Pre Edit Count – 2,668 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Letters from the Sky by Civil Twilight.
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.
Across Mystic Falls a storm is raging. It is one of the more spectacular storms in that area that has happened for awhile. Driving everyone under cover, shocked with the fury of the storm that had not been forecasted. Those that are aware of Damon’s power, which actually consisted of a very few, wonder what has upset the vampire. It is the only explanation of how the storm could have formed as it did.
In the Moutin Plantation, two people are learning about each other. These two basically strangers are exchanging information , by now both have commented on how much alike they are. Both are enjoying the ability to interact with someone with no secrets between them. Both have spent a long time keeping their own counsel, knowing others couldn’t understand the way they are, however, they are finding that they can tell the other in a few words what would take days to tell someone else. And who knows if the other person would have understand their viewpoint? Instead, they are finding out that they are not alone no more.
Bella finds out that Damon is very good with research. He told her it was because it seems like everything in life lately has been a result from something in the past and he has learned this the hard way. She also finds his practical outlook on the world a refreshing change. She has spent so much time hiding, that she has forgotten how good it felt to interact with another person.
Damon, is pleased on how well organized Bella is in her life and on her database. He completely understands why she is considered one of the better researches out there. He had read it on one of the emails that popped up on her other computer asking for help. And quickly teased her about it, but there is a look of pride on his face that she is considered this. He cannot help it. He finally knows a woman who has taken care of herself and others for years. Damon understands this since he is the same way. He is a nurturer. He loves to take care of people, and his romantic side wants nothing more than to feel free to love, knowing it wouldn’t be taken advantage of frees him to be more himself.
But he did understand why she took such great lengths to hide this laptop though. It is a compilation of years of research. It is cross referenced and full of information she had come across it. With what she has known about the risk to her life, but the need to know to protect herself, she has compiled the most amazing compilation of Supernatural information. All cross referenced of course.
However, there is the moment when he learns from where she got some information, as she shows him the box she had been sent. In it is the books that Stefan and Alaric had determined to be last in Isobel Fleming’s research, Alaric’s ex-wife and the vampire he sired, and the biggest shocker, Elena’s mother. He had stared at the box that held the information that he had gotten shot at, that he had gotten into an argument about, in front of him. He slightly shakes his head, knowing that his mate had no idea he existed until yesterday, much less known he had been looking for this information.
When her first couple of attempts of getting his attention didn’t work, she lightly touches him and he quickly looks to her with a slight smile, enjoying the touch of her hand on him. She asks him, “Damon, what’s wrong? You completely zoned out looking at the books from the box.”
Blowing a breath of air out, Damon took a drink of his scotch as he puts his thoughts together. “Not too long ago, we were researching something we had come across. Alaric had told us that the information we needed was in his ex-wife’s office on the campus of Duke. Elena, Alaric and I made the trip there. While being there, Elena was attacked. I took the shot for her, and got reprimanded because I wanted revenge.” He winced a little, remembering how close it was to killing him. If it had been a little lower…
Shaking her head, she mutters, “With friends like that, who needs enemies? Did she thank you?”
Snorting Damon fixes her with a look. “Elena thank me for saving her life? If she did that I would be shocked. It isn’t the first time. And to be fair, I had been mad at her not too much earlier and broke her brother’s neck.” And that he did wince. But he isn’t going to hide his past from her.
Stopping her movements, she turns to him and lifts an eyebrow. “You broke his neck because you were mad at her?”
He offers, “He didn’t die.” Then he pauses, and corrects himself, “Ok, he did die, but he came back.”
Just staring at him, Bella waits. She knows there is more to the story, and is patient. He has never apologized for his past and told her enough to know he is not the nicest guy out there. But each time, when she dug under the surface, there was a reason for Damon’s actions. He is not the bad guy everyone thinks. He just has an attitude that he rather his hands get dirty than others. He had killed in the Civil War. He has no illusions about life. She also suspects that is the reason he does kill easier than others, she has the feeling he did hesitate and cost others their lives. He learned his lesson the hard way. And cares enough to try to keep others from experiencing the same harsh lesson.
With her eyes on him, not judging, but waiting for the rest of the story, as she has done anytime he has tried to tell her about the things he has done. Sighing, not able to deny her this time as the past times, he tells her, “Ok. Here is the deal. Jeremy had a ring that if killed by a supernatural, he comes back to life. I didn’t know, I was angry. It was stupid, but I was frustrated. I was being blamed for things I did, but not for the reason you think. Elena is mad at me because her mother is a vampire, and Alaric is mad because I turned his wife to a vampire. I knew neither of them, had no idea who the woman is. To top it off, the woman is the same one. Isabel Flemming. The one who sent you the box.” He watches, waiting for the blow up he has grown to expect.
Bella’s comment shocks him to his very core. “And you were supposed to know that this woman is the mother of your brother’s girlfriend or someone who is close to being your friend? Who are these people and what world do they live in? That would be like me getting mad at Carlisle for turning Emmett after finding out he is related to me. Which right now, wouldn’t surprise me.” She knows that she has surprised him, but then, he too has surprised her with the understanding of the choices she has made in her life. Whatever is happening between them is just as Damon said. It was a huge arrow pointing out each other to the other one, saying here is your perfect half, one who will stand by your side for the rest of your like, supporting you as you support them.
Grinning at her from his spot in a chair, drinking some scotch she had, Damon toasted her. “Exactly my point. But none of them understand.” He is relieved, again, somehow, Bella understood. More than what he was saying. And it just made him more determined to make her his.
Bella shakes her head as she organizes the stuff on her desk as she thinks. “This is why I had decided that me being by myself would not be a bad thing.”
Chuckling, he replies, “Until I came along.” ‘Please don’t push me away’ is the unsaid message behind his cockiness.
Rolling her eyes as she starts labeling the boards, “And how rare is what we are to your type?” And she answers his plea with the assurance she isn’t. She is prepared to make him understand that she is really trying.
“Really rare, like only has happened a couple times in our history. And Sage was one of the first vampires turned, and the researcher of our type. Her history goes very far back.” Is his quiet response.
Too quiet. Bella turns around and looks at him. “Spit it out, Damon. What’s wrong?”
He looks at her and tries to put it into words, “I am worried, Bella. I cannot explain to you how it feels. Even the idea of something happening to you is enough to make me go all growly on you. Anything else is getting funneled into the storm.” He gestures to the storm outside that is picking up strength with his worries.
She looks at him, taking in the pained look on his face. “Do you not want this?” ‘Do you not want me?’ was her unsaid words.
“No! Don’t ever think that!” Damon is in front of her, her face cradled in his hands. “I’m worried more about you, how you are taking this. I want this. I have never met someone like you that can take all this without batting an eyelash, and in fact has no problem getting into the trenches with me. But you pulling away from me, sending me out of your life, you getting hurt, you dying, is enough to make that storm outside.” He is begging her to understand him. She is now his world. He has given into the Bond. That second was when he gave up the fight and became hers. Completely.
Bella stares at him and raising her hands to rest upon his, she turns her head to give him a kiss on his hand. “Damon, I told you that no matter what we will be friends. I cannot promise to not get hurt, because at one point I was very klutzy. I am more than willing to explore this with you. But how about this, for right now. If I am in danger, turn me.” And she stares into his uniquely blue eyes, eyes that have captured her soul.
Damon stares at her, looking into her eyes, trying to determine if she is being truthful. He won’t ask if she is sure, because she, of all the people out there, understands what she is getting into. But the chance to have the one person on the earth that is his other half, is willing to be turned?
Knowing how much of a shock this is to him, she tells him softly, “I choose you, Damon. I just told you I had decided to be alone in this world before meeting you. But I choose you to be with. At least friends, more if possible. Why would you think I would not want to explore this fully? To know that leaving you, may leave you alone in the world? Give me some credit, Damon.” And with those few statements, the Bond has started to pull them together, tying one by one strings to them. Neither knowing that this was the pivotal point that their being together became reality.
He pulls her closer and hugs her. “I am scared. There I said it. Big, bad Damon is scared. I never felt this way about someone, and for it to come so quickly, is frightening. At least I know why. You were told before that you were the mate to someone, and that ended in a fashion that I would not be surprised by your reactions to be negative. Instead, to know you not only want me, but that you are willing to be turned? I-I don’t have words for it.” He rests his head on hers. The feeling in him overwhelming and he just needs her to be there in his arms.
Amazed as always at the sound of his heart beating, and the actual warmth she can feel from him, she doesn’t resist the urge to cuddle into him. The sound that erupts from him, the light purring she feels more than hears makes her smile.
“I rendered you speechless. I think I should mark down the date somewhere.”
His chuckles lightening the mood. He looks down at her, “You really want to be turned?” As soon as the words are out of his mouth, he flinches. He had told himself he would not second guess her, but here he is doing exactly that.
Bella smiles at him, understanding where the question came from really. “And if you want to be sure, you can give me your blood as often as needed to be sure.”
He kisses her forehead as he holds her close. “I think I will take you up on that, after hearing your tales.”
Bella hits him and he laughs. She turns in his arms to face the board. “One of the reasons I decided to get the second board is I had read something shocking today. It is what sent me out of the house today. I was trying to wrap my mind around it.”
Damon nods, knowing from his watching that something had bothered her earlier enough to send her out of the house. “And?”
Walking out of his hold, she writes on the top of the board, ‘Swan family tree. Aka Lebada.’ And at the top, she writes Elijah Mikaelson then shows her Great-many times grandmother, Camilia Labada.
Damon stares at the names. ‘It can’t be.’ He asks, “Do you have a picture of Elijah?”
She nods and turning to her computer, she brings up the picture she had scanned before shredding the original she had found stuck in between pages of a book.
Looking at it, and seeing his thoughts confirmed, Damon rubs his eyes and turns to pace. He tells her, “I told you we are in the process of researching something. That something is called the Sun and Moon Curse. This man keeps turning up and I suspect he is an original.” This cannot be happening. His mate, his other half is related to the person who had single handily killed multiple vampires to keep him from finding more information on the originals and on the Sun and Moon curse.
Bella is thinking over what he said as she mentions, “The Sun and Moon curse is a false lead.”
The shock in his voice causes her to look up at him, “The Sun and Moon curse is false. There are many legends out there about a doppelgänger. They all have some truth in them, but they are false. The actual use of a doppelganger is to release someone named Klaus from the curse his mother placed on him. Supposedly he is Elijah’s brother, but I haven’t confirmed it. But I am not done with Isobel’s information. Like I said I was shocked to find out about my family.”
Damon turns to her, “What is shocking to you, stella?”
She looks at him and then draws on the board, the twins. One last name Moutin, the other Labada. “Do you know what Labada means in Romanian? Swan. They migrated here to the Americas in the late 1940’s. My father had the family bible, and I read most of the line. We are not a family that has more than one child at a time. To find that we married back into the Moutin line who ended with my Grandmother as the last to carry the name, and now my father and I are the last of the line. Well I guess somehow I am. My mom had some Labada in her, not much, but I tracked it back to the line. So I am the last of this particular line.” She shrugs, it not meaning much to her.
Damon’s eyes widen, “Which may make you the only living descendant of Elijah or the Mikaelsons.”
Bella nods. “I wanted to confirm it. It’s unbelievable that both lines have been so small that they end with us.” Or that her mom would also be related to her father so far back in the line. That she, herself was the culmination of the line.
Damon comments quietly, “You know, I can’t have children? Just saying…” He cannot help it. He comes from a time that an heir and a spare was still predominant in the thinking of his generation. Carrying on the name and all of that.
Laughing at his face, she tells him, “After raising my mother and father, I want nothing to do with children if possible. This actually works in your case, Damon.”
He grins, “We can always practice. Maybe I just need the practice to get it right.” He closes in on her, pulling her back into his arms as he rests his head on hers, staring at the board in front of him.
The look she throws him as she steps away to make the final notes on the board makes him chuckle as she comments, “I think you have practiced many times. I was not kidding when I told you to go after a frat girl, they seem your type.”
Damon pulls her back to him as he tells her softly, “Never again. After you, there is nothing, my carissima.”
She smiles at him, “Damon, I-“
He lays a finger on her lips. “Shhh. I promise. And I don’t make promises that I don’t intend to keep.”
Huffing slightly, she turns back to the books lying across her desk. “I have no idea where to start, tonight.”
Damon smiles, “Then don’t. Lock up the room, and we will go and talk. I have hundreds of years of stuff to tell you, and you have hundreds of years of information stuck in your head. I do have one question for you, Carissima.”
At her look, he asks her, “Why do you rub your arm?”
She pales, and her hand goes to her arm. Damon gently grabs it, and pulling back the hand, he looks at what is under it. Then his visage darken, and his eyes turn blood red with the blue remaining, his veins black around them. His growl rolls out at the same time as the storm picks up in its fury outside.
“Who?” It is growled out, and there is no mistaking his fury as the lightning outside punctuates his question.
She answered him evenly, “That was where James bit me, and Edward sucked out the venom.”
Damon takes a deep breath, then his eye flick to Bella’s in shock as she touches his fangs. He stands totally still as she does so, his body trembling as she touches them. His eyes fade back and he kisses her fingers. “That was either foolhardy, or the bravest thing I have witnessed.”
She locks gazes with him as she asks, “Why? You won’t ever hurt me, right? And I was curious.”
He smiles, “No, I will never hurt you. And feel free to be as curious as you like.” The smirk she is guessing he is known for reappears.
She pushes him away and gathers the laptop from its place and puts it back away. She pauses, then asks Damon, “Please come here.”
Without a pause, he is beside her. She takes his hand and tells him as she places his finger on the same spot as hers earlier, “I might as well put you into the system. You need to hold your finger here for 30 seconds lightly. The sensor in the wood will register your heat, or at least I am hoping it will. After that, press it harder and it will read your fingerprint.” What she is not telling him is that this is also the system that will activate the touchpad for the security.
He smiles as the system registers him with no problem. “Smart for the body temperature.” He watches as she puts the laptop inside. He turns and quickly organizes her piles back into where they were. He then bows, “My lady, if you would lead me?”
She grins and heads out of the room, she pauses and asks softly, nervously, “Damon, are you leaving tonight?”
He is by her side in a second, “Not unless you want me to.”
She smiles, then heads to a picture that was part of a collage on the wall and taps the frame. It darkens into a keypad and she taps a number on it, glancing at him to make sure he is watching. Throughout the house, the rolling shutter close.
He chuckles, “You really love your gadgets don’t you?”
Bella grins. “Yep.”
She walks into the family room and before she can sit, Damon is there pulling her down into the chair on top of him. “You really love your abilities, don’t you?” She retorts.
Damon laughs. “Yep.” He grabs the blanket that is hanging off the side and wraps them into it. When they are both comfortable, he reaches for her arm again. His hands trace the mark, commenting, “It’s cooler than the rest of your body.” His voice is musing, as he tries to figure out why it is different.
She nods. “No idea why. Carlisle couldn’t figure it out either. If there was venom, I should have changed. But there is no other reason. Jasper has never heard of someone doing that, and I can swear to it being an effective torture device if needed.” She shudders from the memory of the pain.
He nods, as his finger continues to rub it. He then tells her softly, “I need to tell you about the others. I hate to say this, but they will try to turn you against me.”
She murmurs, “They will fail. Damon, I’m stubborn.”
He kisses her on her forehead as he mutters, “Don’t I know it! It took some persuasion and not a little bit of charm to just get your name.” His hand trails down her arms to her hand and entwines around hers.
She grins, “You were the one who became stalkerish. And don’t think I haven’t figured out the Raven is you.”
He laughs. “I was drawn to you. What can I say?” He nips her throat. He cannot help it, he feels so much closer right now to her that he needs to touch, to claim what is his.
She laughs, “And you think Edward was odd. He at least was there in person.”
Damon grins as he is kissing her neck, “And you think I wasn’t? The raven is not only my familiar, but often the animal I turn into the most. By the way, you need to give that contractor a bonus. He effectively kept me out of the house.” He feels the vibration in chest starting again and just enjoys the moment.
Bella laughs, and they continue to spend the night, just getting to know each other better.
Final count, 4,243 words.