The Only Exception

6: The Perfect Fit


After eating lunch with the family, Stefan shows Caroline to his old bedroom, which is where they'll be staying, and the two start to settle in. Caroline is relieved to learn that Damon's bedroom is on the complete opposite end of the house, and she hopes that means there won't be another chance for him to get her alone and threaten her about their secret. She is still feeling slightly sick from the discovery that the wedding she'll be attending with Stefan is to the man she stupidly hooked up with over five months ago and thought she'd never see again. Somehow she knows that keeping it a secret from Stefan is the wrong thing to do, but she can't bring herself to tell him the truth. Caroline thinks she's doing a good job at hiding her panic from the unexpected situation she was thrown into, especially during lunch, but now that she and Stefan are alone she's not so sure she's coming off as confident as she'd like to appear.

Stefan is quietly unpacking his suitcase, his mind wandering back to memories he wishes he could forget about this room, most of them involving Elena. If he'd made a real stink about it, he probably could have convinced his mom to stick him and Caroline in a different bedroom for the week, but he honestly didn't feel like getting into it. If he'd requested a change, his mom would have wondered why, and the one person he's no good at lying at is his mother; he would have had to admit he's still not one-hundred percent over Elena, and he'll never say that out loud to anyone. Instead, he'd said nothing, and now he's going to suffer because of it. He supposes even if he were in a different room, his mind would still be plagued with memories of Elena and how different he'd thought the future would be back then.

"Do you..." Caroline cuts into Stefan's depressing thoughts, unable to take the silence any longer, "...know when we're leaving for the fair?"

"About an hour and a half, I believe," Stefan answers, recalling his mother's words of wanting everyone to be ready to go at exactly four o'clock. He notices then that his blonde companion has been awfully quiet since they left his family downstairs, and her face is contemplating, as if she's got a lot on her mind. Stefan pauses in unpacking and turns to Caroline, questioning, "That wasn't too awful, was it?"

Caroline's eyes jump to Stefan's in surprise, and she starts to shake her head, "Oh no, it wasn't awful at all." Since she isn't quite sure which specific part about their arrival he's asking about, she generalizes, "Your family seems really nice, the house is gorgeous, and I have absolutely no complaints. Did you think it was awful?"

Stefan considers the question for a long moment before finally replying, "It...could have been a lot worse."

Caroline wonders if Stefan knew about her brief history with his brother if he'd still say the same. Would that make this whole thing worse? Caroline thinks it definitely makes it worse.

"You were great, though," Stefan continues, "My mom really seems to like you. Dad takes longer to come around, but he didn't look like he disapproves." Wrinkling his forehead in thought, he adds, "Even Elena liked you."

Caroline stumbles over her words looking for an appropriate response, "Oh? Well she' was nice. She's pretty, really pretty. She seemed surprised, uh, that you brought me? I just...did she know?" Caroline closes her mouth and inwardly smacks herself. What the hell was that? Way to sound like a complete freak of nature.

"Well, I didn't tell her," Stefan explains, leaving out the fact that he hasn't spoken to Elena directly in almost two years, up until today's awkward reunion, "But everyone else knew, so I imagine someone told her."

Caroline nods, hoping to redeem herself, "It's probably a strange situation for her as well." Caroline notes that Stefan seems wary to delve into this topic, and she is tempted to blurt out, 'I love your Nonna and Nonno; they're so cute!' in an attempt to change the subject, but decides she's going to push forward. Stefan has been putting off and putting off the story of him and Elena, and now here they are in Mystic Falls and Caroline is still clueless about why they broke up. There's no other time to put it off to; she has to know now. Caroline bites her lower lip as she thinks, Stefan watching her all the while, and then she finally requests, "Stefan, will you tell me what happened with you and her?"

He knew she would eventually ask him, but he dreaded the moment he'd actually have to tell Caroline the whole pathetic story of how his and Elena's relationship ended up a train wreck, for him at least. He'd like to say, 'It's not important', or 'Ask me later,' but he has already used up those excuses. Accepting that he can't evade the question, Stefan sighs loudly as he sits down on the end of his bed.

"I know it's probably not something you like to talk about," Caroline comforts, taking a seat beside him, leaving some space in between, "But I promise, I am not here to judge you. Plus, I'm already on Team Stefan, so you have nothing to worry about." She is pleased to see she made him smile a little bit. "I just feel like I'm the only one here who doesn't know the history, and..."

"And you deserve to know too," Stefan completes for her. "I did say I'd tell you..." But if he really wanted to refuse, he's sure he could convince Caroline she doesn't need to hear all the gory details. He could, but he's not going to. He doesn't like to talk about it, and has never really shared his full side of the story with anyone besides Lexi, but for some reason he trusts Caroline and he decides it's safe to tell her. He clears his throat, "Elena and I were together for seven years. No, six, that last one...doesn't really count. I asked her out when we were sophomores in high school and we, I guess, officially broke-up two years ago, in August." And how fabulous is it that she's now marrying Damon in August? "She hated Damon when we were in high school; thought he was a sociopath who would eventually become a serial killer one day." Caroline's mouth twitches and she looks unsure whether to laugh or ask him what is wrong with him. Stefan insists, "Elena's words, not mine, but obviously she changed her mind about that. Or maybe she liked him the whole time and didn't want me to know, I don't know, I don't care. Elena swears she and Damon didn't even become friends until the second year I was away at college."

Caroline can see Stefan growing more and more bitter as he reveals his past to her, and she can already see where this is headed. She almost wants to tell him to stop, that it's okay, she doesn't need to hear it, but she wonders if maybe Stefan needs to share it with her. She wonders if he's ever really talked about this before. If it happened to her, would she want to tell? No. She'd want to run away and never show her face again.

"When I graduated from Columbia and moved back home, I knew something was weird, different, about Damon and Elena. They were too familiar, totally in sync; it was obvious they had moved past friend-territory while I was away. I denied it at first, tried to convince myself it was only because I wasn't around and Elena was substituting Damon for me. But that was bullshit and I knew it. Nothing was the same between us. When I confronted her about it, she didn't deny it, she told me everything, so that's how I know the last year of our relationship meant nothing, not when she was questioning whether or not she was in love with my brother." Stefan takes a deep breath, almost relieved to have the worst part over with. He finishes up quickly, not feeling it necessary to go into detail on Elena and Damon's happily-ever-after, especially not when Caroline is already forced to witness it first-hand for the next week. "After we broke up, they waited three months, and then Elena moved in my house to live with Damon. That's when I decided to move back to New York."

As Stefan shrugs and leans back to look at her, Caroline realizes his story has come to an end, and even though her mind is racing with many thoughts and opinions about his words, Caroline is surprised to admit, "I-I don't know what to say."

Stefan raises an eyebrow and states dryly, "You're kidding; you have something to say about everything."

"Are you saying I talk a lot?" Caroline accuses, catching on that he's teasing her. Stefan nods and she pretends to be wounded. "I'll remember that, Stefan. Well, like I said, I wasn't going to judge. And I don't want to say anything..." Anything that will make you hate me. Caroline wrings her hands together as she debates whether or not to tell Stefan what she really thinks. Its one thing for him to think or say negative things about Damon and Elena, but it's another entirely for Caroline to do so. Stefan might think he's ready to hear some harsh feedback on his brother and ex-girlfriend's actions, but what if he's not mentally ready? Then Caroline could be jeopardizing her relationship, her professional relationship, with Stefan and that is not something she can afford to lose.

Stefan can see the inner conflict Caroline is having written all over her face, and it makes him all that much more curious to know what's on her mind. Since meeting her three weeks ago, the outspoken blonde has never been too shy to tell him her honest opinion of any given situation. Usually, she talks so much he can barely get a word in, not that he's complaining, but now she's at a complete loss of words. It is puzzling to him.

Finally, Caroline shakes her head, frowning deeply in confusion, "God – I just don't…" Deciding it just isn't in her to keep quiet, she scoffs, "What the fuck were they thinking? Seriously, you're his brother. He's your brother. Did that not mean anything to either of them?" Once she gets started, it's like the floodgates have opened up, and she can't stop the words from spilling out. "How can people be so selfish that they only think about themselves and their feelings? It's like, people like that don't care who they hurt, or how many lives get ruined, just as long as they're happy in the end, that they got what they wanted. It's so disgusting. What happened to real love? What happened to faithful relationships? They don't exist anymore, because there are so many selfish people out there with their own hidden agendas. Marriage is a sham, too. Was there ever a time when 'unavailable' actually meant 'unavailable'? Cheating has become a friggin' sport, people do it for fun, do it to see how long they can get away with it, and how many hearts they can break. I used to be a true believer, but I can honestly say that I have no faith anymore, in love or marriage. I don't think I'll ever get married. You think you know someone…but you never really do."

Stefan follows along listening intently to Caroline's every word. He wasn't expecting her to get so worked up over it, almost like she was taking it personally what was done to Stefan in the past; not that he isn't appreciative of someone else who shares in his belief that Damon and Elena are selfish and that what they did was wrong. He is curious to know if Caroline formed these strong opinions of love and marriage after a personal experience herself, or from some other reason. He doesn't know very many girls who have zero faith in marriage and want nothing to do with it. He would never have guessed Caroline felt that way, either. If anything, he thought Caroline was a bit of a romantic herself. He does think she's onto something when she says that you never really know a person; he thought he knew Elena better than he even knew himself, but he turned out to be dead wrong.

When Stefan doesn't say anything, Caroline assumes she took things way too far. See? Look what you did, She thinks to herself, You should have just stuck with the 'I don't know what to say' comment. Now you've scared the poor guy. She should have known better, really, what with her relationship history. She may be having a dry streak at the moment, but back in Massachusetts, she'd been a regular dater. She had a steady boyfriend too, not that he was anyone to really brag about. She wasn't a man-hater or anything, she just had seen and experienced heart break too many times to believe something could actually make feeling that shitty worth it. True love was something made up to help make the world seem less scary, much like Santa Claus was made up to keep children on their best behavior, and Cinco De Mayo was adopted by the Americans as another excuse to get totally inebriated.

"I'm sorry," Caroline states nervously, "That was really inappropriate. I shouldn't have been-"

"What?" Stefan cuts in, a small smirk appearing on his lips as he suggests, "Honest? I'd prefer you tell me what you really think as opposed to saying you have no opinion at all."

Caroline is still unsure, "Yeah, but I'm sure you didn't want to hear my five-minute rant on why everyone's a cheater and marriage is pointless. I just – My mom and dad got divorced when I was eleven, because my dad finally decided he wanted to be who he truly was; a gay man. Now I don't have any resentment towards my dad for being gay, you can't choose who you love, but I do resent what he did to my mom, and how he left her broken-hearted and questioning the legitimacy of her thirteen-year marriage. I've talked to my dad about his sexual orientation, about when he knew he was attracted to men, and why he kept it a secret for so long. I can understand why it was scary for him to…come out, but that doesn't mean I approve of his actions. What he did to my mom was still cheating, he committed adultery, and that's wrong. Nothing he can say will make it right. He knew how he was feeling before he acted upon those feelings, so there was time to break things off the right way with my mom. But he chose to do things the wrong way." After a pause, Caroline relates the situation to Stefan's, "Same with Elena and Damon. Clearly, Elena knew she was developing feelings for Damon before she acted on them, and she could have done the right thing by telling you, but she didn't. It doesn't matter what her reasons were, if she was confused, or if she just wanted time to figure things out. Whatever the reason, it was a selfish one, and she should have thought things through and done what was right."

Stefan knew that Caroline's parents were divorced when she was in sixth grade, she told him so on their date at the Central Park Zoo, but she hadn't told him it was because her dad is gay. He thinks it explains a lot about her, especially her recent confession at being anti-marriage. Stefan has another theory, but he keeps it to himself for now. Instead, Stefan states, "You remind me of my friend Lexi."

"I do?" Caroline asks, feeling somewhat thrilled at being compared to the only person Stefan was truly looking forward to seeing on this trip.

Stefan nods, further explaining, "Lexi acts like it's her job to cheer me up. She says I'm always brooding, which if I'm not mistaken, you've also said. She is considerably more sarcastic than you, but you can both make me laugh, and that's not something too many can do. She doesn't believe in marriage, either. And she thinks Damon and Elena are both assholes."

"I didn't say that," Caroline reminds him, "Not in those exact words, at least. But I'm not denying that it's true…"

Stefan cracks a smile, "I can't wait for you to meet her."

"Neither can I," Caroline returns his smile, glad to see one on his face after the emotional conversation they've been having. He kept himself surprisingly cool and collected throughout the whole confession, something she's not sure she could have done herself if their roles were reversed. The more time she spends with him, the more she realizes just how perfect Stefan Salvatore is. He is polite and generous, a perfect gentleman, easy to communicate with, intelligent, and extremely good looking. He's the total package. She can't stop wondering, How could she want him and not you?

"So, Caroline," Elena asks casually as the two women wait in line for frozen lemonade, "How long have you and Stefan been together?"

Caroline, who was already thrown off guard when Elena offered to help her purchase refreshments for the group, is further surprised by the brunette's boldness. She might be playing coy, but Caroline knows how girls think, and right now Elena is sizing her up, almost like she's competition. Elena shouldn't see Caroline as competition though, because if the prize is Damon, she's already won.

"Uh, a little over four months," Caroline replies, sticking to the story she and Stefan came up with over the past couple of weeks. It feels strange having a conversation with Elena, seeing how a little over an hour ago Caroline was sitting with Stefan in his room discussing all the ways she and Damon hurt him. At first impression, Caroline had thought Elena seemed like a genuine and sweet girl, but after learning what she is capable of, Caroline has to assume she's hiding a darker-self behind those innocent brown doe eyes. Caroline has a role to play, though, and part of that role is to play nice with Miss Elena Gilbert.

"And you met at a bar, on your birthday?" Elena asks Caroline to confirm what she remembers of Stefan's story at lunch.

Caroline nods, improvising, "That's right. My best friend works there, so she asked me to stop in on my birthday, and I did. I almost didn't, almost stayed home and had a low-key birthday celebration, but I'm really glad I decided to go. If I hadn't, I would have never met Stefan." She smiles dreamily, staring over Elena's shoulder in the direction of the seating area in front of the stage, like a loving and devoted girlfriend would. She can't see him, but she knows Stefan is sitting with his family in one of the rows, saving a seat for herself and Elena, as they wait for the magic show to start. Stefan told Caroline they didn't have to stay with the family the entire time, but Caroline thinks it's too soon for them to disappear from the group. That is why she offered to grab drinks for everyone, and ended up in the slowest-moving line ever with Damon's bride-to-be, whom she's not even sure she likes very much.

"How long have you been living in the city?" Elena shoots another question, not even commenting on Caroline's response to her previous one.

"A little over six months," Caroline answers while her blue gaze is focused on the kid running the frozen lemonade stand, willing him to pour the damn drinks faster so she can take her order and get back to Stefan. Sparing Elena the chance to ask, she supplies, "Before that, I lived in Massachusetts."

"Ah, so you're from New England," Elena states, a smile on her lips, "My mom was born and raised in Connecticut. She moved to Virginia for college, and that's where she met my dad."

Caroline had met Elena's parents, Miranda and Grayson Gilbert, a few minutes before she and Elena got in line. "Well, I don't blame her for staying," Caroline comments, "It's a beautiful state. I've never been, before today."

At long last, it is Caroline and Elena's turn to order. They buy eight large frozen lemonades, not realizing it would be difficult to carry back with only two of them, and therefore have to walk very slowly to their seats. At least Elena is too distracted to ask Caroline any more personal questions. As the two women make their way down the row which Stefan and his family have sat in, Elena squeals happily and calls out her hello's to someone who joined the group while they were gone. The brunette quickens her pace, passing off her frozen drinks to whoever was closest to her on her way to the handsome young man with light brown hair and warm brown eyes. He grins and takes Elena into his arms for a tight hug. Caroline shoots Stefan, who was the unlucky one that got stuck holding Elena's lemonade, a questioning glance.

"Her brother," Stefan informs, "Jeremy."

Caroline nods once before plopping herself in the empty seat beside Stefan. Elena doesn't return, instead opting for the seat by her parents and her brother, so Stefan passes down her frozen lemonade, and the others that were purchased for her parents and Damon. Caroline hands out the rest of the lemonade to Stefan's parents, and to Alyssa and Olivia. Sticking the straw in the last remaining lemonade, Caroline takes a long refreshing sip and then offers some to Stefan, hoping he doesn't mind sharing with her. He doesn't hesitate to drink from the cup, so she relaxes, fixing her eyes upon the stage, which hasn't changed much in appearance since before she left.

"I thought you said the magic show was about to -" Caroline starts to ask Stefan, but the rest of her question is drowned out by the sound of an announcer on the speaker system. The show is starting. Caroline turns to Stefan and catches him laughing, she assumes at her eagerness for the amateur magic show to begin.

Once the show is over, Stefan asks Caroline what she thought. "I guess I'm just confused still," Caroline complains, "I mean, he put a bunny in the snake box. I realize he pulled a different rabbit out after, but what happened to the first one? Seriously, what if it got eaten by the snake?"

"Caroline," Stefan assures her, finding her concern for the bunny's safety cute, if not a little silly, "I don't think any bunnies were harmed during the magic show. I'm sure the snake and the bunny weren't really in the same box."

"I hope not," Caroline pouts, "I really like bunnies."

"Caroline!" Elena calls when she sees her blonde-haired acquaintance walking with Stefan in the direction of the ticket booth. She waves them over, "Come here, I want you to meet my brother and my best friend." She motions to the couple standing next to her; her brother Jeremy holding hands with a caramel-skinned brunette. When Caroline is close enough to talk in a normal tone, Elena introduces, "This is my brother, Jeremy, and his girlfriend, Bonnie Bennett. Guys, this is Caroline, Stefan's new girlfriend."

Caroline might have noticed the tense look exchanged between Elena and Stefan, if she'd been paying attention, but her eyes were elsewhere. Caroline starts to smile and wave, but she falters and does a double-take when she recognizes the face of the dark-haired, green-eyed woman standing next to Jeremy. Caroline's mouth drops open in shock, but she quickly recovers, checking, "Bonnie? Wait, Bonnie Bennett?" Elena had said her name, but it didn't click until right then.

Bonnie also realizes pretty fast that Stefan's new girlfriend isn't a stranger to her, as she initially thought. "Oh my God, Caroline!" Bonnie steps forward, a huge smile breaking out on her face, and she and Caroline hug.

"I can't believe it!" Caroline gushes, "I never thought I'd see you again. It's been - What? - eighteen years? What are you doing here?"

"I live here," Bonnie informs her old friend with a laugh, "My Grams and I moved here know, and I've been in Mystic Falls ever since. What about you? How long have you been in New York?"

"Not too long," Caroline replies, "Six, almost seven, months now."

"Um…" Elena cuts in quietly, not too happy about being left out. "You two know each other?"

Bonnie sends her best friend an apologetic look before explaining, "Caroline and I are both from Warwick, Massachusetts."

Caroline jumps in when Bonnie pauses, adding, "Bonnie lived like two streets away from me, and we were best friends."

"Yup," Bonnie confirms, "From Pre-K to second grade, when I moved here."

"We stayed in touch for a while, but…" Caroline shrugs, feeling disappointed at the way things worked out, "Eventually we lost contact."

"But now you're here," Bonnie points out, "And we can finally catch up."

"I would love to," Caroline agrees with a nod, finally turning to look over her shoulder at Stefan, who has been patiently waiting as she and Bonnie spoke. She didn't realize that he must be just as confused as Elena, and probably feeling awkward in said brunette's company as well. While Caroline would really like to keep talking with Bonnie, she knows she should probably put it off to a different day. Casually taking hold of Stefan's hand, she informs the other three that, "I think Stefan and I are going to go do our own thing for a little while. He promised to take me on the Ferris wheel, so…"

Bonnie nods in understanding, "Sure, of course. Well, I'll see you on Monday. Jeremy and I are coming to the beach, too, so we'll have plenty of time to catch up then."

"Okay," Caroline says with a smile, stepping forward to give Bonnie another hug, while Stefan simply waves to her and Jeremy. He then puts his arm around Caroline, and directs her to the ticket booth, which was where they were headed before Elena interrupted them. "Wow," Caroline murmurs once they are far enough away to not be overheard, "I can't believe that just happened. What are the odds?"

Stefan seems to agree, "It's a small world…"

"I guess so. My childhood best friend is…Elena's best friend. And-" Suddenly realizing that this might pose a problem for her, seeing how she's not really Stefan's girlfriend, she's a hired escort, she stops in her tracks and looks to Stefan with wide blue eyes. "Oh my gosh, I didn't even think - Is this bad? You're not mad, are you? I had no idea-" She is distracted when Stefan squeezes her hand gently and shakes his head.

"There's nothing to be mad about," Stefan answers, his words instantly relieving Caroline's nerves.

"Are you sure?" She wants to double-check anyways.

Stefan nods, his grip tightening on her waist as he takes a step closer, "Positive." He leans close to Caroline's face, his cheek just barely brushing against hers, so he whisper in her ear, "Elena's watching." Then he pulls back just far enough to peck her on the lips.

It was the second time that Stefan kissed her but Caroline couldn't help feeling like he gave his Nonna a better kiss than her this time. When he kissed her in the car he was much more relaxed, but with Elena's eyes on them, he definitely froze up. When he moves to step back, Caroline puts her arms around his neck to hold him in place, insisting in a teasing tone, "That was not a kiss." She takes his eyebrow quirk as an open invitation, and meets him halfway, this time initiating and kissing him like she would if he really were hers. But they're in public, so she keeps it short and sweet. Then she lets her arms drop and points behind him, happily noting, "Look, there's not a line anymore. Let's go get some tickets. I'm not leaving until we ride the Ferris wheel."

Caroline leads the way, tugging Stefan along behind her. He wasn't expecting Caroline to show up his kiss, but in hind-sight he has to admit hers was better, much better. She surprises him everytime they're together, and usually he doesn't like surprises, but with her he thinks he could get used to them. A few times today he found himself wondering if Caroline is too perfect of a match for him, because she so easily fits into the role of his girlfriend, and everyone seems to love her; everyone except Elena, that is. Caroline is a beautiful person, inside and out. She's confident and charming, up-beat, attentive, and she just seems to get him somehow. But...Stefan isn't looking for a real girlfriend, he's not ready, and Caroline knows that, so that is the only reason why the situation works. It is strictly business. It has to stay that way. Stefan really hopes Lexi will be getting to town soon, he needs her to help him keep his shit together. Maybe he'll even tell her about Caroline, and how she isn't his girlfriend, but a Shameless Girl...

After buying enough tickets to go on the Ferris wheel and possibly one other ride, Caroline insists they get in line right away. It moves fairly slow, but Caroline and Stefan have an easy time falling into conversation. Soon enough, it's their turn to climb into the two-person seat and they start to rise up over the rest of the fair. The sun is starting to go down, not quite sunset, but the clouds are starting to streak with faint purples and pinks and it's beautiful.

"You never told me you were at Shameless the night of my birthday," Caroline comments when the thought pops into her head. She's not sure why she thought of it now, and not earlier when she and Stefan were unpacking. It took time for her brain to process that if he knew all those details of the night, he must have witnessed them first hand. "I didn't see you."

"You didn't know me," Stefan reminds, but still continues on to explain that everything he said was what actually happened that night, the only exception being that he didn't approach her for her number. Instead, he waited until after Caroline left, and asked Pearl if she was one of her Girls. Pearl had said, 'Not yet, but maybe soon,' and then called him back the next day to say Caroline was officially a Shameless Girl, and ready for a date.

Caroline is almost too shocked at learning Stefan had actually requested her to say anything following his explaination. Why did he want me? Caroline wonders, What did he see in me that made him choose me over Pearl's other girls? "I didn't know about the Shameless Girls until the night of my birthday," Caroline states once she finds her voice, "Katherine told me after I complained that I wasn't making enough money for my place. I wasn't sure about it at first, but I asked Kat to talk to Miss Pearl for me anyway, and they both convinced me to at least give it a shot. I guess I got lucky when my first date was with you...according to Katherine, most of the clients aren't nearly as young or interesting to talk to as you. Or handsome," She adds with a wink.

"Nah," Stefan corrects, "I got lucky. If Pearl hadn't called me back, I'd be here alone right now."

"Or with Katherine," Caroline suggests.

"No, I would never have brought Katherine," Stefan denies, unconsciously pulling Caroline closer to him when he feels her shudder from the breeze at the top of the Ferris wheel.

Caroline leans into his warmth gratefully, feeling happy that Stefan not only chose her, but he chose her over Katherine. And he isn't disappointed in his choice. He chose her. Maybe that shouldn't mean so much because the relationship isn't real, but for this week Stefan is hers and she is his; at least, in everyone else's eyes. She might be feeling things somewhat innapropriate for the current situation, but if she keeps on reminding herself that none of it is real, she's sure to be fine. And who knows? She could be feeling this way simply because she misses being with a man, and Stefan is giving her attention. Maybe when they get back to New York and go their separate ways, the feelings will fade away...But for now, she's going to savor every moment in Stefan's arms, because something about being there feels just right.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing last chapter! And thanks to all the new and returning followers(: I hope you liked the chapter.

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Next Chapter: More guests arrive, Church, brunch, and maybe a trip to the bridal store for a final dress fitting? And, of course, more Steroline moments(:

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