Title: Remember, Love
Summary: Elena Gilbert is betrothed to Stefan Salvatore but on the night that they announce their engagement, a terrible accident happens that leaves Elena without her memory and far away from the only home she's ever known. Stefan's brother, Damon, is the best guard on the royal guard and is given the assignment of bringing back his brother's future bride. But what happens when the journey back makes them realize they belong with each other. Will he betray his brother? Or will he help Elena find out who she really is?
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Several years later…
The Salvatore Castle appeared before them with the same beauty and elegance it had the last time they had been here. The only thing missing was their trepidation. No longer was the castle to be seen as a place where they were jailed and forced to stay but father a place of beauty that was the beginnings of their journey together. They had spent years traveling the world and gaining everything they could from it, only to return home. But Elena wasn't about to let Damon miss his brother's wedding.
She reached over and placed a loving hand on his thigh causing Damon to look at her. "Your father isn't here any longer Damon. He has no power over you. This is Stefan's domain now."
Damon looked at her with a saddened smile before leaning over and kissing her temple. She knew deep down Damon both loved and loathed his father. They had mourned his death and she had supported Damon's decision not to cut short their trip to the Mediterranean. Of course, that hadn't meant Damon didn't regret his decision. She had walked in on his trashing their hotel room in frustration over his conflicting emotions and it took her calming touch for his anger to break down.
"No matter how much I love my brother, he is my father's prodigy. I worry about our reunion."
Elena kissed his cheek. "In your Caroline's letters, she confided in me that it is your mother who has had the bigger influence on his rule."
"I'll believe it when I see it," he countered.
She smiled at his, sensing his defiance. "Isn't this wedding proof enough?"
Damon hesitated before she felt his body lose its tension. She had him there. The very fact that Stefan was marrying a woman whose family was full of scandals proved just how far their kingdom had come. So, when the car pulled up to the entrance, Elena didn't have to convince him to get out of the car. Damon held out his hand and helped her and together they grabbed the tiny hands of their two children: Piper and Ryder.
They turned to their children and watched as their eyes widened in wonderment at the lavish castle. Piper was tugging on Elena's arm and pointing wildly at anything she saw. Since Ryder was older, he was constantly telling Damon that everything was "so cool!" They were dressed elegantly in a tux and a puffy dress. Elena couldn't help but smile at all the dresses Piper had tried on in her attempt to find the perfect one that made her look like a princess. Damon and Elena had never kept it a secret who they were and they had lived royally in their travels but the two children had never been to a royal wedding and they were in awe.
"Mommy, look!" Piper yelled excitedly as she pointed to all the flickering lights and decorations that colored the foyer.
Elena smiled. "Isn't it pretty? Wait until you see the dancing hall!" She turned to Damon who was off with Ryder talking to one of the guards. "Damon, I'm going to take Piper upstairs. Can you drop Ryder off before the wedding starts?"
Damon nodded before walking over and kissing his wife. "You look beautiful, by the way. Have I told you that?"
"Yes, several times actually," she whispered. "All of which resulted in undressing."
The smirk formed on his devastatingly handsome face. "It's not my fault if my wife's hot."
"No, but it is your fault if we're late." Elena smiled and turned away from him causing Damon to smack her ass playfully. Sending narrowed eyes his way; she went up the marble staircase with her daughter.
Elena knocked lightly on the ornate double doors. With a smile to her daughter, they both watched as the doors opened revealing a guard who ushered them in. Women and hand-maids raced around the room in preparation as Elena walked towards the woman in the far corner in the elegant white dress. She placed Piper in front of her and put both hands on her shoulders as she cleared her throat causing the woman to turn around and smile.
"Elena! You're here!" the woman screamed. Her dress was fitting as it hugged her curves and fanned out around her knees. A long lacy veil was placed in her beautiful blonde hair that was piled up atop her head. Her smiled was radiant as she hugged Elena and leaned down to introduce herself to the young girl she had never met. "You must be Piper."
Piper nodded, quietly and backed up further into her mother. "You look like a princess," she mumbled as her thumb slipped between her lips.
"Thank you. So, do you. This is a pretty dress you have here."
A smiled formed on Piper's face. "Really?"
"Mmhmm. We haven't met before but your mommy's told me all about you. My names Caroline."
Caroline smiled and straightened up. "She's beautiful, Elena. Looks just like you. Is Ryder here, too?"
"Oh, yes. He's downstairs with Damon. They'll be up shortly."
When Caroline was stolen away to answer some questions about the bridesmaids, Elena remembered the first time she had heard that Caroline and Stefan were a couple. It had been at another wedding. Her wedding.
Damon and Elena had decided to have a small intimate affair on a beach with just two witnesses. They had written to Caroline and Stefan as an invite and when the two had shown up together it was hard to deny their budding attraction. After the wedding, the foursome had gone to a local townie bar and the night was spent laughing and dancing as drinks were had and the four of them forgot all about titles and birth rights. They were celebrating Damon and Elena's love and it was enough to put hopes in the air. With Rebekah no longer standing in Caroline's way (she had fallen hard for a guard named Tyler a few months prior after Klaus had been stripped of his own rights and titles), there was nothing to stop Caroline from making the first move and kissing Stefan right on the dance floor of the crowded bar.
There was little that could stop them after that. Stefan butted heads with his father over his relationship with Caroline until Giuseppe's death. That was when Queen Isabella told Stefan to marry a woman of his choosing. She had confided in him that through all the years of her marriage the only happiness she had found was her boys. Isabella had never wanted her boys to have the same life she did and with Giuseppe out of the way it was possible.
Elena snapped out of her memory as Caroline returned. "Thank you so much for being my Matron of Honor. I couldn't think of anyone more deserving than my best friend."
"Aw, Care," Elena sighed as she felt the sting of tears building in her eyes. "And you're too sweet to let Piper and Ryder be in the wedding."
A handmaid interrupted them and asked to see Piper. With a slight nudge, Elena told Piper to go with her as she watched the woman hand her a basket of rose petals. She was teaching the young girl how to throw the petals as she slowly made her way down the long aisle. Elena smiled and turned back towards Caroline who seemed to have something on her mind now that they were alone.
Caroline shrugged. "You're family, Elena. Those kids are Stefan's niece and nephew. He misses them and we've discussed it and since I'm the one with the big mouth I suppose I'll be the one to say it." She took a deep breath, "We want you and Damon home. Where you belong."
Elena was silent for a moment. "We've wanted to settle down for a long time. It's not fair to the kids to keep traveling and not let them create roots. But it's up to Damon where. I know how hard it is for him to be here even with his father gone. This place was never home for him." She recalled the conversation she had with Damon shortly after they ran away together. He had held her close and whispered into her hair that she was the only home he had ever known. He had told her that even though he knew becoming king wasn't made for him, that his father's choice to just take it from him had always hurt him. That was why he rebelled. When Damon saw how he was trying to take Elena's choices away too. That had been the last straw. "I could never make that decision for him."
"Just…" Caroline clasped her hands around Elena's. "Just talk to him about it. I know that Ric, Jenna, and Emma must miss you, too. We understood why you had to run away before but we want to move forward now."
"I know. I understand." Elena nodded. "I'll talk to him about it."
Elena stood outside on the balcony of their room that overlooked the winding river behind the castle. The wedding had been amazing and elegant. It had been enough to knock her kids out and they were now sleeping soundly in their adjoining rooms. Moonlight reflected off the water, sparkling it with its light. She sighed as she looked out at the land before her, the place she had called home for so long.
Footsteps sounded behind her and strong arms wrapped around her waist. She let her head fall back as Damon began kissing her shoulder. "Where's your head at? You seem a million miles away."
"It's the opposite, actually. My minds here. In this place. This country." She turned in Damon's arms, and looked at his bright blue eyes that somehow seemed alight in the darkness. "We've been running for so long. I think it's time we come home."
Damon's brows furrowed. "I'm home wherever you are, Elena."
Her hands slid up his chest and settled there, one hand over his heart, feeling his beat mirror her own. They truly were one in the same. Sure they had their fights, their lows, but the highs made it all worth it. They had a love few people got a chance to experience. "I want to be here. We don't have to stay in the castle. My home, my parents' home, could be where we settle down. Where we give our children a place to grow up, make friends, have family. We talked about making memories and we have but we need to make some new one's here."
"Stefan wants me to take my position back."
"And what did you tell him?"
Damon leaned his forehead against hers. "I told him I'd think about it." He paused as they shared a breath. "If this is what you want, we'll do it. All I ever wanted was to make your life memorable."
"You have. You gave me a family, Damon. You gave me you." She sighed. "When I lost my memory I wasn't even focused on all that I couldn't remember. It was that I didn't know who my family was. When my memory came back, I still didn't have that family. That's why I ran to find you. I may be your home, Damon, but you're my family."
He leaned forward and pressed his lips against hers. She opened her lips to give him entrance and his tongue slipped through and swept across her own. His arms tightened around her, holding her closer. When he pulled back, he whispered, "We'll stay here and build our life together. No more running."
"And no more forgetting," Elena smiled.
Damon chuckled, low and deep. "Remember, love, it was you forgetting that finally brought us together. It gave us a chance to fall in love."
And then he kissed her again and together they made their first memory of returning home by consummating the guest bedroom.
A/N: THE END! Thank you so much for all your wonderful reviews and for reading this little Anastasia twist into Delena. I hope you enjoyed the little insight into Damon's reasoning for staying away. It was a last minute add-in that I'm rather happy with. Thanks again! R&R. xx Jenn