Sorry it's taken so long to update this chapter, but it's here now ;) As always thank you for your reviews! Wow, over a hundred O.O

victoria: Thank you! Maybe not in this chapter, but in the next definitely ;)

Chapter Twenty Two (Stefan's POV):

Stefan woke to find himself at peace, for the first time in what had felt like an age.

He turned to find Elena smiling warmly at him.

"No nightmares?"

"No nightmares."

That was all that needed to be said.

The torture had ended.

Eyes sparkling, he draw a giggling Elena under the covers for a little while longer.


(Damon's POV):

Glancing up momentarily from the paperwork on the desk at the sound of the door, he glared. "You're late."

"I didn't realise there was a deadline."

Damon narrowed his eyes at his brother. "DO you even want either of the KK duo to be gone from our lives?"

"Yes - of course!"

"Well then. Have you given any more thought as to who to top off?"

Stefan looked startled. "I'm going to choose?"

"I'm not doing all the work, am I?"

"Well, umm...I - err - think..."

He was interrupted by Bonnie entering the room.

"Hey Stefan. Have a good night's sleep?"

Stefan smiled and nodded. "The best ever."

Bonnie returned the smile, while Damon wolf-whistled. She shared Stefan's exasperated look and turned to Damon. "Have you chosen which undesirable to kill?"

Damon glanced at Stefan, then decided to save him from the decision, seeing as it was fake and all.

"Kath - "

" - Klaus."

Startled, Damon turned to his brother. "What?"

Stefan's eyes widened. "I thought - you said it was my..." at Damon's continued disbelief-filled expression, he trailed off "...never mind."

"Why Klaus? Why not Katherine, who's one hell of a b****?"

It was Stefan's turn to be surprised. "Katherine? You want to kill Katherine?"

"Yes."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

"But she - "

"'She' what, Stefan?"

Damon looked at his brother with an intensity which obviously bothered Stefan.

He mumbled instead "Thought you said you loved her."

Damon's look turned mocking. "Aww you think I can be seduced by her? For why else would I say that? Other than, you know, actually loving her."

He noticed Bonnie's role on the sidelines, and rolled his eyes for both her and his brother's benefit. "I said it to get her and Mitsao against each other, dimwit."

Stefan blinked then lowered his eyes, flushing. "Yeah, I knew that."

Damon inclined his head, a slight mockery in his tone. "Of course you did."

A moment of silence followed, while it seemed neither wanted to be the ones to give the call, when Bonnie broke it. "So...shall we do it now?"

Damon quickly rose and ushered a protesting Bonnie out the room, calling "We'll be right back" over his shoulder.


Once they were in a separate room, Damon confessed his real plan; killing both Katherine and Klaus.

"You want to do what?"

"Ssh!" Damon glanced frantically towards the door. "It's for the best. You know it is! Both of them will never leave us alone. No matter what they promise. They're scheming, conniving little - "

"A bit like someone I know..."

Damon frowned. "I'm only looking out for number one."

They both knew he wasn't referring to himself.

"Okay I'll do it. Does Stefan know?"

In the silence that followed, she asked with a tinge of exasperation "Will Stefan know?"

"Um..."

Bonnie frowned. "You can't leave something like that from him. He has a right to know."

"Yes, but then he'll have to know I killed Peter for no reason!"

Bonnie stared at him. "You killed Peter?"

Damon blinked, apprehension dawning. "I...didn't tell you that part, did I?"

"No."

"Oh."

Bonnie carried on staring at him, folding her arms in a stern manner.

"Look...he was ruining my brother's life!"

"It wasn't his fault, he was possessed!"

"Yeah, and what's to stop him from being taken over again?"

"You...you can't just kill someone because of that! It's - "

"It's normal for me. I can do whatever I like."

Bonnie clenched her fists, but remained calm. Leaning in, she stated firmly "You better know what you're doing, Damon Salvatore" before turning and walking back to the living room.

"Don't I always?" Damon grinned, following her.

Usually when he said something along the lines of 'I kill people and like it' people either ran away screaming or shouted at him (Elena, sometimes Stefan).

But not Bonnie. Bonnie was different. And he loved her for it.

Damon reversed mentally.

Was love the right word?

His eyes lingered over Bonnie's form as they made their way back to Stefan, the way her eyelashes curled in perfect lines...

The way her hair shone brilliantly in the sunlight, different shades of red boldly emanating from the roots...

The way her lips parted unconsciously when she was in deep thinking...

The way her eyes sparkled when she caught him staring at her and could take a guess at what he was thinking.

Love was the perfect word.


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