Giuseppe stood up abruptly, his drink spilling onto his hand in his haste. He shook it off impatiently, sending drops of bourbon flying across the room, and he set his glass down on a coaster. Grayson stayed seated, his face drawn and composed and half-cast in shadows as the embers of the fire burned lower every moment.

"Why do we need to talk about Damon?" Giuseppe leant against the old oak desk. "Start talking Klaus, before I realize your brother is here skulking in the shadows and not at the Warehouse and that means something has gone very, very wrong."

"I have a few minutes to spare." Elijah said softly, his voice as calm as ever. He nodded slightly to the older men, shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot.

"Klaus." Grayson barked roughly, opening his mouth to stay more before Giuseppe held up a hand to silence him. He stared at the hand in disbelief, but he fell quiet all the same.

"Trevor is dead." Klaus said finally, irritation seeping into his voice as the words seemed to resonate around the small room. Grayson stood up abruptly, fury etched into the lines of his face. "Three bullet wounds to the chest. He died in minutes."

Grayson stalked closer to the younger man. "And why does the man who killed my wife have three chest wounds when your orders were to injure and injure alone?" he said heatedly his voice rising with each word. "Why is he dead when he should be here on the other end of my gun? Why is he dead and we still have no answers?" he hissed furiously.

Giuseppe placed a hand on his friend's shoulder. Grayson shrugged it off furiously and stormed out of the room, stopping in front of Klaus and looking his dead in the eye. "Who killed him?"

"Grayson." Klaus said quietly, staring at his friend while attempting to keep control.

"Who killed him?" Grayson demanded, his eyes furious. "Who was it?"

"Gray." Giuseppe said warningly. "Leave it. Leave it or get out. Out." Grayson glowered between the three remaining men, hesitating for a moment before storming into the hallway, slamming the door behind him. The previous warmness was gone and the flickering of the fire was no longer comforting and the cruel flame left behind held no warmth.

"You shouldn't have pointed him out." Elijah snapped bitterly at his brother, speaking up for the first time. "You knew who he was, you knew what he did to Elena and you still dangled him in front of Damon's face."

"Damon shot Trevor? You let Damon anywhere near that man?" Giuseppe thundered violently. "You let him hunt the man who is responsible for trying to kill Elena Gilbert? And now you're hear trying to what, blame this entirely on someone who was acting on his emotions when this job is for the unattached?"

"He pointed him out." Elijah said bluntly, glaring at his brother. "Don't look at me like that, Nick. You knew what Damon would do. You knew how he would react and you pointed him out. You are as at fault here."

"What happened?" Giuseppe asked angrily. "Now."


Klaus pounded loudly on the back door to the Warehouse. "Eli!" he yelled, knocking his fist furiously against the old metal frame. "Elijah, get out here!"

"Klaus? Shut up, you moron." Elijah hissed, creeping out the door into the darkened parking lot. "What do you need?"

"Is there someone behind the bar?" he asked hurriedly.

"My shift ended." He said bewilderedly. "What is going on?" he asked as his brother grabbed his arm and yanked him further into the darkness. Elijah tugged his arm free in disgust but followed his brother anyway.

"Damon has lost it. Completely lost it." Klaus ranted, leading his brother to the car they kept parked in the lot and gesturing needlessly towards the body lying there. "Trevor is dead. The one bloody Vengeful we can't kill and he fires three rounds into his chest."

"You dangled his own personal target in front of him, what did you expect? I heard you point him out, Nick! You set him up and you don't even realize it! The second Damon knew it was Trevor, you and I both know he knew he was going to kill him." Elijah groaned in disbelief, dropping beside the man and feeling for a pulse. He cursed under his breath. "Dead." He sighed and dropped his hand and looked at Klaus suspiciously. "If you wanted him alive you should have kept it to yourself and gone after another Vengeful. Any other of the fifteen sitting in that bar earlier."

"Damon is the most level-headed there is. He's the best." He argued heatedly. "He does not question, he does not hesitate. He is exactly who we needed to deal with Trevor. He is good at this. He knew not to kill him. He knows who to kill and who not to!"

"Elena Gilbert does not tend make a man rational, Nick! They were here when Damon was searching for answers and he could barely focus on what he was hearing because of that girl! He had an ear on the crowds and an ear and three eyes on her. Damon is no longer the one with no feelings! You were overlooked for this job because of Caroline for this exact reason. You may be a team but he was the one who had the future as this. He was supposed to be like Gray. He was supposed to be the one the rivals feared. He was supposed to be the one who had no one to lose! He wasn't supposed to have anyone who could be used against him." Elijah sat down heavily on the dry concrete. "When there is someone you will kill for, really kill for, you can't be out hunting because they can say things that will make you kill them and they know it. They would rather die than give up their secrets."

"What am I supposed to do?" Klaus snapped angrily. "Damon messed up. I don't care about anything else other than the fact that Trevor is dead and we have no answers and now we're all completely screwed." Klaus held his head in his hands.

Elijah stood up clapping his little brother on the shoulder. "You know who to call." He said finally, rubbing the back of his neck agitatedly. "Make the call. When they get here wait twenty minutes then call me from this car. I will come back out here and I will get in this car with you and then I will make you talk to Giuseppe."

"I won't sell him out." Klaus protested angrily, gesturing wildly. "He's covered for my ass a million times. I know, he can't be doing this anymore. Don't look at me like that, Eli. I just can't be the one to stop him."

Elijah shrugged and began walking towards the bar. He turned around and looked at his brother. "This is as much your fault as his. Either you stop him or this happens again. Then again and again until we are left with no knowledge then the Vagrants will fall because we will have nothing left." He stopped for a moment, looking at the ground before walking back to the bar.


Giuseppe stared at the two brothers, his eyes blank and his face cold. His hand was trembling slightly, a nearly imperceptible shake as he pressed his lips together tersely. He stood up fully, his height exaggerated by the great shadows cast by the dying fire.

"You knew it was Trevor?" he asked in a low voice. "And you decided he should be your target?"

Klaus nodded mutely, his hands shoved into the pockets of his leather jacket.

"Are you an idiot?" Giuseppe exploded violently. "Trevor is the reason half of this city has been trying to kill Elena Gilbert and you decided that Damon was the best person to have with you when you interrogated him?"

"Damon has never had this problem before." Klaus snapped irritably. "I thought he would want to be the one to get the answers."

"Damon got his answers days ago! He didn't want any more answers!" Giuseppe yelled, pacing back and forth. "The only reason he wanted anywhere near Trevor was to kill him!"

"He got his wish." Elijah pointed out bluntly, emerging from the shadows. "What happens now? If Damon has answers why does it matter that Trevor is dead?"

Giuseppe gritted his teeth. "His sources are not trusted. Not anymore."

Klaus's eyes hardened. "Do you know the whole story?"

"I don't want to know any more." Giuseppe shook his head in disgust. "Damon will deal with that and if he isn't too mentally addled he will let me know what he thinks is important."

Elijah sighed and looked between the two men. "What are you going to do, Gus?"

Giuseppe laughed shortly, leaning his head back to stare at the high ceiling. "Find Gray. Try to stop him killing someone. Find Damon." He paused slightly, shaking his head. "Try to shake some sense into the boy's head." He stared at Klaus oddly. "Why did you turn him in?" Giuseppe looked at his son's oldest friend with confusion and distaste. Damon had told him the truth about every event, and these often varied from the official accounts and more often than not the official account left out some incriminating detail that didn't exactly look great for Klaus.

"I made him." Elijah said, folding his arms. "This club is built on knowledge.

"This club is also built on loyalty." Giuseppe said bluntly, finding it hard to stay unbiased and above emotions in this matter.

"And if they lied to you? Told you some fabrication of the truth? We thrive on knowledge, Giuseppe. We hunt the Vengefuls, we question them and we kill them when we have our answers. When we have orders not to kill, it is because of something bigger than mindless club wars; it is because we need the information that man had. We could have gained the upper hand from a single sentence he said. We could have gained something – anything!" He took a deep breath and rubbed his face wearily. "I have to get back." He said finally, walking out of the room without another word.

"Damon didn't shoot him on sight." Klaus said quietly after a long moment of silence. "It wasn't straight away."

Giuseppe's head shot up immediately. "What did Trevor say?" He asked urgently, his hand rubbing his jaw anxiously.

Klaus opened his mouth and closed it again in defeat a moment later. "I'll find Damon."

The older man narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "Why can't you tell me?"

"There are only two things that would make him snap and Trevor happened to threaten both. Very few things in this world would cause him pain if he knew they were threatened. It's the kind of thing that stays in a man's head for a long time. It haunts you. He'll remember better that I will. I doubt he'll ever forget." Klaus shrugged. "I never have." He looked intently at his boss. "Have you?"

"It'll be clearer from your mind." He argued restlessly. "Damon is too involved in this, Klaus. I need it quick and clean and I need it from your mouth. Not his."

"I killed Jason McKenna. Back in '09. It wasn't an accident, I killed him." Klaus stated suddenly, staring unblinkingly into Giuseppe's tired eyes. "He was a Vengeful Soul, barely a Vengeful, remember? I shot him dead because he threatened someone close to me. I am not a monster, Gus, I don't kill without cause that is what I was taught but I killed him because of what he said to me that night." His voice shook as he locked his jaw and ground his teeth together. "I remember every word that man said to me and I will remember until I am old and deaf and blind. It will not be clearer from me."

"Of course." Giuseppe muttered under his breath. "He wouldn't have killed him without being provoked. He threatened her, right? He threatened Elena?"

Klaus backed out of the room quietly, nodding respectfully to his superior. "You know Damon as well as I do. If I try and find him now he'll bolt and won't turn up for a month and a half."

"He'll turn up when he's ready." Giuseppe said dismissively. "And if you see Grayson, tell him to get his sorry ass in here."

"Got it, boss." Klaus said lightly as he reached the door and stepped out into the hallway.

"Klaus." Giuseppe called quietly, meeting the younger man's eyes. "You did good."

Klaus nodded again, backing further into the hallway and closing the door with a resounding thud.

Giuseppe settled himself back into the leather armchair in front of the fire and poured another drink into a crystal glass. He closed his eyes wearily. He was tired, so very tired. He rubbed his face exhaustedly, sighing deeply as he finally opened his eyes. He watched the sky outside grow lighter through the small crack in the heavy curtains; he watched the fire burn lower and lower until only the red-hot embers of the dying coal was left as any source of light.


Sunlight filtered slowly into the dim apartment, creating slanting shadows across the wooden floors. Damon opened his eyes slightly, squinting at the bright sunlight and rolling his head away to the left and coming face to face with curious brown eyes.

Elena leant her chin on her folded arms as she lay on her stomach like him and studied the face she had grown to know so well. She blinked once, waiting for his voice to shatter the quiet illusion of peace the early morning light had created. He reached up gently and brushed a strand of hair behind her ear and moved up the bed and leant his head more firmly against the pillows.

"It's quiet in the morning." She said finally, the soft atmosphere shimmering and bending around her voice, but never breaking.

He smiled sleepily, his eyes bright against the sharp contrast of his dark hair as it fell in roughly across his face. She rolled over and lay on her side, her face inches from his, her lips close enough to feel his breath on her face.

"What are you thinking?" he asked softly, moving his head against the crisp white and stroking her cheekbone in a curiously gentle gesture.

"Promise me something." She said quietly. She was close, closer that she had been to him in what felt like the longest time. She was vulnerable, lying here beside him in the morning light with her barriers stripped away. His hand moved from her face and trailed over her skin, across her shoulder, down her arm and finally settling on her waist and pulling her closer to him.

"Anything." He murmured, his eyes half closed. His fingers were drawing patterns on her skin.

"Please don't run again." She whispered, her eyes anxious and sad, the saddest he'd ever seen them. Sad like the retreating tide or the fading moon, anxious like the melting snow.

He kissed her then, brushed his lips softly against hers before pulling back, looking into her eyes with a gentle concern lingering beneath his icy gaze, with just a smattering of hope shining around the edges.

"I won't."

She sighed deeply, relief she never expected to feel creeping into her features as her eyes closed. Damon smiled softly and pulled her into his arms. She went willingly, nestling her head against his warm chest. His fingers danced along her spine and he pressed his lips to her hair. "Now promise me something."

"Okay." She said hesitation suffused throughout her voice.

He chuckled and smiled into her sweet smelling hair. "If I can't run, you can't shut me out."

"It's always got to be all or nothing with you." she sighed wearily, pulling away slightly.

Damon touched her chin gently, angling her face towards his. "At least try to let me in."

"I have let you in." She pointed out quietly, leaning her ear against his chest and listening to the steady thumping of his heart. "I couldn't get you out if I tried."

"Elena." Damon sighed softly, running his fingers through the ends of her hair.

She scowled, the smile playing at the edges of her lips ruining the effect. "Fine." She agreed reluctantly, tilting her head back to glare at him playfully. "You ruined me Damon Salvatore, I was fine being a runner before you came along and ruined my plan."

"And I was fine before you ruined mine." Damon retorted playfully, capturing her lips between hers in a teasing kiss. "Is it really so bad?"

Elena smiled, pushing up and leaning above him, teasing him with the tips of her hair. "I don't know, is it?"

Damon pulled her down, kissing her like they were young and foolish, laughing on street corners in the pouring rain, sneaking out after curfew, caught up in the tantalizing teenage romanticism that everyone should have. He emptied her mind of any and all coherent thoughts. "No, it's not so bad." He said against her lips, smiling with his eyes in the way that shone from inside his body, lighting him up from the inside out. He captured her cheeks between his palms before her lips met his again.

"That better not be your phone." He said seriously, his eyes flickering between her eyes and her lips. He cocked his head to the side, the faint vibrating suddenly painfully loud in the previous quiet.

She groaned miserably, rolling over and snatching Damon's shirt from the floor and slipping it over her head as she scrambled around frantically searching for her mobile. She spotted it eventually, sitting idly on her chest of drawers on the wall by the door. It had fallen silent by the time she reached it.

"Caroline." Elena stated mildly, her brow furrowing together as her eyes scanned over the screen. She padded back towards the bed and sat cross-legged on the crumpled sheets. Damon pulled himself up so he was braced against the headboard. He rubbed his face listlessly, his hand scratching against the stubble dusting his jaw.

"Something's wrong." He said, staring at her carefully. He ran his hand through his hair restlessly.

"Klaus didn't come home last night. Caroline wants to know if you've heard from him."

Damon threw his arm across his face, shielding the light from his eyes. "Elena." He groaned miserably. "You know I haven't. And Klaus doesn't do pissed well, Caroline knows that." He sat up and swung his legs out of the bed. "If he didn't go home, he's either at the clubhouse or the Warehouse. She knows the too. He'll be somewhere sulking."

"Well if she knows that then why is she asking?"

"I don't know," he said irritably, massaging his temples. "I'm not the his bodyguard. I don't have to know where he is every second of every day."

"After what happened last night, today would be a good day to know where he is."

"Right." He snapped standing up and snatching a pair of sweats from the small pile of clothes that had accumulated in Elena's wardrobe. He jerked them up his legs and took a deep breath, leaning heavily against the red brick wall, bracing his weight against one hand, the other rubbing his neck anxiously. "He's fine. He's always fine. He can't not be fine."

Elena ran her hand over his bare back gently as she passed, pressing a soft kiss to his arm and then leaving him alone to collect his thoughts. It was a long time before he emerged from the bedroom dressed in a fresh t-shirt and jeans and joined her by the breakfast island. He placed a hand on the small of her back and kissed her temple. She sipped her coffee calmly, staring at him pointedly.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" he asked as gently pried her mug out of her hands. "Your hands are cold." He murmured absently as his skin brushed against hers. He rubbed her hands together gently, slowly warming them.

"Are you going to the clubhouse?" she asked mildly, pulling her hands from his grasp and stretching her arms above her head.

"Yeah." He said, taking a long sip of her coffee and staring thoughtfully at nothing in particular. "Come with me." He said quietly, avoiding her gaze. "Trevor is dead and I would bet you everything I own that I blew Elijah's cover. I messed up. I really messed up." She raised an eyebrow. "And if my mistake somehow got Klaus in some kind of trouble I need you with me when I hear that."

"Okay." She said simply, standing up. He slid his arms around her waist and kissed her, soft and quick. Kind of like a habit. As if he would do it every day for the rest of their lives. He opened his mouth to say something, closing it after a few moments as if he thought better of it. There is a time and a place for certain things to be said and though everything seemed right, the sunlight was filtering just perfectly into the bright kitchen and he was utterly sure those words would be the truest he ever spoke and the only time he ever spoke them but he held his tongue and kissed her again, erasing her questions and his words as easily as that.


"Where the fuck have you been?" Damon exploded the second he saw Klaus through the window of his car. They'd arrived at the clubhouse hours ago and somewhere after the near-car-sex he's almost had the pleasure to enjoy and the eventual dozing off in the heat Elena had disappeared with an excited squeal towards her bike and he'd let her go. It was hot out. Fighting was tiring. They could fight later if they desperately wanted to. It had become a permanent fixture of their days. He threw the door open and stormed over to his friend.

"Cleaning up for your fucking mistake and getting the blame for it!" Klaus snapped irritably, throwing his cleaning rag onto the dusty ground of the sun filled courtyard.

Damon's eyes narrowed darkly. "You should get the blame. You knew it was Trevor! Trevor! What did you expect me to do, you fucking idiot? Play cards while we waited for Grayson to turn up and kill him instead?"

"If cards stopped you killing him then yeah, you should have played cards!" Klaus bellowed furiously. "I fucked up, yes. I misjudged how deep you are in this because for years you have not given one single fuck about anyone, anyone, especially not some girl. And now that same girl is the main motivation that makes you kill Trevor? I misjudged because while you and Elena Gilbert are a whole other level of insanity, I never expected that you would disobey orders because of her! She's a Vagrant, Damon! As much as we are! By blood and by right she is a Vagrant! So you don't have to fight her battles for her because she can fight her own!"

Damon backed away, shaking his head. "Do you remember when this was all you wanted? Remember when you wanted to be like Grayson so bad? It wasn't all that long ago that you wanted to be feared. You wanted to be that Vagrant. You wanted to be a legend." Damon shook his head in disbelief. "And you got to be that. Grayson trained you up and then you went fell in love."

Klaus sighed deeply, looking at the sandy ground. "And you took my place."

"I took your fucking place." Damon snapped angrily. "I became a killer, something you knew I never wanted so you and fucking Caroline Forbes could have some bullshit happy ending. Yeah, we're a team right now, but you can walk away whenever you need to. I took on the legacy I never wanted so you wouldn't have to go through what I knew Grayson did. You killed someone because they threatened Caroline and I helped you lie about it afterwards, or at least I helped you edit the truth enough so it didn't look so bad. Because I knew I had to do that for you because the girl you risked everything for wasn't just 'some girl' to you. Because I heard what that Vengeful said to you that night and I was going to kill him too."

"I don't know what you expect me to say, mate." Klaus said wearily. "'Sorry'? Because I am. 'I fucked up'? Because I did. I have nothing else I can say apart from that. Nothing else will make it okay."

Damon shook his head. "I just need to know you to have my back sometimes. Like I had yours. Like I still have yours."

Klaus nodded. "And she's not just some girl."

Damon grinned slightly, his lips twitching up into a half-smile as he ducked and picked up Klaus's cleaning rag, throwing it at him. He caught it and shook his head in disbelief, going back to cleaning his bike with a disbelieving look on his face. "No. She's definitely not just some girl."


Damon cleared his throat quietly, knocking on the open door softly. Giuseppe was sitting at the old oak desk, the lights set to low and his glasses perched don the end of his nose and he sorted through masses of paper. He looked so comically normal Damon almost laughed. His old Dad: feared and revered in equal measure throughout the U.S. was now the picture of middle class suburbia, waiting to scold his rebellious son.

Giuseppe sighed. "Damon." He massages his temples wearily, his eyes shut tightly. "What the hell happened?" He exploded suddenly, snapping his eyes open and rubbing his hand across his jaw, that old fire relighting in his eyes. "You disobeyed orders – direct orders – not to kill him! You never wanted to be this man, Damon! You never wanted to be a murderer! You let Gray talk you into it; you let Klaus talk you into it even when you knew it would all fall to you eventually. You never wanted to do this! And now? Now what? Now what are you? What the hell happened to you that made you disobey me, made you kill someone you knew we needed alive?" He broke off sharply, shaking his head.

"You would have done the same." Damon retorted sharply, advancing into the small room. "You would have done worse! You raised me to be like this! You raised me good, but you raised me to be a killer. I knew from the time I was a kid that I would be a killer. That was what I knew I was going to be and I had all these naïve ideas that somehow I'd grow up into something good, but guess what?" He laughed humorlessly. "I didn't. And now I'm a killer. A rebel, I'm impulsive. You can't trust me because I did what you taught me to do."

"You didn't kill him for the Vagrants, Damon." Giuseppe said, his voice darker than before. "I never taught you to kill without cause. I told you to kill only when necessary, when all other options have been exhausted! I never taught you to kill a man without orders."

"Don't tell me I had no cause." Damon said bitterly. "I had cause."

"Your cause was Elena Gilbert! That is not what your cause it supposed to be! You have been a Vagrant your whole life, and one girl comes along and all of a sudden you disobey orders? You fly off the radar? Keep things from me? You disappear after you kill someone we desperately need for information?"

"Stefan is a Vengeful!" Damon bellowed furiously. "And I'm still here! Fighting against everything you've taught me to fight against! And him? He's not my brother, Dad. He's not my enemy right now but he's sure as hell not my brother! He's certainly not your son! Don't talk to me like I betrayed the Vagrants when I do everything I can humanly do to keep us fighting! Don't talk to me like I'm the one who's betrayed you!"

"Yes, he's a Vengeful but you aren't, Damon! You are a Vagrant and he is not, so until the day you turn against me you will be treated like any other Vagrants disobeying orders and he will be ignored until the day he poses a threat!"

"Any other Vagrant?" Damon shook his head and collapsed despairingly into one of the leather armchairs. He chuckled again; the sound so twisted it was almost scary. "Do you send the other Vagrants out to kill?"

"I send the people I can trust to do what I ask them to." Giuseppe snapped angrily, standing up and slamming his hands on the desk. "What the hell happened?"

"And you can't fill the blanks in for yourself?" Damon asked irritably. " It's not exactly difficult. I was at the Warehouse with Klaus. He points out a Vengeful, claims he knows who this one is. We go over, get him outside, we talk. It was routine. It was an easy hit as they go. You know how much I enjoy it." He snapped sarcastically. Giuseppe dropped his eyes regretfully, settling back into his seat. "And he dies."

"That's not what happened." His father said quietly, meeting his eyes without anger. His patience wearing thin with each passing moment, but he would hear his son out. "That's not what happened." Giuseppe said calmly. "Don't fight me, I know what is not what happened because I've been up all night with Klaus bitching in my ear about you, and Eli bitching in my other ear about Klaus. That is not what happened."

"I knew it was Trevor. Klaus told me. I just-" Damon said finally, clasping hands between his knees as he braced his way against his thighs. He dropped his head to the floor, his eyes staring intently at the spaces between the wood floorboards. "I… I-" he broke off in frustration, running his hands through his hair. "I don't know what happened. He was there; he was saying things, about you… about Stefan. Elena. And I let him get into my head. He was there and then he wasn't."

"What did he say about her?"

Damon's gaze hardened. "No." His eyes like stone and his mouth set in a firm line. "No." he repeated, shaking his head.

Giuseppe nodded once. "Okay." He said quietly, his eyes suddenly fixing on something over Damon's shoulder.

"Okay?" Damon repeated doubtfully, fighting to urge to glance around. "Just okay?"

"Whatever he said about her made you kill him. His words made you point a gun and shoot him dead right there in the Warehouse lot."

"And?" Damon prompted uneasily, fixing his eyes on his father's face, his eyes were still fixing on a point by the door.

Giuseppe shrugged and poured himself a drink. "And maybe it's best if she doesn't hear those words."

Damon turned around like lightning, his eyes widening as they fixed on Elena's form by the doorframe. She was leaning against the door, her leather-clad arms wrapped around herself as she watched his with careful eyes. The brown was deep and never-ending, shielded by a hard wall he wasn't sure he would ever fully breach. Giuseppe exited quietly, taking his drink with him and nodded briefly to his son, squeezing Elena's shoulder gently as he passed.

"How much did you hear?" Damon asked finally, resting his chin in his half-clasped hands.

Elena let out a deep breath and wandered slowly over to him, perching hesitantly on the arm of the sofa beside him. "Everything." She ran her hands restlessly through her hair. "Are you really so different because of me?"

Damon unwound one of her arms from around herself and grasped one of her hands between two of his own, playing absently with her fingers. "I suppose."

"I made you a murderer." She said, her voice even and steady; her eyes unblinking and unwaveringly cold. The only hope she gave him that she was still letting him in – that she was still present – was the vice-like grip she had on his hands. He released her hands and pulled her onto the seat next to him, resting his chin on her head as her head dropped against his chest.

"You gave me perspective." He corrected, his fingers trailing over her sides.

"Perspective to be a murder." She said, the anguish in her voice nearly shattering his heart. "I heard what your Dad said. You're not a murderer. I knew that and you still killed him because of me."

"You gave me a reason to fight, 'Len. And that's pretty damn good because if I didn't have you to fight for then where the hell would I be?"

"You wouldn't be in this situation." She retorted bitterly.

"Probably not." He agreed, shrugging slightly. "But I am now. And I'm glad I am."

"Why did you shoot him though?" she pressed, looking at him curiously.

He closed his eyes and let his neck rest against the back of the sofa, and when his eyes opened he was faced with the high ceiling and the oak beams his father had someone managed to construct in such a modern building.

"Honestly? I was just scared. I thought he was going to kill you the same way he killed Miranda. I was staying up nights staring at the door incase there was a fire; I was constantly checking you were still breathing. I was positive it would happen some way or another and you kept fucking disappearing and getting into trouble and god, Elena. I was so fucking scared he would take you." Damon let out a long breath and gave her a pointed look. "Do you see my point about not being alone now?"

She grinned and stole a kiss from his lips. "Well, your point is invalid now, isn't it?"

Damon's smile faded a little, the calm in his eyes darkening in seconds, raging a war between the seas in the small windows into his mind. "The hell it is." He said darkly

She sighed loudly and flopped against the air of the sofa. "You've got to be kidding me."

He managed a small chuckle. "What, you thought that one Vengeful dying as enough to make everyone forget Grayson Gilbert has a daughter? God, 'Lena, you'll have to kill every biker in five hundred miles for people to forget that and then people will still remember. Oh, my point is so not invalid." He stood up and pulled her to her feet, kissing her quick and hard, a smug smirk all over his face as she couldn't help but return it. "Sorry." He quipped brightly, grinning hugely as he began making his way to the door. "Are you coming?"

She scowled furiously. "I don't have a choice do I? Because insane, gun-wielding, bike-riding psychopaths want to kill me and apparently that's not going to just go away so yes, I'm coming, you smug idiot." She snapped, glaring at him and following him out the door.

He shoved his hands into his pockets. "Are we going to stop fighting now you agree my point is not valid?" Elena elbowed him sharply. He laughed joyfully, pausing and winding his arms around her and hugging her tight for a moment before releasing her and walking backwards. He pulled his hands out of his pockets and held them up in surrender. "Bike or car?"

Elena stopped glowering at him, her eyes glowing with sudden excitement as she jogged towards him. "Do you even have to ask?"