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Chapter 29

Chapter 29

Damon looked at Buffy inspecting the dagger that John had given her. He was happy that she had feelings for him. It meant something to him. He wouldn't admit that just yet, but he was happy she wasn't going anywhere. Not to mention the jealousy thing had been a welcome surprise. He walked over and wrapped his arms around her waist from behind, kissing her hurt arm.

"Hi." Buffy said.

"How's your arm?"

"A lot better. How's your chest?"

"Healed. Why don't you have healing powers as fast as mine?"

"Don't know. I'll ask Giles about that."

A knock on the door stopped Damon from kissing Buffy's neck. "Who's that?" He asked.

"Probably Alaric. I called him over to show him this dagger and ash stuff."

"Have you talked to Giles about it?"

"This morning before you woke up. He's looking into it. I think I've put him on overload." Buffy opened the door. "Hey, Rick."

"Good morning. Coffee?" Alaric handed her a coffee to-go cup.

"You are a god among men. Come on in." Buffy shut the door behind them and headed into the living room. "So John Gilbert gave me this to kill Elijah." She showed Alaric the dagger and the vial with the ask. "He said you have to dip the dagger in the remains of an old white ash tree that dates back to the originals…. If there's any truth in that. I've got Giles looking into it."

"So you think it's a setup?" Alaric asked.

"It could be. That guy's a weasel. I wouldn't put anything past him." She handed the dagger to Alaric and sipped her coffee. "What are you up to today, Mr. Saltzman?"

"Well, Jenna and I were supposed to go to her family's lake house, but somehow, we both got roped into doing this historical society thing at the Lockwood's."

"Where Elijah's the guest of honor." Damon said.

"What?" Buffy asked.

"It was on the news this morning. He's posing as a writer doing research on the history of this town or something."

"Are we gonna kill him at the tea party?"

"No. That would be stupid."

"Good, cause I was gonna say…."

"I want to know his endgame before we kill him but I do think it's time Elijah and I officially met." Damon turned to Buffy. "You, missy, need to slip into something pretty."

Buffy smiled and rolled her eyes playfully. "Will the torture never end?"

Buffy held onto Damon's arm as they walked around the Lockwood mansion. The tea party was in full swing and there were a lot of people there. Buffy was glad she'd picked such a low key outfit. Everyone was in business casual and the knee length black pencil skirt and dark pink sleeveless top she'd picked out was perfect for the occasion.

"There's a fancy French restaurant up in Richmond." Damon said suddenly. "I think we should follow Stefan and Elena's lead and get out of here for a while. You can dress up. We can catch a play at the Landmark Theatre…."

"And this will happen when?" Buffy asked. "Between saving Elena and stopping Klaus?"

Damon shrugged. "Hey, if they can get away, then we can too."

"Last I checked, that getaway was more Stefan's way to isolate and protect Elena better."

He smiled. "Well, then think of our getaway plans as my way of isolating you and…. Protecting you."

Buffy laughed and shook her head. "You make it sound so dirty."

"Damon, Buffy, what are you guys doing here?" Jenna asked, walking up and hugging Buffy.

"Hey Jenna." Buffy said. "I'm a history buff and I wanted to come. Damon is a good boyfriend and fulfilled his duties by coming with."

"Look, sweetie." Damon said. "There's the writer."

"Excuse us, Jenna." Buffy waved and Damon escorted her towards Elijah and Carol Lockwood.

"Damon!" Carol said. "Buffy!"

"Carol." Damon said, kissing Carol's cheek.

"What a surprise." Carol said, kissing Buffy's cheek. "Elijah, I want you to meet Damon Salvatore. His family is one of Mystic Falls' founding families. And this is his lovely girlfriend Buffy Summers from California."

"Such a pleasure to meet you." Buffy said sweetly.

"No." Elijah said, taking Buffy's hand and kissing her knuckles. "The pleasure's mine." He shook hands with Damon. "Are you two fans of history?"

"Oh, you have no idea." Damon said. He looked at Carol. "That's really how Buffy and I met. I was travelling through California headed for Italy and was sitting in LAX when this gorgeous woman sits down next to me holding the seat next to mine on the plane. We struck up a conversation and it lasted all the way until we landed back in LA a few weeks later."

"I thought Buffy was a friend of your brother's?" Carol asked.

"I am. For longer than I've been with Damon, here. But he was always travelling, so I never really got the chance to meet him. Stefan talked about him all the time, so imagine my surprise when I finally met him by chance in an airport." Buffy said. "It really is a small world."

Carol laughed. "Oh, that's just delightful. It really is a wonderful pleasure to have you as part of our community, Buffy."

"I love Mystic Falls." Buffy smiled. "In fact, I hear that Elijah here knows more about it than even Stefan or Damon do. I was wondering, may I steal you for a while, Elijah, and pick your brain about the history of this place. I do enjoy the stories of the Civil War era in particular."

Elijah nodded. "It would be my pleasure. Excuse me, Carol." The three of them made their way through the crowd and Damon opened the doors to the deceased Mayor's office. As soon as the doors were closed, Elijah turned to them. "What can I do for you two?"

"We were hoping we could have a word." Damon said.

"Where's Elena?"

"Safe with Stefan." Buffy said. "They're laying low. You know, we have a bit of a werewolf problem."

"Oh, yeah. I heard about that."

"I'm sure you did since it was your witch that saved the day." Damon said.

"You are welcome. Buffy, how's your arm?"

"Healing." Buffy said. "But that whole witch rescue thing just adds to our confusion on exactly why you're here."

"Why don't you two just stay focused on keeping Elena safe and leave the rest to me?" Elijah moved towards the door, but Damon put himself in front of him.

"Not good enough." Damon said.

Elijah threw Damon against the wall and strangled him. Damon tried to strangle Elijah too, but he wasn't strong enough. Buffy grabbed Elijah and pulled him away, but Elijah just flicked his wrist and threw her across the room. "You young vampires, so arrogant. And you, little Slayer…. How dare you come in here and challenge me?"

"You can't kill us." Damon said. "It's not part of the deal."

"Silence." Elijah grabbed a pencil and drove it through Damon's neck. Damon fell over onto the desk. Buffy rushed over to him and pulled the pencil out. Elijah handed her a white handkerchief and she pressed it to Damon's wounded neck. "I'm an original. Show a little respect. The moment you two cease to be of use to me, you're dead. So you should do what I say. Keep Elena safe." Elijah walked out.

Buffy waited until it was safe and she stomped her foot. "That guy needs to go!"

"Are you ok?" Damon asked.

"Am I ok? Let me see your neck."

"It's healing."

"I know, but there are still shards in there."

Alaric walked in. "What's going on?"

"Elijah stabbed Damon."

"What did you do?"

"Nothing. We just tried to get answers but the guy's got issues."

"Let's get this cleaned up and get you guys home. Your first aid kit is way more advanced than the Lockwoods'." Alaric said.

Damon, Buffy, and Alaric sat around the library. Damon and Alaric both had glasses of scotch while Buffy nursed a Sprite. She sat on the floor between Damon's legs and laid her head on his inner thigh while he played with her hair.

"Well, today was a bust." Damon said.

"Yeah. How's the throat?" Alaric asked.

"Sore."

"That Elijah's one scary dude but with nice hair." Buffy said. Damon scoffed. "What? He does."

"You want another one?" Alaric asked. Damon gave him his glass and Alaric went to the bar.

"He's gonna be hard to kill." Buffy said.

"Yeah. I'd think twice before I'd trust that dagger and some ashes to do the job. You're gonna need more info."

"Giles is still working on it." Buffy sighed. "I feel like I've overloaded him."

"Nah." Damon said. "From the way you and Willow talk…. He likes all this work."

"Yeah. Sitting on his butt for long periods of time without anything to read drives him crazy. But still…. He's getting older."

"He's not that old, Buffy. The man's what? Mid fifties?"

"Yeah. But he's had a lot to deal with. He always says that it's aged him."

Alaric looked at his beeping phone. "Oh, god. I got to go. I got to pick Jenna up. Don't worry. I'll, uh, show myself out."

"Good luck." Damon called. "Hey." Buffy looked up at him and he picked her up and pulled her into his lap. She smiled and leaned down to kiss him, but skipped his mouth and opted for his neck where Elijah had stabbed him.

Before things could get too heated, though, a loud noise that sounded like a struggle made the two jump to their feet. They found Alaric with a large knife in his stomach. Buffy rushed over to him just as a werewolf jumped on Damon's back. Damon fought, but the were put a syringe of vervain in his neck. Since Damon had been taking vervain, the were had to inject the whole syringe to get any kind of effect.

Buffy rushed over to his aid, but another were appeared and shot her with two large tranq darts. She watched Damon fall to the ground just as the effects of the tranquilizer started to set in. "Whew!" The were that attacked Damon said. "Damn, you're strong. It took the whole syringe!" Buffy fought to stay on her feet, but the drug in her system was meant for elephants. And they'd shot two of them into her. She stumbled against the wall and slid down, shaking her head and trying to clear the fog. Two werewolves entered and looked at Alaric. "Grab that one. He's dead."

Jules arrived just then. "Hi, Buffy. Nice to see you again." Buffy growled and tried to get up, but the drug had taken its complete hold over her and she passed out.

Damon woke up and discovered he was chained to a chair in the library. The chains bound him down all over and an iron collar was around his neck. His neck was bleeding pretty badly. He looked down at the floor and saw the dead Alaric. Damon searched for his ring and breathed an internal sigh of relief before looking around for Buffy.

She was also chained down to a chair and still passed out. He remembered that she'd been shot with tranquilizer darts. He didn't see any injuries, but if Jules was there, then he knew it was only a matter of time before she started taking chunks out of his girlfriend.

The were that had jumped him had a chain attached to the collar around Damon's neck. "Morning, sunshine." He said. "I saw this movie once…. some torture porn flick…. Anyway, they had this collar device that was really cool. So I just modified it some with some wooden nails, and when I pull…." He pulled on the collar with the chain and the nails dug into Damon's throat.

"So I hear you have the moonstone." Jules said.

Damon laughed. "Oh, if you only knew the irony of this moment right now. Let me tell you how this is gonna go. You're gonna torture me, I don't talk, someone loses a heart. Last time, it was your boy Mason."

"This time, it will be you." Jules looked at the were with the chain and he pulled on the collar. "But before that…. I'm going to make you watch as I torture and kill your little Slayer girlfriend." Jules pulled out a knife and shoved it into Buffy's stomach. Since Buffy was still under the effects of the drug, she didn't even flinch. But the blood poured out and Damon struggled to get over to her. "I hear that a Slayer's blood is super powerful and completely irresistible to vampires. Tell me, how would you like to be the one to kill her?"

"I'll be the one to kill you." Damon growled.

"Really? Cause from where I'm standing, that doesn't look possible." The were with the chains pulled on Damon's collar while Jules went and grabbed a shotgun. "You know what the great thing about buckshot is? It scatters through the body…. Maximum damage." She hefted it at Buffy. "Where's the moonstone?"

"Get over it, honey. You're never gonna get it." Damon said.

"You looking for this?" Everyone turned to look at Elijah standing in the doorway. He had the moonstone in his hands. He calmly walked over and set it on the bar. "Go ahead. Take it." One werewolf went towards Elijah, but he ripped the were's heart out. Two others came but he ripped their hearts out as well. Jules panicked and ran. The were with the chains dropped them and tried to hide under his coat as Elijah ripped the chains off of Buffy. She slumped forward and Elijah caught her. He gently lifted her up and placed her on the couch, kicking one of the dead weres away. Elijah turned to the last remaining were. "What about you, sweetheart, hmm? You want to take a shot?" He lifted the were up. "Yes, no, yes? Where's the girl?"

"I don't know." Damon shrugged.

"It doesn't really matter." Elijah punched the were in the face and broke his neck, killing him instantly. He went towards Damon and removed all the chains. "So you realize this is the third time I've saved your life now?" Elijah turned, grabbed the moonstone, and left.

Damon ripped the collar off of him and rushed over to Buffy. She was bleeding pretty badly. "Hey, wake up sweetheart…. Come on, Buffy. Wake up." He gently stroked her hair out of her face. "Come on, Buffy." He decided to try something drastic. He bit into his wrist and placed it over Buffy's mouth. A vampire wasn't supposed to give his blood to the Slayer, but desperate times…. He watched as she swallowed some mouthfuls and her stomach began to heal rapidly. In fact it closed up between one heartbeat and the next. Damon had never seen anyone heal that fast. She gasped and sat up. The drugs were still in her system, so her head swam and she fell back, but Damon was there to catch her. "Hey."

"What happened?" Buffy looked at Damon's neck. "I don't remember that being so bad."

"Jules shot you with two tranquilizer darts. You missed all the fun."

"What fun?" Buffy looked around at all the dead weres. "Elijah?"

"The one and only."

"Why is my stomach all tingly and kinda hurting at the same time?"

"Jules used you as a pin cushion."

"And I'm tasting blood in my mouth because she punctured something bad, right?"

"No. That was me."

"Damon!"

"I know it's against the rules, but you weren't waking up and I didn't know how bad the wound was. So…. Try not to die for the next couple of days."

Buffy's head lolled to the other side and she saw Alaric. "Oh god…."

"He's got his ring on. Don't worry. Can you stand?" He helped her up, but she wobbled and nearly went down again. Damon caught her and carried her upstairs. He drew a bubble bath for her and helped her get in before undressing and getting in with her.

Later, once they were clean and Buffy's head was clearer, she went downstairs to help Damon clean up. He was on his cell phone with Bonnie as he maneuvered a chair. "So he planned to kill her all along?" He was saying."Yeah." Bonnie said on the other end. "The sacrifice is part of Elijah's plan."

"Got it loud and clear." Damon hung up and turned to Buffy. "Hey. How do you feel?"

"A little too strong." Buffy said. "Did I just hear that Elena's still a sacrifice?"

"You sure did." Alaric woke up with a groan. "Finally. You missed all the fun."

"Fun?" Alaric asked.

"It's a long story." Damon said. "You might want to call Jenna back. She's called a couple of times."

Alaric panicked and grabbed his phone. "There you are." Jenna said when she picked up. "Are you ok?"

"Yeah, sorry. I…. I…. I've just been grading papers. Honestly, uh…. I fell asleep. I'm sorry. Jenna, I'm a jerk."

"No. It's fine. I'm just glad you're ok."

"Sorry. Tomorrow I'm all yours, ok?"

"Sure. Sounds great."

"All right. Good night, Jenna."

"Good night." Alaric hang up and slapped his forehead.

"It doesn't get any easier." Buffy said. "The lying just gets worse. But at least Jenna's not suspicious of anything yet."

"You're not really being comforting."

"I know. I'm sorry. I'm just warning you. Maybe it's almost time to confess the truth. I mean, she's the only one at the Gilbert house that doesn't know. She'll find out sooner or later."

Alaric sighed. "I think I should leave that decision up to Elena."

Buffy snorted. "Well, Elena's not exactly making good choices lately, so…." She shrugged and stood up.

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