Author's Note: This was my first official Damon/Bonnie fanfic. I've definitely become addicted to this couple, and so you'll be seeing a lot from me about them. I understand that Damon/Elena is infinitely more popular and about to be canon, but I don't quite care, so please don't leave a review informing me of either of those things. In my fanfics, I'll address the Damon/Elena dynamic and not ignore it, but in certain fanfics- like this one- I chose to not bring it up because I don't want the focus to be about that. I would rather it focus purely on Damon and Bonnie and their wonderful sexual tension. Hope you enjoy!
People did it all the time, in her defense.
Caroline had done it before. Several times, in fact. Usually with boys.
Also, in her defense, she had been wearing a swimsuit in the beginning.
Occasionally, when she needed a stress release for a particularly overwhelming day (days that seemed to grow more in number every passing month), she did various physical activities. Sometimes she ran, hearing nothing on the streets but her heavy breathing and swift footfalls that raced with her heartbeat. Sometimes she stretched, performing the random assortment of yoga positions she had picked up from magazines and shows. And, sometimes, she swam.
It was incredibly soothing. Feeling the liquid tranquility envelop her, cradle her, carry her to nothingness. The night air would provoke goosebumps, but they only intensified the sensation of the water sweeping over her skin. The moon was always bright and watchful, illuminating the area in an unobtrusive grey light.
She was floating on her back, her eyes closed, allowing herself to think about nothing yet everything at once. She inhaled deeply, loving the experience; she never got to really breathe anymore. None of them did. Her breath was always stolen from her, snatched from her lungs for one reason or another. Breathing. It was so simple, yet so taken for granted. In. Out. In. A cricket called to her from the edge of the lake. Out.
It was just a whim. Passing fancy. When you think of nothing and everything at once, whims come and go from your mind like wandering strangers. Innocent enough. People did it all the time. Caroline did it. Several times, in fact. She just wanted to know what it felt like. When did they ever get to follow whims anymore? How long had it been since she had done something spontaneous, just for herself? Just for fun?
She stretched an arm toward the sound of the cricket calling.
No harm done.
Her bathing suit laid next to a shrub near the edge of the lake. She was free, coasting along the waters, trying to remain nonchalant. But there is something about being naked in a public area that makes your heart beat fast, your mind whir into overdrive, and your nerves spark with excitement and anxiety. You're paranoid. Your teeth chatter. You're hypersensitive. You're exhilarated. You're free.
It was wonderful.
Every sensation was magnified. The air felt better, crisper. The water welcomed her even moreso than before, encouraging her to dive further into its depths. She gulped down air while she was on the surface, then plunged under, watching the moon's rays melt into liquid and sway. She gazed up while she was under, and realized that there is something so beautiful about seeing the sky from its opposite point, from a place so faraway and so different but it still reflected its counterpart perfectly. The sky and the water, so opposing yet so utterly unified on nights like these, in perfect peace.
She came up for air, still enjoying those unladened breaths. Brushing her hair from her face, Bonnie finally decided it was time to head in. She had been out there for hours, and she did not want the smell of the lake to linger on her body for the rest of the week. She closed her eyes, inhaling fully one last time, savoring the taste.
To this day, she does not remember how much of her upper body had been out of the water when he appeared.
"Well, well, well."
Instant voice recognition. Instant panic. She recoiled, resisting the powerful urge to dive under and not come back up.
"Who's there?" she asked, a pointless question. Squinting into the darkness, she barely made out his figure leaning against a nearby tree. He appeared to have his arms crossed, and his head tilted.
'He's too far away to have seen anything,' she tells herself, a platitude she recognized and still tried to believe it.
"Who else would be out in the middle of the night, watching a girl swim naked?" Damon asked, moving from the shadow of the tree. Instinctively, Bonnie moved backward, as if preparing to escape. "Bonnie Bennett. Powerful witch. Loyal friend. And scandalous skinny dipper." She can just imagine his brows raising suggestively, his trademark smirk spreading wide on his face. She groaned, rolling her eyes, and tried to settle her pulse.
"Alright, Damon. You caught me," she said, controlling her voice so it did not sound frantic. Really, she had nothing to be ashamed of, right? People did this all the time.
"I wonder what Jeremy would think of this?" Damon mused, crouching next to the lake. The moon outlined his features now, so she could see the smirk on his face instead of imagining it. "Why don't you have your little boyfriend join you on these late night escapades?"
Bonnie frowned, knitting her brow together with confusion and annoyance, not having expected this route in conversation.
"I...I don't know. I had wanted to be alone. I planned on having a night to myself. But of course every plan of mine has to be ruined by Damon Salvatore," she replied, and somehow bantering with Damon calmed her, just slightly. She was covering herself with her arms, and she was almost all the way under the water. There was no way he could see anything, she told herself. And bickering with him was familiar territory. It wasn't completely foreign and terrifying to her, like being naked in front of him. "What are you doing here anyway? Wait, better question- how long have you been here?"
"Long enough to know that you can hold your breath under water for exactly one minute and twenty-two seconds."
"Oh my god." She wanted the water to swallow her whole, and perhaps crush Damon in a tidal wave while it was at it.
"I also know you can jog a mile in seven minutes. Quite the nighttime athlete you are, witch."
Bonnie laughed in disgusted disbelief.
"Great. Even when I think I'm alone, I have a stalker vampire watching me. Just great."
"Hey, a guy has to find a way to spend his time when he doesn't sleep," Damon said, shrugging, completely unapologetic. The way he was watching her was unsettling, now that she could see his eyes. He amused, intrigued, and a little bit of something else that she did not want to name. It made her skin burn even while under chilled water.
"So obviously you turn to creepily following me. Get a hobby," she snapped, upset that her only source of privacy was tainted. "Collect stamps. Go hunt baby deer or something, I really don't care. Just don't follow me. I don't want to have to worry about you watching me when I'm trying to clear my head."
Damon paused, then nodded.
"Fine. But on one condition," he said, grinning and leaning forward, dipping his hand into the water. Bonnie moved back again, as if his hand entering the water was touching her as well. His eyes flashed playfully, dangerously, in the strewn moonlight. "Does this lake have enough room for two?"
"Very funny. Now go get my swim suit. Leave it right there, and go away, ok?" she commanded with narrowed eyes, trying to sound confident while completely exposed. Damon's image blurred, and she realized he had used his speed to grab her suit in the blink of an eye. He was crouched again, dangling the bikini above the water, his teeth having an extra gleam to them.
"Come get it," he said, raising his brow in challenge. Bonnie wanted to scream, to throw something at him, to drown him, to do anything at all. She cast him another look of disbelief, shaking her head.
"No. Leave it there."
"No. Come get it." His voice was amused, but he was definitely stern.
"Damon, I'm serious."
"You're also naked, and I have your clothes."
"Damon, I swear-..."
"Look, little witch, I have your clothes; you want your clothes. This can be solved so simply. That's your problem," he decided, thoughtful. "You always try to overcomplicate things. The truth is, life is simple. You decide what you want, and you take it. So," he dropped his voice lower, inclining his head and waving her suit on the end of a finger, "come get it."
She could kill him. She really could.
And she definitely was considering it as she slowly waded over to him, struggling to keep her body hidden, stay afloat, and keep her eyes glued to his, channeling all of her fury to her eyes and directing it right at him. There was not that much distance to cover, but she took her time. She could see that he was watching carefully, trying to catch a glimpse of something, but she refused to give him that satisfaction.
"The one time I do this," she mutters, mostly to herself, "and Damon Salvatore shows up."
"Just my luck," he said glibly, smirking.
"Luck had nothing to do with it. Stalking did."
"You make it sound so sinister. Maybe I was out for a stroll to clear my head, too. Maybe I come here for some quality alone time."
"I really doubt that."
"Oh, come on, Bonnie. When are you going to realize that vampires are people too? I have the same needs as you."
Upon saying that last statement, she was in front of him, glaring up at his crouching form, and his voice was teetering between mock-sympathetic and provocative. She did not know which she was more irritated with.
"You and I don't have the same needs," she said, but she felt her voice gain its own playful tone, in spite of herself, as it often did when she talked with Damon. His forehead wrinkled in exaggerated consideration.
"No, I think we do," he said, staring down at her, making her uneasy again. Keep one arm wrapped around herself, she lifted her other one.
"Give it to me."
Damon raised the suit above his head, quirking a brow and cocking his head.
"Oh, you've got to be kidding me," Bonnie said, exasperated and resisting the urge to throw her arms up in exhaustion. "I've been playing nice until now. Don't make me set your brain on fire."
"I thought we were passed those days, Bonnie," he said, wearing a look of overdramatic hurt. "I thought our relationship was better than that."
"Tell you what. I'll close my eyes."
"Oh, yeah, sure. I'm going to believe that."
"Well, you either believe it or I throw this cute little bikini into the deepest forest I can find, and you have an embarrassing walk home ahead of you."
"You wouldn't dare."
"Try me." His eyes glinted again, and his smirk was almost faded from his face. Bonnie tilted her head so her free hand could massage her head, which was now beginning to ache with the ridiculousness of it all.
"You're serious, aren't you?"
"Dead serious," he retorted, straightening his expression into a focused one just for effect. Bonnie sighed heavily.
"You realize I'm going to kill you after this, right?"
"Wouldn't expect anything less, witch."
"You better keep your eyes closed, Damon. I'm serious. If you so much as open an eyelid, your brain will be so damaged, you won't be able to think of clever comebacks ever again. "
"You got it. Trust me. I'm a gentleman." He couldn't help it; that one made him grin.
"Yeah. Right. Whatever. Just close your eyes already."
He obeyed, but moved the swimsuit just a bit higher as he did so. She watched him for a moment, waiting for him to snap his eyes open to catch her unaware. She even splashed the water a bit, to pretend that she was raising out of it. Nothing. He remained motionless, expressionless. He looked pleasantly calm, like he was just there to enjoy the night breeze.
She sucked in a preparatory breath, incapable to comprehend that this was actually occurring. She honestly, truly had the worst luck.
But then, luck has nothing to do with it, she reminded herself as she slowly unwound her arms from around her body. Maybe if she moved carefully enough, he wouldn't know she had so much as twitched until she grabbed the suit and plummeted back underwater again. Seemed like a plan.
Deliberately, she lifted her arms from the water at a snail's pace, resting them quietly on either side of Damon's feet, bracing herself on the edge. Settling her body's weight on the wall of the lake, she pushed off the ground and kicked gently, almost as she was going to get out.
And there she was, water dripping from her upper body, silently dampening the grass before her. She was completely naked, leaning in front of Damon, lifting her left arm to reach her bathing suit. It was completely absurd, and she hated every second of it so far. Except for the part that she didn't hate- the feel of Damon's hot breath on the space right between her breasts.
She didn't even notice it at first. She was busy trying to balance and be silent at the same time, resting her weight on the edge of the lake and her right arm. But then she looked up from the water and realized she was level with Damon's face. It looked different, in the grey-dusted moonlight like this. Lines of anger or frustration weren't etched into his face like battle scars, sorrow wasn't creeping at the corner of his eyes like a permanent shadow. He was at peace, just breathing. Hot, billowy breaths that tickled her chin and settled right between her breasts. The sensation made her shiver- because it was cool night and the temperature contrast startled her, she told herself. Right.
She tried to ignore the fact that there was no temperature contrast; her body was on fire, and had been since Damon had showed up. Tension filled the air between the pair like smoke, and Bonnie was trying not to drown in it.
Glancing up at her suit, she cursed his long arms (arms that looked decidedly more defined in this lighting). She bit her lip in concentration, focusing on grabbing the bikini, balancing, and being quiet all at the same time. Trying not to focus on the fact that she was half naked centimeters in front of Damon's face, and he was still breathing on her chest.
Almost there. Just a bit further. She was touching one of the strings from the top piece.
And suddenly the breathing stopped.
Her eyes snapped forward, and green met brilliant blue.
Ages passed by in that single moment. Nothing and everything existed right there, right between them. Everything froze, and all Bonnie could think about was how stupid she was. For so many reasons.
Heartbeats pounded. Seconds ticked by, and they were caught, just staring, unblinking. Green into blue. So different, yet perfectly reflected into one another. He grinned, his teeth shimmering, brow raised in challenge.
"Go ahead," he said in an almost-whisper, the heat from his words creeping down her neck. "Take it."
In her defense, people did it all the time. Caroline had done it, several times.
Usually with boys.