Danny smiled behind her black scarf, as it was wrapped around her face like always. She was thankful for that scarf as well, since she was blushing as she realized she was going to be alone with Nick, her boyfriend, for God knows how long. Danny hated to show her weakness, and scoffed at the idea that her one weakness was...Love? Nick? Both?
She didn't really know, but regardless Danny knew that if Nick were to ask for her to drive a stake through her heart, Danny might just do it. The thought scared her as she realized it was true. Nick meant the entire world to her, as much as her brothers and her new life, both of them she had died to get both figuratively and physically. And Nick had been the one to give those two things, the latter leading to the former. Nick had been the one to train her first, to lead her to her new siblings, and her home in the West Branch where she was as revered and respected as Nathaniel and Savage themselves. He had done everything in his power from the very beginning to help Danny become what she was now. He had been there when she had cried at the realization that she was dead and then without family. There when she had been on her first mission and had unconsciously been very conflicted with the way the Haunters operated, and had unknowingly kept her calm with his strong presence. He had been there when she had killed her first humans to defend her new friends, and had comforted her with his smell that she associated with safety. He had given her her prized possession from her human life, complete with all the accessories that she had owned as well. He was there to save her when she was captured by the Mystic Falls group, even though Danny would've escaped regardless of his involvement.
And he had taken her punishment when Michael had sentenced her to the Chamber of Ashes, the same smell that had been there to comfort her in the three times that she had cried during her new life had saved her from the agony that the vervain mist had threatened to give her. When he wrapped his arms around her frail frame, drawing her close to his chest so she could hear his steady heartbeat. The smell she craved as much as she did blood had enveloped her and calmed her nerves. The smell that belonged to the one that saved her life.
Danny wondered to herself if Nick was a good kisser. Then she could tell if he tasted as good as he smelled. The thought crossed her mind again, but it held a deeper connotation. More then just a simple kiss, more then making out. But Danny pushed those thoughts quickly from her mind, knowing that that could spoil the perfect relationship she now owned together with the vampire driving the truck at the moment.
"Hey, Danny," Nick nudged her, interrupted her musings.
"Yeah?" Danny sat up quickly, trying her best not to melt under Nick's electric touch.
"Were gonna stop at this next gas station," Nick said, not noticing Danny being flustered at all, "I want you to compel the clerk to give us the gas and grab us some lunch."
Danny shrugged, "Fine, Nick. Do you like any type of human that I should look for?"
Nick shrugged this time, "They're all the same to me."
Danny smiled from under her scarf. She and Nick were wearing their Gear, but they had both taken off their jackets. That left Danny in her black tank top that hugged her curves, said curves being so "perfect" according to Alex and Elsa that they would kill for; it also left Nick in a black under shirt that seemed to be vacuum sealed onto his muscles, and, frankly, Danny was having a hard time looking away. Danny, with hints from her Ripper, knew that Nick felt the same way about her. Hence the blush that was still heating her cheeks under her scarf.
They stopped under the overhang and next to the gas station stall. Danny checked the watch calibrated to tell her how many hours of moon light she had left, and then left for the clerk. As she entered the door, the jingling of a bell masked her nearly silent footsteps. The clerk looked up from the portable gaming station to see the door slowly close. Danny, using her vampire speed and silence, reappeared behind the clerk. He gave no notion that he even knew she was there and continued to play a game that involved an Italian plumber saving a girl in a pink dress from an overgrown fire-breathing turtle. Danny shook her head and sighed just loud enough to be heard over the clerk's video game. Turning, the clerk did a double-take as she saw the black clad girl behind him. The scarf around the lower half of her face made it impossible to tell her expression except for her chilling ice blue eyes. The clerk almost jumped out of his skin as he stumbled away from Danny and bumped into the counter.
"Who are-?" He stuttered, "How did you-?"
Danny looked directly into his eyes, her pupils expanding as she compelled him, "Do not speak. Remain perfectly still. I want you to fill up the truck at the pump for no charge, then come right back here."
With a blank expression, the clerk obliged. Doing the necessary tasks to fill up Nick's truck. After that was complete, he returned to the stool he had been sitting on and stared at Danny, awaiting further instructions silently. Nick, Danny sensed, shut the door to the truck and capped the gas tank. Then he, loudly, walked out to the convenience store where Danny now was with the clerk. Nick opened to door, the bells jingling just as it had for Danny. Nick looked from Danny to the clerk, the back to Danny.
"This was it?" Nick sounded disappointed.
"Afraid so," Danny shrugged, "He's all your's. I fed before I left."
"You sure?" Nick looked her in the eyes, "I'm not deaf, Danny, I can hear a stomach growling."
"I want you to have him," Danny said, unable to hold Nick's strong gaze, "Please?"
"Have him come here, Danny," Nick sighed.
Danny nodded then looked back into the clerk's eyes, "Go to him. Do exactly as he says."
The clerk complied and slowly made his way over to Nick with the same blank expression. As he neared, Nick produced two small cups, one stacked into the other, in one hand and a knife in the other. He gave the knife to the clerk, instructing him as he did so. The clerk slit his wrist and held it over the cup and filled it with his blood. Then did the same for the other cup. Danny watched, amused at Nick's compromise. The clerk, now drained of a good about of blood. He, when instructed that he could, moved back to his video game. He would not remember any of this whatsoever.
Danny disappeared and reappeared with her astonishing speed in the bed of the truck with her cup of blood. Nick, much to Danny's surprise(and joy), Nick walked up and hopped into the truck bed with her. Their backs to the cab of the truck, Danny and Nick idly drinking their "lunch". Then Danny felt the familiar strong arm that belonged to Nick fall onto her shoulders and draw her closer to her boyfriend. She let herself slouch, so when she leaned in, her head rested on Nick's strong chest. His steady heartbeat pounding away in his chest. Danny's arms drew around Nick's waist and back as she hugged herself closer to his smell, his warmth. He ran his hands gently through Danny's hair, making her suddenly tired from the soothing action. Then Nick did something that Danny would never forget.
Smoothly, removing her scarf in the process, Nick's hand went from Danny's hair and traced her jaw delicately, as if he were handling the world's most precious gem. Once he reached her chin, he smiled and guided Danny's head towards his, and to the sky. Drawing close, they both closed their eyes as their lips softly met. Danny melted, her entire body feeling like mush as Nick held her close. She breathed him in, kissing him again as they momentarily drew back for breath. The passionate kiss made every other thought evaporate from Danny's mind, all of them replaced by thoughts of him. She pressed her body to Nick's, wanting only to be as close to him as she could. He did the same, leaving them in a tight embrace that all but forced them to kiss all the more. Danny's heart was beating at a worrying pace, her face as read as a strawberry, as she continued to release all her pent up emotions into the kisses. It was absolutely amazing, Danny realized, to be able to freely move her hands over Nick's strong muscles, to hold him close as much as she wanted to, to kiss him as much as she wanted to, and not have to worry about what Nick would think. It was pure bliss.
At some point, Danny felt Nick's hands creep up from where they had been grabbing her small waist and up to her breasts. Her blood running cold at the realization, Danny broke off. She instantly regretted it, as she saw the hurt look on Nick's face. She felt cold now without Nick as close as he had been. She gave him an apologetic look. Her hair was a mess, the red highlight contrasting starkly with the deep black of the rest of her hair. She was panting, her lips hot. He was also panting, his heart beating so loudly against his chest that Danny feared it would burst. It wasn't the fact that Nick had touched Danny in that area that had set her off. But, as Danny knew, she had promised she wouldn't rush the relationship. Lest she lose her closest friend in the process.
"It's okay, Danny," Nick said soothingly, "We can do this at your pace. I won't rush you in anyway. I promise."
"Thank you, Nick," Danny said his so softly and delicately, as if she was afraid everything would shatter if she said the name any louder.
They embraced, drawing each other as close as they could. They sat there for a good thirty minutes, just breathing each other in, and reveling in the fact that they were as close as they had ever been. Danny felt...whole. Completed by the vampire who's arms were so firmly around her small frame.
Danny looked up into Nick's cool cobalt blue eyes, and couldn't help but smile. Nick smiled back. They kissed again. The passion a peaceful flowing stream that made Danny's heart want to surge, it was a long and drawn out kiss that they broke away from slowly. Perfectly.
Nick and Danny, standing now as they hugged again in the truck bed. Danny felt his warmth again, and burrowed her head into his chest and breathed in his smell.
"Danny?" Nick said softly.
Danny looked up at him, silently awaiting what he wished to say with her ice blue irises held pure happiness as she did so. Nick smiled and brushed away a few stray strands of her hair and tucked them quietly behind her ear. After that, he used that hand to cup her cheek like delicate china. Danny closed her eyes and nuzzled her cheek against his strong hand. He was so warm. So safe. When she opened her eyes, he was there and looking into hers with such adoration that Danny melted all over again. Then he said the words that Danny would never forget.
"I love you, Danielle," He said ever so softly.
"I love you too, Nicholas."
The rest of the trip was just as enjoyable. Somewhere along the way, Nick and Danny started to share bed in the motels they stayed at instead of being separate. Every day, as they closed the blinds to block out the deadly rays of the sun, Danny would get to breathe in Nick's addicting scent as she slept. They always woke up with Danny's cheek nuzzled above Nick's heart, its smooth and constant rhythm always lulling Danny to sleep even if she was completely awake.
They finally reached Dallas, sneaking in by the cover of night during a New Moon. Danny could smell and sense werewolves everywhere. It permeated the air, and sickened Danny. They were in full Gear now, Danny armed to the teeth as usual with Nick ahead of her. They moved like ghosts, noticed not by a single soul in the world. Silently as ever, Danny and Nick eventually met up with a Haunter kill team that was dropping off supplies for there eventual push into west Texas. Most of it had been blood bags, and some maps that would help them on their missions. They were both given a back pack each that was filled with blood bags. Danny had a feeling she was going to wish they had given them more.
After the watched the kill team leave the apartment building they pulled out the maps they had been given hastily scribbled positions and numbers of enemies were all over the map in red ink. Nick looked over the map, laying it out on an old coffee table. He found a black pen and started to draw possible routes through the defenses so that they could attack them from the rear once they did.
"We're going to have to move as much as we can," Nick said, "No pit stops, okay?"
Danny pouted, "No fair..."
"Hey, maybe later," Nick rolled his eyes as he packed the map back up and shouldered his back pack. Danny nodded, smirking, and did the same with her smaller backpack.
They slipped out of the apartment building unseen as they headed for their truck a block away. Danny, as the truck came within sight, felt an unnerving sense that she was being watched, observed, and targeted. Nick was tense too, but neither party said anything on the matter. The shadows seemed darker then usual, which was strange to Danny since she had above average night vision even for a vampire. Nick, seeming to shake of the uneasiness of the situation, hopped into the truck's drivers seat. Danny then couldn't hear anything, and judging by the expression on Nick's face, he couldn't either. He got out of the truck and glared around the back alley where they had parked. Danny, through her sense of touch and smell, sensed the approach of five werewolves and a witch approaching from upwind. Downwind was where Danny's ice cold gaze was directed and her assumption was rewarded.
"What do we have here?" The sound of a werewolf's cocky voice cut through the silence like a knife. "Two lost little Haunters?"
"Do not worry," The voice of a witch, which was, as always, accompanied by the ring of arrogance, "The spell I cast is not permanent."
Nick, through an unspoken agreement, did all the talking while Danny drew up her hood and scarf, "Who are you?"
"We are the ones you can safely say are your enemies," The leader said in the most menacing tone, though the effect was lost on Danny. But it made Nick growl.
"You are going to die," Nick hissed, fangs bared and knife drawn.
"So feisty," The witch said, "What about your girlfriend over there? What's her story?"
Nick looked over to the witch, "What?"
"You heard me," The witch said, irritated, "What is up with your girlfriend? She turn her emotions off?"
"She had to of," A werewolf said, as if it were obvious, "Cause I don't see her looking scared, do you?"
"How can you?" Another said, "She has a freaking mask with those hoods."
"Well," A werewolf standing next to the witch said, turning to her as he spoke, "What do you say we make her take those things off, huh, Sarah?"
The witch shrugged, "I don't see why not."
The witch raised her hand up to use whatever spell she was planning on using, then seemed to concentrate. Then a strong gust of wind ripped through the alley and blew Danny's hood away, leaving only the scarf to cover her face. The hood hanging uselessly at her back, Danny shrugged and flicked out the ends of the scarf so that they dangled over her shoulder behind her back. She looked them over with her now evil looking red eyes, making the weakest of them flinch at the killer intent behind her gaze. Danny let a low growl rumble in her gut as she let her emotions run away into the waiting arms of rage. Her hand slowly, meticulously, reached for the katana at her shoulder. Once it reached there, and rested on the hilt, Danny awaited the signal from Nick.
"Do you all know who she is?" Nick asked, as if it was painfully obvious.
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, I would have thought that you'd at least like to know that name of the one that's about to kill you all," Nick shrugged.
"And who would that be?"
"Her name," Nick said, "Is...Shadow."
As soon as her name was uttered, Danny surged into action. Using her free hand, Danny flung a throwing knife into the witch's head. Without stopping to see if it hit, Danny used her astonishing vampire speed to reach the farthest group of werewolves before they even realized what had happened. Slashing them down with her sword, and promptly beheading them, Danny turned her attention to the remaining group. There were four of them, all with wide eyes as they suddenly saw their friends go down seemingly without reason. Danny appeared behind that group and slashed at two of them, cutting them down with ease. Then, with a calculated swing, severed the Achilles Tendons of both of her enemies. They cried out in agony, falling to their knees in pain. Danny beheaded the other two she and slashed then turned her attention back to the remaining two. They both had expressions of pure horror gripping their features.
"Now," Nick said, slowly walking up to them as Danny flicked away the blood on her sword in front of them, "How about you answer some questions for us?"