Chapter 17

Hope everyone enjoyed that last chapter.

This one will be my last, epilogue and all. Thank you for the reviews and favourites! Hopefully I will start a new one soon. Maybe a Harry Potter Dramione or something.

And how was that season finale! Surprising stuff!

"Okay. Listen up people!" shouted a woman in a cream dress that had been cinched around her waist with a thick leather belt. Her perfectly coiffed dark ebony hair remained firmly in place as she switched her head from side to side inspecting us like troops in the military. "We will have the groom enter first. Mr Salvatore? If you would please proceed." A sharply manicured hand directed him towards the aisle. "No, Mr Salvatore, glide. Glide! You look like a soldier marching across the field."

The wedding director's comments had Damon and me in giggles. Well I was giggling, Damon's was more like snickering at the expense of his brother. Caroline shot us both an evil glare.

"Now for the best man." Damon straightened up immediately. I do not believe it. The Damon Salvatore was scared of a human wedding planner! The thought was too hilarious to even comprehend.

"Actually, Miss West. I was hoping that Damon could enter with the maid of honour." Caroline's voice was coated with that thick honey that she puts on when she is extremely annoyed with someone. This was about to get ugly. Miss West had cocked an eyebrow in the bride's direction, almost daring Caroline to take one step forward. Any other person would have been scared out of their wits, but this was Caroline we were talking about. Caroline marched towards the woman ("someone needs to teach her how to glide" whispered Damon) and stood in front of her with her hands firmly placed on her hips. "And as it is my wedding, well I am sure you will not find that too difficult to do." Although I could not see Care's face, I knew that her eyes would be like fiery blue pits and would probably scare Miss West half to death.

"Of course, Miss Forbes." The uptight woman stuttered. "Should we have the first bridesmaid and groomsman then?"

"Rebekah." Barked Caroline, still glaring at the woman who had shrunk by three inches in the past second. She didn't look to scary anymore, which I am assuming Damon realised as well as he sunk down against the wall next to me once again.

Ironically, Caroline had decided to get married in a church. A concept which Damon found hilarious seeing as the church had burnt vampires in its past and here were two walking down the aisle. On mentioning this to Caroline however, Damon had earned himself a look that could kill as well as a book to the head from Stefan who had been standing at the other end of the room. So now here we were, the day before the wedding at an old stone church that stood on the Salvatore property. Outside the old clear glass windows the forest stood tall and proud as the church stood out on a small hill. The church could hold about fifty people at a squash (yes, we had tried) and luckily there was a fairly new, discreet air con system, with thanks to Miss Forbes. The wedding was tomorrow evening and everyone was feeling jittery with excitement. The florist would arrive early in the morning and it was my job to get her here and supervise for the morning before someone came to takeover. Not something I was looking forward to at six am. The inner grey stone walls had been washed and scrubbed until they shone, as well as the wooden floor which had been covered with a narrow ivory carpet along the aisle. Caroline had already made all of us remove out shoes before stepping onto it.

Following Miss West and Caroline's directions Rebekah and Matt made their way, arm in arm, down the aisle before separating at the altar. Looking at the front of the church I noticed that the entire triangular shaped back wall was covered with a thick white curtain. Figuring it was just another one of Caroline's decorating techniques, I left it.

"Bonnie? Bonnie!" bellowed Caroline when she noticed Bonnie and Jeremy canoodling in the corner. Bonnie quickly grabbed Jeremy's hand and walked … I mean glided … down the aisle.

Damon offered his arm to me as we slowly walked down the aisle, followed by Caroline and her dad. "I feel like cow being herded." Muttered Damon, causing me to tighten my grip. Of course, with him being a vampire and all his mischievous grin barely even faltered.

The rest of the rehearsal went pretty smoothly. We only had to run through it four times, once after Matt tripped and tumbled down taking Rebekah and a pew with him. Another time because Damon kept making ridiculous comments about the vows and then once more 'just for luck.' ("Going to need more than luck to survive an eternity of marriage with her," mumbled Damon, earning him a jab in the ribs from Stefan.)

Later that night, a cold mist had settled in causing Caroline to freak out about the weather tomorrow. "It's supposed to be an open air reception! It can't be if it rains!"

It took us three bridesmaids and Stefan to get her to calm down. Eventually we managed to get Caroline calm and tucked her into my bed as Stefan and she could not sleep together the night before. "Bad luck." Explained Stefan with a smile as he kissed his sleeping fiancé on the forehead and left.

Unable to sleep from excitement, I wandered down to the kitchen just after midnight to make tea. Leaning back against the counter I closed my eyes as I sipped the warm chamomile drink slowly. Strong arms encircled my waist, causing me to drop the cup. I cringed as the china shattered on the floor. Looking up I saw Damon was smirking down at me.

"What a klutz."

"You gave me a fright!"

"Is that really an excuse?"

"You're the vampire, why didn't you catch it?" I questioned testily. This threw him off as he back away, his eyes scrunched in confusion.

"Good point. I'll give that one to you."

"Oh thank, God." We heard a voice sigh behind us and turned around to face Stefan, an expression of extreme relief on his face. "I thought you had knocked over the cake."

A white, five tiered wedding cake accented with white edible engravings and ribbon of white chocolate flowers stood on the far table covered by a big glass bell that was meant to keep it fresh.

"Don't panic Stef. I'm keeping an eye on her."

Stefan arched his eyebrow wearily, "I was actually more worried about you." His eyes scanned the room. "Well I've got to get some sleep, and so do you too. Oh and Damon?"

"Mm hmm?"

"Clean up that cup."

"I didn't even drop it!" He said exasperated, but Stefan had already left. Damon rolled his eyes as he used his vampire speed to clean up the spilt tea and shattered cup. In a matter of seconds he was back in front of me. "Now, where were we?" His lips found mine and pulled me close towards him, trapping me between his body and the kitchen island. Threading my fingers through his dark hair, I couldn't help but sigh against his lips as his fingers brushed down my exposed arms which had been left bare due to the short spaghetti strap night dress I was wearing. Wanting, needing more, I pulled him closer, biting gently on his bottom lip. Damon growled as he lifted me up onto the pale wooden counter pulling my legs around his waist. I unbuttoned the front of his shirt, tracing my fingers over the ridges of his abs.

"Hold on," he whispered in my ear.

I felt the room spin around me as he raced through the house, almost tripping over Henry at one point who had become scrunched up on the floor. Damon, however, being the carpet protecting brother as he was, set me down on the floor while he straightened the rug out. He then swung me over his shoulder, patted my bum twice and carried me so to his bedroom before laying me down carefully on the silk sheets. "You look beautiful." His eyes had steamed over with lust as he leant towards me kissing me gently, then more passionately. Trailing over my legs, his hands spread across my thighs and slowly shifted my nightdress up around me waist. Damon pulled away from my lips, while fingering the lace from the hem of the dress between his thumb and forefinger. "I like this, old school. Feels like the twenties." He winked then claimed my lips once again.


"Yes, love?"

"Why don't you like weddings?" We were lying on his bed, tangled up together between the sheets that provided a blissfully cool blanket on our scorching skin.

Damon groaned, "It's not that I don't like them. I just don't like all the stress, the planning, the hundreds of people and hundreds of bridesmaids and flowers and five tier cakes. It scares me I guess."


"But there is one thing that I know I will like." He turned over to lie on his side, looking at me in the eyes.

"And what is that?"

"I know that I will like, no I will love standing at the altar watching the woman I love walk down towards me and promising to spend her life with me. And I will love spending mine with her."

"Wow, Damon that was almost … sweet." A tear almost threatened to escape as he kissed me softly.

He lay back on the bed looking at the ceiling, "and then of course there is the wedding night." That comment earned him a slap with a silky grey pillow.

"You are impossible," I muttered, turning away from him.

"And that's why you love me." Damon circled his arm around my waist and pulled me back against him. My naked back pressed against his bare chest. And that was how we fell asleep.

I had woken up that morning with the glorious sunshine streaming through the window in Damon's room. Glancing at the clock on the walnut bedside table I noticed that it was almost nine. "Damn." I muttered as I scrambled out of bed, looking for my underwear and nightdress. My underwear was slung over the bed post however when I found my nightdress I saw that it had been ripped to shreds. Fantastic. Looking around the room for something to cover me up, I took a second glance at the silk sheet that covered Damon. Hearing someone walking along the passage caused me to hastily grab the sheet off of him, wrap it around myself and quietly sneak out into my own room. Thankfully, Care was still asleep. I heaved a huge sigh and quickly grabbed a clean pair of panties and a bra before disappearing into the shower. Whilst getting dressed five minutes later, there came a knock on the door. Pulling on a cotton t-shirt, I opened the door to find Matt.

"Morning, Lena."

"Hey, Matt."

"The florist is here." Matt yawned before stretching towards the ceiling.

"Rough night?"

"Yeah, Bex decided that –"

"Too much information, Matty."

He only grinned. I rolled my eyes then then went to grab a pair of sandals. I heard Damon's door open and froze. "Hey Damon, Stefan says that – woah! Man! Put some clothes one! This is not cool, Damon!" Matt's voice bellowed throughout the whole house, causing Care to stir.

Crap. I had forgotten that I had left Damon in a very vulnerable position. While trying to stifle my laughter I met a horrified Matt in the hallway.

"I think I'm scarred for life." That only caused me to laugh harder as I hurried down the passage to escape any plans that Damon had for me.

"Okay, what do you think?"

Caroline turned to look at the three of us. It was half an hour until the wedding was to start and Caroline had just finished getting dress. The dress framed her beautifully and she was absolutely glowing. Her blonde hair was elegantly curled and clipped back with rare blue diamond clips that were her something blue. The soft, flowing, lace trimmed veil that fell down her back was borrowed from her mom. The silver bracelet that I had given to her for her sixteenth adorned her wrist and shone in the sunlight.

"Care, you look beautiful!" We gushed in unison.

She twirled around. "Oh Gosh, I'm going to start crying." Tears filled her eyes.

"Caroline. Today is going to be perfect, don't worry." Bonnie soothed.

"I'm not worried, I am just so happy!" She launched herself at us and pulled us in for a hug, a gentle one of course as we did not wish to crumple her dress.

"Group hug!" someone shouted from behind as a pair of strong, masculine arms encircled us.

"Damon!" Caroline shrieked. "Off the dress! The dress!" Damon backed away quickly.

"You lady's ready?"

"Yes!" beamed Care. "Let's go."

We reached the outside of the church and all climbed out of Damon and Bonnie's car. Two valets took the cars away after Bonnie and I had taken a good ten minutes to get Caroline and her dress out of her car. We smoothed the dress down and then the florist ran over to hand us our bouquets. Bonnie, Rebekah and I all carried small bouquets of white roses, while Caroline held a much more elegant and larger bouquet that hung down of purple, white and pastel pink roses.

Just as the sun began to set, casting a pale orange glow over the forest the music started. The cello and piano in the corner of the church began to play Christina Perri's A Thousand Years. (The Piano Guys version – listen!) I all of a sudden felt nervous and elated at the same time. Giving Care a peck on the cheek, Damon took my arm and we followed Bonnie and Jeremy and Matt and Rebekah down the aisle. Damon squeezed my hand and smiled down at me as we walked along "I still owe you one."

"For what?"

"For leaving me in such a vulnerable position for Matt to find me."

Damn. He slyly pecked my cheek before leaving to stand next to Stefan. I knew Care had entered the moment I saw Stefan's face just light up and an enormous grin broke out. I turned to look at Care as she glided down the aisle on her between her dad and her mom. Liz had been a mom and a dad to Caroline and Care had said she will not walk down that aisle without her. Caroline's face was covered by the veil but I could see that she was smiling. As she reached the top of the aisle, her parents gave her away to the love of her life.

The vows were simple but full of love and knowledge that their love would last eternally. I don't think the minister realised how long that would actually be. Damon did, however, and could not hide his light hearted smirk. Damon stepped forward and handed Stefan the rings giving him a hug as he did so as well as a word that I did not catch, but it caused Stefan to smile.

"You may now kiss your bride."

As Stefan lifted the veil from her face, the curtain at the behind the minister over the back wall was opened. Oh wow. The sunset was in the perfect place, setting behind the trees and the light glowed through the church enveloping it in warmth as the newlywed couple kissed for the first time as husband and wife. This earned an enormous applause from everyone as they stood and threw petals over the newlyweds as they ran out of the church and into the waiting white Bentley that would take them to the reception. Damon and I followed them out of the church. I tried to wipe the tears from my eyes with the edge of my dress but Damon handed me a white handkerchief. "Thought you might need this." I noticed then that he was teary eyed as well.

I cocked an eyebrow, "looks like I am not the only one." This earned a smile and a kiss as he pulled me into his arms. We then followed the rest of the guests down a small pathway that had been scattered with rose petals and lined with fairy lights that would lead us to the reception outside the house.

Tables with flowers and candles covered the lawn framing the dance floor. The band stood off to one side playing cheesy wedding songs. Stefan and Caroline had chosen The Way You Look Tonight for their first dance, bringing more tears to everyone's eyes as they swayed across the dance floor, looking at no one else, but only into each other's eyes. Towards the end they made Damon and I, Jeremy and Bonnie and all the other couples join. Locked in Damon's arms, I knew that was where I wanted to be for the rest of our lives. With his arms around me and my head against his chest.

Caroline's five tier cake was brought out after dinner and everyone applauded as she shoved a forkful of cake into Stefan's mouth who then bent down to kiss her, causing everyone to clap louder. I even heard a few cat calls.

It was around one when someone requested YMCA and Caroline and Stefan decided it was time to leave. The honeymoon was a surprise for Care, but Damon had already spilled the beans that he was taking her to Europe for a month and that they would be going to Tuscany, Monte Carlo, Nice, Greece and Paris. I almost died from jealousy, but was so happy for Care as I knew how much she wanted to go and would absolutely love it. Care and Stefan said good bye to the guests and then we walked with them out to the front of the house where Stefan's retro car was parked under the portico. Bill and Liz Forbes were there too and had tied cans to back of the car as well as a white ribbon along the front.

"Oh! I am going to miss you so much, mom!" Caroline flung her arms around her mother, before going to hug her dad.

"Remember to call me when you get there. Wherever there is." Liz added, although from her expression I could see that she did know exactly where there was. God, couldn't Damon keep his mouth shut?

"And Lena! Thank you so much for coming! And I want to be a bridesmaid at your wedding too when Damon askes." Caroline cried as she hugged me. Boy that escalated quickly, was the only thought going through my mind. We had only been dating for 24 hours. Stefan shook hands with Care's parents, Bill telling him to look after his daughter as he knew a woman with a gun (pointing to Liz). Stefan hugged me and whispered, "Thank you." I knew what it was for. Leaving Damon and Stefan to say their goodbyes I helped Care into the passenger seat, managing not to get her dress caught as I closed the door. Damon and Stefan were whispering in the corner and Care, who I knew could hear them, was grinning. Damn vampire hearing.

Moments later they were driving down the driveway, leaving Bill, Liz, Damon and I waving goodbye. Bill and Liz turned to go back to the party and I was about to follow them when Damon grabbed my hand, "come with me."

Knowing better than to just trust Damon Salvatore, I tried to hold my ground. "First tell me where?"

"You are no fun, Lena." Damon looked at me, a pout on his face. But the pout soon turned to a suspicious looking grin and then a smirk. His eyebrows played at me.

"Damon … what are you ..." I didn't have time to finish as Damon once again launched me over his shoulder and began walking down the driveway away from the house and the lights. Instead of using his vampire speed, he appeared to be going on a leisurely stroll. I rolled my eyes at his ridiculousness. Reaching a point half way down the winding driveway, Damon put me down, took my hand and looked at me. His eyes were asking me to trust him. What's the worst that he could do? Well … it could be pretty bad, I debated. I sighed. "I'm following you."

"Good." Taking my hand he led me into the forest towards a clearing that I could see in the distance between the tall, looming trees. Damon pulled me closer and covered my eyes. "Trust me." It felt as though we were moving. When he pulled his hand away I saw that we were standing at the edge of still, silvery lake that stood in the middle of the forest. The stars reflected in the water and looked like millions of floating candles flickering across the water.

"It's beautiful!" I gasped.

"I know. Come." I followed him to the water's edge where I saw an old wooden row boat tied up to a skew, painted pole that stood out of the bank. Damon bent down to untie his shoes and roll up his suit pants. He placed them on a dry rock and folded his blazer to put on top before stepping onto the muddy sand to untie the boat. Following suit, I slipped off my heels, also placing them on the rock before stepping onto the sand. But before I could take one step Damon had scooped me up into his arms and placed me safely in the boat. He pushed the boat out into the water, his footsteps causing the water to slosh around. It was the only sound to be heard for miles. I couldn't even hear the music and noise from the party, although I had no doubt that Damon could. Reaching an appropriate depth Damon quite gracefully climbed into the charming boat and picked up an oars. It was like something out of an Austen movie where the hero would row the heroine out across the lake on a warm morning, except the hero was a vampire, it was past midnight and the heroine had a short dress that exposed quite a bit of skin. We had reached the very centre of the circular lake when Damon stopped rowing and let the oars hang on their hooks in the water. We looked at each other for what seemed like hours.

"Elena." I had been staring into his blue orbs and almost did not hear him. Damon cleared his throat. "There is something I have been wanting to say to you. Well more like ask you."

Oh crap. Damon was now kneeling in front of me. I gripped the sides of the bench trying to steady myself.

Damon could sense that I was panicking and with an alarmed expression he quickly tried to soothe me my rubbing my arms. Placing his hands on either side of my face he lent in and kissed me gently. "Elena, I love you. I have loved you since … since the first time you called me glib and arrogant." I couldn't help but let out a quiet laugh at that. "You were this amazing, strong and fearless who insulted a vampire. Honestly, at the time I did think you were a bit nuts."

I mumbled a reply.


I looked at him, "You're not glib and arrogant." He smiled.

"Because you made me not be those things. You changed me for the better and I owe everything to you. You made me feel human, something which I haven't felt in a long time and never wanted to feel again. But with you I felt it and … I loved it. And I love you. And you have made me the happiest vampire in the world. And so Elena Gilbert, will you marry me?"

I looked at him. This man who had caused me pain, but also so much happiness and love. I loved him. I truly loved him and could never imagine myself with anyone else. He could make me smile even when there had been nothing left to smile about. And his eyes. I could get lost in them forever.

"Yes." I whispered, tears of joy slipping down my cheeks. "Yes!" Damon pulled me in for a passionate kiss before leaning away and pulling a small ring box from his pocket. Taking my left hand he opened the midnight blue box and slipped the ring on my ring finger. "Oh it's beautiful!" I gasped when I looked at it.

"It belonged to my great great grandmother, Sofia." The almost pink gold ring held a beautiful, gleaming oval diamond with so many faces that it twinkled in all light. Intricate and delicate gold designs with smaller diamonds surrounded the diamond. The ring was fit for a princess.

"I love it. And I love you." I pulled Damon in for another kiss. As the kiss grew more passionate, I pulled away, "Don't you think this is a bit too fast?"

Damon looked at me exasperated, "Elena Gilbert. I have been waiting for you for over a century." And brought his lips back to mine, his fingers tracing patterns on my thighs as my hands rubbed over his shoulder. As he kissed along my jaw bone and down my neck, a floating object in the water caught my eye.

"Um, Damon?"

"Mmm?" His lips continued their exploration along my collar bone.

"I think we lost the oars."

He broke away from me to see the two oars floating off towards the bank of the lake, then turned back to me grinning, "Well now we have an excuse to not go back." He lay down in the boat pulling me on top of him. "You look so beautiful in this light. Now I can see you like this every night." That was the most romantic thing he had ever said to me. Not knowing how to react …

… I kissed my fiancé and the love of my life.

"Wait, I forgot something!" Damon dashed back into the house.

"Damon!" I yelled leaning against the open boot of Damon's blue Camaro which was now packed with my suitcase, all of his clothes as well as a few odds and ends from the house. Damon had even managed to take a part his liqueur cabinet and packed it on the backseat, "we have to leave now if we want to get to New York before it gets dark!"

Damon reappeared in a second clutching a thick rolled up rug. "Almost forgot Henry." He grinned, sexily. I couldn't help but roll my eyes.

"Couldn't we have just added that to the list of stuff that the movers are bringing next week?" But seeing his face I quickly back tracked, "Okay, chuck him in the boot, we need to get going. Did you remember to lock the hou-" But Damon had cut me off.

"Henry will not go in the boot, Elena. He is a part of this family. And I do not…" The rest of Damon's rant was unheard by me. He had called us a family. We were a … family. Elation could not begin to describe what I was feeling now, I walked towards him with a grin plastered on my face and stopped him mid word with a kiss smack on the lips.

I pulled away to look up at him. His eyes were twinkling, something that they had been doing a lot of recently. "Fine, put Henry on the backseat." I walked towards the open passenger door of Damon's blue Camaro.

We pulled away from the house and drove down the gravel driveway. "You know, maybe we should get Henry a car seat."

"Damon," I sighed, "keep your eyes on the road."

"Or maybe you should sit in the car seat and Henry can sit in front."

"And why would you do that?"

"Well, you still need to be punished."

"For what?"

"For leaving me stark naked and exposed in my bedroom."

I laughed at him. But of course Damon Salvatore does not liked to be laughed at. And that is why I found myself squished in the back seat with a liquor cabinet while a Persian rug was seat belted in the front seat all the way to New York.

Five years later found Damon and I back at the boarding house for Care and Stefan's wedding anniversary. Matt arrived with his new girlfriend, a sweet girl named Emily who he had met while he was in London, travelling. She was extremely shy but any confidence she lacked was being replaced by little Miss Anastasia Grace Salvatore. Our adopted daughter had just turned one and was already ordering the entire Salvatore and Gilbert family around. With a combination of hand gestures, pouts that she learned from her dad and a whole lot of garbled words she had managed to wrap Damon, Stefan, Caroline, Matt, Bonnie , Alaric and Jeremy around her little finger.

Caroline and Stefan had thrown an anniversary dinner to celebrate. Thankfully, little Ana had found a friendly companion in her cousin, Grayson William Gilbert who was four years old and would toddle around the house hand in hand with Ana.

That night, after tucking all the little kids in bed, we all sat in the peach and white lounge absorbing the warmth from the fire. Damon and I were curled up on a chair, me on Damon's lap with a photo album on mine. Paging through the photos of Caroline's wedding and Jeremy's wedding, we finally came across a photograph of our special day.

"Hard to believe that was two years ago." I whispered in awe. Time seemed to have passed so quickly. In the photograph, Damon, in a very dashing black suit, encircled his arms around my waist and was pressing a kiss to me cheek. My eyes were screwed shut as I smiled and seemed to be laughingly trying to get out of his grip.

"I remember that photograph," said Stefan as he and Caroline leaned over Damon's shoulder to see. "Damon had drunk that God awful smelling tequila that Rick had brought."

"Oh yeah." Added Caroline, scrunching her nose. "No offense, Rick but that stuff was terrible."

Rick only laughed, "But it made that night a heck of a one to remember!"

It had been three years after Damon and I had started dating when we got married. Knowing how much he dreaded the stress of a wedding, I had given Damon a piece of paper with a date, time and place scrawled on it and told him to be there in a suit. With Stefan's help I put together the wedding in one month. It had been a warm summery afternoon at the boarding house. A small white gazebo was set up on the grass with a small aisle that was sprinkled with white rose petals and lined with only six pale wood foldup chairs. Pastel coloured tulips and summery roses framed the gazebo and two bouquets stood either side of the aisle. I remember walking out of the house on Jeremy's arm towards our friends and seeing Damon beaming in his tux, looking very dapper, under the gazebo in front of the minister. Caroline and Bonnie both smiled as I walked past them and Alaric gave a thumbs up. Stefan looked so proud to see his brother finally get married and Matt grinned as Jeremy gave Damon a stern glare, ordering him to look after me.

"You look beautiful." Damon had smiled as he looked at me.

Caroline and I had bought my wedding dress only the week before. It was a simple spaghetti strap white, almost mermaid shaped dress. A ribbon threaded through the back like a corset and cinched the dress around my waist. That morning she had done my hair in an up-do of a complicated low braided bun which allowed curled wisps of hair to fall free. Just before she had left to go take her seat, Bonnie had plucked a white rose from one of the bouquets and tucked it into the bun. "Something borrowed." She winked.

I beamed at Damon as we said our vows and I promised to be his forever.

"Have to say Damon, I thought it was a miracle that you even arrived, he would need something to calm him down." Joked Rick

"Well, miracles do happen." I added as Damon rubbed my swollen stomach that held his child, smiling at me.

"Sometimes they are inevitable."

Thank you for everyone who read, followed or reviewed

A bit cheesy I know, but who doesn't love a bit of cheesy romance?

I have had a fantastic time writing this and will definitely start a new one after exams if anyone has any story ideas.

X Em