A/N: I changed this rating to mature, due to very minor smut in this chapter. I have a feeling not many of you will mind, but I just thought I should warn you. Enjoy!

"So, he knows everything?"

Emily was pulling the drapes in Elena's room shut as she listened to the night's events. When Elena began to tell her the story, it certainly didn't turn out the way she had assumed the night would.

Elena nodded. "Nearly everything; he wants to know more."

Emily's eyes widened. "He wants to know more? He wasn't afraid…?"

"Oh, he was afraid; Katherine terrified him. But, for some reason… he said it doesn't change anything between us. How can it not change anything, Emily?"

Emily smiled. "Miss Elena, I think you're forgetting just how different you are from your sister. You've already bestowed a good reputation about yourself with him… why should he think any different of you now that he knows your secret?"

"It's not just a secret, though, Emily! It isn't like I told him I had a child out of wedlock, or I have a health problem! He found out that I'm a monster! It should change everything, but it hasn't…"

Emily walked over to the bed and sat beside Elena, who was still in her ball gown, far too worked up to even consider getting ready for bed. "I think the only person who can answer that question is Mr. Salvatore himself, Miss Elena."

Elena chewed on her lip, but nodded. "Yes… yes, I suppose you're right," she smiled softly at her. "Thank you, Emily."

"You're positive you don't want help changing before I go? It's awfully late…"

Elena smiled and shook her head as Emily stood. "I'm fine, Emily. Thank you," she said and Emily nodded, turning for the door. "Good luck," she said to her with a smile before leaving, softly shutting the door behind her. Realizing she had a bit of waiting to do before Damon showed up, Elena decided to read. However, she had only gotten a few pages in before her eye lids began to droop. Before she knew it, she was asleep on top of her sheets, still in her dark blue ball gown, with her book lying open in her lap.

… . … . … . … . ….

Damon was pacing around in his bedroom, every sound causing him to flinch in fear that it could be Katherine, coming back for more. The carriage ride home had been horribly terrifying. Of course, he found it hard to believe that so much had changed since they stepped out of the same carriage a few hours ago. Katherine had gone from just being Elena's wench of an older sister, to being a horrible monster that had tried to kill him. Not only that, he had discovered that Elena was a monster, as well. That they were vampires.

No, he thought to himself as he continued to pace, Elena isn't a monster. She's far from being a monster. She saved your life, you fool! Not only did she save your life… but she cares about you. You care about her! This changes nothing…!

But it did. It changed everything. Elena wasn't the sweet, innocent, fragile young woman he had met a few days ago. He knew now that she could kill him at any second she wished, along with everyone else he knew.

But she hasn't, he thought yet again, She could have killed anyone she wished to, but she hasn't. She certainly could have killed Moricia, but she didn't. She must have a reason… answers…

Glancing at the clock, Damon decided he had waited long enough; it was two a.m. In the past two hours that they had been home, he had tossed his jacket aside and attempted to calm his nerves by reading, drawing, and just thinking. Of course, none of these previous methods of escape worked for him; reading only made him wonder if any of the authors he loved so much were vampires; thinking caused him to remember the horrors of this evening; whenever he picked up the paper of charcoal to draw, he either sketched rather terrifying images of Katherine, or adoring, precisely penciled portraits of Elena's beautiful features. It seemed so odd to him that Katherine and Elena were identical, yet their faces looked nothing alike. Where Katherine's was always either snootily pinched or poised with a disturbing, evil grin, Elena's was soft and caring, and seemed like a morbid thought hadn't once crossed her mind.

Now, Damon moved as quietly as he could through the large house, so as not to wake his father or Stefan. From what he had seen, Stefan had gone to bed in his own room last night, and he hadn't heard him sneak away to meet Katherine. Katherine, he thought nervously as he walked past her door, just her name sending shivers unpleasantly down his spine. He walked a bit faster, knowing that she could appear at any moment. Too frightened to knock on Elena's door and risk Katherine hearing him, Damon did something he had never done before; he entered a lady's room without asking her permission. To his immense relief, she appeared to be perfectly decent, in the same dress she had worn to the Fell's, and was asleep atop her bed with a book lying open in her lap. He smiled softly as he shut the door and looked at her; she looked so peaceful, and beautiful. If she had truly meant it when she asked him to paint a portrait of her, this would be what he would want her to look like; the sleeping angel she really was, and he refused to believe otherwise.

Walking over he sat on the edge of her bed, and hesitantly reached over to caress her flawless cheek with the back of his hand. She stirred at his touch, her brown eyes fluttering open. She smiled when she realized who it was. "I'm sorry; I must have fallen asleep…"

His lips quirked up at the corner in a grin, "Don't apologize; I wish I could sleep, as well…"

She frowned and sat up, her dress rustling when she did so. "You can't sleep?"

He shook his head. "I… I suppose I'm too afraid of what may visit me in my dreams."

His nervous blue eyes met her concerned brown ones, and she reached over to brush his black curls from his face. "Everything is going to be fine, Damon; if I have to stand guard outside your door at night to fend off my sister, I will."

Damon laughed, someone ruefully. "To think, I thought I would be the one protecting you from your sister… not the other way around." He looked up and met her eyes. "Tell me more about what you are, Elena; please. I won't be able to sleep until I know."

She sighed and stood, walking over to her mirror to gaze at her reflection. She caught sight of her pendant and decided to start with the basics. "I suppose I should start by telling you the basic characteristics of being a vampire," she said, turning back to him as she fiddled with her necklace. "First of all, and possibly the most important, is that we burn in sunlight."

Damon frowned. "Everyone gets sunburns, Elena…"

"No, Damon," Elena shook her head, "we don't get sunburns; we burn. If exposed, our skin catches fire and we turn to ash within seconds."

She walked over to a wide eyed Damon and sat beside him, removing her necklace and passing it to him for inspection. "That is a very special gem known as lapis lazuli; if charmed properly, it can protect us from the sunlight, so we may walk during the day."

"Wait; what do you mean, charmed…?"

Elena bit her lip; witches were a touchy subject for humans these days, especially in the South. She wasn't certain how Damon may react, despite how understanding he seemed of it all. She decided it would be in Emily's best interest to leave her story out. After all, it wasn't Elena's story to tell. "Charmed… by a witch, Damon."

His eyes grew wider. "Witches… you mean witches are real…?"

"Yes. They aren't what people think they are, either. They haven't sold their souls to the devil; it's genetic. They consider themselves servants of nature, and there isn't a single evil thing about them."

Damon fingered the necklace delicately in his hands. First vampires and now witches… what else was real that he had only heard stories of horror about? "How… do they charm something?"

Elena shook her head. "I wouldn't know; I'm not a witch. It's very useful, though; this way no one gets suspicious of us."

She noticed the war raging in Damon's eyes as he stared at the necklace. "Damon, if this is too much to handle…"

"No," he shook his head and met her eyes again as he sat the necklace on her bedside table, "I want to know. Everything, not matter how frightening it may be. I know now that you burn in the sunlight without your necklace… what else?"

"Well, all of our senses are heightened. To us, the human who possesses the world's sharpest sight or strongest hearing would be muffled. We can see so clearly it hurts in the beginning, and hear things we possibly don't want to hear. We also possess unimaginable speed, which I believe you caught a glimpse of tonight."

Damon nodded. "But, you told me that you can't hear as well as Katherine can… because you don't feed…?"

Elena nodded. "It's true; she's much stronger than I am, because I don't like to feed on innocent people. It… isn't in me to hurt someone who doesn't deserve to be harmed. The lack of blood in my system weakens me… and sometimes I get sick because of it."

"Sick?" Damon asked in confusion. She chewed her full bottom lip nervously. "Well, not exactly sick… my body starts to shut down after a few weeks of not feeding. Emily makes sure I feed every few days, because I once forced myself to go two weeks without blood… and I started to desiccate."

Damon made a startled noise. "Desiccate, as in…?"

"All of the moister was being absorbed by my body, and I was slipping into a mummified state."

Damon's blue eyes widened. "That's horrible," he said and she nodded. "It was horrible. But I hated myself so much, I couldn't bear to feed. I couldn't be like her, taking innocent lives with no remorse… as hard as I have tried my entire life, I could never be like Katherine in any way."

"Elena, don't think like that," he said, taking her hands in his. "Don't ever even think about being like Katherine. Elena, I beg of you; don't be like her."

Her lip wobbled as she pulled her hands away and looked down. "Is it… because you're afraid of her? You're afraid of what she is?"

"She's a monster, Elena!" he cried and tears slipped down Elena's cheeks. "Damon," she whimpered, "I'm a vampire, too, whether you want to believe it or not. If she's a monster, then so am I…"

"No. No, no; that isn't what I meant!" he gasped when he realized he had made her cry. "Elena, you know that I… I just meant that the way she acts makes her a monster. She manipulates people for pleasure, and treats you terribly…"

The tears came more quickly as her guilt from earlier yesterday resurfaced. "But… I manipulate people, too. I've done it since I've been here…"

Damon frowned, confused. "What…?"

"You remember when your father told you how happy he was that we were going to the Fell's together?"

Slowly, Damon nodded. "Yes…"

"Well, it… it was because I… oh, Damon, he was just being so rude and unfair…"

Damon's frown deepened. "What did you do, Elena…?"

She met his eyes. "I… compelled him. I told him to accept us being together, and to tell you he was happy and proud of you… I've never compelled someone so selfishly before, and I still feel horrible for doing it…"

Damon was still confused. "If you knew you would feel guilty, why would you do it?"

"I couldn't stop myself! He was telling me that we couldn't be together because of Stefan and Katherine, and then he started talking about you and saying horrible, untrue things…" she bit her lip. "At least, I hope they're untrue… I really wouldn't know."

Damon frowned, suddenly angry at his father. "What did he say to you?"

"He told me that nothing would ever truly happen between us, and as soon as another girl came into town, you would forget I ever existed."

Damon's lip twitched in fury. "Of course he would say that…"

"It isn't true, is it?"

"Of course it isn't true!" Damon spat. "He just wanted to make you think it was, so you would give up on whatever it is we have. He hates me. To him, I'm a disappointment and I don't deserve happiness. Only Saint Stefan deserves to be happy…"

"Damon, I'm sure that's not true…" Elena whispered, taking his hand. "Your father must have a reason for feeling the way he feels…"

Damon met her eyes in disbelief. "You can't possibly be siding with him…?"

"No!" Elena gasped. "No, of course not; I'm simply saying that… perhaps you haven't heard his side of the story."

Damon frowned. "He wouldn't tell me if I wanted to hear it, which I don't."

She was still biting her lip guiltily. "I can… reverse his compulsion if you want me to."

Damon looked up at her, smiling a little bit. "I think I would rather you didn't. This is the nicest he's been to me in over ten years."

Elena still looked unsure. "You don't think it was selfish of me…?"

"Of course I don't," he said, stroking her cheek lovingly. "I personally would love to be able to compel people, just for the sole purpose of making my father treat me better; with a bit of respect…"

"Perhaps you just need to prove yourself to him?" she suggested and Damon frowned. "Prove myself how? I've complied with every foolish thing he's forced on me other than an arranged marriage. No matter how much I want to have his approval, I will never agree to a loveless marriage."

"What if you showed more interest in the estate? As the oldest, isn't it technically supposed to go to you?"

Damon scoffed. "No; I lost that right as soon as Stefan was old enough to speak. Father had chosen his favorite before I could learn a thing about Veritas."

Elena gave his hand a squeeze. "What would your mother have wanted for you, Damon?"

He glanced at her a bit tentatively. "My mother… would have wanted, more than anything, for me to be happy. She'd have wanted me to fall in love, and marry, and spend my life doing something I enjoy. I just… I don't think I can do that while running an estate, Elena."

"You don't give yourself enough credit, Damon," Elena said softly. "I believe you can do anything you set your mind to, and make it shine brilliantly. If it's the estate, so be it. If it's something else; even better."

Damon reached over and cupped her cheek in his hand. "The only thing I currently care about is you."

Her eyes widened a bit. "I can't possibly be the only thing…"

He trailed his thumb along her cheek bone. "But you are, Elena. You don't even understand… I haven't been happy with a girl, ever, in my entire life. All of the girl's I've met were either too flamboyant, or bland. Never the perfect mixture of energy and life, alongside sweetness and tenderness. You, however… are perfect in every way."

Elena blinked a few times, unsure of what to say. "Damon…"

"You don't have to say anything," he said quietly. She slowly nodded and, instead, chose to lean over and press her lips to his. Damon kissed her back softly. After a few moments, the pair pulled away. For the first time all week, they were completely alone, away from any form of interruptions. Damon found himself subconsciously licking his lips at the sight of the beautiful woman before him, batting her eyes in the dim candle light. Cautiously he leaned closer to her again, capturing her bottom lip in his own and kissing her yet again. Elena whimpered slightly when he gently bit down and pulled at her lip, and she wrapped her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss. Damon pulled away, breathing heavily. "Is this… to fast…?" he asked and she shook her head, kissing him again. The pair fell back onto her bed with Damon beneath her, and she opened her mouth to allow his tongue access to her own. She shivered as he kissed her with extremely pleasing technique; she had never kissed a man this way before, let alone kissed a man as attractive as Damon Salvatore. She felt his hands on her waist, pulling her closer to him as he kissed her even more hungrily. Elena felt herself melting into his arms as he moved his hands to remove her silk gloves, allowing him to trail his fingers lightly up and down the skin from her elbow to fingertips, making her shiver with desire. She felt him move a hand up to the back of her head, removing the pins keeping her hair in its twist, allowing it to fall over her shoulders so he could run his fingers through it. Elena pulled away, her eyes burning with passion. "Damon…" she breathed when he chose to kiss his way along her throat instead, his lips warm and soft against her cool skin. She rolled onto her back so that he was poised above her, and he ran his fingers across her cheek, his blue eyes sparkling. "You are the most beautiful woman I've ever met," he breathed and she smiled, running her fingers through his black hair and pulling him down for another kiss. This one was much more passionate and strong as Damon was in full control now, kissing her and brushing her cheeks and arms with his fingertips. Elena unbuttoned the embroidered vest he wore, sliding it off his shoulders and dropping it to the floor. As he kissed the tender spot beneath her ear she sighed, and then moaned when she felt his lips close over her earlobe in a tender kiss. With every kiss he placed upon her, she found herself desiring him more. More than she had ever thought possible; more than a lady should after only knowing him for a few days. But… as wrong as it was, it didn't feel wrong. In fact, nothing had ever felt so right before.

Damon paused in his trail of kisses when he felt Elena unbuttoning his white shirt. "Elena, what are you…?"

"I want you, Damon," she breathed. "I… I love you."

He met her brown eyes and found nothing but truth shining there. "You… want this?" he asked, a bit nervously. Elena didn't seem like the kind of girl who had experienced anything remotely sexual before. She nodded slowly. "Yes. I've never been so in love before… I've never experienced anything like it. Damon… I want you. I want you to be my first."

Her first. The confession didn't surprise him; Elena was far too delicate for anything like that. Of course, he had shared a bed with a few girls over the years, with girls far less amazing than Elena. In a way, she would be his first, too. His first time with someone he truly loved. "Are you sure?" he asked softly, stroking her cheek. She nodded. "I'm absolutely sure."

Damon gave her a small smile and wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her into a sitting position. "I love you, Elena Pierce. Whatever happens, I will never, ever leave you. You have my word."

She smiled softly. "I love you, as well. I will likely love you forever… and, for a vampire, forever is a very long time."

Damon wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close for another, sweeter kiss as his fingers began to untie the laces of her corset. Along with the relief that came from having each lace loosened and being able to breath more freely, came the anticipation of what was to come. Elena, her hands trembling slightly, finished unbuttoning Damon's shirt and slid it off his arms, revealing a nearly perfect chest and set of abdominal muscles that could only belong to a soldier. Elena kissed him again as she felt the fingers at her back cease, and he began to ease the dress of her body, leaving her in only her ivory colored slip and undergarments. The dress fell to the floor and Damon gave her one last questioning gaze. "You're absolutely sure this is what you want?" he asked and she nodded, kissing him again and bringing him to lay above her on her bed, running her small hands down his chest and shivering as she felt his hand slip beneath her silk slip and roam over her flat stomach, slipping over her side and down beneath her back, lifting her closer to him. Elena knew, as soon as the passion beneath her soft sheets began, that this was one thing she had over her sister. Whereas Katherine had not been a virgin for a very long time, she could never say that she loved any of the men she had bedded. She may have cared for them somewhat, or lusted for them, but not once had she had a man like Damon Salvatore gently love her in every way he knew how, their bodies tangled together as one in the cool room. Unlike Katherine, who likely roughly took and allowed men to take her, Damon was unfathomably gentle with the tender beauty in his arms, only doing as she asked, earning soft sighs and light gasps of appreciation for his skills. Damon felt himself falling more and more in love with Elena with every moment of the heaven he was in with her, as she whispered soft, loving words in his ear, kissing his forehead, which was damp with sweat, as was hers. Hours later the passion ended, and Damon and Elena both lay beneath the soft blankets of Elena's bed, staring at each other from the pillows. Damon leaned over and placed a soft, loving kiss to Elena's lips. "I love you," he whispered and she smiled, biting her lip, clearly a bit insecure. "Was I okay?" she whispered and he chuckled, kissing her forehead. "Absolutely incredible," he whispered in her ear as he held her close to him, running his fingers through her hair and lightly trailing them up and down her spine.

For the first time in what felt like one hundred years, Elena felt safe. Completely safe from Katherine, vampire hunters, and him.

Safe from the horrible man who turned Katherine into a vampire, dooming both sisters for life. In Damon's arms, she felt safe from the tragedy that had happened only six months ago…

Damon noticed her sudden tenseness and brushed her cheek, frowning. "What's the matter?"

Elena met his eyes; her own filled with fear and nervousness. "You told me you wanted to know more; you wanted to know everything. Didn't you?"

Damon nodded, trailing his fingers up and down her arms comfortingly. "Yes, and I do. Anything you want to tell me, I will listen."

Gazing into his eyes, she quietly asked him, "Do you want to know how Katherine and I were turned?"

I want to apologize for making you wait so long for this chapter; I've been working on a LOST fanfic (Boone Carlyle if you like LOST) and it's been taking a lot of my attention this week, since I'm really enjoying writing it. So, what did you guys think? I promise the next chapter will be extremely good; Katherine and Elena's backstory will finally be revealed! Thank you all for reading, and remember to review!- Charlie'sLostVampire