Disclosure: Twilight and Vampire Diaries are owned by their respective braianics that thought of it.
Pre Edit Count – 3,003 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Nobody’s Listening by Linkin Park.
Damon steps closer to her, looking down at her. “So let’s make a pact. Give this a real try.” His voice is softer, pleading almost.
Cocking an eyebrow at him she asks, “Just friendship?”
He smiles as he tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. “At first. If it becomes more, and don’t get me wrong, I really wouldn’t mind it becoming more, we never lose the friendship.” His eyes flick back up to hers, making sure she can see the want in his eyes.
Bella is staring into his eyes, searching if he is being honest. She finally nods. “Agreed. But you should know, Damon, that lying is a hard line for me. I was massively lied to, and it about broke me when I found out.” Her eyes dark, her voice low, she tells him the truth, the painful truth.
Damon sighs and looks past her for a second. Thinking about the decision he made earlier today, and with this piece of information, he realizes that she will find out either way. This way, maybe he can keep her by telling her from the get go. It would be a new approach at least. He then asks, “Not that I am planning to lie to you, but how much do you want to know now, and what would you consider lying?”
Bella cocks her head to the side. She finally tells him, “How much do you trust me? Because I will trade you secrets.” She then goes and sits in one of the chairs she has scattered around the room. She looks up into his eyes from her place as she admits, “Damon, my secrets will change your life, and possibly put you in danger. I have never trusted another person other than my father, and that was after he found out on his own.” Her eyes lower briefly and then meet his, the pain in them calling to him.
Crossing the room to her, he drops to crouch before her. Making a decision, knowing he may lose her because of it, he finds that he is unwilling to lose her. He has no idea why she means so much to him when he only met her yesterday, but she means more than Katherine ever did, more than Elena. He is tired of just surviving, he wants to thrive. He stares into her eyes and tells her, “I’m a vampire.”
Bella stares at him. Her mind busy with the words, what they mean to her and the comparisons to what she believes as vampires. And how Damon is different. He can be outside, does not sparkle, his eyes….
Damon waits for her to process his words, waiting for the outburst to accompany the denials. He also is thinking more on the pull he is feeling towards her, a suspicion coming up from his mentor. Something she told him many, many years ago.
Brown eyes meets his blue ones, they are processing, thinking. Shuffling in her head, making the adjustments needed. Never once did she think to deny Damon’s statement…
Continuing to wait, Damon refuses to give up. He told her his big secret, and he will work to make her understand that he will not, cannot hurt her. He will do anything to stay at least where he is, if not becoming more to her as he stated prior.
In Bella’s head, she is having an argument. Not knowing how much time is passing by in the real world, Bella is wrapped up in her head. It wasn’t until the questions about the differences became too much did she finally focus.
Damon sighs when he sees her back. “Welcome back, stellina.” He is smiling slightly, his eyes examining her face, trying to see what she is thinking…
The smile that comes across her face couldn’t be helped. “Little star. That is what my Grandmother called me.” The memory is a fond one…
Cupping her face, Damon murmurs, “It fits you. Now are you ready for the questions you want to fire at me and the answers you are going to get?” Getting nothing from her face, he turns to her soul, his eyes search hers, trying to read her.
Bella stares into his, and then asks, “Are you ready for my secrets, Damon? I promise you that between the two of us, I think this will be a revealing night.” To say the least.
Still staring into her eyes, he tells her, “So be it. But remember, friends. I promise to never tell anyone if you don’t want me to, and I am trusting you with mine. To be frank, most of the people who should know, do.” He shrugs. Anymore, it doesn’t seem to be that big of a secret, but he finds he wants to know more about him.
Thinking for a second of the different ways they can do this, she tells him, “Move, please. And if I am telling all, then I might as well spill it all. Who knows, you may be able to tell me what I am not understanding.” She looks him in the eyes as she tells him, “Because you are not what I know as a vampire.”
Damon rocks back on his heels, staring at her. Nothing could surprise him more. He is staring at where she is sitting, not noticing when she stands up and moves to her desk. No, his mind is swirling with the same thoughts that strangely mirror Bella’s but trying to figure out what the differences can be.
He finally looks up at her, but when she indicates for him to come to her, he closes his mouth and moves, no longer hiding his abilities from her.
Bella chuckles. “Well at least that is one similar trait.” She leans back in her seat, knowing he is watching, and probably memorizing what she is doing, she presses her finger against a spot on the bookcase behind her. After a minute, the spot lights up and reads her fingerprint. It clicks afterwards, showing that the thick sides of the bookcase are hiding some notebooks and a laptop.
Damon watches her, commenting, “You are taking secrecy to a whole new level aren’t you.”
Plugging in the laptop, Bella informs him, “Once you know what I know, you will understand. It is literally a life and death thing to keep the secret.”
He can’t hide the growl from her comment. No one will be killing her on his watch. Ever.
Glancing up, Bella tells him, “Make yourself helpful. Grab one of the white boards and pull it behind us. And a chair. I hope you have nowhere to be tonight, because there is a lot of information.” Inside she is scared and worried. Why does she feel the need to tell Damon all about this? Something she has basically bottled up, knowing that it will never be aired, and now, within a day of meeting Damon, she is spilling her most intense secret she has.
Doing as she asks, he also brings the bag with the markers and such from Staples over with his chair. Sitting down, he leans forward, his arm causally resting behind hers. “So, stellina, its show and tell time.” The smile is in his voice. He is trying to regain his status quo, no one knowing better than he what can happen if he loses it. Although, he is getting the idea that he better be prepared for the worst.
Laughing at him, Bella tells him, “Let me tell you a story of a silly girl and her first love…” She proceeds to tell him of her meeting with Edward and the results of it. Sometimes looking at Damon, but as she gets farther in it, getting lost in the story of her life and when everything changed.
Damon listens to her story, his eyes narrowing as he realizes that they left her alone in a world that demands that she either be one of them or dead. He barely keeps the growl that has been rumbling in his chest in, but he finally realizes it is bleeding into his other powers when lightning strikes nearby.
With a loud growl when Bella gets to the ballet studio, Damon is suddenly by a window, looking out at the storm that has started outside, he is pouring out his frustration and anger into the storm outside, glad for the outlet.
Bella gives him a couple minutes, then she tells him, “Obviously I survived.” Her voice is even, just informing him of the truth in front of him. God knows she has gotten angry over the years at her stupidity and the actions of the Cullens. She is not used to someone getting angry because of what has happened to her. Ever. Not even her father.
Damon closes his eyes for a second. “Bella, I want nothing more than to have these idiots in front of me.” Another lightning strike cracks through the sky, illuminating his face, showing the demon inside of him that is controlled by his will only.
Hearing the anger in his voice, Bella tells him softly. “Wait until the end, Damon. You need to hear the rest of it then we can talk about this, please?” If he is angry about this, how will he take the rest?
He looks over his shoulder at her. Her face shows her pain and he soon vamps to her side. “Go ahead. Though I have an idea I am not going to like this.” He puts his arm around her and pulls her to him, resting his head on hers, using her scent to help center himself. When she speaks, he reluctantly releases her.
Bella sarcastically laughs. “Well, I don’t like it. And if you haven’t liked what you heard so far, you may hate what is coming.” She continues through the episode with James, unconsciously rubbing her wrist that will be the permanent reminder of that. Damon notes her movement, but noticing the pain in her voice, just waits until afterwards for his questions.
She soon tunes out the room, the chill in the air from the storm, and tells him of the rest of the story, ending with Edward’s betrayal of her at the end. She only comes out of it when his snarl rips out.
He pulls her towards him, holding her to him as he comes back to himself. “Bella, I…can’t even explain how angry this makes me. Now, tell me what you know of these vamps. You said they were cold?” He will hunt them down. Tear them into tiny little bits until nothing remains except the idea of them. NO one messes with his Bella. Not anymore.
Bella nods, but stops, shocked as she can hear his heartbeat. It was slow, slower than the normal human’s would be, but there. She says hesitantly, “You have a heartbeat.” There is wonder in her voice. He is slightly cooler than her, not enough to notice with the chill in the air.
Damon stills and looks down at her, “Of course I do.” His eyes search hers, “Why wouldn’t I?” How else would the blood flow through his veins?
She is still reeling as she opens her laptop, and opens to an entry on the vampires she knows. She indicates the computer.
Damon tucks her into him more securely, to the point of picking her up and sliding into her chair with her tucked into him and starts to read the file she has put together. He holds her tighter as he reads the one rule, Never let the secret out. And as he reads the rest of the information, his voice is strained as he asks, “Do you know if they ever killed the redhead?” With what he is reading, he just can’t see the redhead giving up. But then, Edward had claimed that Bella is his mate. In his world, Mates are so rare that he cannot even think of one of his kind giving up theirs.
Looking up at him, “No. Edward said she wasn’t his mate, but Jasper argued with him. The rest of them, as it seems to be normal, went with the wonder duo. It never made sense to me, if Carlisle is the leader of the coven, why did those two make all the decisions?” She is wondering, being able to voice the questions in her head for the first time in years.
Leaning down enough to smell her as he is trying to keep some semblance of control, Damon growls out. “I believe Jasper is right. Now tell me what has happened since fuckward left.” Needing to know everything, so he can make sure she is protected. Even if he has to live as a Raven outside her bedroom, she will be safe.
She laughs at the use of the name she has often called Edward in her mind. “I decided that I wanted to be the me that took care of my mother, who raised her instead of her raising me, who took care of my father when I came. I let the Cullen’s make the decisions, liking the fact I didn’t have to worry at night about the decisions, decisions that really I had no place having to worry about. I became a shadow of myself and I hated it. I turned around my life after they left. I also ran into some shifters, one of them being my Dad’s best friend’s son. My dad and his best friend had both lobbied for me to date him and I finally gave in. Then after our first date, he never called back. I had gotten mad and went to confront him, only to find out he knew everything, and was mad at me for knowingly dating a vampire. We got into a fight about it, that ended up involving the entire pack and I found out that he was a wolf the next second as he literally phased in front of me. The rest of the pack hated me since I willingly dated a leach. Later Leah, the only female in the group, found out what really happened. She tried to tell them, but to be truthful, I had enough. I had put myself into my schoolwork, wanting nothing more than to leave. The Cullens had arranged for a full ride scholarship to Dartmouth for me, and I took it. Graduated early and left. I went back one summer, broke into the house and read every book in Jasper’s and Carlisle’s libraries. That is how I composed the information.” Her voice had become monotone, as she remembers the pain and anger she had harbored over the years, all of it coming back to her in a rush.
During the story, Damon had rubbed her back, his head resting on hers as he read more on her file. He asks, his baritone rumbling in his chest as she lays against it, “So what did you graduate with?” Trying to draw her out of the state she is in, to center her back to the here and now.
Commenting as softly, “Doctorate in English and Archaeology. But what I do, is research the supernatural. My thesis was on the Flood. But here is the real kicker. I was encouraged to write a book, and after changing enough to make sure I was not in danger, I wrote Twilight.” She blushes as she admits another secret, one she is embarrassed about.
Not being able to stop the laugh that comes from him, Damon remarks. “My brother’s girlfriend and friends loved that book. But now it makes sense why there were no more.”
She grins. “Nope.” And there will not be unless something changes… Drastically.
Damon sighs. “My turn now, right?”
He leans back in the chair, making sure she is comfortable on his lap. “I was born in 1840. My family is one of the Founding Families of Mystic Falls. I have a younger brother who is also a vampire, named Stefan. He was the darling of our father, and I was jealous. The Civil War came around and I left to fulfill our duty. After a couple of years, when we were close by here, I came home on leave. To my surprise, there was a lady staying called Katherine Pierce. She was beautiful and flirted with me. Like you with Edward, I was obsessed with her. When I had to leave to go back, I barely could leave, and once I found myself back in the war, I couldn’t stop thinking of her. The final straw was after a difference of opinion with higher ups over my orders, which would have, and did leave to a slaughter house after I left.” His eyes reflect that moment in time, when he had tried to save the men under his command from a bloody and senseless death. In the end, it made no difference, he lived, and they died. Every single one of them…
He sighs as he remembers the rest of his life story. “And made the biggest mistake of my life. I fell in love with her. I thought she was in love with me. She told me what she was, and I wanted nothing more than to become a vampire like her to be with her for the rest of eternity. Imagine my shock when I found out Stefan was also sleeping with her and in love with her too. Though painful, it was a peaceful experience. Then my father became involved with the Gilberts and learned of the vampires. He was disgusted with the idea of them, and at the time, the town was full of them.”
He closed his eyes, remembering the next sequence. “Stefan betrayed us. Unknowingly, he foolishly confided in our father, hoping to have permission to marry Katherine. Instead my father drugged him full of vervain, an herb that is poisonous to vampires, and does nothing to humans but make them impervious to glamour from us. Knowing from what Stefan had told him; that Katherine drank from him; he knew that they just had to patient, to just wait for her to drink from Stefan again. When they dragged her off, both of us tried to save her, only to have our father shoot both of us in the chest. We had both had her blood in us still and started the transition. To complete it, you have to drink human blood. I refused, believing there was no reason to go on with Katherine dead. Stefan forced me to drink blood, not wanting to be alone. I vowed to make his life miserable when I realized what he had done and left.”
He then tells her softly, “As a vampire, you can turn off your emotions, it is like a switch, or at least you can when you are young. I did so, and proceeded to work to gain power for myself. My mentor, Sage, was one of the first vampires. She told me that Katherine was in a vault underneath the church that I had thought they had burned down with the vampires inside. Instead, they are all trapped down there, waiting for someone to free them on certain nights with a comet. She also taught me how to gain power, until I rivaled her, a vampire of many years older. I did it all, with the goal of waiting until I could free Katherine, and keeping her safe. I became proficient at arts that only the oldest of us have, command over the elements and shape shifting, along with the ability to have a familiar. My strength also is much more than one of my age. But, I killed, Bella.”
He shifts and looks her in the eyes, “Stefan is a legend in our world, he is known as a ripper. They think it is because he never gained the control over his hunger. The previous Ripper was known in London. He was killed by Sage because he was getting too cocky. Stefan was taken under the wing of another vampire named Lexi. She taught him to drink animal blood, but it weakens him greatly. I can never survive on animals.” He is blunt, wanting her to know it all. He will never drink from animals.
Bella bit her bottom lip as she asks, “You kill still?” She is trying to gain control, but she is losing. In her heart, she knows that whatever is going on between them, it would not matter if he still kills. Not with how her thoughts are on the topic anymore.
He looks her in the eye, “Not anymore. Not since I gained the power I need. We are not poison to humans. We can stop drinking and leave them alive. I personally just raid blood banks to keep a steady supply around. But if I ever need to, I have no issues on killing to save someone’s life or mine. Bella, I will kill for those I care about, and you are currently high on that list. You wanted honest, and that is what I am being.” Things are lining up in his head… the conclusion he is coming to is causing him to double, triple check.
She nods her head. “I understand. I know I will kill if need to. I hate it, but I would. I also, during my studies in college, found that the Cullens were possibly killing more humans with the way they were. They hunted much more frequently according to Jasper’s journals and Carlisle’s notes.” She gives a wry grin.
He smiles. “I’m glad you are much more reasonable. Elena threw a fit when she found out.” His face tells her how much that had hurt at the time.
She raises an eyebrow at him. His smile gets bigger as he informs her, “Right. Elena Gilbert, current doppelganger of the Petrova bloodline. She is also Katherine’s descendant and looks exactly like her. Currently, we are looking for information about a Sun and Moon curse that is supposedly based around her. She is also Stefan’s girlfriend and claims to be my friend, but has no problem badmouthing me to others.” He is finding that while he is still upset with her reactions, it wasn’t anywhere close to how he is feeling around Bella. He is realizing the conclusion he has come to is right. And shocking to him, is he cares nothing about it. She is his.
Bella laughs softly at his affronted voice. “And are you in love with the look-alike?” She holds her breath, needing the answer, but not wanting to know. She is giving up the fight with her attraction to him, it wasn’t as if she was winning against it…
Damon looks down at her and tells her, “No. I thought I was, but let’s just say someone just came into my life and means more to me than her.” He looks up and hesitates. Will she run from his conclusion?
Bella reaches out and pulls his head down. “Now, I thought we said no secrets?” Her eyes search his, trying to figure out what he is saying. No way he feels the same.
Damon sighs. “There is an old legend that Sage had taught me. She told me that there is such a thing as mates for us. They are very, very rare, but once you meet yours, you can’t let them go. The way she explains it, it is like a huge neon sign is pointing to that person, showing you your soul mate. But there is nothing making you love the person. However, it all describes what I have been feeling since my eyes met yours last night.” He is staring into her eyes, his voice hesitant, hoping. Hoping that Edward had not marred her soul and heart too much to allow him in.
Looking at him, she raises her eyebrow as she says, “And after the story I just told, you are worried I am going to run away from you screaming?” At his reluctant nod, she laughs. “No Damon, I am not going to run away from you. I find myself thinking about you quite often also. Do you really think I would share my secrets that I have kept to myself all this time to someone else? I trust you.” She admits, a small smile hovering on her lips as dares to allow herself to hope.
He smiles at her. “I was serious before, Bella. No matter what, I want you in my life. Either as a friend or more. But you can forgive me if I admit I really want that more.” He smirks, realizing that she did indeed feel the same.
Laughing, Bella tells him, “No need to. Let’s see how this goes. But I suspect that life is going to be interesting.”
He couldn’t help himself and kisses on her head. “To say the least. Now, let’s get talking about the rest, and then we can get to the fun part.”
Bella looks at him, “the fun part?”
Damon smirks down to her, “When I prove how superior I am to any other male you have ever met of course!”
Bella’s laughter peals through the house.
Final count, 4,252 words.