Okay so this was suppose to be a one shot but ended up being much longer than I though, so I decided to split it.

Disclaimer: Everything Vampire Diaries belongs to LJSmith. I do not claim to own anything, nor is any copyright intended.

Hope you enjoy xx

Part 1

Elena POV

For this, I believe I could have not slept for a whole week and I'd still be in the middle of this exorbitant high. I couldn't sleep the night, out of nerves. Tossing and turning, really trying not to get my hopes up. I already knew how things had been received, but it was still so hard to grasp. Out of all the outrageous, out of the ordinary occurrences throughout my life, how could it be that, this, is what I choose to find unbelievable? Ironic I suppose. But I knew if it wasn't for those two years of my life I wouldn't be sitting here now; Twenty-eight years old, in one of the greatest - if not the greatest city in the world, having published my first full length novel. A novel, which according to my publisher, Nicole, was selling out within five minutes of it being on the shelf. Was already on New York Time's bestsellers, and to top it all off was already accumulating interest to be adapted into film. Of course it was surreal. I'm sure many of authors, dream to be in this very place I was finding myself in. Been working towards it, just to have their work be appreciated on such a high scale. For me though, I never planned for this. I sincerely believed it would be that one particular book in the book store, that hadn't been touched since it found its home on the shelf and was just there to gather dust.

It had been my dream to be a writer since the first time I picked up a pen. My mom had encouraged me. Brought me journals, for my thoughts and ideas. She'd always said that one day I'd be here. Of course I never believed her, didn't mean I didn't daydream about it though. It's like a little girl who wants to grow up and be a singer. She doesn't dream about singing cover songs in some run down bar - playing gigs to a hand full of people. She dreams of having an audience of thousands, everyone knowing her songs and singing along with her, having her name up in lights. Every little girl has had their dreams, this had been mine. Its just from there you grow up and usually your childhood dreams don't come true. I suppose I should have leaned by now that anything was possible.

This wasn't my first published work. I'd been writing for awhile now, I'd had a few short stories printed here and there but not this. But this story was my first piece of work. I actually wrote it seven years ago in my last year of college. I never intended on broadcasting it. It had been for my benefit and my benefit alone. This wasn't just some idea that came to me. This novel was my life. Well, a portion of. Two years to be specific. Two years that at the time felt like a lifetime, like it would never end, but now. Now I realized it went all too quick. In two short years, I'd witnessed and lived a whole lifetime. Been slap bang in the middle of a war, I'd tried so hard to blame on others and get myself out of, but how can you get yourself out of something when you are the cause of it?

Of course nobody knew the novel was actually somewhat of an autobiography. Well other than the ones that were there to witness it themselves and unfortunately there wasn't many left. Who would believe me if I told them it was real? That I'd been in love with two brother's who were turned into vampires a hundred and fifty-seven years ago by a women they both loved, and little old me was her doppelganger and the key to the most brutal evil you could ever imagine. I really wouldn't be sitting in one of the biggest department stores, holding my very first book signing - I'd be strapped in a special jacket and taking residence in a mental institute.

But yes, it was all true. Every last word. Well apart from a few alterations with locations, names and of course details weren't safe to be known. But it was true to form. I'd made sure of it. The day I'd walked into the publishers and saw my manuscript sitting on Nicole's desk I couldn't believe I had actually allowed someone to read it. It had been under lock and key for so long, only for my eyes. I'd hoped she would tell me she wasn't interested. That it was rubbish. She told me the polar opposite and now I'm here. Sharing my secrets with the world. How I loved and lost, lived and died, how I went from a young naïve high school cheerleader, to the women I am today. They would fall in love with the people I loved and hated the ones I hated. I now saw that it was time. I believed it would bring me closure on that chapter on my life. My life couldn't be more different to what it was back then, but inside I was still her. Unable to let go of that piece of me. It would always be with me. I would always glance over my shoulder wondering if there is someone there. I would always have scars, inside and out. My life could never sincerely be normal. There are days I believe it is, there are days I crave it but others, I selfishly hold on to the past, however hard I try not to.

I'd been sitting in the same position, in the same chair, in the same room, at the same desk for nearly two hours. I was only suppose to here over all for an hour and a half, including introduction, Q&A's and the speech but no, I'd been here double the time and I still hadn't finished. Don't get me wrong I am not complaining in the least. I'm blown away. Like I'm on a whole other planet. Meeting person after person who address me like I'm one of their friends. Praising me, paying me compliments, and every time a tint of pink settled into my cheeks. There were girls, girls who had already read it and were talking so passionately about the characters, like they were real. Well to me they were real but they didn't know that, it was just fiction to them. But we all lose ourselves in fantasy.

Another book was being placed before me, waiting to be signed. My hand was sure aching but I couldn't seem to care. I was making the most of it all. To every last person that had stood before me I had felt the need to thank, and offer a smile. It wasn't only my hand and wrist that was hurting; it was my cheeks too, both on my face and ass. But as I said, I didn't care.

"My older brother said it was for girls, and that boys shouldn't be reading about stupid girls falling in love." My attention was taken away from the book in front of me and I lifted my head to see a little boy, couldn't be more than eight years old. I was pretty sure he should have been at school at this particular time but instead he was here. While that was probably wrong, I felt somewhat honoured. "He said that I should be reading about cars or comics with heroes"

I gave the boy a smile. "And what do you think?" I asked him, rather intrigued. The book hadn't only just attracted female readers but male too. Of course I was pleased about that because it wasn't just about a girl that falls in love. I have to say that it could be quite dark in places, darkness that might scare a boy of his age.

"I think it has cars in it and heroes." He announced and I couldn't help laughing a little with him has he grinned.

"You're absolutely right it does." I smiled from him, to who I was guessing was his mom standing behind him. "Have you read it all?" I asked him.

He shook his head. "No, not get. I'm at the part where Dylan just bit Sophie because he thinks she's Celine and isn't very well because of the werewolf bite. He doesn't die does he? My mom wouldn't let me read anymore last night because I have the dentist today" He said and looked up to his mother with a disgruntled look upon his sweet little face. His mother rolled her eyes a little, but out of amusement. Oh I knew those looks.

"Well you mom was probably right to do that, and I'm sure soon you'll be able to continue reading." I reassured him. He huffed slightly. It was moments like this that I was pleased I'd published the book. It was still strange now my nightmares and reality were others passion and escape from there own reality.

"But she continued to read and she won't tell me what happens." His little face was so precious, a small pout on his young lips. So apparently his mom was enjoying the book too.

"Well you don't want it spoiling for you right?" I leaned forward a little and he shook his head.

"But he doesn't die?" He contradicted.

"If he dies who's going to tease Sophie?" I didn't want to give anything away. I could understand his worry though; at the time of it happening to me I would have loved for someone to tell me that he wasn't going to die. But then a few things probably wouldn't have happened, if they had.

I looked down to the book and saw a yellow post it, with a name scribbled on it. His name so I knew who to make the signing too. I began writing out a little message on the front page and signed my name before closing the cover. "Have you been to the dentist yet?" I asked him, sliding the book towards him across the table. He shook his head, looked nervous. I couldn't blame him, who really liked going to the dentist? "Well I'm sure if you are all big and brave maybe you could read a little more while you're waiting." I smiled.

He looked up to his mom, holding the book close to his chest, silently asking if he could do as I'd suggested. She smiled and nodded. He seemed a lot more at ease.

"Well it's been lovely to meet you, Craig. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story, and all goes well at the dentist. I promise it's not as scary as it seems." Meaning the appointment.

"Thank you" He grinned at me.

"No, thank you." I told him. His mom thanked me too and then they walked off, hand in hand. I smiled to myself and looked over to my publisher as another book was being placed before me.

"Pinch me." I whispered to her, I'd asked her the same thing several times in the past couple of weeks. I felt like at any time I was going to wake up, and just be staring at a blank computer screen or something. "I really do have to be dreaming."

She shook her head of red curls. "Nope, you're very much awake. I can't say so much about your legs. They must be numb around about now. If you need to take a break, just have a little walk around, you can." She offered.

"No, no I'm okay. I mean there isn't many left. And they've been waiting so long; I don't want to make them wait any longer."

"Okay, but change you mind, just say." There was just one thing I needed in this moment and that was some coffee.

Out of nowhere, like someone had been reading my mind, appeared a star bucks take out cup. The person that could read my mind was a member of the team here with me today.

"Thank you. You're a live saver." I told him, offering a grateful smile.

I was already on somewhat of a high, so more coffee might tip me off the edge but who the hell cares. I am here today because I decided to live life. To accomplish as much as I could. I don't think anyone could really blame me for being hyper.

Taking a swallow of the Latte I place it back down. "What time is it?" I asked Nicole as I looked to the book before me, again scribbling my name. I made eye contact with the girl before me, thanked her, she returned her own thanks and left before the next come along.

"It's just gone eleven."

My eyes widened, "Its flew." It really had. I worried about whether we would finish in time. "Think we'll be finished for twelve?" I asked, shaking my pen, as it seemed to be running out of ink.

"Yeah I would say so, only a couple of people left now. Here" Nicole held out a new pen to me. I took it, and thanked her.

I returned to signing the next book. The post it, told me I was writing a note for 'Dylan'. With the coffee high, I giggled for some reason. I was sleep deprived, I was finding anything amusing.

I finished scrawling the message, about to close the book when I hand was being placing there in order to stop me. The hand certainly didn't belong to a woman. There were short, yet perfectly rounded nails, hairs above the knuckle. It wasn't the hand that actually got my attention. More of what one of the fingers was wearing.

It couldn't be! A gasp past my lips. My stomach was doing back flips. No, I was just seeing things. My imagination getting the better of me. My eyes were fixed on the bulk of metal wrapped around the finger. I was in the middle of a war with myself, trying to decide if I should look up or not. What would happen if I looked? What if I wasn't imagining things? What if he really was here? What would I do? Should I just keep my eyes down? Let him leave? Just leave without just having one little glimpse. Having to spend the rest of the day, or quite frankly the rest of my life wondering. Wondering if I had missed my chance at just seeing him again. Just once. But what if I looked and it wasn't him? I'd be faced with disappointment. I had to decide if I would sooner live with disappointment rather than regret.

If I'd have been given a few more seconds I would have made my decision, but someone felt it wasn't my decision to make.

"Best wishes? That's all I get? No thank you or With Love?" My heart stopped, for several seconds it stopped as the voice, echoed into my ears. Once my heart kicked back to life, it was pounding in its cage, threatening to leap out from under my sternum and right out on the table into his awaiting hand.

Nine years. Nine years since the deep and sultry voice got my undivided attention for the last time. I never though I would hear it again. Only in my dreams or my memories. It still had the power to send tingles up my spine, butterflies in my stomach and the velvet edge, made me cross my legs. Ten years ago I had to fight the reaction that threatened to take over my body whenever I was to see him or just simply hear his voice. How stubborn I had been to do that. How it was easier to lie to myself rather than admit the truth. Well that's how it was in the beginning. While admitting the truth to myself had been one of the most selfish things I'd ever done, it was also one of the best.

There was only one person on this planet that could make me smile through the darkness back then. Him. Only one person that could get my pulse racing without even touching me. Sometimes for negative reasons as well as positive.

I fidgeted in my seat, rolling my lips inward to fight the smile. I should have learned a long time ago that I would never succeed. The 18 year old girl still lives inside of me screaming to look at him. To this day it caused me conflict with myself. Of course my restraint would never be enough.

I lifted my head, peaking through my heavy lashes. My breathing hitched. All I could see were a pair of electric blue eyes staring back at me, even from a distance I could see the speckle of silver glistening, and it wasn't just the reflection from the light, there were just his eyes. The way they seemed to move, the colour encircling the Pupil, like it was its shore and the waves of blue were crashing towards them. I would know those eyes anywhere. They had haunted me for so long.

I tried so hard to feel annoyed, angry, frustration. Tried to find the strength to look away, or speak, or slap that beautiful smirk off his face. Just something, anything, but instead I just sat there staring in amazement. He was staring right back and the whole world could of dissolved away into darkness and I wouldn't have known.

"Hello Elena" I never thought I would hear the sound of my name coming from his lips again. But here he was, making me love my name. Part of me was pleased one of us were able to speak, part of me wanted to kick myself for being in such a trance. I wasn't and never had been that little girl that found it hard to find her voice. I pride myself on speaking what's on my mind but… This moment was different. His cocky, brilliant smile, made me melt like some pathetic teenager.

You can do this Elena. Snap yourself out of it, just part your lips and speak. Say anything. Anything at all, as long as it's something because he is going to be loving this. Always was a smug son of a bitch.

Swallowing the obstruction in my throat, I searched for my voice, and not the little squeak that was threatening to escape my lips. Come on, say, anything. Word's Elena, you know those things you focus your career around.

"Thank you"

Thank you? Thank you! I know I though 'say anything' but I though I could say something that made more sense than that! I'd just said thanks to hundreds of people I've never met and now I have my… I have him in front of me and I say the same mundane thing I'd been repeating all day. Way to go Elena!

After all the times I thought about what I would say to him, and now he's here and my brain just escaping me, probably across town by now. Well this is just perfect! I wished I could huff. I refrained from doing so; of course he looked as if he was having a good old time at my expense. Some things never change.

"Elena is everything okay? This guy bothering you?" It was time to snap out of my little world, and let Nicole's words sink in.

"Huh? Oh, uh, no no, just… Having one of those moments." What moments is that exactly? I mean you say it like she would have them all the time. So it's one of those moments when your ex-vampire-boyfriend turns up out of nowhere, one that you haven't seen in the past nine years. Yeah I'm sure those moments happen to her daily. My eyes looked away from Damon, part of me relieved for the distraction.

I pick up my coffee suddenly wishing it was something much stronger. There was only one person on this earth who could drive me to drink before noon. God I wanted to look at him again. I wanted to be able to talk to him. Who am I kidding? I wanted to throw myself at him, maybe slap him first for making me all jittery and for a few other things but eventually I'd get to the throw myself at him part. Of course he was loving every moment of this, that's what Damon lives for. Seeing me squirm.

Okay Elena, time for a mental ass whipping. You're twenty-eight years old. You're a professional. A woman. A strong, independent woman who doesn't swoon over guys - anymore. You can do this. You can simply speak to the guy, smile, and be polite. Just take a steady deep breath. Try to get your heart to a reasonable steady rate.

All easier said than done!

Okay, coffee down - check. Sit up straight - check. Hair out of face - check. Smile - check. Now look at him.

Boy he looks good.

No, don't check him out! Just simply, look at him. Yes I can do that. I let a mouth full of air full my lungs. Now just speak. Just not something ridiculous this time.

Lord I'm so pleased he couldn't read minds.

"Surprised to see you, Damon" See, I can do it. I'm actually proud of myself. "What brings you here?" And now I just let myself down again. I felt like I was a balloon that hadn't been tied and was now just spiralling around the room, until running out of air and simply just dropping to the floor. Of course I knew what brought him here. It couldn't just be a coincidence that Damon Salvatore happened to be out shopping in New York and decided to browse around Barnes and Nobles.

Oh My God!

He'd written his name to be Dylan on the post it. Had he read the book?

Cheeks burning - check.

Oh so really he was here to just rub everything in my face right? Say 'I told you so'. It's not exactly like I could tell him there was no relation. He was there; all the events were there, in the book. How is it that I didn't think before now that he might get his hands on it? I'm sure his ego is right through the roof at this moment.

"Well I was just walking past you know… Saw crowds of people and thought I'd join the party. See what the fuss is about. Imagine the shock when I saw you sitting there." A tricky smirk playing on his lips. Of course he was lying. It was written all over his face.

"Not half as shocked as what I am, I imagine."

"Oh believe me, if we're going to talk shocked, imagine the amazement I got when I first got wind of this little baby." His fingers drummed against the book.

Yeah he's read it. Now where's that hole so I can curl up in it?

"I'm sorry Sir, but we're on a tight schedule and there are others waiting. Thank you for purchasing the book, but could you move along." Nicole brought me out of my trace for the second time today.

On returning to look at Damon, it was like she hadn't even spoke, like he was just waiting for me to tell him to leave. Did I do that? Hell no I didn't. But I had to say something; this was beginning to create a scene.

A flicker of disappointed descended his orbs. "Well, good to see you Elena. Congratulations on the book, it's… Insightful" And just like that he was walking away.

He was just walking away!

All this time and he thinks he can just walk in here and then right back out again? Like hell he was.

"You walk out that door, and I will never forgive you" Of course I didn't just stand and scream it across the store. Instead I mumbled, because it might have been low but I sure as hell knew he heard me. So maybe I was being a bit dramatic with the threat but can you really blame me after all this time?

My heart was in my throat because I couldn't see him. I don't know if he's left or stayed. I just had to hope it was the latter. Whether my hope would get me anywhere, I do not know. It hadn't in the past but we were no longer in the past. I was no longer the same school girl from back then, and I had no idea if he was still the stubborn - 'I'll do as I want' son of a bitch like he was then.

Suddenly the book signing wasn't what it had been five minutes ago. I had lost all interest. I did my best to concentrate, to be polite with all off the people that appeared before me but I just seemed to be nodding along with what they say, while flashing them a half hearted smile, saying a simple thank you and moving along to the next.

I believe if I'd gone at the pace I was currently at, earlier today we would have finished on schedule. All I could think about was seeing him. Giving him a piece of my mind. I went over in my head of all the things I would say to him. Now he was out of sight my brain returned to me and I recall everything I had once decided I would say if I ever got the opportunity.

Eventually, I wrote my name for the final time today and dropped the pen as is it was acid. There was a light spasm in my fingers and I jiggled and wriggled them just in hopes of losing them up and allowing them their freedom from the pen.

I stood to my feet as I strength my limbs my head was in all directions just trying to catch a glimpse. Damn you, Damon Salvatore!

"I think we can easily say, today had been a success." Nicole was packing away her laptop into her brown leather tote.

"Absolutely" I stated in agreement.

I was free. Free to go look for him. Well, after I collected my belongings out the back. Once I had and exchanged a few words of thanks with the manager of the store I was all set to go find him. He better not have let me down. I was all prepared and everything.

I was making my way out back onto the floor; Nicole was on the phone, so it gave me the chance to look around. In which part of a book store would you find a vampire browsing? No, that isn't the beginning of some bad joke. He could have been anywhere to be honest. I think the day I found a copy of 'Gone with the Wind' by his bed was indication enough that one should never assume anything about Damon Salvatore's choice in literature. Or anything about Damon Salvatore in general.

Okay so this place had like umpteen floors, was coming up to midday on a Friday and I had no idea where to start. Oh come on Damon, if you're here now's not the time to play hide and seek.

I stayed on the floor I was on, Nicole talking efficiently to whoever was on the other end of the phone. My eyes roamed around as we walked, dragging my feet a little just to buy myself enough time for him to come popping out. He would be here, he knew better than to piss me off. Bypassing the fantasy section, with each step I took my heart fell more and more into my stomach. Maybe I had been imagining things. I mean what reason would he have to come see me now? After all this time. Didn't make sense.

I was about to give up hope when I found reason not to. I simply… Found him. Not paying an ounce of attention, just roaming his eyes over a plinth full of - you guest it - books.

I stopped where I stood but just admiring from afar. I didn't care that Nicole continued to walk. There was only one that would hold my attention entirely in any situation he was in. I had no idea if he knew I was watching. Maybe, maybe not. If he did he wasn't letting on. He just stood there; face angled down, fingers flicking through a paperback. I watched as a lock of hair fell in front of his eyes but he made no move to remove it. My fingers itched to do that themselves. Looking at him now, is just looked like any other human being that was to step into this store.

In his other hand he clutched a much heavier book than the other he was flicking through. I noted the front. I didn't know why but if I had to put money on anyone from my past to turn up today for the signing, it wouldn't have been him, but it should have been. I feared if he had to tell me something. If this wasn't just some random out of the blue visit, just the chance for him to see me again. It could be something serious. I hoped not. I think we'd all lived through enough ominous times that even for him, a vampire, he'd want a decade or two free of conflict. But we don't always get what we want; I think both of us knew that more than anyone. But there was never the certainty that we were safe, that something wouldn't just arise out of nowhere. I hoped for all reasons that this reunion wasn't to bring me fear.

There was only one way I was going to find out. I had to move my feet. It wasn't hard to find the motivation. Pretty magnetic and didn't have a choice.

It was only when I drew closer that I took note of the session of fiction he found himself searching through. I felt my eyes roll. Adult Fiction, or better known - Erotica. How did I not guess?

By now he must have heard my foot steps, if not, then my erratic heartbeat. I stood beside him now. I could smell him. Exact same cologne, with a hint of tobacco and I'm sure there was a tinge of bourbon in there too. Of course to him it didn't matter about drinking before midday. It was exactly what I wanted to be able to smell.

"S&M huh? Vanilla sex getting boring for you after a century and a half?" I sincerely hoped not, but this was Damon, the only time he practiced celibacy was in the womb.

"What can I say, broadening my horizon. Don't get me wrong 'vanilla sex' can be fantastic but sometimes it's hard to find a girl capable of keeping up." A trace of a smirk formed upon his lips. This is probably not the best conversation for us to be having but I couldn't help playing along.

"Well maybe I could help you out" I spoke, of course he looked right at me with a risen eyebrow. I giggled, I actually giggled. I hadn't done that in years. "In choosing a book, of course."

"Of course" He snorted.

I reached up, letting my finger run from one spine to the other, until stopping and pulling the particular book from the shelf. "I have it on good authority that this might just be what you're looking for." I held the book out to him. He observed me with a watchful eye. "Not exactly hardcore S&M but a good introduction."

He took the book from me a peered down. "You sound like you know your stuff."

"I've dabbled."

"Still talking literature?" He seems to need confirmation that I hadn't gotten myself a Master who collared me.

"Correct" I wasn't sure I wanted to know where his mind might be drifting off too.

We were both trying to contain our amusement, but also keep up the charade.

"There is also vampire erotica if you're looking closer to home. I have to admit the authors definitely didn't witness the encounters first hand. The details are a little too far fetched." Oh come on Damon, you have to break before me. Just once. I even tried to innocently bite my bottom lip to try and entice him.

"Well since you're the author now, maybe you should write one, straighten out a few facts." Nope, he wasn't giving up. His eyes light with mischievousness, while holding mine.

"Oh, don't worry, I already have. But I just keep it for myself." Another innocent act, a light shrug of the shoulders this time. I was sure I heard a dull vibration that bears similarity to a groan, coming from him. Was I really getting to him? The eighteen year old me was getting giddy. Of course the eighteen year old I would never dream of saying any such things, but I suppose age has its advantages.

He turned all the way to face me now, and the amused look was breaking out across my face. "Your fella must really be lacking to be needing these to keep you company."

"Right back at ya. Well female… Companions"

"You're looking well." He blurted, obviously having enough of the banter for now. Either that or he's worked out I wasn't going to give up. This way he wouldn't have to admit his surrender.

"Well? I'm going to take that as a compliment even though that's something I were to say to my grandmother if she were still alive." Okay, now I knocked him off his high horse and his façade was in tatters as his laughter sent shock waves to my stomach. Thing is with Damon, you can see him smile, you can see his signature cocky grin or smirk but to really observe his laughter was something I can pride myself in knowing I'd witness and also caused.

"Well then I'll go all out there and be honest and tell you… You look beautiful" Yeah he was still very much the Damon that could make my heart skip a beat or two, and make my cheeks flush. I really did have to be cautious with my smiles because there was only so much the barrier around my heart could take. He knew that of course.

What do I say to that? I sincerely didn't feel beautiful at this stage in my life, but I believed that he thought so and that was enough for me. I knew I should return the compliment. Truth was, he looked better than I ever remembered. Maybe it really is true what they say about absence and the heart.

"Thank you." I felt the need to say. "And you… Are looking… well"

This resulted in both of us laughing down our noses. "Well thanks in return."

"You're welcome." I chuckled, still very much the playful side of me out to tease.

"So you stayed." I decided it would be eye that moved the conversation on this time.

"Well yeah. I think I'd already asked for your forgiveness one too many times. Plus this…" He held up the copy of my book. "Has got me wanting to ask so many questions." The smirk was back in business.

"Oh I'm sure -" I began but didn't get the opportunity to finish.

"Elena, here you are. I've been like a headless chicken looking for you." Nicole came rounding the corner her eyes seeming pleased to have found me. I will say I felt a tad like a child who had gone wandering off on my own, and was being reprimanded.

"Oh, sorry. I spotted my uh," I paused to glanced over Damon "friend over here and wanted to say a quick hello. You were on the phone and it seemed pretty intense so I didn't want to interrupt." I felt the need to explain myself, for some bizarre reason. Just out of common courtesy, I imagine.

"Right, yes. Well things are all over the place at the moment, busy busy busy, just the way I like it." I offered a smile, and peaked at Damon out the corner of my eyes. He seemed disinterested. I couldn't blame him. "So this is your friend? Weren't you the guy at the signing?" She looked from Damon, then to me seemingly looking for either of us to confirm she was right.

"That would be me." Damon answered for himself.

"Oh well, so sorry if I came across rude, it's been one hell of a day and sometimes people just want to hog as much time as they can. I didn't realize you were friends." She explained herself, before extending a hand. "I'm Nicole."

Of course Damon played the part of gentleman perfectly. I held back a chuckled. "Great to meet you Nicole, I'm Dylan" He said and my eyes widened a little bit, a low gasp escaping me. As concealed as I could keep it, I stomped on his foot. Of course it probably hurt me more than it actually hurt him. He didn't even flinch. He got the message though. "Damon" He thankfully corrected himself "My apologizes. What can I say; I'm a huge fan of the book."

I stifled yet another giggle. "Well aren't we all" She smiled, and looked to the books in his hand. "I see you got your copy. And also… One bite stand? Oh…" I think it dawned on her the theme of the book, and she stepped back and cleared her throat. I think she was trying to fathom something to say, but was failing. Her phone vibrating to life was a save by the bell.

"Excuse Me" She muttered and left. Not before taking a glance over Damon, but didn't mean I want it to happen.

I couldn't contain my laughter anymore. I had to let it out; thankfully it wasn't as robust as I feared. My chest was vibrating as I glanced over my shoulder, following Nicole with my eyes. When I looked back around I was met with those eyes again and there were staring at me, intently. A genuine smile playing on his face.

I sucked my bottom lip into my mouth. I got nervous thinking maybe I had something in my teeth or something. "What?" I asked, self-conscious.

"Just taking in this whole… new you." He admitted. Well if I felt anxious before, it had nothing on what I felt now. I mean, of course I'd changed. I was still very much me but I was older. Granted some wouldn't think twenty eight was old. But when you stood before someone who never aged a day and would look perfect forever of course it's going to make you hate those hints of frown lines appearing in my forehead even more.

"New me? You mean, aging me?" So I found myself rolling my eyes.

He snorted. "No!" He exclaimed, amused. "I mean, like you - cut you're hair and let go of the whole, stubborn and brooding act"

My turn to peak my eyebrow. "Been nine years, Damon. I've had my hair cut a few times. And as for the 'stubborn and brooding act'…" I paused, tucking a piece of hair behind my ear, acting clueless. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Sure you don't." He's still very much amused.

"So we got the compliments out the way, we're moving onto insults now? 'Cause you know. I could find a few of my own to throw right back at you." I lied. I don't think there was anything, well apart from him still being as annoying as always. He wouldn't find that insulting, he finds pleasure in it.

"I'll take back what I just said. You definitely still have the stubborn side to you." If his smirk wasn't making me tingle in places I would have punched him.

"Whatever, Damon" My eyes rolled yet again.

Out the corner of my eye, I could see Nicole waving me over. I was happy for the distraction. Beginning to walk around him, I could feel his eyes on me. I mentally praised myself for not looking back and for also deciding to wear the particular skirt than enhanced certain areas from the back. Oh Elena what are you getting yourself into?

Nicole was standing at the end of the aisle, and when I reached her she turned a little so her back was towards Damon, I on the other hand could still see him if I were to look. Which I wasn't.

"Sorry for interrupting." Nicole apologized. It wasn't usual behaviour for her.

"It's okay. We were just catching up."

"So you're… friends huh?" She asked. I tried not to glance over her shoulder, to the guy I'm sure was listening to every word.

"Umm… Sort of, we haven't really seen each other in a long time." I explained.

Her lips parted, forming a slight 'O'. "How old is he?" She continued to question me about Damon. I am already sure I knew why. Of course I couldn't be truthful in answering that.

"A few years older than me." I shrug. Give or take a century.

Her eyes widened in surprise. "Really? Wow, he doesn't look it."

Thanks for reminding me.

"Well some age better than others." I tried my best not to be bitter. She was one to talk; I mean she was in her mid thirties.

"You're telling me. Whatever is in his water, I want some." She chuckled, I forced my own. "He's uh… Well... is he single?" She blurted out.

My restraint faltered, and I had to peek at him. Oh he was definitely listening and all too smug about it too.

I quickly glanced her over. She was pretty. Blonde, pencil straight hair, feathering around her face. You're usual leggy blonde. Someone you'd probably expect to see on Damon's arm. I'm sure Damon would make a good chew toy of her. She reminded me a little of Andie. Chew toy or not, I didn't like her either. May she rest in peace.

Come on Elena, say something. Wipe that smug look off his face. "I'm not quite sure. But well…" I fought the smirk. "I think you're barking up the wrong tree."

Elena - 1. Damon - 0

"How so?" To say she was a publisher, maybe I had been giving her more credit because she really wasn't the sharpest knife in the draw.

She was really going to make me say it. Oh I didn't mind that at all. "He's umm… Well he's gay." I nodded, acting sorrowful for her misfortune. I glanced over at Damon who stood there looking right at me, eyebrow journeying up his forehead. But still that smirk on his face. What did I have to do to remove it?

Unless he thought, I was doing this to repel her away from him. Was I? Maybe but he wasn't suppose to know that.


Elena - 1. Damon - 1

Another 'O' formed on her lips, and she glanced over her shoulder, were Damon was now looking away. "Oh, well that explains a lot."

I fought my eyes to bulge, but I couldn't repress the snort, that exhaled from my nose. Especially when I saw Damon's head snap up. In my head I was doing a mental cheer and accomplished dance. Oh I had to question her. Damon's face was too priceless for me not to. Moments like this only come around once in a blue moon. Have to make the most of them.

"How so?" I asked, flashing a smirk over her shoulder.

"Well just with how he holds himself. Also, you know… with the… Erotica." She whispered, there was no point, he could hear her loud and clear. I observed him, straighten up his posture and put the book back on the shelf. I was gnawing at my lips to fight the grin. I do have to say I didn't see anything wrong with how he held himself.

"It's a shame." She spoke, looking a little disappointed but her heart was soon fixing itself. Damon was making his way over. Oh lord he had that gleam in his eyes. I could only imagine what he was about to do in order to prove both of us wrong.

When he reached us, I saw his hand disappear behind her back and I really didn't want to know what he was doing. It startled her either way. She managed to give him a smile. It was an awkward one because I'm sure she's confused around about now. I, on the other hand was giving Damon the daggers.

"Don't mind me ladies, I just thought I'd come and say it was wonderful to meet you, and I'm hoping I might see you again sometime." He purred at her. Oh give me a bucket!

She really was confused bless her. Well welcome to my world. I had two years of these antics. Granted none of them were to prove his sexuality.

"Oh, uh, well, uh." She was getting the stutters. "Yes, n…nice to meet you too. Uh, Elena?" I'd been glaring at Damon when she asked for my attention.

"Yes?" I asked, straightening my back.

"There will be a…" She let out a squeak, and her eyes flashed to Damon. He was wearing his panties dropping smile and thankfully his hand was back where I could see it. "Umm… Yes, there is a change in plan. Just got confirmation that there is a book reading slot open over at the Barnes and Noble in union square. They would like you to do this afternoon." She informed me.

My worries about what Damon had been up to were long gone. She had gone behind my back and just booked me to do something, spare of the moment when she knew I had other commitments.

"Nicole, I can't. I have to-"

She wouldn't allow me to finish. "Oh Elena, you can get around that. This is like a once in a life opportunity and they are asking for you. You have any idea how rarely that happens?" I hate when people did this to me. Didn't allow me to decide for myself. For two long people didn't give me a choice or life didn't give me a choice about something that now I'm able to, I have to.

"I can't -"

"I'm not taking no for an answer, okay." I really did feel like a little child around now about, being told what to do. I couldn't do it, not because I didn't want to. I would love to, who wouldn't? But I didn't expect her to understand that there were more important things in my life. Plus… I did want to spend as much time with Damon as I could. I had so much to say, ask and I have no idea how much time I had, so I had to make the most of it.

How did I get out of this? I knew how stubborn she was, if Damon through I was bad he seriously needed to spend some more time with her. Well no, I'd prefer him thinking I was the most stubborn person on the planet rather than him getting to know her better.

I really was feeling frustrated. I wanted to put my foot down and just say no, but then I would seem ungrateful. She'd done so much for me, but she knew the situation I had when she decided to go ahead and publish the novel. I was beginning to see she wasn't willing to offer me the flexibility I'd been promised.

My eyes flickered to Damon. I couldn't decipher the look on his face but I think he knew I was less than pleased. A smile suddenly twitched at my lips when something came to me. There was a much easier way to get out of this. The stubborn side of me would think it was immoral, but you know for this one time I believe I could be grateful. I pulsed my lips, trying to seem innocent.

Damon and I had a silent conversation with our eyes. I nodded my head towards her. He raised an eyebrow, seeming to ask if I was being serious. My armed folded across my chest, and I nodded.

He had no problem with agreeing at all. I believe I was surprising him. I used to criticize his power of persuasion, or shall I just call it compulsion. Well it looks like I was in full support of it when it came to me getting something out of it I want. Times really had changed.

He chuckled lightly and moved to stand in front of Nicole, cutting her off as she was rambling on about who had taken part of a reading over on union. For today I was disinterested.

Nicole was one minute smiling at him and the next was in trance like state. "From this point on if she is to say no to you, you accept it. You also want to give her the rest of the day off." I hadn't been expecting him to go to that length. I simply wanted him to tell her to lay off my case for today but apparently from now on I was the one who got the final word. Only if he could do that to everyone.

Oh well, we can't always get our own way.

Damon stepped away, Nicole confirmed that she understood. A second later she was being brought back to earth and her jade eyes look right to me, a smile plastered on her face. "You know Elena; I think you've done enough for one day. Why don't you take the rest of the day off?" She told me, half because she had obviously had no choice but also because she was doing be a favour.

"Oh, Nicole, that's very kind of you" I acted bittersweet. I was already going to hell I'm sure.

"Well I'll leave you to it. Enjoy your day." She gave us both a cheerful smile and wave and turned on her heels and left.

Biting my gum, I have to admit I felt a hint of guilt for what I had Damon do, but the idea of having the rest of the day off, and to be able to spend more time with him overshadowed the guilt.

I chuckled to myself and looked to Damon. "Thank you for that."

"Oh no, thank you! I never thought I would see the day when Elena Gilbert would happily encourage compulsion"

"Well there is a lot you don't know about me anymore Damon." I just smiled at him sweetly and walked on past him.

"Where you going?" He called.

"Well I don't know about you, I might love books but I don't want to spend all day in here. But if you would rather stay and read your erotica, please, don't mind me." I waved. My cheeked flushed a little when a person or two looked around hearing me. Of course I didn't want him to stay here. I wanted him to follow me. As of yet through he wasn't.

Way wasn't he following me?

Was he playing games? Waiting for me to wait for him? Possibly. I wasn't going to of course, but it didn't stop me from shortening my strides and taking my time. By the time I came to the escalator, I glanced behind me. There was no sign of him. Again I found myself fearing he would just let me go. It wouldn't be the first time he'd done it.

Suddenly I felt deflated. My mood plummeting. Of course I was pleased to see him. See that he was okay and still his exasperating, yet charming self. Of course I wouldn't say the latter to his face; his ego was already excessive as it was. I looked to the disappearing steps as I drew closer, fixing the strap on my shoulder. I took one last peek behind me only to find him missing.

It turned out that was because he had already beaten me to the bottom. When I stepped back onto steady, solid ground he startled me with just standing there. Waiting.

"You know if you were anyone else I would have kicked your ass by now." He smirked at me.

"You could try but you'd fail. I've been through a few changes since you last saw me. Found some extra strength" I told him as we began walking side by side to the entrance to leave the store.

He apparently didn't believe me. "Really? And what might they be?" He asked.

"Well if you're planning on sticking around I might show you." We left the store and we were met with the sun beating down, warming my skin. It was good to see him in natural light. I was still refusing to let my eyes roam too long.

"So what? You've signed yourself up for one of those self defence classes? I'm pretty sure what they teach you is useless when it comes to me."

I chuckled, "Oh come on Damon. You spend night and day working me." It was only after the words past my lips and the smirk on his face that I realized what I'd said. I rolled my eyes. "Men and their one track minds" I mumbled to myself as we because heading west via east on 86th.

"Hey don't blame me for the one tracked mind. You aren't so innocent now are you? With your rather impressive, while worrying knowledge of adult fiction." He struck back.

I decided clear that it. "Unfortunately Damon some of us have to work for a living. We can't all have powers of persuasion that pays for anything we want or need. Sorry to burst your bubble but no, my bookshelf isn't full off them. I needed money and a job a couple of years ago. I found a job working from home as an editor on those types of novels. Probably not the proudest job I've had but, the money was good and as I saw meant could work from home. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a bit of pride."

We weaved past a few people that were ignored to mind where they were walking. "If things were really difficult for you, you should have…" Of course he trailed off. I knew what he was about to say.

"What? Called you, got in contact. How?" I didn't really feel like getting into this in a busy New York street. I did have questions and things to say, but I needed to say them when I had no distractions. Right now I had to get across town to the upper west side in forty-five minutes. While it was enough time for me to get me across town, it wasn't nearly enough to get out all I needed to say. "And anyways I wasn't that desperate."

Okay so that came out wrong and he knew it. Of course I was happy to see him. Of course there were thousands of times I wished this had happened. But it didn't. That's what brought me to my next question. This I did have the time for.

"I didn't mean it like that." I explained and he just held his hands up. "But I gotta wonder why you choose now to turn up. After all this time. I mean is there something going on, something I need to be worried about?"

"I would have already told you if there was. That or get you a million miles away from here." He assured me. Kind of nice to know he was still so quick to come protect me if needed. It worries me of course but I suppose it puts your mind at ease to know there is someone there. Of course protection wasn't the only reason I ever wanted him around.

"Good to know. But if its not that, then… What is it?" I pushed.

"I thought I already told you" He was raising a brow. "It's coincidence." It really was like trying to get blood out of a stone with him at times. I don't know why he couldn't just be honest with me.

"Cut the bullshit, Damon" My arms folded as we continued to work, disgruntled and tired of him beating around the bush. I really didn't want to have to feel that way while he was here, but I wanted him to be honest. I needed him to be. I don't know why, I suppose part of me is hoping to hear something in particular but I don't want to go getting my hopes up.

We were coming up to 5th avenue now. I had a lot to be nervous about but I needed to hear at least a hint of the truth, if I was going to take this any further. If I was really going to show him the life I'd made for myself. For all I knew he couldn't care less and this real was just him curing his boredom. If that's what it was I needed to leave. I was already risking too much, I didn't want to make a fool of myself too.

For some reason he's stopped walking, surprised with my outburst, possibly. I followed suit. I nervously examined my plum nail polish, where my hand was peaking through, my defensive interlocking arms.

"Look at me." I almost didn't hear, due to his voice being so small and a car driving right by. But I did. I swallowed hard and lifted my head to look to him; it tilted slightly to the side. I tried search his eyes, hoping they might tell me what I wanted to know. "Where did that happy-go-lucky woman go from ten minutes ago?"

A humourless, silent laugh vibrated in my chest. "She was breaking the ice, now she needs answers. And if you think this question is difficult to answer you haven't seen anything yet." I stood my ground like the strong willed and independent women I believe I am, and I glared. "So spill"

He was watching me carefully, seemingly looking for something, or working me out like I was some sort of puzzle. I wanted to roll my eyes.

"Well this is a first. Damon Salvatore speec-"

"I wanted to see you"

Okay so maybe he wasn't speechless. I sure as hell was now.

"I heard about your book. I read it and I wanted to congratulate you. I felt like today I'd be a selfish prick. Happy now?"

He was a selfish prick. Because of course him just turning up is going to turn everything else upside down.

"You're right, you are a selfish prick." I told him. "But I'm happy you are." I added.

He wanted to see me. However messed up this situation might be, all I cared about was he wanted to see me. It did annoy me that he could just turn up whenever he wanted because he 'wanted to see me' but then it comes to me wanting to see him I have to go without. The reason the annoyance didn't dominate my emotions right now was because I was seeing him, and I wanted to now.

"But, you didn't want to see me before now?" I asked coyly.

Apparently some people in New York didn't appreciate others just standing talking on the side walk, and they also didn't care where they were walking because someone was barging past me, knocking me off my feet. I put my hands out to try and break my fall, and they did connection with something hard but it sure as hell wasn't concrete. Unless concrete has grown Pecs and a pair of arms that circulated around my waist holding my up right.

My eyes were glued shut, my breathing hitching in my throat. I didn't need to look to know who'd catch me. My mind as well as my body was too overwhelmed with this sudden proximity to care that I could have just made a fool of myself.

I was in a bit of a trace when my eyes blinked open, to come face to face with my hands gripped to a chest. A chest that felt as amazing as I remembered it. There were mental flashed of images in my mind of his chest, all bare, lathered in soap and glistening with water droplets. It probably wasn't the best thing for a woman to think about when she hadn't been within a mile of male naked chest for a shameful amount of time, never mind his. Good thing it wasn't naked then wasn't it?

Nope, we're still excited. My ovaries cheered, finally waking up from their long slumber.

Of course I was still very much aware of the closeness, and his arms around me. I let myself bring myself down to earth just enough to allow myself to look at him. He was looking right back. I wish I could of known what he was thinking, I'm sure what I was thinking was written all over my face. That and the way my heart was a permanent hum.

It was ridiculous looking back thinking I could make us both believe there was nothing there. So terrified of becoming her until he made me see I was nothing like her. So many things scared me back then; there were so many reasons to deny myself and him. But he always knew, he knew I loved him before I even admitted it to myself. How could he not when my heart rate doubled anytime he stepped into a room?

"You okay?" He asked. For the second time today he was able to formulate words before it even registered to me that I had a brain and was capable of speak.

It took ever ounce of strength I had to pull myself away from him. "Uh-huh" I mumbled because I still could string together actual words. I wanted to stomp on his foot for making me such a gooey, wreck. I refrained from doing so, though.

I put space between us so I could concentrate on breathing, since it was necessary unless I felt like passing out and to be frank if he were to catch me again we would only be going around in circles.

"We should probably get moving." I said remembering there was somewhere I had to be soon.

We began walking and if I'm being honest I wasn't used to Damon being so quiet. He usually had a way of making a joke out of something or even if it's saying something that would have annoyed me I wouldn't have mind at this moment. I could feel his eyes on my constantly. I needed to say something, spark up a conversation.

"How's Stefan?" Well I suppose that really is a conversation starter, probably not exactly what he wanted to talk about but well he should have started the conversation himself if he didn't like this subject. I did wonder about Stefan. Hoping he was okay. It was only natural to feel that way.

"He's getting there. Saint Stefan reappears with every passing day." He informed me.

I nodded my head and smiled. "I'm glad."

I'm surprised of course. I now see that they were both right when they told me it would take a lot of time and hard work for him to find himself again. Relief was also something else I felt when thinking Stefan was losing his 'Ripper' lifestyle. Honestly, it scared me. It opened my eyes a lot but I'd come across many bloodcurdling figures in my life but I have so say nobody frightened me the way Stefan did. Just because he was so ruthless. Damon had tried to blind me from his ways, keep me from seeing the carnage he left wherever he went. I thought Klaus was bad, thing was Ripper Stefan put Klaus to shame.

That was the point when I really realized that Stefan was a vampire. I knew before hand of course but seeing his nature. It was a wake up call.

"I think we all are. He had a bit of a relapse a couple of years. I got my chance to kick his ass." He smirked, I rolled my eyes. While Damon did like kicking Stefan's ass, or trying I knew deep down he loved him. Even if he never admitted it.

It's strange isn't it? That the one that I believed to be heartless turned out to be the one with the greatest heart. He just didn't give himself credit for it. Too afraid to admit what he longs for and denies himself humanity.

"Well hopefully you kicked some sense into him."

"Nah, I just frustrated him more, but Caroline on the other hand. Well where that girl gets her strength from baffles me."

At the sound of Caroline's name my head snapped up and there was a twisting in my stomach. "Caroline's still hanging around?" He confirmed this with a nod. I was surprised in addiction to feeling a pinch of resentment. "Well the three of you must have yourself a cosy little love nest."

The first time Damon and I came close to being… Intimate, I wasn't exactly proud of myself and well he wasn't exactly pleased with me either. We'd been playing cat and mouse with each other for awhile. At this point I was very much aware of my feeling and they scared me to death. Stefan and I were over and he was going through his issues and I was holding him back. Of course it hurt. I loved him. I really did. I would have done anything for him. But there did come a point when I had to go beyond anything. And I couldn't. Damon was my shoulder to cry on, I was selfish, knowing how he felt about me but I just went on and on about Stefan. Now I see that on trying to focus on Stefan, I was distracting myself from Damon and my feelings. But then things took a turn for the worst and everything blew up in our faces and Tyler was killed. We were all pretty devastated, but not as much as Caroline and when Caroline is devastated any loyalty or morals are thrown out the window. I went to her house to console her. Be the best friend I'd been neglecting to be, up until this point. It seems someone had already arrived and succeeded in comforting her. I found her in bed with Stefan.

Stefan had already broken my heart when he chose the other side. But it broke again. While I was hurt for what Stefan had done it was Caroline that had hurt me most this time. The betrayal. She was supposed to be my best friend and that day I lost her. Caroline was capable of a lot but I didn't think she was capable of that. Even if Stefan and I were no longer together. And him, well I was disgusted. Disgusted because I'd fought so hard, put people I cared about in danger to save him and he did that, with her of all people. That's when I truly realized he was gone. That I couldn't save him and in that moment I didn't want to.

I broke. I think it had been along time coming. I felt like I was so willing to jump into a black hole just to save someone I cared about. I'd lost so many people. So many people were betraying me. My world had just crumbled and I broke down. I said to hell with it. I went to the boarding house, drank to try and make me forget. I'd spent so long risking everything for the ones I loved and one by one they turned there backs on me. All except one. Damon came home, shocked to find me sitting on his bed. But he knew I needed a shoulder to cry on, and I did and he comforted me. And then I said to hell with it and with everything that had happened, with my head in such a tizzy, my heart not knowing whether it was coming or going or who it belonged to anymore. My head was in the crook of his neck and my lips just started kissing it. At first I think he was just so shocked and enthralled with what I was doing that he let me, but I took it too far. My mouth began attacking his neck, my hands frantically all over him, trying to tear at his clothes, my legs straddling his lap. It only managed to get his shirt undone before he stopped me. The first thing that flashed through my mind was that he had rejected me.

I was being pushed and pulled away, and suddenly I was flat out on the bed, with him nowhere near me. My hair was covered my face, my heart drilling in my chest and the swirling in my head wouldn't allow me to come to terms for a split second, over what had happened. I thought he'd flipped me over to take control. After several moments of laying there and not being about to feel him I swept the hair out of my face and sat up.

He stood with his back hunched and to me. His hand gripping a hold of the mantle piece and his head hanging low. I realized then that he's rejected me.

It angered me. It angered me because I couldn't understand why he would do that. He'd repeatedly made me aware his affection. Tried to kiss me, get close to me. And here I was offering myself to him on a plate and he turned me down.

The aching in my chest only grew. But because of the alcohol all I could feel was anger. I threw myself to my feet.

"Oh I get it; you only want me when you can't have me." I spat. "Or is it that you only want me when Stefan has me, and now he doesn't you aren't interested? Like Katherine. Is it all fun to you? You want me to be her, is that it? Want me to want you both, but only when it suits you? Well news flash. I am not Katherine, and nor will I ever be." My own voice shocked me.

"You don't know what you're talking about" His voice was so low I only just heard him, but the fact he didn't turn to look at me, pissed me off all the more.

The spinning in my head was not enough the clear my rage. "Oh I don't? See I think I do. I think you can't handle that Stefan is capable of being loved and you envy him. Like a little child with a toy. It was the same with Katherine and now me. Who is it going to be next? Caroline? And when you don't get what you want you just kill someone like a spoiled monster you are." I was screaming at this point, my body shaking from head to toe.

There was a cracking sound and I looked to see that he was gripping the fireplace so hard the wood had crumbled in his hand. I was at the beginning of a breakdown, my world was falling apart, and to top it off I was drunk. I didn't know what I was saying.

He finally did turn to look at me; a darkness in his eyes that scared me. But I held my ground. His shirt was still open, but I refused to look and he took a step towards me, the shards of wood from his hand falling to the floor.

I swallowed hard.

"He never told you did he? No of course not." He laughed humourlessly, looking off around the room.

I rolled my eyes, yet another secret. Another lame way for him to turn me against Stefan. Not that I thought it was possible for me to turn against Stefan anymore than I already have.

"I don't care Damon."

He was stalking further towards me and I stepped back until I walked into the wall.

"Well you know, if you're going to throw things out there. You should at least yet your facts right." He was so close that I was holding my breath while keeping up my stance. My fist's clenched. "The name Rosalyn mean anything to you? Stefan ever mentioned her?" He asked.

Where is he going with this? I didn't care. I tried to push him away but he wouldn't budge. "You're wasting your time. I don't care!" I hissed.

"Oh but Elena you do care. That's why you're in the state you are in. I've seen it before. And I think it's about time you heard my side of things if you're going to start throwing accusations like that in my face." He put his had against the all, just by my head, caging me in.

"In 1864, my brother was engaged to be married." He told me, my eyes widened a little. "Oh, didn't think he would have told me. See that's the thing with my brother. He only tells you the truth or about the past when he has no choice, and even then he has to finish the story with him looking like the good guy."

I wanted to argue. Still feeling protective of Stefan for some reason. Or maybe I'm just trying to protect the last piece of my heart that was still intact. But then I remembered the day at the lake house when I found Jonathan Gilberts journals and I read about his encounter with Stefan. Would Stefan of told me about it if I hadn't have found the journal? Could he have told me about his ripper ways if I hadn't found out from there? Would I have found out that he was the one that made Damon drink the blood all those years ago if Damon hadn't have brought it up? Would he have told me about Katherine if Damon hadn't of brought that up too? I didn't know. But I didn't want Damon to be right in this moment. I was pissed at him.

"They'd been courting for awhile. Stefan was sure she was 'The One'. She was a nice girl, a proper lady for the time. That is what my brother wanted. Or thought it wanted because he was so obsessed with being the perfect son to my father.

"He was still very much engaged when Katherine came along. And of course Katherine caught my eye immediately. See I wasn't interested in pleasing my father. But at first I thought that Katherine was that girl. The wife material." He spoke and laughed to himself, shaking his head in ridicule. "She wasn't of course. I quickly fell for her. She told me she had fallen for me too." He sucked his teeth, dropping his hand and taking a step back. I was now free from the cage he'd trapped me in, but I did not move.

"I realized she wasn't the 'proper lady' type I thought she was. Not when we slept together out of wedlock. I thought… She loved me so much that she couldn't wait. I didn't complain, but I got thinking about settling down. Marriage and a family of my own had never appealed to me, but there was something I thought was different about her. I felt different with her.

"It scared me. So I tried to play it cool. I was still hopeless for her, but I was scaring myself with what I fantasized my life with her to be like. I didn't want to scare her too because she was such a free spirit. I was biding my time. But I couldn't wait anymore. I knew what I wanted." I watched his Adams apple bob up and down in his throat.

"It came to the night Stefan and Rosalyn officially announce their engagement and it was a big affair. Everything always was." He rolled his eyes. "I was late. I decided I'd make it a double celebration. Katherine always loved to be the center of attention. She loved being a princess. So I thought she would love grand gestures. I had it all planned out. I would allow Stefan and Rosalyn to announce their engagement first, so I wasn't stealing the limelight from under their feet. I would ask Katherine to dance, and half way through the dance I would present her with my mother's engagement ring. Everyone would be there to see, I imagined everyone would aw and she's be blushing and happy. Katherine never blushed, but I hoped to make her." He had been lost in the story up until this point, refusing to look at me, but I notice his eyes flicker to me when he said he wished to make her blush. I couldn't comprehend why, this was Damon. He did things I would never understand.

"As I said I arrived late, but I knew Katherine would be there. I went in search for her. I couldn't find her anywhere. Stefan neither." My eyes fluttered closed, remembering what I'd seen earlier today with Stefan and Caroline and how my stomach turned. I knew where this was going.

"I found them upstairs in the library. They were kissing. At first I remembered being frozen. Just, staring and unable to look away. I assumed they didn't know I was there. Of course now knowing that Katherine was a vampire, she heard me and didn't care. I believe she wanted me to see it.

"I couldn't speak or do anything, but the ring that sat in my pocket was suddenly the weight of the world. He was my brother. She was the women I loved. Nothing could ever match up to that sort of betrayal. I wanted to get angry, to beat Stefan within an inch of his life but I couldn't. I left. Later on Katherine came to me, she'd obviously heard. She talked me around as I thought. She compelled me. But not to forget what I'd seen. Just to be okay with what I'd seen, because Katherine loved the thought of having us both, and us both knowing but there being nothing we could do about it.

"That night she left me to sleep. I woke the next morning. I didn't think about the engagement. I didn't have time to. Rosalyn's body was found. Katherine had killed her. She thought it was more appealing for Stefan to be somewhat of a widower. She was also jealous. My brother didn't hurt; he just felt guilt for what he'd done. He soon got over it because a week later he was taking Katherine to the Miss Mystic Falls and that night I over heard him telling her he loved her. She was in such shock because it was real. Because she hadn't compelled him. That night she turned me away, compelling me to be her good little lapdog and…" He paused and looked to me. "Well you know the gist of the rest of the story."

I tried to come too turned with what he's told me. Get me head around it all. Sometimes I don't know when to believe Damon; I didn't want to believe him now, but… I couldn't help doing so. I didn't know what to feel or say. I really was naïve.

"So no, Elena. I don't feel for you just because you belong to my brother. And it wasn't like that with Katherine. See I tried my hardest not to feel for you. To turn it off, so I wouldn't do what they did. But if I turned it off I couldn't be what you needed me to be." He was just shaking his head, and going over to get himself a drink from his own private mini bar up here. "I can never be what you need me to be" He whispered.

I could feel my eyes welling and I looked around the room, trying to blink them away. Just trying to find some strength. For both of us. I couldn't believe Stefan for what he'd done. With each day that passed I saw him in such a different light. And now not only just because of the monster inside of him. It was like everyone I knew was different to what I ever thought they were.

I went to part my lips, when he didn't give me chance. I closed them immediately feeling strangely timid.

"And don't you ever say to me I want you to be like Katherine. Ever. Again." He was across the other side of the room, but it felt like he was right next to be with how his eyes pierced into me.

"I know you aren't her!" He knocked the bourbon down his neck, my own throat burnt at the thought, I swallowed. I wished I could sincerely say I wasn't like her but after what I just did. I wasn't so sure anymore.

Apparently Damon could read my thoughts in that moment and he was right in front of me within a flash. I didn't jump or flinch. I wasn't scared at all. I was ashamed.

"Don't you dare." His voice firm and demanding. "Don't you dare think you are like her! You say it and I will throw you out of here myself. By your hair."

I closed my eyes, and strangely enough, I chuckled. He makes threats towards me a lot but had never followed through. I don't think he had it in him.

"But…" I started and the warning look told me that I shouldn't test him.

"I… I can't be that guy again Elena." He breathed, his eyes softening. "As much as I would love to take advantage of the situation we were just in. I can't do that to you, and I can't do it to myself. I can't be second prize. I can't be a quick fumble because you think it'll ease your pain. It won't. Nothing heals pain, Elena. Believe me I've searched and tried everything for a cure and there isn't one. Only time, and I've had time and it's not always true."

I'd let my eyes close again, my heart was all erratic and I tried not to tell myself it was because of him. Of how close he was. But then I felt something warm and gentle, brush against my cheek, leaving my skin tingling.

I dared myself to waken my eyes.

"The fact you try so hard to resist, is proof enough that you'll never be her. I never want you to be. I love you for who you are and how you are not her. I loved you before you were even born Elena." He spoke, and while my heart was being cartwheels from him telling me he loved me, I was also confused. Like ever, he answered my questions without me having to ask.

"I loved you in 1864. Because in my head… Katherine was you. When she first came to Mystic falls she pretended to be someone she wasn't. And I fell for a woman I thought she was. I took everything about my ideal women and I projected them onto her. I wanted a women who I could make blush. I wanted a woman whose heartbeat would rocket when I was close. I wanted a girl who had a bit of a feisty side and could speak her mind. A girl who I could make smile, who could have an edge to her but was innocent and had a pure heart. I fooled myself into thinking Katherine was all those things. But she wasn't, and I soon found that out but I was still so blind by this idea of a perfect women. That she would reveal that side of her, but she didn't and it was too late.

"Then I come here searching for this vampire bitch who I convinced myself I loved. I convinced myself the girl I'd imagined her to be didn't exist. I was wrong. She did, and she does." His eyes burned into my soul "She's you."

Now there was no fighting the tears, his own eyes were glistening. No alcohol was clouding my mind anymore. Only him. His words and admitions. He was pulling away from me and I didn't want him to. I wanted him to stay were he was, the man he was.

"I know whatever happens your heart belongs to Stefan. I never want to make you feel like her - Doubt yourself. Even if there is a part in your heart for me too. Unrequited love - story of my life." He chuckled slightly. I did not. "I will never ask more of you Elena. I won't destroy your heart. I know that it holds a piece of me somewhere, even if it's tiny. Knowing that is enough, and is far more than I'll ever deserve. That is your gift. You're ability to share your heart, even with those that don't deserve it. Whatever happens, wherever you go you will capture everyone else's on the way.

"Never doubt who you are. Be proud."

He was wrong. We both were. He was capable about being loved and in that moment he didn't have a little part of my heart. It had the majority.

That had been the first time I ever admitted to myself that I loved Damon Salvatore…

I really hope you enjoyed. I am nearly finished with part two. There should only be two parts, but depending on how much I decide to ramble I am not making any promises because it might turn out to be three.

It or they will be up soon.

Please let me know what you think by hitting that review button. Very much appreciated :D

Ta-Ta for now.

Danielle xx