"If you're going to be bad, be bad with a purpose or else you're not worth forgiving."

- Damon Salvatore


One Week Later – L.A

"You look comfy."

Elena looked up from the book she was reading just as Damon shut the bedroom door behind him, taking off his suit jacket before throwing it onto the love seat in the corner of the room. Sitting down on the seat, he groaned as he bent down and untied his shoes, yawning as he started the task. Tilting her head, Elena observed him, focused on the dark rings under his eyes.

"Bad day?"

Kicking off his shoes and standing up, he began to undress to his boxers,"The same...Matt was off because his grandmother died and left us with some of his 'loose ends'."He crawled onto the bed, a soft smile working it's way onto his face when she tossed the book onto the bedside table and opened her arms to him.

Patting the covers, she gestured for him to come closer, "C'mere."

Laying back against her pillows, she spread her legs so that he could settle in between them, head resting on her abdomen. He looked up at her, the ends of her long hair tickling his cheek as her long fingers ran up and down his cheek soothingly. Tucking her hair behind her ear, Elena smiled down at him when she noticed that his eyes had closed. She caressed his cheek, knowing how much he was stressed at the moment, she had also noticed that he'd been tossing and turning the past few days, only getting a few hours sleep per night.

She knew that he was still recovering from the Caroline ordeal, and they hadn't talked about it, which was worrying Elena because he'd always been vocal about what he wasn't happy about. She also hadn't spoken to her blonde friend since she was escorted from the house, she wanted to give Caroline space. Her eyes trailed over the tired look on his face, but at the same time his eyes were narrowed, as if something was bothering him and the brunette was sure she knew what it was.

"You're restless, something bothering you?" She asked after a few minutes of silence, combing her fingers through his dark hair.

Damon's eyes snapped open and he stared up at her, the calmness in his eyes gone and it was replaced with a stormy look which told her that she was right. He'd been distant for the past few days, not the Damon she was used to. He stayed in his office most of the day, and kept continuous tabs on her, as if he was scared that she was going to run away. But he wouldn't talk to her, he wouldn't share his feelings with her, which was unusual for him. Since the day they had reunited, he'd always make sure to tell her what was going on in his mind.

Leaning down, she kissed him on the forehead,"You can tell me, y'know. I'm not going to judge you."

Not wanting to push him, she sat in silence for the next few minutes, smiling slightly when the bothered look on his face began to disappear. Then his hand reached up and grabbed the hand that was resting on his shoulder, stopping her fingers that was playing with his hair, and held it to his chest. Their eyes connected and he had a serious look on her face, and Elena knew that he wanted her to listen.

He sat up and turned around, facing her,"I'm gonna ask you something and I want you to answer me truthfully...OK?"

Elena nodded, a worried feeling beginning to bubble in her stomach as she stared at him, chewing on her lower lip as she waited for him to carry on. His grip on her hand tightened, keeping it over his heart as he swallowed, tears forming in his eyes as he hung his head. All she wanted was to pull him into her arms and protect him from all the evil that was out there in the world.

"Do you think i'm a bad person?"

This was a difficult question for Elena because to anyone else, especially the people that Damon hurt or killed, he was an animal. If Damon was mad at you, he would stop at nothing to get to you and kill you. He would move heaven, hell and anything in between to get to someone, they wouldn't be safe anywhere. Damon had done a lot of terrible things, he wouldn't think twice before killing someone he thought that was disrespecting him or trying to cross him. But there was another side to Damon. He had a softer side, and was a completely different person when they were together, Elena was the only person who was lucky enough to see this side, but at the same time, she could also trigger Damon's bad side because he would gladly kill someone if she asked or if he thought that they were a threat to her.

To Elena, he wasn't a bad man, even though he did horrible things. He protected her from all the terrible things in the world. His lifestyle was all he knew, he had watched his father and his grandfather do the exact things that Damon did. He grew up with the best of everything, and the reason he got those things were because his father did his 'job.'

"Elena?"

He grew up without any humanity.

Elena pulled her hands out of Damon's hold, and noticed that the tears had started to drop, she could see how insecure he was, how fearful he was to hear her answer. She was the only person who could break him, she was his humanity, in his mind he couldn't survive without her because she brought out the good in him. He was terrified that she would one day wake up and leave him, that's why he tried to pull her into the darkness with him because even though he hated what he was, there was a large part of him that enjoyed it because he was powerful and controlled lives.

Elena loved each part of Damon, bad and good, and nothing would ever change that. He, just like she did with him, accepted her for who she was because she had willingly murdered people too, just like he had done. But instead of Damon, she hid her dark side, while he embraced it, even if some parts of him wished he wasn't that way.

Wiping his tears away with her finger tips, Elena shook her head,"No, you're not bad, Damon, being like this is all you know and I don't care what anyone else says, I love for who you are, not what you can be. Why would you think that?"

Licking his bottom lip, he let out a slow sigh of relief and his eyes closed before he scooted closer to her, his head falling on her shoulder while his strong arms locked around her. She laid back against her pillows and rested her head on top of his while she listened carefully for his reply.

She heard his breathing begin to calm when she interlocked their fingers, as he looked up at her,"...because I always told myself that I would never be like my father, I would never hurt another human being the way he hurt people, I would never get a kick out of hurting innocent people like he did. But one day, I was only about 16...he took me out on one of his rides, I guess it was my first lesson, and we ended up stopping at some house, it was a nice house with a swing in the front."

Damon's voice broke as he continued on with his story, his hand tightening around Elena's as his body began to shake,"He turned to me and handed me a gun and said,'This is the day you become a man, son, welcome to the family business' He told me to go up to the house and shoot he first person who answered the door...he didn't care, as long as I finished the job and got what he thought he was owed. So I went up the garden path to the house, I could hear the kids yelling I the back yard, and knocked on the door."

"My heart was racing, and my hands were sweating as I held the gun, and the front door opened. In front of me was a man, not older than my uncle, and I knew that he was the father of the kids. I looked back over at my father who was sitting in the car, urging me on. So I shut my eyes as tight as I could, held up the gun, and shot him without a second thought. The force of it knocked me back and the sound caused my ears to ring."

Elena bit the inside of her cheek to stop herself from crying as Damon almost choked on his words, she could hear the disgust in his voice as he spoke. She didn't know what to say, and was happy that she didn't have to as Damon finished off, "I heard him fall to the ground and that's when I opened my eyes and saw him lying beside my feet, bleeding from his chest, and I knew that he was dead. But I wasn't upset, I wasn't scared as I was when he opened the door, I felt nothing. It was as if shooting him had cut off all my emotions for some reason. I looked at him one more time before walking away back to the car. My father, for the first time in my entire life, hugged me and told me that he was proud of me. After that, no-one ever questioned me again, I got asked to events with my father. It was as if taking a life had given me a new one."

Elena nodded, and saw that he wasn't crying anymore, he had a blank look in his eyes, like he was re-living that day again. "So when the day came that I had to step up and take over, I didn't question it, because I wanted it. I wanted that feeling again and I finally understood what my father felt."

He turned to her, leaned up and crushed his lips to hers in a scorching, passionate kiss, fingers clawing at her t-shirt as he tugged on it, causing her to fall down on top of him. Elena let out a long moan, straddling him, hands running up his strong chest, finger nails digging into his skin as she moved against him, hips grounding into his own. Growling in approval, Damon tore off her shirt, tossing it onto the floor beside their bed, and Elena gasped.

"Damon!"

Suddenly she was on her back and Damon ripped his mouth off of her own, his fingers now around her throat as he kept her in place, forcing her to look up at him. While some people may have struggled and cried out in fear, Elena felt herself become more turned on at the action. Damon planted one hard, harsh kiss on her mouth before meeting her eyes.

"I used to miss who I was before I became this way, Elena, but now I can't think of anything more miserable on earth, I have something they don't and that's power. I am who I am, I can't change that. I may sometimes wish I wasn't like this, but i'm not ashamed, not the way people want me to be. But there is one thing that I would never change, and that's you. Don't ever doubt that I don't love you, there is nothing that i wouldn't do for you, because you are my humanity...you're everything."

Removing his hand from her neck, Damon began to trail sweet kisses down her cheek, biting softly on her jaw line as he reached her collarbone. His hands ran down her arms, and hooked under the backs of her legs, wrapping them around her hips as his mouth reached the tops of her breasts. Tongue running along her olive skin, he started to run his lips down her chest, repeatedly whispering how much he adored her.

"Damon?"

He looked up at her, lust flashing in his eyes as she looked down at him, her cheeks flushed. She ran the backs of her knuckles down his cheek before telling him,"I wouldn't change you for the world."


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