The first time he caught sight of a bruise on her left wrist, his undead heart skipped a beat. The darkened ring marring the skin of her wrist caused his mind to go into overdrive with the need to find who dared lay their hands on her and tarnish her flawless caramel skin and punish them; to kill them. He quickly caught himself and gritted his teeth turning away from her and shaking the absurd thoughts from his head. Bonnie Bennett was not his problem.
The second time, the Scooby Doo gang were coming up with yet another plan to save Elena Gilbert's life. She was flipping mindlessly through her witch's cookbook, searching for something, anything, to save her friend from the latest evil to sweep through Mystic Falls, thirsting for the doppelgänger's blood. The baggy sweater that she was wearing had slipped down to expose a section of her shoulder. The usually smooth skin had been tainted by a large discolouration that stretched from her shoulder down her arm. He just knew that the worst has been hidden by her clothes. She looked up suddenly, caught his glaring at the exposed skin and, with wide, panicked eyes, tugged her jumper back over the offending part of her body. His eyes snapped up to her, blazing with fury and the promise that they would definitely be talking about this later.
She tried to run from him. The second that the meeting at the boarding house had ended, she had packed up her grimoire and fled to her girly little Prius, speeding out of the driveway before he had the time to corner her. He should have waited, given her a head start, let her think that he was letting it go, but he was so consumed by his rage that it was burning him from the inside out, devouring him, and yet instead of burning out, the flames got bigger, taller, higher, feeding his new-found obsession. Before he knew it, he was outside her house, pounding on the door.
"Let me in, Bennett, or I swear I will break this damn door down." His threat had the desired effect and in minutes, she was standing in the open doorway, her eyes planted firmly on the ground, her body quivering with fear. But that wasn't right. Bonnie Bennett didn't do fear-she sure as hell wasn't afraid of him.
"Damon." Her voice was quiet and he knew immediately that his suspicions were correct. She wasn't just afraid of him-she was terrified. Using Herculean strength, he reigned in his temper and in the calmest voice he could manage, gritted out,
"What is going on?"
"I don't know what you're talking about, Damon." And his anger was back in full force.
"DON'T YOU DARE LIE TO ME, YOU HEAR ME?!" He roared, slamming his palm down on the doorframe. Bonnie flinched back, stumbling against her feet to get away from him, tripping over her own feet and falling to the ground with an anguished cry. He was beside her immediately, his eyes running over her small frame, closely followed by his hands as he checked her body for injuries.
"Bonnie? What's wrong? Dammit Bennett, what happened?"
"My…side." She gritted out. He lifted her into his arms and peered at the side that had hit the floor and the sight of blood staining her shirt caused his knees to buckle and bile to rise in his throat. Cautiously lifting her shirt, he physically gagged at the sight of a huge wound on her side. It was clearly an relatively fresh wound which just begun to heal and had been reopened by her fall. "Bonnie." He whispered, his breath coming out in short pants. For the first time in his undead existence, blood sickened him. "Bonnie, what happened to you?" Tears streamed down her face, her eyes showing the soul of a broken girl.
"He…didn't mean…to. He promised he…would stop. He…loves me." She panted, her hand clutching at her bleeding side.
"Who? Who is hurting you like this, Bonnie?" Her eyes locked with his, shimmering with unshed tears. His heart broke at the sight of this beautiful, passionate girl who had gradually been used and abused until she was nothing more than a shell of her former self.
"J-Jeremy." He growled low in his throat, his temper flaring at the thought of the newly buffed-up Jeremy laying his hands on this tiny slip of a girl. "Damon, he's…dealing…with a lot…he's trying…to stop the…urge to kill…vampires…he didn't mean…to. Don't hurt...him…please." She was losing a lot of blood. He could see her fighting to hold onto consciousness. "Please, Damon. Promise." Clenching his fists, he scowled at the selfless, judgy little thing in his arms and begrudgingly agreed.
"Fine. But if I ever see him near you again, I will make him feel twice as much pain as he made you feel." She smiled weakly.
"I wouldn't…expect any less...from you." His scowl lessened as he bit gently into his wrist and placed it at her lips.
"Just take a bit, Bennett. Just a little bit." She latched onto his arm and after a few pulls, turned her head away and nestled into the crook of his arm.
"So tired." She murmured.
"Sleep. I'm here for you. It's all going to get better. I'm going to help you."
He could no longer hide behind the excuse of Elena. The Bennett witch had wormed her way under his skin and into his heart. There were a lot of words left unsaid, but they had forever to say them. She was his and he was hers. All was as it should be.