied with the same sultry tone as the fingers of his free hand then twined themselves between mine and we started to sway to the music. We twirled around the dance floor, our actions symmetrical and fluid; the way everything with us was. He'd spin me out and pull me back in with ease, my dress twirling out at my base, hazing me in my princess façade; which made sense really, since I'd gotten my happy ending.
Every once in a while, he'd lean in to whisper something either completely inappropriate, forcing me to laugh, or something downright sweet that had my lips curling upward and my eyes squinting in pleasure.
The moment was incredible; the evening was incredible; hell, our lives were incredible. And I just couldn't stop smiling from the fascination of it all. Then again, I didn't want to.
So I didn't and as the song finally came to its end, Damon titled me backwards. I thought his lips were going to approach mine, but instead he just looked at me. He was a vision, enchanting and completely illuminated from obtaining everything that had been denied from him in his past. And what he said next was better than any kiss I could have received at the moment.
"You're mine now. Forever," he whispered adoringly.
I smiled at the tone and mimicked back appropriately, "And you're mine," before I pressed my lips against his.
And all I could think about was that maybe, in the literal sense, forever wasn't in our future, but we were getting the better part of it. And besides, we still had today, we had tomorrow, and we had one hell of a lifetime to make it count.
Except the difference this time was that we already had.
Please Read and Review. :)
Thank you to everyone what has reviewed, subscribed, favorited, and read this story. It was written to help me get through a very difficult time in my life, hence all of the crazy emotions flying around and my insistent need to screw around with the characters. I never imagined that it would be as successful as it was and appreciate all of the time you guys have put into it.
Your support is the reason I keep writing, so once again, thank you!