I stood before the full length mirror looking at my reflection. I had chosen a black flapper dress, a black '20s headband with a black feather, black elbow length gloves and black flats. As I stared at myself I briefly wondered what a therapist might say about my all black ensemble. I mentally shook myself when I heard the doorbell chime through the house. I ran to answer it, grabbing my bag from the hallway table on the way. When I pulled the door open Alaric was standing on the doorstep wearing a white tuxedo. What drew my attention though was the black carnation that was pinned to his lapel. Fitting, I thought as I once again plastered the now familiar false smile onto my lips.
"You look lovely." Alaric commented, returning the smile with one of his own.
I felt my smile start to widen, but it didn't last long.
"Damon doesn't know what he's missing." Alaric added.
I nodded at him, "True. Well... Let's go then." I pulled the door behind me and started for Alaric's car, but he beat me there and opened the passenger door for me. I thanked him as he closed the door for me before running to the drivers side.
He started the car and we took off in silence. We were almost at the school before Alaric spoke. "So, what time is Damon meeting you here?"
"I'm not sure," I answered, "I tried calling him today, but I couldn't get a hold of him." I could hear the doubt in my voice as I talked.
"I know you're worried Jessica, but try not to. I'm sure that after tonight everything will make sense."
I looked at him in surprise, I thought I hid my self doubt from everyone, but apparently not. I didn't really think about the second part of what he said... Maybe I should have.
We arrived at the school just moments later, as we entered the gym I honestly felt my spirits lift a little at the sight of the large room filled with happy people in costume. If my mother could see me now I was sure she would be proud. For years she tried to convince me to attend school functions, to enjoy myself but I had always refused. For a brief moment I allowed myself to pretend that I was still a normal high school girl, whose mother was at home worried over the fact that I may or may not get drunk. People were waving to me as they passed and I waved back, feeling my smile become more and more genuine.
"It's good to see you smile properly." Caroline stated, stopping in front of me.
"You really don't miss much, do you Care?" I said, smiling at her. She linked her arm in mine and led me to the drinks table. I nodded to Alaric as we left him standing there.
When we were at the table Caroline spoke in a low voice, "I see more than people realise. Like how you seem to be struggling with something inside yourself... and I don't think it's all to do with your worries about Damon and Elena," She paused, looking around us as I looked at her in shock, before continuing, "I also see how Alaric looks at you when he thinks that no one else is watching."
I felt my eyebrows raise in question as she said that last part, my gaze swinging in the direction my history teacher had gone. That couldn't be right... could it? Caroline had to be wrong... although... Something deep within me told me... I don't know what it told me, but it was like I was supposed to remember something about Alaric, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
I shook my head in disbelief before turning my attention to the door, I saw Damon enter with Elena and Stefan. Both Salvatore's were linked with the doppelganger between them.
'It's all in your head... it's all in your head!' I ran that single thought repeatedly through my mind to suppress the anger that welled up within me when I saw Damon linked with Elena, smiling down at her. I felt a hand on my arm and looked first at the pale hand gently placed there, and then into the sad eyes of Caroline. She started to say something but I cut her off, not wanting to talk about it. "I better start pouring drinks." I forced my voice to be cheerful. She looked behind us to where a line of people had already formed, waiting for their drinks.
Caroline gave me one more small smile before leaving me. The next ten minutes I was kept busy when I realised that I had yet to see anyone from my group other than Caroline and Alaric. Considering that Klaus was supposed to make an appearance tonight I would have thought that we needed to group together, come up with a plan so to speak.
I concentrated my hearing and quickly picked up Jeremy and Bonnie. I started to move on when I heard the word die. Jeremy was pleading with Bonnie to tell the others the truth. Ok, now I was interested. I listened as they argued over the fact that if Bonnie did the spell, used that amount of magic against an Original vampire, that it may very well kill her... and she had forced Jeremy to promise to not tell any of us.
That wasn't right. Bonnie shouldn't sacrifice herself like that. It became clear that Jeremy would keep her secret and I didn't think that was fair... putting that kind of pressure on the young Gilbert. I quickly scanned the crowd until I found the faces I was looking for. Damon, Stefan, Alaric and Elena were standing off to the side of the stage. Leaving the drinks to be poured by whomever wanted them I made my way through the laughing, dancing students.
Damon smiled when he saw me, "You look amazing." He stated, reaching down to give me a quick kiss. I smiled at him before turning serious myself.
"We need to talk." My gaze briefly landed on Jeremy, standing beside the drinks table I had just left, the pain of the secret he held so clear on his face, in his eyes. "We can't let Bonnie face off against Klaus." I made it a statement, not a suggestion.
"Why not?" Elena rushed in, "She's our strongest weapon."
I didn't answer immediately, trying to overcome the overwhelming urge to sink my teeth into her neck, solving all our problems. No doppelganger equals no Klaus. "Well is it fair that she should die so that you can live?" I finally snapped at the brunette.
I saw the shocked expression worn by all that stood in front of me at the tone of my voice, but before anyone could comment on its reason, Alaric intervened, "What are you talking about? How will Bonnie die?"
"Well if anyone had bothered to even talk to Jeremy they would have seen he's hiding something, and that it's eating him up. I overheard Bonnie making him promise not to tell anyone that the magic she would need to do when facing an Original like Klaus will more than likely kill her." My statement was greeted by a stunned silence. Damon broke the silence, and when he did I truly wished he hadn't.
"If Bonnie wants to do this, then what's the problem?"
I felt my mouth drop open slightly in disbelief at what he had just said. "We're not going to let Bonnie kill herself Damon." Stefan threw at his brother.
"But you heard Jessi," Damon persisted, "It might not kill her."
I couldn't take it anymore, something in me finally snapped. "So let her try, huh Damon? I mean who cares if she dies? Not as long as Elena lives... right?"
Damon looked at me in confusion, "What are you talking about?"
I barked a single humour-less laugh at him, all the anger and jealousy I had desperately tried to contain for weeks came pouring out into my words. "What about me Damon, If I had to die to save Elena... would that be a problem for you?"
I was barely aware that Elena, Stefan and Alaric awaited Damon's answer almost as much as I did. Finally he answered, "But you don't have to die to save her."
At all of our expressions he realised immediately that he had said the wrong words. He was supposed to say 'Of course that would be a problem, of course I would never let that happen'. "That's not what I meant," he now added hastily, "What I meant was..."
I cut him off, "Damon... you had to think about your answer," my voice was quiet as I spoke, "your answer should have been immediate. If you..." I trailed off when I noticed a vacant looking Natasha making her way onto the stage and straight to the microphone. I pointed at her and we all turned our attention away from the awkward conversation I had started and towards the obviously compelled girl who had, by now, stopped in front of the mic.
"I have a song request from Klaus..." she began in a monotone voice. I scanned the room quickly, I noticed the worried faces of Caroline, Jeremy and Bonnie... but other than that nobody looked out of place, like they didn't belong. A slow love song started to pour out of the speakers and we all turned to look at Elena as Natasha continued to speak on stage, "This song goes out to Jessica."
"What the fuck?" Damon blurted out as all eyes were suddenly on me. I felt the shock wear off as I snapped at Damon, "At least there's one person who'll put me before the precious doppelganger."
I saw hurt flash across Elena's face but I just didn't care... not at this point. I turned and walked away from them. It was stupid and girly, but I wanted Damon to tell me Elena meant nothing to him... I wanted him to run after me and take me in his arms, like in every lovey dovey chick flick. As I walked past the drinks table Bonnie reached out to me.
"I told the others about your suicide mission." I informed her without stopping. Her arm dropped to her side, a look of betrayal on her face... of course the relief was clear on Jeremy's. I ignored all the students that called out to me as I stormed out into the car-park and the cool night air. I let the anger course through me, for once not holding it back.
"Maybe I should just join Klaus... screw the rest of them." I muttered. Of course I knew I was being petty and silly, and as I heard the footsteps approach behind me I smiled, feeling some of the anger dissipate. "Damon... I..." I began to apologise but it wasn't Damon who stood before me. It was Alaric and I really didn't like the look on his face. Warning bells were screaming in my head, warning me to run away.
I didn't though, I stayed there... frozen where I stood. Alaric stepped right up to me, a smirk on his face. It hit me then, as clear as day. "You're not Alaric." I choked out the words.
He laughed, "You really are to bright for your own good."
"Who are you?" My voice barely audible as I asked. He moved closer, standing mere inches from me, "I think you know... you figured it out before." He whispered.
"What do you want from me?" The question tumbled out. He placed his hands on either side of my face, "I want you to join me, screw the rest of them." He said, repeating my own words back at me. My eyes widened, "Klaus..." His smile grew bigger. I heard Damon's voice calling me, looking for me... but before I could shout out Alaric twisted his hands, snapping my neck and everything went black.