beauty and her beasts

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A smear of lipstick trails from the corner of her mouth, smudging at the corners of her lips, streaking across her alabaster skin, painting her red like an arrow would an animal's hide. She pouts a little, touching the tips of her fingers to her lips. She wipes the red away, and the stains transferring to her hands don't really bother her. Looking over her naked shoulder, towards the mirror hanging on the wall opposite the plush bed with the stark black silk sheets. Her back is angled, legs tucked under herself. Her spine is shaped as a V, and she counts her vertebrae absently. The red lipstick is gone from her mouth, and her perfectly coiffed hair is messy and unruly. She scratches at it, and—and what is that?

She pulls her hands from her hair, staring down at the red on her palms. This red isn't lipstick. This red is murder red and—she clenches her fists together. Looking over her shoulder once again, she eyes her hair. Red life blood stains patches of her hair, mixing with the golden colored strands, streaking like a sunset or a summer's sunrise. She looks away from the mirror, towards the other occupant of the bed.

She smooths her bloodstained hand through his hair, kisses his pale, cold forehead, leaving her lipstick mark behind. She lays her hand against his bare chest, feels for a heartbeat.

Finds none.

He would be so proud, Caroline thinks, licking at her lips, tasting the sweetness there. Klaus had taught her right from wrong, the way a vampire is supposed to be. She wants to laugh at the girl she'd been in Mystic Falls, when she was young and naive and trying so very hard to cling to her humanity.

There was only one problem, she remembers. She wasn't human any longer. Could never be again.

And it wasn't a struggle anymore when that thought hit her, like it did on days like this. Days when her hands were stained with blood and her fangs were sharp.

She leans over the side of the bed, grabbing her white silk robe. Droplets of blood stain the lapels and she frowns, a little put out. She shrugs it on over her shoulders before she flounces to the bathroom, runs herself a bath.

An hour later, she dials nine one one and tells them she's found a body in her hotel room. She is gone, no sign that she existed at all, save for the scent of vanilla and blood in the air, when the ambulances arrive.

"There's a trail of bodies following your tight little blonde ass." Damon tells her, and she can almost hear him wave at the bartender in whatever seedy little bar in whatever seedy little town he's stationed in for the night to bring him another shot as he speaks. "It's quite intriguing. You vanish for three years and turn up again as a sadistic serial killer." Caroline rolls her eyes, wonders why she'd answered his phone call, and examines the perfect nails on her left hand. "What's the deal, Blondie? You lost the last taco you had on your platter when you left with Klaus. What happened to you?" and she thinks she might be imagining it, but there's an edge in his voice, something that makes her think he might actually care. But then again, who is she kidding? She's talking to Damon Salvatore, ass-hat extraordinaire. Even after all they'd been through, as lovers, as friends, as partners in crime, he stilled treated her like the dollar store gum under his black combat boots. So, why, why, why, why was it him of all people calling her when the story of her latest murder had broken on CNN? Why not Elena? Why not Bonnie? Why not Stefan?

Oh, right.

They'd all lost faith. They'd lost faith in her, even after she'd held them all in such high regards. Perfect Bonnie with her perfect magic. Sweet Elena and her too sweet blood. Saint Stefan and his saint-like attitude.

"Klaus showed me the way." she says simply, dragging her eyes away from her nails, flicking them instead to the cute frat boy eyeing her from across the dance floor. She gives him a toothy grin, interest already lost with the phone call. Nothing in or from Mystic Falls is worth her time.

"He showed you the way." Damon deadpans.

"You've never truly let go, Damon. You only think you have. When you have no qualms with murder, no qualms with a wife or a mother or a father or daughter or a husband or a son being left alone, no qualms with blood being shed, only then have you let go. Only then are you real. Only then are you a true vampire. Call me when you're ready to shove Elena's vampire attitude and have some real fun. Otherwise, don't call me at all." Caroline simpers, flipping her hair over one shoulder, "Oh, and Damon?"

He breathes.

"Watch the news again tomorrow. I have a surprise for you." she giggles as the frat boy walks towards her, and she zeroes in on his pulse point.

"Caroline—"

Click.


tbc.