With a less than chaste kiss to Katherine's lips, Damon departed the dance floor. He gave Dan a wink and a brotherly pat on the lower back before grabbing a drink and searching out on the opulent balconies with glorious views of the soaring Manhattan skyline.

With a practiced, but entirely effortless ease, Katherine made her way over to Dan's table and sat down with a very mischievious grin. "Enjoy the show?"

"Much so," Dan nodded. "There's far too little Waltzing to 80s music, in my opinion." He grinned off.

"I completely agree," Katherine nodded. "So, your dear friends Chuck and Blair are probably so furious they want Damon dead."

"I have the feeling Damon has survived far worse than the unholy Bass-Waldorf alliance," Dan snickered.

Katherine bit at her bottom lip a little. "The war being one." She sighed.

Dan cocked an eyebrow and tried to gauge what his next question should be. "He was in his early 20s during the war?"

"Yes, but...he was so much younger," Katherine smiled sadly. "To look at him now, you'd never imagine how sweet and playful he used to be. All smiles and winks. He was just so innocent."

Dan nodded, leaning back in his chair and sipped at his wine. "I can imagine how war and then...well, his transformation did for him."

"I certainly didn't help matters," She said. Dan picked up on her self-loathing instantly.

"Do you know what a great writer like me would say?" He asked.

"Color me curious, Dan," Katherine smiled.

"Barring a large splinter to the chest or the bite of Werewolf, you two will live on. Forever." Dan said, looking thoughtful. "You can't allow the 19th century to ruin you in 21st."

The elder Vamp sat pleasantly stunned. No one had even been that honest with her, or accurate. She couldn't help it when one of her hands drifted up to play childishly with her let-down hair. "Why do you care?" She suddenly asked, her voice showing hints of that gentle Bulgarian girl from so very long ago.

"For whatever reason, you and Damon appear to genuinely care about my well being. Damon beat up Chuck, you defended me from Blair. There aren't two other people in this city that would do that." Dan said simply.

"What can I say?" Katherine smiled as he rose from her chair and took one directly next to Dan. "You're worth it." She smiled, gently patting his cheek. "So, any more wisdom for Damon and I?"

"Love can often times be cold and broken, but it appears that you two just don't want to do anything more than find your ways back together and say 'Hallelujah'." Dan said, looking her in the eye.

Katherine nodded, touched by his words. She rose from her chair, her hands pulling him up by his. Dan found himself needlessly enthralled with her smile, which never seemed forced or put-on like make up.

"Tell me what you have planned, Katherine." Dan laughed as he followed her.

"Well, your friend Damon insisted I dance with you as well," She explained with a happy shrug. "We need to think of a song, don't you think?"

The two shared a small laughed as they bounced song ideas of each other, Damon sipped at yet another glass of bourbon as he felt himself mentally drift across over the Manhattans skyline. It was pretty in a steel and neon type of way. With a sniff of the air, he sadly knew his Zen had been breached. "You again?" He asked aloud.

Chuck harumphed and acted put off. "Yes, redneck, me again."

"How can I be a redneck if I'm richer and better-looking than you?" Damon asked as he turned around to see that Chuck had the company of two very large men with shaved heads and cheap suits. "How very... contrived."

"What is? That tux?" Chuck tried to counter.

"No, Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb there with you. I stopped being afraid of bullies a long time ago."

"Well, maybe you shouldn't have learned so quickly," Chuck said, snapping his fingers as one of the large goons approached Damon.

Damon carefully placed his drink down and cracked his knuckles. He did miss boxing, after all. He also hoped Sage was proud of him, wherever she was at the moment. With a carefully graceful punch, the brute fell to the floor with a half-smashed face. As soon as the thunk of the falling body was heard, Damon vamp-speeded his way behind the second thug and effortlessly snapped his neck cleanly in half. With a playful smirk, the Vamp smoothed out his tuxedo as he nearly snickered. "That all?"

Chuck remained frozen in place, not really believing he'd seen what he'd just seen. He didn't think humans could move like that. Honestly, they couldn't. He remained speechless as Damon bore down upon him, blue eyes full of a masked anger. "What now? No more hitmen or pithy remarks? You gonna attack me with your ascot or hairgel? Huh?" Damon said, roughly pushing Chuck into the doorframe of the patio. The young billionaire visibly cowered.

"What are you?" He babbled out.

"Mad and tired of you," Damon growled, angry. "Color me territorial, if you can figure out what that means."

"Humphrey?" Chuck said.

"Yes, Dan," Damon corrected. "About that. you're going to leave him alone from now on."

"Why should I? He doesn't belong here. He's not one of us."

Somewhere in the back of his head, Damon heard the abusive, violent, often drunken and igorant voice of his father. It was disgusting in all forms. Hence he couldn't help but wrap an iron-hand around Chuck's throat. He squeezed hard, easily cutting off just enough air. "Do I have your attention, Basshole?"

Chuck nodded, struggling for breath.

"Here's the thing," Damon began. "I will give you two options. Either you and your bitch of a wife leave Dan alone, and you never see or hear from me again. We'll do a hand shake deal and I'll leave you both alone. Here's the other option: you and your bitch of wife can continue to torment Dan for no good reason, but if you do, this is what will happen. No matter how far you go with your hopes and dreams, you will spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder. You and Blair will never feel or be safe again. In fact, I can't even promise both of you will survive tonight. That's the deal. Take it or leave it."

Damon growled again as Chuck went pale from either lack of air or complete fear. No one had ever stood up to him, let alone threatened him with death. He nodded his response.

"Good," Damon said, relaxing his grip as Chuck crumpled to the floor. "Also, don't send any more ex-athletes after me. That's not really very effective. As you can see. Also, you better find a way to sneak out two dead bodies, lest people ask questions, you know." He said, giving a cold smirk as he departed the patio. A short elevator ride had him back into the ballroom. His face broke into a happy smile and matching laugh as he noticed Dan and Katherine, on the center of the dancefloor, doing some sort of perfectly choreographed Irish jig. It was totally out of place, but it worked in an odd way. That, and Damon had to give credit to Dan for bringing joy to Katherine's face for the second time that night.

Rather than the standard waltz, Katherine had demanded of Dan that they do something entirely more memorable. His 45% Irish heritage had enough cultural loyalty to know a few traditional dances. Especially a few that were equal parts charming and dorky.

Their heels and toes clicked in perfect time on the floor. Dan's excuse was dance classes, whereas Katherine had probably been around for the invention of these twirlings. Either way, it was a wonderful escape for Dan, plus a great way to flount the protocal of the UES establishment. Even after the song had come to an end and they had to left the floor, the two were still all laughs. Even Damon couldn't help but smirk a little.

"Careful, you two. You're liable to make the rest of the room really jealous." The male Vamp winked. "Now, we've made everyone jealous and pissed off Dan's ex and her pussy of a boyfriend. Can we please go?" He laughed.

Dan shrugged and nodded, content to know he had gone a long way in freeing himself of the shackles of the UES. That probably explained why the car ride back to Katherine's hotel wasn't so bad. The skyline seemed much less intimidating than it normally did. Maybe that was what freedom felt like, or maybe not having to act a certain way for certain people all the time. His mind bounced these thoughts around as he followed Damon and Katherine into her expansive hotel suite.

"Wait, don't I live in Brooklyn?" Dan asked aloud. Damon chuckled as he dropped into a chair and Katherine perched herself on the arm rest.

"Yep," Damon nodded. "Get a little lost there, Hump?"

Dan shrugged as he loosened his tie. "Big night, I guess." He smirked softly. It was more than clear his emotions had caught up with him in a big way. Damon knew that was an emotional necessity, but he also knew Dan did not need to be spending a night alone at The Loft. Honestly, he didn't need to spend another night alone again. Ever. "Yeah, I'm gonna head back home. Thanks, you two. I mean it."

As he turned to go to the door, Damon was in front of him. Dan still hadn't adjusted to their over-the-top speed. Before he could even choke out a breath, he felt Damon's hands against his chest.

"Oh, Hump. I don't think Katherine and I have given you a memorable enough night just yet."