Hey guys! Here's my newest story idea, it will be a bit fluffier than the other things I've been writing. And,it's going to be mainly Stelena with a few other characters showing up. :) I kind of just wanted to get it out there and see if any of you would be interested in reading more of it. Please let me know if I should keep going with this or if I should scrap it?
Thanks so much for reading & Enjoy!
Must Love Dogs- Chapter One
"Check please!" Stefan shouted across the bar, lifting his hand up and waving the bartender over, his best friend, Caroline Forbes. Stefan glanced across the smoke filled room and watched as someone slide him another drink of whiskey across the bar table.
"Come on, brother! It's time to celebrate, not run home to that empty house of yours. You are finally a free man! By the way, how is Rebekah doing with moving out? Is she still telling you that she wants to take a chainsaw to the furniture and split it?" Damon, his older brother asked him in a joking manner as he got up from his seat and took the empty bar stool next to his younger brother, Stefan.
They had been working together since their father had signed over the real estate business to them, right after he had retired last year. But, ever since his dad, Giuseppe Salvatore had given his only sons his multi million dollar business, things had been too much for Stefan to handle, in other words- his life was falling apart and it was about to all come to a boiling point!
"She says I work too much. That ever since I took over dad's SD Realty Firm that I haven't been paying that much attention to her. It's funny, because I feel like I have. At least she's taking everything she owns with her!" Stefan told his brother, leaning over his drink as he exhaled deeply and placed his hand on to the half filled glass in front of him.
"So, I take it that the divorce is finalized?" Damon asked him, watching as Stefan nodded, slipping off his wedding ring that he had still been wearing ever since Rebekah, his ex-wife had called off their nearly 5 year marriage just a few months ago.
" Yeah and now,I'm a 26 years old divorcé. I have a multi million dollar company to run and a ton of paper work to fill out for our next project here in the Florida Keys and now, my wife- the girl that I've loved ever since we met in High School has decided that we have inconsiderable differences. Damon, this isn't how I pictured my life. But, at least I'll have the house." Stefan said, finally picking up the drink in his hands and slamming it back, feeling the alcohol burn down his throat as he inhaled sharply.
Damon watched with curious eyes when his brother got up, leaving a $20 dollar tip on the counter, straightening out his dark blue suit and exhaling deeply. It was a little past 10:30 on a Tuesday night and yet, he figured that he should go home and see if Rebekah had left anything valuable for him, in her attempt at moving out of their house that was on the other side of town.
"Are you okay to drive?" A woman's voice stopped Stefan in his tracks as he spun around and looked up. Stefan's green hazy eyes met a pair of dark blue and bright eyes as she twirled her long blonde hair in between her fingers and smiled up at him.
"I'm fine, Caroline. And, don't worry. Put my bill on the company tab. I'll see you tomorrow." He told her, shoving his hands into his pockets and brushing past her when she stepped to the side and looked over at Damon, walking over to him slowly.
"What's wrong with him?" She asked him, noticing that Stefan wasn't his usual happy self whenever he'd seen her or been at the bar that she worked at. She was his best friend since they were little kids. If anyone knew Stefan more than any one else in his life, It was Caroline Forbes. They knew everything about each other, from embarrassing stories to heartbreaking ones, from drunken fueled night hook ups with people neither of them really liked and all the moments in between.
Damon cocked his head to the side with a small shrug of his shoulders as he opened his mouth to reply. But, just as he began to form the words. Caroline looked down at her shoes and then back up at him, an irritated looked in her eyes as she replied for him. "It's Rebekah, isn't it? What does she want from him now. He's given her a settlement and he's told her that she could keep the house, if she wanted it. What else could she possibly rip from under him?" Caroline questioned, getting annoyed at the mention of Stefan's ex-wife and the fact that ever since they had started their divorce proceedings that Stefan had been a lot more down lately and had seemed to be a frequent visitor of the bars in town- which left Caroline worried and on edge.
"I don't know, Caroline. All I know is that I'm thankful that I don't have to deal with at." Damon answered her, watching as she rolled her eyes and swatted his arm, missing and nearly hitting him in the face instead. "Hey, watch the face! This beautiful gem has been on magazine covers! I can't get it bruised or bloodied, especially by you."
Caroline turned her back towards him, inhaling through gritted teeth when she looked at him over her shoulder and said in a sharp tone. "Oh, shut up Damon and go home to your wife. Katherine's waiting and we all know what happens when you're late..She comes down here and bitches about it!"
"Elena Marie Gilbert! Hurry up!" Bonnie yelled at her from the bottom of the stairs, watching as Elena hurried down them.
"Air plane ticket? Check! Money? Check! What else am I missing?" Elena asked her best friend and her roommate, watching as she smiled at her and looked down at the suitcase that was between them.
"Are you sure that you want to leave for the summer? I mean, you're going to miss having a shot at getting into the art designing firm that's opening up in downtown Portland." Bonnie reminded her. It was Elena's dream to get into the well known art firm. She had gone to school at Oregon State University and had just finished the year before, hoping to learn everything she could about being an art consultant. But, finding a job had been harder than she had expected, especially since she was living on her own with her best friend, Bonnie Bennett and her younger brother, Jeremy and jobs were harder to come by in their part of town.
"Well, Jeremy just got a good job and you two are going to be moving out of this crappy old apartment soon, into a house once you land that internship at the news station. Besides, my aunt Jenna needs me, Bonnie. I'm the only one in the family who actually knows a little something about running a business and the Florida sun could do me some good." Elena told her, pushing the suitcase to the side of them as she embraced Bonnie and held her tightly.
"I'm going to miss you so much!" Elena told her, turning around to see her brother staring at them with a smile on his face. "What about me?" He asked with a laugh, walking towards the girls and embracing them both into his arms. "Group hug!" He commented in a teasing tone, taking a step back and exhaling deeply when he picked up his sister's suitcase and groaned.
"My god, Elena! You're going to be gone just for the summer! You don't need all of this stuff. What did you pack in here anyways?" Jeremy teased her, glancing up to see Elena place her hands on to her hips, looking around the room.
"I just packed clothes, half the bathroom and you know, all the things a 24 year old graduate will need to live a nice little summer adventure in Florida." She said with a wink, pulling the suitcase towards her and away from Jeremy, tugging it towards the front door as she leaned against the door and laughed. "You're right, I packed too much. Great!"
Jeremy and Bonnie laughed, standing near the staircase, their hands intertwined as Elena glanced at them and smiled a little, tears welling up into her eyes. "What am I going to do all summer long without you two?" She asked, sniffling a little as she turned her back towards them and opened the front door to the apartment, dragging out her suitcase into the hallway.
"Well, you'll be washing dogs at Jenna's dog grooming place and hopefully you'll be able to come back with more than just stories about the customers. Maybe if you're lucky, you'll meet someone." Bonnie told her with a beaming grin, letting go of Jeremy's hand as she smiled and added. "We're going to miss you too. Just remember to call us once you land! I want to know all the details and I want to know what your aunt and her husband are like."
"Are you sure that you don't want us to take you to the airport?" Elena's brother asked her, looking over at his sister who was leaning against a wall in the hallway, her purse thrown over her shoulder as her hands clutched the handle to her suitcase.
"Nope. It's completely fine. You two need some rest and the taxi ride won't be that long. Besides, Alaric and Jenna said that they'd pick me up from the airport once I land. So, it's not like I'm taking a taxi to their house. Look, I should get going..." Elena's voice trailed off as she looked down at her cell phone and noticed that it was getting about that time to leave.
"Okay. Just, be safe. We love you and call us, everyday!" Jeremy told her, stepping into the hallway with Bonnie following right behind him, both of them hugging Elena tightly once more as she nodded. "I promise. You'll hear all about my Florida adventure. Just remember, it's probably not going to be that exciting. I mean, I'm going to be working as a receptionist at a dog grooming salon. Trust me, there is nothing that fun about it." Elena told them both with a shrug of her shoulders, tightening her arms around them when she exhaled deeply and sighed. "I am going to miss you two so much." She said softly, silently debating with herself if she was making the right choice in leaving her hometown of Oregon for the summer and her family behind, since it was the first time in a long time that they had all been separated for a few months.
He could feel it, the buzzing and dizziness in his head as he unlocked the front door to the darkened house. Even the lights were off on the outside and everything seemed so cold and dead inside when Stefan stepped into the house that he once shared with Rebekah. His house that he had bought them and had custom designed himself.
"Oh, for god sakes,Rebekah!" He cursed her name under his breath as he started to undo his tie and threw it down to the ground, stepping over it in his nicely polished black dress shoes. It had been a long day of meetings and making blueprints for his plans to destroy an old shopping center and replace it with newly planned set of apartments. So for a moment, Stefan enjoyed the silence. That was until he started looking around the house that had a view of the beach as his backyard and large high ceilings with even larger windows that were surrounding it and letting the moonlight in.
Stefan could hear the water of the ocean crashing viciously against the sand when he inhaled deeply, turning on the lights in the kitchen. He was exhausted from everything, from work- from life, as he slipped off his suit jacket and placed his hands on to the isle in the middle of the kitchen. The dark granite marble shinned under his hands when he leaned down and placed his head against the cool tiles. All Stefan wanted was to forget about today, about the fact that Rebekah had moved out, leaving him with barely anything to his name and the a fact that he was now divorced..after 5 long years of loving only her and being loyal to only her- Stefan was now left with a hole in his heart where she had once filled it.
He paused though, lifting his head up briskly when he heard a small whimpering noise coming from outside on the patio. Stefan shook his head in confusion..She didn't...She couldn't have..Rebekah had taken almost everything that was hers from inside of the house, leaving him with the couch, the 90" flat screen TV and a few other things that were scattered around the house from when she had the movers she hired take her things. But, there was one thing that Stefan couldn't fathom having around and it was...the animal making noises outside!
Stefan rubbed his eyes when he finally pushed himself away from the isle and walked towards the sliding patio door, hearing the sound of barking become louder and louder when he approached. The warm summer night and Floridian heat hit his face as he turned on a light outside and got a better picture of the one thing that was making the noise- her dog!
"I can't believe this..She left you behind? You've got to be fucking kidding me!" Stefan yelled out into the darkened night, stepping towards the large brown and black German Shepard. It's not that he didn't like dogs, Stefan did. It was just- Rebekah's 4 year old German Shepard was way more than he could handle and working all the time was part of the problem. The dog hadn't had enough time to bond with him as much as he did with Rebekah. And, Stefan didn't really have very much time to care for him since he had gotten Rebekah the dog to keep her company when he was away on long business trips.
Stefan smiled as he bent down towards the dog, getting to be eye level with him as he patted the top of his head and exhaled out a breath, his shaking hands pulling out his cell phone from his back pocket when he dialed her cell phone number.
One ring. Two Rings..."Hello?" Rebekah's voice sang through the phone as she cheerfully answered, causing Stefan to gag a bit as how cheerful she sounded.
"You left the damn dog, behind. Rebekah!" Stefan bellowed into the phone as he heard her let out a laugh and she signed out a breath.
"I know, I did. But, I also had my lawyer sign him over to you. He was like our child. So, you get full custody. He's yours now, Stefan. Besides, I know how much you just love dogs!" She said in a sarcastic tone.
"I want you to come back and get him. I can't take care of a fucking dog! I have too much stuff going on. He's going to be chewing up shit, pissing on things and destroying the house! I'm going to need to hire someone to take care of him when I'm out of town too and that shit is expensive! But, of course- you didn't think about that did you?" Stefan asked her, his voice rising with more anger than he had felt earlier in the day when Rebekah had met up with him to get the keys to the house so that she could move out her things.
"Well, it's in our settlement, Stefan. I took what was mine and left you what was yours. The dog was negotiable and since we've had him since he was a puppy and you bought him for me. Technically, he's yours now. Look, I'm exhausted from moving my things out and I really need to go. Good luck, Stefan. Plus, maybe having him around will cause you to be less lonely. Or who knows, maybe you'll neglect that relationship too, just like you did ours." She said, ripping into him one last time as she laughed and hung up the phone before Stefan could even finish retorting back an argument.
"Son of a bitch!" He screamed, getting back to his feet as he heard the dog yelp and start barking at him. Stefan ran his hands though his hair, placing them at his sides, turning his head to the side when he looked down at the dog, his brown eyes shining up at Stefan.
"I've had you for 4 fucking years and I don't even know your name." Stefan concluded in an exhausted tone, stepping beside the dog and untying his leash from the chair leg that it was wrapped around. He pulled the leash gently as he exhaled and lead the dog into the house, stopping in front of him, just short of the sliding door. Stefan patted the dog's head again, locking his eyes on to him when he exhaled deeply and smiled with a deliriously exhausted look.
"Look.." His voice trailed off as he grabbed the tags on the dogs collar, flipping it around when he read the name out loud. "Duke..Of course..Your name's Duke. Let's lay out some ground rules since we're stuck with each other- so inconveniently! No pissing in the house, no chewing on my expensive leather shoes and definitely no bathroom accidents in the middle of the night and if for some reason, you do end up having one. You have to bark or I don't know...wake me up before you make a mess." Stefan told him, placing his hands onto each side of the dogs face as he leaned his forehead against the dog, feeling Duke lick his face and whimper a bit.
"Okay? I guess you can stay. Just, you and I are going to have a lot of ground rules to get down together. Also, if you sleep in my bed. No hogging it!" Stefan said with a laugh, shaking his head and pulling Duke inside of the house by his collar.
"I can't believe I'm talking to you like a person..Damn it, I'm going crazy." Stefan mumbled under his breath when he let go of the dogs collar and closed the sliding door behind him. Stefan then took a step forward and just when he did, Duke sat in front of him, whining.
"I know, buddy. We got pretty screwed in this deal. Didn't we? Look, at least we can agree on one thing. I don't like you as much as you don't like me" Stefan said, walking past the dog and straight into the kitchen, pulling out a beer and cracking up the top of it as he took a long sip of the cold beverage, running his hands through his hair and looking around the nearly empty house. At least he wasn't completely alone, he thought. Maybe Rebekah leaving behind the dog would turn out to be a good thing or it would turn out to be a complete disaster- only time would tell.
A/N: So, what did you all think..Love it? Hate it? Please let me know, because if I get enough people interested in this story, then I'll continue it. :)
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