**A/N: This fanfiction will be based on romance, so lots of fluff :D The second theme will be friendship and bonds. If the character POVs get confusing please let me know and I will try and change the way I write it. The focus will be on Elijah and the OC but will also include the other characters. I hope you enjoy it :) **
"A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment." - Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Eight years. Eight long years it had been since Elijah had stepped foot in Mystic Falls. He'd been back for only a few days and already it felt like a great weight had been stooped onto his shoulders. As he stood at the edge of the woods over looking the quiet town he realised nothing had changed. The air was still, the early morning sun barely breaking over the roof tops. Though it was peaceful outside, inside his memories raged like a storm. The betrayal of his mother, the realisation of his true nature, it was almost too much too bare.
Elijah had almost come to terms with what had happened. But Niklaus had eventually caught up with him. It was inevitable that he would and Elijah was almost resigned to the fact it would happen. Time usually passed quickly for him, but those eight years were some of the longest he'd ever lived. Every moment Elijah had spent watching over his shoulder waiting for his brother's return. When Klaus finally arrived Elijah was too tired to fight against him. Instead, he'd agreed to aid his brother in whatever scheme he'd thought up next. His life seemed to hold little purpose now, so instead he'd given it to Klaus. Maybe whatever Klaus had in store for him might bring some use back to his life and break the numbness he felt.
Yet Elijah's solitude was suddenly shattered as he found himself breaking the fall of an unaware female.
Winter still gripped at the beginning stages of spring but it was a beautiful morning. The sunlight shone brightly creating dappled beams through the trees laden with early spring leaves. Eve smiled as she took a deep breath of the clean air. She was still amazed at how fresh the air was in Mystic Falls. She remembered back to living in the city; jogging was impossible unless you wanted a clogging lungful of pollution.
As Eve took a turn through the trees it was easy to keep jogging all morning. The pathway was flat and it was empty and quiet except for the pretty chirping of birds. It was nice to be able to run and relax before work in the morning, another thing that differed from city life. To even get to work Eve had to wake at the crack of dawn to beat the traffic jams.
A bright beam of warming sunshine hit Eve suddenly. She closed her eyes and smiled, enjoying its comforts. But jogging with your eyes closed is not the most advisable of actions, as Eve found out the hard way. Her toes caught under a protruding tree root and she tripped. She squeezed her eyes shut even tighter waiting for the impact.
But it never came.
Instead Eve felt a pair of hands wrap around her arms and stop her from falling. Carefully she opened her eyes and glanced up at her saviour. She realised she was slumped against the chest of a handsome yet rather disgruntled looking man. It was a few moments before Eve pulled away from him.
"I'm so sorry." She said amusedly, hoping he would just laugh the incident off. He didn't and instead stared at Eve oddly. "Thanks for stopping my fall though, that would have been even more embarrassing." She laughed, again he didn't. She nervously tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "I'm Evangeline Merton, though everyone calls me Eve." It was difficult to tell his reaction as he still seemed to be just looking at her silently. She took the opportunity to glance over him. It was hard not to, she doubted any hot blooded female would have been able to resist it. He was tall, handsome and had the best posture Eve had ever seen. His suit hung well on his obviously toned frame and his shoes were shined so much she could almost see her face in them. As her gaze moved up she looked over his face. He had strong, angled features, brown eyes and a quizzical expression.
"Well, Ms Merton," He said in a silky voice that made Eve's knees go weak. His pronunciation was impeccable; she'd never heard her name said so clearly or formally before. "I would recommend against running with your eyes closed in future." Eve opened her mouth to respond but he turned and walked away.
Eve watched after him and groaned to herself. Crashing into the best looking man she'd ever met was not the greatest first impression. She shrugged it off, it was a small town she was bound to bump into him again eventually. Though hopefully not literally. She doubted he would find it cute if she fell into him twice.
Eve was thankful when she walked up the steps of the house. She was gasping for some kind of caffeine. As she opened the door she could smell the coffee. She rushed into the kitchen, grabbed the first mug she saw and began pouring.
"Thirsty this morning, are we?" The chiming voice belonged to Eve's land lady, Elena Gilbert. She had moved in with Elena four years earlier, it was the perfect arrangement. She was easy going and the rent was pretty decent. It also helped they got on like a house on fire. Eve turned to face her whilst gulping down the hot liquid, it stung at her dry throat but it was just the buzz she needed. "I will take that as a yes." Elena sat down at the kitchen island. "You were out longer than usual this morning."
"Yeah, I had a bit of an encounter." Eve said after wiping away the remnants of dark liquid from her lips. She poured another mug and one for Elena as she stood opposite her. "I banged into someone on my jog. Oh my god, Elena." Eve groaned in memory of the mystery man, part from embarrassment and part from just how gorgeous he had been. "I think I found the future Mr Merton."
"I don't think men take on the woman's name in marriage, Eve." Elena sipped at her coffee with a smile.
"Well, I'd be more than happy to take his if he'd have me." Eve leaned against the counter; the smooth top was cool on her warmed skin.
"So, did you bang into him on purpose or by accident?"
Eve faked surprise. "What an accusation! Of course it was by accident. But my word was he a looker." Eve smiled as she thought of him. His brooding eyes and silky voice were enough to make her smile widen.
"So what was he like? Apart from a looker."
"I don't know, he didn't stick around long."
"Not surprising with some of the first impressions you've made."
"It's not my fault!" Eve defended herself. "I get nervous around new people." They both laughed and Eve continued to drink her coffee, still hoping to kick start her body after her jog. "He was tall, handsome and rich."
"Wait, what?" Elena interrupted. "How do you know he was rich?"
"You could just tell. His suit looked expensive and he had an air of, 'I'm so much better than you'." Eve smiled. "He pulled it off very well."
"Obviously." Elena commented. "It's the first time I've seen you so enthused about a guy."
"Yeah," Eve frowned a little but quickly brightened with a smile. "I guess things have been so busy, finding a guy has been put on the back burner."
"You've been here four years, Eve." Elena said. "I don't think two dates with average men is really good enough for you." Eve grimaced at the thought of the dates. One had been a blind date set up by Caroline Forbes. The man had been nice enough, if a little handsy. The other was with a complete bore of a man who was just passing through town, so luckily she didn't have to see him again.
"Speaking of handsome men." Eve turned to look at Elena who quickly avoided eye contact. "Have you spoken to Stefan?" Elena's face creased in pain and Eve felt a little guilty at asking. But, although she knew they had a history but didn't know exactly what it was, it was so obvious they were supposed to be together. For the four years Eve had been in Mystic Falls she had watched as Elena and Stefan dance around their feelings, denying telling each other what was completely apparent to everyone else.
"Not recently." Elena sighed heavily and stared into her mug as if the coffee might hold some answers. "I just can't read him anymore. It's not the same now." A heavy silence fell over the kitchen and Eve felt horrible for bringing it up.
"Have you got much to do today?" Eve asked, hoping to ease the atmosphere. Elena was happy to change the subject.
"I have to head to college, and then I am helping Caroline with some wedding plans."
"Ah yes, the big fall wedding of the prestigious Caroline Forbes and Tyler Lockwood." Eve pouted. "You'd think the Mayor would be a little happier at her son's choice of wife. She seems pretty accomplished."
"Are mother in laws ever happy?" They both laughed.
"Well, I better get ready for work. There's a new house been re-opened and they apparently have an amazing book collection."
"How is that library project going?" Elena asked, tucking her poker straight brunette hair behind her ear.
"Pretty good. I have a lot of willing candidates, just not enough time to catalogue everything. It's going to take forever. But I am already late! See you tonight?"
"Sure." Elena said, though her tone of voice made it obvious her thoughts lingered on Stefan. Her slim frame was slightly hunched and her eyes a little glazed. It stung Eve to see her like it, but it was a common occurrence. She wondered sometimes, if love was really worth the pain it put people through. If she ever fell in love, she was certain it wouldn't take as much effort as the relationships around Mystic Falls seemed to take to work.
Elijah had made it back to the house quickly. It was still strange to walk into the house where they had, if only for a while, been a complete family all those years ago. The memories still lingered in the air and as he walked across the foyer, they felt crushingly heavy. His mother's face, her words, they all stabbed at his heart like daggers. He tried his best to brush off the feeling.
The living room was not completely to Elijah's taste and he still disliked it as he entered. It was dark and felt enclosed and though it had accents of décor, they were incredibly modern.
"Nice of you to join me, Elijah." Klaus' voice echoed in the small room. He was sat casually in one of the padded armchairs, a glass of blood in hand.
"I was delayed." Elijah thought to the girl in the woods, Evangeline Merton. She had been the first person he'd seen in Mystic Falls. He had been glad she hadn't been anyone who would have recognised him.
"What is it you want, Klaus?" Elijah asked plainly as he took a seat opposite his brother.
"That sounds more like an accusation then a question, brother." Klaus mocked but Elijah simply looked at him silently, waiting for an answer.
"At the moment, nothing." Klaus answered making Elijah frown in confusion.
"Nothing? You always want something." Elijah looked at him expectantly.
Klaus laughed. "Doesn't everyone?" He raised his glass of blood and took a sip. Elijah tried to ignore the sweet, inviting scent. "Though I suppose a visit to the Salvatore brothers would only be polite." Elijah flicked his gaze back to his brother. So he wanted to rile the Salvatores? He sighed heavily.
"You know that would only spark unnecessary violence." Elijah was tired of fighting; he was tired of it all. "So far, they don't even know we are back."
"I think we should remedy that." Klaus said seriously. But before Elijah could open his mouth to respond the door bell chimed loudly through the hallway. Elijah stood from his place when it became apparent Klaus wasn't going to answer it.
Elijah pulled open the large door with ease and raised an eyebrow. Stood on the doorstep was Evangeline Merton. She was more formally clothed and less sweat laden but it was definitely her. She smiled at him instantly and for some reason Elijah leant across the door way trying to shield her from Klaus' view. He wasn't quite sure why he felt the need to protect her from his brother, but he did it anyway.
Eve hadn't expected to see the mysterious man from that morning when the massive door had been pulled back. It was startling and she felt suddenly uneasy. So, she smiled trying to hide her nerves. If she'd known it would be him she'd have dressed a little more sexy librarian rather than dowdy old lady librarian.
"Ms Merton." He said, the voice that had made her knees go weak affecting her again. Eve almost forgot that it was her cue to speak.
"Eve's fine." She blurted. "For me. To call me. For you to call me. Instead of Ms Merton." Eve felt the blush rise to her cheeks and wished to every god in the cosmos for the ground to swallow her.
"Is there a reason you are here, Eve?" The man asked patiently. She fumbled in her satchel and finally pulled out the flyer. Emblazoned on it were the words, 'Mystic Falls Community Library'. On the back she had scribbled the address of the house she now stood at the doorway of and the names of the occupants.
"Mr Mikaelson?" She ventured, hoping she had got it right. He made no agreement or rebuttal of her question, so she assumed it was correct. "I am here on behalf of Mystic Falls Library. The Mayor has put into place a scheme to enlarge our collection of books and archives." Eve recited the speech she had said many times to many people, though now she tried to say it as properly as she could. "The plan would be to find willing candidates to volunteer their collection of books as a sort of added extra to the library. You wouldn't believe the amount of houses in this town that actually have private libraries." Eve laughed but trailed off quickly. The look on his face said that he could believe how many there were. "Well, anyway, the books would obviously stay in your possession. But I would take a record of all books you'd be willing to loan out, and they would be inputted into a computer system allowing people to request them. This means that our-"
"We'd love to help." Another voice said suddenly. A man appeared behind Mr Mikaelson and Eve assumed he was one of the other Mr Mikaelsons. There were a few listed on the registry as occupying the house. He was handsome, a little more casual looking and with an obvious easy charm. This was even more apparent when he smiled dashingly at Eve. "Our books should be for everyone's use, knowledge is the source of all power after all." He laughed and Eve smiled widely feeling a little less nervous. "I'm sorry, I haven't introduced myself." He stepped outside to end up quite close to her. He put out his hand for her to shake. "I am Niklaus Mikaelson, though I prefer Klaus."
Eve took his hand and shook it. "I am Evangeline Merton, though I prefer Eve."
"Well, Eve, that is a lovely name." She let her hand drop from his. "And have you met my brother?" He gestured behind him.
"We haven't been formally introduced, no." Eve said not wanting to mention the embarrassing incident from only that morning. She glanced between the two of them. They didn't seem alike, in appearance or personality.
"I am Elijah." He said simply, he offered his hand too. Eve stared at it for a moment before slipping her hand into his. The touch made her stomach erupt into butterflies. She shook his hand for just a few moments more than was necessary not wanting to let go.
"If you are truly willing to participate," Eve said, getting back to the reason she was there. "I would need access to your books and a space to record them?"
"We have a desk in the library." Klaus answered quickly. "You can take all the space you need."
"That would be great." Eve smiled brightly. "We are really grateful for any contributions. Would I be able to make a start tomorrow?"
"Of course." Klaus said. Elijah seemed particularly quiet and was watching his brother carefully. Eve tried to ignore it. "You can start today if you like." He offered this made Elijah tense visibly.
"Um, no." Eve said a bit off put by Elijah's negative reaction. Was it just to the thought of having her there or by her invading their privacy? She brushed off the thought. "I have to visit another house, they have a very old, large collection and I am barely half way through it."
"Really? Who would that be?" Klaus enquired. Eve looked at him as she shoved the flyer back in her satchel.
"The collection belongs to another pair of brothers actually." Eve said amused at the coincidence. "Damon and Stefan Salvatore." Eve watched as differing emotions flicked across the faces of the brothers: Klaus grinned widely, satisfied but Elijah's jaw stiffened and he looked away from her quickly.
"The Salvatores?" Klaus asked. "Well, well, what a small world." Eve raised her eyebrows at the comment, not understanding. "We know them actually. You wouldn't also happen to know Elena Gilbert would you?"
"I lodge at her house." Eve said happily. It really was a small world if they all knew each other.
"That is amazing." Klaus said just as enthusiastically as her. "Give my regards to them when you see them."
"I will." Eve said turning to leave but paused and turned back. "It was nice to meet you, see you tomorrow." She let her gaze flicker to Elijah but he seemed more focused on his brother.
Elijah slammed the door shut after Eve had left.
"Was that such a good idea?" He asked in an annoyed tone. Klaus still kept his amused smile.
"I knew something exciting would happen eventually. It's as if this town can't stay boring." Klaus looked at Elijah, his eyes sparkling mischievously.
Elijah sighed. "She obviously knows nothing. If she comes between you and the Salvatores-"
"Me and the Salvatores?" Klaus asked suddenly. "Don't you mean us? We're family, Elijah, we're in this together." The words made Elijah flinch. He didn't like the way Klaus said it and for once he wished he didn't have family. "But relax." He waved a hand dismissively. "It's just a bit of fun. And what better way to get into the community than helping with their little project?"
"I'm not sure having her around so much will be a good idea." Elijah argued. Why he was arguing for her safety he didn't know. For years now he had simply killed when he needed blood. Humans were little more deserving than being used as cattle anyway. As he thought it he remembered what his mother had said about being a monster. She had been right.
"Don't you think it will be nice to have a little female company?" Klaus slumped back into the armchair. "I bet she's a ball of fun underneath that professional exterior."
"If anything happens to her, you know Elena won't stand for it."
"You worry so much, Elijah." Klaus said. "I'm not planning on hurting her…" He paused and looked at Elijah seriously. "Do you plan to hurt her?" Elijah didn't even bother to respond. He didn't plan on upsetting the Salvatore's or the Mystic Falls Council. It was too much effort to have to clean up the mess.