AN: Hey all! I know it's been a million years. But, I've had a lot of changes happen in my life and I needed to take a step back from writing. I just didn't think it was going to be for THIS long. Anyways, I'm slowly making my way back into these stories. So, hopefully some of you are still reading. :)

*This scene takes place sometime during Stefan's wedding to Aubrey.*


Must Love Dogs- Had You Stayed…

"Do you ever regret it?" He asks her. She's standing beside him, looking out at the ocean waves and everything for some reason feels peaceful. It's tranquil and calm. Except for one thing, there's an unseen tension between them. And, it's not like it was before. This time it's different, this time- it's painful.

She regrets a lot of things. She regrets lying about her feelings and choosing someone else over him. She regrets moving what feels like a million miles away and not keeping in contact. Now on his wedding day, she regrets ever leaving and coming back so unexpectedly.

"Yes." She says, her tone of voice is soft and broken. She feels defeated.

"You're trying to move on too…" She tells him, her eyes glazed over with tears and she can't dare look at him because if she does. She'll break. She'll shatter what's left of her already broken heart.

His hands are in his pockets, he's rocking back and forth on the soles of his nicely black polished dress shoes and he seems mesmerized by the Floridian ocean waves. If only thing's could have been different, he thinks for a brief moment. If only, she had stayed.

"I love her." He says, sounding as if he's trying to convince himself of the truth.

Maybe he does love her. Maybe she's good to him and they'll have this amazing and beautiful life together for the long haul. Maybe….

Elena stops herself from thinking about it. Quickly, she shifts her weight from one side to the other and notices that her wine glass is empty. "I think I need more alcohol." She utters out, more to herself than to him. But, as she turns around, she notices that he's not following her. Instead, he's standing in the same spot that he had found him in. Near the beach, a few feet away from the wedding venue and alone- lost in his thoughts.

"What would have happened, had you stayed? For me? For Ben?" He asks her, his voice is distorted from the crashing sound of the ocean hitting the golden colored sand beneath their feet. However, she can still feel the weight of his questions and she knows that now, she can't leave without an answer. A damn good one at that!

"I don't know…" Elena's voice trails off and she's mentally cursing herself for saying that first. It wasn't meant to come out that way.

"Bullshit. You do know." He resorts, irritation in his voice is evident as she kicks up the sand behind her and walks the few feet that separates them so that she's standing beside him again.

Swallowing the pain and sorrow. The guilt. Elena exhales deeply as she stands in front of him and glances into his hazy green eyes. He's already drank a half bottle of whiskey and she's pretty sure that he's got more somewhere near him.

"You know what would have happened?" She spits out, angered by own emotions and the fact that they're giving her away. He can see it, the pain and guilt she's carried for the last six years within her brown eyes. The heartbreak.

"We would have failed! I would have loved you too damn much and eventually, like everyone else in my damn life. You probably would have given up on me and you would have suffocated from my love!" She yells out, the mist from the ocean waves hitting her back as she stands away from them and faces him completely.

"You're better off with her, then you are with me! She loves you. But, with limits. Safe ones." She shouts, narrowing her eyes down at the almost empty bottle in his hands and she begins to walk away again.

Shaking his head, he swallows the bitter aftertaste left from his last swig of the overly expensive whiskey that Damon bought for his wedding day.

"You're a God damn liar, Elena." He shouts, loud enough for only the two of them to hear and for the smashing waves to drown out the rest.

"Am I?" She laughs a little, rolling her eyes at him.

Nodding his head, he takes a step towards her and grabs her wrist. Forcing her darkened gaze to focus on his drunken face.

"Yea." He nods, staring her straight in the eyes as he says without even sounding intoxicated. "We could have worked at it every single day. You and I could have solved our shit. But, you were too scared and I was too god damn blind. We could have been amazing together!" He exclaims, watching as she looks away briefly and back at him with confusion in her eyes when she asks. "And, why do you think that?"

Smiling just a little, she can feel the rough callous of his thumb rubbing against his wrist gently as he says in an honest and sincere tone. "Because, I would have loved you without regrets and without hesitation. Without limits, like she loves me. I would have loved you completely without fear. Had you stayed….Had you only just stayed….I would have loved you, every single day for the rest of my life."

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