A/N: So, I didn't expect a chapter this quickly but this all came to me in a rush and I had to write it down. Please know that it is rated M, in this case for language. I hope it is funny at the right parts. And Megspazzy, I am pretty sure this chapter is as far away from DA as I can get. Haha. Please let me know what you think. Two chapters in one day? Please?

Chapter Eight

Damon makes the bed while Elena takes her lengthy shower. He can't help it; things should be neat. And he really should change those sheets but he doesn't. He doesn't want to and he can't. He sits and starts to read Italian Vogue before images of Elena naked in the shower start to infect his brain. His shower and bathroom in Rome are tremendous; where the rest of his apartment is neutral in white, his bathroom is like a jaded cave of black and Elena in his shower would be...

He can't think about that or the sheets that will smell of the two of them that he doesn't want to wash. There is a lot he can't think about. Like that night at Vito's and her subsequent apology...He was quick to forgive because wasn't that what you were supposed to do in relationships? He admits he didn't always know; sometimes he had to wing it.

But what if really he just needed to listen and let her talk? Is that morning the moment which destined them to be pen pals instead of lovers, halfway across the world from one another?

At least he isn't thinking of naked Elena in his bathroom anymore.


When she does come out–and she takes her sweet time about it too–she is perfectly groomed in a short sundress and a high ponytail, the ingenue American girl in Rome. She wears white flats but her legs are still longer than should be legal. By the time he reaches her eyes, he sees she is incredibly angry.

Whatever, he can handle her. He proved that already didn't he?

She wheels her suitcase near his front door and then walks to Damon her hands balled into fists at her hips. "I just wanted to tell you that if you didn't want to be with me or deal with us then you should have never picked me up from the airport," she seethes, but with each word she grows louder. "There was no need to make me feel like a freaking prostitute!"

"I didn't," he defends.

"Uh, yeah, you did." She tilts her head and squints her eyes which he knows from experience is her SNL Damon Impression. "Sex or hotel, Elena? Oh, here, why I don't have sex with you and as soon as I'm inside you freak the fuck out–" At this his eyes widen, she rarely curses so violently. "And realize, oh, I actually hate this person I am inside of but why don't I just give her a nice orgasm for old times sake and then make her feel ashamed as soon as it's over? And then why don't I fuck–" He coughs into his hand hiding laughter. "...with her mind some more and ask her to stay and then make love with her." She squints some more and wiggles her eyebrows imitating him. Then, shoulders heaving with her outrage she turns in a circle, fists still balled at her hips. "You want to know the worse part?"

"I'm pretty sure you're going to tell me. And by the way, that impression of me, C minus at best."

"Oh, shut up! You're damn right I am going to tell you the worst part because it doesn't matter how sorry I am, does it?" To be honest, her voice is raised to a level he's never quite heard it and she is as angry as he has ever seen her. "You're seeing someone else, you motherfucker."

"Wow, Elena, we might need to talk about what San Francisco has done to your language." He holds up his hands and backs away from her. "You think I've been a monk, for you?"

"No," she shakes her head and calms for a second. "I haven't been one for you either. I would never expect that. But this–" Now she holds the ring box wherein rests the ring from Florence, the ring he didn't mean to buy for her, fisted in her hand, in the air like a baton. "This is serious, Damon. You don't just buy something like this for anyone."

"You went through my shit?" Maybe righteous anger will work.

"Yeah, Damon, I went through your shit and I don't know when you are going to figure out that hiding your shit in plain sight never works. Um, let me see." She raises her other hand to start to count. "The moonstone in the soap? The white oak stake by the fire? And this ring in your bowl of black rocks to complete your monochromatic bathroom look." She's red in the face when she suddenly takes the ring box and throws it directly at his crotch.

He's on the ground immediately. He's dying. Forget stakes. Forget pulling out a heart. This is the way he is going to die. Right this second, while the women he loves just stands and watches him. Isn't he a vampire? Shouldn't the pain be gone by now?

But she doesn't stand and watch him, as he raises his head to yell at her, she's already turned away and walks towards her suitcase. "I'll put this where I found it...you know, hidden and all." She yells to him, referring to the ring, and before he realizes it she opens his door.

He stands and flashes to the door, slapping his palm against it, closing it. "I don't think so, sweetheart."

"If you think I am going to stay here for one more second while some poor Andie Starr or sired vampire is out in the world thinking you're in love with her–" She shakes her head and flicks her ponytail away. She looks young with her hair up like that, as if she should be on the cheerleading squad. "You know what I just realized? I don't owe you anything. I don't even know why I'm here. See ya."

Damon's hand remains on the door. "First of all, there is nobody else. Nobody worth mentioning, Elena, although I'd love to hear about your love life since you admitted you haven't been a monk either..."

"Oh, shut the–"

"Seriously, your mouth is out of control," he laughs. "It's hot. I might like it in small doses."

"I don't really care what you think about me," she tells him and tries to open the door which is impossible.

"But you do," Damon replies easily. "You do care. You love me. That's why you're here. I even have the postcard. You can't take it back. You still love me. And you wanted to explain why you freaked out and left me five years ago."

"But you're being an asshole!" she shrieks, shoving him in the chest, and then punching him as hard as she can in the stomach. He barely moves.

"Hey, you'll hurt yourself." He catches her fist and twists her around so his arms keep her close to him, her ass firmly against his crotch. "Keep wiggling like that," he whispers in her ear. She stills.

For several moments, they just breathe. She hangs in his arms limply; if he let her go, she would fall to the ground, he is sure of it. "Just let me go, Damon," she whispers.

"Tried," he whispers against the nape of her neck. "Can't." Then he kisses the skin there, torturously slow, hating himself because it hurts so good to hold her and to taste the skin there. He flicks his tongue against it and she twitches, her pony tail hitting him in the face.

"I won't let you treat me this way, Damon," she whispers, hanging there in his arms. "I'm not a wind up doll. If you–If you want me to tell you what happened five years ago then I want to tell you. If you want to try, to try and be together, then maybe if you also try not to be such an asshole, we could try that too."

"Mmm," he hums against the back of her neck. "Say the f word again."

"Damon," she sighs.

He starts to nibble on the cord of her neck, swirling his tongue, tasting her and his own soap mixed together. "Come on, just say it."

"If I say it, will you tell me what you want? Will you let me leave with dignity? Or tell me that you want me to stay and work this out?"

He drags his nose against her skin; this silky short sundress is killing him. "I promise."

"You promise?" she asks, leaning forward so he can't touch her neck.

So he rolls his hips in a circle, pressing her hips into him, and he would bet money she is biting her lip to hold back a moan. "Yes, I promise. Now say it." His hands trail towards her thighs, pulling the sundress up her skin and she halfway tries to stop him.

"Fuck," she says.

The next thing she knows, he has turned her, pressed her against the opposite while, holding her still with his pelvis, his arms holding her arms above her head. He tilts his head to kiss her but she turns away and he settles for the underside of her jaw. "Damon," she moans as he grinds his arousal against her and it isn't as if she doesn't follow his lead, arching against the wall into him. "How many times do we have to do this before you realize it's not the answer?"

"But it feels good," he whispers and trails one thin strap of her dress off her shoulder.

Elena presses herself against the wall, though now she is clasping his raised hands in her own. "If you want to do this then you have to hear why I left."

He's found the spot on his neck he always loved best. He knows it by touch alone and his tongue quivers over it even as she quivers in his arms. His fangs extend. He knows he probably shouldn't. But he doesn't want to care about her. He doesn't want to love her. He doesn't want to feel anything when it comes to her. If he can do this and walk away, then he can live without her. He can get on with his life. And forget these stupid postcards.

His fangs pierce her skin and she gasps a little, tightening her grip on his hands, tilting her head for better access. He uses his knee to separate her legs. She tastes the same. Damn it, she tastes the same. They could be in that stupid Ikea apartment and he still loves her and it still matters and damn it, she could pulverize his heart again. He stops feeding, kisses the spot which is healing quickly.

"Damn it, Gilbert," he sighs, brushing his nose against hers. "I still fucking love you."

She lets him kiss her, sighs into his mouth, then finally replies when she can come up for air. "I still fucking love you too."

A/N: So, don't yell or throw things at me. I had EVERY SINGLE INTENTION of tell you what happened in this chapter and to finish with the secrecy. But then, these dang characters ran away with it and when Damon said that last line, I knew that Elena's response had to be the last line of the chapter because it not only sums up this chapter but the whole story up until now. I am not purposely withholding the reason why she left from you. Please let me know what you thought of this chapter. This is the first one where I felt like I knew what I was doing so it could be a fluke.