I do not want to be afraid
I do not want to die inside just to breathe in
I'm tired of feeling so numb
Relief exists I find it when
I am cut

Cut - Plumb

The door creaking open resonated throughout the hollow frame of the rickety farmhouse.

She rose from the couch she had been sitting as still as possible on, waiting anxiously for what was to come. The vampire that they claimed put all others to shame. All but one.

The nearing echo of languid footsteps drew her attention to the entry way. Her heart raced faster in her chest as the sound grew louder.

He entered first, Rose and Trevor keeping their distance behind him as he came to a short stop at the sight of her. Cold eyes took her in, holding her own with an intensity that sent ice clear to her bones. She just barely had time to register the surprise on his features, nearly matching her own, before he vanished from view.

Faster than Elena could blink, he was before her. Inches from her. Towering over her. Cold eyes hardening to stone as they flickered across every inch of her face.

He filled her senses. All she could see was black. His tailored suit. The scent of sweet earth and rich linen. His eyes. She could not tear her own away from them as they searched. There was wonder in them, disbelief – hatred. And something undecipherable just beneath.

"Impossible," he muttered to himself, the soft sound still causing her to twitch.

With the word, his eyes grew heated. He took a single step to close the bit of space between them. She fought back as every instinct she held screamed at her to move. Only small trembles shook her.

He inclined his head toward her. His eyes tested hers as he neared. She pulled back from him, tucking her chin just enough, just in time to keep his nose from brushing against hers. His eyes moved to her neck just as his face disappeared past her view.

When his skin met hers at the base of her throat, Elena's life flashed before her eyes. Sitting on her mother's lap as she sang the alphabet to her; teaching her the value of letters and words before she even knew how to speak them. Her father pushing first her then Jeremy on the park swings, back and forth toward the blue sky. Her beloved friends inviting her to a party. A car crash. The darkest period of her life.

Stefan's face flashed through the shadows. His warm brown eyes always weighted with concern. He would have lightened the dark had she let him. She wouldn't have to pretend anymore. But then she'd found her picture in his bedroom.

The dark was almost comfortable now.

Another conjured face appeared before her then. Ice blue eyes and raven hair. How well he fit in the darkness, enforcing the shadows to bend to his every whim. How well he fit. She'd seen such incredible levels of intensity on his face that they blurred together now, his every emotion becoming so easy for her to read. It was almost frightening that she'd learned to after everything he'd done.

All other fear was forgotten when the tip of Elijah's nose grazed her collar bone. Searing warmth flared under her skin in the wake of his touch. Her face flushed of color as she braced for the oncoming pain.

Only when he slowly pulled back to stand at his full height did she remember to breathe.

"It's human," he declared aloud, a hue of disgust tainting his passivity. A beat later his eyes cleared. "Hello there."

Elena crouched by Stefan's side as he lay sprawled across the bottom step. He was badly injured, but healing. Her rescuers were easily being overtaken though her captors had suffered much worse. Only moments ago she had watched in horror as Elijah broke Trevor's head from his shoulders as if he were nothing more than fragile glass dropped upon the hardwood floor.

Rose fled at the sight. Elena was almost thankful.

A horrible cracking sounds drew her attention back across the entry way. She watched in shock as Damon charged toward the enraged intruder with the rigid coat hanger stake, its end snapped to a jagged point. Somewhere in the speed of the scuffle it had changed hands.

Her mouth gaped in horror, doing what she could to not cry out as the point was so swiftly turned around toward the elder Salvatore that it blurred in the air leaving no time for him to avoid it. She felt her knees threaten to buckle from beneath her as Damon fell to his own, the large stake driven painfully deep into his stomach.

Her last sight of him was his face crumpling in pain as he fell forward onto the ground.

Before she could even reach out to him, she was swept off her feet in a much too firm grasp and whisked outside into the warm afternoon air. The scent of blood and expensive cologne washed over her. It took her a moment to focus through threatening tears after the events she had just witnessed unfold.

When her eyes adjusted to the brisk sunlight, she gazed up upon the taught jaw and ebony eyes that briefly glared back down at her. Immediately, the panic set in, making the world around her hazier than it already was. If she were not clasped so tightly, she was sure she would collapse into pieces.

The Salvatores had failed their rescue attempt and she was now in the arms of a ruthless Original vampire. The world around her fell dark as her mind simply refused to handle the reality of her situation.

Elijah had successfully claimed his prize.

Elena awoke in darkness, her surroundings lit only by the dim moonlight coming through the small open window, opposite of the bed she lay in. She could feel the slight breeze throughout the room that caused cream, silk curtains to rise and fall like ghosts. The place seemed huge to her groggy eyes, which were still attempting to adjust to their surroundings.

She felt surprisingly comfortable in the huge bed she found herself in, basking in those few precious moments between being asleep and becoming fully conscious and the small amount of peace they delivered.

A beat later, nearly resembling a physical strike, her mind sharpened as the events that sent her spiraling into a dreamless sleep came crashing back.

Rapidly blinking away slumber, she noticed that to her left the wall was completely covered in books of all sizes, held by mahogany shelves that stretched from floor to ceiling. To her right she could make out the silhouette of a rather large recliner with an ancient looking book opened, face down, upon its arm. A few feet from the chair she spotted the bedroom door, cracked just enough so that the light from the next room shone through, leaving a pencil-thin streak of yellow across the bedroom floor.

She swiftly threw the covers off of her and swung her feet over the side of the bed where the tip of her toes met the cool, wooden floor. An immediate chill spread within her as she quickly lifted her feet back up onto the sheets, her knees pressing gently to her chest. The warm comfort she found in her resting place was instantly overcome by the bitter realization of her unfamiliar place of imprisonment mixed with the crisp night air.

Beside her bed she spotted a small, wooden nightstand and carefully, with trembling fingers, switched on the elegant looking crystal lamp that rested upon it. With that simple gesture, her breath caught within her throat.

The orbs of crystal that hung freely around the glowing bulb danced with her shaky touch and painted the room in shards of prismatic light. Her lips parted at the array of colors as she ran her gaze up to the wall, finding elegant, paintings from unknown eras residing beautifully in the lamp's light. Portraits of people that could only be royalty and landscapes more beautiful than she had ever seen were spread out before her eyes. Each one carried so much detail that she momentarily felt as if she were in a museum instead of locked away somewhere.

The small rustle of paper snapped her back to her grim reality.

"I was wondering when you would wake," He murmured, seemingly bored, looking up from his reading only briefly enough for Elena to meet the intensity of his eyes. He sat casually in the chair, listlessly running his fingers through the pages of the book that rested upon its arm only moments ago.

Elena could feel her eyes widen, frozen with surprise; all except for her heartbeat which increased with each passing second. When did he enter the room and how had she not heard him? Even the Salvatores were not that quiet.

"…Elijah." She instinctively scooted herself away, her back now pressed against the sturdy wooden headboard. She had heard very few things – frightening things – about the Original only hours before he had shown up to take her and prove each of them before her eyes.

"You have no reason to fear me," he stated flatly, distractedly sliding his thumb along the page edges, "unless you plan on attempting anything reckless." He returned his calculating gaze to her, the blackness of his eyes turning casual words into a dark promise.

He heard the slight elevation of her already racing heartbeat, proving his method effective.

Fear resonated deep within her in his presence, though the warm lamp light allowed her a clearer view of Elijah's features for the first time. His dark eyes were filled with specks of warm, golden brown as he held her gaze firmly. The reflecting light seemed to dance along the curve of his lips and defined chin, leaving faint shadows in their wake. His features were perfectly framed by neatly parted hair, its length tousling just enough into his face to define an untimely youth. It failed to make him appear any less menacing.

He was in a new suit, free from vervain and blood stains, unlike the one that she had helped ruin during her capture. The dark way he regarded her at the moment reminded her of the way he'd looked at her when she'd thrown the vervain grenade in his face...

It was then that she realized the window and door being tauntingly left open was most likely a challenge. One he dared her to take.

She swallowed hard to force down the lump in her throat. She would not allow Elijah to see her in such a vulnerable state, even though she knew in the back of her mind that it was already a wasted effort.

"Where am I?" she asked, finding annoyance in the slight shakiness of her own voice.

He blinked. "Somewhere safe."

His direct answer surprised her though it only left more questions to be answered.

"Why are you doing this?"

He turned his attention to setting the book back down beside him. "As you have probably realized by this point, your blood is of sacred origin…"

With this single line, her fear suddenly gave over to a familiar frustration. Since Katherine's return, her unwelcome discovery of being a copy had caused her nothing but trouble and she seemed to constantly be reminded of it.

"Doppelgänger blood," she muttered, cutting him off, her gaze falling down to her lap, "Yes, I'm aware of this already..." Her boldness was a surprise to herself. Regret curled in her stomach.

When Elijah remained quiet for a moment, she glanced back up, willing herself to meet his eyes once more. She found them even more bleak and unyielding. His squared jaw, an obvious weapon, was taught in clear aggravation. She shivered under his scrutiny, silently preparing for the worst.

He was the first to look away, turning his gaze over towards the wall of books as his tension seemed to thin out before her eyes. His tongue flicked across his bottom lip.

"Well, then you must also know of Klaus." He offered faintly, a hint of bitterness tainting the name. His eyes refused to meet hers. "You are an asset – a pawn, such as your bloodline has been for centuries. All you need to know is that I intend on using that fact to my advantage."

Upon completing his confession, he allowed himself to look at her – really look at her as he rose from his seat. Fear filled her familiar eyes while she took in the meaning of his words. Her body seemed to be vibrating almost enough to shake the bed beneath her, though he was aware it would not be visible to the human eye. The sounds her accelerated heart produced reminded him of a hummingbird; soft, rapid, graceful.

Elijah knew he was a noble man, not cruel without reason, but his threats had to be believable in order for his plan to work. He was not one to find joy in harming an innocent, but this one girl was the resolution to centuries worth of monstrosities and murder. Everything he had ever loved had been ripped away from him, laying ruin to the far too many lifetimes he was left forced to live with it. Klaus needed to pay for his misgivings with the only sacrifice big enough to fit the crime – and he had finally captured his key to revenge.