Chapter 3

She felt the hand on her shoulder and heard a masculine voice say, "Excuse me, Miss, I think you dropped this."

She swiped at her teary face with a shaky hand. Through watery eyes, she turned around to see a man with a shock of white blond hair watching her. In his fingers, he held a twenty dollar bill. Elena shook her head. "Uh, I don't think that's mine."

"Are you sure?" She nodded. "Okay well, then finders keepers," the man said, shoving it into the pocket of his baggy, torn jeans. He was wearing a tee-shirt that said "Don't Worry I Don't Bite … Hard". Elena felt the oddest sensation of fear being in his presence but she didn't know why. He seemed perfectly nice. Still, she started to sidestep him when he blocked her.

"Sorry. Couldn't help but notice that you look upset," the man said. His ice blue eyes glittered in the dark, hauntingly illuminated by the lamp-post above their heads. "Is everything okay?"

"It will be," Elena said and tried to sidestep him once more but he was blocking her again. "Excuse me… My friends are waiting for me inside."

"They can wait a bit longer," the man said and his faux-good humor act completely evaporated. His eyes took on a predatory, lascivious look and Elena shivered before trying to run.

He was immediately grabbing her and slamming her hand against the SVU, a hand over her mouth. Elena gasped and struggled as he locked his arms around her. She bit into his hand as hard as she could, drawing blood, and he hissed at her. "Stupid bitch!" But he didn't let go. He had no intentions of doing that apparently, even as Elena bucked in his grasp and tried kicking him. He tightened his grip on her. He was a lot stronger than he looked. Still, Elena bit him yet again and rammed her fist into his solar plexus.

This time he let her go and she started running but it wasn't long before he was catching up to her and tackling her. Two more men were moving quickly over to her as well. She felt a sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach as all three men grabbed her and started dragging her towards the nearby woods. The whole time they were saying horrifying, awful things about exactly what they were going to do to her. Apparently they had been looking for a "good time" and they had found it.

Elena writhed violently as they carried her but one had her by the arms, another had her by the legs and the blond one was covering her mouth. She tried so hard to twist free but it was no use. She was not going to get away without help.

Damon, Bonnie, anyone, she thought. Please come for me. Please. My kids, they need me. They need at least one of their parents. Someone help!

They arrived all too soon in the center of the woods. They dropped her, hard, onto the ground and debated about how they were going to go about this. She looked up at them with pleading eyes. "Please, I have kids. I'll give you anything you want, just don't hurt me."

One of the other guys laughed. This one had horribly pock-marked skin. "Oh you'll give us exactly what we want and then we'll decide if you get to live."

Elena tried to scream again but one was slamming a hand roughly over her mouth and the other was holding her down by the arms. She was trying to struggle but it was impossible. She was about to be defiled in the worst way imaginable. She closed her eyes and prepared as best as she could for the inevitable.

XoXoXo

He could smell the scent of her fear as he soon as he had arrived in the woods. Seeing three men standing over his Elena made his body thrum with ferocious anger and hatred. There would likely be consequences for showing himself tonight but he would risk it every time to save Elena.

He had been hiding in the shadows watching over her and their children for nearly six years now. Every time he had seen her cry, he had longed to reach out to her, but had never dared. Now he had no choice.

He immediately raced to the first man and sent him flying with such force, that the brute slammed into a nearby tree, his head making a resounding slam!, and he was gone in an instant. The other two men released their hold on Elena and Stefan immediately charged after them. He grabbed the one with blond hair and slammed him to the ground, immediately ripping at his jugular vein with his teeth. The man whimpered as Stefan tore him apart until the sounds he was making died away completely.

The third man was running away and Stefan immediately took after him. He hadn't even gotten ten feet when Stefan was on his back, grabbing him by his long hair and yanking his head back so hard that the man screamed in agony before Stefan roughly snapped his neck like a twig.

All was suddenly silent in the woods and Stefan started to take off, even as the smell of blood was rich in his nostrils. He started to run when he heard his name whispered. "Stefan." And then louder, "Stefan!"

XoXoXo

Elena's eyes remained shut until she sensed the presence of another and then felt the men who had been nearly atop her one by one release their hold on her. She heard their screams and she was afraid to open her eyes at first. Then slowly, she peeled them open, finding herself lying on the cold, hard ground still. She pulled herself to her feet quickly and started to run back to safety when she stopped, wondering what was going on. Who had saved her? She saw a figure in the distance taking care of the third man.

A Good Samaritan, she thought as she watched him easily snap her final attacker's neck like a twig. She moved closer, somehow drawn to this person. As she neared them, she noted the color of his hair and the firm lines of his body, his towering height.

"Stefan," she whispered. And then louder, she said, "Stefan!"

New tears collected in her eyes. She would know him anywhere, absolutely anywhere. The idea that he was supposed to be dead didn't faze her. There were times anyway when she had felt sure that he was still out there somewhere and here he was.

He paused in his tracks though he looked appeared ready to bolt. He kept his back to her as she slowly approached him. His shoulders were rigidly straight and he wasn't looking at her.

"Stefan?" She cried. "Stefan, please turn around."

XoXoXo

He wanted to turn around, more than anything, but the blood on this teeth and tongue had awakened his insatiable hunger. If Elena came too close, he was going to grab her and drink from her, knowing he wouldn't be able to stop. The scent of her blood was intoxicating. He was so close to losing himself in blood lust. He could tear her apart so easily. He wanted her blood.

Somehow in the back of his mind, he heard a voice telling him not to hurt her. Don't hurt her, his inner voice screamed at him now.

He knew he had to go. He took off running. He heard her calling to him as she immediately gave chase but he was quicker. His legs pumped powerfully as he sprinted through the trees. At some point, he felt rather than heard or saw her take a tumble. He heard her hit the ground hard and he wanted to go back and help her up but knew he couldn't take the chance. If he did, he was going to give into his need to drink from her and he knew he wouldn't be able to stop until she was dead.

So even as he heard her crying and screaming, he kept running. He had no choice. Protecting her from himself was his only option.

XoXoXo

"Stefan!" She screamed as she ran as fast as she could after him. She knew it was Stefan as surely as she knew her name was Elena and that she had three kids. His kids.

Come back to me, Stefan, she thought and kept running, screaming his name until her throat hurt, begging him to come back. Come back to her and their family.

Her breath was ragged as she tried scaling a fallen tree in her way. She didn't make it, instead going down hard, her knees slamming into the ground and her hands not quick enough to stop her fall. She screamed in agony but mostly frustration. He was gone. Stefan was gone and her heart was breaking all over again.

She allowed herself to a quick sob before she was climbing to her feet and turning back to face the opening through the trees that would lead her back to the restaurant and her friends. She passed her would-be assailants and through teary eyes she saw them. All dead, all done-in in different ways. The blond drew her eyes in particular. His throat had been ripped clean out and blood stained the front of his shirt. He stared up at her with lifeless eyes that were frozen forever in an expression of fear and horror.

"How did Stefan do that?" She wondered aloud even as she shivered and wrapped her arms around herself. She hurried out of the woods and was practically accosted by Bonnie and Damon.

"Elena, where have you been? We've been looking everywhere for you!" Bonnie cried. Then she noticed Elena's torn, rumpled dress, the dirt that covered her body, the scrapes on her knees, the leaves in her hair, the expression on her face. "What the heck happened?"

"Three men," Elena gasped out over the lump in her throat. "Three men attacked me but Stefan … He saved me."

"Stefan?" Damon said, looking at her like she was three crayons short of a full coloring box. "That – well, you're upset. Of course you're going to see something that wasn't –"

"No, it was Stefan," Elena interrupted him. "It was my husband. He saved me. He saved me from three monsters that were going to …" She couldn't say the vicious word.

Bonnie immediately pulled Elena to her, crushing her in her slim arms. "Damon, call the police," she said.

Elena looked back towards the woods but saw no movement there, saw no sign of her Stefan. But she knew now that he was out there somehow, that he had saved her tonight… She was going to find him.

XoXoXo

Stefan was in now in full ripper mode as he ran out of the opposite end of the woods. He wanted more blood. Human blood.

He was going to give into his craving.

It was in his nature after all to hurt, to destroy, to kill.

He went to look for another snack.

A/N: Hope that was an okay chapter. I am not too sure about it but I tried to write it as best as I could. Please, please let me know if it's any good lol Feedback is love.