The Lady in Red

Another Proposal

At the knock on her bedroom door, Selina opened her eyes but didn't bother sitting up in bed. It had been a week since her father's death and she hadn't left her room since except to feed. "Come in," she called tiredly.

The door opened slowly to reveal Stefan on the other side. "Do you want to try and venture out today, or do you still want to stay in?"

Selina sat up and shook her head. "I don't think I'm ready to go anywhere yet," she said.

Stefan proceeded into the room and sat next to her on the bed. "Do you think you're going to be all right?" he asked, putting his arms around her.

She nodded. "I think I will eventually, but it's just hard right now. I mean, my father got staked and it happened because of me."

"Selina, look at me," Stefan said. "What happened to your father wasn't your fault. Just like it wasn't your fault that you got kidnapped or that Michael was insane."

"I know, but I was the one who let Tyler into my life. If I hadn't been so stupid, they never would have gotten hold of me."

"All right," Stefan sighed. "Look at it this way: your father's death was worthwhile. He died saving you. That probably made up for all the guilt he's felt over the years."

"You make a good point," Selina said, thinking about how her father had left her and her mother to go off to war, and then their subsequent life with Mr. Pierce that was a result of it.

"Thanks," Stefan smiled at her and hugged her one more time. "So are you ready to venture out?" he asked her again. "Because remember, you haven't left except to feed in a week. Damon says if you don't come out soon, he's going to be taking drastic measures."

Selina laughed a little. "Well we can't have that." She stood up slowly and looked down at the sweatpants and oversized t-shirt she was wearing. All her outfits for the past week had been variations of this. "Jeepers, I really have let myself go, haven't I?"

Without waiting for him to reply, she headed into the bathroom and turned the shower on.

Stefan left the room, starting slightly when he opened the door and found Damon standing on the other side.

"So is she okay?" he asked.

Stefan nodded. "I think she will be. She was feeling like her father's death was her fault, but I convinced her it wasn't. She's up and about now."

Damon nodded. "Good." He paused. "Elena's downstairs."

"Thanks." Stefan took the stairs two at a time. He found Elena sitting on one of the couches in the living room, a rain coat folded on the cushion beside her. "Morning," she said brightly.

"Good morning," Stefan replied. Something in his tone made Elena frown a little.

"What's the matter?" she asked. "Did something bad happen that I don't know about?"

"Well," Stefan said, "remember Selina's cousin Michael that had a crush on her and tried to keep her away from Damon? And how he got out of the tomb with Tyler's help?"

"Yeah," Elena replied. "What about it?"

"Well, about a week ago, Tyler and Michael kidnapped Selina in the middle of the night and took her down to the tomb for an impromptu wedding."

"What?" Elena said.

"It's true," Stefan replied. "Just grabbed her right out of her bed."

"So are Selina and Michael married now, then?" Elena asked.

"No," Stefan shook his head. "Damon killed Michael so he's completely out of the picture."

"Well that's good," Elena said.

Stefan nodded. "But there's something else that isn't so good; Michael had Tyler bring a bunch of blood with them when they brought Selina down to the tomb so all the vampires that were down there could be temporarily revived and be "witnesses" at the wedding. As soon as we found out that Selina was missing, Damon, Matthew and I went to Bonnie's house and she told us where Selina was and to bring a lot of wood so we could stake all the vampires that had been resurrected, but after Damon staked Michael, Tyler tried to stake Selina. Matthew pushed her out of the way and was staked himself in the process."

"Oh." Elena took a deep breath. "How's Selina taking it?"

"She's mostly been in her room for the last week," Stefan said. "She's only come out to feed. But today, I helped her realize that Matthew's death wasn't her fault, and saving her life was probably good for him because it helped alleviate a lot of his guilt."

"Well that's good," Elena said. "Is she talking to people besides you?"

Stefan nodded. "All you have to do is knock. But I'd wait awhile. Damon was outside her door after I talked to her. They're probably having a talk of their own now."

Just after Selina finished dressing in jeans and a teal short-sleeved blouse, there was another knock on her door. "Come in," she called again. She expected Stefan again, so when she saw it was Damon on the other side, she was more then a little surprised. "Stefan said you were up and about," he told her.

Selina nodded. "Yeah, I guess I am. What can I do for you?"

"Are you going to be okay?" Damon asked.

"Yeah," she nodded. "I'm more okay than I was." She pulled out her mother's journal once more. "Mama put tons of stuff about Daddy in here, and I'm thinking it help me work through things." As she held the journal up, something fluttered out from between the pages and onto the floor. Selina picked it up and looked at it. "Oh, my God," she said, holding it up to Damon. "Look at this: it's a miniature of my father."

Damon looked at it. "It's a good likeness…for a painting."

Selina put the journal down on the bed and looked at Damon. "So what brings you up here?" she asked.

"I wanted to show you something," Damon said. "And ask you a favor."

"What favor?" Selina asked.

"Well," he pulled something out from behind his back and showed it to her. "It's about this."

It was the picture of her that she'd given Damon before he'd shipped out.

"What about it?" Selina asked.

"Well," Damon said slowly, "I was thinking: you broke your locket, and while I was initially opposed to your doing that, now I'm starting to think that wasn't such a bad idea."

"What do you mean?" Selina asked.

"Well," Damon replied, "think about it: the necklace and this picture are things that we gave each other 145 years ago. Our relationship was different then. We were different people. And maybe having those things around was a bad thing. I mean, we've changed and our relationship has changed." He held up the picture of Selina in her ringlets, frilly dress, and parasol. "You're obviously not like this anymore."

Selina took the picture from him. "No I'm not, and thank God."

"And I've changed from the guy whose picture was in the locket," Damon added.

"That is a bit of an understatement," Selina said, looking up and grinning.

"Yeah, yeah." Damon grinned with her. "So I was thinking that since we have changed so much, keeping these momentos that we gave each other 145 years ago would just be holding us back. By getting rid of them, it'll be easier to focus on now."

"Wow," Selina said, looking at him. "That's very deep thinking. So you're saying you want to get rid of the picture."

"Yep," he nodded. "And maybe have an updated version?"

"Okay," Selina agreed. "Where do you want to take it?"

"Outside," Damon said immediately.

They headed downstairs, old Polaroid camera in hand, and out to the front of the boarding house.

"All right," Selina said. "What now?"

Damon thought a moment. "Would you sit on the hood of my car?"

Selina smiled. "You want me to pull a Tawny Kitaen?

"No," Damon shook his head. "Just sit."

Selina boosted herself on the hood of Damon's car and smiled as he held up the camera. After the shutter clicked, he put the camera down on the driveway and looked up at her.

"Good picture?" Selina asked.

As it came out of the camera and developed, Damon looked it over. "Yep," he said after a moment. "You know, you photograph really well."

"Thank you," Selina said, coming to stand beside him and look at it.

"What are you guys doing?"

Selina looked up and saw Stefan and Elena approaching. "We're doing some updating," she said.

"What do you mean?" Elena asked.

"Well," Selina said, "You know that old picture of me he kept under his mattress? Well, we decided that needed to be updated since I'm not like that anymore."

"So what are you going to do with the old picture?"

"I think I'm going to get rid of it, like Selina did with the locket," Damon said.

"Speaking of the locket," Selina said suddenly, "The picture we just took compensates for what you lost, but what's going to replace the locket?"

Just then, Damon looked at Stefan. "Should I give it to her now?" he asked.

Stefan nodded. "I think so."

"Give me what?" Selina asked, looking between them. That was when she noticed the bulge in Damon's shirt pocket. "What's in your shirt?"

Damon smiled, pulling it out slowly. "Something I should have given you a long time ago."

To Selina's amazement, he got down on one knee, opening the box toward her. "Selina Amelia Elizabeth Warren, will you marry me…for real this time?"

"Oh, my God! Yes!" Although she was in shock, she still managed to get the words out. She put the ring on her finger and then she and Damon embraced. Stefan picked the camera up off the ground and held it up.

"I think we need to get a picture of this," he said to Elena. "Don't you agree?"

"I do," Elena nodded.

They got Damon and Selina to stand facing one another, looking into each other's eyes. Stefan snapped the picture and then Damon and Selina separated. Then, Selina looked at Damon. "I think one more picture is necessary," she said. She stood next to Damon and motioned for Stefan and Elena to join them. When the four of them were close together, Selina snapped a final picture. Then, they headed inside and lined them up on the mantel.

"So," Elena said after a moment. "I guess there's only one question left: When's the wedding?"

A/n- Don't worry everyone. There will be a sequel to this...in fact, there will be three! First one is Lady in Red 2: Angel in Disguise

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