So I assume some people who are beginning to read this may have read my previous story 'Lost and Found' and might be prejudiced to 'Ruby' who is the main character of 'Nightmare'. So my main aim of this piece is to make people fall in love with my new character and hopefully agree that in her own way she is perfect for Damon.

Disclaimer: The Vampire Diaries belongs to L. . My only creation is Ruby Swayla and her Mother.

Nightmare

Ruby Swayla pulled into the drive of the house that would be her new home for the next 365 days, in her dark blue Mazda MX5. She adored her Mazda, and refused to leave it behind with her mother back in England, the Mazda was her pride and joy.

But the fact that she was able to take her beloved car into America with her was only a small consolation. The house was of a moderate size, although quite large compared to her house back home, with four pristine windows set looking out onto the street, and a bright red door with a gold knocker set perfectly in the middle of what could only be described as some sort of 'porch'. The house itself was spotlessly white; Ruby just hoped nobody would be expecting her to wash the paintwork during her stay.

On first sight, she didn't like it. It was too perfect.

With a sigh, Ruby pulled herself out of the leather seat, opened the boot, hauled out her suitcase, and closed the boot.

She was just about to head on into the house when it became apparent to her that she could hear someone breathing. Her body instinctively froze. The breathing stopped. She whirled on the spot to see nothing but a few sparse trees dotted around in the dark. Her brow furrowed in confusion, but before she could ponder the strangeness of having a ghost stalker, she started to feel the beginnings of what she liked to call 'The shakes'.

Ruby always got 'The shakes' whenever she forgot to eat. Since she was half vampire, this meant that instead of getting hungry, she got thirsty.

Ruby could feel the familiar pain clawing at her throat, she swallowed reflexively but it was a poor substitute for what she actually wanted; blood. She knew if she didn't get some food in her soon the other symptoms would begin to show; the veins around her reddening eyes would rise to the surface, and her canines would elongate until they were double the size, and then she would lose control. At seventeen years of age, Ruby had learnt to deal with the inconvenience quickly and efficiently, and always kept a small flask of bourbon on her person. Not the most idyllic drink for a young girl, but it stopped 'the shakes' long enough to get some proper food in, and with a self-healing liver, it didn't do much damage for long.

Ruby took a swig, gasped at the welcome warmth that soothed her throat, and practically ran for the shelter of the house.

As she stepped through the door, unbeknownst to her, a dark figure stood amongst the trees. His hands were held out in front of him as he watched her from a distance, still and silent, like a predator analysing his prey.

When Ruby turned to close the door, she caught a glimpse of the figure, her breath caught as she stepped back, cutting him out of her view. But when she gripped the side of the door to get another look, the figure was gone, as if he had dissolved into shadow.

Ruby slowly closed the door and went over to the kitchen to make a sandwich, food was a priority and a member of the council had helpfully filled the house with basic supplies until she could go shopping herself.

Ruby was doubtful of what she had seen, it was dark, she had been flying all morning and driving all afternoon, her senses were frazzled. On the other hand, she knew better than to dismiss anything unusual that could pose a potential threat, she would have to keep an eye out.

Ruby swallowed the last mouthful and immediately felt better. Then she eyed the kettle and decided she would save her cup of tea for the morning, for now, all she wanted to do was get some sleep.

~RS~

Stefan was busy watching a movie with Elena, a favourite rom-com of hers, when his brother strode through the front door. Stefan's brow creased, "Where have you been Damon?" He questioned without taking his eyes from the screen.

"Someone's in a good mood, what's wrong brother? Run out of bunnies to chase?"

Stefan turned his head to glower at his elder brother, who was leaning against the archway in his usual cocky manner, just as Elena twisted round to look at Damon imploringly, "Don't. Just don't."

Damon feigned innocence, "Don't what Elena?"

Elena just shook her head, "Don't be an ass."

Damon tapped his heart, "Wow, that one really hurt Elena."

Elena sighed and went back to watching her movie, but Damon had other ideas, because suddenly he was sitting on the coffee table, a drink in his hand and a smirk on his face.

Stefan wasn't impressed, "Damon…"

"What? Don't you want to know where I've been?" Damon eyed them both teasingly.

Stefan was about to start the beginnings of another sibling rivalry, when Elena got there first, "Ok, Damon. Where have you been?"

"Glad you asked. It seems we have a newbie on the block."

Stefan frowned, "A newbie? You mean a vampire?"

Damon rolled his eyes, "No Stefan, I mean a puppy. Of course I mean a vampire! She just moved in an hour ago."

Elena frowned, "Wait, an hour? How can you be sure she's not just another human?"

Damon stared at her as if she were stupid, "Oh gee Elena, I don't know. Let's make a list shall we? One; she knew I was there even though it was way too dark for human eyes. Two; when she saw me, she didn't slam the door in fear like a normal person, instead she tried to get a better view! And three; no-one who comes to Mystic Falls is ever 'just another human'! There's always a catch."

Stefan and Elena looked at each other doubtfully, didn't sound like anything unusual, but Damon thought otherwise.

"I see, you two don't want to do anything till someone ends up dead."

Stefan tried to reason with him, "That's not true Damon. We just don't want to end up staking an innocent person-,"

"Forget it!" Damon downed the rest of his drink, "I'll prove it, that girl is a vampire!"

~RS~

"Ruby?"

Ruby turned from her study of the fruit and veg section to see a rather tired looking woman of about average height with short blonde hair demanding her attention, "Uh…yes?"

"Ruby Swayla? Sorry, I'm Chief Forbes, I'm on the council so I'm afraid it's my job to know who you are." She gave a sheepish grin.

Ruby shook her hand smiling, "Please, don't be. I completely understand Chief Forbes."

"Please, call me Liz. And you've nothing to be worried about, I just saw you and thought to check that you were settling in alright. I know you only got here last night."

Ruby was touched, and slightly bewildered, "Why thank you Liz, I haven't seen much of Mystic Falls yet, but so far so good."

Liz smiled, "I'm glad to hear it, although I heard that you're not planning on going to the High school."

Ruby bit her lip, "Ah, no. Not really…it's not that I have anything against it! God no! It's just back in England I finished High school at sixteen so…" Now it was Ruby's turn to look sheepish.

Liz patted her on the shoulder like a comforting Aunt, "I understand, in fact I thought you might feel that way, so I asked around and their in need of a waitress at The Mystic Grill if you're interested?"

Ruby's mouth dropped open, "Really? You asked?"

Liz grinned, "Of course. So, what should I tell them?"

Ruby couldn't believe her ears! She'd been in this town, what? Ten hours? Give or take a few, and already she was being offered a job! The answer was out of her mouth before she had even thought it through, "Hell yeah!"

Liz visibly flinched at the unexpected enthusiasm, but quickly regained composure, "Great, I'll let them know you'll be there at six."

"I guess you will. Thanks."

Liz nodded, "All in the job description." And once again Ruby was left to scan the shelves for food. Only now she had a job prospect hanging before her. Ruby smiled to herself.

Not far from the fruit and veg section, Ruby was being watched. Damon Salvatore was on a mission to prove to his pesky brother and the 'martyr' Elena that the new girl in town was a vampire and needed to be dealt with immediately.

But it wasn't until Ruby had a half full basket and was looking at the canned produce that Damon decided to introduce himself, "Ruby Swayla," Ruby found herself a few inches away from what seemed at first sight a god-like creature with perfect bone structure, soft ebony black hair, and bright blue eyes. Her breath caught in her throat for a second whilst he took her hand and kissed the knuckle, "Damon Salvatore. Pleasure to meet you at long last."

Ruby pulled her hand away quickly, shocked, stunned, and very confused, "Wha-, how do you know my name?"

His voice was thick with charm, "Member of the council, my job to know everyone I'm afraid." This wasn't at all true but he wasn't about to tell her that he had been listening in on her earlier conversation. Whilst she searched for her next words Damon took stock of her, she was just a little bit shorter than average, the top of her head reaching to the base of his neckline. Her honey blonde hair came down to her shoulders in thick waves, framing her small face perfectly. Her skin was Caucasian which set off the colour of her eyes, a deep mossy green with specs of light brown close to the pupils.

Eventually she found her voice, "Seems like everyone here's a member of the council. Um, is there anything I can do for you Damon?"

Damon's eyes sparked, here was the perfect opportunity to prove he was right, "Actually there is something you can do for me," his pupils started to contract as he spoke, "I want you to put your shopping down and follow me so that I can introduce you to my brother." Now if she did what he said it would prove she was only human, but if she didn't…

"What?" Ruby looked at him as if he had just made a crazy joke. Half smiling she said, "Look, I think you're a nice enough bloke alright? But I'm not going to drop my shopping just to meet your brother," Damon felt a mix of emotions, triumphant, but at the same time defeated. This he did not like. Ruby picked up a can of soup and plopped it into her basket, "It was nice to meet you Damon."

As she tried to walk past him he grabbed her wrist with supernatural strength, Ruby suddenly looked defiantly into his eyes, she knew he had tried to compel her so his strength wasn't surprising. This wasn't the first time Ruby had crossed paths with a vampire who had been interested in what she was, half-breeds were notoriously rare, so rare in fact that most vampires had never even heard of them. To be fair, vampires weren't supposed to be able to procreate.

Damon whispered too quietly for any human to hear, "I know what you are Ruby Swayla."

Ruby's face stuck to its defiant expression as she replied in a slightly louder voice, "I don't think you do."

Her reply surprised him making his grip slacken enough for her to pull out of it (she was strong too) and walk away without a glance back. Damon watched her receding figure in frustration, what the hell did she mean? Only vampires couldn't be compelled, unless she ingested vervain, what else could she be? Werewolf? Hybrid? Well, he knew where she would be at 6 o'clock tonight.

Maybe he would pay her another visit…