Damon had never felt so much anger directed at one person as he did towards Jules. Not even Katherine had ever managed to piss him off this bad. Katherine knew what was good for her and stayed out of his way. When he had gotten the phone call that Elena had been kidnapped, all he saw was red. He could barely keep his demon at bay as he headed to the spot in the clearing that he was supposed to meet them. She had made a very grave error in taking Elena. He beat Stefan to the woods, his eyes hardening seeing Jules gripping Elena's arm. There was a cut over Elena's eye and she stood awkwardly next to the other woman like something was broken. "Thought dogs were supposed to be smart," he said taking a few angry steps toward Jules.
"Where's Tyler?" Jules asked squeezing Elena's wrist, the faint cracking of bones hitting Damon's hears like a gong as he paused in his advances. He didn't want to cause Elena anymore harm, no matter how much he wanted to provoke the wolf. He could feel the veins creeping along his cheeks, Elena's soft whimpers of pain maddening him more. He didn't know how one girl could cause such a reaction from him, the primal need to protect her was almost overwhelming.
Damon balanced on the balls of his feet as Jules pulled out a gun from her jacket. "Does it look like I have Tyler?" he growled. Yes he was a vampire, but was he faster then a bullet? All she had to do was pull the trigger and Elena would be gone forever. No! He couldn't think like that. He had to stay focused and get her to safety. He couldn't be distracted.
"Stop!" Stefan screamed joining them with Tyler and Caroline. "Let her go."
"I'm going to rip your head off," Damon seethed. He barely paid attention to his brother and Tyler screaming at her to release Elena. Jules eyes were locked on his as well, both of them lost in the dance of anger toward each other. This wasn't about Tyler. This was about revenge against Damon and they were using Elena to get it.
"Before or I after I blow off hers?" Jules asked. "It looks like she means a great deal to you Damon. How do you think it would feel if I killed someone you love, like you killed one of mine?"
"You want to test me?" he challenged, clenching his fists. "It's not a full moon. You're not stronger than me. I'll kill you before you can blink." If he timed it right, he could be faster then her. His eyes briefly flickered to Elena's, even though there were tears in her eyes, she didn't look afraid. She was in a lot of pain he was sure, but she wasn't afraid. He loved how brave she was. She fit into this life so well, even if she did go looking for trouble around every turn.
"Well lets see if you can take on a whole pack," Jules said, tilting her head towards the darkness of the trees.
The second her head was turned, Damon acted. In the blink of an eye he closed the space between him and Elena, his fist colliding with the side of Jules temple. "Let's see," he growled as Elena fell against him, Jules body dropping to the dirt. "Easy Elena." He carefully slid his arm around her, wincing as she cried out in pain. She definitely had broken ribs, meaning getting her home was going to hurt. "God you're a mess."
Elena's eyes fluttered as the rest of the wolf pack closed in around them. "I can't…" she shook her head trying desperately to tell someone what she needed.
"Just hold on to me," he whispered. "This will hurt for a minute." Damon carefully scooped her up in his arm as carefully as he could and she couldn't help they cry of agony that escaped her lips as her fingers dug into his arm. Stefan and Caroline flanked him, both in fighting stances. He was ready to take off into the night when suddenly the wolves around them dropped in pain, clutching their skulls. "That's… a lot funnier when its on someone else," he said his eyes scanning the perimeter, landing on a man he had never seen before chanting a spell. "Who the hell are you?"
"I'm here to make sure Elijah holds up his end of the deal."
"Does she look safe to you?" Damon flared, flashing some fang at the warlock. He moved around his brother, not caring if Stefan wanted his girlfriend right now or not. He tried to calm his anger as he headed back to the house. "Stay awake for me kitten." Everything in him was in absolute chaos at almost losing her.
"I'm… trying," she whispered, softly, clenching her eyes shut and burrowing her face in his neck. "I don't feel good, Damon."
"I can take her," Stefan said once they were at home.
"You can?" Damon snapped. His anger had far from deflated and Stefan was a prime candidate for him to unleash it on. He was not backing down on this one and consequences be damned. "She's covered in her own blood Stefan. You can see her when I'm done." No one was coming near her like this. He wasn't even sure he had the right to be the one taking care of her, but she had yet to push him away and he wasn't about to leave her.
"She's my girlfriend," Stefan growled. "Not yours."
"Notice how much I don't care right now," Damon said heading up the stairs to his bathroom. "Elena?" he asked, carefully setting her on the counter and locking the door. "I know you're tired but I need you to help me okay?" He needed her to stay awake for a little bit longer so he could take in the extent of her injuries and help her.
She nodded wearily. "My head hurts," she mumbled, her hand reaching up to gently touch the gash by her eye. "Now I know why." She was definitely going to have a concussion, all the more reason for her to stay awake for a little bit longer. She leaned heavily against the mirror, tilting her head revealing the bruise covering her cheek.
Damon crouched in front of her gently tugging her boots off, rubbing her legs gently, his fingers looking for any breaks or swelling. He reached over to fix the taps in the shower, adjusting the temperature for her. "Let's get you out of these," he said glancing at her dirty clothes. "I can… leave if you want. But I can't let Stefan or Caroline up here right now." Things between them had been nothing short of rough, but they were in a decent place in their friendship at the moment and the last thing he wanted was her naked in his bathroom under these conditions.
"Just… help me down," she pleaded. "I should be okay on my own for a few minutes." She was so willing to trust him to help her through this, not once asking for Stefan or indicating that she didn't want him here.
Damon carefully supported her as she slowly slid off the marble counter, steadying her feet. "I'm going to find you some clothes," he said. "Don't hesitate to call me… I won't… I'm not going to bring this up again in the future Elena if I see you naked." He had no idea if he made sense, but he didn't want her to be afraid to ask for help because of some unnecessary modesty. He didn't want her to be uncomfortable. He wanted her to trust him. She didn't need his pity either. She just needed someone to be here for her.
"I know that," she said squeezing his arm. "I just want to try on my own. You've really… done so much for me already."
He smiled a little and left her to her privacy, leaving the door cracked a little. His heart ached with guilt at seeing her so hurt, at his expense. He just never thought he'd be able to feel this strongly about anyone, especially a fragile human. What he felt for Katherine didn't compare to a fraction of what he was feeling for Elena. He rubbed his face before pulling one of his button ups from his drawer with a pair of his boxers. He paused outside the door, hearing sniffling and her labored breathing. "Elena?" he asked, slipping into the steam filled room.
"Hm?" she asked and after a moment she peeked around the curtain. The shower did nothing to hide her tears as her eyes were turning bloodshot and her nose was slightly Rudolph in color. He rarely saw her cry, but he was sure she cried to herself most of the time. It warmed his heart a little to know she trusted him enough to let some of her guard down.
Damon set the clothes on the counter and unfolded the large towel from the rack. "Come on cutie," he said, holding it out in front of him between both hands. As soon as she moved the curtain aside he wrapped it around her letting her tie it front of her chest, as he carefully helped her out of the tub.
He took the second towel and bent to gently dry her legs that seemed to be the least banged up, but she still stood a little awkward. "Is anything broken?" he asked, remember the last time he asked her that. Of course she had been running from Stefan and his lies. And like always Damon had cleaned up the mess. Except this time it was his own mess.
"Should I know the answer to that?" she asked. "I can't just say everything hurts?"
Damon helped her step into his boxers that he knew were going to take up permanent residence under his pillow now. As he rose to his feet, he gently turned her, gently moving the towel away from her shoulders, to reveal an angry cut on her shoulder. "Think you have a cracked rib and I think you need bandages," he said in a husky voice caressing the jagged edges. God she smelled good. It wasn't just that she was bleeding right under his nose, but the fruity scent of shampoo was wafting off her, making it difficult for him to focus. He usually had so much more control then this. She leaned back against him tilting her head against his, whispering his name like a prayer.
"Elena," he said in a strange voice. Did he just croak? "God you smell good." She shivered against him, reminding him she was probably cold standing next to him half naked and wet. He shook his head from the dirty images that were torturing his mind and helped her slide his shirt up her arms. He couldn't push her like this right now. There would be time for the flirting and the caressing later. She didn't bother to button it but it covered her where it mattered, at the moment. "You can lay in bed while I find a band-aid big enough for that."
He supported most of her weight as they headed to his bed and there was a knock on his door. "You're boyfriend wants his ass kicked tonight," he muttered helping her lay back carefully, cradling her head so she didn't have to put much effort into relaxing. He headed to the door, growling as he opened it, but relaxed his stance seeing Jeremy. "Really? Stefan called you over here to make sure I wasn't taking advantage of his girlfriend?"
Jeremy rolled his eyes. "Yes he called me and I came on my own because it sounded bad," he said, heading over to Elena's side. After a moment of staring at her, he gently removed the ring from his finger and slid it on hers.
"What is that for?" she whispered. "I'm not dying Jeremy. Just need some rest. I would rather you be safe."
Jeremy raised an eye brow. "I took health class Elena," he said. "Vampire and human version. Let Damon give you some blood."
Damon wisely kept quiet as he leaned in the doorway, his eyes on Elena's face. She stared at her brother for a long moment then glanced at Damon then back at her brother. "You promise you won't get into any trouble?" she asked softly.
"I'll stay extra safe, I promise," Jeremy said squeezing her hand. "Besides Damon will take care of you."
"I know that," she mumbled with a small smile. "Thanks Jer."
Damon stared at in awe and disbelief as Jeremy left them alone once more. He locked his door, slowly making his way back to her. "You sure about this Elena?" he asked. A small part of him was telling him this was wrong and but a much larger part was telling him that nothing had ever felt so right. He knew he belonged with her and he knew that his blood would make her feel better instantly.
"I trust you Damon," she said softly, and it might as well have been 'I love you' to him. "And I trust your judgment… usually. If you think its better that I have some blood then… we should do that. If you think I don't need it, then I'll just… heal the slow way." She said the last part with distaste, knowing it was going to be a very long process to get better.
"I can get Stefan for this," Damon said past the lump in his throat. He felt sick at the thought of her with his brother, especially like this. Such an intimate act that he longed to share with her. But blood would be the fastest way to ease her pain. Broken bones had lengthy healing processes, and he didn't think he could stand to see her suffering for any loner, and if that meant she wanted Stefan to do this with her, then he had no choice.
She shook her head. "I… don't want to do this with Stefan," she said carefully. "I want it to be you."
Damon tried to relax his posture as he made his way over to her. He stretched out beside her. His hand gently reached out to move the hair away from her face, his thumb caressing the ugly purple mark covering her beautiful cheek. "You know this is going to change everything between us," he said softly.
"I just want to feel better," she murmured nuzzling his hand. "I can barely think about anything else with all the pain I'm in."
He brought his wrist to his mouth, carefully sinking his fangs into the tender flesh of his wrist before cradling her head and allowing her lips to close over the wound. He bit his lip against the moan of pleasure at the first pull of his blood and kissed her forehead softly. "Take your time sweetheart," he said.
Elena's eyes fell closed as she held his wrist to her. The wound on her forehead closed, leaving nothing but a slight red mark. Damon instantly smelled her arousal in the air, a growl erupting from his throat. Elena pulled back from him at the noise, her eyes traveling up to his face as her legs rubbed against his. "Wow," she whispered, her small hands reaching out to touch his stomach. It was just a touch, an unmoving hand, but Damon felt the jolt it sent through him from his head to his toes.
He stared at her with a dark and hungry gaze. "You're killing me Elena," he said softly. "I want nothing more than to make love to you all night long, but you're boyfriend is downstairs and you're body needs rest." He did his best to keep the bitterness out of his voice and keep himself calm and relaxed for her.
"He's not my boyfriend right now," she mumbled, but she still eased into the mattress. "But I'm feeling a lot better. Can at least breathe without feeling like I'm going to explode."
He smiled. "Good," he said, pulling the comforter over her tired body. "Just relax and try to sleep. We can worry about anything else when you're better."
"Thank you," she whispered, gently pulling his head down to kiss his cheek softly.
He smiled a little and flicked off the light, kissing her knuckles softly. In a few minutes her fingers relaxed around his, her breathing evened out and peaceful. With a final glance at her, he made his way downstairs to update her friends. "She's sleeping," he said before Stefan could even jump on him. "She'll be fine tomorrow."
"You gave her blood?" Stefan flared.
"Keep your voice down," Damon growled hearing Elena roll over in his bed, a soft sigh falling from her lips. "She asked me too Stefan and she needed it. She had broken ribs. She could barely breathe or stand up."
"You're just trying to get to her while she's vulnerable," Stefan said angrily taking a step toward him.
Damon raised an eyebrow. "What is wrong with you?" he asked. "Do you even hear yourself when you talk? Do you know you sound like a jealous boyfriend over someone who's not your girl friend anymore?"
"Exactly and you're moving in to force yourself on her while she's hurt and alone," Stefan said.
"Stefan!" Caroline said in horror, pushing between the brothers. "What is wrong with you? Elena is hurt. She could have died. And I'll be the first one to admit that Damon's an ass but he would never hurt Elena. And even you know that." She dropped her hands from both their chests. "And clearly you don't think about her feelings because you didn't hear her come downstairs and hear that."
All three vampires looked over at the stairs where Elena stood on the bottom step, staring at the scene in front of her. Stefan took a step toward her, apologizing to her, but she backed away from him. "What are you sorry for Stefan?" she whispered.
Damon clenched his fists, wanting nothing more than to go to her and hold her. She looked so sad, so tired.
"I'm sorry that you heard that," Stefan said softly. "I'm just concerned that you've had some blood is all."
"Jeremy gave me his ring," Elena said folding her arms. "So that I could heal and we wouldn't have to worry about anything happening."
Stefan sighed and took a careful step toward her. "Elena, I know what sharing blood is like," he said sadly. "I know that if you drank from a vampire, especially his, you can't tell me it didn't mean anything. This is exactly the kind of thing he would do to steal you away from me. Just to get back at me for what happened to Katherine."
Damon snorted and headed to his liquor cart. "Please Stefan," he said pouring himself a drink. "That bitch isn't worth the effort for me to plot revenge."
"And I'm not an object," Elena said. "Damon has been nothing but a friend to me and nothing has ever happened between us up until now. It's not like I led you on Stefan. We aren't together anymore, and we are not going to have a macho pissing contest over this. So don't talk about me like a prize to one up the other brother because I'm not. I was in pain and Damon gave me some blood. How I felt about it isn't anyone's business but mine."
"Elena, you're connected to him now," Stefan said folding his arms.
"Stefan," Caroline said tugging on his arm. "Leave her alone okay? She needs rest. This stuff can wait."
"You're right, I'm sorry," Stefan said. "I'm going to go hunt and cool off."
Caroline glanced at Damon then at Elena. "I'll go with you," she said, nodding at her friend before leaving.
"You should be in bed," Damon said slowly approaching her. Her injuries might all be healed but her body just needed time to recover from the trauma.
Elena stared at him her heart hammering against her ribcage. "Something… made me come down here," she said. "Like a bad feeling."
Damon sighed. "I was trying not be angry," he said folding his arms. "There's…. a brief time after drinking blood that you can feel what I'm feeling and I happen to be severely angry at Stefan." He was hoping they wouldn't have to go through this. The last thing he wanted her to think was he took advantage of what happened upstairs to get closer to her, but honestly he couldn't control it. He couldn't keep himself closed off from her no matter how hard she tried.
"I've never seen… anyone else act like this," she said. Probably never even heard of such a thing. Most vampires kept their emotions away from their victims. Most humans were compelled to be food, but Elena, had needed his help. She had been in his arms willingly.
"Because I usually keep people out," Damon said shrugging. "Don't want them to know what I'm feeling."
"Why not?" she whispered, almost afraid of his answer.
"Because no one's ever deserved it before," he said. "No one's ever wanted to know before." No one had ever taken the time to break down his walls and earn his trust and his protection. Elena wanted to know him, wanted him in her life. He would do anything for her to make her happy, no matter what that was.
"Well I want to know," she said softly turning to go up the stairs. She went up three stairs before pausing. "Are you coming?"
His eyes jumped to hers as she smiled a little which was all the encouragement he needed as he followed her up the stairs.