Dissipating Darkness

Chapter Eighteen

"Bonnie, you know it's fine if you can't cast a locator spell yet. I completely understand. You're new to--"

"Caroline, your mother's missing. I can't sit back and do nothing. Plus, I can feel myself getting stronger by the day." I see Bonnie pick up a knife from the map she has put on my coffee table. "Now give me your hand."

Caroline puts her hand into Bonnie's, and the bland smell of Caroline's blood fills the room.

"Since she's your mother, your blood is the strongest tie I have to her." Bonnie closes her eyes and begins to chant as Caroline steps back toward Elena after dripping a few drops of blood onto the map. She hugs herself around Elena's arm as the blood on the map starts to move in a snake-like fashion. Even at her time of distress, I keep wanting it to be me that Caroline is hugging for comfort.

I see Caroline's breathing come to a complete stop as she watches the trail of blood on the map. The room is quiet. Too quiet.

A blur of mass silently enters the room just as Bonnie opens her eyes and gasps.

"Alaric has her."

"They're at the graveyard."

Damon and Bonnie's voices blend together as Caroline's fear becomes tangible.

"Why the Hell are they at the graveyard?" Caroline's voice comes out in a shriek as Elena fails to calm her down. Stefan walks over to the map and lightly touches the area where the blood has pooled with his hand.

"It's the family plot where Elena's parents are buried. Jenna included."

A twinge of something familiar courses through me. Damon shrugs.

"And? What does Elena's eccentric aunt have to do with any of this?" Damon turns toward Elena as she throws a glare in his direction. "My apologies, but even you can admit that she was a little crazy--"

Damon stops mid-sentence as his eyes go wide. Without a word, he joins his brother, and brings his hand up to the map.

"A little crazy..." Damon trails off as Stefan turns his head toward his older brother's mumbling. My eyes dart to Caroline's frowning countenance, and impatience fills me as I fold my arms, and step forward.

"I think the rest of us would like to know what's going on, Damon." I state. I don't miss Caroline's thankful look in my direction.

Instead of addressing me, Damon starts to speak to Bonnie.

"So, Bon-Bon, you said that the more Alaric died, the crazier he got. So, he died, what, three or four times?"

Stefan snorts.

"Okay. Four or five. Anyway, that means he's four of five times passed crazy. Now riddle me this, witch, could crazy also branch into the 'I see dead people' category?"

Bonnie's face lights up with understanding.

"I'm not an expert on any of this yet, but I'd say you have a point, Damon. Although badly worded, it is a point."

"So, let me get this straight," Caroline interrupts as she shrugs out of Elena's hold and joins the others at the map. "You're telling me that Alaric kidnapped my mom because his dead girlfriend told him to?" I can hear the hysterics in Caroline's voice, and without thinking, I use my vampire speed to get to her side, and capture my hand in hers.

"You have to understand, love, that although this does sound a bit iffy, Alaric is not in a safe place in his mind right now. It also makes sense that he's unconsciously looking to get revenge on your mother considering--"

"Klaus." Stefan's stone sounding voice makes me look up at him.

"Considering what?" Caroline questions eagerly.

I let my eyes do the talking as I silently tell Stefan to follow me outside as I quickly excuse myself from Caroline's side and exit the room.

"She doesn't know?" I can barely control my booming voice once Stefan and I are alone.

"The part about her mother being a murderer, or a vampire hunter?"

"I mean, of course she doesn't know her mom hunts vampires! I'm inquiring on the fact that Caroline doesn't know her mom was the one who killed Elena's family!"

Stefan fails to meet my eyes. "About that..."

"What? What am I missing?" I can feel the fire in my eyes as I become increasingly frustrated.

"Well, we couldn't tell her before for obvious reasons. We didn't want her to know her mom was a murderer, Klaus."

"And?" I ask.

"We still don't want her to know that, but now we have to pair that with the fact that Caroline is a vampire, and her mom is a vampire hunter." Stefan looks pained.

"What does her mom hunting vampires have to do with any of this? We've known she's hunted vampires long before Caroline even was one."

Stefan sighs. "Liz hunted Elena's family."

Hunted.

"Did you say hunted? Not murdered?"

"Well, Jenna was in transition. Elena's parents were just trying to protect her from Liz."

I adjust my hearing to hear Elena Gilbert comforting Caroline with soft words.

"Elena doesn't know." My statement isn't a question.

Stefan nods affirmatively. "She thinks they all died in a freak car accident."

"She needs to know the truth, Stefan! Especially when we're scratching this close to the surface--"

"If it were Caroline, would you tell her?"

I would never do anything to hurt my Caroline on purpose. I would endure physical and mental anguish if it meant she were in a perfectly happy state. She would always be happy on my watch.

But doesn't she also deserve to know about the darkest parts of her life? Doesn't she deserve to know how and why her life is her life?

She does. There is no doubt in my mind about that, but she also deserves to be kept away from the darkness. She deserves to always be surrounded by the light she is infinitely bathed in. I would never be able to rip that light away from her.

I look up at Stefan; almost defeated by own answer.

"No."


A heavy fog hangs around the small cemetery. I can't help but think it's more than an undeniable coincidence. Fog works as a mask to cover things we don't want to see. It traps us in our own darkness.

"I can hear two hearts beating in the crypt. That's a good sign, right?" Caroline's hopeful voice breaks through the silence. No one bothers to answer her as we hear tires moving over the forest floor. Someone has followed us here.

Matt Donovan's old pick-up truck breaks through the fog, and Jeremy Gilbert hops out of the passenger side before it even comes to a complete stop.

"What the Hell, Elena? Why are you guys at mom and dad's graves?"

Elena looks bewildered as Jeremy jerks her by her arm out of Damon's grasp.

"Jeremy!" Elena screams as Damon harshly grabs Jeremy's shoulder.

"Hey! Let go of him!" Matt Donovan runs up and stands in between the trio. I realize I've doubted just how brave he really is.

Everything is quiet except for the angry breathing of Jeremy as he stares into Elena's eyes. Matt lets his body soften from the hard stance he had taken moments before as he exhales.

"Please, Elena. Just tell us what's going on.” Matt begs.

Damon and Stefan seem to have a silent conversation as Caroline looks around nervously. Is she ashamed of what she has become? Or scared of what Matt and Jeremy will think of her?

"We're vampires, Alaric's a crazy ass vampire hunter who has kidnapped Sheriff Forbes, and you two knuckleheads are slowing down the saving process." Damon glances toward Bonnie. "Oh, and Bon-Bon's a witch."

I see Matt and Jeremy's eyebrows raise. Damon steps a little closer to them, and Stefan seems to silently whisper for him to calm down.

"Don't believe me? Fine. Climb into that raggedy piece of crap you call a truck, head on back to the party, and live your normal human lives, because once you get into what's happening here..." Damon trails off as he looks toward the crypt. "There's no getting out."

Damon gives no warning as he begins to walk toward the crypt, and without another word, the two boys follow him. I can't help but scream in my mind for them to turn around. I wish I had been given a choice.

"Somebody! Please, help me!"

A panicked scream from the crypt makes Damon and the others pause in their tracks. I almost can't believe what I'm hearing as Caroline turns toward me with a questioning look.

"Rebekah?"

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