Mixed Signals by TheSouthernScribe
Summary:

 

*Repost*

TVD Fic

Sometimes friendship can be more confusing than love.


Categories: Primetime Television Characters: Bonnie Bennett
Classification: Alternate Universe, Off Cannon , Supernatural
Genre: Comedy , Drama, Family, Friendship, Romance
Story Status: None
Pairings: Damon/Bonnie (Vampire Diaries)
Warnings: Adult Situations, Character Death, Extreme Language, Fluff, Original Characters, Sexual Content
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 14 Completed: Yes Word count: 17738 Read: 29029 Published: February 25 2012 Updated: February 25 2012
Story Notes:

Yes the fic returned because I've finally begun a sequel.

1. Intro: The Confusion Begins by TheSouthernScribe

2. I Come Bearing Gifts by TheSouthernScribe

3. What's Done Is Done by TheSouthernScribe

4. Better This Way by TheSouthernScribe

5. Comforting Darkness by TheSouthernScribe

6. Daniela by TheSouthernScribe

7. Consequences...Repercussions by TheSouthernScribe

8. Semblance of Balance by TheSouthernScribe

9. The Challenge by TheSouthernScribe

10. When Sorry Just Isn't Enough by TheSouthernScribe

11. Sweet Little Lies by TheSouthernScribe

12. Burdens by TheSouthernScribe

13. The Last Time by TheSouthernScribe

14. Outro: Making Amends by TheSouthernScribe

Intro: The Confusion Begins by TheSouthernScribe

What...

Bonnie typed the letters on her screen, before quickly sliding her cell back into the bag and out of the line of vision of her Trig teacher. When did she become best friends with Damon Salvatore? Exchanging miscellaneous messages, inconsequential conversations held over a wireless network, and emoticons appearing on her screen without provocation.

She placed her hand on top of her book bag in an attempt to muffle the sound of the vibration. It was alluring, the call of the phone, and the enticement of the waves flowing through the material to her hand. She did the only thing she knew to do. Bonnie retrieved the phone, tapped the screen and read the words waiting in the blue cloud.

Meow...Xander or the little warlock that could...that kid is way too short for you by the way...

One hand gripping the phone - the other covering her mouth - forcing the giggle back down her throat; Bonnie fled the classroom.

It was annoying - right now; Damon Salvatore was the person who knew her best - inside and out. She wasn't surprised to find him lingering at the edge of the walkway that led to the student parking lot. He stood waiting, a mischievous smirk on his lips and pure evil in his eyes.

The sight was comforting.

"Xander."

Bonnie mouthed and Damon gagged, "The love triangles are giving me a migraine."

"Yours included or would that be a square or a pentagon?" She rattled off and regretted the slip of her tongue, "Sorry."

Never missing an attempt to correct and prove her wrong, Damon responded "Rose is my special friend, Katherine is a bitch, and Stefan will never be as cool as me," Before pinching her nose.

"And Elena?"

She did it again. She stood still and watched as he cringed with the overwhelming feelings he experienced with two little words.

"The love of my brother's fucking life."

They walked in silence to her car. She slid across the hood as Damon leaned into the front bumper. He was still stoically silent. She watched his jaw tense and his eyes flutter as he blinked.

"I like Rose, despite the Alice Cullen hair."

A small smile crept across his lips, before it twisted into a sinister smirk.

"Take it from me, do a Kelly Taylor and choose you, Jeremy - boo, Luka - ewe."

There was her favorite Damon.

"Could you grow up?"

This time he pinched her cheeks, the ones covered by the skin tight denim of her jeans.

"I just want my little witch to be happy."

There was something in his tone and the averted gaze that moved from her face to the ground below his feet.

"You deserve the same thing."

Damon shook his head in disagreement.

"Katherine dead, a fully stocked bar, and a woman with no inhibitions, that's what will make me happy."

He stood up straight and headed for his car. She struggled to find words that would reach his long dead heart; instead she opted for grabbing his hand and giving it a squeeze. He reciprocated by brushing a wind blown strand behind her ear. His hand lingered before he regained his composure and fortified his tone with sarcasm.

"Gilbert - Luka's bad news; if you want happy - Jeremy's your man."

And like that he was gone.

Mixed signals, she didn't understand there was something strange bubbling to the surface between them.

Comfort - friendship - more, Bonnie couldn't put her finger on it. The man who had tried to kill her, taunted her for not being as strong as her ancestor was at her age and yet he had become her staunchest defender. His sadness made her want to cry. He was always brutally honest, quick to advise, but rarely did he bow to his ever present emotions.

Bonnie stood, contemplating a return to class, when she saw a messy mop of brown hair across the horizon.

Damon was right, she'd learned he was always right.

This time it didn't bother her. Jeremy was her man.

I Come Bearing Gifts by TheSouthernScribe

The house was quiet when Damon entered. There was no sign of his brother or Elena. He made his way to the bar and poured a drink. He didn't have a taste for the pungent liquor. He placed the glass on the tiled counter and walked to the window. That's when he heard it, a faint cry, a pained grumble, and he remembered Rose. It had been a few days since the wolf's attack and the bite she'd inflicted on the female vampire's shoulder. At first the woman had been fine, lethargic, needing rest. Then it flipped, her hunger became ravenous.

He reached the door that led to the basement and the stench of rotten flesh met his nose. She was down there, a fragment of the creature she once was, driven mad by the wolf's virus invading her system. He was relieved, grateful, that in the haste of battle, those teeth had not torn into his skin. Slowly Damon descended the stairs and knelt beside where Rose was chained. Her normally immaculate hair was matted to her head. Her clothes heavy with the scent of the flesh she was devouring.

When they first met, Rose reminded the eldest Salvatore of the face he stared at daily in the mirror. She was vicious and addictive. A cold blooded killer ruled by her heart. They'd connected out of shared pain; engaged in moments of intimacy to erase memories and thoughts that plagued every waking moment. Now, he knew he wouldn't be able to save her, and her face, those eyes, the lips he'd tasted would pile on to the regrets that filled the void left by his soul.

Damon pulled the stake from his back pocket, Jules words on repeat in his head. The only way to end this was to send Rose to her final resting place. He'd deserved that more than once, and each time someone had granted him a reprieve. Elena convincing Bonnie that vengeance wasn't the answer, the little witch's interruptions during their one - sided battles with Elijah and his band of Originals. Who was he to sentence Rose to a fate he'd escaped time and time again.

His eyes met hers and again past conversations accompanied his thoughts. No after a few hundred years you couldn't turn off your emotions. The wood clattered to the ground as he wiped the corner of the vampire's mouth with the sleeve of his shirt. Today, Rose wouldn't die.

He stood, walking to the stairs, tossing another look over his shoulder before he headed for the door.

This time he finished his drink and poured another when he reached the study. The chime of the door interrupted his descent into self pity. Armed with sarcasm and contempt he opened the door only to have his intentions dissuaded by his visitor.

"Blessed by the mother goddess and laced with passion flower." Bonnie handed over a side of beef, nearly as big as her, before crossing the threshold, "Stefan took Elena home and volunteered..."

"Go home Bennett."

He knew he was unnecessarily harsh in his tone, but the last thing he needed was to break down and accept the comfort of a teen-aged girl.

"Fuck you Salvatore - I go where I want, when I want."

That was why they were friends.

Damon had forced Bonnie from her comfort zone; challenging her to stand confidently against those who questioned her gift and ability. He was proud of her, even if he was the one who bore the brunt of all her attacks.

She shucked off her jacket and headed for the kitchen. She removed a pan from the cabinet, grabbed a butcher knife, and motioned for him to bring the meat to the counter.

"The passion flower will help with her hysteria and if you're lucky, maybe Rose will sleep through the night."

He watched as her tiny hands worked the massive blood stained meat. She prepped the tray and pushed it across the counter to Damon's hands and shooed him from the kitchen. He delivered Rose her dinner and sat on the bottom step and watched her eat. Sure enough, once her belly was full she drifted into a light sleep, which soon gave way to a deep slumber. Glenda the good witch did know her stuff.

When he returned to the kitchen he found a mug of warm blood on the counter. Bonnie's jacket was still thrown across the back of a chair, so he knew she was near. He sipped the hot liquid and smiled. Just a small drop of her blood had been mixed into the brew, along with a pinch of cinnamon. She was way too good to him.

Damon found Bonnie in the study, perusing the shelves, reading the Salvatore journals.

He slipped up behind her, raising the mug to her face, "Thanks for my treat."

"It's the holiday season; I'm in a good mood."

He didn't have to see her face. He'd memorized her looks of delight, anger, and even one that he liked to call the sexy flirt. He banished the thought as quickly as it rose before stepping around the young girl and selecting a journal bound in leather for her to study.

"This was Bree's." He handed the book over, "There's a few cute little spells in there you may like."

She accepted his offering, "Thanks."

"You're welcome."

He heard the breath she took and the words that she didn't speak to calm her nerves, "Whatever, bull you keep telling yourself; I hope you know this wasn't your fault."

"Loyalty blinds you Bennett, it was my fault, and I saved myself; without thinking twice about Rose." He drained the blood from the mug before moving to the bar for something harder, "What's worse I'm glad it wasn't me."

"Everything happens for a reason." The back of the hand that brushed across his jaw was soft and gentle. "I gotta go."

She retrieved her denim jacket from the kitchen. He didn't ask where she was going or why she was leaving, but she told him. He hid the grimace with a painted on smile and filled the uncomfortable silence with insults about high school brat.

Ignoring the sinking feeling in the pit of stomach, Damon issued an insincere, "Have fun," as he watched Bonnie walk from the house to the car.

Bonnie had picked the wrong time to take his advice and now Jeremy Gilbert would reap all the benefits of his unfailing wisdom, and Damon Salvatore wasn't too sure how he felt about those odds.

What's Done Is Done by TheSouthernScribe

Bonnie's date was late.

She contemplated listening to her nerves and leaving while she still had her pride. It was Friday night and the Mystic Grill was standing room only. She'd managed to grab one of the last booths and she was growing tired of dodging death glares from the pool table while she sat there alone. In the next few minutes she would confirm what everyone at school had whispered about for the past two weeks. She didn't care that Jer, she had to make a mental note to stop referring to him by a nickname she'd assigned to him long before her tenth birthday, was a junior and a year behind her in age.

Things had been...well...

She reached for the phone dancing across the table.

Where are you?

Bonnie's screen lit up with the arrival of the new text. Her fingers flew across the keys typing her response.

At the Grill.

She conveniently left off the added information that she was patiently waiting for her date to arrive. She sent a follow up to her previous reply.

Why...what's wrong?

She considered turning off the phone and tucking it away in her bag and then the vibration quickly cancelled that train of thought.

Nothin...

Her fingers hovered above the screen, waiting for her virtual companion's next line.

Miss you...made lasagna...come watch GG

When did this insanity begin? No curse words, insults, and an admission that he wanted to spend time with her. She'd kept her distance since her last visit to the Manor. Things had changed.

Jeremy Gilbert now held the title - boyfriend, and she couldn't maintain her role as Damon Salvatore's conscious.

She was becoming too attached.

Sorry...can't...rain check?

Her phone remained unusually silent, there was no response. Not even an hour after she was fully engrossed in the patty melt on her plate and the cutie across from her at the table.

Damon was mad?

This had been his idea, she'd acted on that nudging feeling in the pit of her stomach based off of his advice and now he couldn't respond to a text with one little letter, K.

Spoiled...

Selfish...

Asshat...

"Where are you?"

Bonnie lifted her face from her overly salted fries at met Jeremy's eyes. His hand had stretched across the table and was waiting to the left of her plate. How could she devote so much mental energy to Damon Salvatore when she had the epitome of sweetness right here with her? She removed her hand from her lap and laced her fingers through his, while her other hand tucked a lock of hair behind her ear.

"I'm fine...what did you say?"

He rewarded her with a perfect smile and her heart melted. He had that affect on her. He always knew what to say, when to wrap his arms around her, when to lower his lids and level that hooded gaze in her direction. The warmth started in her pinky toes, rose up the back of her legs, pooled in her stomach, all before flushing her cheeks. It felt good to have one person focused on her, not consumed by a mission that involved someone else and threatened to prematurely end her days on earth.

Her eyes landed on the fluorescent green t- shirt lining his frame. Their relationship was new, so collectively they'd agreed to only exchange gifts in the form of corny shirts ordered off the internet. Bonnie had fallen for the Festivus Feats of Strength tee after one click and well Jeremy had paid five dollars extra to emblazon a cotton black shirt with shimmery white lettering Team Jeremy. They were dangerously close to becoming cliché already.

"I said we should totally go to Tyler's New Year's Eve party at the lake."

Bonnie elevated a brow and gave him a condescending smirk, "You do realize it will be December 31st and there is currently snow outside on the ground."

His grip on her hand tightened and she didn't cringe when his foot mistakenly stepped on hers. He was nervous.

"I'll keep you warm."

How could she argue with the logic in that?

She nodded and mouthed, "Okay," in agreement.

They ignored their plates for the benefit of sharing smiles over a massive brownie sundae. Their hands still entwined while they took turns shoveling ice cream and warm fudgy goodness into one anothers mouths in the midst of messy giggles.

The two were the last customers to leave the restaurant and the final two left standing in the parking lot when the manager peeled out headed for home.

Jeremy alternated between wrapping and unwrapping her scarf, arranging her floppy hat on top of her curls, and brushed her cheek with his glove covered hand close to five times. Bonnie stepped closer, sliding her arms around his waist and molding her body to his warmth. She lifted her head and the tips of their noses brushed before their lips met. Hints of vanilla lingered there and she would forever associate him with the taste of ice cream and how great it made her feel.

Her toes were frozen when she finally folded into the driver's seat of her car.

Jeremy followed behind, highlights alternating between bright and dim during their ride home, he honked the horn when Bonnie turned off on the street leading to her home. It was her intention to pull into the driveway behind her father, but the Prius had a mind of its own as it continued on a journey to the boarding house.

A thick plume of smoke rising from the back of the house caught her attention. She left her car idling as she ran in the direction of the hideous smelling fire.

There Bonnie found Damon pouring the remnants of his bottle of bourbon on the flames. He was dangerously close to the fire, the heat prickling his skin.

"Well look who finally joined the party."

Bonnie noted the anger in his voice. Extending her hand across the distance separating them.

"Get away from the fire - come inside."

The smell of charred flesh threatened to make her physically ill.

"Damon...please..."

Her eyes burned with unshed tears as fear paralyzed her, keeping her rooted to the spot where she stood.

"I had to stake Rose tonight" His voice faltered with the admission, "She attacked Elena." His eyes were black but that was the only hint of his true nature, "We tried to call you...Jeremy..."

She thought about the phone still buried at the bottom of her bag. She wanted normal - needed it - but it was a luxury no longer afforded to her.

Bonnie's fingertips stroked the layers of hair at his temples, "I'm sorry Damon."

His smile was disarming and so was the accompanying laugh, "Can't fight who you are little witch." His hand cupped her cheek, "No matter how hard you try."

She studied his back as he turned and staggered towards the house.

Maybe if she had been here? What's done is done, her mind raced with regrets and guilt, until Damon's voice broke through in stereo frequency.

"By the way cute shirt..."

Better This Way by TheSouthernScribe

Damon woke with his arm still bent at the elbow - an empty space beside him - warm and littered with her scent. There were hints of sage and rosemary, no doubt used in the last spell she'd attempted, traces of vanilla ice cream, and him. Jeremy Gilbert's lust, desire, and love were all over her skin, in her hair, covering he clothes.

It made him nauseous.

A maniacal grin curved his lips as he stretched, Damon was proud of himself, despite the insults he'd thrown in her direction during their standoff in the back yard the night before, the hateful glares he leveled, and damn near pushing of her tiny frame off the steps when she tried to follow him in the house; she'd stayed and spent the night in his bed. Even the zealous Mr. Gilbert couldn't boast about that one.

Then he remembered he woke up alone.

Bonnie was gone.

She'd left without a goodbye.

His hand reached for the phone beside the bed. The screen was blank, there were no unread messages. No curses or cute phrases scribbled in shiny gloss on his mirror. Not even one torn piece of page with her gigantic handwriting; just the overpowering scent of bleach drifting from the basement to his room. Stefan was home and cleaning up his older brother's mess.

He rushed down the stairs, hoping to catch a note of her voice, when he paused mid stride, realization...awareness of the unspoken feelings...circling in the center of his chest.

"Shit."

Stefan stood at the base of the stairs, hands folded behind his back, and his brows knitted in disapproval.

"I have no time for your shit this morning, brother."

Damon whizzed past his younger sibling, foregoing the coffee when he accepted the fact that Bonnie was no longer present in his home. He walked to the bar and opted for his preferred beverage.

"You know my problem with you Damon?"

He groaned, forging through the cabinets for a full bottle of scotch, bourbon, or whiskey, anything to drown out the meddlesome tone his brother was forcing upon his ears.

"I'm sure you're going to tell me."

Stefan lifted a crystal bottle from the second shelf and passed it to Damon.

"You don't fully weigh the consequences of your actions."

Damon swallowed his glass and poured a second, "Rose was just a friend - she knew the risks of this life."

Stefan shook his head, a tiny sound of amusement escaping his lips, "I'm not talking about Rose."

He watched as the younger Salvatore's face held a shit eating grin as he poured a glass of liquor for his enjoyment.

"Bonnie - what did you think would happen?"

Damon waved off his brother's concern. Pushing past him as he fought for position in front of the window, he fumbled with the hem of his shirt before throwing the glass into the wall.

"Take your holier-than-thou act somewhere else..."

Stefan interrupted, "You pushed her to Jeremy, after spending weeks alone with her. The teasing, the inside jokes, I saw this coming a mile away."

"Jeremy Gilbert is a horny teenager with a woody for all things supernatural. She's a shiny new toy for him, when the newness wears off..."

"She'll be heartbroken..." Stefan stepped closer, his judgment filled gaze trained on Damon's face.

"And I'll care because?"

"She's not a shiny new toy for you, somewhere - somehow - big, bad, mean Damon Salvatore started to care about Bonnie Bennett. This is different than easing your bruised ego over Katherine or trying to get revenge on me by winning Elena's heart. You feel something..."

"Shut the fuck up and try your Freud act on somebody else." Damon grabbed the open bottle, "Monsters don't have feelings. The witch is hot, young, and virginal. Did you forget how fresh and ripe they taste brother?"

Years apart made it hard for Stefan to read Damon. For that the older Salvatore was thankful. He had believed all the empty words he'd thrown at him. In fact Damon had almost believed his own hype.

Until a freshly showered, sweats covered Bonnie walked into the front door, carrying a new mop, two gallons of bleach, and a bag that at one time or another was property of the Mystic Falls Medical System. She'd stolen blood for him and if he had been able to breathe, the breath would have caught in the back of his throat.

She felt the tension in the air.

"I missed a hell of a brotherly disagreement."

Stefan rushed to remove the supplies from her arms, while Damon remained rooted to the ground. She rushed from the room when her phone buzzed. He picked up Jeremy's voice on the other end, rolling his eyes internally, half listening to her conversation as she reported her whereabouts and her plans, no the happy couple's plans for the day.

"You're lying to yourself Damon."

He cringed at the sound of her breathy laughter. The gaping hole in his chest grew as she filled that human in on every detail. Why did that snotty nosed brat need to know that he was taking anything hard? If he didn't want Bonnie here, then he should come over and tell Damon to stay away from his girl.

He was a punk.

Damon centered his thoughts and worked to poke holes in his brother's argument.

"Bonnie needs a challenge, not some goofy kid trying to play Mr. Perfect."

Unfortunately he gave him the ammunition he needed.

A huge smile spread across Stefan's face, "She doesn't need you either."

He noticed his brother shivered when their eyes met, "I know that." Damon took a slow sip from the bottle, "This ends today." His eyes darkened as the liquid tore a new path down his throat.

The only way for Damon to stop what was increasing between them, was to push her away. They'd made the descent from frenemies to friends and he was dangerously close to falling in...if he were honest...he was already there. He'd pushed her to Jeremy, so now he'd let go.

That was his only option.

Bonnie didn't want Damon.

She sure as hell didn't need him.

It would be better this way.

Comforting Darkness by TheSouthernScribe

Bonnie was used to Damon and his mood swings.

So if he ignored her texts she continued her conversations taunting him with her words until he called and served her a nice hot cup of shut the fuck up. She always popped in when Stefan was home and sure to open the door and let her in.

Lately she detected the traces of a poorly crafted spell, cast by a less talented and obviously inexperienced witch. The enchantment made her stomach feel funny, like she had gas, but nothing that wouldn't allow her to enter the home.

She climbed the stairs two at a time, opened his door without announcing herself, only to find him naked and wet from a very recent shower. Bonnie didn't care, she was angry and more than a little hurt.

"Did you try to magically ban me from your home?"

He was busted and had nothing to say.

"Naked," Damon's hands tried to cover his frame in feigned modesty, "little witch."

Bonnie folded her arms, "Answer my question now Salvatore."

Damon threw a towel around his shoulders, proudly displaying all he had to offer.

Bonnie held firm, refusing to allow her eyes to slip lower than his neck. She failed. Her gaze landed on his chest, chiseled abdomen, and then she immediately whipped her head up to meet the lascivious leer in his baby blues.

"See something you like, my favorite little green - eyed girl?"

He moved closer and she became annoyed. He was a vampire; why in the hell did he need to shower constantly. Prada soap, shower gel, lotion, and cologne; she was going into sensory overload.

"You're avoiding my question."

He boxed her in and she was on the defensive. How did he take over the conversation? She studied the lines of his face, noted the tenseness in his jaw, and the thin line his lips made.

"Yes." His face was inches from her. She shivered from the intense chill his cold wet skin created, "We can't be friends."

Her eyes glazed over and began to burn. Her nose started to tickle and she recognized the signs that the waterworks would soon begin.

Bonnie's lip trembled when she responded, "Why."

Damon moved to touch her face and stopped, "We just can't." His body was closer, she couldn't breathe. "I hurt everything I touch, look at Rose."

She struggled to find the words she needed to make him understand.

There were none.

Her heart broke with one look in his eyes. He really believed that. He was a sarcastic asshole, keeping any and every one who got too close at arms length with his verbal attacks, she'd forgotten that for one hundred and forty five years he hadn't lived, loved, or learned a damn thing. Stefan had experienced life with friends and other lovers. Damon fought for the one person that validated his undead existence, only to find out everything had been a lie.

He didn't trust his brother, why would he give her that much control - even if they were only friends.

"You can't push me away."

He tried - hands gripping her shoulders in an attempt to force her out the door, only to fall backwards patting his palms against the towel to extinguish the flames that came once he connected with her skin.

"I won't let you."

He was on her in a split second and she didn't know if his intentions were to bite, kill, or fuck her. She made the choice for him, planting a simple yet firm kiss to his lips. The fingers of one hand slid through the fine layers of hair covering his scalp, while the other hand stroked the smooth planes of his chest. He growled and she pushed further, pulling his bottom lip between her teeth and urging him to open his mouth so her tongue could enter. He didn't fight her. His mouth was surprisingly warm. Her tongue tangled with his and she tasted whiskey from his drink and mint from his toothpaste. He returned her bite, breaking their kiss to pay attention to the line of her jaw and delicate skin of her neck. Then his lips covered her mouth and she was completely intoxicated by his desire.

The moment ended when Bonnie realized who she was kissing. He wasn't Jeremy. What had she done? Why did she kiss Damon? She knew the answer before it completely formed in her mind.

"Oh God." She backed into the hall covering her mouth with both hands.

Damon stood shocked and rigid until his body relaxed and a self - satisfied grin spread across his face.

"I'm sorry; the name is Damon not God."

He reached for the front of her shirt, pulling her back into his bedroom and closing the door behind her.

"I wasn't finished with you, BonBon."

His lips found her neck and she almost broke, submitting to every sensation he created within her.

"No." His hands moved across her in a silent plea, "Damon it was a mistake."

He froze, "I forgot...I'm not Jeremy... I don't deserve you."

Bonnie took control of her body and stepped away from the storm that was Damon Salvatore.

"This is what you do Damon." She shook her head, "I'm not going to be your new obsession. I deserve someone who wants me and not my magic. You deserve someone who isn't going to force you to believe that you're the monster from some kid's nightmare."

She wanted to hold and comfort him, but she didn't trust herself. "You're just as great as Stefan, as humble as Jeremy, as wise as Ric, and perfectly Damon."

She forced her feet to move as she ran from his room, down the stairs, and out the front door.

The next time Bonnie Bennett saw Damon Salvatore it was under the light of a full moon on New Years' Eve.

He nodded in the direction of where she sat curled against her boyfriend's chest.

She offered a half smile and a limp wave.

Jeremy opted to ignore their minor exchange.

He'd been pissed when she told him about the kiss and the fact that she initiated it, but he didn't walk away. He listened and gave her the space she needed to make a decision.

She was confident with her choice until...

"Want something to drink?"

Jeremy looked at Bonnie skeptically.

"It's just Damon..."

He shook his head, "Bring me a beer."

She stood, hesitant smile on her lips, as she brushed the dead leaves and twigs off her jeans.

"I'll be right back."

She half expected the vampire to leave his perch by the cooler and avoid the inevitable uncomfortable situation. He didn't. Instead he twisted the cap off a beer and searched until he found the bottle of water he knew she wanted.

"Happy New Year."

Bonnie checked her watch, "We still have an hour."

She avoided his gaze and reached for a handful of pretzels.

"Why did teen wolf want to have this party on a night where..."

"Everyone's safe, we're on duty, and he's free to do what he does without any worries."

Damon took a swig of his beer, "Something doesn't feel right."

"True." Bonnie finally met the eyes burning her face. "I'm sorry."

He raised his bottle in the direction where Jeremy sat, "For what..."

Bonnie felt the air when it shifted. Read the suspicion in the contortions of Damon's face.

"The kiss..." She paused inadvertently drinking from the beer she held for Jeremy, "All the mixed signals."

Damon closed the space between them and relief washed over Bonnie when his hands cupped her face.

"Stop touching her."

Jeremy anger was more than evident in his voice and despite the hand she placed on his arm, he moved in until his eyes were level with Damon's.

"I think he may be into S&M little witch." Damon finished his statement through clenched teeth, "He's begging for me to break his neck again after I cut off his fucking finger."

The argument escalated and Bonnie scanned the crowd for Stefan.

That's when she felt it a second time: the shift in the air - the heightened sense of danger circling around them. She broke out in a thin sheen of sweat.

Her eyes traveled from group to group and finally landed on the woods. She heard the snarl rise from the Damon's lips, before she made out the figure in the darkness. A massive gray wolf filled the clearing. It wasn't Tyler, they were sure of that; he was trapped below ground with Caroline keeping a watchful eye. This was someone with a score to settle.

Jules...Brady...

Her mind raced with the possibilities until she saw the beast rest on its haunches and then leap for where they stood. She barely touched Damon and he flew into an oak tree a few feet away. Magic was Bonnie's ally as she had just enough time to force Jeremy away from her and erect a barrier around him before she felt the jaws of the wolf tear through the flesh and bone of her left side.

And then the darkness came...

Daniela by TheSouthernScribe

The series of events that followed Bonnie's attack were a blur. Damon knew the wolf was dead. He didn't know if he'd ended the filthy mongrel's life or if Stefan had stepped in. He knew his shirt was covered in blood, his hands stained by internal organs and tissue that would take hours and gallons of soap and water to remove. Their thoughts had been correct; Jules was the beast that attacked Rose and Bonnie. That was confirmed by the crumpled remains of her human body on the forest floor.

Then he remembered the sickening cracking of Bonnie's bones and the pungent smell of her blood littering the air. She'd saved him, pushed him from the path of the wolf, encased Jeremy in a protective shell, and nearly met the end of her life.

His steps were slow.

It was difficult for him to move.

Was she de...he couldn't finish the thought. He wasn't ready to know life or death without her.

He heard Stefan's pleas urging the young witch to drink from his wrist. He saw Jeremy fighting to break free of the hold that Elena had on his arms. He twisted - turned - everything but punch her square in the jaw.

Irritation lined his skin, Damon despised Jeremy. Hated how close he was to Bonnie. Loathed the way he said her name in desperate cries for her to open her eyes. Damon was sick of stupid, inconsequential, unnecessary Jeremy Gilbert, latching on to Stefan, pulling his wrist from Bonnie's lips. It angered Damon, pissed him the hell off and he attacked. Determined to tear the child limb from limb and finally rid the world of his existence.

The two locked in battle and he was winning until one detrimental statement left the boy's lips.

"She doesn't want to be like you."

He froze.

He was...

Helpless...

If Stefan couldn't save Bonnie's life...

If Damon couldn't share his blood...

They were useless.

"Just leave her alone."

He allowed the kid to push him away and he willingly tumbled to the ground.

Damon watched as Jeremy cradled her non - responsive frame against his chest until the ambulance arrived.

It was Jeremy who climbed in the back of the vehicle once they eased the stretcher inside. He shared all of her pertinent information with the paramedic. He called her father on his cell. Finally he held on to her tiny hand as the ambulance disappeared into the darkness.

Damon rode shotgun with Stefan and Elena.

The vampire quickly made out Mr. Bennett's form. The man was tall, skin lighter than Bonnie's, but his eyes were exactly like Emily's, Sheila's, and Bonnie's. Damon's body shook with the hint of power that settled in the air around him. This Bennett was no different than the rest.

Damon noticed that Mr. Bennett kept one arm wrapped around Jeremy's shoulders as they spoke with the doctors feverishly working to save his daughter's life. The elder Salvatore stepped closer, determined to talk some sense into the man. One drop, that's all it would take and she would be good as new.

He would even volunteer to stay by her side to prevent any of Katherine's possible games.

Bonnie needed to be okay.

"I have a call in to a specialist."

Mr. Bennett's deep voice vibrated against the walls and for the first time he locked eyes with the vampire. When the doctor walked away he quickly informed Damon that the specialist of choice was not a Salvatore or a bloodsucker.

Within an hour, Lucy Bennett entered the Emergency Room. Gone was the smug look from her last visit. Fear was her companion. She disappeared behind the curtain with Bonnie's father, and the air grew thick with the spells cast in an effort to save the young girl's life.

Damon's ears heard the foreign words they chanted over and over, the muffled wails, and the scent of unfamiliar spices and herbs. She left as quickly as she appeared after providing her cousin a soft hug, and even gentler words of compassion and understanding.

"Everything's going to be okay."

Mr. Bennett nodded his head in agreement. He remained in the space that led to Bonnie's bed, a silent command given to Damon, not to come any closer. Damon obeyed and took a seat on the bench across the hall.

Jeremy had established a relationship not only with Bonnie, but with her father. He was a part of their family. Damon didn't even know her middle name. He was unaware of her determination never to become part of the undead.

Now her words made sense. She wanted someone to love her for Bonnie and not the little witch. How could she believe his feelings were true if he only force fed her lasagna, pretended to be the Chuck to her Blair, and never went any deeper than that? She knew his secrets - fears - disappointments. She had taken the time to listen.

"Damon."

Internally he screamed in response to hearing Jeremy's voice.

"Mr. Bennett went home to grab a few things; will you sit with Bonnie, while I go find Elena and Stefan?"

He was confused and then he took in the sympathetic look in the brat's eyes. Initially the words didn't want to leave his lips, but he needed to show his gratitude for the small act of kindness.

"Thank you."

"Five minutes."

Jeremy turned and headed in the opposite direction.

Damon gingerly settled on the bed beside Bonnie. There were too many tubes, one down her nose and one in the back of her hand. The constant beeping threatened to drive him insane. He didn't know what to do, where to start. He brushed the hair from her face. Her skin was too cold. He needed his fire starter. He wanted to see her eyes - hear her curse; anything but lying so still in that bed.

He peeled the covers down and lifted the thin gown. Her skin was swollen around the bandage, slick with the elixir, Lucy and her father had rubbed on the portion of her damaged side. The gaping hole was gone. She was healing - quickly, and he thanked the natural art in her family's blood for her speedy recovery.

He pulled the gown back down and gathered the blanket around her body to keep her warm.

"You're going to be okay."

He whispered the words more as a reminder to himself than to her.

He took her hand, stroking her palm, smiling at the depth and length of her life line.

"You'll be a pain in my ass for years."

Damon detected the squeak of Jeremy's boots on the linoleum. Slowly he lifted her fingers to his lips and planted a kiss against the tips of each one.

He headed for his bench, only to be tempted by the metal chart at the foot of her bed.

Daniela...

Her middle name was Daniela.

It would take time, but Damon would prove to Bonnie Daniela Bennett that this wasn't about obsession or magic. What he felt was true.

Consequences...Repercussions by TheSouthernScribe

Consequences...

Bonnie had saved Damon's life, taken a fatal blow from the jaws of a vengeance seeking wolf to keep him from the fate Rose had endured to the day of her final death. She'd also protected Jeremy. The shove and the enclosure were more about preventing him from stopping her half - assed plan but she would have died if something happened to him again because of her.

More perplexing than her growing attachment and deepening emotions for the vampire and her best friend's little brother was her father. Ten years she had listened to him degrade magic; blame it for every loss suffered in his life. The father who died protecting his mother, the wife that walked out on him and their child, the day Bonnie inadvertently made a toy levitate in the air. He'd condemned the practice, ostracized himself from his mother, and forbid his child to delve into the art.

For her, he had turned his back on his convictions, and done the only thing he knew to save her life.

And now Bonnie lay still in the comfort of her hospital bed, eyes closed tightly, body subdued by the medication systematically pumped into her veins. She was hiding.

Repercussions...

At seventeen the world was at her fingertips. She'd heard back from three of the four colleges where she applied. All letters that made her smile and her heart leap with joy. Her boyfriend was hot and she was sure that he loved her and she felt the same way about him. Then there was Damon, an unspoken connection remained between them. At one time she blamed it on his promise to Emily and the powerful spell that kept him bound to the Bennett line.

All of that changed when they found out the truth about Katherine. Now her feelings, her need, kept Damon Salvatore a vital part of her life. Yes, it started as hatred, moved to friendship, and now it was something else. She felt differently about the vampire. It didn't conflict with what was in her heart for Jeremy but one day it would of that she was sure.

Her fingers and toes tingled, she needed to get out of the bed, and stretch her limbs but she would have to face it all once her feet hit the cold sterile floors.

Finally she allowed her lids to lift, her eyes were sensitive to light, and they burned and watered from irritation. Her neck was stiff and her mouth felt like it was filled with cotton. She worked to turn her head and found Jeremy's frame curled into a tight ball in the chair bed. Blankets gathered under his feet and an angelic smile on his face. How did she get so lucky?

"Jerem..."

She tried to speak and her throat burned.

There was someone else there. Her head rolled to the opposite side and she saw him, eyes glazed over with unshed water, no hint of his trademark smirk, and a finger held to his lips. She nodded and remained quiet. He bent at the waist and his lips brushed her ears. She inhaled, taking in his scent. Her mind returned to the day he stood butt ass naked in his room.

Thank you...

She would have missed the words had he not been so close to her ear. It was a soft kiss he placed against her lips before he stood and took her hand. His eyes returned to normal and she saw hints of the cocky and arrogant Damon Salvatore that she adored.

"If you ever do anything that stupid again, I will kill you myself Bonnie Daniela Bennett."

Her eyes stretched with the use of her full name.

"How?"

Damon gave her no clue, "You're not an obsession...yet." His eyes drifted to where Jeremy stirred. He would be awake soon. "This is hard for me to say."

Bonnie waited for him to continue. Half confused, sure that this was a figment of her imagination thanks to delicious morphine flowing through her veins.

Before he spoke his eyes traveled from her face, down her body, she was thankful for the blanket and oversized cotton gown, but somehow she thought he could see it all, everything down to her core. She was self conscious and worried about her disheveled hair and crusty eyes.

"I don't just want your magic," Jeremy stretched, "I want you."

He was gone as quickly as he came.

"Bonnie."

Bonnie's heart confused her more, fluttering with the sound of Jeremy's voice. The tears finally fell from her eyes, when his arms closed around her.

"Please, don't ever do anything that stupid again."

She cringed a little from the tightness of his grip, her side still tender, but she refused to let go. In the end it was Jeremy that released Bonnie, settling beside her on the bed, staring, touching, staring, touching, and waiting for something epic to say. He was precious and she loved it, but her eyes kept drifting over his shoulder to the hall where she knew Damon waited.

He followed her eyes, releasing a sigh when he realized who she was looking for.

"He's been here the whole time." His smile shifted to a frown, "Your dad's down in his office. I can get him. Or if you want Da..."

"I want you." She slid her hand into his, "You okay?"

"Now I am." Jeremy shook his head, "Why did you do it?"

"I couldn't see you hurt again, Jer."

"I'm not talking about me." He tightened his hold on her hand and she knew what he meant, "Why did you save Damon...before me...before yourself?"

"I..."

"Not really looking for an answer Bon, but think about it..." He kissed her forehead, "I know how you feel about me, it's in everything you say and do." He was still holding her hand.

She couldn't look at him; so she stared at their hands that remained connected.

"I love you."

The words came easily from her lips and her heart echoed the sentiment. His kiss was slow and slightly seductive, she worried about her cotton mouth and nasty breath, but she kissed him back.

Their foreheads were still touching, noses brushing, and lips threatening to taste each other again, "I love you too but..."

"I don't want to talk about that now..."

She closed her eyes and waited.

He kissed her again and mouthed a simple, "K," against her lips.

The sound of her father clearing his throat, forced them apart. Jeremy ran from the room as Bonnie laughed at the evil glare Mr. Bennett sent in his direction. He mumbled something about horny teenagers before sliding the stool next to her bed and checking her vitals.

"Please don't be a doctor right now."

He dropped her chart, took his eyes off the monitors and focused on his daughter.

"How you feeling?"

"Great thanks to you."

He was going to cry, she could tell by the way his eyes filled with water and he continued to sniff.

"Your cousin Lucy helped too, I can't take all the credit."

Bonnie shifted on the pillows, attempting to move a little higher in the bed. Her dad helped and opted to stand instead of returning to the stool.

"Grams would be proud of you."

He shook his head, "Baby girl, I need you to stop. This war - these Salvatores," He lifted her chin with his finger, "I can't lose you too - my mom, my dad."

"Daddy..." She closed her eyes looking for the strength to tell him that she had no intentions of backing out of this fight, "I have to. If it means I sacrifice my life for you or anyone else I love, then it's worth the price."

"If anything happens to you," Her fathers eyes filled with a malice she'd never seen present, "I'll drive a stake through Damon Salvatore's heart with myself."

"No."

Bonnie's reaction to her father's threat shook not only Dr. Bennett but her. Her voice was strained from too much talking and stress. She had to come clean.

Bonnie took a deep breath and spilled it all; Katherine, Klaus' plot to kill Elena, Caroline's new life as vampire, the Lockwood family secret, and the new warlocks on the block. She told the truth about the difficult spell she was sure took her grandmother's life. The sheer desperation and loneliness that filled her days until she found something with Jeremy and the strange friendship she shared with Damon. It was the magic her father chose to focus on.

"You linked with another witch..." His voice escalating, "Warlock...do you know how dangerous that can be? You don't know them. What if they were evil, they could have done anything to you." He ran his hands over his smooth head, "Lucy was right, you're stuck right in the middle of everything."

"Right where I need to be," She leaned forward trying to comfort her father, "Grams knew that, Emily knew it when she bound Damon to protect our family."

Her father groaned, "Damon Salvatore is only good at protecting..."

"Daddy..." She interrupted his tirade.

"I like Jeremy."

She rolled his eyes.

"I know." It was awkward talking to her father about either guy, "I do too...a lot..."

She met her father's pensive gaze, "I'm waiting for the but..."

"Damon's important to me..."

He conceded defeat and let that argument go, moving to one he had a better chance of winning. Her father's hand was warm against her cheek, "I need you to understand your gift and your limitations. I can't..."

"I know daddy."

She did understand completely, those very same feelings, formed her decisions about her involvement in the escalating chaos around them.

Semblance of Balance by TheSouthernScribe

Bonnie made an outstanding recovery. The wound in her side healed, revealing new tender skin in less than two days. By the first full week of January she was up walking the halls of the hospital and begging for her release papers. She was officially stir crazy and with her father's help the hospital sent her home before the first unseasonable blizzard of the new year. Constant visitors graced her doorstep. Tyler and his guilt filled eyes, Caroline and her endless stacks of Cosmo, Seventeen, Vogue, and Allure, Jeremy and Elena sometimes accompanied by Stefan; never the eldest Salvatore.

She'd refused to rescind the invitation granted to Damon; which was in total disparity with her father's wishes. She waited for a visit in daylight or one of his midnight Dracula tricks.

Nothing...

When Elena arrived bearing Jenna's rock hard chocolate chip cookies she wanted to ask about him, but it didn't seem like the right moment. Then there was the question of what they would do with Jenna's attempts at baking. She smiled when her bff offered sage words of advice, "I wouldn't eat those if I were you."

Elena handed over the glossy green Tupperware container and stepped across the door's threshold. Bonnie cringed, chastising her lack of faith as she swallowed her breath and held it during that moment, waiting to see if it were truly Elena or her hateful, vengeance addicted twin. Apprehension faded away, she took the bottomless pit of cookies with burnt edges and shoved one her mouth, so the next time she saw Aunt Jenna she could lie about how much she enjoyed her cookies.

The girls exchanged turns throwing unrecognizable batter and chips at the ancient freezer in the garage and watching the myriad of dents that suddenly appeared.

"I've missed you B."

She nearly cried listening to the unspoken sentiment in her friend's words.

"I've missed you too E."

When all the contents of the container were destroyed, swept, and trashed, the girls settled around the table and enjoyed the leftovers from the dinner Bonnie's father had cooked the day before.

"I forgot how much I loved your father's cooking." Elena's eyes rolled back in her head as she forked an entire spoonful of cheesy macaroni goodness into her mouth, "Can you get attacked more... minus the whole hospital stay part?"

Bonnie pulled the plate back to her side of the table, "That's a negative, although he promised that we would at least have one family dinner a week," She shoveled food into her mouth before resting her back against the chair, "Be good and you might get an invite."

She recognized the serious look that now graced her friend's features and she knew it either involved Jeremy or a certain Salvatore with blue eyes.

"Before you say it..."

Elena's eyes stretched as her fingers struggled to grasp the plate just beyond her reach.

"All I was going to say was that he misses you."

This conversation was the number one reason why she'd debated even getting involved with Jeremy; she didn't need the big sister speech. The please don't hurt my only brother or we'll never be friends again monologue.

"Therapy, doctors' visits to confirm what we all already know, hasn't left me feeling like Jeremy's sexy older girlfriend."

The air left her lungs when she heard Elena's next words.

"I wasn't talking about Jer."

The elephant in the room that constantly lingered, Damon Salvatore; the two had not spoken since that day in the hospital. Having him close confused every synapse that fired on the nerve endings in her body. They were friends and even admitting to that common bond was insane, how could she confess to him or anyone else that she cared.

Bonnie jumped up from the table and rushed to sink, busying herself with the dirty dishes from lunch and her friend's visit.

"The lies Damon Salvatore tells."

Elena grabbed a towel and positioned herself to dry, "Contrary to popular belief he's changed. I even saw wrinkles on his forehead. He's brooding Bon."

"Whatevs E, I'll believe it when I see it."

"That's just it Bonnie, you have seen it, and you're the reason." Elena's arms were folded across her chest and she was giving her that look, the one that always read through every excuse she tried to make. "He hasn't drained anyone or attempted the pickup of an under-aged school girl, since whatever this is started with you. Even now he's sitting at home drunk, but refusing to do anything that would put him on your bad side."

"Damon is a manipulator and sooner or later when he doesn't get what he wants he turns on you."

"Funny he said the same thing about you."

Bonnie's hand rested on her hips and she debated whether or not to share her thoughts and insecurities about her relationship with Jeremy and her denial about the way Damon made her heart beat faster and her mind wander.

"And I love Jeremy." That was end of the argument, still it sounded like Bonnie was trying to convince herself and not everyone else.

Damon wasn't mentioned again.

The conversation drifted to important senior year rites of passage, prom, graduation, and the final decision of where to attend college. Their futures were contingent on what happened with Katherine, Klaus, and what the Salvatores decided to do with the rest of their undead lives once all the threats ended.

Bonnie hugged Elena tightly at the end of her visit. She felt better, but she was still plagued by thoughts of the one person who had yet to stand at her door.

He's brooding Bon...

Elena's words replayed in her head as she climbed the steps of the manor. The ride over had been exhausting; the extent of her daily physical exertion involved going up and down the single flight of stairs at her home. She wasn't surprised when her knocks went unanswered. She twisted the knob and was met the usual darkness of the home.

Garlic, basil, and the sweet aroma of Vidalia onions met her nose. It brought her a fleeting feeling of comfort. She followed the scent of the food and the low hum of the television. She found him, curled on the leather sofa in the study, eyes glued to the plasma mounted on the wall. She watched as Chuck and Blair did her favorite dance of avoidance before they locked lips sealing what everyone watching already knew.

Who was she kidding?

"Stalking doesn't become you Bennett."

She slipped into the warmth of the room before taking the few steps that separated her from where he sat now half watching the screen and studying every move she made.

Damon cleared a spot for Bonnie next to him and she curled next to him; amazed at the balance achieved by the coolness of his body and the heat the fire burning before them. She wanted to remind him of her decision, it was unnecessary.

Bonnie wouldn't and she couldn't walk away from Jeremy, but she needed, Damon.

The Challenge by TheSouthernScribe

Damon and Bonnie's eyes landed on the dress simultaneously.

It was a knockoff, but as close to the organza perfection worn by one of their favorite primetime television characters. Orange was replaced by a bright red and he didn't even want to imagine the way the color would accentuate the golden undertones of her skin.

Her eyes brightened as she took in the length of the design and snatched the dress from the rack. He'd been reduced to a shopping buddy, the purse holder, but at least he was with her. He felt her phone vibrate while the older white - haired lady who used the word honey way too much helped her into the elaborate contraption. He ignored the tremors, she was with him, it couldn't be important. He forced his hand to the bottom of the leather satchel and retrieved the bubblegum pink case.

He groaned reading the name of the sender and quickly erased the message.

Senior prom was less than a month away and today was the day that she found the dress. Bonnie's words not his. He listened as she babbled incessantly over breakfast each and every carefully planned detail. He knew about the limo, the reservations at the restaurant that cost way more than an unemployed reformed emo slacker could afford. The curse of his hearing had made him privy to the details of the honeymoon suite reserved by the three girls completely enamored by all things prom. Was she going to sleep...he couldn't finish the thought. It made him sick to his stomach and if this damned phone didn't stop pulsating somebody was going to die.

Today was their day. The set period of twenty - four hours per week that he received where she concentrated only on him. Not Elena and her doe eyes, Caroline and her baby talk and squeals, and sure as hell not her boyfriend and all the dopey sentiments he dropped in her ears.

Damon fought the urge to trash the phone when it went off again; instead he typed a one word reply, filling each letter with the irritation he felt.

What!

Within seconds the phone shook in his hand.

You okay.

He smirked.

I would be better if you would just die already.

His response was a dead give - a - way, if the younger Gilbert didn't know he was in charge of Bonnie's phone then he was a bigger idiot than he originally thought.

Where's Bonnie, bloodsucker?

Gold star for the Clearasil spokeswhore.

Busy...go away

Why couldn't this kid take a hint?

WHERE IS BONNIE!

He imagined the taste of Jeremy's blood on his tongue and then remembered the pain associated with one of her special aneurysms.

Go yell at someone who can't kill you.

His fingers were beginning to hurt.

Texting was an art reserved for communicating with his favorite little witch, not insulting people who didn't deserve his attention. He was too busy grumbling, muttering, and cursing under his breath to notice her exit from the dressing room.

Absolutely breathtaking, if his lungs were capable of filling with air, then it would have all escaped once his eyes met hers.

Why did she always hold her head down? Didn't she know how...her words broke through his clouded thoughts...?

"It's too much."

He shook his head, struggling to find a response, a special brand of his off color humor that wouldn't highlight the complete pussy she'd made him.

He failed.

"You're beautiful."

His fingers skimmed her collar bone before resting on the smooth contours of her shoulders.

"I can make a few suggestions about your bowtie and cummerbund if you'd like to coordinate your ensemble with her dress. Maybe an ascot, you strike me as the old - fashioned type."

Damon interrupted the woman's fashion musings, "She's with someone else."

That one sentence hurt more than his first turn at death.

Bonnie's eyes remained locked on Damon's as the elderly sales clerk led her to the seamstress for a few alterations. He paid for the dress, alterations, the perfect pair of stilettos, and he left a nice tip for the Betty White look - a- like.

Damon hurried from the boutique before Bonnie could see the growing disappointment in his eyes.

Running from Bonnie led Damon to the one person he thought kept them apart.

XoXo

"Gilbert, we need to talk."

Damon Salvatore hated Jeremy Gilbert. Despised everything about him, the texture of his hair, the dimple on his chin, and the fact that he had the one thing on this Earth that he wanted more than a garage full of muscle cars or Elena to admit that he was the hotter, better brother.

Jeremy had Bonnie.

Damon watched as Jeremy's shoulders straightened and squared. He had balls and that was something that impressed the undead man. Maybe it was the ring on his finger or foolish pride. The kid brushed the tip of his pool stick with the cue and leaned over the table, cracking the balls apart. Not once did he cut his eyes in the vampire's direction.

"I have nothing to say to you."

In the blink of an eye, Damon snatched the white ball from the table, "Then listen...you can do that?"

Jeremy reached for the ball and cursed under his breath when Damon held it from his grasp. He gave up, walking away from the table, grabbing his jacket on the stool, and heading for the door.

"I want Bonnie...no scratch that...I need Bonnie."

Shock factor that was the only tactic Damon could use to stop Jeremy from walking away. He expected anger. Anticipated outrage, but he didn't think a human could get the upper hand on him, 145 year old master of deception.

Jeremy slammed him to the table and wrapped his hands around his neck. He didn't fight back, accepted the vengeance enacted upon him and waited for the urgency in the attack to pass.

He gasped for breath that he knew never would come; ignored the onlookers who stared and whispered.

"Stay the hell away from Bonnie." Jeremy's voice boomed with a newfound bass, "Leave us the hell alone."

He was in denial; surely he'd seen the signs, read the obvious chemistry between them when the witch and vampire were together. That was the only logical reason for his hostility, minus the one little trivial attempt to end his life with the snap of a neck.

Damon knew for a fact that Jeremy questioned why Bonnie saved him first on New Years Eve - why she constantly spent time with the vampire in the name of friendship.

"When she stays away from me, then I'll leave her alone."

There were no further outbursts just threats and words that remained unspoken.

Jeremy tugged at the ends of his freshly cut strands, "I don't understand you, first you stalk my sister, profess your love, and now..."

Damon shrugged, "Its Bonnie, can you honestly verbalize why you can't go an hour without hearing her voice or a night without tasting her lips."

"Actually, I can." Jeremy moved closer to Damon, new confidence surging within him, "It started the first day we met."

He shook his head unwilling to believe the hype but he listened as the teen know it all, painted a mental picture that he found mesmerizing; a six year old Bonnie Bennett, just as fiery and cute as she was now at the age of seventeen. Jeremy referred to it as the day she stole his heart.

A dull ache started in the center of his chest where his heart once beat.

They had history.

Damon would have Bonnie's future.

"Cute story, what are you going to do, build a marriage on a sweet little crush you developed when you were five?" He circled the table, rolling a ball in the center of his hand, "You really think she wants to spend her life protecting you - keeping you out of trouble."

Jeremy stood eye to eye and toe to toe with Damon.

"I know she doesn't want you."

Again he gave him credit for false confidence, but he couldn't wait to end this kid's arrogant stance.

"We'll see about that."

It was a challenge and a promise.

When Sorry Just Isn't Enough by TheSouthernScribe

Dress in hand, Bonnie stood in the middle of the store, partially relieved, and fully guilty. She had searched every crevice of the store when she exited the fitting room. There was no Damon. She hated this side of him, the one that ran from difficult situations instead of facing them head on. Like she really had room to talk, since the kiss she'd lived in ignorant bliss. She was being unfair to everyone involved. She knew damn well the moment her lips touched Damon's months before, they could never be just friends. Then there was the wolf attack, her recovery, and massive amounts of unyielding support from someone who never asked her for anything. Her mind swirled with thoughts and her heart was weighed down with overpowering emotions, but the witch's confusion deepened when the woman said she'd owed nothing on the bill; not even for the bejeweled stilettos that she still wore on her tiny feet.

"Dammit Damon."

She hissed under her breath, before kicking off the shoes and slipping them back into the velvet bag and returning them to the box. She gathered her purchases and left the store. Really, she hadn't meant for things to go on like this. They were friends; even saying that was unnatural in a sense. Damon "Drain You Dry" Salvatore didn't make friends. Neither did Bonnie "The Self Righteous" Bennett. The two had been pulled together by circumstance. She had harbored a slight crush on him until the days he encouraged Jeremy's advances and demanded implicitly that she not date the miniature warlock and instead opt for the future vampire hunter.

Bonnie listened; she was sure it was Damon's way of letting her down gently. After all, he had his unrequited love of Elena, and a bed kept cool by Rose. Why would he need her; for spells and sudden inexplicable desires for torturous brain paralyzing aneurisms.

She hung the dress up in her backseat and settled behind the steering wheel.

Jeremy.

When she was with him, everything made perfect sense. She was supernatural and human. A teen - age girl happily in love with her boyfriend, contemplating the details of prom night and the first night they would make love. He'd even grown to love Gossip Girl because of her constant need to watch the show. She had even taken to calling him Humphrey and he liked it as evidenced by the way he smiled, blushed, and blew soft kisses against the nape of her neck. He was thoughtful. Thinking of things before she could ask, cupcakes from the little café when the first inklings of PMS kicked in, he walked away from fights that she attempted to provoke with mean, half - hearted insults, and he held on the nights when she missed her mother more than words could ever express.

Still with every thought of him one of Damon crept in and vice versa. She felt like Katherine and even Elena. If only the goddess herself could help her solve this dilemma.

She didn't know a goddess, but there was a vampire that she trusted with all her dirty little secrets.

XoXo

"Ewwee Bon," Caroline paused over the bowl of chips, "Damon." The vampire sat back, shoveling chips into her mouth, eyes blinking and lashes flittering. "This is why you are nowhere to be found, six days a week with the ab man and one day with king of undead sexiness."

"Don't judge me Sweet Valley High." Bonnie snatched the bowl from her friend's hand, "Lockwood and..."

Caroline threw her hands up in the air before Bonnie could finish her statement, "I'm handling that, at least I'm single, and not in the relationship of the year and contemplating what if with the vampire reincarnation of Chuck Bass. Seriously, Cabbage Patch wins this battle hands down."

How could Bonnie make Caroline understand? It wasn't about who was better for her, yes she didn't even have to think about the answer to that particular question. Jeremy was better for her heart, mind, and soul. She had a future with him. One that probably involved beautiful supernatural beauties with a cultivated hate for evil vampires but an unspoken love for Auntie Caroline and Uncles Stef and Dame. Yet she worried about his fragile human state, his near death at the hands of her now best friend and the evils life could bring not related to an unnatural death. Uncle John's ring could never save him from that.

She was thinking too much. Anything could happen. In a year Jeremy could be an ex. A stupid, sex - obsessed tyrant whose presence she no longer acknowledged. Or he could be the regret of the century if she allowed what they had to end without a fair chance.

"I love Jeremy."

Bonnie believed those words and it wasn't delusion.

"And Damon?"

Caroline's eyes were wide with wonder.

"Care, there's something there and I don't know if it's lust, curiosity, or something much deeper than a four letter word."

She allowed her head to fall to the kitchen table and she groaned in frustration. This was sickening and she was tired of her back of forth battle with indecision.

"I can't tell you what to do Bon." Caroline's ice cold hand was strangely comforting as it encircled Bonnie's. "I need you to be happy and safe. I don't know if I can trust Damon with your heart."

Bonnie leaned into the hug her friend offered and for the first time since her release from the hospital, she allowed herself a moment of weakness. The tears fell in cleansing, clarifying rivulets.

"You're my best friend."

She nodded at the baby vamp's words.

"You're mine too."

Caroline brushed a stray strand from her friend's face, "I haven't seen you as happy as you are with Jeremy in a long time. We," The blonde's eyes fell to the floor, "Elena and I use to make you that happy, now its Jer's turn."

Bonnie agreed with Caroline and knew her words to be true, but that nagging feeling of disbelief remained. She hugged her friend tightly and said goodbye.

XoXo

There was no Damon when she arrived at the Salvatore house. Stefan offered her a knowing look as he breezed past her and out the door. She settled in the den, fighting with the remotes. She never could remember which worked the plasma, controlled the fireplace, or filled the room with the classic rock her vampire enjoyed.

She struggled to get comfortable on the leather sofa; eyes staring at the blank screen and the soft hum of the fire lulling her to sleep. It was late and she knew Jeremy would be waiting for her at home, but she had to clear the air with Damon before anything moved further. Her nap was restless and she was sure it was her nerves.

Bonnie sat up when she heard Damon's motor roar into the driveway. She quickly jumped up and brushed away the traces of sleep from her eyes and face. He entered the home in a firestorm. Eyes still glazed over with lust, fang protruding from his gums, and the unmistakable stains of an innocent life's blood covering his clothes.

"Damon, what did you do?"

It was more of a plea. She begged for him to tell her anything other than the truth.

"She was strawberry blonde." He meandered to the bar, pouring a drink, "Nothing like you."

She watched as he swallowed the glass and poured another.

"That's why I chose her; I needed to get your face out of my head."

His eyes were still deep pools of black and she could feel the pain pouring off of him in waves.

"It worked for a second. You haunt me. Not the woman I staked, the bitch who fucked me in the ass for 145 years, or the girl that shares her face." Damon moved closer, blood tainted fingers stroking the fullness of her lips, "You little witch."

"I told you I would kill you if you ever took another innocent life."

He pushed her from him, "Do it, stop with all the empty threats." He filled his glass again before snatching off his leather jacket.

She contemplated her next move and then his words ripped her heart from his chest.

"Katherine played this game better than you. Elena was damn near a pro." Damon turned on her in frenzied anger, "You're just a clueless little high school idiot, go fuck your perfect boyfriend and get the hell out of my life."

Damon threw the entire of bottle of cognac into the fire and the flames raged.

The tears burned her eyes but with one word the violent heat crackled, popped, and snaked a path toward the drunken vampire.

"With pleasure."

Bonnie ran from the house before Damon could see her cry. It was over, they had both gone farther than I'm sorry could possibly cover.

Sweet Little Lies by TheSouthernScribe

"Thank you."

Damon mouthed the words as he patted out the remnant of flames tickling his ice cold skin.

"I didn't do it for you."

Emotionally spent he turned to face his visitor, "Save it blondie, don't give me that self righteous bull shit about only being concerned about your friend." He contemplated moving towards the bar, but the wounds on his heart were too raw and liquor wasn't the cure.

"That's just it, I can't save it, you're bad, and at the end of the day you don't love anyone but Damon." Caroline felt bolder, stronger, encouraged by the weakness the older vamp before her displayed, "Bonnie is my best friend and I'm..."

"You're a jealous, self - absorbed, twit who thinks that only you and Elena are worthy of her time." Returning to form, Damon continued, "It pisses you off, that I know Bonnie better than either of you ever could; that she chose to spend her time with me and ignored all your stupid crying over Tyler and Matt and Elena's moaning and groaning over how hard it is to be beautiful."

"Wrong again fang boy," Caroline countered every argument he made, "You didn't even know her middle name. You can't even keep your fangs out of a stranger's veins long enough to win her heart. You are a scared little daddy's boy, who would rather chase a bitch for what," She shrugged and threw her hands in the air, "two hundred years instead of telling someone whose there for you how you really feel."

She poked him in the center of his chest for emphasis and he quickly grabbed her finger. He twisted the digit to the side, relishing in the sound of her bone fracturing.

"Don't pretend to know how I feel, little Miss Mystic Falls. You...don't...know...me..."

Damon accentuated every word of his ending statement before releasing Caroline. He ignored the shock on her face and finally dragged his frame to the bar and struggled with the topper of the decanter.

"Oh my..." He didn't have to turn to know her finger was pointed in his direction and her eyes were filled with mischief, "you do..."

Caroline's voice was a whisper overshadowed by the roar of Damon's tenor as he silenced her further musings.

"L-E-A-V-E"

He screamed and any attempts by the baby vamp to understand his logic ceased.

It was a well choreographed plan, the timing of his recent feeding aligned with Bonnie's visit to Caroline. It didn't take much to convince his accomplice to share a few words of wisdom with her friend and encourage the relationship the Gilbert busy body. The cheer captain had willingly supported his plan, thinking that she was on the side of true love, when really she just helped break her friend's heart.

He felt like an idiot, declaring his love to Jeremy, challenging him for Bonnie, and then turning into the chicken shit punk he was.

Caroline's heels scratched the wood floors as she made her way to the bar, "One more thing before I leave, Bonnie would have given Jeremy up for you."

She was gone in the blink of an eye.

The irritating little vamp's words were true. Damon had seen it that night in Bonnie's face as she studied him and searched for an explanation for his recent actions. He had fully intended to have the difficult conversation with her, confess how he felt while he waited for her timely rejection. Then he noticed everything he wanted in her eyes, compassion, understanding, and something neither she nor he was ready to admit.

XoXo

Bonnie filled Jeremy's arms and he shivered as her body shook with the tears she cried. She reeked of Salvatore and he was sure the sadistic vampire was the root of her pain. Damon's declaration had scared him only for a second, until he remembered, if anyone could, break, destroy, annihilate anything good, then Salvatore was the man. He'd finished his pool game and passed the rest of his day in preparation for this evening. His passive aggressive nature had worked until this point, so he would continue to be the patient, kind, and understanding boyfriend.

Jeremy waited most of the night for Bonnie, ready to tell about his uncle's return and the truth he brought about the Originals and the Martins involvement in Elijah's diabolical master plan. Bonnie's lack of composure silenced Jeremy's tongue and his only concern was the girl who sobbed in his arms.

"What's wrong?" He whispered as he stroked her hair. Another tremor ran through her, "Hey...hey...hey..."

He pulled back from their haphazard embrace and studied her face. He'd stood by for weeks, semi - confident that whatever she felt for the vampire would pass - the attraction, the connection, but it had grown. Damon's little pledge of allegiance had done little to quell his misgivings but patience was a virtue he knew well, even if he employed reckless abandonment when the anxiety of the love game wrecked havoc on his nerves.

"I'm sorry..." She managed between muddled sobs, as she wiped at the tears falling from her eyes with the back of her hand, "I'm so sorry."

His heart tumbled; this was it, the end. He was frozen, a pillar of stone as he watched her struggle with the emotions that bubbled just below the surface. How was he going to recover from heartbreak again? It was easy with Vicki...Anna...they were gone. He didn't have to see them daily, but with Bonnie, the sting - that burn would run much deeper.

His mind continued to race even as she stepped closer. Her lips were soft and tender when they met his.

Maybe it wasn't...

Bonnie molded her body to his, threading her fingers through the hair on the nape of his neck. He didn't want her...their first intimate moment to be like this. He fought with his body and separated himself from her warmth.

"Tell me what happened?"

Jeremy led her to the steps and guided her tiny frame to his lap. He listened as she recounted the argument. He wanted to listen, but his fears and concerns wouldn't let him stay silent.

"Do you love him?"

He tried to hide the insecurity in his tone, even when she answered, "I don't know."

His body tensed.

"Don't do that."

Her words soothed as her breath danced along the curve of his jaw. He was tired of fighting this battle. The back and forth, the endless waiting for her to leave upon deciding that the other man in her world was what she wanted.

His eyes lowered under the weight of her affection. More kisses graced his cheeks, the slope of his neck, and he couldn't resist her.

Bonnie slipped from Jeremy's lap and offered him her hand, "Come inside."

XoXo

The sound of Jeremy's soft snores woke Bonnie from her sleep. She extricated her body from his arms. Things had not gone farther than tears, kisses, and brutal honesty. She stared at him, the peace that registered on his face in sleep, and the way his left arm pressed lightly against her thigh. Every time she moved, his fingers reached for her. Even in sleep he was centered on her, focused on her safety and happiness. He was comfort, warmth, and everything she needed. She felt protected, valued, and cherished when she was with him.

Bonnie told Jeremy all of that before she admitted that she worried that in the end it just wouldn't be enough. He'd taken it in stride.

"Give me a chance."

What did she have to lose, Damon had given up on who he'd become. It was time to let go of the silly crush. Sanity was worth more than intensity any day. She'd say that until she believed the words wholeheartedly.

Bonnie's eyes drifted to Jeremy and wave of nausea washed over her. She pressed her fingers into her temples, willing away the tension that had settled there. Her hand drifted to her stomach and she pushed the thoughts urging her to vomit to the back of her mind.

She jumped from the bed and dashed towards her bathroom.

That was when she saw him, perched outside of her window - watching...waiting.

His face mirrored how she felt.

Her steps faltered as she pushed the sheer material from the window in an effort to see him clearly.

She blinked and he disappeared, all before a breath could escape her lips.

Burdens by TheSouthernScribe

Bonnie's heart just wasn't in it.

For weeks Caroline had babbled on and bubbled over about what prom meant to her. A barf bag would be needed if the witch were forced to endure more from her favorite baby vamp. It was worse than those contestants at the Miss Universe pageant. She was happy for her friend. Thankful that she had found some joy after Tyler's sudden departure. Yes, everyone called him a traitor and other names that weren't deemed proper for a southern lady to repeat.

Yet she knew Caroline, and despite her feigned aloofness, the friendship the preppy undead teen shared with the new wolf meant more than she was willing to admit. It had been Bonnie who found the blonde curled into a tight ball in the center of her queen sized bed, fresh tears spilling from her eyes as she tried to understand why he would betray her and leave like some, "Jersey Shore punk." Caroline's eyes were not as wide without the presence of Tyler, despite the devotion she claimed to Matt. It could be seen in far away gazes and frowns that told the true story of her divided heart.

Bonnie had held her friend and shooed away the pain with sweet words and vanilla bean ice cream. She watched as the cheerleader threw herself whole heartedly into regaining Matt's love.

Time healed all wounds.

And what Chronos couldn't handle, a momentary glance in the baby vamp's eyes and a few soft whispers definitely erased any anger or mistrust that had formed between Caroline and Matt.

Tyler hadn't been the only casualty. The pages of Bonnie's journal were quickly filling with the names of deserters and unintentional martyrs. The war against the enigma that was Klaus, took a toll on the ones she loved.

Elena struggled to connect with the mother she had never known existed. Shaken and disturbed by the chaos Isobel's reappearance brought to the lives of the aunt who had become more than family to brown - eyed girl.

Alaric and Jenna tried to do the right thing by giving one another time to heal from the lies that had been told to both their ears. The only thing they managed, was to break each other's hearts a little more.

The young witch sat by, helpless, as Jeremy forged a new offensive in becoming the man he wanted to be and not the one his Uncle John demanded he be to sustain the Gilbert legacy.

Then there was Damon. Missing girls' faces filled television screens nightly in suburban homes. She'd made him a promise once, that she would end him if he hurt another innocent person. He was right about her, she was worse than incompetent...she was weak, held hostage by the dormant feelings that remained in her heart just for the sadistic vampire.

The elder Salvatore taunted Bonnie nightly; appearing beneath her window, fresh blood staining his lips. No words passed between them as he stood on the patch of lush green grass, listening to the sobs that always came until his presence finally chased the tears away.

He never ventured beyond his spot, he watched in silent anticipation until the black of night swallowed him whole.

Bonnie was unsure if Damon had really been present or if it was a twisted hallucination brought on by the emotions at war within her. She was growing so very tired of tears; she blamed the senseless deaths of the Martins, followed by the anniversary of her mother's abandonment, and finally the date of her grandmother's birthday.

Hot pools of salty liquid fell against her skin.

She breathed in and out, invoking calm, encouraging it to consume her.

One night...

That's all Elena had asked; one evening where they could indulge in the blissful ignorance that accompanied life as a normal teenager. The limo would arrive in less than hour, reservations at the candlelit bistro had been confirmed, and three suites booked at the only five - star hotel in a three mile radius of the Falls.

Another round of deep breaths followed as Bonnie's mind drifted from Damon to Jeremy.

Repetitive deep breaths did little to calm her nerves. Every time her eyes closed, she saw his face; firm lines, chiseled bones, and an icy glare that was filled with hurt and something akin to hatred. She trembled as her fingers trailed the fabric of the elaborate dress he had purchased, when she bent at the waist to secure the straps of her shoes.

So much had changed.

Mr. Bennett's voice startled her; she hadn't expected him to be home this early from the hospital. Nor did she anticipate the flash of light that nearly blinded her when she turned to meet the lens of his camera.

"You're so beautiful baby girl."

She couldn't be mad when his eyes glazed over. She knew where his mind went. It raced feverishly to thoughts and images of the woman who had left them so many years before. Yes there were obvious traces of the Bennetts in her features. The eyes she shared with her father, grandmother, and Emily. The warm creamy skin that lined all their frames and the gift they shared in their veins. His fingers reached for the stray tendrils not pinned in the crown of curls on top of her head, mouth poised to remind her of who blessed her with the crooked heart shaped pout.

Bonnie grabbed her father's hand before he could say the words. She didn't need to think about her mother.

Not tonight.

She studied his hand; it was twice the size of hers, smooth despite constant washes with harsh soap. She'd always equated his grasp with strength. She never worried when his arms enclosed around her. She knew that come what may he would protect her.

Now as those arms wrapped tightly about her, Bonnie let it go. Everything, the hostility, the hurt, and the responsibility she carried on her shoulders alone. There was no explanation necessary; he deciphered her words in every wail. His hands were firm yet gentle as he turned her face upwards.

"This is why I didn't want you involved." He brushed her tears away with the pads of his thumbs. "It's a weight no one, not even you, should have to bear."

It was the very reason he supported her connection to Jeremy. She was carefree and happy when they were together. A teenaged girl adored by her boyfriend, not the witch needed to secure the master plan. Yes Jeremy and Bonnie had endured their share of storms; Jules' attack and her confusion about what had sparked with Damon.

"In the end, it's always going to be your decision."

Bonnie's father freed her with those words; loosed her from an invisible restraints that had held her captive for months on end.

She shook her head in agreement as her eyes closed with the kiss he placed on her forehead.

It was time for the confusion to end.

The Last Time by TheSouthernScribe

A shiny black vintage Rolls Royce pulled into the Bennett driveway shortly after Bonnie had wiped the stray tears from her eyes. At first sight she couldn't help but wonder if the vehicle had been hidden in the massive garage behind the Salvatore home. She pushed the rogue thoughts from her mind and studied Jeremy's trembling form as he made his way to the door. Her father was polite, patting her date on the shoulder, and teasing him about what he considered acceptable behavior and the expected time he should return his daughter to the front door. The youngest Gilbert took it all in stride, rolling with every punch Bonnie's father leveled, until he saw her descend the stairs. His breath caught in his throat and he eased from the spot where he'd been happily chatting with Mr. Bennett.

His mouth opened and no words followed.

"Pick your mouth up off the floor Gilbert."

Bonnie leaned in and placed a soft kiss against his lips. Her fingers lingered in the lapels of his jacket, they brushed the silk square in his pocket, and finally drifted to the freshly cut layers of his hair. His eyes were stretched with in awe and lust. The realization made her feel...well...wonderful. She grazed his lips again before her father's watchful eye threatened to brand her skin. Finally the escaped the Bennett stronghold and slid into their seat across from Stefan and Elena.

The other Salvatore scrutinized her ensemble; a knowing smile curved his lips and Bonnie aimed an imaginary dagger at the left side of his head. He clutched his temple with one hand and raised the other in surrender. The exchange went unnoticed by Elena and Jeremy. The siblings separated from their dates once they reached the restaurant; Jeremy to check for Caroline and Matt, Elena to sneak to the bathroom for a hair and make up check.

"You look amazing Bla..." Stefan snapped his fingers, suppressing a laugh, "I mean Bonnie."

She stared off into the distance unsure of how to respond to his smart assed statement. He took her silence as permission to continue his friendly taunting.

"Damon..."

Something inside of Bonnie snapped, she turned to meet Stefan's humor filled gray eyes, "Not tonight Stefan, you don't get to play both sides of the fence tonight." She knew Elena and Jeremy were close so she had to make her point quickly and as clear as possible, "I know you told him he was no good for me. I know you condemned his attachment to me, don't you dare stand here and act like this is some kind of game."

Bonnie could hear Elena's heels on the marble tiles even as Stefan's words pierced her heart.

"Thirty seconds ago I thought it was game and now I know you love him just as much as he loves you."

Bonnie's eyes met Stefan's, "Love isn't always enough - you know that."


The impromptu, no holds barred conversation with Stefan plagued Bonnie throughout dinner. Not that foie gras was her favorite delicacy to begin with, but like her father, the youngest Salvatore had forced her to confront bitter truths she'd avoided for far too long. She picked at the food on her plate, ignored her friends attempts to engage her in the conversation. She didn't even notice Jeremy's departure from dinner until he returned with a greasy bag that reeked of onions and spices that promised a highly edible chili cheeseburger awaited Bonnie's lips.

Tentatively she reached for the bag, surprised by the tears that sprung to the corners of her eyes. No one was perfect, but Jeremy made it damn near impossible for her to believe that when he continuously went above and beyond his call of duty as her high school boyfriend. It was a no brainer when she slid the wrapper from the bag and split the burger in half and dropped a portion on his plate.

When her eyes drifted across the table she found understanding in Stefan's gaze. He nodded his head and smiled before picking up Elena's hand and placing a kiss in the center of the girl's palm.

Yes Bonnie Bennett loved Damon Salvatore.

If she were honest, it started the moment his fangs tore into the side of her neck, anger was a mask that disguised the vulnerability that came with her true feelings. He was a complicated mess of contradictions; an idiot who slept with anything that opened their legs for him while professing his love for one girl. He was the anti-hero who just couldn't stop saving people no matter how hard he tried. The challenger who told her she was useless as a witch and then cheered her on with every new spell she conquered.

Then they became friends, late night conversations over plates of saucy homemade goodness and episodes of her favorite show. She loved him and he loved her, but Damon still didn't love Damon. As long as he felt like he was never good enough, he would continue to make his undead existence miserable, and she couldn't and wouldn't be a part of his insanity.

Her love for him just wasn't enough.

Bonnie wanted more...

Damon needed more...


As soon as Bonnie stepped into the ballroom, she felt like a princess. Her dress brushed lightly against the back of her legs. The heels on her feet felt oddly comfortable and perfectly sized from toe to heel. She melted when Jeremy's arm wrapped around her waist and he pulled her flush into his chest. His heart was beating rapidly, mirroring the rhythm of her heart; it was perfection.

When Bonnie turned to face Jeremy, the ordeals of the past year melted into oblivion. He was her safe haven, the place where she could release and breathe. She never had to worry about doing everything right, he didn't want well versed lines in a spell or the composure of a woman who was confident in her gift. He simply wanted the girl with the green eyes that made him smile. Her spirit was flooded with happiness and light when they touched, she cherished the memories that his presence brought to remembrance; fresh pies made by her Gram's hands, her mother's smile, and a time that was simpler before she knew about the full moon's child and cold skin prisoners held captive by their cravings for blood.

"I love you."

Bonnie had spoken the words before, but there was a difference in her tone as she relayed their meaning. She placed one hand in the center of his chest and allowed everything that remained unsaid to flow from her to him. The things that were too difficult to say, the facts she was still unwilling to face. She revealed it all, even the piece of her heart that would always belong to another man. Out of fear Bonnie kept her head low, uncertain of what she would see when she finally looked in Jeremy's eyes. She was surprised when his finger lifted her chin and she found that same look, the one that always melted her to core.

Jeremy's kiss was a promise, one that she knew they were too young to make, but she accepted it anyway.

The mood shifted when Damon's presence registered with the young witch. Strengthened by the moment of honesty that had just transpired, Bonnie gave Jeremy's hand a squeeze and moved towards the dark corner the vampire inhabited.

Images of days gone by flew across her mind, the night around the fire when she realized Damon wore his heart on his sleeve. The strategic methods he employed to learn her middle name, and the last day they spent picking out the dress that swished with every step she took.

Thirty seconds passed as she walked from the edge of the dance floor to Damon's perch on the wall, Bonnie's steps faltered, her heart sank, and more than once she considered running for the door. Damon's eyes were focused on the spot where Jeremy still stood. She waited for their battle of wills to end before attempting to steal the eldest Salvatore's attention.

"Are you ready?"

Damon's question caught Bonnie off guard. His hand extended in her direction and she shied away from the potential of physical contact.

"Damon..."

She hated the way her voice sounded, like some love torn, dumb CW teen-aged girl.

"Let's go...now judgy little hottie."

Her voice was firmer, steadier, "I can't."

For a brief second she saw it, disappointment, heart break...

"It's not enough...I love..."

"Save it Bennett, I told you before, you're just like the rest."

Without another word, Damon Salvatore walked out of Bonnie Bennett's life for the last time.

Outro: Making Amends by TheSouthernScribe

The day Bonnie Bennett died, Damon Salvatore felt like his chest was ripped opened, his ribcage separated, and his heart leapt for the heavens. His eyes had been filled with tears when he'd tumbled from his bed and the arms of another brown skinned girl whose eyes held more gold than green. It had to be a dream. Some twisted tool of fate to revive his obsession with the witch. His fingers lifted books, magazines, and flimsy clothes until he found the shiny, sleek cell buried beneath the pile. He forced himself to breathe while he waited for his brother's voice on the other end.

Maybe he was wrong.

He shook his head, closing his eyes.

He wasn't wrong.

Damon had endured this brand of torture before.

He felt it the night Bonnie stood her ground and simply said no.

It had poured through him the night she'd given herself completely to Jeremy Gilbert.

It echoed in his ears with the cries of the two babes she added to the Bennett family tree.

The incessant ringing ended and Elena's voice traveled across the line, "Damon, just come home."

It took him an hour to shower, thirty minutes to find a shirt, forty five minutes to zip his jeans, and another hour to decide on a pair of Italian loafers. He moved in a haze, pressing his palm from his chest to his temple, searching for some sign that he was wrong.

He wasn't wrong.

The air felt different when he stepped outside. It was heavy and cold. The birds had ceased their song. Even the wind refused to blow. It was eleven o'clock in the morning and the sky was black as midnight. This wasn't nature or the God that man liked to call when they needed him...this was some poor soul's pain. Violent drops of rain splattered across his skin and he recalled an old tale about magic, emotions, and their effect on the weather.

The purr of his newly restored vintage motor did little to soothe the despair that threatened to overtake him.

How?

He'd stopped watching her years before. Long after she went to college and accepted the diamond ring from that brat Stefan and Elena refused to let him kill. It was more than he could bear.

She was happy.

She was safe.

She was alive and now she was...

 

The drive back to Mystic Falls' felt longer than the requisite two hours. His memory failed him and he couldn't recall the directions to his family's home. He saw the cars in the driveway. Caroline's sleek foreign sedan, Elena's oversized SUV and the motorcycle his brother rode to recapture his long subdued adventurous nature. Then there was the swing set peeking from the backyard, reserved for the weekends when Aunt Lena and Uncle Stef were allowed to...

The words drifted from his mind and he backed away from the home and chose a different path.

The rain poured as he walked along the tree - lined streets. It was virtually impossible for him to see. The hole that once held his heart ached with every step he took. Still he kept going, determined to ask the difficult questions, to finally end this farce of a fairytale that the Gilbert ass had fabricated.

Bonnie would be safe if she had chosen Damon; alive in one form or another. No, all he had were memories - nights that had passed more than a decade before, words that he had never said and promises he had refused to keep because she made the decision to...

Damon tripped on the root that jutted from the cement paved sidewalk. He caught himself before he fell to the ground. He brushed the wet hair from his eyes and caught sight of a tiny boy, no more than five, sitting on the top step of the Gilbert home. His face was turned to the sky, emerald eyes stretched wide, and his voice a chilling scream as he chanted words that sent a shiver down the vampire's spine.

The storm outside raged with every word, the winds finally came, and lightning tore across the sky.

Bonnie had taught him well.

The kid was strong; stronger than any Bennett had ever been at his age.

Before Damon could reach the child the door opened and Jeremy appeared. His eyes were puffy and red. Yet his voice still held warmth and comfort when he spoke his son's name.

"That's enough Noah."

Jeremy took a breath.

"Mommy wouldn't want..."

Noah broke out in a run with the mention of his mother. He headed for the street and the headlights of the car that never saw him coming. Thankfully Damon did. He plucked the child from the road.

"Crazy Bennetts, I'm tired of saving your lives, screw Emily, and screw this promise."

The kid stared at him.

Damon noted the heart shaped face and pokey little mouth reminiscent of the last woman to break his heart.

"Mommy said you would come."

Damon was flooded with emotions he'd buried years ago. A small smile crept across his lips as the rain stopped and the birds finally began to sing.

Noah slipped from Damon's arms and ran to the door, retrieving the little girl whose hand his father held tightly. Jeremy trailed behind his children, eyeing Damon suspiciously.

"Can he stay daddy, just for a little while, mommy would want him to stay."

Jeremy nodded as the walked back to the door and up the stairs, "Damon, please come in."

 

"How?"

Damon finally had a chance to ask after the kids were safely tucked in to their beds upstairs.

"Magic finally pushed back and won, it was an aneurysm." Jeremy stared into the distance, sipping his beer slowly, "Izzie was here with her."

The little girl, who looked so much like her father but laughed like her mother, had made his head twinge with a familiar pain when she wrapped her tiny arms around his neck. He watched as his former nemesis toyed with the ring on right hand. The Gilbert legacy lived on with him, while the Bennett line grew stronger with every birthday his children celebrated.

Damon would have never been able to give Bonnie that. He couldn't even give her unconditional love.

Finally he understood.

"Man up Gilbert. I know you loved your wife. She loved you. Noah and Izzie need you to be strong."

Jeremy's eyes met Damon's.

"They need you too." He slid an envelope across the table. "She wrote this the day before she...told me to give it to you if you came..."

Jeremy's words drifted off as he slid his chair across the floor and left the kitchen.

Damon had a decision to make, he could read the words, and pull the scab off the wound that had partially healed on his heart, or he could run. Forget these kids that reminded him so much of their mother. Leave this cursed town and never look back.

He tore into the envelope and unfolded the paper.

D,

I hope you know it was not easy walking away from you. What we had was special. In a lot of ways it was exactly what I wanted. However, I needed you to heal. I needed you to move beyond the pain your father caused, the heartache Katherine piled on, and the lies you continuously believed about who and what you were.

I pray that this letter finds you as the Damon I knew you were destined to be.

The hero...

My friend...

The man I will always love.

Jeremy needs you. For everything he thinks he knows about our world and what it means to be something other than human, subtract infinity. He doesn't understand. He'll need your guidance. He'll need your friendship.

Protect my babies.

Noah is strong and unfortunately he reminds me a lot of you.

Isabelle, Izzie, she's special. She holds a quiet power that will draw a new evil.

They need your wisdom. Don't hold back with them.

Thank you Damon for always being there, good, bad, or indifferent, I cherished the time we spent together.

B

End Notes:

I'll starting posting Above All later...

This story archived at http://www.valentchamber.com/viewstory.php?sid=2007