A/N: I don't own TVD. I know it's been quite a while since my last update but life has been very busy. My sister got married and my husband returned from deployment with a very bad case of PTSD. It's been a challenge but we are working through it. Hopefully I'll be able to update more. Please enjoy this next chapter and let me know what you think. Thanks so much.
Emily walks out onto the patio and makes her way to the large glass table to fix herself a cup of coffee as she watches Elena and Caroline spar with Odele. Bonnie seated at the table is quite as she takes in fully Emily's human form. Bonnie is still unsettled at the sudden appearance of her great grandmother.
Emily takes a seat and silently observes Bonnie. Emily knows that Bonnie has a lot of questions and patiently waits for her granddaughter to express her thoughts.
"Why Damon? Why not Stefan?" Bonnie asks the question that has been swirling round her mind for days. The young witch can understand the appeal of the eldest Salvatore but Stefan seems more of a compatible choice for Emily.
Emily gives Bonnie a small smile before her soft face turns solemn. "There was always a darkness in Stefan's eyes. Always something sinister just below the surface. I think that is what drew Katherine to him, like a moth to a flame."
Bonnie nods her head in agreement remembering all too well the ripper side of her best friend's beloved. Bonnie takes a sip of her own cup of coffee before continuing with her game of twenty questions.
"Was Damon always like he is now?" Despite her hatred of all things vampire Bonnie's curiosity of her great grandfather is consuming her.
Emily's smile broadens as she places her large mug of coffee on the shiny glass table. She's checked in on Damon over the years and the sight of the ruthless killer he has become has broken her heart repeatedly. But Emily's memories of the man he once been fills her with hope that Damon can someday regain the lost part of him that she loved so much.
"Damon was such a sweet boy. His heart was so good. But he had such a hunger to be loved. He needed to be loved like one needs air to breathe." Emily sighs heavily. "I needed to love again and he needed to be loved. We were like two halves of a whole."
Bonnie's heart breaks for Emily and Damon, both of their lives ruined by Katherine. Bonnie's hatred for Elena's ancestor grows even more heated than she can understand. The anger builds and fills her being so completely that it threatens to burst out of her.
"Don't mourn for us Bonnie. There is a reason for everything that happens. Damon and I have a second chance now because death is not always an ending, sometimes it just might be a beginning." Emily's soft raspy voice soothes Bonnie's troubled mind.
Bonnie takes Emily's small hand and squeezes it gently. "Damon told me a little about your past. He just never got to give me the deets about him and Katherine."
Emily's warm brown eyes turn cold at the mention of her one time mistress. "Katherine used compulsion to punish me. She knew I was plotting against her so she took the one thing she knew would hurt me the most. She took Damon's love from me."
1864 Mystic Falls…
"Katherine!" Stefan Salvatore's voice carries loudly through the spacious gardens as he races towards the pair of ladies strolling through the lush gardens. His excitement is evident by the flush of his cheeks and the large smile adorning his handsome face.
Katherine pouts playfully as her crème organza skirts swish around her delicate ankles. She's the picture of pure loveliness in her lavish day dress. Katherine's waist is cinched tight to emulate an hour glass and her glossy chocolate tresses coil softly about her smooth shoulders. The pretty hand stitched lavender florets covering the soft fabric of her many skirts add just enough color to her pale gown. She is everything that is expected of a beautiful southern belle.
"Why Mr. Salvatore what would people say if they heard you using my Christian name when we have not yet reached an understanding." Katherine playfully scolds the younger Salvatore brother.
Stefan smirks softly and straightens his chocolate brown frock coat. He gallantly gives a small bow and takes Katherine's lace gloved hand in his own.
"Forgive my impertinence Miss Pierce. I have received such good news that I could hardly contain my desire to share it with such a fine lady as you." Something dark flashes in his clear green eyes and for a moment Emily sees what Katherine does. She sees the darkness that deepens the light green of his eyes.
"Then you are forgiven Mr. Salvatore. Please share your fine news so that I may join in on your momentous felicity." Katherine smiles demurely while looking at Stefan through lowered lashes. Katherine plays her part well.
Stefan beams brightly at the beguiling beauty and takes both of her hands readily into his own. "My brother has returned. Father is furious but I could not be the happier for it. I could not bear the thought that something horrible would happen to him out there on the battlefield."
Emily's heart stops beating for just a moment. Damon would not abandon his duty as a soldier. Damon wanted nothing more than to please his father and Emily knows that it was important to Damon to come home a war hero and not a deserter.
Katherine's smile is sweetly sinister as she watches Emily's fearful expression. "That truly is wonderful news. Now I shall be properly acquainted with your brother since he'll be home for good."
For a moment the darkness returns to Stefan's eyes and Katherine is all the more thrilled by it. "We will all be one big happy family." Katherine's voice is soothing and warm as she compels her obedient lover.
"Yes…one big happy family." Stefan's voice drops low as he stiffly repeats the honeyed words of his dangerous paramour.
Katherine smirks triumphantly as she takes Stefan's offered arm and fans herself lazily with her Spanish lace fan. The chocolate haired vampire takes immense pleasure at the expense of her indebted witch. Emily can only stand frozen in place and watch Katherine's voluminous crème organza clad form disappear from the meticulously manicured garden.
Emily protectively places her hand on her still flat belly and swallows back her sobs. She must be strong for her children and her brother. The former slave must steel herself against whatever Katherine has planned for her. Emily knows fate has special plans for the unborn child in her womb and the legacy he will carry.
Emily composes herself and sets out to find Damon. Something deep inside tells her that Katherine has done something to the father of her unborn child. Emily moves as quickly as her short legs can take her. She does not care that her dark brown wool skirt and white petticoat is quickly becoming dirty.
Emily makes it back to the stables where Mr. Salvatore's footman Thomas told her Damon will be. The blue eyed Salvatore is dressed in his riding clothes waiting for his horse Apollo to be saddled. Damon cuts a dashing figure in a fine tailored charcoal coat and tall black boots. Emily is relived for just a moment that he is alive and well.
"Damon…" The smile quickly fades from Emily's delicate face as the man she loves looks at her with cold detachment. A superior iciness cools his once warm gaze.
"Miss Emily...I don't know how they do things in Atlanta but here you will refrain from using my Christian name and address me accordingly." Damon eyes the young beauty with confusion. A feeling of loss hits him seemingly out of nowhere. The more he looks at Emily the more he feels like something is missing.
Emily blinks back her tears and for a moment words escape her as Damon looks at her like a common servant and not the woman he professed to love above all others. Emily's heart shatters into a thousand little pieces as realization of Katherine's punishment washes over her.
"Of course Mr. Salvatore, I'm sorry for my mistake. It won't happen again." Emily can barely hold back her tears as she searches his handsome face for any sign of the man who loved her. She finds none.
"I just…Miss Katherine would like to see you." The raspy sadness of Emily's voice stops Damon in his tracks. Again he feels as if he is on the outside looking in on this moment. He can't quite figure out what exactly he is missing from his interaction with this young woman.
The mention of Katherine immediately wipes away any confusing thoughts. He is suddenly consumed by the same desire he experienced in Richmond. The desire to find the beautiful brunette that has been haunting his every thought since he left Mystic Falls.
Emily sorrowfully watches Damon walk out of her life and walk straight towards Katherine's web of deceit. Emily furiously wipes away her tears and vows to keep Katherine from turning Damon out of spite. The talented witch squares her shoulders and takes a deep calming breath. Emily places her small hand protectively on her belly and determination fills her.
"You're my only solace now…I promise I'll do everything I can to protect you and your sisters." Emily's voice is soft and barely a whisper but she knows that her words are sincere. One way or another Emily will prove to Katherine that a Bennett witch is not one to be messed with.
Present Day Mystic Falls…
Emily smiles sadly as she wipes away a few stray tears. "I was a fool. I should have known." Damon's voice startles the two Bennett witches.
"You were under compulsion. Katherine erased all your memories of your love for Emily away." Bonnie is surprised to find herself defending Damon.
"The bitch took my memories but she didn't take my feelings away." Damon takes a seat across from Emily and curses whatever powers that be for interfering with his only real love.
Emily waits patiently for Damon to continue. After everything Damon's been through, expressing his real feelings is still a bitter pill to swallow. "Every time I looked at you I just felt empty. I felt like something was missing in here." Damon places his palm against his non beating heart.
"We both lost a lot because of Katherine and her games. It's time to move on, time for us to start over." Emily looks between Damon and Bonnie. It's time for them to be a real family and have what was robbed from them so long ago.
"You're right…we can't change what happened but we can focus on the present. We need to protect Bonnie." Damon is determined to not let anyone take his second chance at having a real shot at a normal life, well normal enough for a former witch and a reformed vampire.
Bonnie watches as something private passes between Damon and Emily. Both seem lost in their memories. The young witch takes this as her cue to leave them and let them have some much needed alone time. Emily watches Bonnie join the other girls on the spacious green lawn. Emily knows that she will do her level best to prepare Bonnie for the upcoming battle.
"She's so much like you." Emily turns her soft brown eyes to Damon and watches as his icy eyes narrow at her observation.
"Bonnie is better than me." Damon leisurely leans back in his chair as his blue eyes follow Bonnie's every movement.
"Bonnie loves like you do, all-consuming and intense. It's all or nothing for the both of you. That is what I love the most about you. You never settle for less than you desire." Emily stands and holds out her small hand towards Damon.
Damon without hesitation stands and takes her offered hand. The pair of long lost lovers walks hand in hand quietly around the sprawling Salvatore estate. Painful memories subdue Damon's usually sarcastic mood. It's been far too long since he's shared such an intimate moment with another that did not involve sex or blood.
Emily has always had a way of tipping his world off its axis. Every moment Damon has shared with the witch always kept him on his toes. The uncertainty of their future together has weighed heavily on the two of them. Even after a hundred and fifty years their lives seem to have picked up where they have left off.
It seems their love has always courted danger and this new threat is no different from their ordeal with the council and Katherine. Damon abruptly stops in his tracks. Emily tilts her head slightly as she turns to face him.
"I can't lose her Em…and I can't lose you too. I won't survive it this time." Damon clenches his jaw and the desire to smash something threatens to take over him. Damon despises feeling as if he has no say in his life. Emily gently places a tender kiss on Damon's lips.
"You won't lose us Damon. Not this time." Emily gently tugs Damon's smooth cool hand. He takes her silent cue and quietly continues his way down the long garden path. The two continue to walk as lovers do…content to just share the same space and time. No words are needed to be said between them. Just a simple touch of hands is enough for now.