Damon sat in the rocking chair while Bonnie practiced her magic with a candle. He would be damn near impressed if she actually got it to light up. He was thinking of things that had happened over the last few weeks.
Time almost seemed to stand still, each day slowly dragging into the next. Sometimes, he felt as if he was in purgatory as he watched life moving on from the other side. It was certainly sheer hell being a vampire and not being able to have one single drop of blood. Some days all his mind could think of was blood, sex and bourbon. Then there were days when all he thought about was Elena and how much he wanted to get back home to her.
He gently rocked the chair back and forth as he heard the wind howling in the distance. Another storm was coming. Nothing unusual for Forks. He wondered how Bella could stand the dreary, depressing town. How could she stand the pitter patter of constant rain on the roof and the ever-present wetness?
His thoughts froze on the name and he thought that because of her, the dreary, sunless days were made better. She brought sunshine to his and Bonnie’s lonely existence and it made the passing weeks less painful. The weeks turned into months and not much had changed from that first night.
She still could not see or hear them, but they’d taken to communicating with paper and pencil, or Microsoft Word. It was quicker and easier than using the Scrabble tiles. She was still sad, but the twinkle in her eye seemed to get brighter with each passing day. Her laughter became more frequent and she seemed to embrace life in a way that he would have never expected a human to do. She found it a thrill being on her own, without the douchebag of an ex watching her every move.
He knew he was part of the reason why, and somehow that little fact made him glad. It wasn’t an emotion he was familiar with. His whole life before being trapped on the other side was a supernatural soap opera of vampires, doppelgangers, witches and travelers. He was never the hero, nor was he ever exactly the villain. At least, he never thought so. He was sure Witchy would disagree on that, though.
He had lived through one of the most difficult times in his life as he watched his brother fall in love with Elena. It was what her friends called an ‘epic’ love story. The only thing he’d found epic in regards to it was the fact that in the end, it was him that she chose and who she wanted forever with. Yes, he was going to be a smug bastard for the rest of eternity about it. He fought for the girl and won! He finally got the love he had always wanted, didn’t he?
He sighed heavily as he realized that it wasn’t exactly like he wanted. The doubt monkey sat on his shoulder as he toyed with the idea that if she had truly wanted forever with him, she would have chosen him to begin with and to hell with his baby brother.
He shook the thoughts off as he eyed Bonnie flipping through a book and nibbling on her lip. She was an indomitable force and smart. She would be the one who would get them back home. He was sure of it. With Bella helping the two of them acquire the things they needed and with her offering her encouragement and support, it made him feel that anything was possible. The Mission Impossible theme briefly went through his mind and he smirked. Normally, he would have felt like an idiot at such a thought, but somehow the little brunette had him finding the simplest things amusing. He found her amusing.
He found her to be the most interesting human he had ever met. Perhaps even more so than Elena had been. Bella was clumsy as hell, but at the same time, could carry herself in such a graceful way that it would put highly trained ballerinas to shame. She had a laugh that was like music and a smile that could put anyone in a good mood. He should know. She’d often yank him out of a grumpy state with her quick wit or he’d get pleasure in watching her stand in front of the mirror with a hairbrush in hand singing along to whatever music would be playing on the radio.
He chuckled as he remembered the one time she was shaking her ass to Aerosmith’s Rag Doll and bopping her head as she sang loudly into the brush, “I’m movin’ on… I’m movin’ on, Get ready for the big time!”
He and Bonnie had stood in the doorway after a trip to the library and the poor witch was shocked at the sight. He on the other hand, found it rather hot.
He smirked as he recalled turning the music up on the CD player and she nearly jumped ten feet in the air from fright. She knew it was him and had gotten a good tongue lashing for it. It had been one of the first times she called him an ass.
His response had been to grab a pencil and paper and write “Hot!!” on it. He then held it up for her to see. When she did, she immediately turned ten shades of red and then promptly tripped. Bonnie had shot him a glare while he stood there and snorted.
He picked up one of her Anne Rice books and thumbed through it. He didn’t get what was so special about the main character, Lestat. He was a blond that tied his hair back in a ribbon, for crying out loud! When he voiced out loud his complaints, Bella had him read the entire Vampire Chronicles series. No wonder the girl ended up falling in love with a vampire….While the books painted a very realistic picture of life as a vampire, he couldn’t help but think it was highly romanticized. But like Lestat, he had that same yearning to be loved, to be accepted and live life to its fullest.
He supposed that is all Bella had wanted, as well. She thought she had found it with the Cold One, and he cruelly ripped it from her and very nearly destroyed the girl. He often wondered what state she’d be in if he and Bonnie had not come into her life…
She had eventually given full disclosure to them about her life and her time with Edward. The information wasn’t new to Damon, as he had already heard it in her dreams. But with each piece of her life she shared, Bonnie became more and more empathetic towards her, grew to respect and admire her for her strength, her wisdom, and her easy acceptance of two ghosts that had suddenly come into her life. She too, was becoming attached to the girl.
Damon had continued to enter her dreams, long after she had stopped screaming for Edward. She had repeatedly asked him his name and he continued to dance around the question.
Finally, one night he asked her, “What name would you give me?” He was taken aback as she smiled broadly, the sun shine capturing the twinkle in her eye.
“There’s this obnoxious, pain in the ass of a vampire ghost that makes me pop tarts and carves bloody-looking smiley faces onto them…”
She then giggled as she looked at him, “His name is Damon. So… how about that?”
Her expression had caught him off guard and before he could stop himself he blurted out, “An obnoxious, pain in the ass!?”
She laughed again as she smiled brightly, “Yes, a pain in the ass! But…”
She sighed, “He is one of the best friends I ever had. He’s a lot like you, actually. Snarky, easy to talk to, compassionate. He’s been through so much and yet, he still has hope.” She bit her lip and looked at him wistfully. “He is in love with a girl named Elena and he wants to get home to her. That determination, the hope he has inspires me.”
He quirked his eyebrow in confusion, “How so?”
She let an exuberant breath, “Like I said, his determination inspires me… to go on with my life, to take Edward’s words to heart and let it be as if he never existed. The love that he has for Elena gives me hope that just maybe, there is someone out there for me. That someday, I will finally find someone that truly loves me and will fight for that love. A man that will stand by my side, no matter what. Just like Damon has done for Elena. To hear their story proves to me real love exists and that it’s out there…”
She then looked down at the ground mumbling, “Oh, how I wish you were real.”
He stepped forward and gently gripped her chin in his hand, lifting her face towards him. He noticed her watery eyes and it sent a sharp pain into his chest. He clamped down his emotions as he looked down on her. Gripping her chin firmly, he asked, “What do you mean, you wish I was real?” He inhaled a sharp breath before adding, “I am right here!”
“Yes! You are! Right here in my head!” She wiggled out of his grasp and gestured around the falls, “I know this is a dream!” I-I don’t know how I conjured you up, or why…but these last few weeks have been some of the best of my life! I actually look forward to going to sleep because I know I will see you then…” Tears slowly trickled down her cheek as she glanced up at him.
“The more I dream about you, the more I see that I keep putting aspects of Damon’s personality there. I was falling for you… someone inside my head.” She had then chuckled humorously, “But I’m falling in love with him. Someone I can never have! Even though you are a figment of my imagination, you have given me a chance to see my life through someone else’s eyes. You have given me a chance to make amends with my past, helped me deal with my insecurities, and face my darkest fears. You made me see myself more clearly. If you were real… I would have someone when Damon and Bonnie figure how out to get back to their home. I won’t be alone.”
Damon was taken aback by her admission. His heart had clenched tightly in his chest at her blatant honesty and he felt a smidgen of guilt that she didn’t know she was indeed talking to the one she had fallen for. He realized he cared deeply for the girl before him, and the fact that he would eventually leave her weighed heavy in his heart.
He could not understand what drew her to him in such a way. She knew his history, his violent past, and she knew what an ass he could be at times. He watched her face as she stared out onto the falls, which happened to be one of her favorite places in the dreams he conjured up for her.
He could not bear to hurt her because she had been hurt enough. However, he loved Elena. He couldn’t change that little fact. His conscience told him Bella could be an option if he truly wanted her, but he quickly squashed the idea.
She would love you unconditionally…
He stubbornly shook the thought out of his head. No, his heart belonged to Elena Gilbert and he had fought so long for her, and she finally chose him. He could not give that up. He owed it to her to find his way back to her. Yet, the sight of Bella weeping before him tugged at something deep inside and he could not bear the thought of leaving her behind.
He blew out a breath before he went to her and embraced her, “I promise you that you will never be alone, Bella.”
He meant what he said. Even if he had to come to Forks after he returned to his life and what he left behind in Mystic Falls, he would never allow her to be alone.
She held onto him for dear life as she spoke softly, “Damon,” she said wistfully, “Do you think someone like you would ever love someone like me?”
He had unwound his arms from her and stepped back, then cupped her face within his hands, “They would be an idiot if they didn’t.” He smirked down at the girl as she let out a giggle.
“An idiot, huh?” She shook her head, “You sure have a way with words, you know?”
“Of course I do!” he replied with a touch of cockiness.
He then inhaled a deep breath, knowing that he had to put an end to the dreams. Her thoughts; her honesty about her feelings were getting to him. They were festering within him and he knew he could never return them. But he could never be cruel and just up and walk away as her dick of an ex did. She deserved a proper goodbye to her dream Damon and a promise that she’d never be alone. Her friendship meant something and he owed her at least that much. With that in mind he met her gaze and spoke.
“This might be the last time you see me…” he said bluntly and then gently gripped her shoulders, “But you promise me something, okay? If life gets too much when your friends leave you… you get your cute little ass in that god awful truck and go find them! You understand me?!”
“He will be with Elena-” she begun to protest and he cut her off.
“I don’t care!” he snipped at her. “You go to your friends. Promise me!”
“Damon!” she protested again.
“You promise me, Bella.”
With a sigh, she had simply nodded her head and he took it as a silent vow and kissed her on the forehead. He then manipulated her dream to peaceful darkness and it was the last time he entered her head.
He was broken out of his reverie as Bonnie called to him. He cast her a sideways glance and gestured for her to speak.
“The candle flickered!” she spoke in excitement.
Damon looked around Bella’s room at the assortment of items they had acquired for Bonnie to try and regain her magic. Thanks to the internet and a credit card left behind by Edward, some things were easier to come by. Bella would often sneak the packages in for them, to avoid any questioning from her father. Sometimes, they took care of it themselves if they weren’t with her.
They also used the internet and the local library to seek information on witchcraft and spells. What Bonnie really needed was her Grimoire, but there no way of getting it. The two of them had had many discussions trying to figure out the reason they were sent here.
Bonnie thought it had something to do with the witches on the other side, or maybe the Universe was at work. Damon just scoffed at the notion. “Why in the world would the universe send us to a town with nothing but moss and rain?”
Bonnie’s simple answer had been, “Bella.”
The answer was logical; he couldn’t deny that fact, but what exactly was their role to be in her life?
“So you made the candle flicker? Is this the part where we jump up and down, squeal with joy and celebrate?” he sarcastically questioned.
The witch glowered at him, “It’s a start, Damon! It’s hope, in case you don’t actually recognize it!”
He had simply rolled his eyes as Bella walked into her room, tossed her backpack on the bed and sighed dejectedly.
“Tomorrow will be a year since I moved to Forks.”
Damon looked over at Bonnie with a raised eyebrow, but her gaze remained fixed on Bella. She was concerned for her new friend. The room then filled with silence before Damon huffed and pulled up Word on the computer. He typed “And what has you all depressed? Did you finally realize you’ve read your precious Wuthering Heights far too many times?”
“Really, Damon?” Bella spout out.
He typed again, “What makes you so sure it’s not Witchy?”
“One, Bonnie wouldn’t make fun of my books and two, you called her Witchy.” Bella answered in a derisive tone. “You are a dumbass, aren’t you?”
He smirked proudly as Bonnie rolled her eyes, “You influence her too much, you know.”
He shrugged her off and went back to the keyboard. “Tell us.” he typed.
Bella huffed, “Are you going to keep your stupid and smart ass comments to yourself?” She arched an eyebrow and crossed her arms.
A minute passed before she sharply asked, “Yes or no?” She kept her eyes on the screen and when nothing new appeared, she tapped her foot impatiently.
“Damon?” she prompted.
He rolled his eyes and typed in a “yes.”
Bella then told them why she was so upset. The next day happened to be the one year anniversary of her meeting Edward.
“Don’t say a word, Damon Salvatore!” Bonnie warned, before he could type some snarky reply. She knew he cared more for the girl than what he let on and she knew he used his sarcasm to cover up how he felt about things. It was a defense mechanism, but he would often use it to diffuse a situation, as well. As much as she was sure Bella would laugh, she knew that the girl needed more than some witty comment. With that in mind, she strolled over to the computer. Sighing heavily, she had typed, “You need closure.”
Bella half chuckled, “Closure? Fat chance of that since they left town!” She threw her hands in the air and got up to look out the window.
Damon put his hands on her shoulders and felt that familiar tingle run through him whenever he touched her. He briefly closed his eyes as Bella slowly begun to relax.
“Witchy, ask her if she and Eddie had a favorite place.”
Bonnie cocked her head to the side in question.
“Just trust me.”
She nodded and begun typing.
At the sound of the keys being hit, Bella turned around towards it and then walked right through Damon to read the screen. He froze as if he had been hit by lightning and something within him felt as if someone had lit a fuse, sending a warmth through him.
Bella froze as well, turning back towards the window where he stood. “What was that?” she whispered. She shook her head and walked over to the computer to read what Bonnie had typed.
Bonnie sat staring at Damon while Bella read the words she had typed. She took in his confused expression while his gaze was fixed on the brunette girl reading the screen.
“You’re falling for her.” she bluntly stated.
He didn’t answer as he simply looked over to her and chewed on his lip.
A few minutes passed before Bella blurted out, “That stupid meadow….” in answer to their question.
Damon’s eyes furrowed as he looked upon Bella, then to Bonnie. The witch met his eyes with her own quizzical gaze.
“A meadow?” she questioned.
Bella had went on to tell them about the meadow that Edward frequently took her to and how beautiful it was. It was the place he had revealed his true self, confessed to being in love with her and it was the place of their first kiss.
“So he takes her to a meadow because he had a case of the feels? What kind of guy does that?” Damon pondered out loud.
“As opposed to what?” Bonnie asked with her eyebrow arched, “Taking her to bed?”
He rolled his eyes, “Well, that’s better than going all of Anne of Green Gables and taking her to a meadow with purple flowers! I bet he even recited Shakespeare, or some shit like that.”
She blew out a breath in annoyance and went back to typing at the keyboard. From there, they established that Bella wasn’t exactly sure how to get to the meadow. She knew where the hiking trails started, but the forest was so dense and there was no actual path to lead them to it. She openly admitted that Edward would often carry her because she was clumsy.
Damon had scoffed at that, “What a dick! How many ways did he make her so completely dependent on him? Could he not as easily taken her to the park nearby, or maybe a museum? The girl loves books… I bet she would have preferred a date at the library, then she’d be more than happy to open something other than a book.”
Bonnie shot him a look that could kill, “No Damon! That is something you would do, so you could get a bite to eat and maybe get laid.”
He minutely shook his head, “Not with her-”
He stopped himself from saying more as he looked at the witch with widened eyes.
She smiled at him with a certain glint in her eye, “I know.” she murmured.
Bella had a map of Forks laid out on the bed and pointed to the spot that led to the hiking trails.
After promising Bella that they would look for the meadow the next day while she was at school, Bonnie went back to practicing her magic, discovering that the only thing she could really do was light the candle. She banged the desk out of frustration.
Bella had been watching the candle flicker on and off as she did her homework, sitting on her bed, leaning against the headboard. She jumped at the sudden noise and looked around the room.
Damon quickly went to the keyboard, “Witchy is a bit pissy because she can’t do anything but light a candle.” He typed.
“Oh Bonnie! That’s a start, keep trying! I read in one of Anne Rice’s books that their vampires have to focus and imagine whatever gift they are trying to use. Relax and focus. You’ll get it!” She then smiled in encouragement.
The witch could not help but smile back at her, even though Bella couldn’t see it. She typed a quick thank you and went back to her studies.
“Maybe you need something to fuel you powers…” Damon spoke, as if in thought. I know you have to rely on nature, but maybe you can try to use yourself and what you’re feeling. Remember, witches are part of nature and here to keep a balance. Tune yourself into that and add that bit of anger you’ve got there.” He cocked his head to the side as if analyzing something, “Wouldn’t hurt to try…”
Bonnie was shocked by his advice. He wasn’t bossy, demanding or being snarky. It was not often she had seen the vampire be sincere about anything. Well, anything other than Elena. She pondered on whether some of Bella’s compassion was rubbing off on him. Something Elena had tried to change within him time and time again. Though, she had never completely succeeded in her attempts. Yes, he did care about the lives of humans in Mystic Falls. He obviously cared enough to keep the town safe, as well as their friends from whatever element of the supernatural that happened to showed up.
But….he never verbally voiced any friendliness or dispensed advice without sarcasm or a witty remark. She kept her thoughts to herself and bowed her head to hide the small smile that was gracing her face. That was the moment she realized that she now had a friend in Damon.
Damon was standing at the window, watching the icy rain come down. His eyes could make out every drop as it came down, even though it was pouring. His ears didn’t miss the pitter patter as they hit the roof. The noise alone was enough to drown out the war taking place in his head. He wanted to get home so very badly, to Elena, to his brother. A bottle of Bourbon and some blood wouldn’t be so bad, either. But his heart ached at the thought of leaving the brown-eyed girl on the bed behind him.
For once in his life, he truly understood what Elena had gone through when it came to him and Stefan. He finally realized how difficult it must have been for her to have her heart torn in two. She truly loved his brother, yet always felt an undeniable affection for him. She had been offered a choice and when confronted with that choice, she had been scared of losing them both. She’d chosen Stefan at first, but after she became a vampire, the sire bond awakened feelings deep within her. Feelings she had fought so long to suppress. It was at that time she let go of Stefan and gave herself to him.
It was then he found true happiness, wrapped in her love. She became the light in his darkness, and made him a better person. As always, the happiness was short lived when she flipped the switch. Once she had it back on, they had to deal with an ancient doppelganger, witches, and Katherine.
That bitch played her grandest scheme ever and did a body switch with Elena.
As Elena, she had told him she was a monster and ended things with him. The breakup had shaken him to the very core and he switched it off, showing the world exactly what a monster he was. Once they had Katherine out of Elena’s body, there were even more tribulations to deal with as they fought with travelers who wanted to take over Mystic Falls.
Damon had given his own life to protect the town, getting trapped on the other side for his trouble. He remembered watching Elena’s tear stained facing begging him not to leave her and even though she couldn’t hear him, he promised her he would make it back. He was a man of his word and owed her that. However, he never expected to meet Bella Swan.
Her heartbreak, her inner strength, and the selflessness she exhibited drew him to her. But more than that, he saw something in her that touched his soul. He couldn’t quite put his finger on exactly what it was, but he felt it by just being around her.
As time went by and she came out of her shell, her quick wit and penchant for sarcasm made itself known. Bonnie blamed him for that, though he thought it was something that was always there beneath the surface. He just happened to bring it out and he loved that about her.
He felt himself stiffen as the thought played in his head. He inhaled a breath and looked at the girl on the bed. He loved her; not just with his heart, but his very soul. He was torn between two women. One woman he felt that he deserved and owed a promise to. The other one, he was afraid to leave behind and lose.
His chest tightened at the thought and for one brief moment, he wished he had not made that vow to get back to Elena. If he had not, then he would gladly stay in the dreary town. While Elena may have been his light, Bella was much more than that. She touched him in the depths of his soul the way Elena never had. She was like a fire that burned brightly and kept you warm on a cold night. It was a fire he never thought he needed or wanted, but it was there if he chose to take it. Yet, he couldn’t.
Thanks to everyone who has been kind enough to leave a comment! Hope you enjoyed this chapter…Let me know what you think!