The four seasons came and went. For the first time in what seems like years, I did not dread the start of anything. A new day, a new week, a new month, a new year. Damon has kept his promise, never leaving my side and being an amazing father to Aubree.
She's three now and she contains more energy than I had in my whole life. She started her first year of preschool and already made a good friend. That friend just happens to be a boy. Damon nearly had a fit when she told him about Adam. Only when Aubree insisted that kissing was gross that he calmed down. Then proceeded to kiss me as Aubree ran out of the room, screaming, "Ew!".
Both Damon and I went to college as Aubree was going to preschool. He's been studying law while I've been studying writing, just as planned. While school keeps us busy, we always make room for the things that matter most in our lives: family. Because, really, when it all boils down, we need family. Both Damon and I lost our families too young, too naive. We refused to let that happen to Aubree.
Speaking of family, Stefan shared important news with us a few months ago. He announced that he was gay. I thought that it had something to do with his father's abuse and it brought back sad memories of the tragic situation. But Stefan seems as happy as I do with his partner. So, good for him. We make sure to have him and his boyfriend over at least once a week for dinner.
Friends are important too, of course. Caroline, Tyler, and Matt are still residing in the crappy apartment that we first called home together just two years ago. Tyler and Caroline got engaged at Christmas time. They planned the wedding for the summer after they graduate from college. Staying true to her character, Caroline is already going bridezilla on me, the Maid of Honor.
Matt found a pretty little girl at a pretty little bar one evening. Aubree seems to love her and if she has Aubree's approval, she has mine. Aubree and Matt are still close and we try to see them several times a week. Actually, after my little girl told Matt about Adam, he seemed as worried as Damon was.
On one particular day, I was walking down the street on my way home from one of my classes. Damon and Aubree would be home by now. A taxi would get my home quicker, but I decided to take a short detour and ending up walking a few blocks to 5th Avenue, where Half Life stood.
I walked in and glanced around, taking in all the memories of Liam. It's been a year and no romantic feelings have resurfaced. As luck would have it, he just moves past the door when he stops and looks at him. He hesitates, probably questioning if it's really me. "Elena?"
"Hi." I stand up straighter, pushing back a piece of hair that fell out of my pony tail. "How have you been?"
His face softens. Maybe he's been wanting this too, the final closure. He steps closer to me, feeling more comfortable with my presence. He runs a hand through his hair. "I've been good. Yeah, life's great now. How about you?"
"Looks like we got something in common." I nod, smiling. "I'm in college, actually. So, that's been good. I just figured I'd stop by. It's been ages since I've seen this place."
He chuckled a little. "Hasn't changed at all, has it? But you have. You seem...you seem happy." He looks into my eyes for a moment then glances away. "How's Aubree?"
"The reason why I'm so tired all the time." I grin.
Then he laughs because he knows exactly what I mean.
We go on talking, a conversation that doesn't last too long but is filled with a year's worth of events. I tell him that I'm with Damon and that the three of us are living together. He tells me that he's happy for me. He also talks about how he's seeing someone else, that their relationship is serious, and that he's planning on going to college the following year to study business. I tell him that I'm happy for him.
Then our conversation turns to Katherine. Liam says that she's finally moved on. Her modeling career has never been more successful and that she has guys begging for a date with her.
It's good to know that people move on. Liam's happy with someone who loves him and that's all I can ever ask for for him. Katherine is happy as well. We're all happy.
When I arrive back home, Aubree greets me with a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. I find Damon in the kitchen, who's busy perfecting the spaghetti. I wrap my arms around his waist from behind. "I get that you're trying to be a good boyfriend and dad and all by cooking. But, I really wouldn't mind Chinese once in a while."
He grins. "Are you saying you don't like my cooking, Miss Gilbert?"
"You know that I love your cooking, Mr. Salvatore." I tell him. "But, I've been craving Chinese food lately."
"Then looks like you'll just have to wait until tomorrow." He says.
I go on to tell him about meeting Liam. I told him that he said about Katherine, that she's doing good. To that, he replies, "Good for her. Everyone deserves happiness. But I think that I'm the happiest man in the world."
We kiss. His arms wrapped around my body, pulling me closer to him. Memories circulate as our tongues hungrily search each other's mouthes. This is what I've wanted. To be swept up by a Prince Charming.
Though, no matter how elated we are in the moment, we'll always have our troubles. But we'll work through them together. We'll be fine as long as we remember that flowers will always peek up. A spring to end the winter.
A few minutes later, I find myself sitting at the table. Damon is sitting at the head, scooping up the noodles onto Aubree's plate. She talks animatedly about her day at preschool and which kid got in trouble by her teacher and which kid accidentally ate the Play-Dough.
I smile at them, soaking this moment in. There'll be plenty more but every memory is important. After all, our lives are just strings of memories - good and bad.
There is no ring on my finger just yet, although I expect for it to come soon. Maybe once we're both done school and when Aubree is a little older. But there is no doubt in my mind that Damon is the one for me. He always has been. We fought through obstacles together and came out stronger.
I'm thinking about how lucky I got, that not many people find their epic love so early in their lives when Aubree's dish clatters to the floor and brings me back. The spaghetti rolls off the plate, staining the white carpet a bright red from the sauce.
Our blue-eyed little girl just looks up at us and says, "Uh oh!"
Finally finished! Hope you guys enjoyed the ending. While I wanted to leave some imagination, I also wanted to give you an ending. So, I guess this is a mixture of both. Though I think it's obvious that they do end up getting married in the future and all is well.
Thank you all SO SO SO SO much for reading this story. I wish I can just hug you all in person. All the reviews, favorites, follows, personal messages. It means so much. Seriously.
If you haven't already, please check out my newest Delena story called, "A Tale as Old as Time".
Here's the summary:
AU/AH. Elena Gilbert has loved her life in Manhattan. It was filled with literature and writing. That is until Damon Salvatore shows up as her new boss. Neither of them could deny their attraction toward each other. But, could it work? Elena, with a fear of making love, and Damon, with a fear of being in love. Inspired by Beauty and the Beast.