Reworked from the small poem, "Culpable," a very Bamon-themed short story, from Damon's perspective.

If I owned these characters, I'd never be able to contain them for very long.

Despite what many philosophers, priests and any morally-guided human believed, vampires did have hearts and better judgment. They were creatures of the carnal night, satisfied only with luring beautiful humans into baring their necks to them for a drink, but they were far more than the simplistic term of "monster." If the world thought that Damon Salvatore wasn't going to use his head for once, then the world didn't know what he was capable of.

Or rather, what he was capable of resisting. Of all the things to do, he wasn't about to betray his brother and last remaining family member once again. He was the reason Stefan had been dragged to hell and back, causing the blooming of blight to his brother's mental sanity hundreds of years before from when they had been turned. There was much he had taken from his brother; Elena wouldn't be one of them.

She was beautiful, devastatingly beautiful. There was no denying the resemblance to Katherine of course, but Elena was more than Katherine ever could have been had she been given multiple immortal do-overs. Just because he had been made a being of immortality didn't mean he owed anything to the past spirit of a vampire obsessed with having two brothers all to her greedy self. Elena, had she been given the power of immortality, never would have resorted to such drastic measures for the company of the Salvatore brothers. She was filled with virtue, a fierce compassion that would have caused the fires of hell to sputter, become crystal for the remainder of time. She was a protector, a being with power, his once comrade in arms; but she was not his.

That was something that came as a white-washed reality, a relentless churning in his gut that reminded him of the maiden of temptation, an elusive creature that always made the reward seem so much closer than the truth proved. He would be Icarus once more, spiraling into a tail-spin, grasping the ashes that he had foolishly believed was a true and physical object. This desire for Elena would destroy them both, and once more, his brother. In this case, the heart and better judgment were tied together, for he didn't want for either of them to meet their doom.

And then something else came up, a new slight of hand that left him with a wry smile, for once pleased with the deck that the creature known as Fate provided him with.

This was a bit more complex, more challenging than he ever could have considered, but he wouldn't have it any other way. Bonnie was not mortal, but a brilliant witch who he had a small part in creating, in reviving, not to mention saving the life of a scant few times. She had thanked him, he considered with another smile, a smile that led to the tracing of his lips on his fingertips, several times, and that had come as a complete surprise. Who would be brave enough to kiss a vampire?

That surprised him, and it was not often that he in his long life was surprised. The spirit in her was dazzling, a shimmering, incandescent thing that would have blinded him for eternity had it suddenly become corporeal. Her power was there, churning her veins with the lineage of her ancestors, and her psychic abilities that deeply impressed him for her being so young.

There was something about her that he simply liked, and he had not liked for a long time. He had thirsted for much in his life, and it had all led to two outcomes: destruction and temporary satisfaction. This was something else, a third and perhaps, fourth factor that he never considered. What could possibly make a vampire happy? What could keep them content?

By being in her presence of course. It was as simple as that.

She was scared of him still, he could tell that much. Sometimes she trembled when he entered the room, and if his eyes lingered on her own for longer than necessary, her fingertips shook. It was ingrained in the fibers of her blood-stream to be intimidated by him, to submit and bow her gaze, for he was the dominant species in most ways. But it delighted him to no end that she was willing to try and speak with him, her voice strong and unwavering, her gaze fixated on his own without flinching. She had a strong spirit, and strength allured him more than blood-song ever could.

There was a time when she simply turned around, spinning in nothing more than sandals and a summer outfit that he had forgotten to breathe. It was unnecessary, but he had to gather himself after she asked him a question, lest it be known that he couldn't form words because she had rendered him incapable of speech. Her heart-shaped face had the faintest traces of a flush courtesy of the sun, her claret hair had wisps of gold from her time outdoors. A type of sweet-smelling flower was crushed in her clothing, and the scent was enough to shock his senses into invigoration and somnolence all at once, given where she positioned herself. She was casting the best enchantment of her life, and the powerful truth about it was that she had no idea what she was doing to him.

Once he had been drawn to Elena, the blue phoenix that emblazoned his life with a flame he was borderline addicted to. Her power intoxicated him and he easily could have been a very tame "monster" at her beck and call, yearning for only her gaze, for her lips, for the hollow column of her throat. Only now, he found himself drawn to a different sort of firebird, a creature with hair of the sunrise, a color he could always find different textures and shades in if he was given the proper amount of time. And given that time was his for the claiming, he lost himself in her, day after day, content to be enchanted with the silent spell-caster.

He saved her, and he was thus responsible. He had a part in creating her, and was thus given the culpable duties of protecting her. She was his little wondrous strange, a fragile creature that he would waste hours and hours of histrionic musings for, simply to describe to her what he caused her now. He was limited by her, and he accepted that in a way that floored him to the highest level of his being; he very easily could have been directionless for the remainder of his long, long life, simply to circle her orbit.

She had herself an immortal protector, a creature who did have a heart, for it was hers for the claiming, and the better judgment to remain away from any potential complication with Elena, outside of their companionship.

To Bonnie however, it was about far more than responsibility.

'Wondrous strange, the power you have over me.'