Chapter 4:

-You know it's right so, lift your eyes and let me in cause baby I'm an alien like you…-

Damon was sparring with Jeremy outside the cabin. They had been at it for hours and finally the vampire was seeing progress. It was killing him being this far away from Elena. Listening to her voicemails was all he had. He let his mind play the last voicemail he received from her again.

"but I hate not being near you and I miss you Damon…I wish you would just let me come to you."

He snapped himself out of it and countered one of Jeremy's punches. "You're getting better."

Jeremy smiled before he threw a punch that was deflected. Damon twisted his arm around his back and pinned him to the wall of the cabin. "But it would still be easy to kill you." Damon released him and stepped back. "Don't hesitate. Hesitation gets you killed."

"I'm hesitating because if I don't, I'll kill you. As much as I want to sometimes…Elena would be pissed." He admitted.

Damon laughed. "Trust me…killing newbie vamps is one thing, killing a vampire that's been around for over a century is another." His smile dropped. "And Elena might be pissed…but she'd get over it."

"Not while she's sired to you."

"Well isn't this nice..." Nicklaus stepped out from around the corner of the cabin with his hands linked behind his back. "He's right you know, sire bonds are very strong…and rare."

Damon frowned sourly. "What are you doing here?"

Nicklaus smiled. "I don't think people are too pleased with me. I made a bit of a mess…you understand. Figured I'd take some time off; kick back. Not to mention you've been taking your sweet time with holding up your end of the bargain. I'm here to move things along." He gestured a roll with his hand. "Training's good and well but when I'm not seeing any progress, I get a little anxious. So…I took liberties into my own hands." He explained vaguely with a secretive smirk. "And I started with the blonde pizza girl."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Damon probed bluntly narrowing his eyes at the unwelcome guest.

"Let's talk about it over a drink shall we? Meet me at the bar in town at eight." He sped off into the woods without another word.

"Well that doesn't sound like a good idea at all." The other vampire commented wryly.

The classrooms had all filter out over an hour ago. The memorial for Mayor Lockwood was still set up in the gymnasium, and the halls we're silent. The sound of heels clicked on the hard floors with purpose, followed by the stumbling steps of Atticus Shane.

Rebekah tossed him into an open classroom and shoved him into a seat. "Stefan tells me you know where to find the cure, and now you're going to tell me."

Shane readjusted himself in his seat. "Why would I do that?"

The vampire rested her hands on the desk in front of him and leaned in. "Because if you don't tell me by your own will, you'll tell me by mine." She threatened.

He managed a laugh in his problematic situation. "You can try. I can't be compelled."

Rebekah stood and crossed her arms with a devilish smirk. "Well then I'll just beat it out of you. You can still bleed…and I know just how much blood can be drained from a human before they die…but enough to still feel enormous amounts of pain." She tilted her head to the side. "Shall we try that then?"

Shane had the sense to look worried. "Why do you want the cure so badly? Is a thousand years of being an Original vampire too long?"

Her smirk fell as she realized he knew more than she thought he did. "I have my reasons. And you know who I am so you know what I'm capable of." Rebekah boasted confidently.

He nodded. "The youngest of the Mikaelson's, bar Hendrick, of course." He gulped when her eyes narrowed at the mention of her dead brother. "I've done my research. To be honest, I'm more afraid of your brother, Nicklaus. He's ruthless."

Rebekah snapped her hand out to grasp his neck. "The thing is, about my brother…" she brought her fangs forth and whispered menacingly within an inch of his face. "He likes the kill. I much prefer the torture." She plunged her fangs deep into the side of his neck, and then ripping them out viciously. "Now," her mouth was still covered in blood. "Let's try this again."

Bonnie rushed back into the school, using the back entrance, cursing herself for leaving the talismans that Shane had been teaching her to draw power from in her locker. She needed to be practicing on all her down time if she wanted to get this cure for Elena.

She was halfway down the hall when she noticed April standing at the front entrance of the building staring at the door blankly. "Hey…" April didn't even move. "April?" She touched her shoulder, and only then was Bonnie acknowledged. "Hey, what are you still doing here…everybody's gone."

"I'm waiting."

Bonnie frowned suspiciously. "Waiting for what?"

"Rebekah. She told me to wait for her…and watch." She turned her head back to the door, watching for any one that may approach the building.

The witched eye brows rose. "Rebekah's here? Why?"

"She wanted to know where to find it. The cure…only he knows."

Understanding crossed Bonnie's face. "Shane." She grabbed April by the hand and led her to her locker.

"Wait! I'm not supposed to leave." April resisted, but Bonnie pulled her anyway.

"It's fine…" She used her magic to fling open her locker, not wanting to waste time with the combination. She grabbed the talismans she needed and locked them in a classroom.

"What are we doing?"

Bonnie gripped the odd trinket, closed her eyes and focused. "I need to protect him. He's connected to these; they were his."

April looked worried and interested all at once. "Are you doing magic?"

"Shh." Bonnie hushed her immediately. "I need silence." She found with expression, she didn't have to cast spells with her words. Her emotions were enough. For a few long seconds, there was utter silence, and then the sporadic gags of someone choking jolted her from her trance. When Bonnie's eyes popped open, April was bleeding at the neck and choking on the blood in her mouth. The witch rushed to her, catching her just before she fell to the ground. "April…April!" Looking down at the talisman in her hand, Bonnie immediately dropped it, and April gasped for breath. "Are you okay? I can heal you."

Rebekah threw Shane a handkerchief she had in her purse. "Clean yourself up, you're bleeding all over the place."

Shane took the offered cloth weakly and held it to the new wound in his neck. "That's what happens when the carotid artery gets punctured viciously." He muttered sarcastically.

"Don't I know it." She threw him a sly smirk. "It's half the fun. I like a blood bath as much as the next vampire…except when I'm wearing white. Now…the cure; where is it?"

He laughed again. "You're going to have to torture me a bit more for that information."

"Not a problem." She lunched back in for another bite.

Elena stepped out from the Salvatore house with her phone to her ear, and hopped up onto the stone wall already prepared to leave Damon another desperate voicemail message.

"Hope your day's going better than mine, gotta say, I'm liking the odds." He answered as he stopped digging.

Elena sighed in relief. "Well…he speaks." She joked. "It's really great to hear your voice, Damon."

"I'd say the same but I've had a lot of material to work with."

Elena had the shame to be embarrassed as she tucked her hair behind her ear. "Yeah…I may have gone psycho girlfriend on you for a bit there. I missed you."

Damon managed a tiny smile at the word girlfriend. "I missed you too."

Her beaming smile showed how happy that made her, but it dropped with the news that followed. "A lot's been going here, Damon. Stefan knows about us…"

Damon's eyes widened. "Oh…how'd he take it?"

"How do you think?"

Damon raised his brows. "Well I'm thinking for the first time all week I'm happy to be at camp nowhere."

Realization dawned on Elena. "How's Jeremy?"

He winced. "That depends on how much you trust me."

She smiled at the worry that laced his tone. "You know that I trust you."

"I think he's going to get through this just fine." Damon found himself admitting with a bit of pride. He would never say it out loud, but he cared about Jeremy as much as he cared about his own brother.

"Thank you for looking out for him."

"Yeah well I told them if they were good I'd buy them both ice cream so…" he teased. "Look I gotta go." He stayed reluctantly.

Elena sat up, eager to say what was on her mind. "Not yet." She took a deep breath. "Something happened today…I realized something about you; about us." She started nervously. "And you can say it's the sire bond, you know what maybe…maybe it is but…I'm telling you," she seemed almost in awe of her own words. "it is the most real thing I have ever felt in my entire life." There was so much passion and emphasis on each word, trying to prove to him that this was real. "I love you, Damon…"

Shock covered his face, as he waited basking in her words; in the words he'd been waiting to hear for what seemed like his whole life.

"I love you." It made her giddy to say.

"Look…I'm going to get this cure for you. And I'm gonna have to do things that you're not going to like."

Elena shook her head. "Damon..."

"But listen carefully…get in your car; right now. Come to me." He choked back the emotion he was feeling.

Elena smiled; happier than she'd been in a long time. "I'll be there soon." She didn't hesitate. Hanging up the phone she bolted off the Salvatore stone wall and back to her car, feeling like she was going home; where he was.

Damon hung up the phone, still dazed, and unbelieving. She loved him…she said it. He looked up with a ghost of a smile, finally seeing things fall into place.