Stefan looked at the floor guiltily.
“Go on Stefan, explain yourself,” Damon pressed. Stefan looked up at him angrily.
“You already know everything.” He looked back at me. “Elena, I’m so sorry I left you. I asked Damon to tell you everything and maybe if he had…” he glared up at Damon with a rage that petrified me. “Maybe if he had told you then I wouldn’t be here explaining myself, I wouldn’t have walked in on you two upstairs, and possibly we’d still be together…” I knew he was right. If Damon had told me that Stefan had said he loved me and he was sorry about whatever he had done – which, I still wasn’t sure I wanted to hear – then maybe Stefan and I would have kissed the moment we saw each other again, and we would be united at last. But now, after everything that had happened with Damon, all my love was for him. Stefan moved himself forward on the sofa and placed his arms on his knees and clasped his hands together. I knew that what I was about to hear wasn’t going to be good or easy.
“Elena, are you sure you want to hear my story?” I nodded.
“Well…” And his story began.
I lay on my bed staring at the blank ceiling. Boredom was something I had grown used to over the last one hundred and forty five years. I urged to see Elena but she was off shopping with Bonnie and Caroline. I had no idea where Damon was though. He just came and went from the house whenever it took his fancy. Although over the past few months of having my brother back in my life I had grown closer to him than I had since we’d been vampires. To be honest, I had been enjoying our friendship. Suddenly, I sensed someone in the house. I sat up silently and immediately. It was probably Damon, or possibly Elena, but something wasn’t right. I silently moved swiftly to the top of the staircase and looked down along the hallway and at the hallway below. No sign of anyone. I shot down the stairs and stood in the centre of the hall. Glancing around I took in everything but nothing looked out of place. As I took a step to check the kitchen someone grabbed me from behind and growled. We fell to the floor and my attacker was on top of me. I was about to strike back until I took in the appearance of the vampire that had brought me down. Laughing I sat up and Lexi – my oldest vampire friend – smiled at me.
“Hey Stefan, how you been?” she said with a smirk.
“Lexi, I’ve missed you,” and I threw my arms around her.
“I’ve missed you too honey!” and she squeezed me as tight as she could, nearly pushing all the breath out of me. I patted her back and she was on her feet in a blink. She held out her pale hand and pulled me up.
“How come I’ve never met Lexi before? I mean if she’s your best friend then surely you should meet up more often?” I quizzed. I knew I should have let him carry on but I was curious.
“Lexi is a traveller – she moves around a lot. She visits when she can, which isn’t very often. We used to travel together, but something’s came up and we chose to go our separate ways.” I nodded and he carried on.
“So. Dish. What’s going on in the life of Stefan Salvatore?” She smiled up at me as I passed her a mug of coffee.
“Nothing that could compare to what’s going on in the life of Lexi Winston,” I said.
“Well we all know that no ones life is as interesting as mine but still, let’s hear it. How are you?” I wrapped my hands around my coffee mug.
“Life’s good. You know…I’ve met a girl.” She squealed and grabbed my hand. I smiled bashfully.
“Finally! Oh thank heavens! I was beginning to think you’d decided to stay single for EVER!” She was getting excited now. “Well, what’s her name? What’s she like?” She was literally jumping around on her chair.
“Her name is Elena. And she is…perfect. She’s warm and gentle and she makes me feel…well…when I’m with her I forget what I really am.”
I blushed deeply. What Stefan had told Lexi had melted away some of the anger that I felt towards him. I leant forward and placed my hand on his knee. Damon shuffled uncomfortably on the arm of the chair.
“Stefan, I…never knew you felt that way before,” I said softly. He looked deep into my eyes. Suddenly I felt a twinge of guilt. Stefan still loved me and had recently walked in on me with his brother. It really hit me that if Damon had told me all this and that Stefan still loved me that I would never have gotten with Damon at all – even though my feelings towards Damon probably wouldn’t have changed. I was beginning to become confused and uncomfortable myself. Part of me knew that I still loved Stefan. The other part knew that I loved Damon. It was like a war was going on inside me.
“Well I guess it doesn’t really make much of a difference now, does it? Since obviously my brother satisfies you enough.” I was taken aback by his sudden change of attitude. He was on his feet, his eyes boring hatred into Damon. Damon leant back slightly and smirked.
“Well maybe if you’d told her that before-” Damon began, but Stefan roared with rage and threw himself at his brother. He smashed him against the wall and had his hands at Damon’s collar.
“THAT WAS YOUR JOB!!! I told you to tell her that after I’d gone but instead you let Elena believe that I’d gone because I didn’t love her anymore. And then I suppose you used her ignorance to your advantage, hm? Well are you satisfied? Did you get what you wanted?” He had Damon by the throat now and I was terrified. I couldn’t move and I knew that if I could there wouldn’t be much I could do anyway.
“Stefan don’t! Please, stop it!” Stefan looked back at me with a look of pure misery. I knew what he was thinking. He knew that there was nothing he could do, not now. Damon and I had happened and that was that. But I was beginning to want Stefan again. My feelings for him that had been replaced by anger, sadness and abandonment were slowly turning back again. Oh no, I can’t go through that again, I thought to myself. This was so like me – when I had one brother I wanted the other.
“Look, Elena. I…I can’t do this. Not now. Maybe tomorrow or something we can carry this little story on. I know I didn’t get to say much, but right now I have to go and fe- …I have to go and do something.” And without giving me a chance to say a word he was gone. Damon was still standing where Stefan had left him, rubbing his neck.
“Damon, you do know that you should have told me, don’t you?” I stood up and walked over to him.
“Yes, I know. But I told you why I didn’t.” He put his hands on my sides.
“Wasn’t that a bit selfish though?” He nodded.
“But that’s what I am. A selfish, dangerous, cocky vampire. Just how you like it,” he said with a grin.
“That may have an edge of truth about it…” I leant up and planted a kiss on his lips. Five minutes later we broke apart. He held me in his arms and we hugged for ages. I didn’t want to let go. But I knew that at some point I had to.
“Damon, Aunt Jenna will be back soon from her trip. How about helping me with dinner?” Aunt Jenna was going to be hungry after her journey home. She’d been away to see some of her friends in San Francisco over the weekend and had hesitantly left the house under the care of Jeremy and I.
“Sure, why not.” And we both made our way to the kitchen. “So, what are we having?” I thought for a moment.
“Erm, I think maybe spaghetti Bolognese? You can start by chopping onions,” I said, throwing a couple to him from the bottom of the fridge. He caught them with ease.
“So where’s the chopping board?” I pointed him in the right direction and turned to put the defrosted mince in the frying pan. As I mashed it down I turned and looked at Damon. He was busy chopping onions. For a split second I forgot what he was. He looked so normal. This was a side of Damon that I had hardly ever seen before and this was the side of Damon that I loved the most. He glanced up and noticed me staring at him. He smiled.
“What are you looking at?” I blushed.
“Nothing…” And I turned and continued cooking the mince. Soon the smell filled the room and my mouth watered.
“Mmm, smells pretty damn good,” I heard a voice say from behind me. I looked around and saw Aunt Jenna in the doorway.
“Oh hey! I didn’t hear you come in,” I dropped the spatula and gave her a hug. “How was San Francisco?” She looked sort of guilty.
“Well, let’s just say after a few drinks I was back to my old college ways again. Not exactly proud of myself. But apart from that it was fun. How was your weekend, hmm?” She looked past me at Damon. I followed her gaze and he looked back at the peppers he was now cutting with a smile still spread across his face.
“It’s been…interesting…” I looked back at Aunt Jenna.
“It has now, has it? She looked back at Damon. “Hey, you look like a strong guy. Could you possibly lug my suitcases upstairs? It’s just I’m kinda pooped.” She smiled innocently and he put down the knife.
“Sure thing Jenna,” and he went out into the hall. Literally the moment he was gone she grabbed me and looked me dead in the eyes.
“You and Damon? Since when? Oh my, honey, seriously I thought you’d never get over Stefan but thank goodness you have! Wow, you’ve landed a good’un there, I’ll say! He’s hot!” I cringed.
“Jeez Aunt Jenna!” I knew he’d heard all this and I knew that a smug smile would be spread across his face. “Can’t you be less…you? For at least an evening. Please?” She hushed up but a huge grin was slapped on her face. Damon came back in and sure enough, there it was. A smug grin just for me. I pushed him back out into the hallway.
“Do I sense a little smugness Damon?” I looked at him.
“Your Aunt is very…gracious, about me. I’m not smug…much,” he smiled down at me.
“Hey guys? Have I got to do this dinner all by myself now? Or are you both gonna just carry on smooching in the hallway?” I flushed deep red.
“Oh my God, I’m sorry, she’s just so…argh.” I put my hands over my face. He pulled my hands away.
“Come on, she could be worse.” I looked up at him in disbelief.
“Really? Can you get worse than her?” He laughed quietly.
“I’ve met worse, trust me.” He took my hand and we walked back into the kitchen.
After dinner I walked him to the front door.
“I am so sorry about her.” I blushed for about the hundredth time that evening.
“Pfft, don’t worry about it. Remember, I’ve met worse.” He laughed, leant down and kissed my forehead.
“Today was…fun,” he smirked, and picked up his jacket.
“Yeah, it was, apart from the whole thing with Stefan. We’ve upset him Damon. And I hate that.” I helped him pull his jacket over his shoulders.
“Yeah well didn’t he upset you when he left?” He opened the door and turned to look back at me.
“Well remember if you had told me I wouldn’t have been as upset!” He said nothing, but stepped forward again and pressed his lips against mine.
“Yes, well remember, if I had told you then you and I probably wouldn’t have happened now, would we?”
“I guess…” And he was gone. One moment I was staring into his eyes, the next moment I was staring at the door.