A/N: I've decided to do the same to Kills Or Kisses what I'm doing to Falling For You which means, I'm currently editing most of my stories right now. I'm on the third chapter, but do enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognise.
'Stolen kisses are always sweetest.' – Leigh Hunt
'And your party will be ...?'
Caroline Forbes resists pulling a face.
She loves dressing up and shopping for beautiful dresses, but the thought of meeting stuck up, prim millionaires who would look down on her and forcing smiles throughout the evening, makes her want to delve under her covers and never come out. She smiles at her new friend, Rebekah Mikaelson.
British and rich, Rebekah is quite pretty, with straight icy blonde hair and light blue eyes. Although the girl is a little snobby, Caroline can recognise a kindred bitch in her, like Katherine and Vicki. 'Do you have a plus one?' she asks curiously.
Rebekah pauses, as if scrutinising Caroline's possible motives – and Caroline thinks she's passed the test because Rebekah smiles back genuinely – and she says, a little shyly, 'I – I've never really dated much – my brothers. They're a little ... overprotective,' Rebekah pulls a face, making Caroline laugh.
'Don't they let you date?' Caroline asks, curiously.
Wrinkling up her nose, Rebekah opens her mouth but Caroline interrupts.
'Crap, sorry, I'm being nosy, aren't I?' Caroline smacks her forehead and continues, 'I just – it's when I get so curious about stuff, I just have to know – it's like really annoying to everyone. I mean, I always flip back to the end of mystery stories to know how it ends and I almost always end up telling people when, where, and what their surprise party will be like.'
'No, no,' Rebekah laughs. 'It's okay. You're right to ask – I know I would. They do let me date; they're just … really intimidating.'
'Well,' Caroline muses. 'I think I've got a friend for you. He's cute, brave and perfect boyfriend material.'
'Sounds like a dream,' Rebekah murmurs, giving a slight smile. Then she falters. 'But the party's tomorrow night; we're never gonna find this guy in time –,'
'Boy, you should be glad you've got me.'
'I love old cars!' Rebekah says, unintentionally putting emphasis on the 'old', as Matt looks bewildered and slightly offended.
Rebekah suddenly goes red and backtracks immediately. 'Uh, I – I didn't mean it like – like that – I meant, trucks. I – I love …' she trails off, shooting a panicked look at Caroline.
'Yeah, Rebekah's always loved trucks, Matt,' Caroline helps out, smiling brightly. 'Like, classic, vintage-ey stuff. Um, Aston Martins –,' Caroline racks her brain wildly to think of old cars. '– Old Fords, Bentleys. You know, that stuff. She'll love to see your truck.'
Matt brightens and Rebekah visibly swoons. 'My dad and I used to always go out, looking for abandoned cars to put back together again,' he tells Rebekah excitedly, as he helps her out of her chair.
'You two kids behave yourselves,' Caroline says mock sternly, pointing a bread roll towards them. As Rebekah and Matt both begin blushing madly, she shoots Rebekah a knowing grin.
Caroline leans against her chair comfortably, as she watches Matt open the door for Rebekah – such a gentleman – and thinks, I should be a matchmaker. She is at a café, after quickly phoning Matt to meet her and a 'friend'. Matt was instantly smitten and Rebekah had fallen under his gentleman demeanour.
She watches as Matt cracks a joke and Rebekah laughs loudly, slightly wistfully. Sure, she's got Tyler but he's just so busy with work and everything and every time she makes plans, his boss keeps making him stay late.
Caroline is suspicious. And distrustful.
Of Tyler. And his continuous, incessant excuses.
But when he puts on that puppy face of his, the one where he knows Caroline will forgive him even if he killed someone and buried them in the dead of night, Caroline can't help but realise she is so scared of losing one of the only constant people in her life, she is willing to overlook anything and probably help him dig up the grave. Of course, if he was – cheating on her, there's no telling what Caroline would do to him, puppy face or no puppy face.
Caroline is shaken out of her thoughts when her phone rings. She glances at the caller id and breaks into a smile, all thoughts of Tyler gone.
'Hey, Katherine!' she says cheerily. 'What's up? I haven't seen you in forever!'
'Caroline!' Katherine replies. 'Forgotten how much you like to exaggerate. No, I just phoned to see how you were doing. Ditched Tyler yet? Any new guys I should know about? Should I get out my boxing gloves?'
Caroline laughs. 'And you tease me for exaggerating. And no, I haven't 'ditched' Tyler,' she rolls her eyes, even though Katherine can't see her. 'There's a party Meredith's organising for me – bluergh – but otherwise, I'm fine.'
'A party?' Katherine sounds interested.
'Believe me, it is so not your kind of party, Katherine. You'd be bored to tears.'
'Well, if you, of all people, say it's gonna be boring, I'd better believe you, huh? Katherine says. She pauses and says in a voice that sounds forcedly casual, 'So … heard anything from Mystic Falls?'
It is common knowledge that Katherine Petrova is desperately in love.
With two guys. Brothers, in fact. Salvatore brothers. Call her a slut, a whore, a skank, whatever, but Katherine knows her heart and she knows that sometimes life hands you crap and expects you to deal with it.
Her crap was the fact that she was in love with two guys but they only wanted Elena Petrova.
Her twin sister.
Everyone wanted Elena.
Including the Salvatore brothers, who never even so much as glanced Katherine's way. Caroline sometimes feels horrible for Katherine, even though Katherine detests pity or sympathy of any kind. Katherine spends her time travelling around, bouncing from job to job, man to man, doing anything, everything, to live life with a broken, shattered heart.
The twins are complete opposites. Whilst Elena is still in Mystic Falls, only coming out of town to shop, Katherine is journeying the world, taking it in her stride. Whilst Elena was the queen bee at Mystic Falls High School, Katherine was the queen bitch. Elena is light, while Katherine is dark. Guys flock to Katherine when they like a challenge, but there is something about Elena that exudes purity, an innocence that guys just cannot resist. That the Salvatore brothers cannot resist.
Caroline gets along with both sisters, to be honest, but Katherine – her school rival – didn't make her feel unworthy. She knows it's silly and Elena doesn't mean to, but the insecurities inside Caroline increase rapidly when she's next to Elena. She's older, now, and more mature, but there is still the small teenager inside Caroline who still screams when is it going to be my turn? Like Katherine, Elena had managed to snag all the guys Caroline has dated. Elena will always be first, when it comes to Caroline and no matter what she does, there is nothing Caroline can do to change that. Plus, both Salvatore brothers love Elena with such a passion it makes Caroline jealous.
And she shouldn't be even thinking about all this. Elena's one of the nicest people Caroline knows and what's more, she doesn't mean to be the first choice, so yeah, Caroline. Case closed.
Caroline lowers her voice unknowingly and says, softly, 'Uh, no, Katherine. No – no news.'
'Oh,' Katherine swallows. 'Um. Nothing from – Stefan or – or Damon?' she presses, as if Caroline has hidden information up her sleeve.
'Nothing, Katherine,' Caroline says. 'There's nothing, I'm sorry.'
She wonders whether to tell Katherine that Elena doesn't want the Salvatores – she spent half of last night being a good friend, listening to Elena's rant about the 'stupid brothers who won't leave her alone!' and telling her that the Salvatores don't rule her life – but Katherine interrupts.
'I'm in New York, by the way,' she says conversationally. 'And ooh, would you look at that? There's a bar right over there –,'
'I'm just gonna go and drink myself to oblivion.'
'Girl's night out. You, me, Vicki and another friend I've made. Sound good?' Caroline sounds firm, unyielding.
But Katherine heaves a sigh. 'I'm sorry, Caroline, but I'm not in the mood tonight.'
Caroline pauses before saying, 'OK, Katherine. Just know that I'm here for you, no matter what.'
'I know,' Katherine says softly, before ending the call.
Caroline lets out a sigh. A girl's night out sounds ever so tempting…
As she puts her phone back in her purse, Caroline glances out of the window, grinning as she sees Rebekah and Matt laughing together. She quietly congratulates herself by drinking a glass of wine and ordering their lunch.
'No, I do not want a pork fillet, for goodness' sake!' she snaps at the waiter, who looks agitated. 'What part of soup do you not understand?'
Recognising the voice, Caroline repeats to the waiter, 'Soup. I want freaking soup.'
'Yes, ma'am,' the waiter bobs his head before moving away.
Caroline's lips form a smile. 'Elena?'
Elena gives her a hug, smiling warmly. 'Oh, Caroline, you are amazing!'
'Oh, well,' Caroline pretends to be flattered. 'I have been told that I can perform miracles – but why am I so amazing today?'
Laughing a little giddily, Elena sits down in the empty chair next to her. 'You gave me the courage to tell the Salvatores to get the hell out of my life! My saviour!'
'Courage?' Caroline repeats. 'Don't you mean alcohol?'
Elena nods and continues, 'After I went home, you'd gotten me so drunk and so angry that I just phoned them up and yelled for half an hour.'
Caroline's mouth drops.
Elena Gilbert – yelling? Angels didn't yell.
'Then I realised it was Jenna I'd phoned,' Elena pauses to let Caroline splutter with laughter, 'and I apologised, saying I'd never drunk-dial anyone ever again. Of course, as soon as I cut the call, I phoned Damon and as luck would have it, Stefan was also in the room. I told Damon to put it on speakerphone and yelled for more than half an hour.'
'Elena Gilbert – you badass!' Caroline congratulates, although the initial shock still hasn't worn off.
Getting drunk, drunk-dialling, yelling at (clingy yet) potential boyfriends; maybe Elena does have a streak of Katherine in her.
'I am so proud of you, my girl!' Caroline hugs Elena, pretending to blink away tears.
Elena grins happily and she bounds up, twirling in her red dress. 'I'm going on a date!' she squeals happily. 'And it's not with Damon or Stefan!'
Caroline gapes. 'Only you would be able to find a date, right after getting rid of two guys, Elena.'
(How does she do it?)
Elena rolls her eyes. 'You're being silly, Caroline. I just – he asked me and I said yes. He's really nice, a real gentleman – and such a change from the Salvatores. How do I look?'
'You look great!' Caroline says truthfully – and she's right.
And she does. The crimson mini-dress fits Elena easily, draping in soft red swathes over her gorgeous curves. It flows just above her thighs, showing off her slim, olive-skinned legs.
'Who's the lucky guy?' she asks, curiously.
'His name's Elijah –,'
'He sounds old –,'
'– and he's a businessman –,'
'– take your mace –,'
'– he wears suits –,'
'– keep the Salvatores on speed-dial –,'
'– and he's just so handsome!'
Elena looks slightly flushed, eyes dreamy, and Caroline smiles at her friend, happy for her. 'I'm glad you got rid of the Salvatores, Elena. You need someone new.'
That's certainly true.
Elena was still in high school when she met Stefan Salvatore. He is one of those pleasant, no-nonsense kind of guys who wanted a good family, a good life, nothing too adventurous. Caroline resists the urge to scoff in derision. Don't get her wrong, she loves Stefan, she does, (he's, like, lovely) but he just has a tendency to be too nice. Too good. Every time she goes back to Mystic Falls, he pushes (or forces) everyone to give her a little housewarming party. It was sweet, in spite of the fact that nobody really wants her around, but now she's convinced it's just a ploy to get closer to Elena.
It's the reason she hasn't been to Mystic Falls in over three years.
And then there is Damon Salvatore, who swooped in like some sort of crow – Caroline's looked them up; they're supposed to represent death and now, douche-bags, according to her – and just snatched up Elena, away from Stefan. He is older and much darker; the one that brings out the daredevil in Elena. When Elena was with him, there were no limits as to what she'd do. (Don't tell, but Caroline, despite her 'he's such a jerk' accusations, still thinks Damon looks hawt. What? It's not her fault: hormones.)
And she'd been bouncing back and forth like a ping-pong ball ever since high school, so Caroline is more than ecstatic to see her friend finally free.
When Elena has left, Rebekah and Matt have come back inside, smiling like idiots. Caroline waves them down, pulling out her phone.
'Hey, guys, just give me a moment,' she says. 'I'm just gonna call Tyler and see if he wants to be my plus one to the party tomorrow.'
The whole conversation with Elena has reminded her that Meredith does not want her looking like a lost, lonely single girl, unable to find love. (Her exact words. No, seriously.)
'Care?' Tyler's voice is sleepy (um, did someone forget to remind her that it's not three o'clock in the afternoon or something?)
Caroline bites back a retort – what is with everyone and shortening her name? Would it kill them to call her Caroline? – and says, 'Hey, Tyler! Uh, I was wondering – could you – come as my plus one to this party tomorrow night?'
'Your – what now?'
(Why, can someone tell her, is her boyfriend so pissed off? Seriously, it's like she just interrupted his beauty sleep or something.)
'My plus one,' Caroline repeats.
'Uh, Care –,'
She can't take it any more. Caroline interrupts, 'It's freaking Caroline! Do I look like a Care Bear?'
'I – I can't – I've got a ton of work, Care. My boss – is just killing me. I'm so tired all of the time. You understand, right?' Tyler says. 'Sorry.'
He cuts the call and somebody better hold Caroline back right now, because the way she's feeling right now, she thinks it's likely she's gonna go and rip his freaking head off.
'The infuriating little arsehole,' she mutters heatedly, tearing up her napkin into shreds and glaring at the waiter who has the freaking audacity to look at her with those judge-y eyes. 'Oh, hey guys. Didn't see you there.'
Rebekah and Matt (aww, it's so cute; they both look like scared deer!) look at Caroline warily. Rebekah gives a little uncomfortable laugh. 'You okay, Caroline?'
'Yeah, I'm fine,' Caroline assures her. She grits her teeth and sets the napkin down calmly. 'Just my boyfriend being all frustrating again.'
'Tyler?' Something flickers across Matt's face.
It is only the waiter's exasperating presence and his more-than-annoyed look that stops Caroline from clambering over the table and strangling Matt to get answers.
'Yeah,' Caroline breathes. She shoots him a suspicious look (damn you, science! You should have mastered telepathy by now!) and continues, 'He said he was too busy to be my plus one.'
Oh, well, if she's playing Cupid, then she'd better play him well.
'Which … gives me an awesome idea!' Caroline winks at Rebekah discreetly. (thank God, she doesn't look like an idiot. It has taken her years to perfect winks.) 'Rebekah, you're coming, right?'
Rebekah plays along, acting confused. She exchanges an apprehensive look with Matt. 'Yeah…'
Give the girl an Oscar.
'Then you should have Matt as your plus one!' Caroline grins. She can corner him and force answers out of him at the party.
'No – you don't want me –,' Matt protests, going pink.
'Yes!' Rebekah interrupts eagerly. 'Yes, I do!'
Fingers flying across the keys on her phone, Caroline shoots off a text to Rebekah, whose phone instantly pings.
Play down the enthusiasm, puppy! By the way, you're welcome. J
Excusing herself politely to look at her text, Rebekah shoots her a grin and sends her a reply.
I am immune to your insults – and thanks! He's so cute!
Immune, Caroline mouths to herself. Who uses immune in this day and age?
Rebekah breaks into a grin and turns to Matt. (Seriously, how does she do that pouty lip thing?) 'You will come with me as my plus one, right, Matt?'
There is probably some sort of study or survey proving exactly how coaxing British accents are. Caroline's tried doing a British accent before.
It wasn't good.
Matt visibly melts. 'Of course,' he says, nodding.
'And my work here is done,' Caroline brushes her hands together, getting up. 'I'm off.'
The waiters come over with their food, piling the table with delicious smelling soups and meals. The gorgeous aroma of perfectly cooked meat and fresh, Jamie Oliver style salad makes Caroline's stomach rumble.
Caroline sits back down again.
'After I've eaten. I'm starving. Matchmaking takes a lot out of me.'