The Rain King

By Terri Botta

Summary: Sequel to The Queen of Unintended Consequences. Six years after Damon leaves Elena with Klaus, he's called back to handle a delicate situation. An AU Season 3 fic.

A/N: Many thanks to my awesome betas Glamoured-by-Eric and Kate C..

Chapter Seventeen

"So, can you fix me?" Elena's worried voice asked.

She was up in their bedroom with Gloria while Damon paced in the parlor like a caged animal, listening to every word they said. The witch had gone up the moment they'd arrived at the Boarding House after he'd picked her up from the airport, giving him strict orders to stay away. Ric had come downstairs to stay with him, keeping them both supplied with alcohol.

"Now, hold on a minute, Baby Girl. I need to take a good look at you. See what I'm dealing with," he heard Gloria reply.

"I don't want to hurt him," Elena confessed, choking on a small sob.

"And you won't. We won't let you. Now just gimmie a sec. I gotta work some of my juju on you."

Damon snorted and knocked back a double of bourbon before slamming the tumbler down on the sideboard.

"Easy there. You're the one always going on about how you can't have nice things because us humans always break your stuff. If you crack that table top, it'll be your own fault," Ric scolded.

He growled, then vamped out and sped up the stairs at the sound of Elena's cry of pain. Unfortunately, he hit an invisible wall when he tried to enter his bedroom.

"Gloria!" he yelled, slamming a fist against the barrier. "What have you done!"

"Hush, now, Sugar. It's only temporary," the witch's disembodied voice answered.

"I heard Elena cry," he stated, growling.

"I just pricked her finger. I needed a bit of her blood to work my juju. Don't you worry none, I'm not going to hurt your girl."

"Let me in damnit!"

"No can do, honey pie. Girls only. Right, Sugar?"

"Damon, I'm okay, but you have to get out of here. The sound of your voice makes me want to kill you," Elena pleaded.

"Oh, honey, I know what you mean. Back in the Twenties, that vampire was a sweet-talking disaster on two legs, but he was better than his brother. At least with Damon, you stood a chance of not getting ripped to pieces."

He growled again and began pacing the hall until Ric came up the stairs looking pained and uncomfortable.

"You know what it's like to have a witch in your head?" his friend asked.

"What?" he snapped, glaring at the closed bedroom door and testing to see if the barrier was still up. It was.

"Gloria. She's in my head. She's telling me to, and I quote: drag your annoying ass back downstairs before she comes out here and turns your man parts into swizzle sticks."

"And you believed her?" he countered.

"What the fuck am I supposed to do? I have a hundred-year-old voodun mambo giving me telepathic orders. I'm a little freaked out here."

Damon snarled at the closed door, but gave in. "Fine! Go after my friends and my manhood, bitch!"

"I know how to hit you where it hurts, Sugar, now get outta here," Gloria's amused voice replied.

He punched the wall so there'd be no doubt that he was not amused, but he did follow Ric back downstairs.

His mood had not improved any by the time Gloria came down the stairs thirty minutes later.

"Well?" he demanded, trying to quell the violent urges to kill that coursed through his body. The beast was never closer to the surface than when he was stressed and upset.

Gloria shook her head and whistled. "I've seen a lot of compulsions, honey, but I ain't never seen one like that. It ain't even like a normal compulsion. It's more like a hypnosis."

"So? Do what you need to do. Wave your magic wand, hocus pocus, begone hypnosis-compulsion, whatever," he snapped back, waving his arms for dramatic effect.

"It don't work like that, and you know it," Gloria countered, frowning at him.

"What can you do? Can you make it so that she doesn't want to kill him? He's going crazy here," Ric interrupted.

"I can see that, but it's too dangerous. I'm afraid to mess with this before the baby is born. Anything I do could send her into premature labor. What I can do is cast a spell that creates an illusion making him look and sound like someone else."

"Who would you make me look like?" he asked.

"I don't know, honey, someone less sexy than you?" Gloria answered sarcastically.

He shrugged. "That would be everyone."

"Conceited much?" Ric questioned.

"Hey, I can't help it if I'm an eternal stud. Look at me. My skin is flawless."

"Make him look like the Elephant Man or Napoleon Dynamite," Ric suggested.

"Gee, thanks, brother."

"You're welcome," Ric replied with a cheeky smirk.

"Even then, there's no guarantee that it would work. The geas may affect her even through an illusion because she would know it was you even if you didn't look or sound like you," Gloria stated.

"At this point, I'm willing to try anything as long as it doesn't risk her or the baby," Damon admitted.

"Okay. I can anchor the spell to a piece of jewelry."

Damon's hand went immediately to his No Mojo necklace, but he discarded that idea immediately. Then he thought of his pocket watch with the hidden twist of Elena's hair, but he decided against that, too. He made a mental catalog of his personal jewelry inventory and remembered a turquoise and silver ring he had bought during his time in the Southwest.

"There's a turquoise and silver ring in the jewelry case in the top drawer of the dresser in my closet. You can use that," he offered.

The witch nodded. "I'll give it a try, but there's no guarantee it'll work. I need you to know that."

He indicated his agreement and understanding. "Noted."

"What will happen if it doesn't work?" Ric asked.

"She'll still have the urge to kill him," Gloria answered.

"And then what?" Ric pressed.

"Either he stays away from her or she has to be moved somewhere else where he can't get to her."

He snarled and vamped out almost immediately. "You aren't taking Elena anywhere!"

Gloria seemed unimpressed by his show of fangs. "The only other option will be to put her in a chemically induced coma for five weeks."

He pushed back his game face and shook his head. "If it doesn't work, I'll stay away from her."

"Can you do that?" Ric asked.

"I did it for six years after I left her with Klaus. I can do it for five weeks until she has the baby. After that… game on," he warned.

"We'll have a lot more options available to us after the baby comes," Gloria confirms. "Speaking of which, where did you plant that Deadly Nightshade I sent you?"

"In the basement where Zach grew the vervain."

"How is it doing?"

He shrugged. "Fine the last time I checked on it."

"It usually transplants well if you have the right soil," the witch commented. "It should be ready by the time we need it to make the potion."


"I'll go ahead and spell your ring. I'll need some of your blood to anchor it," Gloria said. He rolled up his sleeve and offered his arm without hesitation causing Gloria to smile. "Not yet, Baby. I'll get to you when I'm ready."

He shrugged and rolled his sleeve down again. "Whatever you need."

"I brought most of what I need with me. I like to be prepared."

"You always were such a boy scout," he teased.

"Had to be with the likes of you running around. I'll go get that ring."

The witch headed back upstairs, and Damon had to force himself not to follow her. The need to see Elena and make sure she was okay was almost overwhelming. He opted instead for grabbing a blood bag for himself and starting dinner for the humans in the house. Cooking calmed him down some, and he prepared a meal of handmade pappardelle with parsley pesto, escarole soup with chicken and mini meatballs, and garlic bread. He took part of his frustration out on the pasta dough as he pounded out the air bubbles and rolled the dough flat, then he dropped the pasta into the boiling water and set the timer while he chopped the parsley and minced the garlic for the pesto.

By the time dinner was ready, he was calmer and more focused, and he announced the meal as he brought the serving bowls of steaming food to the table. Knowing that it was unlikely that Elena would come down to eat, he made up a tray for her that someone could take up to the bedroom. Ric came into the dining room and took a seat at the table.

"Jeremy just called. He's almost to Mystic Falls. He'll be coming straight here instead of going to the Gilbert house," the man said.

Damon nodded and immediately went to the china cabinet to get another place setting for Elena's brother. As he was putting down the plate and silverware, Gloria entered the room holding his silver and turquoise ring in her fingers.

"This is almost ready. All I need now is your blood to anchor the spell to you and the ring," she told him.

Without missing a beat, he took one of the steak knives from the silverware storage chest in the china cabinet drawer and sliced his arm across the vein, offering the blood as it dripped down his skin.

"Well, I didn't need that much, Baby. Just a few drops'll do," the witch chided, holding the ring under the spilling blood.

Damon held a napkin under the wound to prevent any blood from dripping onto the floor before the cut healed over.

"Dinner's ready. I made up a tray for Elena," he told her.

"I'll take it up to her," Gloria offered. "The spell should be done setting by the time she's finished eating."

He motioned towards the tray which was made up like a place setting in a fancy restaurant, complete with folded linen napkin and a budvase holding a daisy. Gloria smiled at the formal look of it and shook her head.

"Honey, you are a gentleman through and through."

"If you tell anyone, I will make your life an eternity of misery."

The witch laughed. "I don't have an eternity to give you, Sugar, but you're secret's safe with me regardless."

They exchanged a tender look that spoke of the intimacies they had once shared, and Damon managed a small smile. He watched as Gloria took the tray and whisked it out of the dining room.

"What was that?" Ric asked.

"What was what?"

"That look you gave each other just now."

Damon shrugged. "Nothing."

"Nothing? That was not nothing. Don't tell me you and Gloria… Damn it! Is there any woman in your life that you haven't slept with?"

"Hey, I can't help it if women find me irresistible," he argued. "And I haven't slept with Carol Lockwood or Liz Forbes or your good doctor Meredith Fell."

"Well that's good to know."

He smirked. "Not that Carol hasn't been after my tight ass since before her husband died. That woman gives new meaning to the word, Cougar. Rawr."

Ric rolled his eyes. "You are impossible."

"You're just figuring that out?" he asked, pouring them both glasses of wine.

"No, but I think I blocked it out for my own mental health."

Damon chuckled and clinked his glass against Ric's as he sat down to enjoy the food he'd made. Ten minutes later they heard the Boarding House's front door open and Jeremy's voice call.

"I'm here!"

"In the dining room," Ric answered.

They followed the sound of clomping, boot clad feet until the younger man appeared in the doorway.

"Hey. Oh, dinner's ready. Great, I'm starving!"

Damon waved a hand towards the place set for him. "Help yourself."

Jeremy grinned and sat down, reaching for the bowl of pasta and the bread. "Awesome. Thanks so much."

"Anytime," Damon said with a tight smile.

"How'd it go with your professors?" Ric asked.

"About as I expected. Professor Morgan tried to give me shit, but I was like: it's my sister, man, and she needs me. I'm going whether you like it or not, and he gave in. How's Elena?"

"She's okay. Gloria is with her now. She's casting a spell on one of Damon's rings to make him look like someone else."

"I know. Bonnie scouted ahead of me. She told me about the illusion spell," Jeremy admitted between bites. "She's not sure it'll work."

"Why not?" Ric asked.

"Coz Elena will still know it's Damon. That alone may be enough to trigger whatever it is Klaus has put on her."

"Gloria was saying she's never seen anything like it before," Ric confirmed.

Jeremy nodded as he downed a glass of water and swallowed a hunk of garlic bread. "Yeah. Bonnie's trying to find out what she can on her end. God, this is good. You're dead, man, how come you can cook like this?"

"Decades of boredom. Had to do something with my time. After a while murder and mayhem loses its appeal," Damon answered drolly.

Jeremy shrugged and took a second helping of bread.

"So what's different about what Klaus has done to Elena?" Ric questioned.

"It's not like a regular compulsion. When a vamp compels someone, there're telltale markers on the person's memory. Bonnie says with Elena, there aren't any. It's almost like she's compelled herself. It's weird."

"So how does Witchy Woo say we break it?" Damon asked.

"That's it. She doesn't know. Normally, taking out the vamp who did the compelling breaks the compulsion, but Bonnie isn't sure even incapacitating Klaus will undo what he's done to her."

"So I'm back to having to break it manually," Damon said unhappily.

"You have the Deadly Nightshade yet?" Jeremy asked.

"In the basement," Damon answered.

Jeremy nodded and kept eating. Damon secretly wondered if the boy had a hollow leg, but then he remembered that Junior Gilbert could always pack away at least twice as much food as the average kid his age should be able to eat.

They were just about finished eating when Gloria returned to the dining room carrying the tray she'd brought up to Elena. The plates and bowls were empty so it looked like Elena had eaten. Damon rose to his feet and took the tray from the witch, taking it into the kitchen and putting it with the rest of the dirty dishes. Gloria had sat down to eat her own meal by the time he got back. He knew from past experience with her that magic use worked up an appetite.

"How's Elena?" he couldn't help asking.

"She's fine. Stressing about all this, which is no good for a girl in her condition," the witch answered, then she asked for cayenne pepper. He got up immediately and fetched the spice from the kitchen.

"How's the baby?" he questioned, handing her the spice shaker.

"Staying put as far as I can tell, which is a miracle considering what her mother's been through. Most women would've gone into premature labor by now."

"My girl's a warrior princess who never gives up," he stated with pride.

"No, honey, you're the one who never gives up. I've never seen anyone cling to a dream as tight as you do," Gloria corrected.

"What's that supposed to mean?" he snapped.

"It means if there's anyone who's going to figure out a way out of this mess, it'll be you, Baby. I meant it as a compliment."

He huffed and looked away from Gloria's serious gaze. "Yeah, well, I just fight for those I love."

"I know, Sugar. That's why we're all here. We're fightin' for those we love. Here. Try this on for size, and we'll see how it works," the witch replied, offering him the be-spelled ring.

He stared at it for a long time before accepting it and slipping it on his right-hand ring finger. He felt the magic envelop him, but after the initial surge of power, he didn't feel any different. His first clue that the illusion spell had worked was junior Gilbert spitting his mouthful of wine all over the table just before he doubled over in a fit of hysterics. A glance to the other occupants of the table showed that they were similarly amused.

"What?" he demanded.

"Oh! Oh, man, Gloria, you are brilliant!" Jeremy said, still laughing.

"What do you mean? What the fuck do I look like?" he growled.

"More like who do you look like," Ric corrected.

"Who do I…?" he repeated, then got up and stalked to the parlor and the mirror that was by the door.

When he looked at his reflection and took in the dark skin, dark eyes and long, black hair, he recognized the face looking back at him immediately.

"What the fuck!" he exclaimed.

He heard Junior Gilbert – soon to be ex-Gilbert if he didn't stop laughing – chuckling as he stomped his way back to the dining room.

"Seriously? You made me look like Taylor Lautner? I don't know which is worse, looking like that stupid wolf from Twilight or not looking like that pansy-ass, sparkling vampire that Bella chick chose instead of him! I will get you for this!"

"Oh c'mon, Baby, you know how I love a man with long, black hair," Gloria explained with a smirk.

"Then why didn't you make me look like Chris Angel?"

"I want her not to have the urge to kill you, Sugar, not be scared out of her mind."

"Johnny Depp then?"

"You're not asking for much, are you?" Ric quipped.

He growled at his friend and left the dining room to head up the stairs and test out the new look.

"Elena? Baby?" he called, knocking lightly on the closed door.

"Damon? Is that you?"

"Yeah. May I come in?"

"Well, you don't sound like you, so I guess so."

He took a deep breath and opened the door, entering the room slowly.


Elena was sitting on the bed, and he saw her eyes open wide right before she started giggling.

"I can't believe she did it," his mate blurted, covering her mouth with her hands.

"This was your idea?" he demanded, closing the door behind him.

"I meant it as a joke!" she exclaimed.

"Baby, you should know by now that witches have a twisted sense of humor."

"I'm sorry. It was a joke Caroline and I used to have about Tyler and his being a werewolf. We used to tease him and tell him to grow his hair long like Jacob because he already had the furry side and a penchant for motorcycles," she explained, blushing.

"So it was Blondie's idea by proxy. I should've known," he said, rolling his eyes as he stepped close to her.

She shook her head and smiled. "I should never have said anything to Gloria about it."

He shrugged. "Doesn't really matter. Is it working? Do you have any urges to kill me?"

"No, but I have a strong compulsion to rub your belly."

"I'm not rolling over for you," he told her with a smirk.

"Oh, I think you would if I asked nicely enough," she teased, smiling at him as she ran her hands up his arms.

He snorted. "Watch it with the dog jokes."

"You think I don't know I have you leashed?"

"Hardee har har. Well, I think you know how I react when someone yanks my chain," he said with a growl even as he leaned down to kiss her. God, he needed to touch her so badly, to smell her and feel her and know she was alright.

She leaned into him, and he sighed with relief.

"Elena…" he whispered, moving to kiss her again.

He had almost no warning before she grabbed a wooden pencil from the bedside table and stabbed him in the shoulder with it.

"Elena! What the fuck!" he yowled, veering back to pull the weapon out of his flesh. Where had the damn thing even come from?

"Damon! Oh my god!" she cried, her eyes wide with horror.

"What the hell just happened? I thought you said you didn't have the urge to kill me!"

"I didn't! But then you kissed me, and… and you tasted the same, and I just… I couldn't stop myself."

She started to cry, and he rushed to comfort her, but she reared back, scrambling away from him.

"No, Damon. You smell the same, too. I can't! You can't come near me."

"So you're telling me that I can see you, and talk to you, but I can't touch you or get close to you?" he complained through gritted teeth.

She nodded, still crying. "It looks that way. I am so so sorry…"

He huffed and ran a hand through his hair. "It's okay. We'll work it out. Where did that pencil come from anyway?"

"I… I don't know. It was just there."

"Elena, I removed all potential weapons from this room before I let Ric bring you back in here. I can tell you there were no wooden pencils in this room when I was done with it."

She looked confused and worried. "I… I don't know…"

He snarled and moved to the bedroom door, throwing it open and yelling out into the hallway. "Gloria!"

Both the witch and Ric came running up the stairs.

"What happened?" Ric demanded.

"I knew it was too quiet up here. What happened, Sugar?"

He motioned to Elena, signaling her to explain.

"Everything was fine until he kissed me. Then I had the urge to kill him, and I stabbed him with a pencil," she told them, sniffling.

"A pencil? Baby girl, where'd you get a pencil?" Gloria questioned.

"She doesn't know," Damon replied, a deep frown on his face.

"It was just there on the nightstand," Elena insisted.

"So you were okay with him until he touched you?" Ric asked.

Elena nodded. "But when he kissed me, the urge to kill him came back."

"She said I smelled and tasted the same."

"I'm not surprised. The spell makes you look and sound different, but it doesn't change who you really are. It's just an illusion," Gloria said.

"Everything okay?" Junior Gilbert asked, joining the peanut gallery in the bedroom.

"Jer! When did you get here?" Elena greeted happily.

"A little while ago."

"Did you clear your absence with your professors?"

"Yeah, it's all worked out. It's cool."

"Hello! Stabbed in the shoulder with a pencil that shouldn't have been there!" Damon complained, trying to bring them all back on point.

"Damon! Don't be rude," Elena scolded.

"Don't be rude? I kissed you, and you tried to kill me again. I think I've earned the right to be a little irate!" he snapped back.

"Easy, Baby, no need to get all upset and angry. You know how you get when you're overstressed," Gloria soothed.

"Yeah. Homicidal. Now fix this and figure out where that damn pencil came from!"

"Gloria can't fix it, Damon. The spell's only an illusion," Jeremy said.

"So? Make me feel and smell different, too."

"It's not that simple. To do that would require a shape change, and undead flesh doesn't alter form that easily," the witch explained.

"I can turn into a crow. You don't get much more altered than shifting this into a bird," he countered, gesturing towards himself.

"You can?" Elena blurted.

He shrugged. "I haven't done it in a long time. I can control fog, too."

Elena's eyes narrowed. "You wouldn't have been in the Mystic Falls Cemetery one afternoon eight years ago, would you?"

He grimaced and blanched. "Ummm."

"It was you! All this time I thought I was crazy! Were you stalking me in the graveyard?"

"I was stalking my brother, who was stalking you in the graveyard."

"And you had to do that by changing into a big crow and surrounding me with all this creepy-ass fog?"

"I was going for dramatic effect trying to remind my douche brother that his vegetarian diet was making him weak. Besides, that was before I switched my emotions back on," he replied, offended.

"And that's supposed to make it okay?"

"Hey, I did a lot of bad shit when my switch was off. Turning into a crow and scaring you with the fog was the least of it."

"Like what you did to Caroline?" she accused.

"Blondie asked for it. She ran after my tail like a bitch in heat the moment she realized that she didn't have a chance with precious golden boy, Stefan."

"Are you calling my friend a slut?"

He was about to snarl a well-worded retort when he felt a mental slap on the back of his head.


"Both of you knock it off. You're messing with my juju," Gloria said as she closed her eyes and ran a hand over the bloody wooden pencil where Damon had thrown it on the floor.

They watched as the pencil began to glow, and Gloria waved a hand, muttering something under her breath. They all gasped when a moment later the seam around one of the floorboards on Elena's side of the bed began to glow.

"Well, whaddya know," Damon mused, bending down to pry the board up.

"Better let me do it," Ric said, stopping him. "Could be boobytrapped to skewer you with a wooden stake or hit you in the face with vervain."

He had to admit that Ric had a point, so he let his friend take the lead and moved to a safe distance away as the other man pried up the floorboard with a pocketknife. He heard Ric whistle appreciatively as he peered down into the cache.

"Well, someone's been busy," Ric commented, reaching down into the hidden compartment and pulling out a whole host of weapons ranging from stakes to pencils to bottles of vervain. There was even a modified .22 pistol loaded with wooden bullets.

"This is the gun I gave you when I was teaching you how to fight," Ric said, examining the gun and unloading it. "I always wondered what happened to it."

"How'd it get there?" Elena asked.

"Hell if I know. Damon?" the man replied.

"Don't look at me. I didn't put that stuff there," Damon answered.

All eyes turned to Elena who was looking stricken.

"I… I don't remember putting any of that in there. I didn't even know that hiding spot existed until a minute ago," she argued. "I couldn't have put them in there. I… Oh! Oh, my god. Oh, my god!"

Damon saw the coming meltdown looming, and he tried to head it off.

"Elena, Baby, it's okay. We've known for a while that your alter ego was doing things without your knowledge. Now we know she was a lot busier than we originally suspected. This is nothing new," he soothed.

"Nothing new! There's a fucking arsenal in there! I could've killed you in your sleep anytime!" she cried.

"But you didn't," he stressed. "That tells me you have more control than you think you do. We can beat this!"

"How can you be so sure? How do you know I wasn't just waiting for the perfect moment to shove a stake in your heart? How do you know I wasn't planning to kill you all along!"

She looked around her, her eyes panicked and her hands grasping at the linens. "How do we know I haven't hidden more weapons in this room? There could be stakes sewn into the curtains! Vervain syringes in my shoes!"

"If there are, we'll find them," Ric assured her.

"How do you know I won't just hide new ones? My mind isn't my own! I don't have control over my body! Oh my god! Klaus didn't just have me raped, he's been raping me over and over! He's controlled everything I've done for the last four months!"

"He didn't have control over everything. You were your own much of the time," he countered.

"We don't know that. Maybe it was all part of the plan. Giving me the illusion of control all the while making me plan to kill you behind our backs."

He took a step forward, but Elena put up her hands to stop him.

"No, Damon! You can't come near me!"

"Fuck this shit," he said with a sneer.

He yanked the ring off his finger and threw it across the room before he rushed at Elena and grabbed her in a bear hug. She fought him, pounding his back with her fists.

"Damon! No! No! No!" she screamed.

"Damon, buddy, c'mon…" Ric tried, coming too close.

He vamped out and snarled, dragging Elena to the middle of the bed and putting her between himself and the headboard as his beast went into full-fledged mate guarding.

"Now, now, Honey Pie, you don't want to do this. Don't make me hurt you," Gloria warned.

They came closer, and he doubled down, crouching into a defensive position while Elena curled into a sobbing ball.

"Guys! Guys! We need to back off!" Jeremy yelled, trying to be the voice of reason in a quickly escalating situation.

It looked as if they were at a stalemate until Elena jerked and grabbed her lower abdomen.

"Elena?" Damon asked, his vampire features fading as he turned his head to look at her, his eyes round as saucers.

She jerked again and let out a moan.

"Damon?" she gasped confusion, looking up at him with pain in her eyes.

"Oh, Baby, please don't tell me what's happening is what I think is happening…" he pleaded.

"Oh, I don't think so," Gloria stated, waving a hand right before Elena went limp.

"What did you do?" he demanded, rounding on her, his eyes flashing red.

"Kept her from going into premature labor. The last thing we need right now is for her to have this baby five weeks early. We ain't ready for that," the witch explained.

He grudgingly had to agree as he gathered Elena's unconscious body into his arms and held her close, stroking her hair and pressing his lips to her brow.

"It'll be okay, Baby," he promised.

The others approached the bed cautiously as if he were a dangerous, cornered animal, which was probably not too far from the truth. He flinched when Ric put a gentle hand on his shoulder but offered no aggression. His beast was leashed, or as leashed as it got these days, and he had no desire to harm his friend.

"It's gonna be okay," Ric assured him.

He nodded and ducked his face into Elena's hair to hide the fact that his eyes were moist with unshed tears. He heard and felt Gloria sit on the edge of the bed, and her hand came to rest on top of one of his.

"We're gonna figure this out," she vowed, giving his hand a tender squeeze. "I'll cast a spell that'll reveal if there are any more hidden caches of weapons here."

"Then what?" he asked, lifting his head as he got his emotions under control.

"Then she'll have to be confined to this room. If she can't be trusted, we need to make sure her actions and movements are strictly controlled."

"That makes her as much of a prisoner as she was when Klaus had her," he argued.

"At least you won't compel her to have sex with a stranger in order to breed a new doppelganger," Jeremy replied, offering a little comfort.


He uncurled himself from around Elena and positioned her on her side with a pillow in the small of her back the way he knew she liked it. With her growing belly, she'd found sleeping more and more uncomfortable. He brushed her hair away from her face and tucked it behind her ear as he covered her up with the blankets and gave her a kiss on her temple.

"She'll be okay when she wakes?" he questioned.

"She'll be fine. Nothing I did will hurt her or have any lasting effects," Gloria promised.


"Lemme cast this spell, and we'll see if there are any more surprises waiting for us," the witch said, pushing her bracelets up her arms to keep them from getting in her way.

He, Ric and Junior Gilbert waited anxiously as Gloria sent out her magic to illuminate any more hidden caches of weapons. There were a few stakes and vervain syringes hidden around the room and bathroom, but no large stashes like the one in the floor. Damon had to admit the stake tucked behind a loose stone in the shower stall was creative.

When the room had been disarmed, for sure this time, they left Elena sleeping with Jeremy taking babysitting duty. With his Ghost Whisperer talents, Witchy Woo could be in on their conversation downstairs and fill the younger Gilbert in on what was being decided.

"So now what?" Damon asked as they settled in the parlor, and he poured himself and Ric a hefty drink. He offered one to Gloria, but she declined as she sat down on one of the sofas and rubbed her face with her hand.

"I'll be the first to tell you I don't know," she said with a tired sigh. "Klaus has 900 years on me, Sugar. There's no telling what he can do or what he'll think up next. He always terrified me, and I did my best to steer clear of him."

"So did I," he replied, "and that was before I knew he was the Original douche and not just some regular douche my brother decided to run with. Unfortunately, I don't think avoiding him is going to be an option this time."

"No. We're going to have to out think him," Gloria admitted.

"We need Lucy Bennett. A Bennett witch can best channel Bonnie. I know you said you could do it, but…" Ric began.

"But it's better if the host is from the same bloodline. Yes," the witch confirmed.

"Unfortunately, there's been no sign of Lucy Bennett for months. She must've heard we're looking for her, and she's gone into hiding," Damon stated.

"Would she do that?" Ric asked.

"If someone was looking for you to ask you to help take down a thousand year-old vampire werewolf hybrid that had partnered with the Original Witch in your bloodline, would you stick around?" Damon replied.

"Well, when you put it that way…"

"She won't be able to hide forever. A few weeks ago, word came down that Klaus was looking for a Bennett witch, and Lucy is the most well known witch in that line," Gloria explained. "With Klaus looking for her, too, she's bound to surface before too long."

"Yes, but whose side will she be on?" Ric questioned.

"Ours if she knows what's good for her," Damon said, an edge in his voice.

"What makes you say that, Sugar?" Gloria asked.

"Because if she isn't, she'll be on the losing side," he stated with complete conviction, then he knocked back his drink and downed the bourbon in one gulp.