Chapter 17

Charlotte's POV

I sighed sadly as I woke up. I had only one more day before Damon and Stefan were taking me back to Bonnie's house. I was shaken out of my thoughts by Damon knocking on my door.

"Time to get up, Charlotte. Stefan, Elijah, and I have a surprise for you." Damon said through my door.

"Alright. I'm getting up." I said sighing as I got out of bed.

"You have five minutes until you have to be downstairs or I will personally escort you downstairs." Damon ordered.

"I'll be down soon, Damon. I won't lock myself in my room just because my brother left yesterday." I said shaking my head.

"Four minutes." He shouted as I heard him walk away.

I quickly through on a pair of black shorts and a blue and gold tank top with a pair of tan and white sandals and ran a brush through my hair and took my medicine and walked out downstairs.

"So, what's the big emergency?" I asked curiously.

"We know that you are on a limited amount of energy now and it's hard for you to go back and forth from the Lockwoods and the house, so we got something for you." Stefan said cryptically. I raised an eyebrow questioningly.

"Yes, so Damon suggested that we get you a piano for the house." Elijah explained. "The other got broke when Klaus was destroyed." He added.

I squealed happily and smiled brightly as they moved to show me a brand new white grand piano. Stefan came over and led me to the piano.

"You like it?" Stefan asked sarcastically.

"Love it." I whispered ignoring his sarcasm. "It's amazing." I added as I ran my hand across the keys.

"Thank you Stefan." I said turning around and hugging him.

"Your welcome." He said honestly.

"You too, Elijah. I really appreciate it." I said gratefully as I hugged him.

"Anytime, Charlotte." He said smiling.

I turned shyly to Damon as Elijah and Stefan slipped out of the room.

"What no hug for me?" Damon said sarcastically.

I shook my head amused and wrapped my arms around his neck. He instinctively wrapped his arms around my waist.

"Thank you, Damon. Its one of the best gifts that I've ever gotten." I said my voice full of gratitude.

"Why don't you show me that you can actually play the thing?" He said changing the subject.

"Challenge accepted, Salvatore." I said and sat down on the stool. I felt Damon slide in next to me as I ran my fingers over the keys.

I started to play what I've been working on at the Lockwoods house, Gravity by Sara Bareilles.

Something always brings me back to you
It never takes too long
No matter what I say or do
I still feel you here 'til the moment I'm gone

You hold me without touch
You keep me without chains
I never wanted anything so much
Than to drown in your love and not feel your rain

Set me free, leave me be
I don't wanna fall another moment into your gravity
Here I am and I stand so tall
I'm just the way I'm supposed to be
But you're on to me and all over me

You loved me 'cause I'm fragile
When I thought that I was strong
But you touch me for a little while
And all my fragile strength is gone

Set me free, leave me be
I don't wanna fall another moment into your gravity
Here I am and I stand so tall
I'm just the way I'm supposed to be
But you're on to me and all over me

I live here on my knees
As I try to make you see
That you're everything I think I need
Here on the ground

But you're neither friend nor foe
Though I can't seem to let you go
The one thing that I still know
Is that you're keeping me down
You're keeping me down

You're on to me, on to me and all over
Something always brings me back to you
It never takes too long

I heard loud clapping coming from behind me when I finished. I looked behind me and saw that Stefan and Elijah came back into the living room.

"Thanks, guys." I said looking down blushing.

"That was truly amazing, Charlotte." Elijah told me.

"That was great, Charlotte." Stefan said agreeing.

"Thank you." I said gratefully.

"Now, I must get ready for my graduation ceremony." Stefan said getting up off the couch.

"Your second graduation ceremony, you mean." I teased him.

"And I still look seventeen somehow." Stefan joked as backed out of the room.

"I know. It's zany." I said mock shocked. Stefan laughed as he left the room.

"I also must be going. Bonnie has requested to go over some things before the ceremony." Elijah said formally as he stood up to leave.

"Okay. Have fun, Eli." I said smiling brightly.

"Thank you, Charlotte. I will certainly try my hardest." Elijah said humoring me and left. I laughed softly and turned back to Damon.

"You're awfully quiet today, Damon." I commented.

"No, I'm not." He defended.

"Right, because the normal Damon Salvatore is a super silent person." I said teasing him.

"Whatever. You better start getting ready too, Charlotte. We have to leave here by two." Damon said dropping the subject and started walking out of the room.

"Doesn't take me three hours to get ready for a graduation ceremony." I grumbled as I stood up from the piano, knowing that he could hear me.

One hour later, I was showered and in my bra and underwear searching for something to wear in my closet. I grabbed a raspberry colored tea-length dress and walked over to my full size mirror to see how it looked. I liked how it looked so I turned and tossed it on my bed. I turned back to the mirror and screamed once I saw my reflection. My eyes got big and my breath was coming out in short gasps.

"Charlotte!" Damon shouted as he burst in my room. "Charlotte? What happened?" Damon asked confused once he saw me in my bra and underwear.

"I……my ribs." I finally managed to choke out. "I can see my ribs already." I whimpered.

"Um…it that one of the…" Damon asked trailing off.

"Number five already." I said while looking at myself in the mirror sadly. Damon coughed uncomfortably.

"Why don't you get dressed really quick?" Damon suggested.

I quickly snapped out of my revere and realized I was still in my bra and underwear. "Right." I said and walked to my bed. I grabbed my dress and slipped it on. Then I walked back to the mirror and looked at myself.

"Can you see my ribs in this?" I asked him softly.

"No, you look nice." Damon answered.

"Thanks, but I think I can still see my ribs." I said in disbelief.

"Why don't you wear a jacket over your dress?" Damon suggested.

"Yeah, that could work." I said as I walked to my closet and grabbed my black leather jacket off of the hanger and slipped it on.

"Better?" he asked.

"Better." I agreed with a small smile.

"Alright. Finish getting ready and we will leave." Damon said and walked out of my room. I sighed sadly as I walked to my bathroom. Symptom five already. This is happening faster than I thought.

"Ready yet?" Damon asked as he walked into my room.

"Yeah, I just have to get my shoes on." I told him as I grabbed my black ankle booties out of my closet.

"You're wearing heels?" he asked.

"Of course. Flats and sandals don't go with this outfit. And I want to feel as normal as possible when I'm out in public." I said as I slipped them on.

"Whatever." Damon said disinterested.

"You asked." I teased him as I grabbed my cell phone and walked to the door.

"Come on. And don't wander off from someone supernatural, or Ric, will you?" Damon told me as we walked downstairs.

"Sure." I huffed. "Mom." I mumbled under my breath.

Damon looked back at me and rolled his eyes letting me know that he heard me.

Once we got to the high school Alaric, Jeremy, Elijah, and a woman who I'm assuming is Morgan was outside waiting for us.

"Took you long enough." Jeremy teased. I rolled my eyes at him and walked towards Alaric.

"Ric." I said happily and hugged him.

"You look beautiful as always, Charlotte." He commented as we separated.

"Thank you." I said smiling trying not to think about symptom five.

"Charlotte, this is my girlfriend Morgan." Ric said introducing me to the black haired, green-eyed woman next to him.

"It's nice to meet you, Morgan. Alaric has told me a lot about you." I said sticking my hand out for her to shake.

"All good I hope." She said smiling hesitantly at me and shaking my hand.

"Of course. You should have seen his face when you started telling me all about you-" I started saying, but Ric cut me off.

"Okay, why we don't we go in and get seats before the ceremony starts." Alaric said flustered and took Morgan's hand steering her towards the school.

"You are the queen of embarrassing people, Charlotte." Jeremy said laughing and followed Alaric and Morgan.

"I know and I love it." I said smiling mischievously. "Come on, Eli. Let's go watch all my friends graduate from high school." I said taking Elijah by the arm. He chuckled and escorted me in with Damon following behind us.

During the ceremony, Jeremy and I were the loudest ones in there. They called Bonnie first and Jeremy and I stood up cheering very loudly. Then Matt, Caroline, Elena, Tyler, and finally Stefan went and got their diplomas. Once the graduation finished the staff escorted us out of the gym and onto the football field for pictures.

"Congratulations, guys! Group hug!" I announced to them. Elena, Caroline, Bonnie, and I all squished together hugging each other.

"How does it feel to officially be out of high school?" I asked them.

"Relieved." They all answered at once. We laughed and I went to congratulate Stefan, Tyler, and Matt.

"Congrats, guys. It's been a hell of a year for you." I told them winking.

"No kidding." Tyler snorted.

I laughed and watched as they dispersed and Stefan and Tyler went to Elena and Caroline, respectively.

"You tell anyone yet?" Damon asked as he popped up next to me.

"No." I replied simply. "I'll tell them tomorrow. Today should be a happy day for them." I said smiling at them sadly.

"You should be happy too, you know." Damon told me seriously.

"Kind of hard to when you are on the verge of dying, Damon." I answered with a fake smile so no one suspected anything.

"I guess, but today you should be happy. Your best friends just graduated high school for the first and only time." He reasoned with me.

"Not Stefan." I laughed.

"Stefan's special." Damon smirked.

"I'm sure. Now go and be a good big brother and congratulate Stefan." I told him.

"Fine, if I must." Damon mock huffed.

"Hey." Morgan said walking towards me.

"Hey, Morgan." I said smiling at her. "Where's Ric?" I asked her curiously.

"With Elena and Jeremy taking pictures." She replied.

"Nice. They roped him into pictures." I said jokingly. We laughed.

"Where's Damon?" she asked.

"Congratulating Stefan." I answered and took a drink of water.

"That's good." She commented. "You guys look really cute together, by the way. How long have you been dating?" she asked. I almost choked on my water as I swallowed it.

"What?" I asked her again to make sure I heard her right.

"You guys are dating right?" she asked confused.

"Not a chance. Damon and I would kill each other." I said smiling at her.

"Oh, I'm sorry. You two just looked like you were together." She apologized.

"That's alright." I said waving it off.

"He's hot though. Why not date him?" she asked.

"I completely agree with you, but he's an ass." I told her.

"Why do the hot ones always have to be asses?" she asked jokingly.

"I know, right? What happened to guys being hot and sweet all wrapped up in one?" I said mock dreamily. We laughed as Ric approached us.

"Hey, Morgan." He greeted kissing her on the cheek. I inwardly 'aww'ed like the romantic I am.

"Hey Char, can we talk really quick?" Ric asked.

"Sure." I answered.

"I'll go and congratulate Elena and Bonnie." Morgan said politely and left.

"What's up, Ric?" I asked curiously.

"Damon told me about symptom five." He said bluntly.

"That ass!" I exclaimed. "He can't respect anything that I want to do." I added angrily.

"He was just doing what he thought was right, Char." Alaric defended.

"I told him I was going to tell everyone tomorrow and he still can't keep his mouth shut." I said heatedly.

"He worries about you." Alaric said.

"You better stop defending him, Saltzman." I threatened.

"I'm just saying." He said defensively.

"So am I. Does he just love to spill my secrets?" I asked rhetorically. "Did he tell anyone else?" I asked him after I calmed down a bit.

"No, just me." Ric answered.

"Good." I said sighing in relief.

"So…what do you think of Morgan?" he asked changing the subject.

"She's amazing, Ric." I told him truthfully. "She suits you perfectly."

"Thanks, Char. Your opinion really matters to me." Ric said smiling in relief.

"Don't worry, Ric. I won't wreck you only successful relationship." I said teasing him and gave him a quick side hug before walking away.

"You better not." He teased back as he jogged after me.

Before Damon and I left to go back to the boarding house, I asked Morgan if she wanted to have a girl's day tomorrow, so the two of us can get to know each other and I can show her around town. She agreed and we went our separate ways.

I got into Damon's car and ignored him the whole way home.

"You're angry with me, aren't you?" Damon asked smirking.

"Nooo, what would ever gave you that idea?" I said sarcastically.

"It's because I told Ric, wasn't it?" he guessed correctly.

"Why did you have to tell him?" I asked him angrily as he parked the car and we got out.

"He's your best friend. He had a right to know." He said trying to reason with me.

"I was going to tell him tomorrow!" I yelled at him as I walked into the house.

"So, what's the big deal about telling him less than 24 hours earlier?" Damon asked annoyed.

"Damon, I know that this must be hard for your tiny brain to comprehend, but the closest thing to a daughter that Ric has just graduated from high school today. Today was supposed to be about Elena, not me. Ric's mind was supposed to full of happy thoughts about Elena graduating not me getting dying soon." I explained to him angrily.

"Okay, I make a mistake. I'm allowed to make mistakes." Damon shouted back.

"You've make several mistakes, Damon. You should start thinking and maybe you wouldn't make so many of them." I shouted at him.

"Well maybe if you lived with someone else, then you wouldn't have to deal with all of my mistakes." Damon exclaimed angrily.

"Fine. I'll be gone by tomorrow afternoon." I said heatedly.

"Good." Damon said coldly and vanished out the front door.

I took a deep breath and sat down on the stairs. I groaned. Damn it! What the hell did I just do?