**A/N- Sorry for late one. I haven't been very happy with how I've been writing lately, so after this chapter I'm hoping there will be a great improvement in my writing. As always any useful criticism is always appreciated. I really want to improve! Thanks for your patience guys.**
One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering. – Jane Austen, Persuasion
Night had fallen quicker than Eve had hoped. She had seen dusk's creeping shadows seep through the library window and it made her shiver. Elijah seemed to also have noticed the invading darkness, Eve had noted how his glance had occasionally fallen on the lengthening shadows.
"It's time, Eve." Stefan said as he rounded the corner of the doorway. Eve almost dropped the book she was holding as he said the words.
"Ok." Eve smiled weakly and stood from her place. Elijah followed them as they all headed outside.
Eve looked over the small group that had gathered. Damon and Klaus seemed to be in some tense discussion. The air outside seemed even colder than Eve had imagined. She shivered and tried to stop her teeth from chattering.
"Wait here, we will check out around the house." Damon said as they neared. "We wouldn't want any surprises." He smirked at Eve and then was gone in a flash. Eve's hair flew around her face as he rushed away. She stared wide eyed at the place he'd just been. She'd never seen anyone move that fast. She had to keep reminding herself he was a vampire. It was such a strange thing to think after knowing him for so many years.
Eve looked down at her hands, they were shaking. She was scared, no, she was way beyond scared. She was completely freaking out. A long ragged breath washed over her lips as she tried to calm herself but it didn't help. Her breath caught painfully as she looked to the thick mass of trees.
"You don't have to do this." Elijah said as he walked beside her. Eve pulled her hands to her sides so as he wouldn't see them shaking.
"Of course I do." She said confidently.
"Why? It is your life; you can do with it as you wish." He stared out across the lawns and woods.
"It's not just my life." Eve looked to him.
"You would sacrifice yourself to save others?" Elijah scoffed.
Eve frowned. "Of course. I would do anything for the people I lo-" Eve stopped. Elijah looked to her. They both knew what she was about to say. "I would do anything for those I care about." She repeated her sentence changing the ending. Her gaze moved away from his intense one.
"Earlier, before your father came in," Elijah began. Eve knew what he was going to ask and she didn't know if she could tell him. She had been so confident earlier; she had been more than ready to tell him how she had a crush on him when she had thought that was all it was. And then she'd admitted to her father just how much she loved Elijah and that suddenly made her scared. She didn't know if she could bear the effect of loving someone that much and not have them return the feeling. And from what she could tell, Elijah didn't feel the same. He was nothing but gentlemanly to her, that was all. "What were you going to say?" He asked finally.
Eve looked up at him again. "Oh, I, uh, don't remember." She smiled brightly and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear.
"All clear so far." Damon said as he returned in a flash.
"I didn't find anything either." Stefan said as he also rushed back onto the patio.
"Same." Klaus' voice came as he walked up behind them. Eve's hands were still shaking.
Elena walked outside after she had talked to Caroline about what was happening. Caroline was more than willing to help and went with the other vampires into the woods. Elena and Eve were left standing on the patio. Eve shivered and Elena couldn't tell if it was because of the night air or something else.
"It's going to be alright." Elena said as confidently as she could. Eve smiled one of her usual smiles; the kind of smile that was more for the people around her than for herself. "They won't let you get hurt." This time Elena was confident. She knew Stefan wouldn't let her get hurt, and she knew Elijah wouldn't.
"I know." Eve said. "But I'm still scared." She said the words as if they meant nothing. Elena frowned and took Eve's hands. They were cold and shaking.
"I didn't want this to happen, Eve." Elena admitted. "But I don't want you to have to live your life in fear. I don't want you to have to think that every stranger on every corner is out to get you." Elena felt like she was talking to herself. She'd been in Eve's shoes and she knew exactly how scared she felt. "You're so brave for even agreeing to do this. And it will be worth it, Eve, I promise." She ran her slim fingers over Eve's pale cheek.
"Thank you, Elena." Eve wrapped her arms around Elena and Elena hugged her back. She wouldn't lose anyone else to this nightmare world.
Caroline was stood patiently at the edge of the allocated moonlit clearing. Klaus was with her, laying in wait. She hated to admit she liked having him on their side for a change.
"So, I finally get you alone again." Klaus said with a silky tone. Caroline rolled her eyes and looked to him.
"You're really going to try this now?" Caroline asked and the look on his face said, 'yes'.
"Where's your precious Tyler tonight?"
Caroline hesitated. "He couldn't come."
"Really?" Caroline could hear the smile in his tone. "Too busy to help save your friend?"
"No." Caroline spun around to face Klaus only to find him closer than she had expected. She was suddenly lost for words as she tried desperately to ignore how close they were. "Well, why are you helping?" Caroline asked finally. Klaus raised an eyebrow and cocked his head. "Why do you keep saving Eve?" This was a question that had been spinning over and over in her mind.
"Caroline," The way he said her name made her skin tingle. She swallowed down the feeling and crossed her arms in front of her trying her best to create a barrier. "What do you- Watch out!" Klaus' fingers suddenly gripped her arms and swung her forcefully out of the way.
Caroline hit the ground heavily but it didn't hurt. She looked around only to see a shadowed figure stabbing a stake into Klaus' chest. Klaus stumbled backwards and grabbed the stake. The figure disappeared before Caroline had a chance to grab him. Klaus pulled the stake from his chest slowly and with a hiss of pain.
"Oh my god, Klaus." Caroline ran to him and helped him to regain his balance. "Are you alright?" As she pulled him to stand straight he looked down to her. "You saved my life." She said the words before she could stop herself.
"You're welcome." Klaus said without any sarcasm. "We have to tell the others he's here." Klaus said after a moment. Caroline blinked and stepped away from him.
"Yeah, come on." She said and followed him through the trees.
The moon was high in the sky that night. Elijah stared at it. In all the long years he'd lived he had looked at the moon more times than he could count. And yet it seemed as if it had no pattern at all. The sun had a set route that it always followed. And yet the moon seemed random in where it would appear. Some nights it would not even show at all.
Elijah wished he could be so free. To go wherever he wished and to disappear if he felt like it. All his life he had been bound: to his family, to his vampire nature and now it seemed as if he was becoming bound to something he wasn't sure he could deal with. Eve was infecting him. She was taking over his senses and making him weak. How could he survive if he wasn't top of his game? But how could he get away from her? He couldn't run away, he wouldn't leave Klaus with her.
Elijah sighed heavily as he realised once again his thoughts were on Eve. How could she consume so much of his life?
Elijah shook his head trying to clear it. As he looked over the clearing he noticed that it was quiet. Far too quiet. Where were the others? They should have been there by now. Where the hell- Elijah grunted as he felt the piercing pain of a stake being driven through his back.
Eve leant against the cold stone railings surrounding the patio. She had been stood there since Elena had dared to let her out of her comforting embrace. Her thoughts had quickly turned to what was happening. It was still all too weird to comprehend. She raised a hand to her neck and her fingers found the two small wounds on her neck. It was a sharp reminder of the fact that it was all real and just how close she'd been to death. And all because of something that happened when she was a child, something that wasn't her choice, something she didn't even remember!
Eve took a deep breath to try and relax but it didn't help. The sudden sound of snapping twigs made her tense. Her neck hurt where she was tensed so straight. She strained to hear anything but it had gone silent, even the birds didn't dare make a sound that night.
"Are you ready to go?" Elena asked and Eve looked to her. "They'll all be waiting at the clearing now."
"Yeah, let's go." Eve said and pushed herself up from the railings.
"I'm disappointed, Evangeline." Eve spun around at the sound of the voice.
"Eve!" Elena cried but only managed a couple of steps forward before she was hit across the face. Eve watched with wide eyes as her friend hit the wall behind her and crumpled to the ground. Eve made to run towards her but was stopped instantly. She yelped as she was dragged roughly to the strange vampire. She couldn't see him as he pulled her back to his chest. The stranger wrapped his fingers round her neck and Eve whimpered. She wanted to be brave, she wanted to be strong but she just couldn't do it. She let a tear slide free. "Did you really think you could catch me so easily?" The man tutted in mock disappointment.
"Please, let me go." Eve pleaded weakly.
"And why should I do that?" He whispered into her ear. Eve tried to pull away from him but he put his arm around her waist holding her very steady. Where were they? They said they'd keep her safe. Eve's gaze flicked over the patio hoping to see someone, anyone, but there was no one. They were all waiting at the clearing.
"What do you want?" Eve shrieked desperately, hot tears streaming down her cheeks. Eve yelped as the man's grip tightened around her throat. She scratched at his fingers but he seemed not to notice.
"What I want, Evangeline, is not to be hunted like some wild animal. But then what do I find waiting for me at the clearing? Hm, Evangeline?"
"I'm sorry." Her apology was untrue but she still hoped it would help to soften his grip.
"I find an ambush. Were you really trying to trap me?" He sounded almost as if the thought was laughable. Eve looked to Elena. She still wasn't moving, but she could see her breathing and that was some relief. "Do you know what happens when you try to corner wild animals, Evangeline?" She grimaced at the way he kept using her name it made her skin crawl. "They lash out. Someone always gets hurt. Sometimes a friend, sometimes a family member, a father maybe." Was he threatening her? She couldn't tell. Everyone word he spoke was laced with a vicious tone. "You should keep a better check on your hunting parties in future, Evangeline."
"My father's not even here." Eve's words were quiet as his fingers continued to squeeze threateningly tightly.
"I know." He whispered into her ear and she could hear the smile in his words.
"And you should also keep an eye on her hunting party!" Elena said in a triumphant tone as she got quickly to her feet.
Eve was suddenly thrown forward and onto the ground. The vampire yowled in pain as Elena sprayed him with some kind of liquid. He was gone in a flash before Eve really understood what was happening. Her heart pounded so loudly she could feel it throughout her entire body.
There were voices at the edge of Eve's hearing. But she was staring at her legs as she sat on the ground. The vampire's words kept repeating in her mind, 'Someone always gets hurt. Sometimes a friend, sometimes a family member, a father maybe.'
"What happened?" It was Damon's voice.
"He was here." Elena explained what happened and Eve tried not to listen not wanting to hear what she had just lived through. "I sprayed him with vervain." Elena finished.
"Really?" Damon asked sounding impressed with Elena's feat.
'A father maybe.' The vampire's vicious voice and threat continued to run in her head. A hand on her shoulder brought her out of her thoughts and she stared teary eyed up at the comforter.
"Are you hurt?" Elijah asked.
"You have to take me to my dad." Eve said barely audible.
Elijah had been brought back only to find Caroline and Klaus standing over him. Klaus was surprisingly not mocking and from the blood stained hole in his shirt Elijah understood why.
"You too?" Klaus asked as he threw away the stake he had retrieved from Elijah's chest. Elijah couldn't answer he was too furious to speak.
"He ambushed us." Caroline said stating the obvious.
"Kind of ironic, don't you think?" Klaus' usual light tone being replaced with an angered one.
"Where's Eve?" Elijah asked as he scanned the empty clearing.
"Still back at the house?" Caroline suggested and Elijah was gone before she could suggest any more. He sped through the trees motivated by anger at this vampire being able to attack him without notice but more so by Eve's safety. What if he was too late? The thought pushed him faster until he finally could see the house.
Stefan and Damon were already on the patio when Elijah got there. They always seemed to be able to get where he needed to be so much faster. His gaze quickly fell to Eve. She sat quietly on the cold ground staring at her lap. He frowned deeply and everyone seemed too enthralled by Elena's account of what had happened to notice Eve hadn't moved.
Trying not to attract attention Elijah strode to Eve. His fingers slid onto her tense shoulder before he could stop himself. She turned her head to look up at him and her scared expression made his chest constrict quickly and painfully. He wanted to scoop her into his arms and tell her she was safe. It took a lot of strength to hold himself back from doing it.
"Are you hurt?" He asked unsure of what else to say.
"You have to take me to my dad." She said in a whisper but Elijah heard easily.
"Now?" He asked in complete confusion.
"Now." She replied and he looked to her hands which were shaking more violently than they had been earlier.
"I think you should-" Stefan began as he joined the conversation.
"No!" Eve shouted sharply. Everyone seemed taken back by her outburst, including Elijah. He hadn't even been certain she could get angry. "Please." She said quietly again and looked directly at Elijah. Eventually he nodded.
Elijah and Damon had run on ahead of Elena, Eve and Stefan who had driven. It wasn't all that far to the house and Elijah was surprised at what he saw. It was a quite impressive house, not at all what he'd been expecting of Eve's childhood home.
"Nice." Damon commented as they stood outside. And then Elijah smelt it. It was a faint scent just teasingly dancing on the edges of the breeze, but it was definitely there.
"Do you smell that?" Elijah asked suddenly not wanting his superior senses to be right.
"Blood." Damon answered quickly and turned to look at him. Before they could say anything else the sound of tyres pulled up behind them. Eve almost fell out of the car she got out so quickly. She began sprinting to the house and Elijah wasn't fast enough to stop her.
"Eve, stop!" She could hear voices shouting at her but she ignored them. She threw open the door and stepped into the dark. She tried clicking on the light switch but it wouldn't work. As she walked further into the house the sounds outside became barely audible.
Eve could easily make her way around the house without light. She had grown up there after all.
"Dad?" She called her voice uneasy. There was no response. Her steps sped a little and she finally made it to the sideboard in the hallway. It was where her father kept his keys. She felt over the smooth wood and her fingers brushed against the ornate carved bowl. His keys weren't there. Eve sighed loudly in relief. If the keys weren't there, he wasn't there.
"Eve," Eve jumped at the sound of her own name. She looked to the front door to see Damon and Elijah stood outside. Damon looked at her in annoyance. "We need to be invited in."
She laughed lightly. Her whole body just felt suddenly lifted and she felt a little embarrassed at freaking out.
"It's ok." She said. "He's not here." She moved towards them to open the door more and invite them in. "His keys aren't here, so he must be out. "I can't believe I had a flip out-" She pressed her hand against the doorway and quickly recoiled. There was something wet on it.
Eve knew what it was before she looked but still she glanced down. She put her hand in front of her, a shaft of moonlight from the open doorway illuminating her blood soaked fingers.