The Lady in Red

Someone Strangely Familiar

Selina was reading the journal entry again. It had been a week since she'd first read it, and she was still trying to understand what it really said. She'd been lying on her stomach with the journal in front of her, but that wasn't doing her any good, so she turned over on her back, and held the journal over her head. Why would Dr. Stensrund want to steal her father's body? She scoffed. That was easy. Because he was a rat who didn't deserve to live. She was so happy she'd killed him slowly and painfully.

There was a sudden knock at the door.

"Come in," she called, sitting up. To her surprise, Damon and Stefan both entered the room. When they saw she was looking over the journal again, they sat on either side of her.

"Want to talk about it?" Stefan asked. "Or do you just want us to leave you alone?"

"Well," she said, taking Damon's hand in one of hers and Stefan's in the other, "there's nothing to talk about, really. This is just another example of Dr. Stensrund's callous disregard for human life and further evidence that he had it in for me."

"Why do you keep reading it over and over if it's just upsetting you?" Stefan asked her.

She shrugged. "I don't know. I guess it's because Mama seems like she wants to know why my father was taken so badly and now I want to as well." She began to tear up. "But the thing is, everyone who could give me answers is dead, so I just have to keep reading the journal over and over and see what I can figure out for myself and God, it's so frustrating!" It finally became too much and she threw herself into Damon's arms, sobbing into his shirtfront. When she was finally able to calm down, she pulled herself away and wiped her nose on her sleeve. "Sorry about that. It was really dignified, wasn't it?"

"Selina," Damon pulled her back to himself. "You just found out that your father's body was taken by body-snatchers for who knows what reason. I think you have the right to be upset."

"Yeah," Stefan nodded. "But if you really want to get your mind off this for awhile, Elena's coming by in about five minutes with the perfect solution."

And indeed, five minutes later, the front door opened. Stefan had given Elena key and now she just let herself in whenever she came over. She called for Stefan and when he yelled back that he and Damon were in Selina's room, she came up, looking at Selina in admiration. "I bet if Katherine could see this now, she'd be green."

"What?" Selina asked.

Elena gestured at Stefan and Damon on either side of her. "Those two. Working together for a common goal. How do you do it?"

Selina shrugged. "I guess that's what happens when you live with people for a long time. They start to like you."

Elena nodded. "I guess so." She paused and looked at Stefan and Damon. "So, are we going?"

Just then, Selina noticed how Elena was dressed. "Why are you dressed like you got lost on your way to a sock hop?" she asked.

"Oh," Elena looked down at herself. "They're having a decade dance at school and this year, it's the fifties."

"Oh," Selina nodded. She looked at Stefan. "Is this what you were talking about?" she asked him. "Did you mean that Elena was going to come by later to take us to a dance?"

"Come on," Stefan said as he got off the bed and stood next to Elena. "It'll be fun! Besides, you've hardly left the house since you found out about your father."

"Even Damon's going," Elena added.

"You are?" Selina asked him in surprise.

"Yeah, why not?" he grinned. "You wouldn't want me to be dateless, would you?"

She shook her head. "Of course not. But all my fifties dresses are back at Dr. Stensrund's house, and we won't have time-"

"All except this one." Elena held out a dress with a white bodice and a red skirt. "Fix up your hair, add a scarf, and you could be Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday."

"Okay," Selina nodded and she and Elena quickly got to work. The four left the boarding house twenty minutes later.

"We aren't going to be late, are we?" Selina asked.

Elena shook her head. "No, of course not. I came over early enough that we should get there just in time."

They pulled up in front of the school and headed into the gym in twos. Elena and Selina went in first, Damon and Stefan followed.

"Elena!" Before either she or Selina had time to move further into the gym, Caroline and Bonnie descended on them, along with Caroline's date.

"Hi Bonne! Hi Caroline!" Elena hugged both of them and then Caroline looked at Selina curiously. Bonnie said hello, but nothing else.

"Who are you?" Caroline finally asked Selina.

"I'm Sophia Warren, actually," she told Caroline. "I was at the Halloween party earlier, but I don't think we've met."

"She's here with Damon," Elena added. "He and Stefan are around here somewhere."

"Well, I can't say much for your taste," Caroline said to Selina. Then she turned back to Elena, motioning for her date to come forward. "Elena," she said grandly, "this is Mitch Wilder. He's a family friend who plays basketball for Arizona State."

"A college boy, Caroline?" Elena asked, looking him over. He was good-looking, she had to admit: tall, with deep green eyes and light-brown hair. He had a strong cleft in his chin and a Roman nose.

He grinned at Elena, showing a set of sparkling teeth as he shook her hand. He turned to Selina and his eyes widened for a minute. Then they traveled downward to her neck, as if he were looking for something on it.

Finally, Caroline felt the need to bring him back reality. "Mitch! Earth to Mitch! Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." His eyes snapped away from Selina's neck and he began making small talk with Caroline and Bonnie.

"Well, that was a little weird." Selina whispered to Elena.

"You mean the way he kept staring at your neck?" she asked. "Or the way his eyes got as big as saucers when he saw you?"

"Both." Selina kept watching him. "Maybe he's a new vampire or something. But even then, he should be able to sense that I'm one too."

"Think we should get Damon and Stefan over here to have a look at him?" Elena asked."

"Eventually," Selina nodded. "But let's have at least one dance first."

They headed over to where Damon and Stefan were standing by the punch bowl.

"Sorry to keep you two waiting," Elena said, "but Bonnie and Caroline caught us as soon as we got in and wanted to make small talk."

"And Caroline wanted to brag about her date," Selina added. "When Elena told her I was with you, she said she didn't respect my taste much." She looked at Damon.

"You want to know the story behind that remark?" he asked.

She shook her head. "No, I just want to dance."

The four of them headed out on the dance floor. Selina kept a sharp eye on Caroline and Mitch. He gave her a strange feeling, there wasn't any doubt about that. But it wasn't a bad feeling. "Damon," she whispered as soon as the first dance ended, "there's Caroline and her date, Mitch. Does he seem familiar to you?"

Damon looked over at them. He noticed Mitch right away. And Selina was right. There was something about him that was familiar. "Yeah," Damon nodded. "I feel like I've seen him somewhere before. Does he make you feel that way too?"

"Not really," Selina replied. "I've never seen him before, but I feel like I should know him. Does that make any sense to you?"

"Not really," Damon replied. "But as long as it makes sense to you."

The rest of the dance passed uneventfully and on the way home, Selina tried to sort out her thoughts about Mitch.

"Stefan," she asked, "Did you notice Caroline's date?"

"Yeah," he nodded.

"Did he seem familiar to you at all?"

"No," Stefan shook his head. "Should he have?"

"I guess not," she replied. "It's just that Damon and I both think there's something familiar about him and we're trying to figure out what that is."

"He didn't trigger anything in me either," Elena added. "But when he first saw Selina, his eyes bugged out and he kept staring at her neck."

"That was something you neglected to mention when you told me about him," Damon told Selina. "Is he some old boyfriend of yours I don't know about?" It was said with good humor however, and Selina just shook her head.

"I told you," she said slowly, "I've never seen him before in my life."

"If you've never seen him before, how can there be something familiar about him?" Stefan asked.

"I don't know!" Selina said. "I have absolutely no idea. But if he's a new vampire, he's a particularly stupid one. Let's keep an eye on him, just in case."

They dropped Elena off at her house and headed back to the boarding house. As soon as they got inside, Selina decided her muscles were stiff and that she needed to soak in the tub. She headed upstairs and ran a bath, settling in for an hour or so. Then she got out, put on a bathrobe, and went to her closet to look for a night gown. To her dismay, her closet was empty, as was her dresser. Just as she was shutting the last drawer, Damon strolled in, grinning.

"Did you lose anything?" he asked.

"Yeah," Selina said. "All my clothes seem to be missing. You wouldn't happen to know where they are, would you?"

He nodded. "Stefan and I moved them into my room while you were in the bathtub."

"Really?"

"Yeah," he told her. "I figured that since you and I are on such good terms now, it might be fun for us to share a room."

"Fun?"

"Yeah, fun." He nodded. "Do you have a problem with that?"

"No." she shook her head as she followed him to his room. "I'm just amazed that you were able to fit everything in here. And that you were able to get in and out without my knowing about it." She found a nightgown and changed into it, then went over to the bed.

"Do you sleep on the right or the left?"

"The left," he told her.

"Okay." She climbed into the right side of the bed and turned off the lamp. She still wondered about Mitch Wilder, but he could wait until morning. "Good night, Damon," she whispered.

"Goodnight, Selina," he whispered back. "We'll figure out what's going on with that guy tomorrow. I have a feeling the search is going to be very interesting."

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