HELLO!

Finally, or I'd say.. sadly, this story is over. For now.

I have to thank every single one of you who read this, right in this moment, and that has been doing the same all these months.

I love you so much for enjoying, commenting and following my work. It means the world to me, you can't even imagine.

I promise you guys I'm not letting this end like this.

It's May,school's almost over, and I'll have to concentrate on it firstly.. But then there will be plenty of time to dedicate to the continuation of the story.

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Even if not all of you has reviewed and private-messaged me, I would like to say… STEP AHEAND and say "Hello!" ! C'mon, I don't bite! (I wish!) . I would like to get to know you guys, and if you're wondering… I have a twitter . mirianatangari . Follow me for updates

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Talk to you soon, lovelies!

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EPILOGUE

Hopes in the Darkness

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As days passed by, the vivid memory of the whole nightmare their lives had been in the past one month, began to set in.

It all had started with Stefan's departure. Soon after had followed Elena's issue and deny towards her body, her image and the whole destroying thoughts that had led her on the road of no return.

But just when Damon had almost succeeded in his task, getting her to the point of realization of how much she could –or better, was- loved.. The Originals had stepped in the picture, as Finn and Klaus had torn the pieces of her broken soul even more.

Elena was no longer recoverable.

Finn's abuse on her had been the climax of the endless pile of pain weighting on her mind, which was far from being comparable to the one of an average human.

A common being would have been destroyed at the first battles the supernatural world would have proposed. She, instead, had already been way stronger and more stubborn than anyone in Mystic Falls, in the whole world, but that .. that act with no dignity had been the last straw that had gotten everything speed downhill, in the pitch dark.

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Damon loved Elena, more than he could even realize, more than he could even admit to himself.

She was his own weakness, his personal sin, his undeniable weak spot.

And she, deep down, had began to slowly admit to herself what a solid and tight rope Damon constituted for her, meaning the only element that could connect her to Earth, that could keep her soul attracted to this world, instead of searching for the peace of the Unknown.

That was basically what their love had become .

Need, crave, completeness. And unpredictable strength, that seemed to increase with each battle both of the lovers faced.

It seemed like if the more they suffered, the more they found loving each other. The more it rained, the more the short-living rainbow shone above their heads, afterwards.

That was why that dangerous world belonged to them. It was a place filled with daily struggles, wars . But it was the same place that had given them a reason to live.

That had been why they had found their hopes in the darkness.

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Damon had become the better man. Better than even she could have ever imagined.

And Elena, on the other hand, had grown strong and beautiful. Not only on the outside, that was undeniable, but also on the inside, where her inner self had discovered horizons never explored before.

And over time, she had developed the needs of a woman.

Her request could be summarized in just two simple,basic words: Damon's baby.

And how could he deny the one thing that he found himself needing just as much as she did, at the end of the day?

And there you go, another battle to face, more choices to make.

Going back to 1864 had been one of the most singular experiences for her to accomplish .

Elena had learnt even more about him, and never got tired of that. After all, she had been alive only for eighteen years of his life!

And Katherine.. Elena had learnt to consider that woman, who everybody thought as a selfish, manipulating bitch, as her best confident, her best friend… Her sister.

How could that even be possible?

They were relatives, after all, and the young girl had learnt to believe that all the generations that had run in between the two doppelgangers were just a short matter of time, in the endless and eternal world of vampires.

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After the journey to the old Mystic Falls… Elena had gotten back carrying inside of her a new life, soon to be in danger.

Again, the last struggle, until a few days before these pages were written.

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"So" Stefan recalled everybody's attention, sitting on the massive dark wooden chair that had once belonged to Giuseppe Salvatore, but that by now had a immovable position in a corner of Damon's room. "What if it's a boy?"

The smile of both of the Salvatores was enough to make the two dopplegangers, lying on the huge poster bed, cringe in preparation.

Damon was thrilled at the thought of teaching his son some cool, contact sport like football. And what about going to watch matches together, betting against uncle Stefan?

Or better yet, making the little Salvatore become a womanizer, just like the family tradition wanted?

An evil smile crossed on his perfect lips, gaining a ready response from the girls' part.

"Oh, no way, Damon!" Katherine commented, like if she were disgusted by his unspoken thoughts. "You're not doing that!"

Stefan couldn't hold back his laugh, as Elena raised one eyebrow. "Doing what?" she asked, perplex, but almost convinced on what had been going on on his twisted mind.

"Oh c'mon!" Damon replied, sounding like a kid craving for a chocolate ice cream. "Don't be such a buzz killer!"

Stefan neared his brother, patting sympathetically his shoulder. "No worries, brother. He'll be a Salvatore. Those kind of things kinda can't be held back for too long." And again, a grin showed how much determinate the boys were on the whole matter.

"Oh, no no no" Elena replied, sitting swiftly and pointing her index at the two of them. "You're not doing any of your reckless stuff to her" and just like if she were including the baby in the conversation, her tiny palm went to caress the small bump on her womb.

"Her?" Damon raised an eyebrow, taken aback. "Weren't you the one sure of him being… a him?"

A victory grin shone on Katherine's lips, and as her gaze met with Elena's, an exact mirrored copy appeared on the human doppelganger a short while later.

It would have made you freeze cold, the way the two were the copy of the other.

"Call it mother instinct." Elena suggested, winking at the brothers.

"And we've already chosen the name." Katherine announced, pride filling her voice as her chin raised in the air, just like the way she did so often a hundred years ago.

"Yeah, pretty weird" the youngest Salvatore commented, gaining a supporting nod by his brother.

"Careful, uncle Stefan" Elena teased. "Katherine helped the cause."

"Means you're not getting any if you don't say you like it." Damon whispered, but it wasn't low enough for the others not to hear, and Elena couldn't keep a straight face.

If this was meant to be her happy ever after, she would have most likely loved it.

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"What does this mean, Damon?" her giggle was suppressed by his voice stroking like if it were a gentle touch her ear.

She shivered, chocking on her short, labored breaths .

"It means I want to love you over again, where it all started"

The black blindfold that covered her wondering eyes was slowly taken away, giving her back the sigh of the breath-taking landscape picturing in front of her, just like a painting of preciousness value.

The old rests of the ancient Salvatore's house was dimly enlightened by the uncountable amount of white candles circling the perimeter of the place, indicating the way to a path of a purple flower that lead right into a dark spot in the middle of it all .

Elena took two minutes of pure awe to get her breathing back to the closest thing to steady.

Her heartbeat, though, was the clearest signal of how much her emotions were overwhelming her.

"Is that.. vervain?" she asked in a low whisper, cut off by his nod.

"That…" he murmured, one more time his lips were so close to the most delicate part of flesh of her neck. "represents the path we've been through. Ever since we met. Rough but tempting, beautiful."

By saying so, Damon let his hand wander down her spine, circling her hipbone, to then meet her trembling and cold fingers.

He kissed the line of her jaw with every beat her heart took, and closed his eyes, not expecting his love for her to come in powerful and intense waves of emotions.

For some seconds they could just hear their own breaths and the deaf sounds their feet made by coming in contact with the ground, nearing the centre spot.

And with each step, one memory was brought to the surface.

When they finally got to the middle, Elena saw a white, silky sheet shining brightly even though the light was a mere stream.

"Is.." she let out, not able to continue when her eyes locked in those oppressing and controlling blue oceans, as she freely let herself drawn in them.

"The sheets of my bed. Our first night together."

The lump in her throat grew bigger, rendering it hard to express even one single feeling in one word.

So she did the only thing that could've showed him how much that meant for her.

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Throwing herself in the kiss, Elena met his tongue almost instantaneously , not even waiting for the kiss to grow more passionate by taking the first steps.

She needed to feel him, to connect her soul to his.

"Hold on" he pulled back, whispering.

Elena met his eyes, so full of lust that were almost as black as the night.

Her labored breath didn't help her ask the question . "Why?"

"One important thing to say." He announced, his voice completely serious.

As her head took in the whole situation, she begged for it not to be what she was expecting.

"Damon.." she tried to plea with her voice, but he didn't let her finish, of course.

"I love you" and at the admission, his crooked grin made her almost forget she should have slapped him in the face for making her almost die in fear.

"Idiot" she muttered, pulling some strands of ebony hair from the base of his neck.

"Was that supposed to hurt?" Damon demanded, faking innocence.

"I love you" she ignored him, not able to repress the telling him back.

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As the kiss grew stronger, their clothes were soon ripped away in the dark shadows of the woods, this time the night was willing to help them hide from the rest of the world as their desires quickly covered the heavy smell of the vervain, and a few seconds later there were just the two of them, lying on the pure white of the sheets.

"You ready?" he whispered, his eyes searching for an answer before her own mind could process how to talk.

Elena simply nodded, too drawn into his eyes to even formulate her desperate need.

"Please.." was what she managed to say after a while, as his length fully occupied her.

On the verge of chocking on her breath , she held him tighter, using all of her strength to close up any inch of distance between their bodies.

It was just like the first time, and tears streamed down her face by realizing the pureness of it all, of the joy and the love he could make her feel.

"I love you so much.." she admitted, stroking slightly his cheek.

"Don't cry.." he pleaded, sweat meeting the tips of her fingers .

"I'm happy" was the sentence that made both of them stop for an endless second, filling their heart with so much of everything that rendered it hard for them to work properly. At least, it was her case.

She was happy.

She had said those words, after she'd thought she had lost it all.

Damon just smiled, the purity of his expression lit the world around them more than the small fires on the candles could even manage to do, showing how much his love could overcome the power of nature.

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And breath after breath, sigh after sigh, their desire got closer to reality, as their bodies and soul became an only, concrete thing.

THE END.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.

-Mannie