Authors' Note: Sorry this installment took such a long time, I was really trying to do justice to three seasons worth of build-up. I hope you guys like it. Thanks to those who have left reviews, it keeps me motivated to keep writing :-)

Backlit by the moonlight, standing barefoot in her room with his trademark top shirt buttons undone, Damon was quite possibly the sexiest thing Elena had ever seen and right this minute, she realized that she was no longer the slightest bit sleepy . . . .

Elena returned his gaze, their eyes locked in the reflection of the mirror. Placing the hairbrush down on the dresser, Elena turned and walked over to kiss him softly on the mouth, her lips dancing lightly across his. Damon returned her kiss, inhaling deeply - she smelled like strawberries. Elena stepped closer then, invading his personal space to wrap her arms around his neck and press the entire length of her body into his as she deepened their kiss. Damon was a little surprised when her tongue swept across his lips, but he opened his mouth, granting her access. Elena's tongue explored his mouth, tasting the faint tinge of bourbon that still remained from his earlier bender.

Damon let his hands travel down her sides, coming to rest on the small of her back, holding her in place as she plundered his mouth. Elena's fingers curled sexily through the hair at the nape of his neck, she tugged slightly, causing currents of sensation to shoot from every nerve-ending in his scalp. If his heart could beat at all, it would have been pounding right now. Finally, he broke the kiss reluctantly, pulling away only far enough so that he could speak.

"I thought you were exhausted?" he murmured, his hands rubbing her back lightly as he spoke. Now that he could touch her any time he liked, he intended to take full advantage of that fact and as often as possible.

"I changed my mind" Elena whispered breathlessly, giving him a brief peck on the lips "I'm not tired anymore" she smiled, shuffling backward and tugging him in the direction of the bed, her eyebrows arching suggestively.

Damon allowed her to lead him across the room, their bare feet dancing together across the carpet. Elena stopped when the back of her legs hit the bed, standing up on her tiptoes again to pull him down for another searing kiss.

Elena's lips meshed with his deliciously, as if they had always been meant to dance this dance together. She let one hand drop from his neck to wander across the collar of his shirt and then downwards, her fingers following the fabric until they reached the exposed flesh of his chest. Elena let her fingertips graze across Damon's skin, surprised to find how warm he felt to her touch.

Damon felt like every nerve in his body was on fire, burning from her caress. Elena's fingers were blazing heat across his skin while her lips tangled with his, her tongue sweeping boldly into his mouth to duel with his own. Damon let his hand wander further down her back, finding the hem of her tank top and allowing his fingers to slip underneath, pressing his palm into the flesh of her back, holding her close to him.

Elena's heart was pounding in her chest as she kissed him. She had wanted to be this close to Damon for so long, and now she never wanted to stop. Without her conscious knowledge she found her fingers dancing lower, catching in the buttons of his shirt and releasing them slowly until his shirt hung open beneath her hand.

As their tongues continued to battle for dominance, Elena allowed her other hand to leave the hair at the nape of Damon's neck, traveling south until both her hands splayed across his bare chest, slipping the shirt from his shoulders easily and sending it floating to the ground.

Damon was lost in the sensation of kissing her, Elena made him feel like he was flying and falling all at the same time, and somewhere in the dim recesses of his mind he was vaguely aware that he was losing his clothing.

Elena moved her hands across Damon's chest, then downward across the planes of his torso, relishing the feel of his powerful muscles fluttering helplessly under her touch, committing to memory the way his body reacted to her, her lips never leaving his as her fingers explored.

As Elena's hands dipped lower, the fog of desire surrounding his brain lifted a little and Damon realized that she was heading in the direction of his belt. A brief flash of uncertainty crept into his mind as he understood just how real this was getting. He'd been with a lot of women in his lifetime, more than his fair share, and he'd never had any complaints. But suddenly, it occurred to Damon that it had been 145 years since he'd actually made love to a woman. He'd been human the last time he'd done so in fact, and he wasn't certain he was capable of making that emotional and physical connection anymore. In his mind, Elena had always been unattainable so he'd never given serious thought to the question before. Now she was here with him, keening in his arms and he was feeling the unfamiliar pangs of self-doubt.

Elena could feel Damon stiffen beneath her as her hands ghosted across his waist, her fingers playing with his buckle, trying to release it from it's confines. Elena smiled against his mouth where their lips were still fused together, as she purposefully moved her hands away from his belt and headed north again toward safer ground. She let her hands rest on his chest quietly, stilling her movement momentarily as she broke their passionate kiss.

Damon felt the loss acutely as Elena pulled her lips from his, he may have even moaned involuntarily in protest as she stepped back to look up at him with her big brown eyes. As she met his gaze she smiled warmly at him, and Damon would have sworn that Elena knew exactly what he was thinking right now. Then she stepped forward again, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and pulling him into a bear hug, her head resting against his neck. There was such intimacy in this simple gesture that Damon's heart actually ached as he wrapped his arms around her, returning her embrace. This was the way she'd previously undone him, it was how she'd crept into his cold dead heart in the first place. How had she always known how to reach him when no one else could?

Elena could feel Damon relax under her, she could feel him begin to let go of his uncertainty. Without breaking their embrace she turned her head slightly placing a feather-soft kiss on his cheek, then another on his lips, then another on his other cheek - - soft chaste kisses meant to reassure him. As she felt the tension in his body dissipate beneath her, Elena kissed him again on the cheek.

"Hey, don't be nervous okay?" she whispered, her lips lingering beneath his ear sending delicious chills down his spine "I'm not the one who bites" she teased, pulling his earlobe into her mouth briefly before releasing it.

Damon felt her words shoot straight to his heart; Elena was joking with him, trying to get him out of his own head long enough to realize that they'd already taken the scariest leap of all tonight, this wasn't the scary part, this was the fun part. God, he loved her.

Elena watched the emotions play across his face as he listened to what she was saying and heard what she wasn't. Smiling wickedly as the idea occurred to her, Elena moved her fingers downward again and reaching beneath Damon's ribs, she scratched lightly at the base of his spine, letting her nails flutter across the sensitive skin located there.

Damon leapt back in surprise - - she was tickling him! Elena just stood there smirking at him for a second as he recovered. "What was that?" he asked, returning her smile. She had most definitely succeeded in breaking the tension that he was feeling.

"Beneath the ribcage, near the base of the spine . . ." she answered, trailing off as she walked forward to grasp his hand in hers ". . . you said that was my way to a vampire's heart"

Damon smiled, remembering the day that he'd said those very words to her, when he'd promised never to let anyone hurt her. It made him feel warm inside to know she cherished those memories the same way he did, that they had meant as much to her.

"You already have my heart" Damon promised, nodding in understanding finally - - love and sex had been different things for him for over a century, now they were the same again. He was afraid because he loved her, but because he loved her there wasn't anything to fear.

"I know who you are Damon" Elena murmured, leaning forward to kiss him swiftly on the lips "I love who you are" she promised, her eyes meeting his steadily.

Damon nodded, feeling any remaining doubt slip away under the sincerity of her gaze.

"It's right, right now" Elena whispered, her fingertips reaching up to stroke his cheek as she spoke.

And then, they were finished talking.

Damon's eyes met hers, burning straight into her soul as they always had. Passion consumed him, he had wanted her to say those words for months now. Within a moment he was in front of her, his hands reaching for her face, his lips pressing against hers.

Time seemed to stand still and speed up all at the same time. Elena had been unprepared for his power, Damon had never kissed her like this before. She suddenly realized that he had always held back in the past, knowing she was unsure. This time, Damon was letting her see all of him.

The fire in his touch was exquisite as his lips meshed with hers. His hands threaded through her hair pulling her close, stilling her movement. She wanted everything from him. Elena opened her mouth and Damon pulled her closer, wrapping his arms around her waist as his tongue swept across hers. The sensations bombarding Elena's mind were too numerous to process, even if she could have found the thought to do so. Damon tasted like blood, and bourbon, and heaven.

Every nerve in her body felt electrified, she thought her legs would give out as Damon continued his thorough exploration of her mouth, his hands steadying her, but remaining remarkably still themselves. Elena moaned into his mouth, wrapping her arms around his neck as she tried to get closer. Truly kissing Damon was a rush of contradictions, just as Damon himself had always been - - reckless yet protective, brave but somehow fragile, sometimes cruel and other times heart-breakingly sweet.

Elena leaned her body into his leaving only a hair's breadth between them, she could feel the evidence of his desire hard against her stomach. The heat between them was spreading like wildfire, quick and all-consuming.

Damon slid his hands from her face and down past her waist to cup her behind, pulling her tighter to him. Elena arched her back, molding her hips into his, wrapping both arms tighter around his neck, seeking to eliminate all space between them. Damon lifted her easily, spinning around to shuffle backward toward her bed. When he reached the bed, he fell backward, pulling Elena down on top of him. Damon sat up quickly, threading his fingers through her hair, kissing her senseless.

Elena matched him stroke for stroke, her fingers playing with the short hairs on his neck as her tongue swept along his mouth, his lips, biting playfully each time he drew back to allow her air. Elena ran her lips across his jaw-line and down his neck, breathing fire within her touch. She pulled at his skin with her teeth as she made her way down his neck toward his collarbone, using her tongue to soothe the red patches she'd made.

Elena raked her nails down his chest and across his abdomen. She could feel Damon's muscles twitch at her ministrations, he seemed to tremor with every touch and it made her feel powerful. Feeling bold, Elena splayed her hand across his chest, pushing Damon back to lie down across the bed. Teasingly slowly, she began at his waist, her lips kissing every inch of exposed skin as she worked her way toward his head.

Damon was trembling with desire, he'd never felt anything this intense. His eyes watched her as she moved without hurry, scorching him with every kiss. She was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen, her brown locks splayed wildly, covering her face as she pressed her lips to his belly, then his chest, moving so deliberately, so torturously. His hands rubbed at her back impatiently, trying to pull her up, towards his lips.

"You're shaking" she murmured against his chest, ignoring the urgency in his hands.

When Elena finally reached his neck, pausing to nibble at the sensitive spot where it met his collarbone, Damon found he couldn't take anymore. Yanking her face roughly toward him with one hand, he used the other to push himself into a seated position once more. Elena gasped as his mouth descended on hers once again, Damon's lips crashed against hers, passionately devouring her, his last vestige of control totally gone as she purred his name.

Elena was lost in a cascade of sensation. The intensity of his kiss was immeasurable, as if everything that had been left unsaid between them was now being communicated without words. Damon wanted to be with her, she could feel him hard against her center, pulsing with desire. She shifted her hips into his, causing him to groan loudly.

"You are so beautiful" he said huskily, cupping her face.

Elena shuttered in his arms, the way Damon was looking at her made her stomach flutter. His eyes held love, and desire and the promise of things to come. She leaned in to kiss him, sparks flying as her lips met his. Damon pressed his hand to her back, pulling her tightly to him as his tongue swept into her mouth.

Elena allowed herself to melt into him, sinking further down into his lap. She could feel his hardness, throbbing beneath her center, creating the most delicious burn low in her belly as his tongue set her mouth ablaze. Elena moaned as Damon's mouth left hers now, to kiss and suckle her breasts through her silk tanktop, as his hands ground her hips down into his own.

Elena ran her hands through his hair. Gasping as the pad of his thumb flicked back and forth over one nipple, she let her head fall back bonelessly. Just when she thought she might come apart, he switched to the other nipple, nibbling his way back up her neck, kissing her soundly on the lips as his hands continued to knead her breasts. It felt as if molten lava were flowing through her veins, every nerve from her fingertips to the tips of her toes was alive and singing.

Suddenly, Elena found herself flying through the air as Damon used his vampire speed to flip them over, depositing her gently on the bed beneath him. When she looked up, she found his beautiful blue eyes burning into hers. Damon trailed his hands from her hair, down her arms to lace his fingers through her own, pulling them over her head. Using one hand to keep her arms in place, he trailed the other slowly down across her belly and under the fabric of her shirt, his fingers massaging the soft skin located there for a moment before ridding her of the garment with super-speed.

Elena felt only the barest whisper of wind as Damon removed her shirt in an instant, sending it flying across the room. He let go of her wrists then and Elena took advantage of the freedom to pull him up for another mind-numbing kiss.

"That was a neat trick" she murmured appreciatively against his lips, her back arching up to press her bare torso into his, loving the feel of his skin as it glided across hers.

"I've got moves you've never seen" he responded, a twinkle in his eye.

Damon pulled his lips from hers, kissing and biting softly with his human teeth as he made his way down her neck, the rush of blood pounding through her veins sounded like heaven to him as he continued across her collarbone and down the valley between her breasts, moving across her stomach slowly and deliberately, tasting every inch of exposed skin. When he reached her waist, Damon hooked his fingers into the waistband of her pajama bottoms tugging them gently and slowly down the length of her legs before dropping them to the floor at the foot of the bed.

When he looked up, he discovered Elena watching him intently, her eyes dark with desire. Damon's fingers moved slowly up her calf, his lips following them, placing open-mouth kisses across every delicious inch of skin.

Her ankle, her calf, her knee, Damon was discovering erogenous zones Elena had no idea she even had as he moved torturously, climbing slowly toward her center. When his lips began their maddening ascent across her thigh, Elena feared she might pass out. When his lips kissed her hipbone softly before taking her panties between his teeth, she nearly did.

Damon paused at her mid-section briefly, his eyes looking up to find hers as he took the fabric of her undergarment between his teeth. Elena had propped herself up on her elbows and was watching his every move. When his eyes met hers, she arched her eyebrows in challenge, daring him to finish what he'd started. Never one to back down, Damon tugged gently, pulling the lacy fabric down the length of her legs with his mouth.

Elena shivered as the combination of Damon's hot breath and the scrape of the cool fabric both moving dangerously slowly across her skin threatened to undo her. Elena could feel her own heartbeat, leaping erratically in her chest as everything he did seemed to send her higher, the air positively crackling with the electricity that surrounded them.

Damon dropped the garment to the floor atop the growing pile of discarded clothing, his eyes never leaving Elena's. As he rose, Elena crooked her finger in his direction, motioning for him to come closer. At Elena's invitation, Damon was finished teasing.

He leaped toward the head of the bed, crashing into her waiting arms, his lips seeking hers again. His weight pressed her solidly into the mattress as he kissed her mouth, his tongue charting every inch, memorizing her taste, her feel, the sounds she made. He would never be done with her, but then he'd known that already.

Elena moved her hands between them to work on Damon's belt, slipping her hand inside his jeans, massaging him through his boxers.

"God" he gasped into her mouth as her fingers brushed over him purposefully. Making love to Elena was like flying too close to the sun, the heat was irresistible, he ached to be consumed by it.

"Take off your pants" Elena commanded, pulling his earlobe into her mouth and sucking gently as her hands fumbled with his trousers.

There were times when the increased speed was a real advantage, and this was one of them. Damon was able to discard his remaining clothing at the end of the bed before Elena even knew what was happening, settling back into her arms skin on skin.

"That is coming in really handy" Elena remarked, her eyes dancing with laughter as she ran her arms up and down his bare backside.

Damon looked down at Elena, no physical or emotional barriers left between them as they lay naked together "Do you have any idea what you do to me?" he whispered, his fingers brushing across her face reverently.

"I think it's time you show me" she invited, pulling him closer, Elena's fingers digging into his behind.

Damon sank inside her slowly, the exquisite heat causing him to see stars as they finally connected on every conceivable level. As he moved inside of her, Damon could feel all the shattered pieces of who he had been and who he was going to be falling into place around them. Elena was bringing him back to life again. They moved together perfectly, their bodies as one. And as the fire swirled around them and through them, devouring everything that they had been separately, Damon finally understood . . .




Together, nothing would ever break them.

The End