A/N: A one-shot I wrote as a VERY LATE present for my friend Luisa. I hope you like it Luisa! And everyone else. :)

So, the basic premise is that it takes place three years after the end of Midnight. Bonnie is in college, and has been trying to move on from Damon's death. But just as she's beginning to heal, an unexpected visitor shows up and turns her life upside down once again…

"So…I'll be here to drive you home after school is over, okay Bonnie?"

Bonnie smiled up at the tall, sandy-haired, brown-eyed man in front of her, her boyfriend of one month.

"Okay Gregory. I'll see you then", she leaned up on her tip toes as he leaned down. Though she HAD grown the past couple of years, she was still fairly short.

After they kissed softly for a few short moments, they parted, smiling and waving at each other before walking off to their first classes.

It was the middle of her sophomore year of college at Dalcrest, and so far, she was making the most of it.

She was a bit older than the average sophomore, at the age of twenty-one, but it had taken her a bit longer to start college considering everything that had happened three years prior….

Don't think about that, she scolded herself, as she did every day when thoughts of the past threatened to engulf her. Think about your classes.

That was the main goal here. To just think about her classes, get through college and life in general.

As she entered her first class, world history, she took her normal seat at the back of the classroom, getting her things ready and turning to face the teacher, Mrs. Clarke.

"I see that you play the role of a good, obedient student, my little redbird."

She gasped, and then froze as she turned to where the familiar, chilling voice came from, and her skin turned pale, as if he was looking at a ghost.

And really…she might as well have been.

For she was looking into the dark eyes of Damon Salvatore, the vampire who had saved her life on a mood three years ago. The man who she had watched die.

She could find no words to say and just continued to stare at him, as a million thoughts ran through her mind.

He ended up having to be the one to speak first.

"Hello, little bird. It's been far too long."

At the sound of his voice, Bonnie's tears spilled over. This was real. Damon was standing in front of her alive and well. His form. His face. And his voice.

He stepped closer to her at the sight of her tears, and she collapsed into him, burying her face into his leather jacket as he wrapped his arms around her. At the moment, she didn't care that she was standing in the middle of her world history classroom. All she cared about was Damon, and the feeling of his arms holding her.

The vampire in question pulled her closer, leaning down to whisper into her ear. "Shhh…."

"I….I'm sorry", she sniffed through her sobs. "It's just…you're here, and alive, and….." She broke off, still overwhelmed with emotion as Damon began to rub her back soothingly.

The sound of Mrs. Clarke's voice broke her out of the blissful moment.

"Bonnie? Do you two need to have some time alone?"

To Bonnie's relief, her voice didn't sound angry. It sounded soft and sympathetic, maybe touched at the scene before her.

Before Bonnie could answer her question, Damon spoke up.

"Yes. I believe Bonnie has broken down with a fever of some sorts. It would be best if I drove her home."

Now that she had ceased her crying, Bonnie could hear the compulsion laced in Damon's voice as he addressed her teacher. He was clearly using his power.

As expected, Mrs. Clarke agreed. "She does look a little unwell. Alright. See you when you get better, Ms. McCullough."

"Bye Mrs. Clarke", Bonnie managed in reply, before Damon guided her out of the classroom.

Despite the million words that she was dying to say, Bonnie was silent for the first part of her time riding in Damon's car.

Noticing her stiffness, Damon reached over with one hand, and lightly squeezed hers. "It's alright."

She mutely nodded in response to his words, and then let out a breath she hadn't realized until then she had been holding.

"But Damon….how did this happen? How are you here?"

As she asked the questions, images of that awful night on that moon flashed through her mind. Damon getting staked by the tree, and then lying on the ground, slowly dying….

"I watched you die…."

"Redbird", Damon said slowly and gently, as if he was speaking to a mentally unstable person. "I will explain everything once we reach the place you're staying."

At the moment, her mind was too preoccupied to ask him how he knew where she lived.

A few minutes later, Bonnie found herself sitting in the living room of her small apartment, with Damon sitting in the armchair across from her after she had invited him inside.

She had a mug of coffee in her hands, and she took a sip from it in order to calm her nerves.

"So…how did this happen Damon?" She gulped a little as she finally set the mug of coffee down on the small table beside her. "How are you alive?"

Damon sighed, and then surprised her by reaching over to take her hand in his again, like he had when they were in the car, and gave it a comforting squeeze.

"Redbird…the tears and hair that you and Elena left with me on that moon somehow revived me."

At this, Bonnie looked up at him sharply. "Wh…what?"

He let go of her hand, but was still looking into her eyes intently. "I am not certain of how it happened, but it did. At first, my memories were hazy. I hadn't even been sure of what my name was, but the image of your face, and Elena's, kept haunting my every thought." He then reached over again, and gently stroked her curls. "And when the memories finally became clearer, I knew I had to come find you."

As he said those words, Bonnie once again threw herself into his arms, reminding herself once again that this was real.

Damon pulled her closer into him, as one hand continued to stroke her hair.

"Don't cry little bird."

"But Damon?" she said, pulling away a small fraction to look up at him. "It's my fault you died. Don't you… you hate me?"

He kissed her forehead. "Bonnie…I could never hate you. Especially over something that I would gladly do all over again if it was necessary." He titled her chin up a little to make her look at him directly in the eyes. "My death was on my own hands, not yours."

When she didn't say anything, he continued, his intense gaze never wavering.

"Very recently, I set out to find you, because I realized something." He pulled her more tightly into his arms. "After returning a few years ago, and spending some time with Elena, I realized that…."

"What?!" Bonnie yelped, jumping out of his arms. "You….you've been back for a few years?"

Obviously mistaking her tone as astonishment rather than distress, Damon nodded.

"I have. For the past few years, I've been….conversing with my little brother and Elena. I came to find you because I've finally come to the conclusion that…."

"You've been back for YEARS, and you didn't let me know you were alive?"

Bonnie felt a swirling of emotions. Anger, shock….but most of all, hurt. For years she had missed Damon, and felt responsible for his death. Now she was finding out that he's been alive? And that he, Elena, and Stefan hadn't told her?

She had always known that Elena was at the top of Damon's priority list, but she had thought she meant something to him. He had died saving her, after all.

But she was obviously mistaken, if he had waited three years to tell he was alive.

Damon seemed perplexed by her sudden change of behavior. "Redbird…"

"Get out", Bonnie said softly, though icily.

Damon frowned, and moved to reach for her. "Now listen…."

She stepped further away from him, bringing herself out of his reach. "I want you to leave Damon….now."

She was proud of herself when her voice didn't waver at all this time. She was fueled on hurt, but also anger. And though it hurt, it was also giving her strength.

A few moments of silence passed, and then finally, after realizing that she wasn't going to budge and give in to him this time, Damon walked over to the door, grabbing the handle and then turning towards her one last time.

"This isn't over, redbird. I have no intention of leaving this town any time soon, and you know how persistent I can be when I want something."

And after that, he was gone, leaving a firmly closed door behind him.

Now that he was gone, Bonnie took the opportunity to finally collapse into her armchair, letting the tears she had been fighting to hold back during that confrontation finally spill out.

Suddenly remembering that she had told Gregory that she would meet him after school, she sent him a quick text, telling him that she had gotten a surprise call from her sister, Mary, and left school to spend some time with her.

"Are you okay Bonnie?"

It was Thursday morning, the day after she had kicked Damon out of her apartment, and Gregory was driving her to school, as he normally did.

But at the moment, her mind was on anything but school. She was anxiously waiting for Damon to make his movie…to fulfill his promise of it "not being over".

What had he meant "You know how persistent I can be when I want something"? What DID he want from her?

But the worst part of this whole situation was that, despite how hurt she was over him taking so long to tell her he was alive, she found herself WANTING him to chase her…to not give up on her.

Did that make her selfish? Or weak?

At Gregory's question, she forced a small smile and looked up at him with a nod. "I'm fine." Yes. Everything is okay. The vampire that I had once been in love with….and may or may not still be in love with, has just come back from the dead, and told me that he had been alive for three years without letting me know. But everything was fine….

Guilt seized at her heart at those thoughts. Here was her sweet, normal, boyfriend who really liked her asking her if she was okay, and she was too busy thinking about a vampire that would never love or want in her that way.

Gregory smiled back at her, but looked a bit unconvinced. "Okay. But if you start feeling sick, let me know with a text, and I'll drive you home, okay?"


The drive to school was quiet after that.

After school, she waited outside on the sidewalk, after receiving a text from Gregory that he was on his way to meet her there.

Damon still hadn't made a move to talk to her, and so far, the only sign of him she had seen was a large black crow sitting outside her physics classroom, looking into the window a bit too intently to just be a coincidence.

However, that was proof enough that he was still here…maybe even watching her now. And because of that, she was still feeling a little on edge.


As if on cue, the voice came from behind her, and she quickly spun around to face him. "Damon!"

He chuckled lowly, shooting her his 500 kilowatt smile. "You knew better then to think that I wouldn't resume my promise from yesterday, didn't you?"

"I…I…um, well….."

Bonnie mentally cursed herself. She had done so well in standing up for herself yesterday, but now she was babbling like a nervous idiot.

Before she could think of anything good to say, yet another voice interrupted them. "Bonnie?"

Now Gregory was walking up to them, a small frown on his handsome face. "Who is this?"

Bonnie looked back and forth between Damon and Gregory a bit nervously, unsure of how to respond to the question. She could really tell Gregory the truth of who Damon really was…..

"Damon Salvatore. I'm an old….friend of Bonnie's", Damon answered smoothly, reaching out to shake Gregory's hand.

Gregory, after a brief hesitation, accepted his offer of the handshake. "I'm Gregory Samuels. Bonnie's boyfriend."

For a second, Bonnie thought she could see Damon's jaw tick slightly in irritation at the word "boyfriend", but it was quickly gone, replaced my his usual expression of nonchalance.

"It's a pleasure."

Gregory, seeming to buy Damon's act of innocent friendship, lit up a bit, his nervousness gone. "Bonnie and I were actually going to grab a bit to eat at the local diner after school. Would you care to join us? Most of Bonnie's friends live so far away, that I don't usually get the opportunity to meet someone from her home life."

He slapped Damon on the back lightly; a way a football player would to his fellow teammate after winning an important game.

Bonnie had to old back a giggle at the sight. It was just so bizarre and too normal for someone like Damon, and Damon's look of brief irritation at the gesture wasn't helping her in holding in the laughs.

Gregory, seeming completely in the dark about the awkwardness of the situation, shot her a questioning look. "What's so funny?"

"Nothing, nothing", Bonnie insisted, allowing herself to release one short giggle. "I just thought of something kind of funny that happened in class, that's all."

Damon nodded, managing to smoothly hide his annoyance. "I believe I can take some time from my busy schedule to accept your invitation."

Away from Gregory's attention, Damon shot Bonnie a secret wink and she tried hard to hide her nervousness. She couldn't deny that the idea of Damon and Gregory even being in the same building together for more than a few minutes made her feel uneasy.

Lunch at the diner was awkward to say the least.

It was mainly quiet, since Gregory didn't know anything about Damon, and Damon was making no effort to be friendly.

There were several moments where Bonnie wanted to somehow make small talk to ease the tension, but she just couldn't bring herself to do it.

She was still angry at Damon. And she needed to show him that he couldn't treat her like that and be forgiven for it easily.

Eventually, Gregory nervously cleared his throat.

"So Bonnie….how long have you and Damon known each other?"

"Um…a few years", she answered, and Damon nodded in silent agreement. "We met when I was seventeen. He's my friend Elena's boyfriend's brother…."

"I actually met Bonnie briefly before I met Elena", Damon suddenly interrupted. "We were re-introduced by Elena later on. She didn't remember me, but I wasn't one to forget a pretty face."

Bonnie's cheeks flushed, but she had no idea what Damon was talking about. What was he doing? Was he just…making things up? To rile up Gregory?

"Oh", Gregory said, sounding a bit baffled and maybe a little uneasy at the way Damon's eyes seemed to continuously glaze over at Bonnie. "You must have been quite taken with her then."

"Indeed, I was."

"Bonnie, do you have feelings for Damon?"

Gregory asked the question as he parked the car outside Bonnie's apartment building.

She was genuinely surprised by the question. Had she really made it that obvious?

"Why would you think that?" she asked lamely, not really knowing what else to say.

Gregory sighed. "You kept staring at him throughout the whole lunch. And your face was practically beat red whenever he made even somewhat of a flirty comment to you."

There was no way out of it. She was busted. And she was already guilty enough for meeting with Damon in secret the other day. She didn't think she could handle lying to him now.

Timidly, she placed a hand over his.

"Look Greg….I, well, I do have feelings for Damon. But he has never returned them, and he hurt me recently. I know that nothing will ever come out of it, and that I need to move on from him."

Gregory seemed to be absorbing what she said before he continued. "But did you see the way he kept looking at you? I think he might…."

"Damon is a flirt", Bonnie cut off simply. "He's like that with almost everyone."

That wasn't a lie. Not really. There were many times in the past where Damon would kiss her or flirt with her and it would lead to nothing. It was how he was.

"Honest. And….I will get over him. I'm working on it right now." She smiled softly at him, before pecking him on the lips. "Don't worry about it, okay?"

"Whatever Bonnie."

She frowned at his unconvinced tone. "Greg…."

"It's getting late. I'll see you in the morning, okay?" His light blue eyes betrayed nothing other than void emotion, but Bonnie could tell that her words of reassurance had fallen on deaf ears.

Defeated, she simply nodded, and then got out of the car. "Okay. See you tomorrow."

And with that, he drove off. Bonnie stood there and watched his disappearing car for a moment, before sighing, and finally turning around to head into the apartments.

She couldn't blame Gregory for not believing her about wanting to get over Damon. The truth was, she wasn't even sure herself if she was ready to truly her feelings for him go.

How was she supposed to convince Gregory when she couldn't even convince herself?

After she made it inside her apartment, she threw herself onto her bed. She had a huge paper due on the following Tuesday, but at the moment, she didn't have the drive in her to start it.

A part of her wondered if she should break up with Gregory. After all, they weren't serious. Nowadays, she dated guys just to have fun, and the feelings were reciprocated from them. Though she and Greg had lasted a little bit longer then her relationships lately had, they weren't in love or anything like that. She just liked him. But maybe it would be better for him to find a girlfriend that didn't have the emotional baggage that she had.

But on the other hand, she wasn't sure what she was going to do about the Damon situation yet. Her brain screamed to stay with Gregory and forget about Damon, but her heart screamed to hold on.

Which one should she listen to?

Her cell phone suddenly rang, and she picked it up, looking at the caller ID. It was Elena.

For a second, she just stared in startled silence at the ringing phone. She hadn't spoken to Elena in months. And now that she knew that Elena had known about Damon being alive for years and not telling her, she wasn't sure how she was going to talk to her.

Hesitantly, she answered the phone. "Hello?"

"Bonnie!" She heard her old friend exclaim on the other end. "Is Damon there? Did he come to talk to you?"

Elena's voice ended with a slight rasp at the end of her question, as if he was waiting in suspense at how Bonnie was going to respond.

"Yes, he's here, and I have seen him", Bonnie answered flatly.

"Then you must know that…."

"Why didn't you tell me Elena?" Bonnie asked, mentally kicking herself when her voice rang out with hurt. "I….for three years, I thought he was dead. Didn't I deserve to know?"

It took Elena a few seconds to reply, as if she hadn't expected Damon to tell Bonnie how exactly long he'd been alive, but when she did, her voice was soft.

"Bonnie I…I wanted to tell you. But Damon didn't want me to…at least not then. He needed time."

"Time for what?!" Bonnie snapped impatiently now. "What did he need more time for? What was so important that he had to let me continue to believe he was dead?"

Another pause. "Hasn't Damon talked to you?"

"Yes. But he didn't tell me why he just let me believe he was dead for years. I…well, I got mad. And….I kind of kicked him out."

"Bonnie!" Elena's voice was a mixture of surprise and what almost sounded like aggravation now. "Bonnie, there's a reason Damon waited. I told him to come find you to tell you. You have to listen to him!"

"What does he need to tell me?"

Elena sighed. "I can't tell you. He has to tell you himself."

This was so strange. What was so important that Damon had to wait years before letting her know he was alive over? And why wasn't Elena allowed to say anything about it?

"Okay. I'll….I'll talk to him."

A few days after the lunch at the diner, Damon Salvatore found himself standing once again, outside his little bird's school.

He knew he was slowly but surely making her crack. She still flushed when he smiled a certain way at her, her heart beat still picked up a few notches whenever he was around, and he could see her fighting smiles at just the mere sight of him.

She was still in love with him. He knew that. Now all he had to do was convince her of that. Make her see that they belonged together. And get her to listen to him, to allow him to explain why it had taken him far too long to come and find her.

"Damon…isn't it?"

The vampire frowned, and turned in the direction of the voice, holding back a growl of irritation at who it was.

It was the boy his redbird was currently conversing with.

"Can I help you?" He had to bite back a condescending tone. Though he knew this mere human was no match for him…not physically, or for Bonnie's heart, he was an annoyance to deal with.

But for now, he had to play nice. It would be slightly more difficult to crumble Bonnie's walls if her current suitor hated him.

Gregory nodded, and then quickly looked around, obviously looking for any sight of Bonnie. "I need to talk to you."

Damon crossed his arms over his chest, raising an eyebrow casually. "What is it?"

Gregory sighed. "It's about Bonnie. Do you…." He lowered his voice a few notches. "Do you have feelings for her?"

Perhaps this human wasn't as dense as he looked….

"My thoughts on Miss McCullough aren't any of your concern", he answered flatly, brushing him aside. "And speaking of….are you not supposed to be meeting her after school to escort her home?"

"I am. But she's staying in a bit late to take a test. I've been waiting for her here", Gregory answered, before one of his eyebrows rose. "Is that what you're doing too?"

Damon smirked. "Perhaps, perhaps not."

The vampire and human then stood beside each other as they watched the other students walking by, and Gregory was desperately trying to think of another way to bring up the subject of Bonnie again.

He hadn't expected Damon to be this stubborn. He was sure that there was something more between him and Bonnie that Bonnie wasn't telling him when he watched them interact at the diner.

He had to think of another way of going about it. But he knew just from a few days of knowing him that Damon wasn't really a patient person, so he had to be cautious.

"She has feelings for you too, you know", Gregory suddenly said, hoping this attempt would be more successful then the last one. "But she thinks she has no chance with you."

At this, Damon turned towards him sharply, and Gregory had to force back a smirk of victory. "And how do you know this?"

He shrugged. "I can just tell. And…she told me."

Silence passed again, before Gregory murmured lowly. "You're the one she really wants."

Yes, he was fully aware of the fact that Bonnie didn't love him. But it was okay, because he knew he didn't love her either. He liked her a lot, and would miss their relationship, but it was all for fun and games from the very beginning. He suspected from the emotion in her voice when they talked that her feelings for Damon were much stronger than that.

He looked down at the ground as he said his next words. "So what's it going to be? If we break up, are you going to admit to her that you have feelings for her? Or should I just save her the trouble and try to help her move on from you?"

"Bonnie…I think we should break up."

Bonnie's eyes widened, and she spun quickly in her chair to face Gregory. "Why? What...did….did I do something wrong?"

He shook his head. "You did nothing wrong. Our relationship….was fun while it lasted, but we both knew it was only for fun from the beginning." He then grinned at her. "Besides, I think there's someone you would rather be with over me."

Bonnie sighed, but knew he was right. It wasn't fair of her to continue dating Gregory while she was still in love with someone else…even if that someone else was an impossible dream.

She then remembered that promise to Elena she had made over the phone about talking to Damon and giving him a chance to explain himself. If anything, she at least needed to get closure on her feelings for Damon before she even thought about dating someone else.

But she knew a part of her would mourn and miss her relationship with Gregory. He was probably the nicest guy she had dated thus far in college.

She shot him a nervous smile. "But we can still be friends, right?"

He smiled back, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Of course."

When Bonnie finally walked back into her apartment, she nearly jumped out of her skin at the sight of Damon standing in the doorway of her apartment. "We need to talk."

After calming down her racing heartbeat at the scare, Bonnie nodded, and sighed. "Okay. I….I got a call from Elena the other day, and she said that there was a reason that you took so long to tell me you were alive, and that I should let you explain."

He frowned. "Did she tell you the reason?"

She shook her head. "No. I asked her to, but she told me it was only your information to tell." He moved out of the way of the doorway to let her inside the room, and then shut the door behind them as they both sat down in the same armchairs they had sat in the first time he was in her apartment.

"So….I'm willing to listen to you Damon", Bonnie said, biting her lip. "I'm sorry for yelling at you and kicking you out before."

He chuckled. "It's quite alright, little redbird. I was fairly proud of you." His dark eyes then assessed her, looking her up and down. "You've….really grown over the last few years. My little kitten is now a tigress."

Despite herself, she giggled. "Well, I promise to let you finish this time."She leaned back into the armchair. "I'll admit you….really hurt my feelings when you told me that you've been alive for years, and only just now decided to let me know you were alive." Her bottom lip quivered a bit at the thoughts. "It made me feel like I didn't mean anything to you."

"It wasn't my intention to hurt you", Damon replied lowly. "And if you'll listen, I am sure you will begin to understand my reasoning."

Bonnie nodded, and then made herself more comfortable on the armchair. "Okay, I'm listening."

Smoothly, Damon sat up in the armchair, looking directly into her eyes as he spoke. "You already know about the first part. The tears and hair that you and Elena left behind with me on that moon somehow caused me to revive", he explained flatly. "When I awoke, I kept seeing images of both your faces in my conscious. I was unsure of whom you both were, but I knew you were important."

Bonnie was surprised at this piece of information. Of course Elena had been one of the first people on Damon's mind after he came back to life, but she hadn't expected him to tell her that HER face had also appeared alongside Elena's.

"After I rose, I spent weeks wandering the earth, unaware of who I was", he continued, his voice still stoic. "And then one day, it all came back."

She frowned a little that that. The idea of a confused and lost Damon wandering around all alone saddened her.

"I then tracked down my little brother", he then said, his signature 500 kilowatt smile finally making its self know. "He has never been one to not leave trails. I found him and Elena vacationing in our old family villa in Florence."

Bonnie could only imagine Elena and Stefan's shock at Damon randomly showing up alive.

"We had our little reunion, and then they immediately wanted to inform everyone about my return", he said, and now Bonnie could see a small flicker of guilt in his dark eyes. "But I requested them not to."

Bonnie choked back a small whimper. "Why would you do that?"

It was the question she wanted answered more than anything else.

"That's what I'm about to explain", he said shortly, pausing for a second to gauge her expression before continuing. "Bonnie, dying was a learning experience…and shortly after I returned, I realized a few things."

Bonnie frowned in confusion, unsure of where he was going with this. "What kind of things?"

"Things regarding you and Elena", he answered flatly. "I'm sure you're aware of the desire I had for her before my death. For the longest time, I was sure that she was all I wanted."

Subconsciously and maybe not even realizing he was doing it, he took her hand, and this time, she let him hold it.

"However, after my return from death, my mind was clear. Because I hadn't the slightest notion of who I was, I held no anger. No resentment. All that was clear was how I felt about the golden-haired and redheaded maidens in my vague memories. And….after I eventually regained everything; I came to the conclusion that there was a high possibility that you were just as important to me as Elena was."

Bonnie gasped. Was he….was Damon suggesting that he felt the same for her as what he felt for Elena. No…it couldn't be, could it? He must mean something else….

"And after I started to think back to my death…how I saved you from being impaled by that tree and took the fall instead, I knew there must have been a reason I was so willing to lay down my life." Another pause and this one looked like a very uncharacteristic nervous one. "I then knew that it must be true. How I felt for you was as strong as my desire for Elena."

With wide, shocked eyes, she studied his expression, and found no hints of mock and deceiving. He was being completely serious.

"But if that's true, then why did you…."

"I'm getting to that", he said, waving at her in a bit of an impatient matter.

She gave him an apologetic look for interrupting, and then nodded mutely, signaling for him to continue.

"I wanted to come for you right away. My every sense was urging me to, but I made myself stay away from you for the time being. Though in a sense I had finally become aware of your importance to me, I was still unsure of a few things." When his dark eyes held that small apologetic look in them again, she knew what he was going to say next would hurt a bit. "I knew of how you felt for me for a long while, little bird, but I also didn't forget my burning desire for Elena. I didn't wish to come for you and disappoint you if I ended up choosing her."

She remained quiet to allow this to sink in. So he was claiming that he had kept away from her in order to avoid hurting her if the outcome was bad. But didn't he know that allowing her to think he was dead for three years hurt her far more than getting rejected for Elena ever could?

"Damon, I wouldn't have cared." Okay, that WAS a bit of a lie. "I….I mean, yes, it would have hurt, but not as much as thinking you were dead did. I would rather know you were alive and okay and chasing Elena over thinking you were dead."

And this was the truth. Couldn't Damon understand that nothing he could have possibly done with Elena in front of her could ever hurt as much as thinking he was dead?

"I know that now", he answered, and she could hear a hint of remorse in his voice. "It was a foolish mistake on my part not letting you know. But just know that it was never my intent to hurt you, little bird."

He gave her hand a gentle squeeze before looking directly into her eyes again, a small twinkle suddenly appearing in his dark ones. "Would you like to hear the rest of the story?"

She nodded a bit shyly, very curious as to what else he had to tell her after the information he had already revealed.

"After my return, I spent the last three years in Florence with Elena. My little brother left after only a few months, stating that Elena needed to "sort out how she felt about me" before he could continue being with her."

Bonnie bit her bottom lip. She couldn't say it didn't hurt listening to this, but she knew it was necessary. "So you were….together for three years?"

The thought of Damon and Elena having a good time in Italy while she was here, still thinking Damon was dead because of her threatened to boil her anger back up, but she managed to keep most of it at bay.

Damon nodded. "More or less." He took another quiet pause to study her expression, and Bonnie fought to keep it neutral. "Our tryse ended a month ago, after Elena helped me finally come to terms with something."

"And what would that be?" She hesitantly removed her hand from his, the intense look he was giving her overwhelming her and making her head swim.

For a second, she thought she could see a look of slight disdain flash in his black orbs before he regained his collected posture.

"Elena informed me that….she had heard me say your name in my sleep a few times."

"You…you were dreaming about me?" Bonnie yelped, disbelief clearly laced in her question.

"I am not one to dwell on my dreams, or really recall them for that matter, but I suppose so. You had often been on my mind the last few years." For the first time since they started this conversation, he looked down a fraction, removing his intense gaze away from her.

"A while after that, Elena realized how much she yearned for my brother, and we agreed that we needed to go our separate ways. We both realized that our true desires don't lie with each other any longer."

He looked back up at her. "I knew I had to find you. And I imagine that Elena is well on her way to locating my brother."

Bonnie was….shocked to say the least, and she didn't quite know what to make of it. Was Damon saying that he came to look for her because he realized he wanted her over Elena? Could she dare think or hope for that?

"I don't…."

"It's you, my little redbird. It's always been you", he supplied in a surprisingly tender voice. "It took my death, and three years of complimenting for me to realize it, but I know it to be true now."

Bonnie's feelings were now a mixture of overwhelming happiness and hesitance. She wasn't sure if she should leap into his arms or continue to be angry with him.

"Earlier, Greg and I broke up", she finally said flatly, "and he was the one to suggest it, because he thought we had unresolved feelings for each other. Did you say something to him?"

Brief confusion was evident on the vampire's face, and Bonnie was sure he was expecting her to happily jump into his arms.

And it was what the old Bonnie would have done. The old Bonnie would have been so overjoyed by his confession that she would have forgiven him in a heartbeat.

There was a part of her mindset that wanted to do just that, but she was proud of herself for resisting it.

Finally, seeming to have broken out of his surprise, Damon answered. "I did speak with him, yes. But he had been the one to address the topic first."

Bonnie looked down a bit nervously. "He was right. I do still have feelings for you, Damon." She looked up and managed a weak smile at him. "They never went away. But…I, well, I'm still kind of mad at you. I know now that you had good intentions when you didn't tell me you were alive, but it still hurt. I…I can't get over it just like that."

Her words came out strong, and she mentally applauded herself.

She watched as a small hint of a smile appeared on Damon's once nonchalant expression. "You really have blossomed, my little bird."

Bonnie frowned at his somewhat odd response, but before she could get a word out, he continued.

"I understand. And I will allow you all the time you need in sorting out whatever is going on in your pretty little head", he said, now standing up to head towards the door. "I'm sure you're aware of how patient I can be when I want something."

He opened the door, but stopped before walking out, turning back towards her. "But before I make my leave, will you indulge me in one single kiss?"

Bonnie couldn't help but let out a small giggle. Since when did Damon ask for kisses?

But should she? God knows she wanted to. It had been so long since she had felt Damon's velvety lips against her own, and he looked so inviting at that moment, a flirtatious gleam in his eyes, and a small smirk dancing on his lips.

But was it worth throwing away the strength she had just shown by not giving in to Damon immediately like she would have a few years ago?

She deiced it wasn't. However, she did attempt her best flirty look. "Maybe…come back to me with that in a couple of days."

He let out an over-exaggerated sigh of disappointment, but she could sense his amusement at her flirting. "I suppose it didn't hurt to try, nonetheless."

With one final wink at her, he was gone.

One month later

Bonnie giggled as Damon nuzzled her neck, one of her small hands weaving itself into his raven hair.

They were lying in her bed, with Bonnie cuddling into Damon's arms, at around 10:00 at night.

And she couldn't be happier.

"I love you, Damon."

It felt so good to finally be able to openly say it, without the fear of rejection. She knew now that he felt the same way.

Damon finally came up from her neck, no doubt having left a prominent mark on the side of it, and kissed the top of her head.

"Anch'io ti voglio bene, il mio piccolo uccello rosso."

Bonnie was able to translate the words perfectly now, having heard it several times, and smiled widely, leaning up to kiss his cheek.

She sighed in happiness and cuddled in further into him, closing her eyes in content.

For so long, she had wanted this. And now she finally had it. Damon loved her. And she loved him with everything she had. They were both finally happy.

She looked over at the digital clock sitting on her nightstand, and nearly gasped at how late it was.

The clock read 12:43 P.M.

Where had the time gone?

"Damon…" she said through faint giggles, "it's almost one in the morning."

The vampire shrugged casually, pecking the small redheaded woman on the lips. "Sleep is not a necessity."

Bonnie opened her mouth to retort, but stopped, quickly realizing that it was the weekend, and she wouldn't have to get up early in the morning anyway. She smiled wickedly.

Damon cupped her cheek and really kissed her then and she closed her eyes and kissed back.

Sometimes she wondered how she had gotten so lucky… Damon had in the end, chosen her. Was it always meant to be or had she just gotten a lucky break?

It's always been meant to be this way. Since the first day I met you, I didn't have it in me to not save you, Damon suddenly said telepathically, having obviously read her thoughts and sent his answer into her mind.

Wait a second….

Bonnie abruptly broke her lips from his and looked up at him with confusion.

"What do you mean, Damon?"

He seemed a little surprised at her confusion. "I believe I said…."

"You said that when you first met me, you saved me. But…that isn't true", she said, shrugging questionably.

She clearly remembered the first time she had come face-to-face with Damon Salvatore, because back then, she had been a bit afraid of him.

He hadn't really acknowledged her that night, other than a discreet, blink-and-you-would-miss-it flirtatious smile.

Damon, seeming to finally realize what he had said, lit up in understanding.

"My apologies redbird. I was thinking of something else."

Bonnie tilted her head to the side. "What were you talking about?" Her voice wasn't angry or accusing….just genuinely curious.

After a moment's hesitation, Damon sighed and pulled her closer to him. "Bonnie, there's something I never told you." He frowned. "In actuality, I met you before I met Elena. I influenced you to not remember it."


Never did she expect to hear something like this. That first night seeing him on her bedroom windowsill when she was seventeen years old with Elena and Meredith hadn't been the first time she had seen Damon? And something big must have happened on their real first meeting if he had compelled her to forget it.

Damon stroked her hair softly. "You were in a library located back in Fell's Church, working on some sort of project for that loathsome history teacher of yours. I had happened to stop by and was able to sense that you were in danger", he explained. "A pair of werewolves had been planning on making you their next meal, but I had stopped them." He then let out a chuckle, stopping his stroking of her hair to look into her eyes. "And afterwards, I helped you finish your school project and drove you home." He winked at her. "But I placed a kiss upon your lips before I let you be."

Not knowing what to say in that moment, Bonnie simply reflected on what he just revealed to her.

So….that chilling kiss in the clearing hadn't been the first one? They had kissed once before that? The thought left her full of wonder.

And….even before she had really known him, Damon had saved her life. The idea made her smile.

And lastly, he had helped her with her homework.

The very thought caused Bonnie to suddenly burst into laughter.

"What's so amusing?"

Damon's question and the frown on his face did nothing to help stop Bonnie's laughs from spilling out, a small amount of tears falling from the corner of her eyes. Just…the mental image of Damon Salvatore sitting down in the library with her and working on her homework was hysterical, for some reason. It was so utterly….normal.

"I uh…no….nothing Damon", she finally got out, her laughs slowing down to occasional giggles. "It's just….I found the idea of you doing something so average…like helping me with my homework kind of funny." She paused. "But I guess that explains the perfect history paper I got in Mr. Tanner's class…and how shocked he was when he handed it back."

"So um…why did you make me forget it?"

She cuddled back into his arms as she listened to his answer.

"You knew what I was. And I didn't believe I would ever see you again. At the time, I couldn't just let a high school human walk away knowing what I was."

She bit her lip. "Do you think you could un-do the compulsion? So I can remember it again?"

She wanted to remember their first kiss….and the very time she had first laid eyes on Damon Salvatore. It seemed unfair that she didn't get to remember such an important event.

Damon nodded, and looked deeply into her eyes, and she felt herself become transfixed, unable to look away from them.

And then the memories hit her. All at once.

She remembered Damon saving her from the wolves. She remembered how he had called her a "little idiot" for being at the library all alone. She remembered him helping her finish her history essay, and then taking her home. And most importantly, she remembered that first kiss….and how it had been the sweetest kiss she had ever received.

And in that moment, it seemed even clearer before that everything that had happened the past few years had been leading her to this man….Damon Salvatore. The man she was completely in love with.

She threw herself into his arms again, kissing him full on the lips.

Yes. She knew it for sure now. It had always been meant to end like this.

A/N: Whoo! Finally done! XD This was one of my longer ones. I love you Luisa, and I hoped you liked it :) (And that everyone else did too)