The Lady in Red

Go Fish

The first thing Selina noticed when she woke up was the frost on the windows. She groaned and managed to pull herself out of bed, even though it was warmer there. It wasn't that she felt the cold, but the thought of it still made her feel depressed. And that it happened to be the middle of the day. As she was getting dressed, she noticed the date on her wall-calendar: it was Stefan's birthday. Once she'd put on a pair of socks, she went to his room and knocked.

"What's going on?" he asked. "Why are you up so early?"

She shrugged. "I have no idea. I think a bird froze and then hit my window. Can you believe the glass is frosting over already?"

He smiled. "It is November, Selina. That's when things start to get cold. A little frost shouldn't surprise you."

"Can I come in?" she asked him.

He nodded and motioned for her to come inside.

She entered and sat down on his bed. "That's not the real reason I came over here," she informed him, bouncing a little on his mattress.

He sat down beside her. "What was the real reason?"

She smiled. "When I was getting dressed, I noticed the date on my wall-calendar." She pulled a box out of the pocket of her jeans and gave it to him. "Happy birthday, Stefan."

He looked at the box in amazement. "You still remember my birthday?"

She nodded. "Well, you remembered mine, didn't you? And since you and Damon were gone from my life for so long, every time one of you had a birthday over the years, I would buy you a present, wrap it up, and then pretend you were there to open it. It's kind of pathetic I know, but it got me through some tough times."

Stefan put the box down on the bed and gave her a hug. "It's not pathetic. It's a way to cope."

Selina smiled and moved his arm. "Thanks, but enough of my problems. Go ahead and see what you got."

He opened the box, and slowly removed a gold watch. "Selina, you really didn't have to do this, you know," he told her after staring at it in silence for a moment.

"I know I didn't," she replied. "But I wanted to anyway. So, do you have plans to go out, or do you just want to stay in today?"

"Well," he told her, "an old friend of mine actually came to visit."

"Really?" she asked.

He smiled. "Yeah, I think the two of you will get along great. Let me see if I can go find her."

Selina nodded. "All right, and I'll go see if I can find your brother." They separated and she headed straight for Damon's bedroom. He was there a lot nowadays, trying to hide from her, she guessed. When she found his door, she threw it open, as was her custom.

"Damon, have you told your brother…" her voice trailed off when she noticed that there was a girl in his bed and that she had him by the throat. "Sorry," Selina muttered quickly. "I didn't know anyone else was in here. I'll go now."

"No, Selina," Damon's voice was strangled. "A little help here, sweetie?"

"Sweetie?" Selina turned around. "You hate me, remember? You've been avoiding me ever since Halloween." She walked further into the room and stood next to the bed, staring down at him. "And now that you've done something dumb and are rightfully getting punished for it you suddenly want to get on my good side? I think I'll leave you right where you are." Just as she turned to leave, however, the girl let him go.

"Who are you?" she asked. "Some girl he turned and is keeping around?"

Selina scoffed. "If he'd turned me, we'd probably be getting along now. I'm Selina. I was his fiancée before the 'incident'."

The girl nodded. "I'm Lexi, Stefan's friend. So, you were engaged to him?" she indicated Damon.

Selina nodded. "Yeah, but then I got sick and he went after my sister."

Lexi grimaced. "Katherine was your sister? I've been telling Stefan for years that if I ever met her I'd punch her face in. I can only imagine how you feel. So," she looked at Damon again. "If you wanna vent, I'll hold him down."

Selina grinned wickedly. "You know, that's not a bad idea."

At that point, Stefan entered the room. "What's going on here?" he asked.

Selina and Lexi looked at one another and then Lexi released Damon. "Nothing," they said together. As they stepped away, Damon finally sat up.

"I'm going to go far away from here," he said. "I might be back later." He glared at the girls. "Or I might not." He eased himself off the bed and left the room.

"So," Stefan observed, "I see the two of you have met."

Lexi nodded, grinning. "I like her. She hates Katherine as much as I do. So, what do you wanna do with what's left of your birthday?"

Stefan shrugged. "I don't know. Let's just play things by ear, shall we?"

Selina looked from Lexi to Stefan and came to a decision. "You know," she said, looking at Lexi, "Stefan told me that the two of you were old friends. You probably haven't seen each other in awhile and have a lot of catching up to do. I think I'll leave you alone."

"We wouldn't mind if you came," Lexi told her.

Selina shook her head. "No, the two of you enjoy. Unlike Damon, I will be back later. Maybe we can do something then."

Before giving either of them a chance to reply, she headed out the door, and began the walk to Mystic Grill. It took her twenty minutes and as soon as she stepped in the door, she made a beeline for an empty booth, scrunching herself in the corner and staring at the menu.

"Hey," a voice came out of nowhere and interrupted her thoughts. "You're Sophia Warren, aren't you?" She put the menu down and looked up to see an attractive boy with dark hair and brown eyes. He looked vaguely familiar to her, but she couldn't place him.

"Hey yourself," she said finally. "You know, I feel like I've seen you somewhere, but I just can't put my finger on it."

He took a seat on the bench next to her. "It was probably at the Halloween party. The woman you were sitting next to most of the night was my mother. I'm a Lockwood."

"Oh," Selina's eyes widened. He was a Lockwood? That explained everything.

He grinned. "My name's Tyler. Can I get you something to drink?"

"As long as you're offering a Coke would be nice."

He winked. "All right then, one Coke, coming up."

He came back with it and sat it down in front of her. "You know, this may sound strange, but I feel like I've seen you somewhere before too."

"At the Halloween party?" she guessed.

He shook his head. "No, somewhere else. Listen, where are you planning on going after you finish your Coke?"

She shrugged. "Nowhere special."

"Do you want to go dancing? I saw you with that guy at the party. You know, you're really good."

"Yeah," she nodded. "He was my fiancée, but we sort of grew apart. I've been trying to make things work, but I think I'm going to be moving out of his house pretty soon."

"The two of you are living together?" Tyler asked, surprised.

She nodded.

"That's rough."

"If the offer still stands," she said, looking up at him, "I'd love to go dancing with you."

She arrived at the house a couple of hours later. Stefan and Lexi were seated on either side of the coffee table playing cards. "What happened to you to keep you out so late?" Lexi asked.

"I went out and met a guy," Selina said. "We went dancing."

"Ahhh." Lexi picked a card off the top of the deck. "Do you want us to deal you in?" she asked.

"What are you playing?"

"Go Fish."

"You don't have to tell me twice." Selina replied and seated herself at the end of the coffee table.

They'd played six games when Damon walked in the door. "Are you still here?" he scowled at Selina. "You live to irritate me don't you?"

"That's it," Selina put down her cards and walked right up to him until she was practically in his face. "You can think I'm irritating. You can think I'm a backstabber. Hell, you can think I'm a two-timing whore for all I care. But sooner or later, you're going to realize once and for all that me and that girl in the picture under your mattress are the same person, and when you do, I'll be here for you. You know why? Because even though you've been nothing but a jackass for the last 145 years, my last birthday being a rare exception, there's a part of me that still loves you." And with that, she strode from the room without another word.

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