So this story is kind of an experiment. Let me know if you like it. I promise that underneath this whole thing is a good storyline, just give me some time to develop it.


The Choice

Chapter 1

Life is all about choices. You make them, regret them, try to change them, but eventually learn how to live with them. A choice can change your life forever and most people don't think about the consequences it will bring, or the hurt it can cause. But at the end of the day, you make the choice that seems the most right to you, the one that will affect your life, that one choice that will change your life forever. The choice you don't regret because it's the right one for you.

Elena Gilbert was all too aware what the consequences of her choice were, how much pain she had caused when she made it all those years ago. Never had a choice had this much affect on her, never had the price been so high. It had cost her the family she had grown up with, the parents that had been by her side since the day of her birth, the warmth of a family home, a brother. It had cost her the life she thought she'd always live.

"Damon?"

Her eyes scanned the spacious loft, the place that had become her home five years ago. The black stylish couch became the spot where her tears were eased and her laughs awakened. The dark oak kitchen on her right held memories of mornings of two people discussing the previous day, sharing the events of their lives, sharing their life.

"He's still asleep."

She turned around, finding the brunette with green eyes next to the desk, her hair messy, her make-up smeared. She didn't bother to ask her name or what she was doing here; she knew all too well what that girl was doing here, how she had gotten here. She had learned long ago that she would never see that girl again, any of the girls. "Thanks."

"I left my number on the desk," The girl pointed her finger to the wrinkled piece of paper. "Tell him to call me."

"Sure."

Once the girl walked out of the loft, a smile came across her lips. She shook her head and threw the note in the trash can next to the desk. Her eyes went back to the bedroom, the panels of frosted glass shut and shielding the bed from the rest of the loft. The wood squeaked under her feet as she took the two steps to get on the platform, a sigh escaping her when she found two bodies on the bed, the blonde's leg dangling over the edge, her arms pushed under the pillow, her lips slightly parted, her hair the same mess like the brunette's one. She pouted her lips together and watched the man beside the blonde.

Damon Salvatore, God's gift to the women on Earth, a devil and angel hidden in one body, the nightmare of every innocent girl, the dream of every desperate woman. He possessed women, let them fall at his feet to show them what other men couldn't give them, only to break their hearts once the sun came up. She had long ago realized that falling in love with him was suicide, that you'd be more likely to find the Holy Grail than his heart.

"Damon." She threw his pants on the bed and tapped her foot. "Get up."

"Who are you?" The blonde turned on her side, looking at her through narrowed eyes. "Go away."

"I'm his wife." She smirked dangerously. "So get your ass out of the bed and get out of here."

"You're married?" The girl gasped, her eyes fixed on Damon's face. "Why are you not wearing a wedding ring?"

"Would you wear a wedding ring if you tried to pick up a girl?"

"Asshole."

Elena had to bite back a smile as the girl threw her pillow at Damon's face, covering her naked body with the blue sheets from the bed, leaving Damon behind on the bed in all his glory. She didn't even pretend to look away, instead she arched her eyebrow at him, finding an amused smile on his face.

"Come here."

He grabbed her arm and pulled her on top of him, those blue eyes shimmering in mischief. She straddled him, her knees squeezing his waist, her stomach against his, their noses pushing against one another. She bit down on his bottom lip, her hands discovering the contours of his body.

"I think this is the first time I've caught you in a threesome," She chuckled devilishly against his mouth. "I was almost shocked."

"I have to keep you on your toes, don't I?"

"You know what would really catch me off guard?" She let her hands travel down his bare chest, nuzzling his neck. "If I found you with someone who was actually smart enough to figure out that you're not married."

"Maybe that one will be smart enough to look for a wedding ring," He pretended to be shocked, a gasp escaping him. "We should buy wedding rings before someone finds out our marriage is a sham."

She rolled her eyes at him, pecking his lips, stroking his scruffy cheek. It was something they had been doing for years; in the morning when another woman lay in his bed, she was his wife until that woman disappeared out of the loft and turned her back into Elena, the best friend.

"Get rid of those condoms." She pointed her chin to the floor and crawled off his body. "I'm going to take a shower, Bonnie and Caroline claimed the bathroom this morning."

"Don't make too much noise in there." He yelled after her while she stepped into the bathroom. "I have a headache."

She didn't bother to answer and started removing her clothes from her body, leaving them on the small bench beside the sink. She grabbed her shampoo from the shelf and walked into the shower that stood in the middle of the bathroom, three sides made from glass, the other covered with black tiles. The beats of water fell against her skin, warming her cold body, running from her long silken brown hair to the swells of her breasts.

She cupped her breasts in her hands, feeling the weight before squeezing them softly, flicking her hardened nipples with her thumbs. The sensation made little tingles appear on her skin, her body wanting more. A quiet moan escaped her when she let go of her breast and let her hand slip over her stomach to the warm place between her legs. She threw her head back once she found her little bundle of nerves and started rubbing circles on it, the wetness between her legs preparing her for more. She traced her entrance with her finger and dipped slowly inside, gently pushing her finger further into her heated core. It only took a few seconds before her walls welcomed the intrusion and adjusted around it, making her moan in pleasure. She started pumping her finger back and forth, adding another finger into her entrance.

"Let me."

She jumped as a hard body pushed against her back, his voice making shivers run down her spine, his hand slipping over her breast to the place between her legs, pushing her hand out of the way to replace it with his own.

"I thought you had a headache."

"That's only an excuse for women to not have sex."

Her head fell back against his shoulder once he plunged two fingers into her; her breathing rapid, her heart drumming in her chest, her body tingling in anticipation. She placed her arm on the back of his neck, pulling on his black raven hair while his teeth scraped the skin on her shoulder, his fingers quickening inside of her. Her brown eyes rolled back in her head when he started rubbing her clit, sucking on the pulse point in her neck.

"Fuck, you're wet."

"We're in the shower."

"Yeah..." He breathed huskily in her ear. "That's exactly what I meant."

"Keep going." She arched against his body, her arm tightening around his neck, her hand cupping his to help him set the pace. "Oh, God."

The world around her exploded while she started pulsing around Damon's fingers, the waves of pleasure making her arch against the hard body behind her, her hand gripping his for support, the other one gripping his thigh to stay upright.

"You're beautiful."

"You probably say that to all the girls."

"Only to the beautiful ones." He chuckled against the skin in her neck, wrapping his arms around her waist. "And you are really beautiful."

"And you are a pain in the ass." She turned her head over her shoulder and pecked his lips. "But you can be really sweet when you want to."

"I can be a pain in the ass," He pushed his hard member against her ass, smirking devilishly. "If you want me to."

"We already tried that once, remember?" She turned around in his embrace, pushing her breasts against his chest. "It was a shitty experience, literally."

"But you've loosened up over the years." He let his hand slide from her shoulders to her ass. "It's time to thank me for that."

"You have such a way with words, it still amazes me every day."

"It's all part of the job."

He worked in advertising, he could as easily sell a kitchen to a homeless guy as his body to the women in the bars. He was one of the best and his paycheck was what gave him this spacious loft, the big shower, the marble kitchen top, it was what gave him this comfortable life, what gave her this comfortable life. It hadn't been always like that, five years ago they had to scrape money together, pick up every penny they saw on the street, work two jobs to eat every night. But that time was over once he got promoted, becoming an executive on his way to becoming partner in the firm.

"Can you drop me off at school?" She caressed his back, making small circles. "Because otherwise I have to go now."

"I wouldn't drop you off," He looked between their bodies, poking her stomach with his hard member. "But this one will make me."

"He was always much nicer to me than you." She wrapped her hand around him and gently rubbed circles around his tip. "Good morning to you too, how are you doing?"

"Stop talking to my penis."

"He's the only one I can have an actual conversation with because he's the one with the brain."

"Grab a condom for him, will you?"

"You're the only person I know who keeps condoms in his shower." She grabbed a condom from the corner and handed it to him. "Not that I've been in that many showers."

"It's because I usually don't shower alone."

"You can say that." She rolled her eyes at him, looking away. "God knows how many woman have stood on the exact same place as I'm standing now."

"If it's any comfort," He ripped the package open with his teeth, spitting the wrapper on the ground. "You're the only one that's stood here more than once."

She pushed herself up on tiptoes and wrapped her arms around his neck, her lips finding their way to his. She knew she was the only constant woman in his life, because she was the only one that knew him five years ago. He didn't let people in, he stopped letting people in five years ago when someone had hurt him so much that his trust in people faded away.

The only reason why she was still here, was because she met him fifteen years ago, she had been eight and he was the thirteen-year-old that didn't want any little girls near him. Their parents became best friends and they had been forced to spend every waking minute together, by the time she turned nine it became clear to everyone around them that they were inseparable. At the age of ten she was allowed to hang out with the big boys as long as she pretended to be their little sister to the girls they wanted to seduce. And she agreed to it, because it meant she could spend more time with her best friend, so she'd never have to leave his side.

And she had never left his side. Through her teen years she met all of his girlfriends; talked with them about boys, did their hair, even went shopping with them. They never saw her as a threat because of her young age, but when it came down to it she came first to Damon, she was his girl and she'd always come first, until the day he met someone that really changed his life. The girl had been sexy, beautiful, smart, witty; everything a guy could ask for and she thought she had lost him. The announcement of his engagement came when she was seventeen, his parents couldn't have been more proud of him, her parents were helping them plan the wedding, their brothers were making a fuss about the bridesmaids and all she could do was watch him love another woman.

"Wrap your legs around me."

"Pick me up first." She placed her hands on his shoulders, arching her eyebrow. "Or do you want me to really jump you?"

He rolled his blue eyes at her and picked her up from the ground so she could wrap her legs around him. She squealed as her back pressed against the cold black tiles, her skin covered with goose bumps. His face was buried in the crook of her neck, sucking and nibbling on the skin there while she tangled her fingers into his black raven hair.

"Why do I always have to be the one against the cold tiles?"

"Because you're always hot and bothered."

"I thought you liked hot."

His blue eyes shimmered as he looked back up at her, an amused smile playing on his lips. She reached between them and took his length into her hand, placing it against her entrance. A moan escaped her once he started pushing inside of her, letting her walls adjust around him.

"Hi."

"Hi."

She held his face in her hands as he pressed his forehead against hers, the playful tone of their conversation gone, his feelings coming to the surface. It was at times like these she knew why she let him use her body, because it was the closest she could get to him, it was the only way to know what he was feeling, because he only showed it with his body. He was the first man she gave herself to and at the time she thought it would stay by that one time, but after his heart got broken and his soul got crushed, sex was the only way she got to see the real Damon, the one that hid beneath the surface and behind countless of women, the Damon she had grown up with.

"You okay?"

"I'm with you," She tightened her legs around his waist, stroking his raven black hair. "Why wouldn't I be okay?"

He nodded slowly and took her lips back between his, moving his hips forward to thrust inside of her. She held onto his shoulders with one arm, the other weaved in his dark locks. He started moaning into her mouth, purring under her touch. She pulled her lips away from his once she needed to breath, her hands cupping his face, pulling it against hers so she could lock her brown doe eyes with his darkened blue ones.

His blue eyes bored into hers. It was in these moments that she unlocked her own feelings, let herself feel everything she felt for him. Loving him was dangerous; it was putting your heart on the line and preparing for it to get crushed over and over again. He would never bind himself to anyone and there would never be just one girl anymore, but she loved him long before he became this man. She loved him the moment he got his driver's license, the minute he lost his virginity, the second she saw him cry for the first time. It had been the first and the last time, he barged into her room, tears rolling over his cheeks, his whole body shaking. And she took him in her arms without asking any questions, she held him and never let him go since then.

"Damon."

"Me too." His grip on her legs tightened, his thrusts becoming more violent. "Elena."

She held him firmer in her arms as she reached her climax, holding onto his body while her walls pulsed around him, pulling him with her into her orgasm. He growled and buried his head into her neck while she placed a kiss on his temple and caressed his back.

"I'm going to have dinner with my parents tonight." She whispered into his ear, holding him against her. "Jeremy came home from New York so..."

"Sure." He lowered her to the ground, holding her in place. "Do you need someone to drive you there?"

"No." She shook her head, biting her lip. "We're going to some expensive restaurant; they're sending their driver to pick me up."

"Of course they are."

"Hey." She turned his face back to hers when he looked away. "I'm only going because Jeremy's going to be there and I haven't seen him in months."

"I know." He stroked her cheek affectionately. "I get it; they won't let your brother near you so you have to go."

"I just want to see him again and talk about going to university in New York."

"I get it, Elena." He held her face in his hands, placing a kiss on top of her head. "Don't worry about me. Go and try to have fun."

She smiled at him, pushing her body against his under the beads of water. She reached up and pushed her lips against his for another time, tasting the inside of his mouth, moaning harder with every lip-lock. He growled when a loud knock on the door rumbled through the loft.

"That's Stefan." He pulled away from her, rolling his eyes. "Even in his knock he manages to sound broody."

She shook her head as he pecked her lips one last time and got out of the shower, drying himself quickly before grabbing his pants and pulling them on. She rolled her eyes at the lack of underwear and turned to the bottle of shampoo in the corner of the shower.

"We're leaving in twenty minutes."

"Okay." She put some shampoo on her hand. "I'm just going to wash my hair."

He walked out the bedroom and grabbed his phone from the night table, quickly browsing through his new messages while walking to the front door. He pulled it open and was met with the green eyes of his brother. Stefan didn't bother to wait for an invite to come in and walked past him to the kitchen.

"Good morning, brother." Damon threw his phone on the table. "Why so rushed?"

"Can I drive with you to work?" He threw his arms up in the air, defeated. "My car broke down."

"When are you going to buy a new car, Stef?" He rolled his eyes in annoyance. "The thing is in the shop more than on the road."

"I don't have the money to buy a new car." Stefan sent him an evil glare. "Not everyone makes as much money as you do."

"No, but you still have a sugar daddy." Damon pushed his finger into his brother's chest. "So use his money before he disowns you like he did with me."

"Who's in the shower?" Stefan looked away from him, changing the subject. "One of your one-night stands?"

"No." He smirked devilishly, walking into the kitchen. "It's Elena."

Stefan's green eyes went wide, scanning over his damp hair, the few drops that still ran down his abdomen. He quickly looked away as the realization hit him, he had known all along about his brother and Elena, but that didn't mean he wanted it to get rubbed into his face.

"Maybe if you would man up and ask her on a date," Damon poured himself a cup of coffee. "She would be in your shower and you would finally know what it's like to be inside of her and have her naked skin against yours while she screams your name."

"Stop it, Damon."

"That's what you want, isn't it?" He cocked his head to the side, watching his brother shuffle uncomfortably. "You want to tell her you love her and hold her at night, have a couple of kids with her."

"That's more than you'll ever give her."

"Very true." He pointed his mug at Stefan, chuckling. "So while you grow some balls, I'll just keep on fucking her."

"Are you arguing again?" Elena walked into the kitchen, her damp hair pulled up into a ponytail. "Hi, Stefan."

"Hi, Elena." He stammered, biting his lip. "You look beautiful today, like any day."

She smiled at him and quickly walked into the kitchen, keeping her eyes on the floor. She could appreciate Stefan's innocent nature, his naivety and charm. But he wanted her heart, wanted her to love him and make him her husband. She had always known that he wanted more from her, more than his brother would ever give her, but that her body was free didn't mean that her heart was, it had an owner, an owner that would never claim it as his but that didn't mean that it was for the taking.

"Coffee." A smile came across her lips while she took Damon's mug out of his hands and sipped on it. "Ew, it's black."

"Of course it's black." Damon rolled his eyes, grabbing the mug back. "Have you never heard the expression; once you go black, there's no way back?"

"I don't think they meant coffee." She pecked his lips, ruffling his damp hair. "But you're cute for trying."

"I am not cute." He glared at her, pointing his finger at her smile. "I'm everything but cute."

"Come here." She grabbed his chin and rubbed her thumb over his lips. "You got lipstick on you."

"Since when do you wear lipstick?"

"Since today is the day I have that professor that doesn't give grades on your performance but on the way you look."

"Oh." His blue eyes went wide in amusement. "Maybe you should give the naughty professor a real performance instead of writing all those essays."

"I'm not you." She narrowed her eyes at him, pouring milk in his coffee. "I don't sell my body for good grades, I actually like using my brain."

"Well, if he swings both ways I'll do him." He pouted his lips together, frowning down his nose. "Anything to get you through school."

"I'll hold you to that." She held her pinky finger up, grabbing his coffee. "Pinky promise me."

"Guys." Stefan leaned on the other side of the counter. "Are you two going to the fundraiser?"

"We're still undecided." Elena sipped on the coffee. "It depends, if Damon really has to be there for his job, we'll go."

"And I really hope not."

"And he really hopes not and he usually gets his way," She exchanged a look with a smug looking Damon. "So don't count on us."

"But our parents want us to be there, all members of the founding families should be there."

"They don't count me as their family anymore, Stefan." Damon walked out of the kitchen into the bedroom. "So why would I go there to make them look good?"

"We owe it to them, Damon."

"I don't owe them a goddamn thing."


"Excuse me, Miss." Elena leaned over the small desk, pulling the attention of the young girl behind it. "Has Grayson Gilbert and his family already arrived?"

"Yes." The girl stood up and took a menu. "They told me that they were expecting company, please follow me."

She nodded quietly and walked behind the petite girl, moving between the tables of laughing families, business associates, friends. Her stomach filled with nervous butterflies once she saw her parents sitting at a table, a tall blonde guy sitting at the same table, nodding at everything they said to him. Her father pointed his chin to her once he saw her approach, which made her mother turn around and stand up.

"Elena." Miranda Gilbert wrapped her arms around her daughter. "We're so glad you could make it."

"Hi, Mom." She hugged her back, looking over her mother's shoulder at her father. "Hi, Dad."

You could cut the tension with a knife, she had turned her back on these people five years ago and until today they never let her forget about it. She didn't get warm welcomes or smiles anymore, usually they gave her the cold shoulder because she had made the choice to step away from them. A choice that had let her be with Damon but made her lose her family. They didn't agree with that choice, they never would and she never thought they would actually come to accept it.

"Elena." He nodded firmly and pointed his hand to the man beside him. "May I introduce you to Tristan Miller?"

"Nice meeting you." She extended her hand. "I'm Elena."

"Tristan." He shook her hand and smiled warmly. "It's nice meeting you, may I say you look beautiful?"

"Thank you, Tristan." She smiled shyly and let her gaze switch between her mother and father. "Where's Jeremy?"

"I don't really know where Jeremy is at the moment." Her mother smiled and motioned for her to sit down. "Let's start on the first course, yes?"

"But he's coming, right?" Her voice pitched, her eyes looking for her mother's brown ones. "You said he would be here and I want to hear stories about New York."

"I'm sure you'll hear them, sweetie." Miranda pushed her down on the chair. "Let's eat."

She made herself comfortable and started picking on the food that was placed in front of her, looking at the entrance every five seconds to see if her brother already arrived. She glanced at Tristan who sat nervously beside her, her parents keeping their eyes at the two of them at all times. The longer they sat there, the more she got the feeling that her parents were up to something she wouldn't agree with.

"So Elena," Her mother smiled, glancing at the man beside her. "Did you know that Tristan works for that new firm in town, he's an architect."

"Really?" She looked at Tristan beside her, trying her best to sound interested. "I'm sure that's really interesting."

"Yeah..." He nodded, smiling at her. "I just hope that the firm starts making money, we're new here so we still have to make a name for ourselves otherwise I won't be able to keep my job."

"Wait." She jumped up in her chair, her brown eyes sparkling. "Is it the new firm next to the Starbucks? My friend is setting up a campaign for them."

"That's possible." Tristan sat straighter in his chair, sipping on his glass of wine. "Does your friend work for Elijah Michaelson?"

"He does." She nodded, laughing warmly. "I saw the campaign, I think you"ll get to keep your job. He said you were lucky because they wanted some newbie to do it because they have too much work but one of the firms they were working for went bankrupt so he got your account instead."

"But if the firm went bankrupt?" Tristan arched his eyes, smiling softly. "Then how can I trust your friend?"

"It wasn't Damon's fault." She rolled her eyes, biting her lip. "You're lucky he didn't hear that or he would rip your head off."

"Elena, honey." Her mother grabbed her hand, giving her a disapproving look. "Let's not talk about Damon tonight, okay?"

"Why not?" The smile fell off her face. "Why can't we talk about Damon?"

There had been a time when Damon had been everything to them, a time when they could picture him as the perfect son-in-law. But that time never came and Damon didn't do what they wanted him to do, instead he chose the other way and did his own thing. Her parents would never accept his choice, neither would his. He became the forbidden subject in every conversation and the only reason why he was still invited to all the events, was because the Salvatores wanted to keep up appearances.

"It's not an appropriate subject." Miranda smiled tightly, trying to soothe her. "How's everything at school?"

"You mean the school that Damon's paying for because you refused to?" She cocked her head to the side, smirking. "It's going great, I'm already getting job offers and Damon's really proud of me."

"Stop defending him, Elena." Grayson punched his fist on the table. "The boy's a disgrace to his family and he's a disgrace to us."

"Because he didn't marry the girl you wanted him to marry?" Her eyes went wide, her teeth clenched together. "Or because he didn't step into the business with you and Giuseppe?"

"I apologize for my daughter's behavior, Tristan." Miranda pointed her attention at him. "She went through a difficult period, thanks to this Damon guy who she had a crush on when she was younger, her life became a mess but she's getting it back on track."

"He's not this Damon guy, he's Damon." She threw her napkin on the table. "And I'm not going through a difficult period."

"No, because you are ready to find yourself a suitable husband and start a family." Miranda locked her eyes on hers. "You're going to move back home and stop those photography classes, instead you're going to business school so you can take your father's place in a few years."

"It's journalism, Mom." She let out a hard laugh, shaking her head in disbelief. "That's how much you care about my life, you don't even know that I want to become a journalist?"

"Elena, calm down."

"No, Elena." The velvet voice came from behind her. "Please throw a fit."

She turned around on her chair, her brown eyes locking with the blue ones she knew all too well. He smirked at her and in that moment she felt safe again, comfortable in her own skin because she knew it'd be okay, they'd get through this. Ever since they left together five years ago, they became an invincible team, he had her back whenever her family tried to push her into something and she was there to get him out of the room when his family was insulting him. Five years ago they walked out of that room together and they silently promised each other that they would stick together.

"Damon." She shook her head at him, scanning over his tensed body. "Why are you here?"

"Jeremy called my apartment," His eyes locked onto hers and back to her parents. "He said he would be here in three days."

"You have no right to interrupt this family dinner." Grayson stood up, moving in front of Damon. "This is none of your business, this is between us and our daughter."

"This isn't a family dinner and she isn't your daughter anymore, you said so five years ago." Damon pushed her father out of the way and grabbed her coat from her chair. "Come on, I'm taking you home."

"Elena." Her father turned around to her. "I can forgive you for five years ago because you were young and when you're young, you make mistakes. But you're a smart girl, this is your last chance, if you're going with him then you're not a part of this family anymore."

"It was nice meeting you Tristan." She looked at the baffled man beside her and placed a kiss on his cheek. "I owe you a coffee for all this drama."

"Don't worry about it." He gave her a tight smile and shook her hand. "It was nice meeting you too."

"Elena." Her mother stood up, her eyes hardening. "Don't do this. You're making the wrong choice."

"I made the right choice five years ago." She took her coat from Damon and grabbed her bag from the floor. "So I'm going to make it again."

She turned on her heels and started walking between the tables to the exit, Damon's hand supporting her lower-back while they left the same way they left their parents behind five years ago. She had to blink her eyes once the cold air hit her face and made it harder for her to keep her tears back.

"It's really not something worth crying about." Damon stood on the sidewalk beside her. "They should be the ones crying."

"They used Jeremy to set me up with some guy I've never heard about." She spun around and came to face him. "They're trying to do the same thing to me as they did to you."

"They're trying to get to you and they're trying to control you." He took her shoulders and locked their eyes. "This is what we walked away from five years ago."

"But why don't they leave us alone?" She stomped her foot, tears rolling over her cheeks. "If they don't agree with us than the least they can do is leave us alone."

"They want to show their power." He wrapped his arms around her shaking body, holding her closely. "Don't let them have power over you, don't let them get to you."

"Using Jeremy is just a really low blow." She hugged him tightly, hiding her face against his leather jacket. "I need coffee."

"I'll buy you coffee."

"That's why you're my best friend."

"Because I know when you need coffee?"

"No," She looked up at him, doing her best to give him a warm smile. "Because you have the money to buy me coffee."

"It's a good thing you're already crying," He tapped her nose and shook his head in amusement. "Or I'd make you cry for that comment."

"I know." She pecked his cheek and placed her head back down against his shoulder. "I took advantage of the fact that you can't see me cry."

"If you keep on insulting me, then I won't buy you coffee."

"I wasn't insulting you." She looked up at him with her most innocent eyes, playfully smiling. "I was commenting on your ability to be mushy and caring."

"You really don't want me to buy you coffee, do you?"

She wrapped her arms around his waist and snuggled into his side while he wrapped his arms around her body and held her close against him. He was the only one that was able to comfort her at moments like these, when she thought the world around her was falling apart, he managed to put a smile on her face within five seconds. It was one of the reasons why she chose to go with him five years ago, because he was the foundation of her happiness, he was the rock that stood behind her to make her strong, to make her reach things she never thought possible. In the fifteen years they had known each other, he became everything to her, and to this day, he still was.

"Do you regret it?" His blue eyes looked down on her. "The choice you made, do you regret it?"

"No." She shook her head, shrugging. "It may have had consequences that I don't like but I don't regret going with you."

"I took you away from your family."

"You are my family." She placed her hand on his cheek, stroking it softly. "You were there more when I grew up than my parents ever were."

"You were a cute kiddo." He placed a kiss on top of her head, grabbing her hand in his. "Besides, even if I wanted to get away from you, you still clung to my leg."

"And you became so tired of it that you picked me up and carried me over your shoulder."

"You made me carry you." He pushed his finger against her chest, shaking his head. "I still remember that time when you were fourteen and your mother bought you your first pair of heels. You twisted your ankle and I had to carry you but you made me tell everyone we were playing bride and groom."

"You promised me you would never speak of that again," She swatted him, turning away from him. "You know I don't like it when you tell embarrassing stories about me."

"I haven't even reached the embarrassing ones," He threw his arms up, his eyes wide open. "Do you remember the first time you got your period?"

"Damon." She pointed her finger at him, warning him with her eyes. "Do not go there."

"Now, that was embarrassing."

"My mom never told me about it," She stomped her foot, glaring at him. "I didn't know what was going on."

"You asked me to put a bandage on it," He walked past her, shaking his head at the memory. "You thought you were going to bleed to death."

"And do you remember how embarrassing it was for you when you had to explain to me the whole thing?" She crossed her arms over her chest, stomping after him. "You were the one who had the talk with me."

"One of the many examples that show how incompetent your parents are."

"I'll never forgive you for bringing this up again," She hit his shoulder while walking into the bar, a pout on her face. "Not even your smile is going to get you out of this one."

"Matt, give Elena a latte and some extra cookies." He plopped down on the stool at the bar, rubbing his eyes. "And a bourbon for me."

She followed Matt's body as he made her a latte and poured a glass of Bourbon for Damon. Her eyes occasionally wandered into Damon's direction, she smiled softly as she saw him bury his head in his hands, his skin paler than normal, dark circles under his eyes, his black hair messy.

"You okay?" She placed her hand on his shoulder, rubbing it soothingly. "You look tired."

"I had a long day." He looked up at her, his tired eyes focusing on hers. "But I'm fine."

"You work too much."

"Well, someone has to pay for your education."

"Damon." She shook her head, grabbing his shoulder. "If I need to work more shifts here at the bar then you can just tell me, I don't want you to have to worry about money because you're paying for my school."

"I don't have to worry about money, okay?" He squeezed her hand, smiling softly. "And you don't have to work more than you already do, you have to study and make sure that you pass at the end of the year."

"I will pass." She sipped on her latte, smiling. "I promise."

"I know you'll pass, you're a good student," He downed his bourbon, fixing his blue eyes on her brown ones. "You always were."

"Speaking about being a good student," She put her cup back down on the wooden counter. "I still have an essay to write so I should go home."

"Won't Bonnie and Caroline be there?" He arched his eyebrow at her, retrieving his key from his pocket. "You can't stand noise around you when you're writing."

"I'll manage." She sighed, lifting her shoulders. "It's due tomorrow so I'll have to make it work."

"Go to my place." He held his keys up for her. "I won't be there tonight anyway."

"Another girl?"

"Have you seen the blonde in the corner?" He smiled smugly, pointing his head to the corner of the bar. "She's been checking me out since we got here."

"Have fun." She grabbed the keys and placed a kiss on his cheek. "Be safe."

"I always am," He rolled his eyes at her, smirking. "We wouldn't want any mini-Damons walking around, would we?"

"That's not what I meant." She grabbed her purse and swung it over her shoulder. "Just make sure you get home in one piece, that's the way I prefer you."

"Talking about being safe," He grabbed his wallet and handed her a few bills. "Take a taxi."

"I can walk home, Damon."

"It's not safe to walk alone at this time at night." He put the money in her hand and closed it. "Take a taxi and text me when you get home."

"Yes, Mister overprotective," She rolled her eyes, nudging him. "Bring bagels with you when you come home in the morning."

He nodded and she started walking towards the door, turning around with the handle of the door in her grasp. She watched as he approached the blond girl, a predator going for it prey, the blond looked up and immediately smiled at him. He had that affect on all the girls, could get any girl he wanted and she had to watch him take them from a distance. She had been doing it for the past five years and every time a new girl ended up in his bed, it seemed to hurt a little bit more than it did the time before. Because with every new girl in his bed, a bit of her hope was chopped off, over the years her hope only faded away, the dream of having him as her husband, the craving to carry his children, it was now all buried deep inside of her, pushed to the bottom of her being because with every girl, that dream seemed a bit further out of reach than the day before.


"Damon?"

"Hi."

She felt him drape his arm around her waist, pulling her closer into his chest. It wasn't the first time that he had snuggled into bed into the middle of the night, his bare chest pressed against her back, his legs entangled with hers, his arm wrapped possessively around her waist. She liked it when he came home to her, when he knew she was going to be there and still came just to sleep next to her and wake up next to her in the morning, it made her hope rise a tiny bit more, that one day he would wake up next to her every morning.

"I thought you weren't coming home?"

"She wasn't worth staying for," He mumbled against the back of her neck, snuggling into her. "Sex wasn't that good."

"Does this mean I won't have bagels in the morning?"

"That's exactly what it means." He chuckled against her shoulder, placing a kiss on it. "We'll force Stefan to get us bagels in the morning."

"Then he'll be nagging again about the fundraiser." She took his hand in hers, entwining their fingers. "He really wants us to go."

"Stefan needs a girlfriend." He started stroking the back of her hand with his thumb. "He has so many sexual frustrations that it's making me frustrated."

"Then maybe you should help him find a girlfriend." She squeezed his fingers with hers, pressing her back firmer into his chest. "You know a lot of girls."

"He wants you." He whispered into her ear, his grip on her tightening. "He's been in love with you for years."

"I know."

"Look at me."

She turned around his embrace, feeling his arms lock around her once again when she set her hands against his chest, her brown doe eyes looking for his, finding the blue ones filled with determination.

"Don't ever settle." He cupped her face in his hands, his eyes looking right into her soul. "Don't ever settle for someone who's less than you."

"You want me to become a spinster?" She tried to laugh it off but her voice broke. "Grow old with a bunch of cats around me?"

"I'll be there with you." He pushed his nose against hers, chuckling softly. "I'll be there still fucking everything that breathes and you'll still make snarky comments about it."

"You think we'll still be like this in fifty years?"

"I think we'll be forever like this." He whispered, his eyes burning with the blue fire. "Just you and me."

The day she walked out on her parents it was because they didn't want him around her anymore, and she couldn't be away from him. Her heart had ached with the thought of losing him, her soul had been torn apart with the prospect of losing her dream. She would never be Elena without him because she grew up with their bodies tangled into each other; the world wouldn't be the same place for her if she didn't get to see it with him; her life wouldn't be worth living if she didn't get to spend it with the man she loved. So when they forced her to choose, she chose what was the only right decision for her, she chose the prospect of her dream, the calling of her heart. He was her choice.

"Always."


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