I have no words other than I am so sorry! Hope you guys are still interested in where the story is going.

Chapter 12: Be Careful

I know you're smart.
You spin me round like a knot.
You know the pieces, pieces of my heart.
Sometimes it's fun, you pull my strings one by one.

Faith tilted her head appreciatively to the side as Damon bent over to pull a pot out of the bottom cupboard to place it on the stove. She startled when a napkin smacked off the side of her head, breaking her gaze she turned and caught Jenna's knowing look. Jenna had settled herself onto the kitchen counter at the doorway whilst Faith had took up residence on the island in the middle of the room, her legs swinging back and forth as Damon wandered around the kitchen looking for ingredients. To say she was shocked when he showed up unannounced declaring he was cooking them all dinner would be an understatement but so far he had been nothing but a gentleman, even engaging Jenna in conversation.

She reached over to pluck a slice of tomato from the cutting board when her fingers were smacked in retaliation.

"You'll ruin your appetite."

She pouted but relented from going after any more food, "You're probably going to poison us anyway."

Damon hummed in slight agreement before deciding, "You? Maybe but I would never do such a thing to Jenna."

She swatted at his shoulder as he grinned at her. Jenna choked back a laugh as she watched them interact. It had been a long time since she'd seen Faith smile so freely and without caution. Still she was wary of any boy that came into her niece's life. That being said she could hardly call Damon a boy.

"So Damon, any girlfriends we should expect to show up?"

Damon side eyed Faith before replying, "Not really, I wasn't really one for many girlfriends." He paused and smirked slightly at Jenna, "My father never really approved of anyone I dated which only made me want them more."

"What about you?"

Faith snorted in amusement, "Please don't ask her that."

Jenna faked offence for a few moments before sighing, "There were a few guys. Logan isn't the only loser I've dated."

"They ever find him? He still missing?"

Damon flinched when Faiths foot connected with his knee but covered it quickly before Jenna could notice.

"He's not missing. He's in the Bahamas working on his tan." Jenna took the last swig of her wine, "Very entitled that one, marches to the beat of his own drum. He's a Fell, they're all snotty."

Damon topped up Jenna's glass before turning to Faith with a raised eyebrow. She held up her glass with a sweet smile which momentarily threw Damon who'd never really been on the receiving end of many of they looks. He hesitated only a few seconds before pouring a small amount into her glass. He held his finger to his lips signally her not to tell anyone. Faith took a sip of the red wine, her legs once again swinging happily in the air.

"Hello, Elena."

Faith narrowly missed choking on her drink as Elena rounded the corner, disbelief plainly written on her face as she took in the scene before her. Faith avoided her eyes feeling guilty for reasons she wasn't aware of.

Jenna didn't seem to notice the tension as she asked, "Hey, where have you been? We're cooking dinner."

Damon glanced up at her, "Stefan with you?"

"He'll be here soon."

Jenna hopped down from the counter and grasped Elena's hand, "Come talk to me about the younger mysterious Salvatore."

Elena tried to protest but one sharp tug from her Aunt and she was being led away into the living room.

Damon tracked her with his eyes before invading Faith's personal space, his hands coming to rest beside her hips on the counter.

"Is it real?"

Faith squirmed uncomfortably at his closeness but managed to ask, "Is what real?"

"This renewed sense of brotherhood, the fact that your cousin seems to be helping me? Can I trust them?"

Faith's lips parted involuntarily as Damon grasped her chin gently, his thumb grazing her bottom lip as he searched her eyes, "Can I trust him?"

Faith settled her hand on top of his, her fingers curving around his wrist, her nails gently grazing along his skin in a soothing manner, "You should be careful."

Damon's brow furrowed at her answer, "What does that mean?"

A throat cleared behind them, turning they saw Elena standing with her hands on her hips as her eyes darted between them with an unreadable look upon her face.

"Jenna sent me to set the table."

Faith nodded softly as she lowered Damon's hand from her face and hopped off the counter. She squeezed his hand as if sending some sort of message before turning her back to them as she stepped up to the sink in the pretence of cleaning the dishes that were sat there. Damon stared at her back before turning and joining Jeremy on the couch whilst Elena stepped up beside her cousin.

"What are you doing?" She hissed between clenched teeth as she gripped the stack of plates waiting to be put on the table.

Faith had no answer for her and luckily she didn't have to as Jenna joined them in the kitchen. Jenna snuck a peek a Damon before leaning over and whispering.

"He is ridiculously hot."

Elena looked horrified at her Aunt saying that whilst Faith struggled to keep her smile at bay. Knowing that he could hear them Elena stated, "He's an ass."

Faith sniggered and decided to add on, "Stefan is much nicer, I think it's the hair."

An hour and several tense exchanges between Damon and Elena later the doorbell rang. Faith immediately dropped her towel when it did glad to be free of clean up duty as she bounded towards the door. Elena beat her to it with Damon closely following behind them. Elena swung the door open to reveal Stefan who gazed back at them in confusion.

"Damn, people. I could have opened the door by myself."

Damon rolled his eyes and pushed her outside as he asked Stefan, "Well?"

"Someone took the journal."

"Who took it?"

Stefan shrugged as the four of them walked away from the doorway, "I don't know."

"You know what it's that teacher, there's something really off about him."

Stefan was adamant as he disagreed, "No, he doesn't know anything. Someone got to it right before me."

"Who else was there?"

Stefan shifted his eyes to look at Jeremy through the window. Damon followed his gaze before making a move to leave, only for Faith to step into his path with a hand braced against his chest.

Elena shook her head, "No, Damon. Leave him out of it."

"What's the big deal?" He took hold of Faith's wrist and twirled her around so she was in front of him before marching her through the door with his hands resting on her shoulders. He let go of her to perch on the arm of the couch once they'd reached Jeremy.

"So, I heard you found a really cool journal from back in the day. Who else did you show it to?"

"Huh?" Jeremy mumbled still far too absorbed in his game.

"Don't ask questions, just spill."

Jeremy finally took note of the line of questioning, "You're kidding me, right?"

Elena sighed realising Damon wouldn't give up on this, "Jer, did you tell anyone other than Mr Saltzman about Jonathon Gilberts journal?"

"Why is everybody so obsessed with that thing?"

Faith slapped him across the back of the head, pointedly ignoring Elena's reprimanding look as she asked, "Who else did you tell, idiot?"

Jeremy glared at her before answering, "Just that girl, Anna."

"The hot weird one?"


Stefan seemed as confused as the two Gilbert girls, "Wait, who's Anna?"

Damon looked over at him as he replied, "That's what I wanna find out." He turned back to Jeremy, "How do you know her?"

Jeremy continued on while Elena went off in search of her ringing phone, "I just know her, she wants me to meet her at the Grill tonight."

"Perfect. I'll drive."

Faith had been more than annoyed that Damon had shot off with her brother like a bat out of hell but she was even more worried about the repercussions of him finding out what his brother and her cousin were up to while he was gone. She glanced down at her phone but found no new messages or calls. With an impatient huff she debated whether to go home or stay here. She decided that home was probably better before she started to make Aunt Jenna suspicious. So with a goodbye she headed out the back door. She hopped over the fence that led into her backyard as opposed to walking all the way around front.


She let out a startled shriek as a voice sounded in the dark once she'd stepped onto her back porch, with a frantic gasp she hit on the outside light but remained tense even when she realised it was only Damon standing there. Beside him on the railing lay an old weathered book.

She knew at once that he had found out Stefan and Elena's double crossing but felt compelled to ask anyway, "Is that it?"

He nodded softly as he took a step towards her, "Why?"

She resisted the urge to back away from him but held her ground and titled her chin up stubbornly, "What?"

"Earlier, you tried to warn me about Stefan and Elena."

"I don't know." She mumbled quietly.

She winced as he gripped her tightly by her arms and pulled her closer, "Why?"

"I don't know!" She repeated as her eyes clenched shut, whimpering when his fingers dug into her flesh painfully.

He blinked and loosened his grasp but still held her to him. After a moment his hands rubbed her arms softly as he pressed his lips against her cheekbone. She barely heard the words as he whispered them against her skin before he and the book were gone from her sight.

"Thank you."

Only you can look at me the way you do.
You always tend me, tend me black and blue.
Such a shame, you frame me with such disdain.
You got me washed out, washed out, call it drained.