Chapter 18

Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries. I'm just borrowing.

Note: Previously, in "True Love Never Dies," Elena comforts Damon after he has a nightmare.

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Elena & Katherine's House – That Same Moment...

Stefan groaned as he regained consciousness and as his vision cleared, he looked around to see where he was, since the last place he remembered was Rodrigo's hideout. He sprang to his feet when he saw that he was in a basement, and not just any basement, a basement in a familiar house.

"Oh, Stefan, thank God. I was wondering when you were going to wake up."

Stefan turned toward the door and saw Katherine staring back at him. So, that's whose house this was. No wonder it looked familiar to him. However, just because it was familiar to him, that didn't mean he was about to pull Katherine into his arms and kiss her. No, not while he was still loyal to Rodrigo.

"You bitch," he said. "Why the hell are you keeping me in here?"

Katherine opened the door and walked in, closing it behind her and keeping her eyes on him. "I want to help you, Stefan. I'm sorry that I locked you up. Believe me, I didn't want to do it, but it was for your safety, as well as mine."

Stefan scoffed at her apology and looked at the plant that was on the table. "So, that's what the dart you stabbed me with consisted of. My master will be quite curious as to how you had vervain and where you got it." He looked at Katherine again. "Tell me, Katherine, what's your plan?"

"Appeal to your emotions and get you to feel again," said Katherine. "You may have changed, but you're still the Stefan I fell in love with. The Stefan that I was willing to turn myself had that arrogant asshole not forced it on you."

Stefan growled. "Don't you dare speak about him like that. My master..."

"It's true, Stefan," said Katherine. "Rodrigo is insane. Hell, he was even insane when he was a human and it manifested when he was turned."

Stefan barely heard her. He was looking toward her neck, her blood smelling appetizing to him. He was hungry, the vervain having weakened him, and he was looking for something to satisfy his hunger, even if he had to get it from Katherine.

Katherine noticed the look in his eyes and knew what it meant. He wanted blood. She pulled out a blood bag from behind her back and threw it toward him. Stefan caught it effortlessly and, keeping his eyes on her, opened it and began drinking from it.

Katherine watched him carefully, ready to defend herself if he came at her. He was a new vampire and, having been around for over five hundred years, she was stronger and could easily overpower him. That thought didn't sit too well with her, since she didn't want to hurt him. However, because he wasn't himself, Katherine knew she would have to if push came to shove, and that's what really stung.

Stefan finished the blood in the bag within seconds, tossed it aside, and licked his lips as he looked at Katherine. While satisfying, the blood in the bag wasn't enough. He was still hungry and, not caring that she was stronger than him, Stefan vamp sped over to her, grabbed her, and forced her to the ground.

However, Katherine kicked him in the groin and, while he was screaming in agony, she grabbed him by the wrists and pinned him to the wall, her fangs bared.

"I hated to do that to you, Stefan, but you forget that I'm stronger than you," she said. "Why can't you see that I'm trying to help you? You're better than this." She kissed him roughly, tasting the blood that was still on his lips. "Damn it, Stefan, feel something, anything. You love me, I know you do."

Stefan felt her forced kisses and his first instinct was to push her away, but found it difficult. Shit, what was this power that she had over him? Against his will, he kissed her back just as rough, breathing in her scent as they continued to kiss. Katherine moaned against his mouth as their tongues collided and, still holding his wrists, she guided his hands down to her waist. Stefan felt his cock responding the second his hands touched her waist and pushed her off him, retreating to a corner.

Katherine panted as she looked at him. "You were so close, Stefan. I could feel your love for me flowing through you."

"You foolish bitch," said Stefan. "Did you think that it was easy as that to get me to feel again?"

"I will get you to feel again," said Katherine. "You love me, it's burning you as we speak. Rodrigo can't control you forever. Little by little, his influence on you will slip and you'll be back with me again. Just remember how good it felt to kiss me and that should be enough to free you."

Stefan growled. What was wrong with her? Why was it so important to her that he turned his humanity on? Didn't she realize that she was fighting a lost cause?

"I don't care what you feel for me," he said. "You can play your little game as much you'd like, but it won't do you any good."

"I won't give up on you, Stefan," said Katherine. "Not when I know that the real you is in there."

Not giving Stefan a chance to reply, she exited the cell, shutting the door behind her and went to the cooler to get a blood bag. She felt her hatred for Rodrigo intensify as she walked. Who did that asshole think he was anyway, trying to come between her and the boy she loved? What she wouldn't give to run a stake through his black heart and watch as he died at her feet.

"You won't win, Rodrigo," she said to herself. "I will free Stefan from your control, no matter what it takes."

Note: Merry Christmas, guys! Thought I'd update, since it's been a while since I did. Stay tuned!