Pre Edit Count - 8,395 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: It is What it Is For by Lifehouse.
Damon sat at the bar drinking. He is glaring at the sight of Elena and Stefan sitting together. He has given up. No more. He has given so much for her, and she continues to run to his brother. All he wants is a chance. Nothing more, nothing less. But it is so complicated, so very complicated.
He sighs as he looks down. He had a chance. He had a woman who had loved him for himself, and he had loved her. But then she left. He could not find her later on, and decided that she didn't want him.
So he came here, and met the elusive Elena. He glamoured their meeting at the bridge from her, and he very well might have driven her to his brother. But she reminded him of her. And he thought that this may be the answer, the chance to truly be home .
He looks down as his drink is refilled, thinking that tonight is going to be one of those nights. One of the nights that he cannot think of anything but her.
So he decided to go down memory lane.
He ran into her in a dry dusty town. Sunlight everywhere, but a college gave him plenty of food to find. It had a party atmosphere. He loved it, and used it to escape his past. He gloried in the sun, knowing that there is always that chance that one slip where his ring might fall off and he would be dead. He flirted with the chance of his death by sun.
But then, one day…one day is what changed his life. He ran into a petite brunette. She had a heart shaped face and big brown eyes. He had narrowed his eyes at her in that instant. But then, he had smiled.
And she had smiled back.
He had crossed the coffee house and sat down beside her. He had grinned when she blushed at his actions. He had not encountered an innocence like hers in decades. Damon had actually tried to think of one before that time, and couldn't. It had been rare.
And he had been inclined to protect her. He had encouraged her to talk to him. She had been shy, but soon he broke through that shyness. She was a high school student who was taking classes in college. She had been in a group of students who had been elected to do college work, and the only sophomore there, which is why she was there at the coffee house late at night, by herself. It was a safe place.
That had gotten him interested enough to talk to her, and he was shocked at how intelligent she was. Of course, when he had learned she was so young, his interest had left. Mostly. At least that is what he tried to tell himself.
He had walked her home that night, having fun just being himself, a self he had not shown anyone since he had been turned. She had opened up to him. He had laughed so freely as she had wryly pointed out that she was not a sorority girl, and he would have a better chance with one of them. He teased her that maybe he wanted to have an intelligent conversation once in a while.
When they had walked up her drive way, he had been shocked that the house was dark. "Your folks went to bed already?"
She had shook her head. "My mom is out with her boyfriend. They stay at his house when they…want to be alone. He doesn't want to upset me." She had shrugged at the oddness of the newest in a string of men her mother had dated. Though, this is one that seemed like he really cared.
Damon had looked at the house, outrage blossoming deep inside of him at the thought of his stella being alone at home. He had looked down at her, frowning. He had finally asked her, "Do you have a cell phone?"
She had looked away from him. It wasn't in their budget. The only reason she could participate in the program was her grades. "No."
His frown deepened. He didn't like the fact that she would be home alone, nor did he like the idea of her walking into the house alone.
She had looked up at him and her face just bloomed under the smile. "Damon, are you worried about me?"
He snorted as he analyzed the house and searched for anything wrong. But the other house was close, and he was not sure if what he was hearing was there or at her house. At least on the other side of her house was the desert.
"Me worried about you? Please. You can take care of yourself." And he turned back to her, his eyebrow arched.
She just laughed, then walked up to the door. She opened it with her key, and asked, "Damon, will you please check out the house for pitiful ole me?"
He grinned, and then made a show of inspecting the house, noting that while the house was nice, her things were older. There were the belongings of another woman, her clothing in much better shape than his stella's. There were other things, signs that his stella was the responsible one in the house, not the other woman.
When he came back to the front door, he told her, "Told you that anything would be scared of you. Nothing. Not even a mouse."
She had laughed, and he had fallen for her completely. But he told himself that it wasn't right, that she was too young.
He had gotten into a pattern; he would pick her up, take her to her coffee shop, and spend time with her, even if it was when she was working on her homework. There would be times when he would go and get her chai tea refilled and get himself a drink, and just watch her as he waited in line…the way she bit her lower lip as she worked on her papers, or how her hair fell into her face.
Then he would shake himself and tell himself that she was not old enough, and that it would be wrong in so many ways to be with her as anything but friends.
But she made it hard. He had been around enough to know she was feeling the same, that she was falling for him, too. He had also found out that she could not be glamoured, so he made sure to treat her as only a friend.
There were many exchanged looks, times their hands would meet, times both thought that they could take that chance, break down the walls, stop denying their feelings, but they never took that step.
Then came a day that Bella wasn't home, and he tracked her to the park by her house as she sat on a swing.
He sat down beside her, and asked, "What's up?"
She had sighed and looked down at her feet, a habit he had thought he had broken her of, before replying, "My mom is staying here for me for the next school year."
Damon had kept his opinion of her mother not so hidden, he in fact had found his distaste for her growing as the two became closer. When she had gotten married, and the new husband had started to take care of her like someone should, he had been thrilled. He was also thrilled that the man could be glamoured. Since then, his Stella's life had been so much easier. A cell phone was the first thing to be given to her.
So he looked at her and raised his eyebrow, "Ok. And what's the problem, short stuff?"
She looked at the sun setting in the distance, and told him, "She'd rather be with Phil. I'd rather her be with Phil. What type of daughter does that make me?"
Damon sighs. "One who cares for others."
She laughed, having heard his discourse on how she needed to be a little more selfish. She then looked off, "Will you still be my friend if I move to Washington?"
He looked at her out of the side of his eye, then told her, "Always. Who knows, I may decide Seattle will be my new home."
She snorted. "Not enough sorority girls for you, Damon. But then, I haven't seen you with any lately."
He smirked. "Told you I needed someone more intelligent to talk to. Found her, no need for the ditzy air heads." Then he turned serious, "What about your school?"
She dug her toe in the dirt, and replied, "The credits will be there one way or the other. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to live there with her commenting all the time on how she wishes she could be with her new husband. You know how she gets."
Clenching his teeth, Damon nodded. It was something he absolutely hated. He cannot seem to make a compel stick with the woman. He had tried many times, but it never stayed with her long enough.
She sighed as she looked down. "I'm going to do it. I'm going to move in with my father. There is nothing here but you, but then, nothing is going to become of the two of us, is there?"
And he turned to her, shocked that she mentions the very thing they seem to always avoid. His mouth dropped open, and nothing came out.
She stared at him, and then nodded. "Ah well. It is what it is. Just promise me you will never forget me."
He blinked rapidly as he tried to make himself understand what was really going on here. He finally told her, "I will never forget you. Never. Can't, don't even suggest it."
And with that she nodded her head one last time. "I'm going to go call my Dad. I'll let you know what happens."
With that she left, and he watched her walk away, hearing and smelling her tears. He gripped the chains hard as he made himself stay where he was, telling himself that she was too young. And by the time she would be old enough, he would have to leave anyway so as to not to give away his secret. But he couldn't help the tear that dropped from his ice blue eye as he watched her walk away, not knowing that was the last time he would see her in the sun.
She had called him, and then managed one way or another to avoid him. When he had grown tired of it and needed to see her, he had gone to her house, only to find she had already left a week ago. She had called him and had never let him know in their conversation that she had already left their city.
Damon had searched for her, incredulous when he found her one night in Port Angeles, walking, actually being herded by four men to an alley. He seethed, and was ready to jump in and defend her when a silver Volvo squealed in and a teenager about her age stepped out. He ordered his stella inside the vehicle, not taking no for an answer. Something about the teen bothered him, but he was watching to see what happened.
The two made it out of the situation, and Damon had cleaned up after them. He had been ruthless with the remains of the humans, leaving nothing to be identify them for attacking his stella. Then he had taken to the skies to find her, to make sure she was fine.
And he saw the two in a window of an Italian restaurant, and watching the two, made the choice to walk away. The teen was more her age and there will be none of the supernatural in her life if he left now. That was the hardest choice he made, admitting to himself he loved his stella, and that he was being so unselfish in allowing her to live her life.
He kept tabs on her, and had been upset when she started to date the teenager, and found it way too painful to watch over her from a distance. He had left the state, and went home, taking the long way home. Not knowing that she would disappear from sight in less than a year.
His stella would be 22 now. He had not come home for years afterwards, taking his anger and frustration out on the humans around him. He had tried to tell himself that he was just infatuated, that there was nothing there.
But right now, as he sits there drinking, he admits to himself that not only did he love Bella Swan, he still loves her. Elena was a poor choice to replace her; she had nothing of the qualities that had drawn Damon to his stella.
He looks down into his drink, wishing he could go back in time and tell her everything, but it is so complicated, so hard to admit he had been wrong. There are some things where age doesn't matter, and love is one of them.
In the shadows, a young woman watches the dark haired man nursing his drink. She has had nightmare after nightmare in her life after she left him on that swing.
She had tried to bury the pain, trying to save herself from the heartbreak of an unrequited love. She had thought she had found someone new, but that love was not as true as the one she felt for the man in front of her, and she had suffered for it in ways she could have never have imagined.
Luckily, a stranger had come upon her in the woods when Edward had left her, and had rescued her. He had been drawn to her, and at that moment when life didn't seem worth it, he had given her a reason to live.
He had stayed by her side, telling her that she needed to finish high school, and grow up. She would never want to be in the situation of being stuck at an age that meant dealing with high school students for the rest of her long life.
The new man was not a love interest, but treated her more as a daughter than any would ever imagine. She had later met a brother of his, and he too had been surprised at the care that was lavished on her.
She had gained a new life, and phased out her old friends, the ones that took advantage of her heart and treated her without a though of how she would feel. And to be honest, she would never have thought of it except that he had taught her to look outside of herself, and that it was fine to be selfish.
Nik had taken her out of the town the day she had graduated, then sent her to what he called the Old World to finish growing up. He had also visited her often, listening to her when she talked about the man who had changed her life. He had been quiet the last time he had visited her, asking her many questions about her Damon.
Then he had sighed, and covered his eyes as he told her, "I think he found someone else, love. I wish it was not true, but I think he has moved on."
She had looked at him, and then sighed. "If I tried to replace him, not once but twice, how can I be upset he has done the same thing?"
He shook his head as he looked at her. "I will hurt him for the pain he has made you suffer, love. No one under my protection is to be hurt. Especially not you. " He had stood and come to rest before her to cup her face, "I swore to you that I would treat you as my daughter, and have I not?"
He had stared into her eyes, then kissed her forehead. "Soon, you will be mine. I am readying the house for you, and as you demanded, my siblings are being brought there. I will undagger them, telling them the truth of why I have kept them that way for so long."
She had cocked her head to the side and asked, "And you made sure the doppelganger is alive?"
He noded. "All done as you had requested. But I wish I had known what I do now. I would have caused him more pain."
Bella stood and moved away from him to look out the window at the English estate. "It's all water under the bridge, Nik. He caused me no more pain than the others. I caused the pain in that instance. I walked away from him. I never let him know where I was, nor did I even give him the chance to say goodbye. If there is pain, it would have been caused by me. And we both suffered if that was the case."
He had been quiet, then as a change of subject, had told her about the ritual and how everything had gone down. It had taken him years longer than he would have liked, but he wanted her to not be upset with him. He had done much that may have made him the bad guy in his home town, but he accomplished the one thing he had set out to do before he will turn the woman in front of him.
She is his daughter. He has killed for her, has not killed for her. He had come across her in Phoenix when she had been under the care of the Major. He had watched as she outsmarted him and left. She had told him later it had been to save her mother, a woman he had decided did not deserve the dedication of her daughter.
He had watched over her since then, and been enraged when the Cold One had left her in the woods. He had carried her out of there, gave her his blood to heal her, and had taken care of her since then.
Nik had enjoyed listening about the young man who she had loved, and still loved. How he had encouraged her to become more, to open her eyes to the rest of the world. So he had looked for the man called Damon.
Never would he have guessed that it would be Damon Salvatore. And the thing was, if the man had not been so dedicated to Elena, he would have encouraged the two to meet as they are a lot alike. Damon would understand her better than others, understanding losing that first all consuming love. If Nik could not choose one of his own siblings, Damon was a man who he could allow his daughter to date, if the man would give up his womanizing ways.
That had been one of the reasons Nik had him investigated - to find out what had stopped him for awhile, and that was after the ritual. To find that the man was his Isa's Damon, well, it made him drop everything to come talk to her.
He had waited until she was older, until he was the hybrid, to turn her. Per his witches, she would be a hybrid as well, unable to be killed if he waited until now to turn her. If he died, she wouldn't. And what more does a father want for his daughter but to make sure she would survive after him?
So now he prepared her for the change, wanting her to be vampire before he took her home. He hated knowing he would have to kill her, but he cannot wait for her to rise, to finally be his daughter.
He spent the night talking to her, making sure she was ready, and then gave her his blood like he does anytime he was home with her, never wanting to take a chance that she might die beforehand. She thought nothing of it by now, and drank it mixed with her wine at dinner.
That night as he walked to her bedroom, he was a few seconds late, and she had fallen down the stairs and snapped her neck. He caught her at the bottom, but the damage had already been done.
Nik had been heartbroken, angry at himself for not escorting her himself, but he had wanted to make sure all was ready, and had taken a moment to take a drink to fortify himself to do what was needed. Instead, well, Elijah would have stated that it was fate, that this was the time for her to change.
Isa woke up the following morning, and Nik was sitting beside her bed, holding her hand, hoping that she would wake. When she did, he hugged her tight to himself, telling her, "Thank God, Isa. I thought I had lost you."
She had grinned weakly at him. "Good thing you make sure I have your blood often."
He shook his head, then asked, "Are you sure?"
When she nodded, he turned to the side, and after grabbing a blood bag, told her, "Drink up. It is the doppelganger's, but I wanted to take no chance, and this was what I was told would make sure." He will never tell her how many times he had tried before, and how he had found out this was the only way.
No, some things she didn't need to know, and if she did find out, it would never be the true way. No one knew about it. He had left town by himself, dragging the only known Werewolf that he had kept. He had remembered how distraught Isa had been with his suggestion to kill Tyler, but when he had explained the process of changing, she had made him promise to help him.
So even though Damon almost ruined it, he had managed to hide Tyler that night.
Now, he watched as Isa finished the transition, and smiled. "How does it feel?"
Now Isabella watches the man whom she loves, and sighs. She turns to walk out, a virtual ghost to all who she doesn't want seeing her. Tomorrow is the ball, the one which Ester is planning, but Nik is going to announce to all that he has a daughter.
Neither he nor Isa trusts his mother, and they finally, after talking themselves almost hoarse, have the rest of the family except for Finn believing them. Isa's skills have helped them find out how much Finn wants to end his life, and they are having Sage attend the ball, hoping that makes him more willing to listen.
She leaves, and soon enters the mansion, and Nik is there. "You went to see him didn't you?" He watches her, the woman who would always come first in his life.
She smiles at him, touched as always by him caring for her, "Yes. And he looks miserable." Broken. Her smile drops off as she remembers the site of him at the bar drinking. No, he was not the man she met, the man who had been full of life. It seems the time between their separation and now has been as hard on him as her.
Nik looks off and nods. "Tomorrow he will know you are here. Are you ready?"
She looks up at her father, thinking, and after a moment, smiles at him, "Yes. I am finally ready. For whatever comes."
The following day Damon gets an invitation hand delivered to him with his name written on it, in a familiar scrawl, but he could not place where he had seen it before. He nods his head to the hybrid that delivered the invitation. He had planned to go anyway, since Elena would be there, and he had nothing else to do really.
He sighs, wishing he could take the person that he truly loved. He is so tired of trying with Elena. It will never happen for him, and he lost the one person who would have been perfect. He tosses the invitation down on his nightstand and just falls into his bed on his back. He had everything he needed to be ready for tonight.
Damon closes his eyes as he thought through everything that had happened. He had been shocked later, when he looked back on it, about how easy the Original took it on them; he could have killed any of them at any time. Instead, it was almost like he was holding back. Even when he took Elena for her blood, he had released her and she had been resting in bed by the time Damon had found her.
He looks to the ceiling, thinking about his stella, who he had tried to track again. He had found the Cullens but they didn't have the brunette who had starred in his dreams so often. He had been angry to find that the penny haired teenager didn't look any different, nor was he looking like he was upset. No… in fact, he was in high school, dating another.
But the fact that they didn't look any different has him contemplating a road trip when this farce of a ball is done with. He wanted to know what they were since none of them looked to have changed. And given the amount of time that had passed, and the age they are, there should be some differences.
Closing his eyes, he thought about the woman he loves, and how he plans to beg her for another chance, how he will tell her everything, hoping that she will give him that chance.
There is a knock on the door, and he looks to see Elena there, twisting her fingers in her shirt sleeves. "Do you have a second?"
He rolls his eyes, "What do you want, Elena? Stefan not paying you enough attention and you need me to pay you some too?" He is done with her. He hated the fact he has played her games this long. He needed to stop this. Tonight he is going because it is what his brother has asked for, but no other reason.
Elena looks at him as though he hurt her, "What are you saying Damon?"
He sits up and stares at her, "That I am done playing the game for you. No more. Stefan can have you or whatever vampire you decide you want. I am going for my brother, then I am going to be leaving the state for a little while."
She shakes her head as she takes a step in, "You're leaving? But there is still the threat of Klaus and the rest of the Originals, we don't know what they are planning! You can't leave now!"
He chuckles as he watches her. "You are quite the little actress are you not? You are worried about you, yourself and no one else. Some advice for you, don't fuck up what my brother feels for you. I fell for it twice, and it seems you Petrovas like Stefan. But I am done."
Her face screws up in anger, "How dare you! I am nothing like Katherine!"
He snorts as he vamps in front of her, "You are just like her. You strung us both along for the longest time, and I am done playing the game. I will be at the ball tonight, but that is it. Leave."
She stares at him, then raises an eyebrow, "How will you get in?"
He smirks, "Oh don't you worry, little Elena, I have my ways." And with that, he shuts the door in her face. He shakes his head, amazed by the sense of freedom he feels. Now to just get through the night.
Isa is dressed, and she stands outside on her balcony in a rust colored mermaid-style gown that falls to her feet. Her hair is free from any restraints; she remembers how much Damon had loved it styled that way.
She is looking out over the grounds when the door behind her opens, and she smiles as she recognizes her father's voice. "Are you ready, love?"
She nods and heads inside, stopping when she sees his face, turning around for him to see the gown.
He smiles, proud of her. "If he hurts you…"
Shaking her head, she tells him, "I left him and he has that right. This is it, no more running, I am going to face down the last of my human past. If I can convince him to give me a chance, I will do anything."
He shakes his head as he glides to the mirror and ties his tie, making sure it is straight. "You can tell me whatever you want, but you are my daughter, and a father has the right to protect his little girl."
She comes up behind him and, staring into his blue eyes, asks, "Why did you pick me out of all the people in the world?"
Shaking his head, Nicklaus meets her eyes that remind him of Elijah, "Because you are my daughter. Just because I choose you makes no difference in my eyes. You may as well be the child of my loins. I love you as my own, I am announcing to the world you are mine, and that you are my heir. I have and will kill for you, but even more importantly, you have had me change my ways. Hopefully it is enough." He mutters at the end.
She laughs, "You still worrying about the blonde Barbie?"
He gives her a look, and she lifts an eyebrow at him, "I respect you, Nik, but don't ask me to respect her. She is younger than I am in every way. I will never say anything against her, but are you not the one who has encouraged me to speak my mind, especially to you?"
A voice chuckles from the doorway. "Yes, brother, have you not encouraged my niece to speak her mind?"
Elijah stands there staring at the two before him. He had been shocked when he had met Isabella for the first time when they had set their plan in motion. He had fallen in love with her, and wished that she could see it. Instead she loves Damon Salvatore, and all her uncles are ready to fight for her. They all love her, even Rebekah, but they also honor her choices.
However, even if she is his niece per Klaus, if Damon does not live up to his chance with her, Elijah will be working to gain her love. Kol has mentioned that he, too, would love to woo his niece, telling Klaus that since she is not blood, there is nothing wrong with it.
Klaus had growled at them both, stating that if he finds even a hint of them forcing themselves on her in any way, he will kill them. She is his.
Isa laughs at her uncle, telling him, "He has, as well as you. The two of you and that God-awful summer you spent teaching me the things I should know as a princess. I have no idea how any of us made it through it."
Both men smile at the reminder of the summer in question. It had been after Klaus had her agreement to become his daughter, and both men had been tired of how she always looked at the ground and never walked with her head held high as she should.
So they both used the time they had and taught her grace. She can now walk in heels, and do it so confidently that the night she had tripped and fell down the stairs had been an abnormality, not the norm for her any more. But it had never stopped either of them from escorting her anywhere. As they told her, it was an honor.
Elijah leans against the door jam, "Your invitation was received, and accepted. He will be here. Are you sure that you want to do this? We can have you both meet at another time. There is much happening tonight."
She nods, her hand going to her stomach, "I am nervous, and want it over with. But what will you do about the doppelganger?"
Elijah growls, "Leave her to me. There is nothing that will happen without us knowing about it. I have already managed to compel her. And just for you, Isa, she is upset because Damon told her he was done with her."
She cannot help the smile nor the hint of happiness in her eyes. She had worried about competing for his love, and now it looks like she just has to compete with herself.
Nik puts his hands on her shoulders and tells her yet again, "He will be a fool to turn you down, love. Just be confident."
As much as he hates to say it, Elijah tells her, "There are no worries, Isa. How can he resist you?" And with that he holds out his arm, and smiles as she comes and puts her arm through his, and Klaus is soon with them in the hallway, his own arm taken by her on the other side.
Elijah grins down at her, "Let the games begin."
Damon walks through the door and hands his invitation to the person taking them. His watchful eyes are evaluating any risk factors. He had made a point of coming without his brother and Elena. As he told her, he was done. And he wanted there to be nothing between them as he knows the penchant the Petrovas have for trying to change minds, or influence others to change the minds for them.
It was unusual for Damon to show up stag to a party like this, but he didn't care. His mind was partly on why he was here, and the rest was on the trip he will be taking tomorrow. It would be the first step on a journey that will hopefully lead him back to his stella.
He straightens his dark suit, then takes a glass from the staff walking around, tossing it back and setting it back on the tray.
He managed not to be shocked when he hears Elijah's voice behind him, "Trouble in paradise? Or have you given up on the doppelganger?"
Turning around, Damon meets the Original's eyes and tells him, "Done."
Elijah looks him over, upset all over again that this man won his Bell's heart before he had a chance. "Interesting. Well there will be plenty happening tonight to keep your interest, I suspect. Watch Elena. We suspect that there is more to my mother requesting this ball than just wanting to meet with the founding families."
Damon lifts an eyebrow. "Telling secrets, Elijah? But then, we can't really trust you, can we?"
Klaus chuckles as he walks towards them. He knows of Elijah's feelings toward his daughter, but long before she met him, he had known of Damon, never suspecting that this was the same Damon. "Don't be too hasty, Damon. There is much you will be happy about. Just do me a favor, mate. Wait at the bottom of the stairs. There will be someone to meet you. Someone I hope you will be happy to see."
Looking at him, Damon shrugs. "Very well."
With his agreement, the two Originals smile, then Klaus clasps him on the shoulder as he walks past him, "All good, mate. Trust me." And with that they pass him as they make their way to retrieve Isa to introduce her to Mystic Falls.
Stefan is soon at his side with Elena still walking through the door. "What was that about?"
Damon shakes his head. "No idea, but I am sure tonight will be one for the books." Stefan nods, and Damon then hears his sigh as Elena came towards them. "Problem, brother?"
Stefan looks at him, then says, "Let's just say I have been thinking, and I heard what you said earlier today. Would you mind company on your trip? I feel like I need to clear my head some."
Damon turns and looks into his eyes, searching them. Then he nods as Elena comes up to them. He tells him, "Be happy to have you." And with that he walks away, a smirk on his face.
A shadowed form frowns, glad she has insisted on tonight since it sounds like Damon is planning to go away. Hopefully he will put it off when she begs him. Hearing the sound of the ball starting and the family being gathered, she makes her way to her father, and stands behind him.
Klaus smiles as he feels her, and before Elijah can say his announcement as planned, Klaus interrupts him. "Good evening to all. Tonight is an age old tradition for my family, and also happens to be the debutante of my daughter. With the blessing of my family, I would like to introduce you all to Isabella Mickealson."
As he announces the last part, his daughter steps out of his shadow, and he is watching Damon as she appears. Damon is waiting at the end of the stairs as they had requested, and the look of awe, surprise, and devotion is clear on his face. Klaus is sure his daughter will not be disappointed.
Damon is shocked as he stares at his stella, his Isabella that he had been set to turn the world upside down to find, and instead, she is standing here being announced as Klaus's daughter.
His eyes trace the changes in her face, in her whole being, and he cannot help his smile as the promise of her beauty that had been present at 16, has now come to fruition.
Then she is escorted down, and he sees the moment she notices him. Her eyes widen, and the smile that had been present turned into a real one. Klaus stops in front of everyone, and, smiling, he asks Damon, "Will you escort my daughter, Damon?"
Damon's eyes barely leave hers as he tells the Original Hybrid, "I would be pleased to do so." And with that he holds out his hand, hoping she will take it.
Isa cannot help her smile growing even wider as he answers her father, and she takes his hand. The two of them stare at each other as Klaus watches them.
Elijah sighs and looks at Kol; the two of them are glad that she is happy, but not at the fact that there is no chance for them. He clears his throat, "As my brother has mentioned, it is a tradition for our family to hold these balls. I ask that you participate in the dance to open the ball." With that the family descends the stairs, all of them grinning at their niece and at the fact that neither she nor Damon has stopped staring at each other.
Damon escorts her to the ballroom, and takes her in his arms, and when the music starts, they move to a dance that he had learned in his human lifetime. His eyes never leave hers, and he notices that she is no longer human, but dismisses it.
Isa gazes into his ice blue eyes, unable to believe he is here, and accepting her. They both sway to the dance, neither saying a thing, but their eyes communicate whole conversations with each other. Their hands soothe the others heart, promising that they are now here, and neither will leave the other again.
Others notice their preoccupation with each other. Klaus is grinning as he dances with Caroline, very happy with the way that part had fell in line with the plan.
Elijah watches Elena, and sees the hatred for his niece on her face as she watches Damon being someone she has never known as she had never accepted his love to the point he could show it as he does now. His brown eyes harden to the doppelganger, realizing as Damon and Stefan had before, that she playes with the hearts of others.
Much too soon for Isa and Damon, the dance comes to an end. Damon refuses to release her hand, and he tells her as he pulls her forward, "I was about to leave tomorrow to search for you."
She smiles up at him, "Lucky that I convinced Nik to introduce us tonight. Damon, I am so-"
He puts his finger to her lips. "There is no sorry. I was a fool, I denied the love I felt for you because I felt it was wrong with you being so young. That you are here, and willing to give us a chance, is more than I could ever wish for. So, no 'I'm sorry's,' instead a promise for us to give this a real chance."
She grins up at him, "I promise."
He grins back at her, his eyes a light color as he traced her features. "You are so beautiful." He chuckles as he watches her blush.
But all good things must come to an end, and soon her father is by their side, grinning at them both. "I take it you both decided to be smart and let bygones be bygones?"
Both nod, neither moving their eyes from the other, and Nik cannot help but laugh. He slaps Damon's back as he tells him, "I give you permission to woo my daughter, Damon Salvatore. Just promise to treat her right, and I will support you two."
Damon's smile gets bigger as he tells them, "I will treat her like the princess she is."
Nik just laughs, then turns to his daughter. "Let him in on the surprises for tonight. I am off to get Finn on our side."
Sighing, Isa turns to her father. "Be careful. She is in my room."
He nods, and kisses her cheek as he leaves the two lovebirds.
Damon lifts an eyebrow, "So, you're an Original?"
She smiles, "So, you're a vampire?"
He grins and pulls her to him to tell her, "I missed you so much, Stella." He rests his forehead on hers, his eyes closing in bliss as she hugs him back.
She sighs, then pulls away from him to grab his hand and tug him outside. Once she is sure they are as alone as they can be, she quickly tells him what is going on.
His mind keeping up with hers, his eyes widen as he realizes how close they all came to being killed by the Witch. "So Nik found Sage, who used to be my tutor in this world, to get Finn to realize that there is a reason to not kill off the family, which would lead to them dying, along with the rest of us."
She nods, looking him in the eyes, "Except for me, for some reason. Nik was told if he waited until the curse was removed, he could change me and I will become his daughter in all ways. He also needed the blood of the doppelganger to complete the change, as it was needed the first time to make them all. He and Elijah were pissed that the witch who told them about changing me forgot that important fact. Nik cannot change another without her blood. It had been another restriction on him. But for the fact that I begged both of them not to kill if they can help it, well, our meeting may have been different."
Damon stares at her as everything falls into place. "That is why Klaus never killed any. He had Jenna to change, but found another to substitute for her at the last second. He did it all for you." He had wondered, many times what had changed the man's mind about using Jenna, but instead had a vampire that the world wouldn't miss.
She nods as she looks at him. "And Elijah didn't betray anyone. He had to do what he did to make sure that you will be there, that the ritual will go through, and that the current doppelganger would live through it all. I could not take someone dying unless it was deserved. It had been that, my request, that took him all this time to gather everything together. Plus he was wanting me to be older. "
Damon cups her face, and tells her, "Thank you. I don't care about Elena anymore, but losing anyone at that time would have been hard on us all. So I thank you. "
She grins at him, "Nik was going to look for you, and imagine his surprise when he finally put all the clues together and realized that my Damon was you."
He smirks, "How many Damons did you think were out here?"
He looks away for a second, then asks, "Where were you?"
Looking up at him, "In England. Neither he nor Elijah wanted me in the States when this all happened. Seems they were worried that if a certain Damon Salvatore had learned that I meant something to them, he would use me against them."
Damon eyes widen as he shakes his head. "The opposite, in fact. If I had known it was you, I would have done anything to have a chance. But, as much as I would like to find out everything, we need to get inside and watch this play out."
Isa grins back at him. "It should be enjoyable."
They grin at each other, and Damon escorts her inside.
The rest of the night continued as the three of them had planned. Finn had been overjoyed in finding Sage and was floored when she told him what would have happened if he had gone through with his mother's plan.
He had stared into her eyes, a lot like his niece had done when meeting Damon, and told them everything.
With that information, none of them drank the wine, and as soon as the ball ends, Finn was the one who daggered their mother and placed her back in the coffin she had inhabited all this time. To make sure no one would be able to open it again, he and Sage left to bury her body in a place only they would find.
Damon and Isa spent time after the ball together, and discussed what had happened. When he became angry at her treatment by the Cullens, he had wanted to leave and make them pay.
But before he could even think of going off and doing something to them, he needed to make sure his Bella is his.
So he went to Nik, in the old time tradition, then took Bella out one night for a walk. They had chatted about anything and everything, and slowly walked onto a plot of land that had ruins on it.
Bella looks around, then looks at Damon, "What is this place?"
He smiles, then drops to one knee, holding out a ring for her, "This is the place I wish to build our home. This is the place I am hoping you will allow be the start of our forever. This is the place I am holding not just this ring, but my heart out to you to accept. This is the place I am asking you to marry me."
She grins at him, and tells him, "Yes, of course! Damon?!"
He jumped up and held her to him, kissing her deeply. "I want to make you mine in every way. I also want you involved with me rebuilding the Salvatore Plantation. I just want to show you my love for you, and this is one of a thousand ways for me to do so." He holds her close to him, his eyes looking over a place he had never thought to return to, but his stella is more than worth it.
Their marriage was a low-keyed affair, well, as low-keyed as the leader of the Founding Council marrying the Princess of the Vampire world could be. But more importantly, it had been what Isa wanted. She had them married in their new home, in the garden that she had planned with Elijah.
Damon had been a nervous groom, but not about him being married. He had been worried that something would come along and try to ruin their night. And there was reason to be worried. Elena had tried to crash the party, but Kol had taken her away and locked her in the cellar in the new house. No one was going to ruin his niece's wedding, even if he would rather have been the groom.
Stefan had been unglamoured and remembered Rebekah, and the past he thought he had blacked out for. The two of them soon got back together, with Stefan quickly coming out whatever hold Elena had had on him.
To say she was not happy about it was an understatement. But as the Supernatural world shunned her, she found out quickly that her so-called 'special' status was nothing if Klaus didn't need her.
The wedding had been one straight out of Midsummer's Dream, with the fireflies all around them as they said their heartfelt vows to each other. There was even no unnatural light as they used torches to illuminate the night where it was needed. Everyone had been amazed at the wedding, but it will never be forgotten, nor will it ever be matched.
After the wedding, and the honeymoon, Damon met with the Originals about his revenge against the ones that had hurt his Bella. He figured that they would like to help out. He had gotten close with all of them.
Instead, Nik and Elijah allowed him into their plan for the Cold Ones, and he had been overjoyed at the revenge being planned. Soon the Originals had boarded the plane that took them to the Volturi. And they watched as the Cullens found out why the three kings were put into power. The Originals ruled all the vampire races, and they made sure the Supernatural world learned to not mess with any of them.
Damon had watched with glee as their holier-than-thou attitude was corrected, and the fact that none of them will ever be able to be alone made him chuckle.
His wife had just elbowed him in his side, and he had pulled her closer, kissing her neck as he watched Edward seethe.
That night, as they walked to their room, he kissed his wife at the door. His eyes worshipful as he stared at her, he said, "I swear, every time I look at you, you are more beautiful than the last."
She laughed at him, and shook her head. Then she gasped as he had them on the other side of the door, and the side of him that she loved came out. Her husband was always hungry for her, and since she was the same about him, it made life interesting for the two of them.
Damon was soon panting as he removed her clothing while pining her to the door. He chuckled as he realized she was wearing the underwear he had given her just a week ago. "My, my, black looks even better on you than I imagined it would."
**A/N: To read the REST of this story, please visit kittyinaz. com. There is also another one-shot in the works, so keep a watch out for it there, too!**