The next morning I awoke to find Jeremy asleep on the chair at the end of my bed. He really was a sweet kid. I got out of bed as quietly as I could so as not to wake him and made my way down to the kitchen. I noticed as I passed the hallway that it was clean and a new front door had been put in. I don't know why but I was convinced it had been Damon. I put it out of my mind. I couldn't think about that now. I needed coffee, actually I needed a drink.
Elena was in the kitchen at the breakfast bar. She pointed to the coffee machine, "Do you want coffee. It's fresh!" her voice was quiet and cautious, as if she wasn't sure if I would go for her again. I just nodded, she poured me out a mug and sat back down. I went straight to the cupboard beside the fridge and took out a bottle of whiskey, I poured half the coffee down the sink and filled the mug back up with the alcohol.
I sat across from Elena and lowered the coffee. Elena never took her eyes of me. She finally spoke,
"So, did Jer stay here last night?"
"Yes, he fell asleep on the armchair in my room. Was it him that fixed my door and cleaned up?"
She poured herself another coffee and held out the pot for me, but this time I didn't bother with the coffee and just filled the mug up with the whiskey. As we sat back down she answered me, she knew I meant Damon. I just couldn't bring myself to say his name.
"I'm honestly not 100% sure Jessi, but I would bet that it was him," she paused for a second before rushing on, "Jessica I am so sorry about everything that has happened. We never meant to deceive you. At first we didn't know how to tell you to stay away from Damon without sounding crazy. He had compelled you to not believe anything negative we told you about him."
I cut her off, "I understand that. And let's face it, if you had said to me, 'Jessi, Damon is a vampire', I would have avoided you, thinking you were insane."
She moved to stand in front of me. "Jessica, you have to listen to me. The fact of the matter is Damon may have started with the wrong intentions, but he really does care for you. Stefan, in all the years he has been Damon's brother, has never seen him care for someone like this."
That got me curious, well that and the whiskey I was downing,
"Just how old are Damon and Stefan?" I asked.
Elena paused before answering me, "Do you remember your ancestor's journals?"
When I nodded she continued, "Well do you remember they talked about a Damon and Stefan Salvatore?"
I gasped, "But that would make them over 160 years old."
Elena continued explaining, "They were here when Mystic Falls was founded in 1860. For four years the town lived peacefully, until it became obvious that 27 vampires also shared the town."
"Katherine," I interrupted, "Katherine was the head vampire... or whatever you would call it. She compelled the brother's love. When the town captured her, Damon and Stefan tried to free her. Their father shot and killed them." The journals were coming back to me.
Elena picked up the story, "Yes, but what the founding families didn't know was that Katherine had, under compulsion, fed them her blood. They died with it in their system. So they transitioned into vampires. Damon found out that the vampires hadn't burned in the church, like it says in the journals, but in fact were locked mystically in a tomb under the church. He spent 150 years finding a way to get Katherine out. He thought he loved her, but a few months ago, when Bonnie managed to get it open, he found out Katherine wasn't there. She never was. She had never cared for him. It sorta lifted the century and a half compulsion she had over him."
Now she took my hand, "But then he met you Jessi. And he changed, in such a short time. He didn't compel your feelings. I swear to you. When he got here he saved you, and desperately tried to save your mother, tried to get Bonnie to use magic to bring her back for you. But the spirits wouldn't allow it."
At the mention of my mother the drunken haze lifted, almost. The funeral was today. Jenna had organised the whole thing as I lay in the hospital. I was grateful, I wouldn't have been able to deal with that. I sat there numb, what was I going to do? How was I going to cope without her?
My phone began to ring and I answered it automatically, "Hello... yes this is Jessica Bird... what... what are you talking about..." I listened for a few moments as Elena watched me. I knew there was a look of shock on my face. "Ok, thank you... I'll see you then... bye..."
I hung up the phone and stared at it, Elena was by my side in a moment, "Jessi... is everything ok?"
I looked up at her, the room spinning a bit. "That was my family lawyer... I didn't even know we had one. He received my parents death certs, apparently things move fast in this town if you're descended from a founding family. I have to go to his office for an official reading or something and to sign some things, but the jist is this, an account was set up in my name when I was born. I was supposed to receive it on my 21st birthday. My mother's parents, the Fell's set it up so my father couldn't get his hands on it. When they died all their money, their land, everything went into this account, and because both my parents are dead it's mine now. As is this house and everything my mother owned."
Elena looked as surprised as I was, "How much?" she asked, "Do you mind me asking? Will you be able to afford this house, to stay in school?"
I was still staring at the phone when I answered her, "Between the land and money it comes to just over five million dollars."
Elena's hand flew to her mouth, I continued to talk, "I had no idea. My mother never told me."
Jeremy walked into the kitchen at that moment, "Told you what?" he asked rubbing his eyes.
I suddenly felt like there was no air in the room, I needed to be on my own. "Elena can fill you in. Thank you for staying with me Jeremy, but I need some time to think."
They both hugged me, told me they would see me at the church. After they left I just sat back down. I finished off that bottle and opened a second one. I was suddenly very aware of how quiet the house was. Mom was not someone who made a lot of noise but I would always hear her in her office, or watching television. This silence was deafening. I couldn't take it anymore. I took the bottle of whiskey, grabbed my keys, including the new one that was in an envelope taped to the front door. I just started walking, I didn't know where I was going, didn't care. I just kept walking and drinking, a dangerous combination. Thoughts were rushing through my drunken mind. Finally he was out of our lives... for good. This was a time when mom and I should be celebrating. Instead I was supposed to bury her. How was that fair? Why should I get to live when she didn't? She was the one who had more to offer this world. What the hell did I have?
I suddenly realised where I was. I must have been walking for a lot longer than I realised.
I was at the Salvatore boarding house. Taking a mouthful of whiskey I entered the house, it was very quiet. I made my way up the stairs and moved to the balcony overlooking the library. I climbed up and sat on the railing, then took out my phone and drunk dialled Damon. He answered immediately.
I started slurring, could barely keep my eyes open, "You.. you saved wrong one Damon."
"What? Where are you?"
I kept talking, "Wrong person Damon. I should have died... should have saved her. she was the important one... I'm nothing... I don't deserve it..."
I could hear the panic in his voice, why was he panicking. I was just setting things right.
"Jessica love, please tell me where you are. Please, don't do anything rash."
I heard a car pull up outside.
"I s'pose that's you pulling up, have to go now. I don't know what's real anymore... but Damon, I think... I think I loved you..."
I was crying now. I heard the car outside screech to a halt on the gravel. Damon was shouting down the phone, "Are you in my house? Please Jessica..."
I dropped the phone, and let go of the railing. To intentially climb down or fall down I wasn't sure, but it was the latter that happened. Just before I hit the floor I heard rather than saw him, he was calling... actually no, he was screaming my name as he rushed to catch me. But he was too late, then there was nothing.