Elena retrieved the stake from her bag. She was very careful not to let Klaus see it. Now, she found that she had been too occupied with finding the stake. A heavy stream of blood was flowing down her neck, making enticing patterns on her shirt.

They look like that gravy mommy used to make for thanksgiving, she thought dizzily. Like when she spilled it on the white, white, white tablecloth. It made such beau– beautiful patterns. Elena's thoughts were dissolving into none-coherent thinking.

She attempted to raise her trembling hand, holding the stake. She just wanted him to stop… Just stop. She wished she could just plunge the stake into Klaus' back and let it be over with…

But her arm went limp in the air and the stake fell from her weakening grasp. The stake fell to the floor and made the noise wood makes when it collides with plank floors.

Klaus let go of Elena, falling out of his blood-trance.

"Tsk, tsk, Elena. Were you trying to make an attempt on my life, while I was caught up in your lovely white throat?"

Elena's mind went to a complete blank. She sought any object that could possibly get her out of this mess. Unfortunately she found none.

The stake was out of her reach. But even if it wasn't, she just couldn't move.

"God, Elena. You look a little pale. And your heartbeat's slowing." He smiled a cruel predatory smile and picked up the stake.

"Well, that's what blood loss can do to a girl." Elena couldn't think of a wittier comeback.

"I suppose you're right. The next time I feed I'm going to have to feed off of someone other than you. Well until you're up and running again anyway." Elena could hear the smile in his voice even though his face was calm, cold and dead serious.

"The– The next time? There's going to be a next time?"

"Why of course! Did you think I was just going to leave you?"

"Yes!" Elena yelled exasperatedly. "Why– Why? Why? Why are you here? What do you want from me?" Elena was about to burst into tears, when she heard a breaking of glass.

"Yes, why are you here? What do you want from her?"

Even with her blurred sight, Elena could make out the shape of Damon.

The sound of a growl exploded from Klaus, whose eyes were looking more and more poisonous by the minute.

"Damon," Klaus said through gritted teeth. "What a lovely surprise. Here to rescue Elena, I assume?"

"Wauw, that is nicely deduced, Klaus. You're more intelligent than I expected." The sarcasm dripping from Damon's words was so obvious Elena couldn't help but smile.

But God, smiling hurt. Her throat felt dry and her sight was blurring again – and not because of tears. Elena coughed and then she felt two sets of eyes on her, one of irritation and one of concern.

Elena placed her hands around her neck. It felt like she was being strangled with an invisible rope. And somehow Elena knew that it was him, that it was Klaus, doing this to her.

Elena was seeing red. Not like she was angry, but like she was losing consciousness. Twice in one day, that would be a record.

Damon didn't know what was happening, but he was betting on Klaus being the source of Elena's sudden loss of oxygen. He jumped at him; one arm was securely locked around Klaus' throat. But it wasn't as easy as Damon had hoped for. Klaus was a very old vampire, one of the Originals.

In no more than a flick of a finger, Klaus had Damon cornered. Damon could only glimpse the elongated canines in Klaus' mouth, but it was enough to send chills down his spine.

The only thing that gave Damon just a little hope of surviving this damned encounter with Klaus was that Klaus had no weapon to kill Damon with. Or so Damon thought.

As Damon was about to make a jump for Klaus, he heard Elena's strained voice, it was a plea for him to get out of here: "Damon, go! He's got a–" and then he no longer heard her begging voice. He glanced behind him to make sure that she was okay.

But as he turned, the vision that waited for him… He'd never seen anything like it before. It made him want to cry and cry. It had been a long time since he'd felt like crying.

Elena was laying spread out as a little puddle on the floor. Some blood was trickling down the side of her mouth, her eyes were closed and her hands were still clutched to her throat.

She looked… Dead.

"What did you do?" Damon choked on the words as they reached his tongue.

"Oh, she making an awful lot of noise and so I shut her up." Klaus smiled wickedly at the frightened look in Damon's black, fathomless eyes.

"But she isn't dead?" Damon needed confirmation – reassurance – 'cause Klaus wasn't a very literal man.

"No, no. I don't want her to die. I just…want her."

"But why?" Damon didn't understand why he couldn't just find someone else, another girl to torture.

"Why, you should know that better than anyone, Damon. She looks like Katherine, but she isn't, she's stronger, more powerful, if you will."

Damon was taken aback. Those were almost the exact same words he'd used to reason for his actions, when he'd first come to Fell's Church. He'd wanted her for her strength, power and because she was the opposite of him, she was going to be the light to his darkness.

And finally he remembered. "Klaus? As in the-man-who-turned-Katherine Klaus?"

"Nicely deduced, Damon. I'd applaud, but this isn't a game of twenty questions, and frankly, I'm getting really bored. Now, I just want it all over with, so I can take sleeping beauty, here, away from this God-forsaken place."

"You know, Klaus, I've heard this rumor that white oak is a wood-sort that makes Originals stronger, when in its presence, but also is the only wood that can kill them for good." He cocked an eyebrow in triumph.

"Where exactly are you going with this?" Klaus asked, but then something Damon recognized as understanding was dawning on the Original's handsome visage.

From the look on Klaus' face, Damon concluded that it must be true. He leaned down to the floor, broke up a nice big splinter, and positioned himself in front of Klaus, stake poised to kill.

Stefan's POV

Stefan was distraught. For days he had searched for animals to prey on, to at least satisfy his hunger – no, not satisfy that would never happen as long as he only drank the blood of animals – but everywhere he went, it seemed to have been completely abandoned by anything edible – well, edible to him, that was. He felt that the closer he came to an animal it was too eager to escape him.

Of course it was an inexplicable coincidence, but the whole situation was unquestioningly suspicious and Stefan didn't like it one tiny bit. He could swear that the eerie presence of another vampire's Power followed him around like a snake, sliming its way towards a helpless innocent mouse.

Stefan didn't think that he was even remotely as helpless and innocent as a small mouse, but he couldn't shake that he felt unsafe and weaker than ever.

But then he thought of Elena, his sweet and beautiful love, whom was waiting for him to come home, fed beyond hunger – then, of course, that would never happen entirely, unless he preyed on a human to the point of death.

Even so, thinking of his lovely little love made him feel more at peace, calming his nerves. How silly of him to think that something or someone was purposely leading animals away from him. Just…ridiculous!

Klaus POV

Klaus was actually feeling threatened at this moment. Of course, he had expected Damon to try and find Elena; he just hadn't anticipated it to be this quickly. But then again, maybe he had been enjoying Elena's presence a little too soon – he could have managed to escape with her in a matter of minutes if he hadn't been so tempted by the glorious beauty that was now slowly opening her lapis lazuli blue eyes.

Klaus smiled wickedly. Oh, how he'd missed those blue eyes. And he wasn't about to admit defeat and miss his chance to stare into those eyes for hours at a time. That would never happen again.

He slowly maneuvered his way over to Elena on the couch.

Elena POV

Elena felt Klaus moving towards her. She felt so weak, and she looked in Damon's direction. Damon looked ill, she thought, but supernaturally beautiful. She felt her breath catch in her sore throat. He had always had that effect on her – probably always would. Her heart ached for the love she could never have.

So in one last attempt to have all of this over with, she smiled wickedly at Damon and winked. She gathered all of her courage in a huge bubble inside of herself, and then she rose from the couch, grabbed Klaus, and kissed him fiercely on the mouth.

She knew that Klaus had been caught off guard, and that was the way she wanted it. She looked at Damon again, who watched the entire scene with a look of dismay and confusion, but when he saw her look from him and then to the stake in his hands, she knew that he had figured out her plan.

In a movement faster than the speed of light, Damon plunged the white oak stake into Klaus' back.

The last thing Elena heard before she blacked out was an ear-deafening scream of anger and anguish.

Elena awoke in Damon's arms. She couldn't see him because her eyes were closed, but she that it was Damon. She would never forget the tender way in which he held her. She opened her eyes and looked at her savior.

A great blinding light as white and bright as snow met her. She blinked until her eyes were used to the fierce brightness, and then she saw him. She looked at the stunning sight above her tiny guise. Just behind Damon's glorious bundle of black hair the sun shone brightly and appeared as a golden halo over Damon's head.

"You're my Angel," she said and smiled. "You saved me."

Damon smiled and looked down at her. "You must have hit your head pretty hard, when I staked Klaus in the back, huh?"

Elena reflectively held a hand to her head, and sure thing, it was throbbing painfully. But Elena knew that it was more than just a bump to the head that made her sentimental towards Damon.

"Maybe so," she answered. "But I can never give you anything as thanks in return for you saving my life today, Damon, nothing…"

Damon snorted. "Of course there is, 'Lena!"

"What?! Anything, Damon. Tell me what you want, and I'll give it to you!"

"You," he said hoarsely, but with such warmth that it Elena's heart fluttered. He lowered his gaze to her, and she could see the desire for her in his dark eyes.

But then she thought of Stefan, her one and only love. He was alone and in danger somewhere, and she had to find him.

"I know," Damon said. "You can't give me what I want. I can already see you thinking of your precious Stefan."

"You're right, Damon, I can't give you what you want. But I will give you something…" Elena stood. She was still looking into Damon's eyes, when she sat down on his lap. She noticed amusedly that Damon's eyes widened slightly.

She gently placed her hands on each side of his face, still holding his wondering gaze.

"Elena," he whispered.

"Hush," she replied and put her thumb on his parted lips. She leaned forward, and then her lips were embracing his in a kiss more passionate, than anything Elena had ever tried.

Damon's desire for her merged with her hidden desire for him, and the sparks between them were undeniable.

He held her tightly as if he would never let her go, and she gripped his soft, so soft, hair with her fist.

The kiss lasted for what felt like years, but Elena wanted more. She felt something like a leaf fly by her face, and she opened her eyes to see that it was, in fact, a leaf.

At the sight of it her heart ached, and she parted herself from Damon. She turned her back to him and watched leaf fly passed her. It was a green leaf that reminded her of someone, someone she had forgotten in the heat of the moment.

"Stefan has leaf-green eyes," she whispered to herself. Oh, Stefan, where are you? she thought.

When Elena turned to face Damon, she said with resolution: "I'm going to find him, Damon. I'm going to find him and bring him home with or without your help."

"We better get moving then," Damon said and held out his hand, and Elena took it without hesitation.