Stuck in a Bad Place

"This isn't an easy place to be in," Elena said. She offered a thin smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. The fact of it was, easy or not, she couldn't help it. She was torn between two brothers, two men, two vampires. Both of them had good things and bad things about them. Damon mostly had the bad. Stefan had more good in him, but then, he had his evil side too, as they had been witnessing just recently.

To him, and to Damon, she felt a connection and she could do nothing to stop herself from feeling for them both. Dirty, lustful feelings mixed with feelings of caring and love. It disgusted her to think too much about it. Overanalysing was something she'd always had a knack for.

This time she had chosen the path of denial for as long as it held up. The edges were beginning to crack and she was leaning back toward her usual method of analysing the tiniest detail and poking at it to see what stuck.

Damon was less understanding of her needs. "You think I want to be hooked up on you? I don't. There are so many women out in the world who would be a much better fit and who wouldn't be so against everything I do. There are so many who wouldn't even look at Stefan and who I wouldn't have to compete for. But, here we are."

"Don't start," she replied. "Damon-"

"Oh, but it's true. You and I both know that, Elena. I could have anyone. But I'm stuck on you. I love you, no matter how much I don't want to." His eyes, crystalline blue, stared at her intensely; she had to force herself to continue staring back. His eyes were soulful and pained, too much so. It made her feelings for him surge and toy with her thoughts.

"Look," she said, pushing some hair back out of her face. "The situation isn't ideal for either of us, but at least I'm trying. I want us to be friends, Damon. But we can't be if you keep pushing me and pulling me."

"Stefan's gone, Elena. He's not in there in any more."

"See what I mean? You just don't know where to stop." She couldn't help but defend Stefan. After all, they'd been dating for over a year now. This new side of him was startling to see and made her want to run in the other direction as much as she wanted to stay and get him through it, but she couldn't just forget their past together and how he had been before Klaus compelled him to stop loving her. Deep down she knew they would always love one another, no matter what.

But these feelings for Damon were beginning to make her wonder. Would her love for Stefan be enough? Could she really see a future with Stefan? And if it wasn't, if she couldn't see them together for the rest of their lives, then what? Did Damon have a place in her life that would last?

"You know what? You need to stop analysing things for once." Damon stepped forward, into her personal space. "For once, go with what you feel."

She could feel his breath, light on her neck. His eyes had dilated, and he was looking at her like he had never seen someone so beautiful and desirable. Crap, she thought. That was the last thing she needed. "Damon-"

"What do you feel, Elena?" He smiled that wickedly charming smile of his and leaned closer. One hand went up to play with her hair and tuck it behind her ear. And then he nuzzled the side of her head gently with his nose, and then shifted her hair ever so slightly to kiss her temple. "Elena," he said again, longing in his voice.

She swallowed. "Damon, we can't."

"Don't think. Just kiss me," he whispered. It sent a chill through her.

The air around them had been quite cool only moments ago. Now it seemed to hum. It hummed louder when Damon leaned in and pressed his lips to hers. His arms moved instinctively around her. She melted into his embrace at first, kissing him back, and then she realised what they were doing.

Pushing his chest, she shrugged off his grip on her and shook her head. "No. No, Damon. No."

He watched her, hurt and some annoyance in his eyes.

"We can't," she said, and before she gave in to her desire to comfort him, she ran from the room. "This isn't an easy place to be in," she murmured to herself as she slammed the door shut behind her and headed for her car. "So, why am I here?"