Sometimes Damon wonders if Elena even suspects how alluring she makes herself to him, handing him crumbs of herself so easily, even while she gives her everything to his little brother.
As someone who has spent so many decades focusing every waking thought and every fantasy on a whore with her same face, Damon found in that human girl an unexpected comfort. Her sympathy, her understanding, her friendship… they are tokens he has not gained or wanted or sought, and yet she gave them anyway to him. So effortlessly, whereas Katherine had forced him to sweat and bend backwards for the merest glimpse behind her flawless mask.
Damon doesn't understand why, in a moment of necessity, Elena would call Stefan first, Bonnie second and ignore him completely after… after that kiss. It was a long, steamy kiss and it showed that she wanted him as much as he wanted her, regardless of how well she hid it.
So it s offensive that she is forgetting it so soon. It's offensive that Damon is forced to welcome himself into Bonnie's car to get to the Gilberts' without looking like a complete fool.
The witch, of course, manages to ignore him completely, except that one filthy, disdainful look she threw at him after she found him occupying the passenger's side.
She didn't even bother trying to send him on his way, this is how much of a nuisance she considered him. Despite the situation, Damon found the fact more than a little disquieting. Nobody had ever truly dismissed him since he had abandoned his mortality, and even before that his looks and personality had made it a rare occurrence.
He spares a fleeting thought to those not-so-distant days when the little witch knew nothing about her heritage and he could stalk her at his leisure, in his crow form. Damon has never been the one to appreciate the vestal virgin attitude, but Bonnie' s childlike warmth and purity were such an impressive contrast to Emily's frigid, all-knowing standoffishness that it got to him. He remembers staring at her from the tree in front of her bedroom window as she undressed with her blinds open, thinking of her like one of those juicy, ripening summer fruits you can't avoid wanting to sink your teeth into.
He misses having that level of control over human life. It was an addictive rush.
Be as it may, once the unlikely duo has reached the Gilbert household, they find Elena rushing out onto the porch even before Bonnie stepped out of the car, Stefan practically attached to her side.
Damon maintains his neutral visage while the brunette clutches the witch in a brief but violent hug before pulling her toward the house. He expects to either be ignored again, or that the very sight of him will make Elena fidgety- what happens is that Elena acknowledges his presence with a nod, without questioning it, and then gets her explaining done, still grasping at Stefan's hand like she hasn't a single worry at his reaction. Which is stupid. Elena should know that this is exactly the kind of thing that would push Damon to enlighten his brother with some really revelatory comments.
"It's horrible. When I got home, he was here, dead and I saw his fingers on the floor. He's been drained! And Jenna was upstairs, asleep. I couldn't wake her until Stefan got here. We think she was compelled. God, what if…what if Isobel is the one who did it? I'm the one who led her to us! "
"Elena"- Bonnie' s voice is firm, smooth and soothing as water- "you can't think of things like that now. It's not- "
"I just want to find Jeremy"– Elena interrupts her friend, engaging her gaze with wide, terrified eyes- "We couldn't find him anywhere. I need to know he's all right. I can't lose him too."
"Of course not," - Bonnie nods, squeezing the other girl's arm reassuringly, keeping her tone low and calm because Elena has never looked this broken- "just give me one of his shirts. "
They go in and the witch tries not to pay too much attention to the bloody mess the kitchen has become. It's not so much because the spectacle of a corpse and his missing fingers turns her stomach, but rather the fact she really, really hopes that just being here won't trigger a brand-new gory vision.
The girls rush up the stairs, the two vampires striding after them, and they get to Jeremy's bedroom without wasting time on other words.
'Something doesn't add up' –Damon thinks all along. Elena and Stefan are too genuinely unaffected by him, and he needs to shut off the hungry desire to lash out at everyone in the room to reason the situation out clearly.
This is when he notices Elena smells different than she did when he had kissed her. He had been so distracted by Anna's death and how strongly it had reminded him of that last day he had lived as a mortal, than he had not paid too much attention to it before. The Elena he has kissed smelled like expensive perfume, a spicy aroma that masked the natural scent of her skin all too well. This Elena just smells like herself.
It occurs to Damon that he should be able to smell at least traces of perfume on Elena, and that vampires smell much fainter scents than humans.
He recalls Elena's wary, circumspect body language when she met him on her porch, then considers her aloofness when Jenna had discovered them in their little transgression...
When Jenna had invited her in.
Jonathan Gilbert could not have died much later, could he?
And he had been drained by a vampire who knew better than to leave his ring on.
A vampire like Katherine, he considers, dread and trepidation mixing in with rage.
Jeremy hands the sketch to Katherine, forcing a sense of calm on himself as her fingers linger against his a fraction of second more than necessary. He won't give her the satisfaction of seeing him flinching.
Even if he's really starting to see why Anna used that faintly disdainfultone when talking about her mother's oldest friend.
Anna… thinking of her is almost too much. Everything he used to feel is heightened now, and those emotions he had started to find relief in where she was concerned are no exception.
He chooses not to shut that burning nostalgia off, because Anna was amazing and she deserves to be missed, and he is the only one left who can do that.
A wicked grin spreads over Katherine's glossed lips as she looks appreciatively up and down her drafted portrait. "It will do," she hums, folding the paper to tuck it in her leather jacket's pocket, her eyes lit up with anticipation of something the boy truly doesn't care to know.
"Tell me how we'll do it," he asks instead, trying to look tougher than he feels. There's a very small fragment of him that wants to impress this cruel, hardened vampire who wears his sister's face.
No, maybe 'impress' is not the right word. What he wants is to learn. To be as indestructible as she appears.
Katherine flutters her eyelashes coquettishly at him, leaning closer and invading his personal space.
He shivers but doesn't back away. This pleases her enough to be more complacent toward his curiosity.
"Don't get any weird ideas in your crafty little head, Gilbert. You can't go and resurrect your other girlfriend as well. I admire you for trying, nonetheless. Eternity has no taste if you set limitations to what you can have. "
Surprise scatters across Jeremy's features very briefly before a determined blankness comes to cover it. He doesn't appreciate the insinuation over his assumed disloyalties, but he won't deny that he has been thinking about Vicky as well. Vicky didn't deserve to die, either, and he could do anything to rectify that mistake, why wouldn't he have to try? It didn't need to be a betrayal.
"You know a lot of stuff for someone who is supposed to have been in town for such a short time. "
Katherine gives him a particularly chilling version of a lopsided grin. "My sire is a Precognitive. He sees a lot of stuff, as you call it, before it even happens. Feeding on humans gives us all sorts of intriguing abilities over time. I seem to recall that Annabelle was very good with controlling animals. I wonder how strong you will be, if you live long enough…the potential in you Newborns fascinates me. "
"Is this why you turn so many of them?"
It's a bad idea, to get so brazenly sarcastic to her face. He knew it even before her hand clutched around his throat and squeezed so hard that it felt like his lungs were suddenly collapsing.
"Yes"- she whispers in his ear, then effortlessly hoists him up so his feet are dangling in the air. - "I'm the boss, Jere. Respect it, always."
And with that she launches his body against the wall like it weights no more than a ragdoll. His ribs crack painfully during the impact.
"The blood of a sire, the blood of a childe, a talented necromancer. That's what we need to resurrect a vampire. It's even the one reason you are not ashes yet. Stay smart and I won't be forced to forget it."
"Okay"- Jeremy coughs, struggling to get back on his feet and massaging his sore throat- "I got it. You are the boss of this show, I'm the henchman. Good for you."
Katherine laughs, seemingly amused by his attitude.
"I only hope you have a really good incentive to convince Bonnie to help, because I don't think she will be very collaborative. "
"I've heard she is a real white hat"-Katherine admits with an unconcerned shrug –"but it'll be extremely entertaining to work on that."
"Do you think you can corrupt her?"-Jeremy snorts, passing a hand through his hair in exasperation- "It sounds like a rather long-term plan. Let's just find another witch."
"No"- the other vampire deadpans, rolling her eyes upwards mockingly- "I like this one right fine and her lineage has a history of great power. I don't settle for second best. "
But, -he wants to reply, instinctively- I want Anna now. The thought must be all over his face, because Katherine only gives one assessing look at him before shaking her head in disapproval and scoffing:
"Oh, stop being such a mood-killer scarecrow. It won't take all that long, if you begin spilling all you know about her. "
"What do you want to know?"
"Everything and anything. Her sense of right and wrong is what keeps a witch caring about the consequences of her spells. If we can blur those lines in her mind, it will take very little to sway her to our side. "
Bonnie holds one of Jeremy's favorite sweatshirts to her chest and closes her eyes, shifting her focus from her five 'external' senses to her inner one, reaching out for a glimpse of a boy who was almost family to her. At first it's like groping through the darkness for a solid support, finding nothing but void anywhere. Then it changes, and that chilly, freaky sensation she associates with Stefan and his kind descends on her. It's like icy fingertips just grazing her skin, whispery voices barely outside her ear. It's Death.
Suddenly she finds him, enveloped in a bottomless dusk: Jeremy's face and hands are covered with blood, his eyes engorged and black with an animalistic thirst. He's licking the crimson liquid off his wrist with an unhurried relish. There are countless corpses at his feet.
Bonnie opens her eyes with a grimace of revulsion.
"What have you seen?"
It's Stefan who asks, his hands comfortingly squeezing his girlfriend's shoulders. Elena doesn't appear to have the strength to do anything but lean her back against his chest and gaze at her best friend with a mute terror.
Bonnie looks back at her dejectedly, breathes out the wretchedness she feels gripping her in a vice to find the nerve to say what she has to.
"I'm sorry, Elena - he's already a vampire. That's the one thing I could see."
Elena hides her face in the crook of Stefan's arm before pain becomes apparent on it, her whole body shuddering as her boyfriend presses her closer and kisses the top of her head.
It's such a transparent display of intimacy that Bonnie needs to look away from it, finding Damon's figure on the threshold, his arms crossed before his chest and his expression too vacant to be natural.
Bonnie allows her gaze to linger on him until he responds to her attention. His eyes are not empty like his features but they are pensive, a cruel ferocity flaring behind their superficial coldness at her inspection.
What do you know?- the witch wants to demand, but instinct has her repressing the urge in favor of a wiser circumspection.Start writing here ...