~*Seven*~

There Goes The Neighborhood

The sound of Katherine's alarm pounded in her mind, and she shot up in bed.

"What the hell?" She hissed, slamming her hand on the alarm that rested on top of an elegant wooden night table.

"Katherine, what the hell are you still doing in bed?"

As if the day couldn't get any worse. Elena glanced upward through blurry eyes, and the outline of a blonde figure stood in front of her, her hands stretched to her hips.

"My alarm just went off," Elena mumbled as she rubbed her eyes.

"No," Caroline shook her head. "It's been going off for the last ten minutes,"

Had it? Elena frowned. She really didn't get enough sleep last night. She had been lying awake half of the night thinking of yesterday...

Of him.

"Oh, well," Elena sighed. "I'm up now,"

"Well, hurry up," Caroline snapped. "We need to leave in the next twenty minutes. You have filming, then you're scheduled for the Vicki Donovan Show,"

Elena's head snapped back into place. She had to be ready in twenty minutes to film the last bits of Kat's film? How could she possibly be even semi-presentable in that time?

Instead of drilling herself into a hole, Elena swung her legs over the bed and began her day.


Katherine roamed the halls of the second floor of the school. She was ready to face Bonnie and apologize for missing her performance last night. Funny, Katherine never apologized toanyone. Well, at least it was rare.

Just then, Katherine's eye caught wind of a petite raven-haired girl, squeezing through the dense ocean of students. Katherine sought her chance and rushed after her.

"Bonnie!" She cried, and the petite girl poked her head out of the field, her eyes widened. Once Katherine caught her eye, the girl ducked back underneath the students and scurried off in the other direction.

"No, Bonnie-"

Katherine would've chased after, but someone had blocked her way.

"Well, hello there," a snide voice sneered.

Katherine looked up through Elena's glasses to see Rebekah standing before her, a death glare reflecting in her oceanic eyes.

"Rebekah," Katherine breathed. Her chances of tracking down Bonnie were quickly fading.

"Who do you think you are, you pathetic little bitch?" Rebekah hissed bitterly, and Katherine frowned in confusion.

"I'm sorry," She sighed. "You're going to have to be a little bit more specific," she said, holding up a pair of pinched fingers.

"Did you honestly think that I wouldn't find out about your little rendezvous with my boyfriend?" she squeaked in laughter.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Katherine said as she made to move in the direction of Bonnie. Suddenly, a strong, firm grip cuffed Katherine's wrist, and she whipped back around into arctic eyes.

"You don't take another step while I am talking to you," She said, her voice as cold as the Poles. Katherine felt a tiny hint of fear, but she knew that Rebekah was just oozing empty threats.

"By the way," Rebekah sneered. "Where's your little shadow? Beatrice, is it?"

"It's Bonnie," Katherine snapped, her temper rising. "It's none of your business,"

"Oh, darling, it's everyone's business," Rebekah scoffed. "See, yesterday, while everyone was at the Grill to support the talent show, you were busy trying to seduce my boyfriend. You didn't even give a crap to show up and support your best friend. No, you were far too busy with Stefan to care about Bonnie."

Katherine didn't expect to feel the rush of guilt that came along with Rebekah's speech. She was right. She had been so focused on her 'date' with Stefan that she had completely spaced on Bonnie's performance. What kind of friend was she, or Elena?

"Girls!"

Simultaneously, Katherine and Rebekah turned their heads toward a stern voice, and when Katherine saw Ms. Freeman, she swallowed. This woman should not be working with kids. Katherine briefly wondered how people who didn't like kids chose jobs where they worked with them.

"Hey, you!"

Katherine thought that Ms. Freeman was talking to her, but when she saw her gaze focused next to her, Katherine turned to see the retreating backs of Rebekah and her possé.

"Hey, y-Oh, whatever," Ms. Freeman sighed once she approached Katherine. "At least I caught one of you,"

Katherine swallowed. She knew what was coming next.

"Well, well, well," Ms. Freeman sighed. "Look who we have here?"

"Detention." Ms. Freeman barked. "Today, 3:15 sharp. And don't even think of skippin'. That just means we get to spend more time together. Get to class."

Katherine sighed as she scurried down the hall to Elena's homeroom, and when she entered the room, she saw Rebekah sneering at her in delight, as well as an impassive glare from Bonnie.

And for the first time in her life, Katherine felt that the world was against her.


"Cut!"

Elena opened her eyes to darkness. Her sight was veiled by a blindfold. Her- of Katherine's- character was being held hostage by some criminal for refusing to return his stolen money.

"Katherine,"

Elena's heart jumpstarted at the sound of the velvet voice, and within seconds, the face of the voice consumed her view. Striking blue eyes met hers, and Elena felt her breath being stripped.

"Thank you," she breathed, relieved to have regained her sight. She was trying not to say too much, but say anything.

"Listen," Damon cleared his throat as he offered her his hand. Elena took it in hers, and Damon pulled her up from her seat.

"There's this charity event that's raising money to rescue those dogs," he said. "It's a Ball. I was wondering if you'd like to go with me."

Elena's breath caught in her throat. Damon was inviting her to a ball? She hadn't expected that at all. She desperately wanted to ask how they would be attending, but she was too chicken to speak up.

"If you don't want to, I completely-"

"I want to," she said firmly.

Damon's eyes widened, a small smile forming on his lips.

"Really?" he asked, shocked. Surely he hadn't expected her to accept, just as she hadn't expected him to ask.

"Really," Elena nodded, smiling. "When is it?"

"Tonight," Damon said warily, and Elena gasped.

"That's so soon," Elena said.

"I know," Damon sighed. "I understand if you can't make it."

"I'll make it," Elena said. "The cause is important to me,"

A smile tugged at the corner of Damon's lips, and Elena returned his smile.

"I'll pick you up at six-thirty." Damon said, and Elena suddenly wished that the night came sooner.


Katherine sighed as she slugged her way to Ms. Freeman's room. She was seriously considering bailing, but the reminder that she'd have to endure even more time with Ms. Freeman haunted her conscience.

"Bonnie!"

As the petite girl's silhouette came into view, Katherine sprinted down the hall, and to her surprise, Bonnie didn't move.

"What do you want?" she crossed her arms over her chest, radiating pure anger.

"Look, Bonnie," Katherine sighed. "I'm sorry that I-"

"That you ditched what would be one of the biggest nights of my life for a little time with Stefan?" Bonnie scoffed. "Thanks, but no thanks." Katherine watched Bonnie's retreating back.

"How can I make it up to you?" she hollered. Bonnie slowly turned on her heel, and Katherine saw a glimmer of hope.

"That's just it." Bonnie sighed. "There's nothing you can do,"

And Katherine didn't try to stop her again.


It was ten after six, and Elena slid into her blood red-sequined ball gown. Thankfully, Katherine had an unlimited wardrobe, or she would've had to hunt down a dress, and looking like Katherine Pierce, the task would've been near impossible.

As she caught her reflection in the mirror, Elena giggled in delight. She felt like a princess. Her long, chocolate hair fell in elegant waves down to her breasts, and her eyes were covered in smokey eyeshadow and mascara. On her arms rested a pair of silky black arm-length gloves, and finally, her neck donned a diamond pendant that reflected across the room. She had never been so elegantly dressed in her entire life. She suddenly envied Katherine's lifestyle.

As the chime of the doorbell resonated through Katherine's loft, Elena picked up her skirt and made her way to the door. She was alone in the loft, seeing as Caroline was called away due to a family emergency.

When she pulled the door open, her breath left her body as she saw the most beautiful man in the entire world standing before her.

Damon's blue eyes met hers, and Elena felt her cheeks redden. He was dressed in a very polished tuxedo, and his hair was slightly greased back. He looked like a dangerous criminal from the wrong side of the tracks.

"Hi," he smiled.

"Hi," Elena responded breathlessly.

"You look stunning," He told her. Elena's stomach suddenly churned with a swarm of butterflies.

"Thank you," She smiled shyly. "You don't look so bad yourself,"

A devilish smirk played on Damon's lips. "Why, thank you,"

"Shall we go?" Elena asked. She knew he was to say it, but she was becoming so nervous that she had to say something, and that was what was blurted out.

"Not quite," Damon shook his head. "I almost forgot something."

Elena watched as Damon pulled something from behind his back. A velvet-covered box about the size of a dictionary rested in his hands in front of her, and Elena glanced downward at the box in surprise.

Before she could wonder what the box contained, Damon popped the top and a beautiful black mask rested inside, diamond accents placed around the frame. The lace design gave it a perfect touch of elegancy.

"It's a masquerade ball," Damon said, and Elena reached for the mask.

It felt absolutely precious, like it had been personally hand-crafted for her. Suddenly, she saw the silk black ribbon.

"Would you?" She held the mask up to Damon, who immediately nodded.

"Of course." He smiled.

Elena turned around as Damon threw the mask over her face. Once she felt the secure knot tied, she turned back around, Damon's face just inches from hers.

"Shall we go?" He asked, offering his arm to her.

Elena didn't hesitate to place her arm over his.

"We shall,"


"Ladies and Gentlemen! Thanks to your generous donations, The Riverside Rescue Mission has raised..500,000 dollars!"

A roar of applause broke the silence of the tent, and Elena's hands joined together repeatedly, along with Damon's.

"Finally, The Damon Salvatore Foundation would like to donate a mass of an extra 50,000 dollars!"

Elena whipped her head toward Damon. She was unaware that he had created a foundation, let alone having donated such a mass amount of money. He must've been truly dedicated to rescuing those dogs.

"Damon Salvatore would like to say a few words on the success of the Mission. Damon Salvatore?"

Elena watched as Damon made his way to the stage, and she felt her heart expand for the generosity that was Damon Salvatore.

"Thank you," Damon said, and Elena suddenly leaned forward, along with the rest of the audience. "You know, I started this foundation immediately after hearing about this vile and abhorring act. The feeling of helplessness was overwhelming, and I knew at that moment that I wanted to do something. This mission is very important to me, as well as a mass of other fantastic people. No living thing should ever endure such an atrocity, and it is my pleasure to be able to fund a team to rescue these innocent creatures. On May 5, my foundation and I plan to liquidate the Riverside Puppy Mill and make it our sole mission to rescue each and every dog on the property and make sure that they are given the necessary treatment into recovery, and eventually, the perfect home. Thank you."

A louder roar of applause came, and Elena stood up on her feet, moved immensely by Damon's speech. She watched as he walked toward her, a ridiculous smile plastered on her face.

"That was absolutely amazing," Elena giggled as Damon reached her. "I'm so proud of what you've accomplished."

"Thank you," Damon smirked, and Elena giggled like a fool. How could this Damon be the same one that she met not two weeks ago?

Just then, a soft and somewhat familiar song came through the speakers above, and when Elena looked back at Damon, his hand was outstretched to her.

"Would you like to dance?" He asked, and Elena smiled.

"Certainly," she giggled as she placed her hand in his.

Without a word Damon led her to the dance floor, and Elena felt as if she was walking on air. The entire night seemed dream-like, and she would've been certain that it was a dream had it not been for the feeling she got from her hand in Damon's.

Damon suddenly pulled Elena up against him, and she wrapped her arms around his neck. Elena suddenly fidgeted as she felt Damon's arms lace around her waist. But once they were there, she felt completely and utterly whole.

Lyin' here with you so close to me

It's hard to fight these feelings when it feels so hard to breathe

Caught up in this moment

Caught up in your smile

I've never opened up to anyone

So hard to hold back when I'm holding you in my arms

We don't need to rush this

Let's just take it slow

Just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight

Just a touch of the fire burning so bright

No I don't want to mess this thing up

I don't want to push too far

Just a shot in the dark that you just might

Be the one I've been waiting for my whole life

So baby I'm alright, with just a kiss goodnight

I know that if we give this a little time

It'll only bring us closer to the love we wanna find

It's never felt so real, no it's never felt so right

Elena took this moment to glance upward into Damon's electrifying eyes, and she wanted so bad to reach up and-

But Damon seemed to have read her mind.

Elena's mind melted with Damon's lips against her own, and she never felt so right as she did right now. Damon's lips weren't rushed and passionate like the kiss that they had filmed for the movie. Instead, they were everything that Elena didn't expect from Damon: soft, sweet, gentle.

Warm.

No I don't want to say goodnight

I know it's time to leave, but you'll be in my dreams

Tonight

Tonight

Tonight

Every inch of her body was on high, and suddenly, she knew that the evening hadn't been a dream.

Because what she had with Damon, in that moment, had been far too real to be a dream.


As the limo pulled in front of Katherine's complex, Elena moved to open her door.

But Damon had beaten her to it.

"Allow me," he said, suddenly out on the curb, holding her door open.

Elena took his outstretched hand as she climbed out of the limo.

"Thank you," she smiled softly.

"Can I walk you up?" Damon asked, and Elena didn't even consider denying him.

"Sure," she nodded.


"Thank you for inviting me," Elena said once she stood in front of Katherine's door. "I had an amazing time,"

"So did I," Damon said, and Elena saw the genuine sincerity shining in his eyes.

Suddenly, Damon's face inched closer, and Elena tilted her head upward, and Damon's hand cupped her chin as his lips pressed lightly against hers.

And to Elena's disappointment, it was all over too soon.

"Goodnight," Damon said as he leaned his forehead against hers.

"Good night," Elena breathed.

Damon stepped back, and Elena watched as he walked down the hall and disappeared through the elevator.


Far too awake to even contemplate sleep, Elena decided to hop into Katherine's shower for a quick cleansing. As she felt the warm water cascade over her, she smiled as Damon's face appeared in her memory. An upbeat song played from the radio on the counter, and Elena suddenly swayed her hips to the familiar tune.

Stripped to the waist

We fall into the river

Cover your eyes

So you don't know the secret

I've been trying to hide

We held our breath

To see our names are written

On the wreck of '86

That was the year

I knew the panic was over

Yet since we found out

Since we found out

That anything could happen

Anything could happen

Anything could happen

Anything could happen

Anything could happen

Anything could happen

Anything could

Suddenly, a pounding knock came from the front door, and Elena froze. Who could that possibly be? It had to be near ten at night.

Once the sound made a second appearance, Elena switched off the shower and threw on the robe on the wall near the shower.

"Coming!" she hollered. What had been so urgent?

But Elena didn't answer the door. Instead, a brunette stood in front of her, hauling a duffel and a suitcase in her hands.

"Can I help you?" Elena frowned. The brunette looked similar to her, but older by a few years.

"Well, I guess that's one way to great your sister," the brunette said.

Elena froze, rendered completely speechless by this new revelation.

"Nadia," the brunette said slowly. "Gee, did fame get you that much?" she laughed.

But Elena wasn't laughing.

She was panicking.

Because her and Katherine's plan was totally and utterly screwed.


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(THEME SONG) I Want You To Want Me ~KSM

Soundtrack that inspired/mentioned in this chapter:

Taste Of Heaven ~The Chain Gang of 1974

Just A Kiss ~ Lady Antebellum

Superstar ~ Taylor Swift

Anything Could Happen ~ Ellie Goulding