"You're bluffing."

Then the sharp sound of bone disconnecting consumed her. It was like all the air was sucked from the world. The tantalizing feeling of Matt's blood still on her tongue now coated like poison. The woods were still, everything an eery calm that Elena was so used to feeling. It was the one emotion the brothers has been trying so desperately to fight away. The sense of peace was shattered and Elena would give anything to feel the scorching fire of the sun swarm her body again, then to watch the limp and lifeless body of her oldest friend lay in an uncomfortable position on the mossy branch littered ground.

Damon let his eyes roam over her, she could feel it. He was gauging her reaction, anticipating her next move. Stefan was ridged beside her, she couldn't sense his body moving, but his breath nearly matched her own. Damon spat out phrases, about Matt's life, almost mocking the boy she had watched grow into a man. The man that had saved her countless times. A man that she loved on an unmatched level, a love above anything else she had ever felt.

Memories flashed behind her blurred vision. Laughing on a swing set, stealing kisses behind Tyler's back at the Lockwood watering hole, cheering as Matt ran onto the school's football field as the fresh face to the Mystic Falls High School football team. Innocent and pure. Memories that kept her sane, before... and the fact that she could remember them only burned her to the core.

"It's a good thing he was wearing this then.."

Elena almost missed it. She was foolishly concentrating for a heartbeat. One of the only ones she had in her life, when she nearly ignored Damon raise Matt's hand, the bizarre life-saving, clunk of metal flashed in the pale moonlight. And just like that, it was like the world was again pulsing with air as Elena dropped to her knees. That weight Damon spoke of lifted off her chest. She quickly claimed Matt's hand, insuring herself that the ring was safely on, no loop holes, no more saying goodbye.

Graduation passed through her jumbled thoughts, and college and cookouts. Laughing near a bonfire with Bonnie and Caroline and a home cooked meal she didn't have to eat anymore. She fantasized about the upcoming summer for a short second, and Tyler and Matt teaching Caroline the finer rules of baseball. Elena could feel the longing inside of her, and if she didn't pace herself, she swore she'd shut it off all over again.

She was swimming in a pool of deprecation and crippling guilt. Her breaths were jagged and her mind was cloudy. She caressed Matt's face then went back to find his hand. She laced their fingers, whispering his name in between sobs. If she could just keep it together until he woke up, she could apologize, make it right. Tell him how thankful she was, for everything.

Elena felt someone grab her, the touch was gentle so she knew who it had to be, but she couldn't leave Matt's side. He risked his life for her, he was the only thing keeping her from falling a part. In the distance she could see headlights, and realized that the light roaring sound she heard wasn't coming from her own body, but from a car in the distance. Rebekah was coming to collect him.

She left Stefan pull her up now, and her eyes left Matt for a brief moment to see the sorrowful look in her ex boyfriend's eyes. It was like a whole new emotion to feel comfort in knowing that he hadn't changed no matter how far she had pushed him. Rebekah gave her a quick smile as she effortlessly carried Matt to her car, and wordlessly drove away. Once she couldn't feel him, his still-warm hand on her own dead skin, she lost it. Everything hit her, and she didn't know if she'd be able to control it.