Hello, everyone! Thank you for all your super amazing reviews. I couldn't ask for better readers and I can't wait to share more of this story with you. And while I won't hold you to reading this—who reads these anyway? – I just really wanted to thank you. Seriously, you all give me inspiration to write more.

xXx

They were walking out of the motel lobby by ten AM, bags packed. This time, thanks to the owner of the motel, - who apparently was an old friend of Damon's – told them to take one of the rent-a-car ones—something that Elena thanks him for more than once.

Being cramped into Damon's car, along with five other people, wasn't something that she was looking forward to.

The group split up—Elena, Alaric and Damon in one car whilst Bonnie, Caroline and Matt were in the other – and soon decided to head off; Caroline driving behind Damon the entire time—she had a habit of getting lost and, for this occasion, that would not be a fun thing to do.

"So how long are we going to be driving?" A curious Elena Gilbert queried from the backseat of Damon's classic blue Chevy Camaro.

"Forty-five minutes at the least—we still have to get something to eat for breakfast, don't we?" He suggested and even though she couldn't see it, Elena could literally hear the smirk in his voice.

Damon had protested against the groups earlier plans – meaning he had said no once and began to sprint around the room at vampire speed, claiming,

"We have to go—unless you want a cranky, snarky one hundred and seventy year old vampire on your hands,"

To which Bonnie snidely remarked,

"Don't we always?"

xXx

"I'm getting hungry; and when I get hungry I get cranky and that is never a good thing." – were the only words that left Caroline Forbes' mouth as they arrived at one of the well-known buffet breakfast houses. A small chuckle left Elena's lips as they all ambled through the doors, the scent of cinnamon pancakes and freshly-brewed coffee filling the air.

Yet another chortle escaped Elena's quirked lips as she watched Caroline practically dive into her seat at the table.

Damon politely pulled Elena's chair out for her, purposely slumping into the chair in which Bonnie herself was about to relax into. A quick roll of her eyes had him smirking as he watched her move to sit next to Elena.

"So what are we getting?" Alaric queried to no one in particular as the group picked up the menus, their eyes scanning over the different assortments of food. Everything looked amazing in Elena's eyes.

It was only when Elena glimpsed up to see Damon and Alaric trying to hit each other with the menus. They really were like brothers. And she knew Damon felt the same way. Alaric was his closest friend—his confidant. She finally understood why the two acted the way that they did.

"Pancakes; I want pancakes," Elena uttered, nodding her head unwaveringly as she peeked around to see trays upon trays of different banquets.

Caroline's eyes followed suit and soon widened. "Holy crap; screw pancakes, I want bacon." She stood from the table, leaving Elena to pout after her friend.

"By the way—I'm not responsible for anything Caroline does. I know that this trip was my idea but I'm horrible at being a father figure—I'll leave that responsibility to Alaric," Damon announced, a smirk rising to his lips as he too stood from the table.

Soon enough, he was on the other side of the table, pulling Elena's chair out—while she was still on it, of course.

"You wanted pancakes, miss Gilbert?" He suggested, offering her an amiable smile.

A soft sigh escaped her lips as she glimpsed up to meet his eyes—so full of light that it slightly confused her. There had been so many things that had happened in the past year or so that she would expect a frown on anyone's face—even Caroline's.

The waiters and waitresses were simply ambling about the place, making sure there were no misunderstandings or trouble-makers.

However, it was a bit too late for that. Damon Salvatore had already entered the building.

As the unlikely pair began to stroll towards the stovetop to make their pancakes, they began to speak, Elena taking the first poke as she voiced the words,

"How do you do it?"

You can be sure that that one caused a frown to his face—something that she couldn't help but chuckle at.

His creased eyebrows asked the question that his mouth never did and he waited for her to explain in further detail.

"I mean—how do you keep that stupid grin on your face after… after everything? I mean—I wouldn't be surprised if everyone just began to sort of break down."

It was Damon's turn to sigh as his right hand drifted to the small of her back. "I'm here with you—and if that doesn't make me smile, I don't know what will. I'm trying to focus on right now rather than the past or hell—even the future. We're letting loose, remember? Even if it is for five minutes."

His words reminded her of their time in Georgia; they'd barely known each other then and the things that she had known about him consisted of the fact that he liked to kill people and did it on a regular basis.

And even though Elena, the girl who had tried so hard for so long to be a good person, knew all of that information, she and Damon clicked almost instantly. She trusted him even then and that trust surprised her. All she knew now was that she wanted to see more of him.

It took her a while to speak again because she knew he was right; she was trying to be carefree, it just wasn't working too well. Every time she even let herself be happy or carefree, thoughts of Stefan and what Klaus would have been doing with Stefan at that moment. For all she knew, they were ripping town from town apart right now. Or perhaps Stefan was laying in a ditch somewhere, his body desecrated.

That was what scared her—the fact that anything could have happened to him.

They approached the stove top and couldn't believe what they saw.

"—Oh my god."

xXx

Hehe. Okay—I had to. Assumptions, anyone? I'd love to hear 'em. I'd also love to hear what you thought about the chapter. I already potentially know where the next couple of chapters are going and until I get those under control, I'd love to