Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Diaries.

Author's note: This is my first story about one of the best vampire stories ever created. While I was thinking of writing my other stories, I was watching the first episode of season 3. I was trying to calm the voices that chattered endlessly in my head. Watching TV is a wonderful distraction to the chaos that is going on inside and around me. So this is what I came up with so far. I hope you enjoy reading the chapter!

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Blood. Fresh. Warm. Sweet. Unfairly bitter with the occasional flu shot. The exhilaration that life was slipping away, and he was the one who stole Death's sickle, relishing the chance to feel the last breath on his cheek, to watch the last flicker of life. His skin tingled when his teeth sunk into skin, warm stickiness oozing into his cold fangs, his parched throat, his hunger pang quietly extinguished.

He was known as the Ripper. Widely known and revered among the vampire circle, Stefan watched his prey's blank face and gently pulled her eyes closed. He began his Ripper's ritual. However, ever since he joined forces with Klaus, he tried his best to respect his victim's soul, apologizing for his unforgiving action, adding a short prayer as a form of redemption, wishing that her trip to the other world overshadowed her horrifying departure. But he knew that it could never compensate for what he had done. In addition, he enjoyed every minute and drop of her ordeal. He simply loved human blood. Fresh and alive. And fear added an orgasmic flavor to the killing. When the prey tensed up and cried for help, blood rushed faster so when his fangs punctured her taut skin, the blood flow was quicker and deceptively bottomless. Unlike the stale, old blood he had lived off the past few centuries, human blood was irreplaceable. It was nothing compared to the powdery junk humans injected their bloodstreams with: heroine, cocaine, ecstasy, crystal meth, weed.

Her name was Marie Halls. She was blonde, polished, and petite. She was a senior at University of Mississippi, and Stefan just snuffed the life out of her. She was at the prime of her life, en route to Harvard Law School after graduation. She wanted to be a lawyer, though Stefan couldn't tell from first impression. She had gentle eyes and a soft nature about her. He couldn't imagine her hazelnut eyes glaring at the guilty defendant, stating her case, slamming her hand to emphasize her point, drawing sympathy and justified verdict from the jury.

And yet, people surprised Stefan all the time. During her dying hour, Marie put up a fight, her tiny frame against Stefan's stone-cold body. Why couldn't she just give in? It was pointless and stupid. She might as well punched a black bear in the gut, and she would just enrage it, prompting it to claw her into tiny pieces.

Humans were a piece of work. And he was in no position to judge. When he had met Katherine, he fell in love with her instantly. He fought with Damon over her, causing a permanent divide between brothers. He fought for her love even though she had no plans of returning to them, to him. And yet, he fought and struggled and sought after her. And then he met Elena, and she changed his world completely.

Elena. It was her birthday yesterday, and he missed it. He missed seeing her smile, laugh, her throaty voice whispering into his ear, teasing him. And when he called her last night, his voice was gone, betraying him. Her voice shone through his agony, and he couldn't hold back the tears. He cried in the parking lot. Cried for his love and his loss.

"Earth to Stefan," a cold voice said. Klaus was sitting in one of the big chairs, one leg swung over the other. He yawned, clearly bored with Stefan's lackluster mood change. "We haven't got all day."

Stefan nodded. One hand held the corpse's jaw, while the other gripped her shoulder, as if he was about to pry her open. It was his signature move, ripping their heads from their bodies. It was demeaning, tasteless, and cruel. And yet, Stefan believed it was the sanest thing he could do; setting the bodies upright, as if they were still alive, only sleeping.

"You're wasting precious time, Stefan," Klaus said in a singing voice. "Leave them be. Better than having the bloody police track us down."

"They'll become more suspicious if we just leave them in forests like we're animals. They've already suspected something's not right," Stefan pressed, aligning the head to its former position. Marie's lips were a startling shade of blue. Stefan sighed softly.

"You and your assumptions. You think too much about other people's opinions. Relax. Once I construct my army, humans would wonder no more." Klaus smiled evilly.

Stefan pretended he didn't hear. He leaned back and studied the corpse, sitting in her old living room, with splatters of blood turning brown in her rug. It was like he was studying his latest masterpiece.

"Very nice," Klaus nodded his approval. He suddenly stood up. "That was a refreshing snack, and now's time to check on our little monster friend." Klaus said, glancing at the overhead clock.

They took a short break from the bar, mainly on Klaus' whim. He was ruthless and unpredictable, and Stefan had no other choice but to follow. He trailed behind Klaus but nearly crashed into him when Klaus stopped suddenly at the front door. Klaus turned to Stefan suddenly, tilting his head as if mulling over something.

"There's a vampire playing voyeur outside. Kindly bring him in," Klaus walked back from where he came, entering the living room.

Stefan sniffed at their air like a bloodhound and found the young vampire from the bushes. Looking at his ragged face, Stefan could tell that this vampire was young and hungry. Why he was in the vicinity was a mystery to Stefan, but he had orders to fulfill. With lightning-fast movements, Stefan was lurking behind the vampire, who jumped up in shock.

"I smelled blood," he said, stuttering, his eyes darting from left to right.

"Who turned you? Where were you from?" Stefan asked. He knew he was testing Klaus' patience by making him wait, but his curiosity overcame his current obligations.

"I…" He stopped, blinking rapidly. He closed his eyes, finding the memory. "It was dark and then someone grabbed me and I thought I was being mugged but he bit me. Bit me in the damn neck!" He revealed punctured wounds on his neck, which was still lined with dried blood. "Next thing I knew it, I've been having this insatiable hunger that no food or drink can satisfy. I… and then… I killed someone. She smelled so good…"

Stefan felt bad for him. He was clearly lost and confused of his transformation. He then asked, "What's your name?"

The young vampire looked up. He was in his early twenties. "James."

"Name's Stefan. C'mon," he ushered the young man to the house. "My boss wants to meet you."

James complied hesitantly. His shoulders were hunched and his nerves were frazzled. Stefan worried that he would crumble into dust, even though it was past midnight.

When they arrived at the living room, Klaus was sitting in the same chair, smiling at the newcomer.

"Hello," Klaus said.

James bobbed his head. "Hi. My name's James."

"A youngling. Perfect," Klaus said, flashing a grin.

James took a tentative step backwards. Something was off about this man. He smiled and yet his eyes were hollow and dark. He smiled cockily at James, as if one glare could petrify James into stone.

"Sit down, sit." James gestured to the occupied couch.

James jumped in surprise. "Who…?"

"Her name was Marie. Poor Marie didn't follow her mother's advice not to talk to strangers. Oh Marie," Klaus shook his head, as if he was disappointed in the young girl. "She had so much spark in her."

But James didn't hear Klaus. His eyes focused on the blood. She reeked of blood and death, and hunger pangs made his mouth water.

"Sad to say, but we sucked her dry," Klaus said, killing his mood.

Still, that didn't stop James from inching closer.

"Don't touch her," Stefan warned.

"Yes, Stefan doesn't want anyone touching his precious art," Klaus said, eyeing the vampire youth closely. Stefan knew that look. Klaus was planning something. Something that didn't bode well for James.

"Come with me, James. I know a place where you can find a homeless guy or two," Stefan pulled James' shoulder, but he shrugged Stefan's arm away and swatted the head off its perch, sucking at the leftover blood at the base of the corpse's neck. He was licking and sucking its shoulders, hoping to draw an ounce of blood from the lifeless body.

"James!" Stefan exclaimed, searching for Marie's head.

"Now, now, Stefan. The poor boy's hungry," Klaus said, still watching James bite Marie's breast.

"What are you planning, Klaus?" Stefan finally asked, the dead girl's head in his hand.

Klaus winked at Stefan. He fished for something from his pocket and pulled out a syringe. He stuck it into a visible vein and drew some of his blood. When he was finished, he stood up and struck James' neck unceremoniously, injecting his hybrid blood into the unsuspecting vampire.

James stopped and cried out in pain, turned around and swatted Klaus' arm away. It burned. His whole body was on fire, like his blood was boiling from the inside out. He crawled in agony, reaching out to Stefan for help. It was like all his insides were melting, including his bones. And just when the burn started, his whole body was consumed in fire, scorching him into dust.

Stefan stared at the black remains of James. He couldn't speak, couldn't move. What the hell was Klaus trying to prove?

"What was that for?" Stefan asked angrily, his hands clenching the head harder, almost crushing the skull.

Klaus let out a disappointed sigh, and for a moment, Stefan believed that Klaus truly felt that way. He twirled the syringe in his hand, glanced at where James had writhed in pain.

"I thought my blood could turn a vampire into a werewolf without curing him of the werewolf's bite. But I guess my blood could only neutralize the poison in the bloodstream. It was just an idea that popped into my head. Shame it didn't work." Klaus said, walking out the door. "Clean up the mess, will you?"

Stefan didn't comply and followed Klaus angrily. "You should've given it some more thought before you actually do it. You didn't have to kill him like that."

Klaus turned to face Stefan. "Why do you think I took such a risk? You think this was another whim of mine? Today's failed experiment was for you, Stefan."

Stefan took a step back, confused. "What do you mean?"

"Relax. I don't plan on putting your life in danger just because an idea popped into my head. I wanted to test it out first. I want you to become like me." Klaus said, grinning.

Stefan could feel his jaw dropping. "Why?"

"Why? Stefan," Klaus laughed and approached Stefan, hugging the bemused vampire. "I want you to be with me forever. I don't want you to be vulnerable when I have to wage war against the rest of the world. You're mine, Stefan. I'm never letting you go," Klaus said, his eyes glinting in the dim light.

Stefan was at a loss of words. He could smell the blood in Klaus' breath, could feel the warmth of his werewolf blood. He backed away, shook his head.

"I'm content the way I am."

"That's 'cuz you don't know what it's like! The power, the abilities, the immunity! We'll be indestructible!" Klaus said, opening his arms for emphasis.

"You'll have an army. What do you need me for?" Stefan said.

"Oh Stefan, so naïve. For collateral, maybe something more. As long as your brother and ex-girlfriend are still hot on our tails and wishing for your return, there's always the possibility of your betrayal."

"But I promised my loyalty!" Stefan almost yelled. He quickly closed his mouth, tried to contain his anger from welling up.

"I know, I know. But it's not just collateral for me. It's also because you're like a precious jewel to me. The way you kill humans, you are like no other, Stefan. I don't want stupid lowlifes to take that away from you. You understand?" Klaus said, his eyes boring into Stefan.

Stefan felt like objecting but he knew it was futile. He only nodded.

"Good boy," Klaus said, walking away. "I'll be at the bar."

When he was alone, Stefan returned to the living room and cleaned up the mess James and Klaus had made. He thought about what Klaus said about him, about how he was his precious jewel. Stefan shivered in disgust. There was no way Klaus harbored romantic feelings for Stefan; he merely saw Stefan as a prized possession, a dog carrying out its master's orders. But Stefan was still wary of Klaus' obsession of his killer urges.

Because of his reputation, he became a prisoner to it. There was no escape from Klaus' clutches.

After the cleanup, Stefan decided to make a detour to the bar. Within minutes, he was staring into Elena's empty room. He was risking her safety but he couldn't care less. The urge to be around her suddenly consumed him, shadowing his sense of better judgment. He touched the pane of her glass, his breath fogging the window.

Suddenly, the bathroom door opened, tendrils of steam snaking into the room, and Elena emerged, her svelte figure barely swathed in her blue towel. She was rubbing her hair, oblivious of the red-rimmed eyes that stalked her every move. Stefan felt his body and heart ache, yearning to caress Elena's smooth, wet skin, to feel her breath against his chest and his face, her eyes staring into his lovingly. He missed her tremendously, and he realized that it was a bad idea to come here. The urge was great, and he grudgingly pried his eyes away, slowly pulling his fingers and clenching them until blood dripped.

And he was gone. Just like that. As if he hadn't been there.

Elena thought she heard something outside her window. She walked over and opened it slightly, glancing from left to right. But something in the air made her stop. She breathed in slowly and deeply, and then she recognized his scent. Musky with a tinge of blood, she knew that smell anywhere. She frantically looked around and called his name but the quiet breeze didn't even stir against her wails. She cried herself to sleep, dreaming of Stefan, of his big hands and arms, of his searing brown eyes.

Elena was his precious jewel. But instead of obsession, his love was deep and true. His heart ached for her, yearned for her. He wanted to feel her again, to be touched by those long, elegant fingers. He was afraid that he would break her, and maybe it was best to leave her alone, to keep her at a distance. He would sacrifice himself for her because she was always his one and only, his blood diamond.

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P.S. I'm still debating if this should be a oneshot or a first chapter of a series that I might continue. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know. I appreciate it. Anyways, hope you enjoyed reading the story. Thanks!