Chapter 5: Over at the Salvatore's

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Wait 'til he grows up – those words continuously rang inside Elena's mind over and over again like a broken record. And like a broken record indeed, it felt like she had just been stabbed in the gut with a jagged piece of vinyl. She winced at the imaginary pain she felt and wrapped her arms around herself subtly, making sure that Damon wouldn't catch sight of it; but it didn't matter. He already knew how she felt. He saw it in her eyes; how they fluttered nervously at his words. He also noticed the flush in her cheeks. No matter how much she tried to conceal herself, her unease was still unravelling itself before his eyes; eyes that showed their hunger for her angst and discomfort. How could someone's stare be as smouldering as his? How was it possible for him to make her shiver at his icy glare, yet melt in the heat of the moment?

She did not comprehend why those five words affected her so much. Was it because of the paranoia that had been frequently prodding her mind? Was it because of the circumstances and revelations made known to her? Was it because of how bothersome Damon's presence had become? Was it because of her fear of the fact that Damon might be right? She wasn't sure which reason was accurate, even though all of them were applicable. And it was the fact that she didn't know that made her feel so uneasy. All of her emotions mixed together, thus resulting to her present discomfort. She was frustrated at the fact that she couldn't win a single battle with him. She felt angered at his wit and innuendos. She was nervous of their first meet after six years. Yet overall, it was the pain that seared through her from her memory of the past that affected her most. It was the last memory she had of him then that drove her running for the hills. He scarred her physically and emotionally, and that was something she knew she could never forgive him for.

Elena felt herself crumbling before Damon. She kept her eyes low, avoiding his gaze. Her hands laid on her lap, clenched to one another in a prayer-like manner. Her legs were crossed over the other; her ankles too. She was trying to think of something to spit back at Damon; something that would make him feel the same way he made her feel, but it was impossible. Damon was the king when it came to games like this. Those were one of the reasons why she avoided him so much – she didn't like the games that he wanted to play back then; even up to now. She always seemed to lose and Damon was one who loved dominating over his opponent. It was what he was. It was the Damon way.

The more she tried to avoid his stare, the more he pierced his eyes at her. He licked his lips and bit his lower lip to suppress a small smirk that was fighting its way to his mouth. He grew amused at every reaction Elena gave away. He loved seeing her like this, squirming under his gaze. He enjoyed every single second of it.

Just before Elena disintegrated into nothing, Dylan finally arrived and broke the tension. "I'm starving!"

And as if she was holding her breath the whole time, Elena finally drew in a great amount of air and exhaled. She was beyond glad that Dylan finally returned from his trip to the washroom. It felt like he had been gone for a whole day with the amount of stress she had been through in the last three minutes or so. Still trying to avoid Damon's face, her eyes met Dylan's familiar blue ones that held hint of admiration to them. This calmed Elena's nerves. Even though Dylan had the exact same eyes as his father, Elena felt different when the six-year-old kid stared at her. She felt loved in a nice and warm kind of way. She felt no hint of terrorism at all; and it made her feel better.

Finally, a warm smile reached Elena's lips. She smiled genuinely at the boy and helped him up to his seat, even placing a napkin on his lap. "So, can we dig in now, Ms. Elena?" Dylan's high-pitched voice asked as he grabbed his knife and fork greedily from the table.

"Yes, we can dig in now." Elena chuckled softly, her smile still remaining. There was something about the boy that made her feel like she was the safest human out there in the world. Despite of the fact that he was only six and that she had only met him a couple of days ago, she felt like he was her protector. He was the light to the darkness that Damon brought. He was her shield from the things she feared the most. She was glad to have him in her life. And she was sure that as long as Dylan was around, Damon would no longer bring her pain.

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The dinner actually went by quickly. After they had their taste of the mouth-watering Italian food, Dylan began telling his Pre-School Teacher lots of stories of what he does every day – the shows that he loved to watch, the songs that he loved to sing, the hobbies that he loved to do and the moments that he used to bond with his father. It thrilled Elena to hear all those stories from one of her students. But what thrilled her more was Damon's attitude when Dylan was around. Overall, Damon was on good behaviour for the rest of the night. He made no innuendos; he said nothing of the past. He was just there, sitting with his son, joking around and elaborating stories that Dylan told Elena. He looked like a real father.

These thoughts ran across Elena's mind as they drove home from the restaurant. Damon sat at the driver's seat, Dylan was at the back, and she rode shotgun. The car was quiet. She kept her gaze out the window, mindlessly watching the darkness from afar. She didn't dare to even make conversation with Damon because she knew that it would just drive her insane again. And with her saviour at the back, maybe even fast asleep, no one would be there to save her from Damon's words, or even his actions. She would be all alone like a deer caught in headlights. Only this time, it would be Damon's smouldering stare that would act as the headlights.

She still couldn't figure out how Damon could shift back and forth to two different personalities so quickly and so often. His attitudes changed along with the people that surrounded him. When he was around her, it felt like they were in a game of predator versus prey. He was the hungry tiger and she was a doe that was caught in its sights. But when he was around his son, it was a whole other story. Another side of him, a side which she never knew, came out. He became more pleasant to be around. His indecent, inappropriate side disappeared. It was interesting for Elena to see such unpredictable things from him; a good kind of unpredictability. It was a new Damon. She somehow liked this new Damon. She even wished that this side of him would come out often.

The drive came to an end when the car stopped right in front of Elena's apartment. Elena was ready to bolt out of the car when she heard Damon cut the engine off from beside her. Her eyes widened, still staring outside of her window. Turning the engine off only meant one thing. He wasn't going to allow her to leave wordless.

Elena's hand was already on the doorknob. She was just waiting for Damon to do something. She waited for a good minute or so, but when he did nothing, Elena pulled the knob and opened the car door. Just when she was about to get herself out of the awkward silence that hugged the both of them, Damon broke her focus. "Aren't you going to say goodbye to my son?"

Those words caught her off guard. She wasn't even sure if she heard him right. Damon wanted her to bid her goodnight and goodbye to Dylan? She took a nice amount of time to think about what she was supposed to do. Without saying a word to Damon, she looked over her seat to see the six-year-old boy fast asleep, sitting at the back seat with a safety belt wrapped around his tiny body. Seeing him made her smile. Elena liked adorable children and the sight of Dylan sleeping peacefully, his messy black hair almost covering half of his face, was beyond adorable.

She pondered on the thought of leaving her student without a proper goodbye. She thought of the chance that Dylan might feel sad for leaving without even saying farewell. She thought of how she would meet his face on the next day when she would come over their home to tutor him, and he wouldn't even look at her for what she refused to do the night before. Elena tried to shake off that unbearable thought from her mind and just decided to go with whatever her gut tells her. She then got out of the car, went to the door that led to the back seat, opened it and sat beside Dylan.

His face was angelic. And even with just the dim light that came from the street posts, she still managed to make out his features – his rosy cheeks, his thin lips, and even the long lashes that framed his beautiful eyes. Elena stared in awe. The image of this boy melted her heart. His personality also added a little something that made Elena more drawn to him than she should normally be. There's just something in this boy… I just don't know what it is.

She brushed the tousled hair that was on his face, and with a small smile on her lips, she kissed the boy on the forehead. Dylan groaned and moved a bit, but the safety belt that wrapped around his frame restrained him from moving too much. She rubbed his head lightly and watched him wiggle under the restraints.

"Good Night, Dylan. See you tomorrow," Elena whispered and gave him another peck on the forehead. Feeling satisfied with herself, she shifted on the seat and slowly got out of the car, but then she heard a boy's voice speak in a low murmur behind her as she got up.

"Good Night… mommy," Dylan said subconsciously. Elena surely didn't know what to do. She was surprised at what her student said. But instead of reacting negatively toward what she had heard, Elena smiled once more and felt her heart melt. Even though she knew that she would be in an awkward position to be called mommy at that moment and at those circumstances, she accepted it anyway. She knew she had a soft spot for that kid and she was proud to know that the kid feels the same for her.

She smiled as she successfully got out of the car without disturbing Dylan's slumber. She felt happy at what she did; a wide smile of gladness marked her lips. She then shut the door behind her and turned around. Her smile almost faded away completely when he saw Damon's figure staring at her, his stance arrogant – arms crossed, feet that are shoulder-length apart, head cocked to the side – and a look on his face as if he was trying to decipher something.

Damon stood a good five feet away from her; her back leaned on the blue Chevy that was parked behind her. At that moment, Elena felt like everything around her paused. It was just her and Damon again. Her heart beat faster and her breath quickened. She wasn't sure if the man before her was going to terrorize her once more. She didn't like the emotions she felt when she was around Damon. The emotions felt dark and discomforting. She wanted to get away from it – from him. And the only thing that lingered on her mind for her to do was to run for it.

Elena kept her gaze away from Damon's eyes as she paced towards her house. She passed his side, pulled her right shoulder in; avoiding any chance of their skins from touching. She was almost at her porch, just a few steps away, when Damon interrupted her thoughts, "Aren't you going to say goodnight to me?"

She stopped dead in her tracks. Damn it, she said to herself. Just when she thought that she was finally safe from Damon and his antics, she actually thought wrong. And just like earlier, Elena wasn't sure on what she's going to do. She turned on her heel and faced the man she'd been avoiding for the last six years. He was wearing a smirk on his lips and a mischievous look masked his pale, blue eyes. Elena gave out a soft sigh and closed her eyes. And when she opened them, her big, brown doe eyes finally met at Damon's.

"Good night," she said to him, not really meaning it. She turned her back again to Damon and headed to her house. When she reached her porch, she opened her purse and looked for the keys. Elena opened her door and got in. When she turned around to close it, and maybe even peak outside to see if Damon was already leaving, she was shocked to see blue eyes staring back at her.

She jumped in surprise for she didn't hear Damon's footsteps following her to her doorstep. She almost let out a yelp, but she forced herself to keep it all in. It was already late and she didn't want to disturb her neighbours. Elena crossed her arms over her chest as she grimaced at Damon who was staring at her with his hands in his pocket.

The stare that he gave her was different. It wasn't cold and it didn't make her feel uneasy. She couldn't describe it. It was her first time to see this kind of look in his eyes. His brows were furrowed as if he was thinking of something really hard, and he bit his lower lip as if he was trying to stop himself from saying anything he knew he would regret. Elena's expression softened when she saw him like this. It almost seemed as if he was fighting with himself in his mind. Her grimace faded and turned into a look of concern – a look she wasn't aware of at that moment.

They stared at each other for quite a long time. She didn't know what she was going to say. She wasn't even sure if she was supposed to say something. She just kept her lips shut. She was waiting for him to say something to her. I mean, that's what he came here for, right? She felt like almost five minutes had passed, and when he still said nothing, Elena decided it was time to end the silence. She shifted her weight to her other leg and repeated her words to him a while ago; this time, with feelings.

"Good night, Damon." And with those words, Damon finally mustered up enough strength for him to say the things that had been in his mind the whole time they kept their silence.

"Thank you," he murmured in a low voice, as if he was ashamed of saying those words aloud. And just like everything else that Damon does, it shocked Elena to hear him say something like that. Her eyes fluttered open and close in confusion, still trying to process what was just happening before her. She tilted her head to the side, interested in finding out where this conversation of theirs was going.

"I just wanted to say thank you," Damon continued, his eyes still pierced hers in a soft manner. "Thank you for going out to dinner with us, for agreeing to tutor Dylan, for not avoiding me despite of my tendencies of becoming an ass at times," he said as his eyes rolled and his lips formed a straight line; as if he, too, was frustrated at his own self.

Elena took in a deep breath and exhaled. She straightened her posture and licked her lips. "You're welcome," she said as their eyes connected once more. "But to tell you the truth, I'm not doing this for you." She added. Damon bowed his head for a second, and then his eyes returned back to where they once were – at her. "I'm doing this for Dylan."

"I know." Damon answered a little too quickly for Elena to not take it in a bad way. His brows drew lower and the intensity returned to his eyes yet again. That look confirmed to her that their moment of seriousness was over. Elena closed her eyes, inhaled for a quick second, and opened them back again only to meet the cold eyes that stared at her face; the usual playful smirk lingering again upon Damon's lips.

Damon placed his arm on the threshold and posed his regular masculine pose. Elena just rolled her eyes at his gesture. "Is that all you've come to say?"

"Do you still know how to get to the boarding house?" He asked as he raised his eyebrows at her, disregarding her question.

"Maybe." Elena answered his question immediately. But then she remembered, it had been six years since she was at the Salvatore Boarding House. She wasn't sure if she could still recall the route to the place. All she was sure of was that it was a big house in the middle of nowhere, with a big front yard and an even bigger back yard.

"Oh, there's no room for shyness around here, Elena." He cooed, a chuckle following his choice of words. That was when Damon reached in his jacket and took out a black wallet. He opened it, grabbed a small card and handed it over to Elena.

Elena hesitated to accept the piece of cardboard that was squeezed between Damon's right index and middle fingers. Her eyes shifted from the card, to his eyes, and back to the card. She wasn't sure if she still knew how to get to the boarding house, and it would be much worse if she would get lost in the way there and have Damon pick her up. Elena thought that accepting the card would be better than accepting another ride from him. Already decided, Elena snatched the card from his hands. "Is that all?"

A small chuckle escaped from Damon's lips. He placed his hands back in his pocket and smirked at her. "I see that you'd want to get back to your house now." He said, his eyes gazing at her with such amusement. "I'm looking forward to seeing you again tomorrow, Ms. Gilbert. I hope you'd find the calling card very much useful."

Damon turned on his heel and began pacing back to his car when he suddenly remembered something. He looked over his shoulder and called Elena again. "Oh, and Ms. Gilbert," He caught Elena's attention and when her eyes finally met his, he gave her a quick wink together with his very infamous smirk and added, "Good night." And with that, Damon got in his car, started the engine and drove off.

An icy chill ran down Elena's spine and she shivered. What the… She wasn't sure on what just happened. And even as she closed the door, she still felt a weird draft surrounding her. She placed her hands on her arms and rubbed them quickly, trying to produce as much heat as she possibly could. It was weird though, because despite of the chill that she felt hugging her tight, a flush of warmth rushed to her cheeks and she felt her face getting hot. Her heart fluttered and she felt something unknown churn in her gut. She had a clue on what she was feeling, but she definitely did not want to admit it to herself.

"I'd rather die than admit it," She said to herself as she tossed her house keys to a table near the front door, quickly walking to her room. She removed her heels, changed to her night clothes and did her nightly ritual in the bathroom. As she tucked herself to bed and let the darkness consume her, she couldn't help but replay the moment that had just recently happened in her mind: the sight of Damon, winking at her, his good-looking-self manipulating her female hormones. She hated the fact that it only took his bad-boy charms to make her melt to her knees. She loathed herself for even thinking of him that way. Damn it, control yourself. You hate him. She repeated in her head. She knew that she shouldn't be thinking that way of Damon Salvatore. It was wrong. It was dangerous. Yet, it was one thought that never seemed to leave her mind even as she slept.

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Elena was woken by the bright sunlight that came from her window. She checked the digital clock that was at her bed-side table and saw that it was already seven o'clock. She rolled on her bed, hugged a pillow one more time and finally sat up. She hated waking up this early when it was weekends. It had been a long time since she last woke up like this on a Saturday. The usual time she woke on days like this one was at noon; probably even later. And even though she wanted so much to crawl back to bed and fall asleep again, she knew she just couldn't. A little boy was expecting her today; probably even his father as well. There was no room for disappointment; not for her anyway.

She headed to her bathroom and took a warm shower. She finished quite quickly, wrapped a towel around herself, and then headed to her closet. She wasn't sure what she was going to wear. Should she go casual? It was a Saturday after all. She wasn't expecting any work and she always wore casual attires during weekends. Should she put on work wear? What she was going to do did involve teaching, and proper teaching attire seemed fitting. She pondered on her choice of clothes for a while and then just decided to go with both.

She grabbed a white, long-sleeved shirt with a plunging neckline and paired it off with a greyish, layered skirt that reached up to above her knees. She also selected her silver, sparkly purse and beige-coloured pumps to go with her ensemble. She dried her hair with her blow dryer and put on nude make up that was light enough to match her light choice of clothes.

It was already 8:30 when Elena made her way down the stairs. Realizing that she had no time left for breakfast, she just took a quick pit stop at the kitchen, drank a glass of water, and got her keys from the table near the door. Just as she grabbed her car keys and house keys, she felt something sharp poke her palm. She opened her hand and found the square piece of cardboard that Damon handed to her last night. She made her way to her car and started the engine. As she was waiting for her engine to heat up, she read the crumpled calling card that she held in her hand.

The only thing that was written on the card's front side was his name – Damon Salvatore. She wondered why the card didn't state Damon's position, his job, or even his workplace. She flipped the card over and saw his contact numbers, e-mail address and house address. And as Elena read word per word the address to where she was going to, certain memories of the past flooded back to her mind – memories she never wanted to recall again. Shaking off those unwanted thoughts from her brain, she threw the calling card over to the rider's seat, placed her hands on the wheel, and stepped on the gas.

As her car winded down the long road, Elena tried distracting herself by recalling the things Dylan missed from his three-day absence and strategizing on how she will teach him those later on. She knew that he had missed recalling the alphabet, counting up to twenty, and writing all those characters on a piece of paper. She also knew that she had to teach him how to write his complete name at least fifty times on a piece of white paper with blue lines.

Thinking about those things made Elena smile for she knew that those were the things that made her enter the world of teaching. She loved educating young minds. She loved the look on the kid's faces when they were taught new things – things that they never even knew. She loved their awe, their childlike expressions and their appreciation for life and everything that comes with it. It made her feel like no matter how much work she was doing, it would still be worth it.

Her mind continued to drift off to other thoughts similar to those. She kept on imagining different scenarios, unaware of the fact that she had already arrived her destination. Damn it, I'm high again, Elena thought to herself as she realized what she had been doing. Her car crawled to a stop right in front of the Salvatore Boarding House. She cut off the engine, grabbed her purse from the seat next to her, and got out of the car.

Elena stared at the large manor in front of her. She couldn't believe the fact that she was staring at it again after six years of trying to forget about it and the memories that it harboured. And even though it had been a long time since she was there, the place still looked the same. It still held the same elegance of its antiquity. It still had that same, dark aura surrounding it. It still had the same century-old trees covering it from sight. It still had that same spine-tingling effect on her whenever she would lay her eyes on that house. And lastly, it still had that same memory attached to it; that it continued to burn her fragile little heart.

Wanting to clear her mind of those things bothering her again, Elena tore her eyes from the dull, yet beautiful, building before her and made her way up to the front door. I guess this is it. She held her right hand up and knocked her hand on the door; loud enough for people that were inside to hear, yet soft enough to not draw too much attention on her.

She waited, shifting her weight on her legs repeatedly – trying her best not be impatient. It felt like almost ten minutes had already passed. She thought that maybe no one heard it, so she decided to try again. Elena knocked on the door one more time, making it a little louder and heavier this time. It definitely hurt her knuckles, but when she heard footsteps growing louder from the other side, she no longer needed to repeat it.

A woman who looked like she was in her mid-30's opened the door. She was slightly taller than Elena, and she looked like as if she had some Asian descent. She was fair, even considerably beautiful. Her hair was tied in a bun on her head and she wore a light blue uniform that signified her job of being a housekeeper. She had a blank look on her face as she stared back at Elena.

"Good morning. I'm Elena Gilbert. I'm here for my tutorial sessions with Dylan Salv–" But before she even finished, the woman cut her off.

"I know who you are and what you came here for." She said in a rather cold tone. Elena's jaw almost dropped open as the woman said those words to her. She felt her blood beginning to boil at the reaction the housekeeper gave her. She tried as much as she could to remain patient with the woman. It's not worth it, Elena, she repeated to herself mentally. Elena wasn't sure if she wanted to hear what else the woman had to say, but she was sure of the fact that she really needed to get in the house. And as if the woman heard her inner thoughts, she said, "Please, come in," and moved to the side, giving Elena enough space for her to make her way in.

Elena hesitated at first, eyeing the woman whose body was partially covered the by wooden door. She noticed how her face looked cold and how her eyes pierced the carpet below her feet. She guessed that it wasn't only Damon who had an attitude problem under the boarding house's roof. Elena then took one deep breath, keeping her eyes away from the woman, and stepped her right foot in first. As she made her way to the foyer, she heard the woman shut the door close behind her. Her eyes followed the woman as she saw her walk away, not giving her any thought to where Damon was and when he will be out.

Left alone inside the Salvatore Boarding House, recurring images flashed in Elena's mind as all the things that were around her reminded her of everything she so much wanted to forget. Her eyes skimmed the whole living area, trailing paths from the couches that surrounded the mahogany-framed coffee table at the center of the lobby, to the shelves filled with books that made up a whole wall on the other side of the room. She also saw the fireplace that was as intricately designed as the rest of the house, and even the several bottles of high-class alcohol atop a small, glass table that she knew too well a long time ago.

As her eyes trailed to the couch in the middle of the room, a thought crossed her mind if she should sit down there and wait for her hosts, but she wasn't sure if she was supposed to sit down. She wasn't even sure if she wanted to be welcomed in that house in the first place. Her grudge for the Salvatore's was still alive in her heart and her mind and she knew that its flame wouldn't be put out soon.

She had already been standing there for fifteen minutes, and still, there was no sign of Damon or his adorable child anywhere. The house remained silent. Nothing moved except for her and it was beginning to feel unsettling. Elena thought that walking around would ease her nerves, but then she was reminded that she was on monster's territory and that walking around might be a very regrettable idea. And now that the thought was in her head, curiosity suddenly flowed through her veins – the curiosity to find out the changes in the Salvatore Boarding House. She fought with herself mentally whether or not she would give in to her urges, but seeing that her hosts wouldn't be around anytime soon, she thought that it would probably be best to pass time that way.

Her venture further inside the boarding house made the hair on the back of her neck stand up. It felt like as if she was in a haunted house. Everything looked old, historical, and painfully familiar. Firstly, she made her way down the left wing of the large manor. Aware that there were at most eight bedrooms located inside the house, she knew that four of them were on the wing she made her way through. She walked down the corridor and saw two doors closed shut, another two slightly open and one that was pad-locked. Elena was curious to peek at the two doors that were slightly open, but then she realized she'd never really known which room was Damon's and she didn't want to make the mistake of entering his. She wouldn't want to be stuck in a room with him and all his 'morning glory'. She snuck past the two slightly opened doors and walked quietly until she reached the end. At the end of the hallway was the dining room, and located right next to it was the kitchen.

After touring the left wing of the house, she turned on her heel and headed to the other wing. She took in a deep breath before she even made her first step, because she knew that there would be an eerie feeling of familiarity once she steps foot into that dark portal. She knew that she was heading to the wing where Stefan's room was located.

She composed herself and made unsure steps toward the opposite corridor. Just like the first wing, she saw four doors and all of them were shut. Her eyes trailed to the farthest door on her left and just staring at the door itself already had a huge effect on her. She felt a slight pang in her chest and in her gut. Her brows furrowed and she wrapped her arms around herself, as if she was trying to hold herself together. The door she stared at led to the room she'd been in the last time she was in this house. And as if she wanted to burn herself even more with the painful memory that haunted her, she held her right arm out and reached for the doorknob. She was curious to lay her eyes on it again. Still thinking of whether or not her actions would be regrettable, her small hand wrapped around the cold stainless steel of knob. All that was left for her to do was to turn her hand, open the door and peek her head in and the thirst of her curiosity would be quenched.

Elena counted in her head. One. Two. Three, and with that, she twisted the doorknob and slowly pushed the door open. The slowness of her actions filled her veins with adrenaline and suspense. The door was already half-open when she heard a low, husky voice come up to her from behind. On instinct, she let out a small yelp, pulled the door close and turned to see who her intruder was. Her chest heaved and her eyes rolled when she was met with a smirk she was not expecting to meet.

"Good Morning, Ms. Gilbert," Damon said in his low, morning voice, as he stood a yard away from her. His hair looked damp and messy and Elena figured that he might have just gotten out of the shower. Her eyes trailed from the black tresses atop his head to the pale blue eyes that pierced hers. Then, they went down to observe his overconfident smirk and the untouched stubble that covered his chin. It seemed that he had just woken up recently. And from his chin, her eyes slowly and unknowingly fell upon his naked torso. Her eyes scanned every muscle, but what made her breath hitch was how desperately low his dark jeans hung on his hips and how it revealed the toned cuts that marked his pelvis. It made Elena think on how it was possible for someone to look so clean, yet so dirty at the same time.

Her eyes remained subconsciously ogling Damon's half-naked body. She was so caught up in his perfect image that when Damon spoke again, she herself was surprised at her own actions. "I see that you've enjoyed your sight-seeing." He remarked, placing his hands in his pockets and pushing his jeans even lower. Elena immediately withdrew her eyes from his body and returned them to his face. The thought of wanting to smack the smirk off his face clouded her mind. She hated him for manipulating her female hormones like that. She hated herself more for even falling for the slightest bit of it.

Not knowing what to say after being caught staring, Elena decided to answer him back in the safest way possible. "You took long. I waited for almost thirty minutes." She leaned back on the door and crossed her arms over her chest.

"As you have already thoroughly seen, I was showering. I would've gotten out sooner, but I figured that you wouldn't want to see me much more indecent than I already am now." Damon spat back, his brows waggling and his smirk getting even more amused. Elena almost let out a scoff. She was totally getting pissed at him again. This was going to be her daily doings as long as Damon was in her life, but she already knew that. She just couldn't accept the fact that he might be staying for quite a long time and she didn't like that at all.

She decided that she didn't have any more time for his immature antics so she decided to change the topic to ease the tension around them. "Where's Dylan?"

"In his room," He answered immediately. "If you don't already know, it's the one on the farthest, most extreme left side of that wing." He continued groggily, removing his left hand from his pocket and pointing unsteadily to the direction he was telling her about. He told her about Dylan's room as if he was subconsciously ordering her to go in the room and have a look for herself. Elena wasn't sure if it was a trap or just a random act, but she was sure that she would be willing to do anything to get out of the crosshairs of the half-naked Damon Salvatore.

Elena turned on her heel and made her way to the other wing again. She brisk walked down the corridor till she reached the door Damon had told her. Without looking back to see if Damon was staring at her, following her, or even near her, she closed her body to the slightly opened door and gave it light knocks. "Dylan, it's me, Ms. Elena." She repeated the knocks for a couple of times, but when no one answered her, she decided to peak her head in and see for herself what was going on.

She entered and noticed a variety of things she hadn't seen before in the antique boarding house. She saw a bright room whose walls were painted white with hints of pale blue that gave it a neutral, boyish feel, that despite of the fact that the lights were off, the room remained luminous. Toys were scattered everywhere; on the floor, on the study desk, in the closet. A white-framed window was on one side of the room. It gave a good view of the front lawn and enough space for the sunlight to enter the room. She also saw a white bed with white sheets and a white, wooden bed frame. And on it lay a six-year-old boy, fast asleep, a light blue quilt wrapped around his small body.

Elena felt heat rush to her cheeks. The boy even managed to pull at her heartstrings even while he was asleep and that made her feel fascinated. She knew that there was something in that boy that made her feel attached to him; she just quite couldn't put her finger on it. She wanted to come closer but she felt like an intruder – entering someone else's room without their permission. She decided that it was better to withdraw herself from the room and just wait for Dylan to wake up.

As she turned around to walk back to the living room, she accidentally bumped into Damon who was standing right behind her, still as indecent as he was a while ago. Elena felt their bodies touch and immediately flinched away, as if she were just burned. She realized that looking at Damon was giving enough damage to her insides and that touching him would be worse. She was willing to do everything it takes just for them to not touch each other – that was how desperate she was. Damon stared at her with a confused look and she answered him nonverbally with a reassuring head shake, letting him know that it was nothing.

Without her knowledge, Damon had observed Elena from the door frame. He watched how she looked at his son and even the slight movement she made to move closer that was halted. Damon could read her like an open book and he knew that she wanted to come closer, but was unsure of herself again. That was why when Damon caught her gaze in his, he permitted her to continue, "Wake him up. It's alright. It's already half past nine. You two should be getting through ABCs by now." He muttered in a voice that was even lower than a whisper.

Elena was taken by surprise. She had no idea how Damon got into her head and figured out her motives. Am I that easy to read? She looked at him for a long time and saw nothing behind the blank depths that stared her down. She couldn't make out what he was thinking and it was driving her insane. She wanted to know. Keeping in mind that there was no chance at all that Damon would share his inner thoughts, she decided to drop the subject and do what Damon had told her.

She turned her back to him and walked to the bed. She sat down on the mattress and placed her hand on the Dylan's leg. She began tapping him lightly, trying to wake him up as soft as possible. She repeated her words to him earlier, "Dylan, it's time to wake up. It's me, Ms. Elena." And after a few light shakes, she saw the little boy's eyes open slowly, revealing the blue orbs that were hidden under his heavy lids. The boy's hand shot up to his face in an attempt to clear his eyes, and when he removed it, he stared at the figure watching him as he woke up. "Ms. Elena?"

When Elena heard those words, a wide smile immediately spread to her lips. She loved the sound of the boy's voice ringing in her ears. She was glad to know that he was already awake. Dylan then began sitting up on his bed, letting out a big yawn in the process. "Ms. Elena," he repeated. "You're here." He said, sounding enthusiastic despite of his present disorientation.

"Yes, I am," Elena replied in return, still keeping the smile on her face. "I promised you that I would tutor you on weekends, remember? You have me all to yourself on Saturdays." She added, earning a small smirk from the boy who was still trying to clear his eyes. But before Elena could add anything, or Dylan could reply anything, Damon interrupted their sweet rendezvous by clearing his throat.

"Dylan, go take a bath now, son, would you?" Damon said as he took a couple of steps toward Dylan and Elena, his hands still in his pocket. And as if Dylan was an automated robot, he immediately got off his bed, got his towel ran for the bathroom that was just a couple of steps away from his previous position. And with that, Damon and Elena are again alone in the same room.

Elena hated moments like those – moments when she was left in a room with him who was unstable most of the time. She didn't like the things that went down when the two of them were left alone together. There was a huge gap between him and her, and as always, she knew that he was staring at her, even when she wasn't looking at him. She always had the feeling that he was staring at her. But for the first time after the past two days they'd been doing this, Elena decided she wasn't going to take it as the victim anymore. She was going to do everything to fight her way to freedom from him.

It took her a lot of guts, but Elena finally launched herself and began striding out of Dylan's room. She was already half-way down the corridor when she heard Damon call her from behind. Please, not any more of his games. Elena slowly turned around to face him, and when she did, she saw that he was already only a couple of inches away from her. She almost jumped from where she stood. Elena oftentimes forgot that Damon could be unsettlingly stealthy and that was something she should get used to if they were to communicate on a daily basis. Her eyes fluttered quickly and she took a sharp intake of breath, "What is it?" She asked him quite calmly.

He responded quickly. "You see, men don't usually behave well when they have an empty stomach," Damon dragged his words, raising his eyebrows to emphasize what he was trying to say. Elena already knew where their conversation was heading and she knew that having any more meals with the man was going to be an outrage. She still didn't like Damon and she would still want to keep her distance from him as much as she possibly can. Elena's lips opened, wanting to stop him before he lets the word out, but he just wouldn't let her. "And if you think that I'm doing this to get you to have breakfast with me, you're sadly mistaken."

Her lips suddenly shut to a close. The last set of words confused her. She wasn't sure what he was trying to pull, but she sure wasn't getting it. Instead of cutting him off, she let him continue his statement. "As you already know, I'm not very good when I get hungry," He paused to stare at Elena who was still baffled at his point. He observed her expressions and continued, "And I'm already a grown man at this point. Imagine that same behaviour, only amplified and coming from a six-year-old boy." And that final statement cleared the meaning of everything to Elena.

What Damon was trying to say to her was that Dylan throws fits and tantrums whenever he's told to do something before food. It had just been a week after Elena first met Dylan and she never imagined the small boy to do something as horrifying as that. But then she realized that it was typical behaviour for children his age. She always took him as a charmer. Suddenly, she remembered that Dylan was no ordinary boy. He was the son of Damon Salvatore – utterly famous for charming women and throwing fits of rage under the influence of alcohol. I should've guessed, Elena thought to herself. Like father, like son.

Elena was pulled out of the little portal that was her mind by Damon's voice. "So, since you've already joined us this morning, why not have breakfast with me?" He added in his low and rough voice that made chills run down her spine. Her breathing became erratic and she wanted to fight the irrational thoughts off her head. Stop it. You hate him, she repeated to herself shook off her thoughts and stared into his playful eyes.

"I'd rather not," And again, it took Elena a lot of guts just to muster those words and let them out for Damon to hear. But just as she thought that she already had the upper hand, Damon took a step closer to her, and in turn, she took a step backwards. She felt the wall of the corridor make contact with her back and she had a bad feeling that the following series of events would not be good.

The proximity between them became unsettling. She could already feel Damon's warm breath on her skin. His heat was radiating on to her and it made her more nervous. The scent of his newly-showered body intoxicated her. Elena felt as if she was beginning to lose her mind. She tried as much as possible to avoid Damon's eyes. She stared past his shoulder to distract her from his hypnotizing, blue orbs. And as she tried to concentrate on keeping her progesterone at check, Damon interrupted her thoughts.

"Oh, so you would rather stay here?" He asked his rather sarcastic question as he took another step forward, completely invading Elena's personal space. On instinct, she put her hands up and placed them in front of her, buying her enough space for her to breathe. She felt warm skin touch her hands. Her line of sight travelled from over Damon's shoulder to her hands and she realized what she was doing. She immediately removed her hands from his abdomen and crossed them quickly over her chest. Elena heard a low chuckle erupt from Damon's throat.

And with that, Damon leaned his face closer to her and all Elena could do was hold her breath and wish for everything to be over. He leaned closer and closer until there was no more space between them. She closed her eyes, not wanting to see what would happen next. And then, he whispered to her words she knew she never wanted to hear from him: "I can do this all day." In that instant, Elena gave up.

"Fine, I'll have breakfast with you." Elena whispered back in a rather weak voice. She felt the air shift and everything became cool again. She took a deep breath and exhaled. She was finally able to breathe again. She slowly opened her eyes, expecting that Damon would be there, staring at her; laughing at her for still falling for his same old tricks. But he wasn't. As Elena's eyes adjusted to the dim lighting of the corridor, she saw that Damon was no longer near her. She looked around and saw that he was making his way toward the kitchen – still strutting the same way he usually does.

Elena couldn't believe what just happened. She didn't want to accept the fact it just happened. But most importantly, she also didn't want to accept the fact that she might go through it again, and again, and again. Everything was unpredictable with Damon Salvatore around, and she just couldn't take it anymore. She wanted to leave. She wanted to run away again, just like she had six years ago. She just couldn't. She was tired of running away full circle, ending up back again where she started from. It was a cycle and she knew she needed to break it. She knew that the only way to end all of this was to face it all with a brave face.

And the first thing she needed to do to accomplish that? Join Damon for breakfast.

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Author's Note:

(April 23, 2013)

Hi everyone! So, as you guys can see, I've already posted Chapter 5 of My Pre-School Teacher. I'm sorry if I've kept you all waiting. Truly, I am. It's just that I've been busy lately with all my studies and I had no time to write at all. I did a lot of stuff for the past two years and now I'm back. Yay!

As you can see, it's a very long chapter - my longest one yet - and I did it to make sure that it has all the elements to keep all of you on your feet. I promise I'll update more recently (because of the fact that it's summer here) and I will be updating until maybe the first week of June. It's because the week after that would be my first week of becoming a freshman college student. Yay!

So, yeah. Thank you for reading My Pre-School Teacher. Thank you for staying tuned in. I promise I will finish this story and I will keep up to all of your expectations. Please don't forget to Read and Review. I live for all your feedback. If you have any questions, you may ask me through private messaging or through the review box. I answer all of my reviews. And if you wanna know more about what happened over the last two years that I went missing, you could go to My Official FanFiction Tumblr Page (the link would be on my profile page - or you could go to /bittersweetloverott - for those who are interested) and read my blog posts there.

That's about it. Thank you again for reading. See you next update!