I was frozen on the spot. I couldn't tear my gaze from Alaric's smirking face.
He must have vervain somewhere on his person. My mind was racing. How could I have been so stupid? Now everyone would know just what kind of monster I was. My head spun around and my eyes fell on Damon. I think it would actually break my heart to see him look at me with disdain. Would he be the one to fill me full of vervain again, or would he have one of the others do it.
Would they even bother with the vervain this time, at least then I didn't have my humanity on, they had something to fight for. This time I fed from humans, killed some of them and I didn't hate myself, I just hated the idea of Damon finding out.
As I was figuring out how long it would take me to either run, or kill Alaric... said possible victim ordered two more drinks. He put one in front of me. "Relax love, you'll live longer."
Ok... what was wrong with Ric. He was acting weird. I parted my lips to talk but he cut me off, "We'll talk later."
I wanted to talk now damn it, but before I could I realised that he was looking to the table where the group was sitting. Apparently Damon had finally realised that I was no longer sitting next to him. He quickly scanned the room, his search coming to a stop when he saw us sitting at the bar. He excused himself from the table and sauntered over to us. I couldn't help the smile as I watched him strut.
But the smile quickly faltered when I realised that he would never look at me like that again if he found out the truth about me.
"Hey Ric, are you trying to steal my girl away from me?" Damon joked, putting his arm across my shoulders.
I couldn't look away from Alaric. What was he going to say?
"I don't think so mate. After all, I don't think a sweet girl like Jessica could be swayed away from your side." Alaric mused after what felt like eternity.
I felt my body relax into Damon's side. I smiled up at him, "So how goes it over there?" I asked, nodding towards the table where the others still sat.
Damon shrugged his shoulders, "Oh you know... the usual, Elena wants to stick to this deal she has with Elijah. I think we should just find a way to kill him, and handle this Klaus dick when, or if, he shows up."
Damon was looking at me, but I was still watching Alaric, afraid he was toying with me, that he was going to blurt out everything. I saw a flicker of surprise in his eyes. "Elijah?" he asked after a pause.
Damon turned to him, "Yeah, you know... original douche, always in a suit."
I could have sworn I saw anger replace the surprise on Alaric, but as quickly as it was there, it was gone.
"Yeah," Ric was now smiling, "Sorry, just spaced there for a moment."
I shook my head lightly in confusion. I was right, there was something defiantly up with Alaric, but I couldn't exactly ask him now could I. Not without revealing what I had done to him.
Right now I just wanted to get out of here, away from Ric's unwavering gaze. I looked up at Damon, "Do you want to get out of here? Go back to mine?"
He pulled me close and gave me a light kiss, "Defiantly." He murmured against my lips.
We pulled apart and Damon went to say goodbye to the others. He was halfway to the table when Elena stood up and stormed out. Stefan and bonnie were still sitting there, both supporting very angry expressions.
"What did you do?" Damon shouted at them. Neither of them answered him, "Fine," Damon ranted, "I'll just go ask her." With that Damon took off after the doppelganger.
I stood in shock as my boyfriend ran after Elena without so much as a wave in my direction. The shock faded and the ever familiar feeling of anger started to build. I hadn't even realised that my eyes were starting to change until I felt a hand grab my arm. I swung around to attack, and found myself looking into the amused face of my clearly slightly crazy history teacher.
"What do you want Ric?" I snapped at him.
"You need to take a breath." He said it so calm, so matter of fact that I actually listened. I took a few deep breaths and felt my face return to normal.
It wasn't that easy to keep it that way though, I needed to feed... and soon. Suddenly Alaric stood up, "How about I walk you home and we can go over your extra credit report.
What the hell was he talking about now, I couldn't keep up with the crazy. Like I needed extra credit... and was now seriously the time to talk about homework. I was about to snap again when I saw his eyes dart behind me again.
I had completely forgotten that Stefan and bonnie were still here. Stefan with his vampire hearing. Afraid to open my mouth I just nodded. I could feel my teeth against the inside of my lip, I just wanted to bury them in some ones neck. Before I could finish that thought Alaric led the way out with me close behind him.
We didn't talk for the ten minutes it took to get to my house. It was like a repeat of what had happened in the school this morning. I was barely holding it together when I slipped the key into the lock.
Once inside I faced Alaric, my face already transformed. I was about to apologise again, I had to feed, but when I actually looked at him he just tilted his head to the side, exposing his neck.
It was all the invitation I needed... actually, it was a lot more than I would have needed. I buried my teeth in his neck... again. It was the same, when his blood hit my tongue I felt like I was high. Instantly my anger was gone. I pulled back, staring at him. He just smiled back, waiting.
I bit into my wrist and offered it to him. There was no hesitation this time, as he took it to his mouth and gulped down my blood. I pulled my hand back when it became clear he wasn't going to stop.
I walked into the kitchen and pulled a bottle of bourbon from the cupboard, I then grabbed two glasses from the draining board by the sink and half filled both of them with the brown liquid. Alaric had followed me and I held out a glass to him. He took it, but didn't drink it. He just put it down on the counter.
"Ok Ric... we're all alone now. What the freaking hell is going on with you?" I demanded, almost shouting.
I dont' know what you're talking about sweetheart." He replied with a shrug of his shoulders.
"That right there," I accused, "What the hell is with the sweetheart and love comments?"
He laughed... he actually laughed. "That's what's annoying you?" he paused, he seemed to be deciding something, "Fine, I will make you a deal. You tell me your secret and I will tell you mine... sweetheart"
I thought about it for a moment, weighing my options.
Screw it. I wanted to know what was going on with him. Damn my curiosity, although I supposed I could always find his vervain, remove it and compel him afterwards.
So I told him my secret.
"You heard about how I turned off my humanity a while ago, but turned it back on to save Damon when Elijah tried to kill him?" I asked.
I saw his interest grow as he nodded in answer.
"Well," I continued, "Something in me changed that day. Ever since then I get over come with anger. I don't know why, and the only way to get rid of it is to feed. I've had a few slips ups and killed a couple of people. I've been hiding it from every one because I don't want to end up vervained and locked up again... so there you go, that's my big secret." I quickly swallowed the bourbon I was holding. "Now I believe it's your turn Ric."
"That right there... Ric... that's part of it I suppose," he began. "But you don't need to know about that right now. I'm afraid I may have misled you Jessica. I won't be telling you my secret. Just know this, in a thousand years I have never tasted blood like yours. That is the only reason we are standing here talking at all."
A thousand years? The man really had gone insane. I was about to say this to him but he started talking again, moving closer to me as he spoke.
"If these people, your friends, if they truly loved you... you would not have to hide your true self. You should embrace your nature. You are the stronger species, and humans... they are the prey that make you strong."
He was now standing in front of me. I was starting to get nervous, which of course is stupid. I mean come on, I'm a vampire and he's a human... albeit a crazy one, but still human.
I should have moved away but I didn't. I stayed where I was... and by the time I realised what was happening it was too late. I watched as Alaric's pupils started to dilate, felt my own copy his.
He was compelling me.
"You did not attack me, not here nor at the school." His voice was low as he spoke. I fought against it as hard as I could. How was he doing this to me. He's a human... I'm a vampire. I needed to remember this.
"No one knows your secret Jessica, you will continue to feed from humans as you have been doing."
It hit me then, a clear thought in an otherwise mixed up mind. This wasn't Alaric Saltzman. But if he wasn't Alaric... who the hell was he?
"We left the Grill together, I consoled you as you were upset that Damon left after my Doppelganger."
"After I consoled you we went our separate ways, you came home alone."
As the compulsion was setting in, as he kept talking I knew who he was. It was the only thing that made sense.
I had to warn the others.
"Do you understand... love?"
I blinked rapidly, looking down at the glass in my hand. What was I doing again?
Then I remembered, Damon had run out of the grill after Elena. I had felt like killing someone but Ric calmed me down. He told me that Damon loved me, not Elena. He told me everything would fine.
I shook my head, trying to clear the cobwebs. I felt like there was something I was supposed to remember.
I laughed out loud, the sound echoing through the empty house. It was just paranoia. I quickly rinsed out my glass and put it upside down on the draining board once more. I started to leave the kitchen when something caught my eye.
An untouched glass of bourbon was sitting on the counter. I looked over at the glass I had just washed. Why had I poured out two glasses?
I didn't really have time to think about it as I heard my front door open.
"Jessi?" Damon called out. Forgetting all about the glass I ran to him, throwing myself into his arms. I felt his arms wrap around me and I felt the worry and paranoia slip away.
"Sorry I ran out on you earlier. I just had to make sure Elena didn't do something stupid."
I stood on my toes, pressing my lips against his. As he returned the kiss with gusto I realised Alaric was right. Everything would be ok.
Maybe I should have wondered about that second glass just a little longer.