Chapter 12

Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries. I'm just borrowing. I only own the story.

Note: Okay, guys, I've had an idea for this next chapter of "Salvatore Family Values" in mind for a couple of days now and I wanted to update it now. Thank you for your reviews so far! You guys are amazing! No spoilers, except the action in this chapter takes place two days later.

Salvatore Mansion – 2 Days Later...

Elena walked toward the door, a curious scowl on her face. She and Lexi had been looking at dresses for the vow renewal ceremony since before lunch when they were interrupted by the doorbell ringing. Of course, Elena didn't remember inviting anyone over, and the children were at school, so it couldn't have been anyone for them. Still, she was curious about who this mystery visitor was. When she got to the door, she didn't open it right away, since she didn't know who could be on the other end.

"Who is it?"

"It's Caroline."

Caroline? What was she doing here? Not wanting to turn her away, Elena opened the door to see the blonde standing there, a serious expression on her face. The two hadn't really seen each other since the hostage situation at Elena's office.

"Caroline, this is a surprise," she said. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to talk to you," the other woman replied. "May I come in or is this a bad time?"

"No, it's not bad time," said Elena. "My sister-in-law and I were just discussing something for the big double vow renewal that we're planning." She stepped back, opening the door further. "Come on in."

Caroline nodded and walked into the mansion, looking all around at the décor. She was impressed by the paintings that adorned the foyer, among other things. Elena closed the door behind her and watched as Caroline looked around at everything.

"What did you come to talk to me about, Caroline?"

Caroline stopped walking and turned to her. "Actually, I came to apologize."

"Apologize?" said Elena. "For what?"

"For ruining your marriage to Tyler," said Caroline. "You'd still be married to him if I hadn't come into the picture. You two were high school sweethearts and I was the slut who destroyed the life that you made together."

Elena scowled. "Caroline, you didn't ruin my marriage to Tyler. We were having problems before he even met you, so that wasn't really your fault."

"But, I feel like it was," said Caroline. "From the way he talked about you, it seemed like he still loved you."

"Which was bullshit, if you ask me," said Elena. "If Tyler loved me at all, he'd want to work on saving our marriage instead of destroying it." She sighed. "Either way, I'm kind of glad that the divorce happened."

"You are?"

"Yes," said Elena. "If Tyler and I hadn't gotten divorced, I never would've met Damon. And I wouldn't trade what I have with him for anything in the world. He's a loving partner and a wonderful father to Kaylee and Amanda, as well as Damian and Ian." She gently placed a hand on her belly. "And the one or ones I'm currently carrying."

Caroline blinked. "So, this was a blessing in disguise?"

"More like a miracle," said Elena. "I really don't know what I would've done if I didn't have Damon." She looked at Caroline, deciding to change the subject. "Enough about me, though. How have you been holding up?"

"It still hurts, but I'm getting better," said Caroline. "Elijah has been very good to me, getting me whatever I need, and what the baby needs. Though, I really don't know why he's so willing to take care of me. Is he doing this as a favor to Klaus or something?"

"He told me that he doesn't owe Klaus anything, given the circumstances," said Elena. "He's doing it because he knows what you're going through. Seven years ago, his girlfriend, Jules, was raped and murdered by Klaus' friend, Brady, and he killed him out of revenge. At the time, Elijah didn't see the connection. He was only concerned with getting retribution for Jules."

"I see," said Caroline. "Well, I guess I am grateful that he's there. He's really sweet."

"Yeah, Elijah is a great guy," said Elena. "Damon trusts him, and so do I. Your baby is going to need a strong role model in his or her life, and who better than Elijah?" She placed a gentle hand on Caroline's shoulder. "I hope that we can be friends."

"Friends? Us?" said Caroline. "Elena, why would you want to be friends with me?"

"I believe in second chances," said Elena. "I want to put the past behind us and move forward. All of this animosity that I had for you isn't worth it anymore."

"You really mean that?" said Caroline. "You're not just talking as a therapist?"

"No, I mean it."

Caroline smiled and was about to say something when Elijah walked in, surprised to see her. He thought she was still at her house, so seeing her here at the mansion was a bit perplexing to say the least.

"What are you doing here, darling?"

"I came to talk to Elena," she replied. "Make amends."

"I see," said Elijah. "What brought this on?"

"I'm guessing it's because of everything that happened recently," said Elena. "Even though she really didn't have to, Caroline felt the need to make a fresh start, since she's going to be a mother soon."

Elijah nodded. "That's good. I'm proud of you, Caroline. All of that animosity was only going to fester unless you got rid of it. It's a good example to set for the baby."

At that moment, Damon came in from the patio, where he and Stefan were discussing where the caterers, flowers, and band were going to be set up for the party following the ceremony. He took notice of Elijah and tilted his head.

"Elijah, I didn't hear you come in."

"It's quite all right," the older man replied. "Caroline came over to speak to Elena and I got here just a little while after she did."

"I see," said Damon. "And did Caroline do what she came here to do?"

Elena nodded. "Yes. She made amends, and I accepted it." She looked at Caroline. "Would you like to come to the vow renewal? It'll be fun."

"Really? Oh, I'd love to," said Caroline. "Count me in." She smiled at Elijah. "Elijah too."

Damon smiled. "Excellent. The more, the merrier."

Note: And with that, Chapter 12 is complete! Stay tuned! :)