Chapter 5: Speaking in Tongues

Liar, Liar, pants on fire.


It was long before she realized that she didn't have the number to get back into his house and there was no way she was going to have any social interaction with Amy unless it was absolutely mandatory. So she settled with floating aimlessly around town.

She stayed specifically downtown. Going into the suburbs, down into the old neighborhoods where she played, where she loved and lived until she was seventeen years old— that was just asking too much for one day. She didn't realize returning to Mystic Falls would carry this much responsibility or she never would have agreed to come back.

So like the old and bitter soul she had become, Caroline found her way to the Grill. A neo-sign blinked above her, reminding her of where she was. They had installed holo-visions in place of the old televisions. Electric pool tables replaced the old and they had redone the floor. But the bar still stood, lining the wall and a welcome to all weary travelers. The beer still came from a tap and right now, that's all Caroline cared about.

She tried to keep her mind from the times when Matt took her orders instead of this Bohemian cyborg with a whirling eye. But the eye was definitely creepy, so much so she didn't hear footsteps come up behind her.

"We weren't finished yet." He said. He didn't take the seat next to her.

"Actually, my storming off signaled that we were completely done and I have nothing more to say to you." She took a hard shot of whiskey the cyborg had just given her. She took another one eagerly. "In fact, I'm done with this town. Get your kid into counseling. She thinks you're a freak and I'm done caring. Not nice to see you and I hope we don't meet again."

She took a third one, just to give her a proper buzz and she turned around. He was standing right behind her, his eyes dark. Not yet menacing but furious nonetheless.

"I'm not the one hurting Amy," Damon said darkly. "But someone is. I'm sure Quinn's told you about the late nights and Amy coming back with bruises. Well, I'm not doing that and I'm dying to find out who is."

"Well, have fun, Captain Sherlock," she muttered. The buzz was a little stronger than she expected. "I will be on the next bus to Splitz-ville. Don't call if you need me."

She tried to slide around him but he blocked her. She moved to the other side and again his brilliant eyes were keeping her from leaving.

"Damon, I am not afraid to punch you right in the balls—,"

"The Caroline I knew isn't gone." She looked up into his face and found his expression softer than she remembered. "She's just buried beneath years of abuse and anger. And I know she would never do this to a kid."

Caroline snorted. "That Caroline died in that fire. You're wasting your breath." She jerked around him.

"I don't breathe, Caroline—," he grabbed her elbow, pulling her around.

"And I don't care!" She yelled, ripping her arm out from his grasp. The few patrons there in the bar raised their sleepy heads, eager to see a fight. "I don't care about Quinn, or Amy! I don't care that this town is burning! I don't care about anything, Damon! I don't care about you or your stupid family or that you got forgiveness! I'm done being the go-to girl when everyone is hurt or sad or angry! I care about me! Me! Good bye, Damon, good luck with your hero act. It isn't fooling me."

She threw one more heated glare around the room, to the patrons, to the signs, to Damon, who was suddenly still. She sighed, the cyborg's eye making her stomach twist, and stumbled off.

"Do you want money?"

Caroline froze. She whirled around. His mouth was in a hard line, his eyes burning. He had reached his last resort. He had all but gotten down on his knees and begged her to stay. But this was Damon Salvatore, somewhere buried beneath the smell of eau de Suburbia, and he had his pride, no matter how hard the flannel fleece tried to remove it.

"Excuse me?"

"Money is the universal language." He said, stepping forward, realizing he had her attention. "This . . . thing you've become must have some social skills. Even monsters understand greed."

She ignored the comment and narrowed her eyes. He came closer. "How much are we talking about?"

"Four hundred every month you're here."

She scoffed. "Don't insult me. I could strip for better than that."

"Five hundred."

"Nine hundred."

"Six hundred."

"Eight hundred."

"Six seventy five."

"Seven fifty, and that's my final offer."

Damon clenched his jaw. "Fine. Seven fifty." He extended his hand, very business-like. "You obviously have learned to haggle."

She took his hand and shook it. Her eyes glittered dangerously. "I also learned to strip but we can save that for another time."

Damon withdrew his hand, his fingers slipping through hers like water. His face went blank again.

"Now," Caroline began, "what is so damned important that you needed help from little ol' me?"

He turned and strode out the doors. "It's in the forest."

Caroline sighed, rolling her eyes. She followed after him. "Isn't it always?"


"There."

They came to the top of a cliff over looking an older graveyard. It was a fair distance from downtown, off the beaten path and overgrown with weeds and brush. Clearly, those who were buried here were joined by those who mourned them, and nobody came for them. There were various mausoleums and headstones but the most prominent fixture was the large entrance to a cave across from the graveyard. It looked like it had been sculpted into the rock by a giant hand. The mouth was covered in moss and someone had graffiti-ed the side of it, but despite looking like a gaping sore in the landscape, there was nothing particularly remarkable about it.

"I've always wanted to go spelunking." Caroline said, shrugging. "That's what they call it, right? Cave-digging? Ooh, that sounds dirty . . ."

"You can try." Damon said monotone. "I suggest running head-long at it."

Caroline narrowed her eyes at him. "Somehow, I don't believe you have my best intentions at heart."

"How oddly intuitive of you." He smiled horribly at her.

"So what's so damn special about this cave?"

"Every time Amy leaves, I follow her, here. And she's not the only one. Half the town shows up here, looking as dead panned as a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons, and they all file in through there. And they come back out about two hours later, bites and bruises on them, without a single memory of what's happened. The cave is special because I can't get in it, like an invitation spell. Someone definitely doesn't want vampires getting in."

Caroline knelt down and touched the ground, trying to synchronize with the swaying of the Earth. Everything has a brainwave, George had said, you just have to find it. "You said there were bruises and bite marks on the people. Could a vampire be doing this?"

"Not unless they've got some serious mojo under their belt." Damon said as he glared hatefully at the cave. "And I distinctly remember that witch and vampire blood doesn't mix well."

Caroline focused on the grass and not on the swell of memories of her best friend. When she stood up, she realized Damon had been watching her, gauging her reaction. She ignored the jab.

"What does she think when she sees the bruises? She doesn't get freaked out that she's covered in mud and bite marks?"

"Like I said, totally dazed. She's like that until the next morning. And, un-surprisingly, the majority of the marks are gone, like she was healed."

Caroline frowned. "You think they're being given vampire blood before they leave the cave?"

Damon lost her gaze. "I hope to God she's not."

"But have you ever tried snapping her neck to see if she'd come back?" Caroline asked acidly. Damon's eyes nearly went black. She just stared. "And how often does this happen?"

"About every other week now. Actually, if this thing fits a pattern, the next one should happen Thursday."

Caroline physically restrained herself to keep her eyes from rolling. It's always a Thursday.

"Great. So Thursday it is. Until then, I'll start checking around for anything ookie." Caroline turned to Damon, her hand outstretched. "That was my supernatural expertise on the matter. Now, pay me."

Damon's eyes narrowed at her. "I don't exactly keep seven hundred and fifty bucks in my pocket. Don't want to get mugged. We'll go to the bank."

He turned and began walking back to town. Caroline sighed bitterly and followed. "At least stripping has instant gratification."


Caroline leaned against the local doctor's office, happily counting each crisp dollar in her hand. If Carlson could see that wad of cash now . . .

Damon joined her a second later, fervently gazing around the streets as if to see if anyone had been watching.

"How can you be so grouchy around this much money?" She waved it in his face.

He scowled and pushed her with his shoulder to get her moving. She scowled back at him and they started walking.

"Because I just Compelled the nurse in there to acknowledge that a Dr. Caroline Forbes would be using their facility from time to time for a scientific experiment, as assigned by the Seattle Research Institute of Technology." Damon scowled. "She also won't find it strange if a few liters of blood goes missing every once in a while."

"Holy shit, does that place even exist?"

"It does for one Maryann Rhodes."

Caroline cackled, rifling through her cash again. "Oh, the joys of Compulsion. You must remember how well we worked under Compulsion."

She nearly bowled him over as he slid in front of her. "What the hell—,"

His eyes were crackling with anger, his mouth tight. "That life is passed me now. I don't do that any more, Caroline, get that through your head," he spat.

Caroline smiled like a devil. She stepped forward until their noses were nearly touching and she had to look up to meet his eyes.

"You might believe that," she whispered. "But I know that you're just as miserable as I am. And it's only going to take one single push to bring back the Damon that I know. Personally, I can't wait for that day to come."

With that, she slid passed him, fully aware of the flash of fear in his eyes.


They had walked back to the house in silence, Damon's brooding shoulders leading the way. Unfortunately, as the silence loomed, Carlson's nagging voice filled her ears.

He's been nothing but nice to you since you got here. There was that incident in the kitchen, but then he apologized, so that's got to count for something.

Caroline watched the tight back, trying not to imagine the compact muscle under the jean jacket. She sighed. Maybe she had been a little bit of a bitch.

A little? A little bit of a bitch? He's just trying to protect his family! Would you just chill out and please remove the massive stick from your—

"Okay!"

"What?" Damon didn't look at her as he fiddled to find the keypad scanner in his pocket.

"I'll leave. I'll find an apartment and move out tonight." Caroline said, just with a hint of guilt in her voice. He paused. "The money should be enough for a rent somewhere. Thank you for that, by the way."

He kept still, as if considering looking at her or not. Finally, he nodded. "That's probably for the best."

"What else do you want me to tell her?" Caroline interjected, causing his scanner to freeze inches above the pad. "I'm here on assignment from the Seattle Research Institute of Technology and I thought I'd drop by to see my old friend Damon Salvatore. I wanted to surprise him but obviously, he thought I was a burglar. What should we do about Quinn?"

Damon closed his eyes, obviously forgetting that situation. With a heavy sigh, he slumped against the door.

"Shit."

Caroline grimaced for him. She bit her lip, a hot coil of guilt building up in her throat, uncomfortable with what she was about to suggest.

"Damon, just hear me out, but do you want me to Compel them?" He didn't move. "Quinn wouldn't remember what I am, what you are. I would just be a visiting friend and you would get to be Super Dad again." She smiled weakly.

Finally, regret etched into each line on his face, he nodded.

"Do it. Make her forgot that she thinks I'm a vampire, that she found my notebook, that she came and got you. Erase it all. Make Amy think you're a friend from college, visiting for a local assignment. Lie to them."


Damon had set her up with all the papers he collected on the strange occurrences that had been happening around town— people missing, crops failing, bizarre lightening storms, the usual. He had tracked it back to about six months ago, when the events became more frequent and in rapid session. Before then, they were too far apart to be considered part of a pattern.

"Animal deaths are also a common theme within the disappearance of some townie," Damon said as he tossed her another stack of weather maps from his desk drawer in the private office of the back of the house. Though Quinn didn't give him much credit, he kept these papers under lock and key. And for good reason: the animal slaughter got pretty graphic. Caroline wrinkled her nose. "Oh, you'll love this, within the last year and a half, locals have reported crop circles popping up everywhere."

He raised a picture of a local farmer with his pitchfork raised in what the photographer had probably hoped to be a symbol of rebellion against alien invaders. In reality, the picture showed an eager pig-man lunging at the camera. In the background, there was a shoddy image of three triangles etched into a field of grass.

"You're not serious? Crop circles?" Caroline asked. Her mouth dropped as she took the article. "We are so not doing the Mulder and Scully thing."

Damon scowled and handed her one more file. "Like I'd trust you with pleasantly interacting with an alien species."

Caroline's eyes narrowed. "You trust me enough to propagate the lie that you have a 'family' and that you care about them."

"Congratulations, you've officially passed from being a semi-decent person into talking about shit you know nothing about in three seconds. New record."

"I know everything about family—,"

Damon slammed the folder in his hands on the desk, leaning towards her, his eyes glinting. "Is that why the only hour you spent with your mother in thirty years was on her deathbed? Is that why you weren't there with your best friend on the happiest day of her life? Is that why the one thing you've been consistently good at for hundred years is abandonment? Don't you dare take the high road with me, Forbes. We've all got blood on ours hands. Unlike you, I've realized I can't stand to look at it anymore."

She stared, her palms unreasonably sweaty. His point made, he shoved the rest of the folders towards her and straightened up.

"I restarted my father's old lumber mill," Damon said without preamble. "I'll be at the office until late. Call if you need something."

He strode out of the room. Caroline strained to listen until, when the garage door slid shut against the plastic ground, she leaned against the desk, her knees shaking.

Liar, Liar, pants on fire.


Never would she admit this out loud, or ever to his face, or ever in a million years, but Damon was actually a pretty good super-sleuth. He had found weather patterns that stood out and tracked them with an inane accuracy. There seemed to be a swell in weirdness around the full moons, and not just the regular weirdoes howling at the moon.

And unfortunately, she had no idea what specific kind of weirdness this was. Despite the disappearances, no bodies ever turned up mutilated, or bled dry. There were no bodies, period. So it didn't seem to be a vampire or werewolf behind this. She had known certain types of demons to be followed by weather disturbances, but the storms lacked the extra flair that accompanied demon sightings: no electric blackouts, no rash of murders, no bizarre lights in the sky. So it wasn't that.

It seemed that these people simply up and left. And then a little while later, some animals turned up dead. And then a little while later, crop circles appeared on a farm.

Caroline sighed, crossing her arms. She had taped the articles on the inside of an armoire, allowing for a glimpse at the bigger picture. But she couldn't really find it. The longer she stared, the faster her doubt grew. If you're paranoid enough, anything can look like a pattern. She had yet to see these bruises, the whole town acting like mindless zombies, anything that would make Damon's story not a heaping pack of lies.

No, no, there's definitely a connection between these disappearances, and Amy Gable's injuries.

Or he made it all up so you wouldn't stake him the second you saw him in the living room.

But his story matched with Quinn's. Something's definitely going on with Amy Gables.

Yeah and that something could be Damon Salvatore using her as his personal blood bank.

He's using people like that for years. Why would he shack up with a single mother and her little girl?

Because he's a twisted bastard that enjoys inflicting pain.

Caroline took a deep breath, forcing her train of thought to come to a screeching halt. She fell backwards onto her bed, staring aimlessly at the ceiling.

This is not how you make friends, Forbes. Accusing them of—

Of what! It's not like maiming innocent women had suddenly become a new hobby of his. He's a vampire, this is what he does!

SHUT UP.

Groaning, Caroline snatched up a pillow and slammed it over her head, desperately trying to make the voices in her head go away. She did hear the front door open and shut, however, and her heart dropped into her stomach.

"Damon!" Amy called as she put the groceries on the kitchen counter. "Hey, I'm home."

Damon said he wouldn't be back until 7:30. The clock on her bedside table said it was only 6:15.

Crap, crap, loads of crap! Me no want to talkie!

"Damon!" Amy called again. She placed the keys on the counter and left the house again, no doubt to gather the rest of the groceries from the car.

Ok, ok, what would Caroline do?

Well, first, she should probably close the armoire and hide the graphic content that this lady's boyfriend keeps under his desk. And then she should go say hi.

Caroline bit her lip as she closed the door.

But what do you say? Hi, everything I'm about to tell you is a big fat lie that your boyfriend and I concocted to hide the fact that we're both vampires and there's something out there that's trying to eat you. How's your day been?

Oh, forget whatever Caroline would do. It's Private Investigator Forbes now. Go interview your damn client!

Right, right, money. Job, the thing that pays the bills.

What, you think we came here just for old time's sake?

Caroline made sure the armoire was completely shut before slowly going down the stairs to officially meet Amy Gables. She was unwrapping their groceries from their bio-degradable packets before slipping them into the refrigerator.

"Hi, Amy!" Caroline waved from the hallway. The redhead smiled and put a strand of hair around her ear, her hand covering her eyes.

"Hello, Doctor Forbes. Did Damon set you up with everything you need at the clinic?"

Caroline nodded, internally annoyed with herself that she didn't pick up at least something medical, just something to make their lie more believable. "I called ahead of time and they had all my badges and packets there ready for me. But Damon was helpful in finding the building. I'm good with body parts, not directions."

She let out an easy laugh as she slid into a bar stool at the counter. Amy smiled again— this one only slightly less hostile than the first— and turned back to the refrigerator. Caroline swallowed. Come on, small talk shouldn't be this hard! You were Prom Queen!

"So, where's Quinn?"

The mother didn't look up from her duties. She took out a stalk of celery and set the Splicer to one inch. She easily took her time with the chopping, but landing the blades against the wood with a stern, solid thud every single time.

"She went to speech and debate after school. She's at a friend's house now, finishing up a project about internet safety."

"She's very bright." Caroline said, not entirely convinced of the actuality of Amy's words. Quinn was very likely doing something on the internet, but probably not at a friend's house, and certainly not an academic project.

But the mother scoffed. "Yeah, bright enough to convince her stupid mother to let her go out after vanishing into the night for two days and bringing back a complete stranger—," she grimaced, her anger getting the better of her. "I'm sorry, you're not a stranger, you're here to help, but I just— I thought I lost my little girl."

She put down the knife, a breath racking through her thin shoulders. Caroline frowned, feeling true sympathy for this young woman.

"Do you want some help?"

Amy looked up through spiraling hair. "What?"

Caroline smiled softly and pointed to the food. "With dinner. As a surgeon, I'm great with my hands."

Amy sighed and nodded her head. "Yes, please. Start with some onions. They're getting soup tonight. I don't feel like cooking much else."

Caroline's stomach threatened to gurgle but she kept it down as she grabbed another Slicer and began chopping.

"So Quinn, tell me about her."

Amy let out a soft laugh. "You're right, she is bright. Scary bright, sometimes. She can be very sweet, but other times this entirely different person. I think she knows she's smarter than me, and sometimes, I wonder if she's just bored. That's why Damon works so well with her. He just knows stuff, like weird stuff, from like forty years ago, facts that are just incredibly detailed— and I think he really puts her in her place sometimes, which, I'm not going to lie, I enjoy."

Caroline smiled reassuringly, her mind whirling. You have no idea.

"I wasn't so much worried about what she was doing, as the fact that she didn't tell me she had gone." Amy said, almost guiltily. "I knew she could be in danger, but something inside of me said that she wasn't. I just wish she would have asked me."

"Would you have let her go?"

Amy paused in loading a pot up with water. "No, but Damon probably would have accompanied her."

"And Damon, how did you two meet?"

Amy visibly relaxed, smiling honestly for the first time since Caroline had entered the kitchen.

"Now that is a story, probably too long for a pre-dinner conversation. But I'll give you this. He makes me happy. Weirdly happy. Happy than I thought was possible after the fiasco with Quinn's father. Which again, not a pre-dinner topic."

Caroline laughed politely, just as Amy started up a packet of broth over the TransHeater. In seconds the room was filled with a deep, earthy aroma. She slid in a box of rice, stirring slightly until the brittle pods were ply and soft. At that moment, Damon walked in through the front door, Quinn happily sitting on his shoulders. She held some electronic game in her hands that rested on top of Damon's messy hair.

"Knight to E5." Quinn said eagerly, her eyes lit up from more than just the screen's reflection.

"Pawn to A8." Damon said, in almost a singsong voice. Quinn bit her lip, her brow furrowed. She swayed slightly as he shut the door.

"Rook to C12."

"Queen to E3. Checkmate."

Quinn's eyes grew wide as the noise of a sword slashing against stone came from the little electronic device.

"Winner Player 2." The game announced.

"How did you do that?" Quinn yelped as Damon lowered her to the ground. "I had two more moves and that king would have been mine!"

He bent over and tapped her nose.

"But I had only one, and there in lies your problem, I'm just a better chess player."

Quinn's eyes narrowed playfully. "You cheated. I'm determined to figure out how."

"Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you?" He stood up, beaming. Caroline turned, her insides churning. "Nice to see you two playing along." He went over and kissed Amy on the cheek. He glanced momentarily at Caroline as if to say, You have been playing along, right?

"Your mom here was just telling me about your work at school, Quinn." Caroline asked sweetly, ignoring Damon's hovering glare. "How was speech and debate?"

"Desmond Point has no chance." Quinn said with glee as she began to set the table. "We're going to wipe the floor with their asses."

"Quinn!" Amy froze, scolding her daughter with her eyes. Quinn's blush crept in from her ears.

"Sorry— butts, we're going to kick their butts."

Amy shook her head and slid the chopped vegetables into the pot. Damon smirked and looked infinitely proud.

Amy stirred the pot once more before nodding, deciding it was edible. "Soup's on."

The other sat into their seats as Amy poured a bit of dinner into their bowls. Caroline stared at the carrots and celery as the bobbed around the steaming dish. She looked up and caught Damon staring her down from the opposite end of the table. Eat it and like it, his eyes said. The knuckles around his spoon were white.

Caroline put hand over her stomach to stifle the gurgle that came from a place more than just hunger and with an overly wide smile, she scooped a spoonful into her mouth.

"Excellent dinner, Amy."

It was almost tasteless.

The dinner had past pleasantly enough. No incidents to speak of, except that moment when Amy asked what kind of work Caroline was going to be doing here in Mystic Falls. Damon went rigid, his electric eyes flitting across the table in fraction of a second. Caroline only smiled and put down her spoon.

"I'm mainly an internist— I work specifically with adult patients— basically what you or Damon would see if you were sick." His knuckles went white again. "Which reminds me, as Quinn put it last night, I would like very much to take a look at you after dinner."

Amy shrugged. "I have been feeling tired lately, drained, you know? I just figured it was allergies." She looked at Damon for reassurance and he returned with a tight smile. Caroline was the only one who noticed Quinn's suddenly watery eyes.

"Actually, if we're done here, I would like to examine you now." Caroline said, dropping her eye contact with Damon. "Would that be alright?"

Amy's frown filtered through to a crooked smile. "Yeah, uh, sure. Would you two mind if you did the dishes tonight?"

Damon moved in such a way that a statue might break free from stone. "Yeah, Quinn—,"

The little girl sniffed and nodded, keeping her hair in front of her face. Damon's eyes widened in alarm; he recognized the scent of tears. He reached for her hand.

"Quinn—,"

She pulled away from his touch. Damon blanched.

"Come on, let's go and leave Dad to clean up." Caroline stood and took Amy and Quinn by the hand and led them into the living room.

When Caroline sat them down, Quinn's eyes were cleared but her face was red. Amy reached out to her.

"Are you feeling alright?" She wrapped an arm around her daughter.

"Just allergies, Mom." Quinn muttered, leaning into her mother's embrace.

Caroline swallowed. Over their shoulders, Caroline saw Damon watching from the kitchen, his eyes hollow. Caroline cleared her throat.

"Amy, would you please look here?" She held out her finger and the brown eyes followed. After two repetitions, a second pair of little eyes caught her finger. Caroline brought the finger in between her eyes. They were locked into her gaze.

"Amy, Quinn, what I'm about to do to you is for your own protection, okay? I'm doing this to help you, to keep you safe. There are things that you know that can be dangerous if you remember. So that's what I'm taking. I'm taking your memory. Quinn, you do not remember that Damon is a vampire. You don't remember that you stole from his address book or you don't remember leaving to come find me. You believe your mother has allergies. I'm here visiting Damon because we were friends in high school. There is a medical conference here in Mystic Falls and I'm here for two weeks. You find nothing strange about our friendship, my medical license, or the conference. I am here until tomorrow morning when my hotel room is ready. You find nothing strange about that either. Damon is your keeper and your guardian. You feel safe with him. Got it?"

The two Compelled women blinked then nodded, their eyes still glazed over.

"You didn't have to say that." He stood right beside her, his face hidden in shadow.

Caroline swallowed. "I know I didn't. They already know it."

Damon was silent.

"Now tell them you forgot something at the office, so you're going to be out late— you need to feed."

He knelt down beside Amy, touching her face.

"You're coming with me, right?" Caroline asked.

Slowly, he shook his head and put Amy's wrist against his cheek. "I'm strong enough, I don't need it."

"Bullshit."

He tensed, as if the word cut him. "Caroline, don't do this. Don't act like you understand—,"

"I don't understand." She snapped. "What if you loose control around her? Why are you torturing yourself like this? Animals are okay. You need blood, Damon, you need blood—,"

"Or what?" He spun, his eyes glowing in the darkness. "I'll die?"

Caroline narrowed her eyes at him. How dare he dispute the high ground with her . . .

"Fine, it's your body bag." She grabbed Amy's hand from Damon and took Quinn's in her other. "I'll be gone until morning. Don't worry. I'll be back. I just need to work late. And Amy, your allergies seem just find to me. So Quinn, go to bed and fall immediately to sleep. And Amy, take your boyfriend to bed and fuck him like you mean it."

Damon snarled.

Quinn blinked, her gaze dizzy. "I'm going to bed." The little figure had barely crossed into her room before Amy threw herself onto Damon, pressing him into the couch.

"Take me to bed, Damon," she moaned in his ear. Caroline caught his horror-stricken face through waves of scarlet hair. He tried to pull her away, but she clawed at him, hungry for his flesh.

"Caroline, make her stop—,"

She watched the two struggle from the coffee table, a terrible smile on her face.

"I thought this what you wanted. Someone who wants you unconditionally, someone who wants you despite what you've done. Someone who forgave you." Her voiced wavered on that particular word.

"Damon, I'm burning—,"

"Caroline, please! I'm begging you— not like this—,"

Caroline smirked. "You don't know what you want. Control someone— mold them into accepting you— or let them be free, and give them their own choice." She stood up and roughly grabbed Amy by her hair. Caroline bent down and whispered into her ear: "Stop it." Amy froze. "You will forget this little incident ever happened. Quinn went to bed and I went to work. You have Damon to yourself. Do what ever you want with him."

Amy crumpled into the couch and Damon slipped out from under her, immediately checking her pulse, searching in her eyes.

"Amy? Can you hear me?"

Caroline bolted from the room and out the front door, the hunter forcibly taking over. She didn't think about Damon, about Amy or Quinn, or Mystic Falls until three hours later, when a mountain lion's blood ran hot down her throat.

When she opened the front door, just thirty minutes before dawn, and she entered the house, the air smelled of fresh sex.


*A/N: Hi guys! There are not enough sorry's in the world to describe how I'm feeling about the delay of this chapter. But look, I went to Walmart to get a whiteboard to get all the junk that it's my head and plan it out because I have SUCH a place to go with this fic, I guarentee your minds will be blown. Also it's going to be about 30 chapters, opposite to my previous 20. So, PLEASE, bear with me. I promise, promise, promise (!) it will be worth it! Much love for reviews and follows!