A/N: Today is the 4-year anniversary of me posting my very first TVD fanfic! Yea! It's been almost a year since I've last updated this. Boo. Didn't mean to leave you guys hanging but I got discouraged since the feedback from last chapter…there hardly was any. *Le sigh* I won't make this an agonizingly long note, just to say I really want to finish this one since it began as my most smutty Bamon fic, lol and I do want to see it come to is inevitably smutty end. The best way to keep my muse going is through and by reviewing. Nevertheless, thank you to everyone for your patience. Here's the latest. Enjoy.


Bonnie read the text message she just received. A text message that from its contents implicated Meredith Fell as one, if not the vampire-napper they needed to find in order to locate Stefan. Her fingers flew over the touch sensitive keys wanting confirmation before she laundered the info to Damon who would not hold back once this fell into his lap. Something inside of Bonnie shattered because Meredith had been so nice and non-intrusive with her examinations when she woke up from her coma. Bonnie even began to wonder if Meredith might have framed Alaric. At this point she wouldn't put it past her if she was indeed responsible for Stefan's disappearance.

Nero's response hammered in Meredith's fate. Sighing resignedly, Bonnie nodded at nothing in particular as she thanked Nero, told him to be careful, and forwarded the information to Damon.

Standing in front of her house, Bonnie didn't want to go in. She thought about coming up with a viable excuse and leaving before actually having to face her father. It was still mind boggling that an actual twelve months had passed them by without either of them seeing or really speaking. A boulder of apprehension was lodged in the middle of her throat that felt pinhole thin.

The decision to flee was snatched from her when the front door flew open, and her father filled up the doorway.

Bonnie gulped and assessed the man. He still looked the same: suspicious of everything, impatient and intolerable of the things that couldn't be seen by empirical senses, or confirmed by scientific proof. But he was the man half responsible for her life, and she loved him despite his abandonment at crucial times. It was any wonder Bonnie wasn't stumped—developmentally speaking.

"Hi, dad," Bonnie greeted softly.

Daniel Bennett's dark brown eyes lost their hard shell and became malleable on sight of his daughter. Those vibrant green eyes, glossy dark hair she wasn't the waif he feared she may have turned into during his prolonged absence. A flare of shame did grip his gonads, but he was here now. Here to do what he had been tasked to do. Daniel presented Bonnie with a lopsided smile that mirrored her own.

"Baby girl…come here."

Her legs felt mysteriously light as if they disappeared altogether, and her heart which had been beating with a heavy bass now felt like the wings of a hummingbird. It was fluttering so fast Bonnie saw black spots float across her field of vision. Sound became severely muted for a second as she made her way up the porch steps.

Standing only feet away from her father Bonnie was unsure. Unsure if it was okay to hug him or what. Daniel took her indecision and turned it into a certainty as he wrapped his arms around her.

Her eyes closed on impact and her nose tingled. If anyone had questioned Bonnie if she needed affection from her father she would have replied she was good without. Now, actually being on the receiving end of the basic form of love, she was ready to cry rivers and oceans.

Wrapping her tiny arms around her dad, Bonnie clutched him with all the strength she possessed, which was quite a lot as the breath was momentarily squeezed out of Daniel.

He chuckled deprecatingly. "Easy there, girl. I need my ribs."

Bonnie automatically loosened her grip. "Sorry," she giggled.

The two of them released each other at the same time, holding one another at arm's length. His little girl had grown up to be a stunning young woman, and the old-fashioned him became concerned about the little knuckleheads who would try to worm and sweet talk their way into her pants.

As Daniel continued to study her, he couldn't help but note that Bonnie did…well…how could he put it without freaking the fuck out? She didn't appear to be a stranger to…ugh. He cast down that thought feeling his stomach rumble and his trigger finger spasm. His jaw hardened which Bonnie noticed causing her cheeks to flush with embarrassment. If directly asked, she would admit to dabbling in illicit activity; however, she sure as hell wouldn't be volunteering any information.

"You look good, dad," Bonnie deflected.

Daniel dropped his hold on his daughter and took a step back. "Thank you, baby girl. You look…I feel like I'm looking at a totally different person."

"Is that a good thing?"

"Depends," Daniel trailed off as one of their neighbors jogged down the street and waved. He nodded in return and refocused on his offspring. "Depends if you're being smart."

"I am, dad," Bonnie assured him. "I always am. So," she moved into the house, "are you back for good from Paris?"

Daniel didn't answer until he too, swept inside the house, closing and locking the front door. "That's the plan for now. Have a seat. There's something I need to talk to you about."

Bonnie swallowed, kicked off her shoes, and made herself comfortable on the sofa. It was the impression she wanted to deliver that she didn't suspect her father of anything so therefore he shouldn't suspect her of anything. But if he were or already had journeyed inside her bedroom, would he have caught remnants of the first time she and Damon made love? Just thinking about it for even a second made her pussy throb. Bonnie cleared her throat. Now was so not the time for that.

Daniel sat on the opposite end of the sofa instead of his Lay-Z-Boy. That made Bonnie's eyebrow elevate for a moment.

"What did you want to talk to me about?"

Daniel made a steeple of his hands suddenly feeling…he never second-guessed himself, but what he was about to say to his child would shatter her view of the place she grew up. He glanced at her and dragged a hand over his face feeling premature whiskers poking him.

"I know I ragged on how much time you spent with your grandmother and the stories she used to tell you…"

"Dad…I know everything Grams told me is true." Lord did she know that.

If he had been expecting her to be surprised only to find out she was in the know it didn't show. "Then you know this town has a serious problem." Bonnie was pretty positive her head was moving up and down, but it was hard to tell because her limbs were growing numb. "During the next mayor election I'm running."

That made a crease form between her brows. "You're gonna run for mayor? Dad you can't."

Well that hadn't been the response he expected. Daniel chuckled incredulously. "Why the hell not? I've lived in this town practically my whole life just like Carol Lockwood, and Richard before her. If anything, I'd say I'm a bit more qualified than she is to govern this town."

"How are you more qualified? You're a pharmaceutical rep."

"Oh, baby girl, I'm much more than that."

Chills stabbed its way down her spine. "What do you mean? What are you trying to tell me, dad?"

But he didn't get the chance to answer because Bonnie's phone rung and she hastily answered it. "Hey…" for a second she hesitated because it was Damon and if she said his name that would put her dad on high alert, but if she called him by an endearment he might actually snatch the phone out of her hand and demand to know who the hell was calling her.

Bonnie opted to get up from the couch and parade into the kitchen. She checked over her shoulder, peeking at her old man very conscious of the fact he was probably listening.

"Hey, Damon what's up?"

"Babe, where are you?"

"I'm at my house. My dad is home," she whispered at the lowest possible decibel she barely heard herself.

"What the hell is he doing home? You're not moving back to your place are you?"

A smile crept across her face. "Would you miss me if I did?"

"I like living in perpetual sin with you, and I don't see any reason to change it."

"And I'm sure my dad will disagree. Did you need something?"

"Right…so I broke into Meredith Fell's apartment and found a few interesting things, books and such about various folklores, but unfortunately nothing incriminating. But she has a burner phone and of course I dialed the last number she called, which is now disconnected. I've already given the number to Liz to see if she can find anything out about it, but it'll probably lead to a dead end. Anyways, I'm saying all of that to say…" Damon laughed mockingly, "I can't get out of her fucking apartment."

"What?"

"It would appear she's had the place vampire proofed like the tomb. I cannot get out of this bitch. Can you come get me, please?" he said the last part like a little boy trying to swindle more junk food.

Bonnie tapped her fingernails along her forehead. "How did you even get in her apartment to start with? She's invited you in?"

"Is that a note of jealously I hear because if it is, I gotta say…it's hot."

"Damon!" Bonnie reproached louder than intended and cringed.

"All right, to answer your question…yes she invited me and this was months ago before she knew I was a vampire, and she may have…"

"Stop, I don't want to hear anymore. You're beginning to become more trouble than you're worth, Salvatore."

"But you love me despite the shit I get myself into. How fast can you get to me, Corazon?"

"What's her address?" Bonnie searched a drawer in the kitchen where they usually stored Post-It notes and notebook paper. Pen in hand, she scribbled the address. "I'll be there as soon as I can."

Hanging up, Bonnie ambled into the living room. By the look on his face, Daniel had caught her one-sided conversation and was displeased.

"I have to go…a friend of mine needs help with something."

"I'm sure whatever it is it can wait. We haven't seen each other in a long time, and there're a lot of things we need to discuss. First thing, your living situation. You're still boarding with the Forbes', right?"

The way he formed the question made Bonnie suspect he had the answer. "For now."

"I think you should move back home."

"Why? I'm going to be graduating in a few weeks. The Sheriff doesn't mind if I stay."

"You're my daughter and you should be home with me. I don't have any foreseeable plans to travel for my job or otherwise. I've even requested an office position that's gone through."

Bonnie repressed the urge to pinch the bridge of her nose. She fumed for a moment hating the fact that her life yet again was being uprooted for someone else's convenience. But what could she honestly do? This was her father. Yes, she was eighteen and in the eyes of the world old enough to be on her own. Bonnie wished she could ignore the part of her that wanted to be with her dad under the same roof, however, was that part big enough to get her to move back home?

"Can I think about it, dad? I'm eighteen. I technically don't have to live with you."

"You're still my child and responsibility," Daniel countered.

"I understand that but we haven't seen each other in a year. I have a routine now and disrupting it just for things to go back to the way they've always been between us is stupid." Bonnie slipped her shoes on.

"It's stupid to want to live with me?"

"Why are you so adamant I live with you?"

Daniel rose to his feet, face pinched. "Because I know there are vampires in this town, and this is one house they haven't been invited to." At least he was hoping.

A tendon in Bonnie's jaw twitched. "If you believe the stories of this town are true, then that also means you believe the stories Grams said about the women of this family. You know what that makes me."

Her father averted his angry gaze. He was willing to stretch his beliefs on certain things but not all aspects of the supernatural. Not where his daughter was concerned. That's where the line of his acceptance was drawn.

"Let me think about it dad, okay. I'll see you later."

"I want an answer by the end of tomorrow, Bonnie."

Hand poised on the doorknob, Bonnie swung her attention to Daniel. "Fine. Was there anything else you needed to tell me?"

"Just…I love you, Bonnie."

That jolted her—tremendously. Her brow furrowed and her nose tingled. It had been longer than the year they lived apart since she last heard those three little words coming from her dad. The impact of them squeezed her heart, and strummed the strings of her loyalty, planting a seed she hoped wouldn't grow.

"I love you, too." Bonnie walked out of the door and to her car, shaking a little.

Behind the wheel she thought about her dad's proposal. Other than Damon and Caroline no other vampire had entered the doors of her home. Moving back might actually be good for more than security reasons. But no matter what, Bonnie knew Damon was going to be pissed she was even considering it.

The arguments were already lining up in Bonnie's head as she drove to Meredith Fell's apartment. Living apart may actually help our relationship. If Damon and I spent too much together, in increments we could begin to resent one another, Bonnie mused. Plus, her house was safer in that not every vampire in the county could just waltz in. Bonnie already saw Damon scoffing and vehemently disagreeing with her points citing them as lame, baseless, and a fucking waste of time despite knowing she'd be right. He was spoiled now and wouldn't want anything to come and mess with or ruin their arrangement.

She'd talk it over with him before making any decision, and it wasn't a conversation she was looking forward to.

The sound of drinking her hapless victim dry wasn't completely dissimilar from slurping from a straw. Rebekah pulled and sucked and pulled until there was nothing left and, when finished, allowed the exsanguinated body to drop to the floor, dead as a damn doornail.

That was the second person she drained within the last twenty minutes, and she was still hungry; the tinnitus in her ears was still there. She jammed her pinky in her ear and wiggled it around in hopes to dislodge the ringing sound that grated.

"When will this shit come to an end?" she whined.

Elijah said nothing. Kol wasn't in a better condition than Rebekah. He was awake but barely cognizant. The piercing noise every vampire in who knows how big a radius heard seemed to take an even bigger toll on him for unspecified reasons. Elijah speculated if it had anything to do with the fact that before they were turned into vampires, Kol had been a warlock. Being no scientist himself, Elijah wouldn't know where to start to make the connection, and at the moment it was a moot point. Kol didn't have any powers, but did it make him slightly different? The hunter was gone, on the loose, and yet another player entered this game where they didn't even know what the hell they were fighting for anymore. Survival was the obvious prize, but should every second of the day be allocated to maneuvering around one's enemies?

Elijah examined the rack the hunter had been chained to. His finger dipped into a speckle of blood. He rubbed, sniffed, and tasted. The eldest Original detected no hints vervain. The hunter didn't need it since he was immune to compulsion. Moreover, there was a unique flavor to his blood, but Elijah couldn't name what it might have been.

Klaus added his presence taking in the sorry sight of his siblings. Rebekah and Kol looked like whipped little children. "I see your plan to extract revenge worked out swimmingly," he rejoiced in their epic failure.

Kol had just enough energy to lift his middle finger in the air.

"What did Damon Salvatore want?" Elijah wiped Connor's blood from his fingers with a handkerchief.

"Seems his brother has gone missing."

"And you offered to lend your assistance?"

Klaus smirked at Elijah. "For a price."

"That's smashing," Rebekah cut in tired. "What are we to do now about this hunter? He may come back and bring reinforcements. But what I want to know more than that is…who was the person that helped him escape, and what the hell was that loud ass noise?"

Klaus answered, "I can help with getting the identity of the person. There's a camera in the chandelier."

Every pair of eyes in the room went to the ceiling.

"There is? I didn't know you had the place under surveillance," Rebekah said.

"Why wouldn't I? I'm a nosy bastard after all," Klaus whipped out his phone. He brought up the security feed, watched the rising action, the climax, and the falling action that took place in this very room. He showed it to his brothers and sister who watched with rapt attention.

"I don't know who that is," Rebekah informed.

He was unfamiliar yet at the same time…Klaus looked at his phone again, there was something about him that was familiar.

"Well this gives us an idea. As for the noise itself…my guess is it's just the latest gadget to exploit one of our shortcomings. Now it's time to hunt. Kol…get your ass together."

The younger grumbled, "I need to feed first."

Wetness was mysteriously bleeding from his pores that he refused to call sweat. Damon Salvatore didn't sweat. He didn't get nervous nor had any real reason to feel anxious. About anything. He strode to be cool as a cucumber even when variables stacked against him spelling his demise. He never let his inner turmoil show on his face. But right now he was trapped and felt like he was stuck on a landmine while the cops surrounded the place.

That was absurd since he heard nary a siren, and an alarm hadn't gone off the moment he broke the lock on Meredith Fell's apartment door. Surprise! She didn't need one. He raided the joint, feverishly sifting through her things looking for anything that would implicate the woman in Stefan's kidnapping, and where she might have taken him. Damon found not a gotdamn thing other than what he told Bonnie. Books on the occult and folklore. Maybe he should have started with her office, but would he have found himself in the exact same predicament?

So of course once his search turned up nothing and Damon attempted to leave, he bounced off an invisible boundary, laughed, and tried to walk out only for the same result to happen.

"Idiota," he cursed himself and called his girl.

Now he stood waiting for Bonnie to come save his ass again. He'd have to do something nice for her.

Relief flooded Damon's system the moment he heard her approaching, smelled her sweet alluring scent. He snatched the door open surprising Bonnie who didn't appear overtly happy or worried for that matter.

"The shit you get yourself into," she chided.

"Yeah I know. I know I need to improve on vampire-ing."

"You need to improve on a lot of things like not running off half-cocked without a full plan."

"I don't have time to make full plans when my brother is missing, my friend is being carted off to jail for shit he didn't do, and my girlfriend's father decides to blow back into town. Now, we can waste even more time arguing about this crap, or you can get me the hell out of here."

"Where's my please and thank you, first?"

Damon huffed. "Please, Bonnie…get your bae out of here. I'll love you forever."

Her left eye narrowed. "All right." A spark of nerves slammed into the witch. The last time she tried to lift a barrier—one she didn't erect herself—she nearly died even while channeling a warlock.

"Hey look at me," Damon said as if reading her thoughts, sensed where her mind and confidence had gone. Green eyes met his. "You can do this. Use me as your anchor if you have to."

Bonnie nodded, stretched out her arm, spread her fingers. Automatically her eyes shut but she opened them and maintained eye contact with Damon. This barrier wasn't like the others where it was just a solid mass that needed to be shattered. This was a network of interwoven spells that could only be dissolved in finding the right counter spell. Almost like needing a cipher to crack a code. This was going to take a minute.

"Whoever erected this boundary…they're very good," Bonnie murmured. "They've interwoven numerous spells that it's almost like a bomb, Damon. If I dissolve one spell—like cutting the wrong wire, it could set off a chain reaction that could have you trapped in there for good or…make your daylight ring null and void…or desiccate you…or…"

"That's nice and everything but you I know you're better," Damon interrupted. "You got this."

Bonnie's bit back a smile. That was a nice idea in theory but she hadn't been practicing magic like she had previously. Her knowledge was limited to what was contained in Emily's grimoire and though it was helpful—it didn't contain all the answers, either.

Bonnie thought back to what Klaus volunteered about her family. How the Bennetts were sort of like the Rosetta Stone in that all magic derived from them. It seemed implausible that magic in its entirety could be birthed from a single lineage, but where was the proof to dispute it or even support it? If she was going to get Damon out of here then she needed to start believing her magic didn't have any limits.

She started the most basic incantation hoping that whoever set this boundary would think the next witch or warlock to come along might see it as the obvious choice and wouldn't choose it.

Damon did the only thing he could really do and that was stand, observe, watch. He felt that zing, that sexual pull whenever Bonnie delved into her birthright. He rubbed his lips together already envisioning what he'd do to show his thanks, and it entailed nudity and various positions in and around his bed.

The blue-eyed vampire blinked. She cut the figurative wrong wire. Bonnie had stopped chanting and waited patiently for him to make a move to leave, but his windpipe was being crushed. Shit! He was suffocating. What he was experiencing happened to vampires who found themselves a prisoner in someone's home they hadn't been invited into.

He croaked out, "…not…t-the..right…one…can't…b-br-eathe."

"O-okay," Bonnie stuttered nervously and tried something else. Damon was on the floor, gasping for a breath he truly didn't need. The blood vessels in his sclera burst.

Bonnie squashed the urge to hop from foot to foot because that wouldn't help her boyfriend. She focused. Took her eyes off him struggling, and thought. Counter spell after counter spell flooded her mind but she discarded them all as useless. Flippantly Bonnie said something in Norwegian not taking into account she still had no clear understanding of how she was able to speak it, let alone understand it.

"La ham knulle ut."

Damon literally felt himself being snatched out of Meredith's apartment and into the hallway where he almost crashed into Bonnie who squeaked and hopped out of the way just in time.

He was a curled up ball of vampire on the floor panting and wheezing for a breath. "See, I told you, you were better."

Bonnie reached for his hands and assisted Damon to his feet. He crushed his mouth on hers. Their lips pulled away with an audible smack.

"Are you all right?" she questioned.

"Other than a bruised ego, I'm fine. What was that?"

"Norwegian," Bonnie said.

"What did you say?"

She giggled, "Let him the fuck out."

"Works for me. Let's go."

He was thirsty and running on borrowed time. Stefan knew that if they managed to get him to wherever they were shipping him to it would be even harder to escape. The place was probably reinforced to make sure a vampire couldn't just bust their way through the front door and yell "Thanks for having me! It's been real."

So he had to get those two bitches attention. They had turned off the main highway. That was easily discernible as the tires crunched gravel rather than asphalt. Where the hell where they taking me, the fucking the boonies? Stefan's lips twisted, figuratively speaking.

He wiggled his fingers and rubbed, seeking out the band of silver that was his daylight ring. He still had it. Dumb move. They should have taken it.

Stefan moaned loud enough to startle. The van jerked to a stop but then the speed increased.

"I think he's waking up," Meredith checked through the peephole.

"Did you give him the right dosage?"

"I'm a doctor. Of course I gave him the correct dosage. He should still be out for another two hours."

"Unless you miscalculated the CC's he needed."

"I didn't."

Sarah scoffed. "We're still five miles away. I'm calling for backup."

That was it for Stefan. He popped up, slid to one side of the van and as hard as he could, rammed his shoulder into the opposing van wall.

Meredith and Sarah screamed while the agent tried to regain control of the vehicle but it was inevitable—the crash. The van went up on two wheels, tipped and crashed sliding a good distance before coming to a stop. Meredith hadn't been wearing her seatbelt so her head and upper torso took the brunt of smashing into the dashboard, passenger window, before she was crammed against the windshield.

Sarah fared slightly better, statistically speaking. The strap of the seatbelt cut across her shoulder, dug into her neck slicing it open. The airbag deployed and punched her in the face rendering her unconscious immediately.

Cursing as he was tossed around, Stefan groaned once the dust settled. His hands and ankles had been zip tied together which made pulling apart durable plastic no picnic. The smell of blood made his stomach cramp hungrily. Scooting to the double doors of the van, Stefan kicked and continued to kick until one door popped off the hinges and crashed to the ground.

Blinding sunlight stunned his eyes. Stefan winced and shimmied his way out, landing like a worm that escaped a bird's mouth. He needed to get these zip ties off, but being in the weakened state he was…blood was essential to replenish his strength.

Not far from where he landed was a piece of twisted metal that looked sharp enough to cut. After several minutes and lots of tries, Stefan righted himself enough that he worked his bound legs over the jagged metal and began using it to saw through the plastic around his ankles.

Sweat poured down his face and blurred his vision as a firestorm cooked inside his cranium. Blood was his motivation in working quickly and efficiently, and once the zip tie snapped he was on his feet and yanking the driver side door of the van completely off.

"Dinner."

Ditching Bonnie's wheels at the boardinghouse, the newly minted couple was on the move once more for answers this time driving in Damon's car. She sat and listened as Damon had a stilted phone conversation that ended abruptly. He had been discussing Stefan and though Bonnie had a pretty good feeling Damon didn't get the answer he'd hoped for he seemed calm, perhaps too calm. This made Bonnie wonder.

"What aren't you telling me?"

Damon didn't take his eyes off the road. "I don't know what you mean."

"This morning you were real adamant in finding Stefan and now…after placing one phone call to whoever you just spoke with, you seem mellow. Why?"

See, this was one of those pitfalls to being involved with a witch—well a woman period. They were too damn intuitive it made being deceptive increasingly hard. Although in Damon's humble opinion he wasn't being deceptive per se, just not exactly forthcoming with the hardcore truth.

The truth, however, was eating away at him and it would be smart to confess now rather than wait for things to blow up in his face.

"I asked Klaus to look into Stefan's disappearance."

Bonnie gaped. "Klaus?"

"Yep."

"What did you have to promise him to get him to do you a favor?"

"You know, I resent that tone. I can be charming and persuasive when I want to be."

"Damon, let's be real here. You don't have anything Klaus would want except…" Bonnie's eyes widened and she gasped. "You didn't."

"Didn't what? I'm not following." But he was following and squirmed as a result of it.

Bonnie yanked Damon's head by the chin in her direction disregarding the fact he was still driving, but he possessed enough wherewithal to merge to the shoulder and stop the car altogether.

"You have one opportunity to tell me the truth, Damon. Did whatever deal you had to broker with Klaus involve me?"

His Adam's apple bobbed. "It did."

Bonnie pushed his head away in disgust. "I can't believe you. So what, I'm now his witch for hire or something?" she snarled.

"Bonnie, come on you know I would never let Klaus use you."

She laughed drily. "Right, because you've been so effective in the past in protecting yourself and everybody from our enemies. Asshole."

"Why am I an asshole?" Damon's voice climbed an octave. "For trying to save my brother's life?"

"No, you're an asshole because you bargained my magic to someone I can't stand, and you had no right to do that."

A vein burst down the center of Damon's forehead. "I LIED TO HIM! I have no intentions of honoring our deal."

"And when he finds out about your bluff, then what?" Bonnie jeered. "That bastard flung you and your brother around like ragdolls, took me, and carted me off halfway around the world for two days. You think he's gonna hire an attorney and sue you for breach of contract? No, he's gonna remove your spine or worse."

Just admit defeat, Salvatore, Damon told himself. Nope. "I can handle myself."

At that Bonnie rolled her eyes. "No, you fucking can't. If it wasn't for me your ass wouldn't even be here, but in an urn collecting dust."

Pinched. A. Nerve. "If you feel I'm that gotdamn useless then why the hell are you with me?"

"Don't turn this around on me. I'm not the one making deals with a douchebag, promising him access to my girlfriend as if I really have the means to stop him."

The leer on Damon's face was lethal. He felt the old him tickling right underneath the surface. The him that would slash Bonnie a thousand ways from Sunday, hitting each of her buttons, uprooting her insecurities and reveling in her pain, gorging himself on her tears and shattered self-worth.

Bonnie saw it plain as day and braced herself. This was their first major fight as a couple, and she was no stranger to Damon's taunts and brutal honesty that had one contemplating jumping off a bridge afterwards.

She heard the sound of his teeth grinding and saw his eyes blur red for a nanosecond.

When he spoke his tone was low and vibrated with barely contained violence. "If it wasn't for me, witch you never would have been born, period! So climb off your gotdamn high horse and inject a little faith in me, because I'll always be the motherfucker standing between you and death."

Bonnie's pupils were so dilated only a thin circle of green was visible. Her chest rose and fell in rhythm with Damon's.

They both lunged at one another, mouth, teeth, tongues clashing. Hands fisted into hair, and Bonnie wiggled her way on Damon's lap feeling his hard cock poking her right on her inner thigh. Kissing segued into nipping along jaw lines, long licks along salty necks, and their mouths feverishly reconnected, swallowing murmurs and groans.

Damon grabbed his girlfriend's titties wanting them both in his mouth. Yet this wasn't the time and definitely wasn't the place, but…Bonnie sensed his frustration, the inner quarrel on whether to push forward on this carnal ride or disembark.

She leaned away until her back crashed into the steering wheel. That kind of cleared the lust-filled fog from her mind. Now if the blood could return to her brain and cease its evacuation to her clit she might be able to get off Damon.

She took in his closed eyes, the light flush to his cheeks, the damage her fingers wrought to his hair.

"Damn do you feel how hard I am?" Damon moaned and stared at Bonnie through half-lidded orbs. "I want to fuck you and that little mouth of yours so bad."

Bonnie's extremities heated and her core dripped and clenched. She whined. "We can't. We have so many other problems that need to be dealt with."

"There's always time for sex. The direr the situation, the hornier you should be," Damon smirked, lifted one of Bonnie's hands and kissed her knuckles.

"Ha, right," Bonnie clamored off her boyfriend's lap and plopped her butt in the passenger seat.

He frowned, disliking the cold that filled the space she had occupied.

"I didn't mean what I said, Damon. You can handle yourself. I don't think you're useless, and your ability to protect isn't one of the top reasons why I'm with you."

"Truth?" Damon swallowed.

"Always."

"Sometimes I feel…in terms of power that I'm powerless. Useless."

"What do you mean?"

"When it comes to physical strength, I have that covered. Outside of that what do I really bring to the table? You're right. I'm not going to be able to stop Klaus from getting to you. You are the reason I'm still here. Those are facts I can't escape. How is it that I'm a 174 year old vampire but I'm constantly in need saving by an eighteen year old witch? You're the alpha, Bonnie and maybe it's chauvinistic of me but I feel like…a bitch," he laughed ruefully.

"Damon, you're not a bitch and our relationship shouldn't be about who's the alpha. As long as we don't take each other for granted, respect each other, love each other, listen to each other everything else falls into place. So long as you take what you have, what makes you, you and use it to help me when it's needed, what the hell does it matter who's more 'powerful'? We're a team, right? A unit?"

"Yeah."

"All right. Some days I'm going to be the strong one and some days you'll be the…less strong," Bonnie presented a lopsided grin, "and vice versa. It doesn't make you any less of who you are, or valuable. You've just been having a few off days, that's all."

"I hear what you're saying, Bon but when you spend so much of your time building up this reputation, and your actions say the opposite…it throws into question if I truly was that vampire that if you said my name, people cowered and hid."

"Do you want to be that Damon again?"

Did he miss the days where people skirted around him, found any reason to cross the street because they sensed lethalness from him? Did he want to go back to exuding an air of cruelty that dissuaded people from getting to know him? Underneath that hadn't he been terribly lonely and filled his time playing games with his victims, and making enemies everywhere he went to add some semblance of meaning to his life?

"I do miss it," Damon confessed. "I do miss being the baddest asshole in the room, and doing what I wanted and no one could tell me shit. But…and I'm only telling you this…I was at my loneliest and that I don't want to go back to."

"So don't."

"If it only it were that simple," Damon's head fell back against the head rest. "I feel like I have to be the old me until this shit involving this hunter, the Originals, and who has Stefan is over, and that might...push everyone away."

Bonnie moistened her lips, exhaled. "Are you asking for permission to be the old you?"

Damon searched his soulmate's face. It was plain to see Bonnie didn't want him going anywhere near that road, but wouldn't stop him if he felt that's what he had to do to ensure the safety of the ones he cared about.

"I'm asking you to forgive me if I hurt you. You're my heart, Bonnie but even I can admit to doing a piss poor job of protecting my heart from self-harm."

Sucking in a sharp breath, Bonnie stared out the window before looking at Damon again. "Like you were my anchor today, let me be yours. Every Bonnie needs her Clyde…in this case Damon. If I say enough is enough…you stop because then I'd have to step in and do what a Bennett has to do."

"Fair enough." Damon reached over and dropped a kiss on Bonnie's cheek.

He merged back into traffic and found himself speeding behind a car that had an Ohio license plate. That triggered something. A receipt he saw on Meredith's coffee table from a hotel in…

"Nelsonville, Ohio," Damon muttered and slammed his hand on the steering wheel.

"What?"

"Can you look up the area code for Nelsonville, Ohio?"

Bonnie did as asked, Googling the info and once she had it, said, "Seven-four-zero."

Digging in his pocket, Damon retrieved Meredith's burner phone, pulling up the last number she dialed. "Meredith called a number with that area code that is now disconnected. I saw a receipt for a hotel in Nelsonville. Who the hell goes to Nelsonville?"

"Maybe she has family there, Damon," Bonnie played devil's advocate.

"Not refuting that but I doubt it. Her origins began in Mystic Falls, and the rest of the Fells, if I remember correctly, they migrated to Atlanta and the D/M/V area," pieces of the physician's life was coming back to Damon in conversations he thought he had tuned out. "She attended Carolina and lived in New York for a while. Her ex-fiancé had also been a native of Mystic Falls so I doubt she knows anyone in Nelsonville."

"Wow…I can't believe you know all that."

"You know me, Bon when a new face pops up into town I have to know their business. Plus…being head of the council meant I had to take a crash course in genealogy. Anyways, my gut is telling me that's where she and that agent may have taken my brother. Stefan and I might not share a lot in common, but we know how to find each other."

"So I'm guessing we're going to Ohio?"

"Yep."

Bonnie nodded in resignation. "I didn't even get to pack a clean pair of underwear."

Damon grinned lasciviously. "You wouldn't need them anyways. I prefer you commando. Easier access," he waggled his brows.

Green eyes rolled. "I'm starting to think you only love me for my pu—"

Lips smothered hers gobbling Bonnie's chastising comment. Damon gently applied pressure to Bonnie's bottom lip with his teeth prior to letting go. He stopped truly believing he'd find himself here and least of all with her. But he wouldn't trade it. The old him might be making a short comeback, but at the end of the day the new him wouldn't be going anywhere because if he disappeared, he'd lose Bonnie and that wasn't going to happen under any fucking circumstances. Watch.

Chapter end

A/N: Thank you so much for reading. I've made some executive decisions about the remaining chapters of this story, and there's one story line I'm going to have to retcon which I hate doing, but it's going to coincide too deeply with what I plan on doing in Differences. Will tell you more about it later. Please review. Until next time.