Chapter 3: Trust

Damon woke early the next morning to a ray of sun beaming on his face, and to the sound of low voices down the hall.

Elena sat at the vanity in her bedroom, combing out her hair leisurely as Klaus stared out the window facing the gardens. She watched him through the mirror apprehensively, worrying what his next words were going to be. Someone was clearly distressing him.

"Can I trust him?" he asked her, his gaze still on the gardens.

Elena placed the comb down letting her eyes fall with it. "You can trust him." She stated lowly.

Klaus turned to her sharply, and sped over turning her around in her chair so he could meet her eyes. "Can I trust him?" he demanded of her. His eyes were hard and penetrating.

Elena smiled and nodded her head. "Yes, of course you can trust him." She assured, watching Klaus' eyes soften instantly.

He ran a hand over her hair. "I'm sorry that I have you do that to you, love…but I needed to be sure, you understand."

Elena let out a breath and smiled. "I understand." She turned back around in her chair grabbing her red lipstick and applying it. "He may be resistant now, but he'll give in…we just need to be patient. He has a lot of potential."

Klaus met her eyes in the mirror. "I can be patient. But you know how my temper can get."

Elena smacked her lips and stood up facing him again. "Let me take care of Damon. I know him…I know how to get him to do what I want." She could see Klaus tense his jaw as he considered this.

"He loves you still…I don't care to leave you alone with him." He grumbled.

Elena smiled up at him. "I can take care of myself. Plus, I can work that to my advantage." She ran her hands up his chest and around his neck. "Damon can't say no to me…and neither can you, so say yes." She giggled when he spun her around and pinned her to the bed covering her neck and chest with kisses. "Is that a yes?"

"Yes." He replied hovering over her. "Don't disappoint me."

Damon opened the bathroom door and slammed it shut. He turned on the shower to hot and got in taking deep breaths to calm himself, but it didn't help. He punched the tile in front of him several times breaking through to the concrete, and staining the water red.

He was fooled again by her! He had never been more livid, and humiliated in his life. He tried to make himself believe that there was a little piece of the old Elena left in her when really all she was doing was using his feelings for her to get what she wanted…and like a idiot he fell for it…because he loved her. He was done. He wasn't going to be her toy.

After another hour, he turned off the shower and grabbed a towel and wrapping it around low around his waist. He wandered back into his room to see Elena sitting on his bed, her back resting against the headboard and her long bare legs linked at the ankles. She was wearing a dark bluish-grey strapless jumper shorts with a pair of nude nubuck wedges and a bright smile.

"Good morning Damon…you take really long showers." She commented as she swung her legs off the bed. Her eyes appraised his body slowly. He didn't answer her. Damon walked right past her to his closet where there were clean shirts and jeans hanging. He was surprised to notice it was things he actually liked. He picked out a black button up, and designer jeans. "I figured you'd like the selection. I picked it all out myself." She stated proudly coming up behind him. Elena raised a brow when he didn't say anything. "Are you going to say anything? Ever?" she asked sarcastically.

"Get out." He mumbled his back still turned to her.

She laughed taken aback. "What?"

"Get out." He said again as he moved back into the bathroom with his clothes.

She huffed loudly and darted in front of him. "Hey! What did I do to make you mad at me?" she frowned with confusion. Damon just stared at her with cold, hardened eyes. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

"You think you can get what you want out of me because I love you…newsflash Elena, I don't love this you. So whatever scheme you have going, and whatever you have planned for me, you can stop right now because I'm on to you." He hissed closing in on her towering over her small frame. She held his gaze before pulling a note out of her pocket. Damon stared at it for a moment before ripping it out of her hand.

We need to talk. It's important. Meet me in town at noon at Regent's Park. Make sure you're not followed.

Damon looked up and narrowed his gaze on her. She mouthed 'please' with wide doe eyes, and he nodded his head once.

She sighed in relief before laughing. "I get it…you're just upset that I'm devoted to Klaus now. That it's him who shares my bed. I like it when you get jealous." She said smugly.

Damon balked at Elena as she said this, not understanding this back and forth with her. She stepped closer to him and cupped a hand around his head as she brought her lips to his ear. "The old me is still in there somewhere…you just need to find her." She whispered softly before leaving his room. It was then that he realized that she was doing this for Klaus' sake.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Elena stood up from the bench when she saw Damon walking towards her through the park. "Thanks for coming."

Damon glanced anywhere but at her. "What are we doing here Elena?"

"We're you followed?" she looked behind him.

"No."

"Come with me." She led them through the path through the gardens. "I know you heard what I said to Klaus this morning." She started with her head down. "I'm sure that was hard for you."

Damon scoffed. "It's not really a surprise Elena…that's all you've ever done, is use me to get what you want. Why would it be any different now?"

Elena looked up at him with a sad frown. "It wasn't like that, and it's not like that now. I have to tell him what he wants to hear, if I don't then he'll know." She led them off the main path and over a little bridge that led to the woods of the park.

"He'll know what? Where are we going?" Damon questioned with aggravation as he followed her around the trees to a small creek.

Elena reached into her pocket and pulled out a sleek glove and a small vile. She slipped on the glove and slowly crouched down to pluck a sprig from the plant and showing it to Damon. "I've been ingesting it for years now. It's the only way I can keep some part of who I am…he controls everything else." She mumbled as she shoved the sprig of vervain into the vile. She handed it to him and slipped her gloved off, shoving it into her pocket.

Damon looked down at it in confusion. "Why are you giving me this?"

She looked at him seriously. "I need your help Damon…I can't do this on my own." She started explaining with a hint of desperation in her voice.

"Do what? You're being very evasive today." He commented exasperated.

She sighed loudly. "I want out…but he compelled me not to leave him. I'm trapped with him Damon…for eternity." She whispered sadly with wide tear filled eyes.

Damon had to admit the thought alone gave him the chills. Again he felt himself caving to her. She was right…he couldn't say no. "What do we have to do?"

Elena took a deep breath. "We need to kill him." She declared quietly. "That way I'll be free of his compulsion, and free to do what I want."

"I thought you were taking vervain?"

"I am now…but it can't prevent any previous compulsion." She turned to him with a bitter smile. "I still have to do things that I would never normally do, just to appease him…but I've become so numb to it that it barely affects me anymore. Just a job, a mission; another day another body." She scoffed. "Or more." She looked up at him imploringly. "Do you remember when I wasn't like that, Damon? Because I don't." she hung her head and looked at her hands. "I don't even know who I am anymore…I've become her; the one person I said I would never be, and here I am doing exactly what she did. Playing games, killing whoever's in my way…deceiving the people I care about." Her eyes darted up to meet his.

Damon stepped forward lifting her head up. "Katherine doesn't care about anyone but herself."

"I feel like that sometimes." She sighed deeply, pulling away from Damon slowly. "We should probably head back. You go first; say you went hunting. I'll take another way back." she headed deeper into the woods.

"Elena." He called out. "Thank you." He held up the vile for her to see.

She nodded. "You're welcome. Hide it…last thing we need is for Klaus to find it." She turned around and darted deeper into the woods, leaving Damon behind.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Damon entered the mansion, the door slamming closed behind him. He forgot how strong he felt when drinking straight from the vein. Damon had hunted just like he was supposed to and spiked his drink in the process.

He compelled a woman in the park to follow him into the woods and fed her a bit of vervain. He didn't drain her dry…just enough for her to still be functional. He gagged and coughed as he drank, but managed to force the blood down his throat. When he was done, he compelled her to forget what happened and sent her off on her merry way.

He wandered into the main room, where Klaus was sitting at his throne while reading a thick volume of some kind. "Hello Damon." He greeted without looking up from the text. "Where did you disappear off to, hm?"

"Hunting. Where's Elena?" he inquired looking around curiously. He figured asking about her before Klaus did would be a good deflection of his knowledge of her whereabouts.

Klaus finally looked up from the book to raise his eyebrows at Damon. "And here I thought she was with you…" he placed the book on the table beside him and stood gracefully to stride towards Damon. "I'm not wrong, am I?"

"You are." He replied boldly staring him in the eye.

Klaus smirked nodding his head. "Really? Then why do I smell her on you?" he tilted his head to the side in consideration as he waited for Damon's response.

Damon didn't even blink. "She visited my room this morning…she had no problem rubbing in my face how blissfully happy the two of you are." He stated sarcastically.

Klaus chuckled to himself. "Ah, yes…she is quite the spitfire isn't she?" he strolled to the bar and poured himself a glass. "Drink?" he offered.

Damon was tempted, and his throat was still burning from the vervain, but he really would rather not stick around and chat with him. "No, thanks." He started to head back to his room when Klaus' voice stopped him.

"Please…I insist."

Damon wasn't sure if that was a demand or merely a suggestion but he decided not to risk exposing himself. He turned back around with a forced smile. "Sure…why not?" he retraced his steps and took the drink Klaus handed to him, taking a long sip.

The elder vampire furrowed his eyebrows and pursed his lips in disappointment. "Where have your manners gone? Not even a 'thank you'…I thought you were raised a gentlemen." He scolded as if Damon was a child.

"Thank you." Damon tried not to let it sound strained, but he was having a hard time adapting to living by rules other than his own. "I didn't mean to insult you."

Klaus waved a hand at him in dismissal. "Oh it's quite alright…who is there to thank when you live by your own rules?" he questioned rhetorically, almost reading Damon's mind.

"The dead bodies?" Damon joked to please him…and it did. He earned a boisterous laugh for his efforts.

"Yes I would assume you could." He chuckled before taking a slip of his liquor. "Oh Damon, you'll fit in just fine here."