A/N: So everyone, this is the M-rated chapter. For language and sexual content. Reader discretion and all that jazz..

To be honest, I am extremely proud of this one. The prose is really pretty, if you can get past the fact that the characters are, at times, wildly bipolar. In my defense, fecal matter is hitting the air circulation system, so they can be forgiven for being a little erratic.

Also, I may do a conclusion after this one, based on whether you guys want it or not. I don't really know that it's necessary, and I don't want to jump the shark.

P.S.: The titles for this series are in reference to Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Want. Take. Have.

Shameless self-promotion: Twitter - SweetWillowTree

Disclaimer: I do not own The Vampire Diaries.

It's the way you make me dance, when I don't even want to crawl.

So this is what hysterics feel like. My face is throbbing to the beat of my heart, my ears are burning, my lungs seem to only be working at half-capacity, and I can't feel my legs.

Oh, I know they're there, seeing as how my car is still flying along a half-flooded road, hydro-planing and going way to fast.

But still not fast enough.

The rain is pounding so hard, and mixed with the gusts of wind that are currently steering my car, I'm surprised I'm still moving in the direction of my choice.

I really hope that Damon's at his house. The cell towers are down because of the storm, and I really just need to see him, hear him, know that he's okay. Klaus is smart, and I know he'll figure out that if Stefan has any humanity left, it's all for Damon. And it isn't like the hybrid and the vampire get along that well to begin with.

I'm pretty sure I'm not in a ditch yet only by sheer force of will. And, not to sound cocky, but I'm fairly certain that the only thing stronger than my will, is Klaus'. Which is pretty much why I'm panicking. Because Klaus' will is to pick us all off one by one unless we can convince this awesome new evil-Stefan to stop being so evil, and give the hybrid back his family.

And yes, that is all as fucked up as it sounds.

I twitch the wheel to the right, and immediately spin in a full circle, ricocheting off a tree lining the Salvatore's driveway, coming to a halt, finally, up on the lawn. I throw the door open, but the wind swings it back toward me. I'm braced for an impact that never comes. My eyes open, rain splattering against my face, and find Damon standing between myself and the car door. I'm in his arms in two seconds flat.

"Oh thank God!" I murmur.

He tightens his hold on me, confirming that he could, in fact, hear me over the storm. I feel the vibration in his chest from his voice, but I may as well be deaf to him.

"What!" I yell, causing him to wince.


There's too much for me to say here, feelings that I don't even fully understand, so I don't speak. Instead, my hand makes its way into his inky black, and now soaking wet, hair, and I pull him down to kiss me. And I'm not sure if it's the urgency of the situation, or if it's the storm, but everything feels like it's moving so fast and too slow, and the ground is spinning beneath my feet. Damon pushes me back against the now-closed car door, and I feel him growl low in his chest in the same moment as I register him hardening within the confines of his tight jeans.

I snake my left arm around his waist, peeling his navy blue long sleeve shirt from his skin and pressing my palm against his naked back. His tongue slips against my own, and all I can hear is the rushing of my heart, and the pounding of the rain around us, over us. I'm soaked the bone, and Damon's hand slides over my bare thigh and – Stops. Abruptly.

And just as abruptly, my feet are no longer on solid ground, my hair is whipping wildly about as though the wind was just dialled up by ten, and then the sounds of the storm fade a little. I blink, and we're inside the foyer of the boarding house. The slamming door makes me jump. Damon is almost glaring at me, his hands on my shoulders, holding me at arms length and examining the length of my body.

I realize that my teeth are chattering.

I also realize, with a burning feeling of embarrassment, that I somehow forgot to put on any real clothes in my haste to make sure that Damon was safe from Klaus' vengeance. I look down, and with a shock, notice the sheer amount of mud covering my bare legs and pyjama shorts, my tank top and my arms. Probably my hair too.

Who would have thought grinding up against a car in a thunder storm would be such messy business?

"Jesus Christ, Elena," Damon whispers, his eyes meeting mine once again. "Your lips are blue," he states in a flat voice.

"I-i-it'sss ok-k-kay, D-d-d-damon. Jusssst c-c-cold."

"For fucks sakes -" he breathes, then his expression hardens. "For fucks sakes Elena, you could have fucking died coming here! What in the hell has gotten into you?"

"K-k-k-klaus and Stef-f-fan. F-f-fighting. We're in the m-m-m-middle. N-n-need-d-ded t-t-to sssssee y-y-you."

With a grunt of disapproval, he moves forward and sweeps me up, carrying me, bridal-style, up the stairs, all the while muttering admonishments.

"If you would just fucking start thinking about yourself half as fucking much as you think about other fucking people, I wouldn't have to keep fucking saving you, you stupid, stupid brat."


He simply growls back, kicking open the door to his bedroom and depositing me tenderly on the carpet. Before I can take a breath, he's gone and back again, wrapping a blanket around my mud-covered body. He runs his hands up and down my arms rapidly, trying to create some sort of friction, before cupping my face and staring into my eyes.

"I'll go draw you a bath. It'll warm you up, so you won't die of hypothermia."

I snort. No matter how modern he tries to act, expressions like 'draw you a bath,' still sneak in there, dating him considerably.

Mmm... Dating him. How did I resist that thought for so long before?

His lips quirk, as though he knows exactly what I'm thinking.

"You're an idiot," he says in a low voice, a little more calmly now.

And then he's pressing a surprisingly tender kiss to my lips before he disappears.

The lights flicker a little, and I move closer to the fireplace, where the flames are dancing and warming me up. The storm rages on outside, thunder and lightening adding to the epic wind and rain. I can hardly hear the water running in the washroom over all the sounds of the tempest.

And all the while I wonder, why in the hell am I here?

I'd just stepped out of the shower and pulled on my pyjamas when Klaus had called, told me what Stefan had done, and what he would do in retaliation unless we could track the errant Salvatore brother down. I tried to explain that we had no idea where Stefan was, or what he was up to, but the service crashed. I tried calling Damon, but cell towers were already out.

That was when the panicking started. See, it wasn't the threat itself that got me, but the fact that I was the only one who would think of Damon. Jeremy and Ric were at the house, and they would (did) scatter to gather the troops. Caroline, Bonnie, Matt, even Tyler, would all be warned; but Damon's a big bad vampire who lives on the outskirts of town and has no actual friends. Why would anyone think of him?

How couldn't they?

He had saved each and every one of their lives, possibly on more than one occasion. He'd forgiven both Bonnie and Tyler for almost killing him. And sure, he'd also tried (succeeded) to kill most of them too, but he's different now. He's changed. He's a better man, sometimes. Sure, he's still trying, every day, but that's exactly what I've been encouraging him to do all along. How am I the only one who sees it?

"Elena," he calls from the doorway, and I finally turn away from the flames to face him. He's clearly been there for a while. "Bath's ready," he says slowly.

"Oh," I plaster on a strained smile. Or at least, I try to. But as soon as I move away from the fire, my entire body is frozen again and my lips won't work. "Thanks," I answer quietly.

I pad past him, legs still stiff, and shrug off the blanket so I'm standing in the middle of the bathroom, covered in mud and not much else, staring at him as he stares back at me.

"So..." I probe. There is no way that I'm stripping down while he's watching.

He cocks an eyebrow and tilts his head to the side. "I'm not leaving you in that tub alone. Just my luck you'll pass out and drown on me. Nope, there is no nobility tonight." He crosses his arms over his chest and leans against the door frame to prove his point.

"Well could you at least turn around?" I snap. "I promise not to drop dead until I'm in the tub, okay?"

It's tense for a second before he smirks, allows his eyes to travel the length of my body one last time, and turns slowly.

"No peeking," I grumble, peeling the sticky clothes off.

I'm glad that he doesn't seem too annoyed anymore, even if I do catch him sneaking a glance over his shoulder every few seconds. But soon enough, I step into the bath and lower myself in. The bubbles fly a little, and I smile at the memory of bubbles...

"What are you laughing about?" Damon asks, sitting on a stool next to the bath, right next to my hip.

"Nothing," I mumble back, sinking beneath the opaque layer and surreptitiously scrubbing at the mud with his loofah.

He rolls his eyes and I giggle at him, unable to stop picturing him standing naked in front of me, save for a few bubbles on his shoulders. I shake my head, causing more of the soapy substance to float into the air, and laugh a little more.

"Are you crazy? Did the cold addle your brain?" he asks, grabbing the loofah and my wrist, and proceeding to scrub my arm lightly. "Just relax; warm up."

I lean back, leaving my arm to be pampered on the edge of the tub. "You're being awfully sweet right now, considering you were yelling at me less than fifteen minutes ago."

He smirks a little, and winks at me. "Any excuse to touch you."

As though to make his point, he reaches into the water to pull out my leg, and draws a finger along my calf. I shudder, and he grins, lightly wiping the limb clean of mud. When he's finished, he moves around the tub and repeats the action on my other leg.

I relax, smiling, and let my head roll back, resting on the tub with my eyes closed, enjoying every minute of his attention.

Best. Boyfriend. Ever.

He freezes, and for a brief moment, I wonder why. Then it occurs to me that I just spoke that last thought out loud. I cough, attempting to cover up my embarrassment.

"So what are we going to do about Stefan?" I ask, my voice a lot higher than I would like it to be, a combination of awkwardness and complete, uncontrollable lust.

I told him just this morning that I wanted to wait, that I wasn't ready to just hop into bed with him. But that was before things got all 'life-and-death' again. And also before he started his slow, methodical cleansing of my every inch of skin. Every sweep of the loofah makes me ache for the feel of his hands all over me, and I want him. Now.

"We aren't going to do anything about Stefan," he answers, annoyed again. He lightly drops my leg back into the water and places his hand on my shoulder, letting it slide down until he's gripping my wrist and scrubbing my arm. "Tonight, we are going to focus on getting you cleaned up and warmed up. It would suck if you died of a stupid cold after I put so much work into keeping you alive up to now."

"Mmm..." is all I can say. I'm so ready to just drift off right now. Warm and safe and with Damon.

At least that part isn't new; I've felt safest with Damon for a while now.

"Done," he announces, giving my arm a little push so it splashes back into the water. "How do you feel?"

I open my eyes and sit up, wrapping my arms around my knees, staring at him, trying to gauge his mood, since he's kind of all over the place tonight.

"Are my lips still blue?" I enquire innocently.

"Let me check," he smirks, typical, and takes my chin in his hand to pull me forward.

This time, when he kisses me, it's hard. Not aggressive, like I know he can be, and not passive either. His mouth opens and his tongue moves in against mine and I kiss him back with equal desperation.

Too soon, he's pulling back, a mischievous glint to his eye.

"You taste fine," he whispers, waggling his eyebrows.

And just as I lean toward him, the lights flicker again before going out for good.

"Dammit," he mutters. I can't see a thing, but I feel him disappear from my vicinity. I hear a shuffling across the bathroom, and the sound of his footsteps coming back toward me. "Here," he states impatiently, grabbing both of my hands and pulling me out of the tub, wrapping a towel across my shoulders. "Wait here, I'll go try and find a flashlight or something for you."

And now, see, maybe he was right, and the cold did addle my brain, because I answer with;

"Candles are more romantic."

Cue: Facepalm.

I can actually feel him narrowing his eyes at me, and I blush furiously. I'm pretty sure that even with his super-vision, he can't see that.

"Okay then; I'll go and find something that will allow your feeble little human eyes to see."

I hear a whoosh, and then he's gone. I inch a little to the side, and am able to see the flickering firelight in the bedroom. I pad toward it, finding myself, again, in front of the fireplace, absorbing its warmth. I wonder if Damon would be particularly irritated if I borrowed some of his clothes. He's normally super-possessive of me, so he shouldn't mind too much. Although lately, what with the changing of the rules, and his extreme moodiness this evening...

I look around, checking for any stray items littering the floor, but he is predictably tidy. Finally, my gaze falls to the bed, and a grin spreads across my face. I really am not sure what has gotten into me tonight, but I know what I would like to get into me.

Okay, really, Elena?

I'm going to chalk it all up to an adrenaline crash. I was so freaked out earlier that the relief is making me all loopy. But in any case, climbing naked into Damon's bed is definitely going to send a message that pretty much contradicts my intentions up until this point.

And it isn't until I notice that I'm already in the bed, snuggled under the covers, that I realize that I was lying a lot up until this point. I mean, I really did intend to take this really slow, but as soon as I realized that Klaus was -

"Back!" Damon announces, striding into the bedroom, and right past me, into the bathroom, a candle in one hand, and a flashlight in the other. "A power line went down in front of the – Elena?"

He stops, his head swinging comically from side to side before he finally turns and spots me. He thinks for a moment before speeding around the room, presumably using his lit candle to ignite the numerous others strewn about. And now he's in front of me again, for some reason still wearing his damp clothes from earlier.

That's a problem.

"I thought I asked you to stay in the bathroom?" he grumbles ambivalently.

"Got cold."

"You aren't wearing clothes."

I shrug. "I know."

He groans and rubs at his eyes. "Can you put some on, please? Because there really is only so much I can take, between you being half-naked, covered in mud, and then completely naked in the bath. I'm trying really hard to do the right thing here, and you, naked in my bed, is causing a bit of a problem for me."

"Damon..." I say, holding back a small laugh. I reach out and wrap my fingers around his hand, uncovering one of his eyes.

He lowers his other arm, and meets my stare, a fire burning in the icy depth of his gaze.

"What happened to waiting?" he asks in a strangled voice. "I thought we were waiting."

"We've waited a year, already."

I pull him a little, and he stumbles closer, leaning against the edge of the bed, so my face is level with his chest.

"I can't do it if you'll hate me in the morning," he breathes.

Time stops.

Jesus, he is so... Argh!

"Damon," I say flatly, "A lot of women that you've slept with have pretty much guaranteed me that I will not hate you in the morning."

His lips twitch, and his eyebrows slant, and there's a little more of the regular him coming out.

"Well, no, I'll rock your world all night long, but if you aren't -"

"Ohmigod!" I exclaim, interrupting him. He jumps a little, startled. "I didn't realize – Damon, you don't understand what's going on!"

How could I have overlooked this? I, Elena Gilbert, Understander of People, have completely forgotten about the most vital part of Damon's psyche: This debilitating, all-consuming, hidden-beneath-layers-of-stone, sense of worthlessness. He really still thinks he's the runner-up. As if this is still even a competition.

I release the sheet and wrap my arms around his middle, pressing my face into his chest.

"Damon, this isn't a test drive for me." I pull back and look at him. "I've made my choice and it isn't Stefan; it won't ever be Stefan, or anyone else for that matter. I'm choosing you; for the ups and the downs and all the scariness that comes with the package, I've chosen you."

For a second, he doesn't do anything. Then, as if by magic, I can feel every bit of tension leaving his body. I never realized just how stressed out he was about this.

"Why tonight?" he asks seriously, although he has given in a little, stroking my hair and eyeing the spot where I'm clutching the sheets (again) firmly to my chest.

Why tonight? I've been asking myself the same damned question.

"Klaus," I answer so swiftly, I'm surprised myself. "He'll come for you, and if something happens-" My voice catches, so I clear my throat, try again. "If something happens, I want you to know that you're mine, and I'm yours. I want us to have everything, together."

And that's all true; it's exactly how I feel. And it must be good enough for him, because suddenly his lips are on mine.

When he's kissing me right now, it isn't just kissing; it's an admission to just how vulnerable and scared and in love he truly is; beautifully, epically, tragically.

When his tongue sweeps along my bottom lip, he isn't just asking me deepen the kiss; he's begging me to let him in, let him stay, let him have me and keep me forever.

When he's on top of me, pressing me into the mattress, he isn't just creating satisfying friction; he's covering me, protecting me, sheltering me with his bones and his heart and his all.

So when I kiss him back, I'm not just kissing either; I'm telling him that I'm scared too, but so very sure about this, and that I'm not quite there yet, but I will be soon.

When I part my lips, it isn't just to let my tongue dance with his; it's to welcome him, all of him, into my heart, my life, my being; it's to keep him with me always.

When I reach around his neck, it isn't just to pull him closer; it's to protect him too; it's to keep him safe and happy; to warm him up from the inside out like he's done for me.

Time slows... slows... stops. I'm sliding my hands under his shirt, and I can feel the corded muscles of his back flexing and loosening. I can feel the bulge of his restrained erection against my womanhood. I can feel his hot breath against my lips when he pulls back for just a moment to stare at me with such intensity, my eyes water and to my extreme mortification, I start to cry.

Without thought I cup his cheek, stroke along the lines of his face with my thumb, search out any flaw or imperfection.

"You're so beautiful, Damon," I exhale softly, and he smiles, a quiet kind of smile. "You deserve this; you know that, right? You deserve to be happy."

He nods, and I reach down to the hem of his shirt, peeling the damp fabric away from his skin, up and up until it's over his head, on the floor somewhere. My fingers dance along the ridges and planes of his torso; learning the feel of his skin; memorizing the paths of his muscles.

We're kissing again as I reach his belt buckle and surprise even myself with how fast I get it dealt with. The button and fly are next and then slowly, so slowly that Damon has stopped moving, I slide my palm along his skin until my fingers are wrapped around him. And he is...

"Big," I mumble against his lips, and he chuckles a little.

"Yes," he agrees, "So I've heard."

I start to pump him, just enough to tease, and am rewarded when he gasps into my mouth.

"Elena -"

"Roll over. Take off your pants."

He does what I ask as I press kisses along his collarbone, my damp hair sweeping his chest, making him shudder. He shimmies out of his jeans and then reverses our positions again, slipping the blankets that are covering me down tentatively.

"I'm not stopping you, Damon. If you want me, have me. I'm right here, with you."

The blanket disappears, the sudden cold hardening my nipples, and causing the hair on the rest of my body to stand on end. Blue eyes rake down, from my face, to my breasts, along my flat stomach, to my hot center, along my legs, and then back up. One of his hands grips my hip, and he leans down, his lips grazing my ear.

"I'm going to have you over, and over, and over, tonight," he rasps. His fingers slide between my legs, and they part, automatically. I'm not breathing. "I'm not going to stop, Elena. Not until I've pushed you as far as you can go; not until you've screamed your voice raw; not until you're unconscious and satisfied."

His palm is pressing against my sex, and I moan, bucking my hips a little for the friction. Quickly, he slides his middle finger inside of me, and I cry out.

"Understood?" he asks, as if I can think straight when he's working all kinds of magic on my lower half.

His thumb circles my clit, and he adds another finger. I gasp.

"I'll take that as a yes," he rumbles, leaving a trail of wet kisses down my neck and shoulder.

He nips at the skin, making me squeal at the pleasure-pain, continuing down until one of my nipples is between his teeth. I'm on sensory overload; completely unaware of anything beyond him.

Fingers inside of me; stretching me out; driving me closer to the edge. Expanse of skin pressed along my thigh, hip, stomach. Lips and teeth and tongue setting my nerve endings on fire.

And then...

A kiss on my clit. Bucking hips. Fingers moving faster. Frenzy building. Vocal chords vibrating. Grip on my hip so tight, it'll bruise.

And then...

Building. Building. Building. Higher. Higher. Higher. His name on my lips. A sharp cry.

And I'm a throbbing, sweating, mess of a girl, riding out the pleasure. He pulls out, away, covers me again with his body; covers my lips with his own. I can taste myself on his tongue.

"Damon," I call for him, less than a whisper.

"I'm right here," he answers, shifting so he's cradled between my bent and shaking legs, hands splayed under my shoulders.

I want you...

"Now," I moan.

I watch his face as he finally slides into me. His brows are pulled together in a tight frown of concentration, and then his expression is contorted with pleasure. And I am so full, I can hardly breathe.

This is what I wanted; this feeling, with him.

"So... Good..." he rasps.

"Yeah," I say back, just to say something, just so he knows he isn't alone anymore.

I shift my hips, and he closes his eyes and moves. And it's so slow, so deep, so perfect. The storm is still raging outside; rain pounding the windows; wind hissing and whipping. The thunder is shaking everything; the lightening flashing with heat and brightness. But it's nothing to what's going on in here.

It's like he already knows me, inside and out. He changes angles, hits a spot, and there are colours to block out the blackness; sounds to erase the gale outside. My hands are lightly resting on his shoulders, but my nails are digging into his skin, an odd contrast, though he isn't complaining.

In fact, he's moving faster. His back and chest are covered in a light sheen, and his hair is damp, not with rainwater anymore, but with sweat from his efforts. One of my hands slides down to explore his mid-section again, while the other grips his hair, brings him closer. Our mouths meet again, but we aren't kissing this time; we're just breathing each other.

"Elena... Oh... Elena."


"I love you."

"I know."

"Ah! Good! That's... God! So good!"

He speeds up a little more, our hips clashing, hard and fast and deep. My stomach is tightening almost unbearably, but I don't want it to end. I don't want the spell to be broken; this intimacy to go away. Not now that I've finally gotten him.

"Are you close?" I nip his earlobe.

"So... So..."

My back arches without my consent, and we're pressed together. We can't possibly get any closer.

"Come with me. I want... I want..."

Somehow he moves... Well, more. Everything is more, and my mouth is open, but no sound is coming out. My walls are fluttering, and they clamp down on him. He stiffens, drops his head to my shoulder, spills every drop he has inside of me as I'm shooting to the stars.

There are no words.


When I come back, he's still inside of me, on top of me. He's watching my face with such a peculiar expression.

"What?" I grin.

He shakes his head, smiling back. "You're so beautiful."

I kiss him one last time before he collapses next me. I'm already under his arm, and he's pulling the blankets over our soaked bodies.

"You have two minutes," he warns me. "I don't think I can keep my hands off of you for longer than that."

I look up at him from beneath my lashes.

"Can't wait."

It's the way you make me laugh, when I don't even want to smile.