Pre Edit Count – 3,898 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Leave Out All The Rest by Linkin Park.
Watching him, Bella thinks about their conversations and then asks nonchalantly, “So does this mean you are going to move in?”
Bella is watching him as she proceeds to daintily eat another bite then asks innocently, “Too soon?”
Looking up at this woman who proceeds to surprise him at every turn, he tells her, “Nope. How soon do you want me?”
She grins as she takes another bite, “Today be too soon? I mean, I have this huge house and it is soo lonely. And who knows who could come in?”
Growling, Damon, pulls her into him for a kiss. “As soon as we are done, we can go grab some things.”
And it was settled as easily as that. Too bad the world was going to intrude soon on their happiness.
After they cleaned up breakfast, Damon leans on the counter and asks, “So…how are we going to do this?” He isn’t going to admit it in so many words, but he is eager for this. Bella is his future, and he cannot wait to begin it. And he suspects that leaving the house and being here, will be better for him all around. Brooding Stefan can be a real downer often.
Bella finishes wiping the counter and turns to him. “I don’t know, go get your stuff, maybe have you write down what you want, I can send some people over to pack it for you. Why?” She too is eager for this to happen. Whatever this is between them is strong, and for once, she is not fighting it.
Looking at her, he shakes his head, murmuring, “What thing did I do that was so right to gain even the possibility of you, mia carissima?” He cups her face in his hand, his eyes searching hers for any doubt.
Bella laughs, “Maybe it was me who did the thing so right. I waited less than you to find you.” She hopes that the doubt he is looking for never surfaces. Whatever pain this man has gone through is hopefully in the past.
He grins. “ Touche, Carissima. I like your plan, however, I can pay for my own movers. You aren’t with a pauper, cara.” He says the last proudly, glad he is able to take care of his mate.
Bella laughs. “Well I didn’t think I was, but that whole used to think about me? Ever since Twilight came out, I have been used to having to pay for things. And now, with this” she indicates the house and the money that came with it, “It’s become an ingrained habit.” She pays for anything to do with the Pack and her father. Even though that hasn’t been for awhile, now that she is thinking on it.
Damon takes her in his arms. “Let me in, Bella. Let me take care of you. I promise to try to never hurt you, nor to take away your independence. But I need to take care of you. Making you breakfast, making sure you never get to lost in your work that you forget to eat, I want this.” He has always had this need to take care of people, but he has been hurt so many times. This time, he thinks, hopes it will be different. It is because of this, that he is trying to show her what he is, how he is. He has the feeling he will not be able to take her rejection, that this one will break him.
Sighing and relaxing in his arms, where it really feels more like home than anything else, she tells him, “I will try, Damon. Just be patient.” She listens to, what is for her a very welcome sound, his heartbeat.
He nods and kisses her head, “That I can be. Now, the more important question is, are you ready to face the firing squad?” He is uneasy about this, but she had been insistent about it. She told him that she didn’t want to be away from him, and when he thought about it, he is the same. But he is not happy about her going with him, knowing how nasty that group can be. Though, it may just be time for them to know how nice he has been with them.
Bella laughs. “You know it is odd knowing that instead of them protecting you from me, they are going to be trying to split us up.” She is grinning up at him, her eyes showing her mischievousness.
Damon growls, “I am glad you think it is funny. I’m more worried. This group is not above using magic to try to separate us, my carissima.” And that there is the thing he worries about. Bonnie and her damn magic worries him. But she is sworn to protect human life, and Bella is as human as they come…
Bella looks up at him, “I really like to see them try. Now come, we have enough to do today. I really want to dive back into those books and see what we can find out.” She is curious, and feeling like time is trying to run out on them. Which she is confused, they only met days ago, why is she feeling such a rush to settle their relationship?
He laughs, “You really love what you do, don’t you? I think you and Alaric could be friends.” As they walk out of the kitchen to the table where Bella usually leaves her keys and such. Last night, Damon had tossed his wallet there as they made their way to bed, not even thinking about it.
Bella shakes her head as she gathers her keys and slides her cards into her back pocket. She turns to him, “Now are you riding with me or flying?” And she grins at him, as she watches his wallet disappear into his jacket that he had just put on.
When he growls and jumps at her, she laughs as she tosses her keys to him. He grabs them out of the air and wraps an arm around her shoulders as he pulls her close for a kiss on her head. He opens the door to the garage, letting her pass first under his arm as he watches her and uses his senses to check the area around them.
“Wow, I got myself a gentleman!”
As he opens her car door for her, he teases, “An actual bona fide Landed Southern Italian gentleman. Since I am the eldest of the family, the plantation and the rest are mine.” He is leaning on the door, as the garage door is opened, watching her get into her seat, then closes the door for her. He quickly vamps to the driver’s door.
Bella bats her eye lashes at him as he gets in and starts the vehicle. He laughs at her as he adjusts the mirrors and the seat. Bella comments, “Use the second setting for yourself.”
Damon glances at her and he replies, “You are really having no problem with this.” His voice is soft, but there is happiness in it. Along with the wonder of how this could be for him. He starts the vehicle and backs them out, and is soon on their way.
Looking out at the window she tells him softly, “Damon, as amazed as you are by all this, don’t you think I am in the same position. I could never be in a relationship because there was always the chance that someone would find out. And depending on the person, would depend if I had a chance to live. Now I have found someone that is perfectly matched for me, loves my snarkiness, and has no problems with the secrets and in fact tries to help me.” She looks at him, “I never wanted to be lonely. And now you are offering me the chance to not only not be lonely, but to find love with someone I am genuinely finding appealing in every way, can you not blame me for not wanting to grab on?” Her voice is quiet, but strong. She means every word she has said, she is enjoying this connection with him.
He glances at her, “No. Not when I am doing the same exact thing.” Or dancing a jig in his mind as he realizes that this is real, that she is here and his.
Bella nods. She then asks, “So do you need an extra refrigerator or what for the blood bags?” She has turned and her mischievous grin is hidden, but she just can’t help it. She loves throwing him off course.
He laughs, startled into it, as he had been starting to plan what to do when he got to the boarding house and how to protect her. In short, he was starting to worry. “You know, you would think after you having the ability to shock me time after time, that I would be used to it. But I would need a freezer. But since Stefan can’t handle human blood, I can have the one I use moved to the plantation.”
Nodding, she asks, “What else will we need?” Honestly wanting to know what they will be needing, and how much she will be storing, or trading it back to the Boarding house.
Damon reaches out and holding her hand, admits, “Not much. I really didn’t plan to stay here this long. I want to leave stuff at the Boarding house. And sooner or later move some of your clothes over there. You will never know when you might need another place. But really, there is not much. I will show you what I want to be moved, and if you agree, we will do so.” He squeezes her hand as he thinks. Yes, he will defend this woman. She is his.
Bella chuckles. “Damon, I am not that attached to anything in my house besides the kitchen and my room. So if we do a switch out, it really won’t bother me.” Really not bother her. She will enjoy having their belongings mix together…
He raises her hand up and kisses it. “Oh and my car. That is a no gives thing.”
Laughing, Bella told him, “There is a place for another car. I have my Corvette being delivered next week. But that is the beauty of the large garage, more room for cars.” She is enjoying this, and it is making her feel so giddy actually.
He shakes his head as he maneuvers the Porsche into the driveway. As they pull in they can that there are a bunch of cars already here. Damon sighs. “Are you ready?”
Bella grins. “To meet your brooding brother, the woman who resembles your ex, the vampire that used to be your fuck and feed, the man that you killed his wife and a witch? Of course!” And oddly enough, there is no jealousy.
Shaking his head, he gets out and is by her door in a second. He opens it, telling her, “Now go easy on them. They all think they are acting in your best interest. Even though they have no idea that you are going to be there.” His eyes are merry with his teasing.
She laughs, taking his arm as they walk to the door, he opening it and letting her preceded him as they walk through. He comments softly to her, “Do you think we can make it to my room before they intercede?”
Bella shakes her head, “Nope.”
Elena had been waiting with the rest of them for Damon. They wanted to know he was OK, and what had caused him to form the storm last night. It had frightened her when she realized exactly how strong Damon was. She knew he was cocky, and often acted like nothing could affect him, but to realize exactly why he can act like that is…offsetting.
Stefan had been upset when he hadn’t come home and the weather had gotten worse. When he called him, he was even angrier that Damon had been with one of his sorority girls. Then shocked when Damon had defended the woman.
So now they are all waiting for him, trying to figure out what is going on with the vampire.
Stefan sat up then growls. “I can’t believe he brought his trollop with him!”
Elena looks at him shocked.
Without a pause, Stefan calls out, “Damon!”
Imagine them all shocked as Damon comes in, with a beautiful brunette on his arm. And even more shocked when he took her over to a chair and seats them both in it. They sat there, then the brunette asks, “Well, who is going to shoot first?”
Elena frowns and repeats, “Shoot first?”
The brunette nods, “Yep. I figured out by the call and the way you guys are all lined up that this is a firing squad.” At Elena’s shocked look, she tells her, “Oh you may not be firing bullets, but the shots you are planning to say probably will end up hurting Damon just as much.”
Stefan spat out, “What about you?” He is even more worried seeing Damon with the woman from the Grill. The one who couldn’t be compelled…
She cocks an eyebrow at him, “I’m guessing you are Stefan, right? Well what about me? And don’t think you scare me. Been there, dealt with a broody vampire, animal blood and all that, been bitten by a vampire of another type and so on.” She is staring at them all with a challenge in her eyes. Damon is sitting there, enjoying the fact that someone, for once, is defending him of their own will. His arm around her tightens.
They all stare at her in shock. She shakes her head. “Let me see, we have pointed out the brother, the girlfriend who happens to be a doppelganger must be the one who looks shocked and hurt. The ex-turned vamp is Blondie, you are right Damon, she does looks like a Barbie doll. That leaves you two, the vampire hunter, who I need to talk to, and the witch who hates Damon.” After a pause she asks, “Am I right?”
Damon throws back his head in laughter as he takes in their shocked looks. “Ahh, mia carissima, you are right on. But then I am not that shocked.” Not with how she is on her research. He had given enough clues.
He then takes in Stefan and tells him, “Stefan, meet Bella. You might as well get used to her, she will be around for a long time.” He is his brother, and he is now realizing that he would have never met Bella if Stefan hadn’t made him finish the transition.
Elena feels like she has fallen into the twilight zone. “I don’t understand.”
Damon looks at her, and his eyes soften just a bit, then he looks at Bella and his face, for a second, shows his true feelings for her. And that look tells it all. He is completely taken with this woman.
Bella looks at her and smiles gently. “I’m Bella Swan. And I may as well get this out of the way. Per what Damon and I are finding out, I am related to an Elijah Mikaelson, and the last remaining descendant of him and Edward Moutin Sr. I am also the last LeBada or in English Swan. My father is alive, but he wants nothing to do with any of it. I dated a vampire not of the species you know of at the age of seventeen. It ended tragically, and I have been keeping to the background the rest of my life. I moved here after I graduated with my doctorates in English and Archaeology and my specialty is Supernatural. I take all those tales and make them fit the world that the general public knows about. Personally I gather information to try to keep myself alive since the other vampires left me alive in a world that has one rule, keep the secret. If someone finds out, either turn them or kill them.” She shrugs, but for her this is her life.
They are all staring at her.
Damon had started to growl and held her closer. He hates when she admits the rule, and acts like it is not a big deal. He will kill to keep her.
She cocks her head and tells Alaric, “For some unknown reason, after I returned back to Dartmouth after seeing what changes needed to be taken at the Moutin Plantation, I had a box from an Isobel Fleming.”
Both Alaric and Elena’s eyes widen.
“I had no time to go through it really, but had seen the name Mystic Falls in it. I spent the time between then and now getting ready for graduation and getting the house here. When I moved in two days ago, I unpacked the box. After dinner, and meeting Mr. Don’t-Take-A-Hint here, I went home and opened my last box, which is what she sent me. I found out some information about me personally, and about you, Elena.”
Elena looks surprised as she asks, “Me?”
Bella nods. “You are the current Doppelganger. The Sun and Moon curse is false. It is to find the doppelganger, making the entire supernatural world be on the lookout for you. The real reason is that you are to die in a ceremony that will release a person called Klaus from a curse his mother placed on him. It is rumored that he is related to my ancestor, Elijah. But I am working on that.”
Alaric speaks and asks, “How do you know all of this?”
Damon grins and looks at Alaric . “She is a badass researcher. You should see how organized she is. But that is what she does. She had come across variations of the Sun and Moon curse in the past and wondered why they were all alike. She researched it since it popped up often during her research for her thesis. But the information we are going through from Isobel is revealing a lot. Bella is going to want to pick your brain Alaric. If that is OK?”
Still looking stunned, Alaric nods.
Bella looks at all of them, “I am here to help. But, you have to understand that while I know tons about my vampires, shifters and even the Children of the Moon, well not as much as I like to, but there is quite a bit information I had found on them too. But your kind, and witches? Nope. I have quite a bit in my research that Damon is going to help me go through and see how much I discounted is actually correct.”
Bonnie finally asks, “Why not ask us yourself?” She is offended that this woman thinks she is going to find out everything by books. Conveniently forgetting that is where most of her learning has come from.
Bella turns her head to the witch and asks, “Because will you help me even if I am with Damon?” She is frank, knowing the answer already from Damon’s comments about the witch.
She turns her head to the rest of them. “You may not understand it, but you will not interfere with us. It won’t work. Now before you all ask, let me tell you something. I have been trained to enhance a quirk in my head. I can’t be compelled. If you want proof, I will allow Stefan to try right here.” She is confident, even though she can feel Damon’s body grow rigid at even the suggestion of him compelling her or someone else. He knows she can’t be compelled, but for her to suggest another…
Alaric objected, “He is not a good test, he drinks animal blood and we all know Damon is stronger than him either way.”
Bonnie humphed. “And Damon can compel someone not to be compelled. Only someone stronger than him can break it.”
Elena hesitantly speaks up, “What about Elijah?” She ignores the way even saying his name makes her feel. She has been fighting this, this attraction to the man who had her kidnapped, then rescues her.
Bella’s head turns to her. “Elijah… what is his last name.”
Elena squirms in her seat, “I have no idea. But I can call him, if you would like.”
Bella turns to Damon and raises an eyebrow. She has no idea what to do. Does she want to meet her possible ancestor?
Damon looks at his carissia, and he murmurs, “It is up to you, mia carissima. I will support you no matter what. If you want to meet him now, I will be here. If you want to do more research, I will be helping you and then standing with you when you meet him. Whatever makes you more comfortable.”
Elena is shocked by the tenderness in Damon, the caring he is showing for this female. It makes her long for the same. She glances at Stefan.
Stefan is pissed. How dare Damon bring in a new person, a person who might endanger Elena? Their job is to protect her!
Bonnie is watching the two with surprise in her face. Damon is a killer, that she has no doubt about, but the way he has held, acted and been with the woman is not his normal behavior. Asking what she wants to do instead of telling her?
The so far quiet Caroline is just watching the two of them. She is alone in her estimation that this is what Damon has needed. And he has fallen hard for her, and for once, the other person feels the same for him. While she hated Damon for what he did to her, she also has realized the pain he hides from the rest of them on a daily basis.
Alaric is just wanting to find out what Isobel sent Bella and why.
Finally Bonnie asks, “You know he has killed and will do it again. He is a human drinker.” She doesn’t like this stranger, but she will try to warn her.
Bella laughs. “Finally. I thought this would happen a lot sooner, and that it would be Stefan who would try this.” Then her eyes turn hard. “If you think that would scare me off, you have something else coming to you, witch. What Damon has done in the past, is in the past. Am I glad he took human lives to be what he is? Not really. But he is a vampire. I know firsthand how weak animal blood is to a vampire. I will never begrudge him his food, just as he would never begrudge me mine. You are reacting out of fear, and in a way you are doing what your body is programmed for. To put it basically, every type of creature out there has something that hunts it. Sadly, humans seem to be the top of the predator list for most of the animals in the world. But there had to be something else that hunted them, to restore the balance. There are more humans on this planet doing what they will because they believe there is nothing to take them out but each other. Nature itself called for the vampires. And that is maybe why there are two different types. Vampires have their foe, the Children of the Moon. So it all balances out. You as a witch, should know this I would think. From what I remember, the witches are all about balance.”
Bonnie stares at her and she cries out, “But he kills humans!”
Bella retorts, “And you kill bunnies and Bambi whenever you send a vampire to drink animal blood. And even Humans if you kill their source for food!”
She turns to Stefan, “I know you are different, Stefan and there is a real reason for you to not partake of human blood, but do you not need to feed more than Damon?”
He reluctantly nods to her.
Bella nods, “As did the veggie vamps that I knew did the same. Now because of that, they could easily depopulate the surrounding area of the wildlife. And whatever they hunt, because they went after the carnivores since they are closer to humans, which allowed the wildlife that should be kept in check to go out of control which kills the surrounding forest. It is a lethal cycle that exists because 7 vampires refuse to be themselves. They also are more likely to attack a human because they are consistently hungry. Been there done that, have the scars to prove it.”
Bella rubs her arm, and Damon places his hand on it. She smiles and then turns back to Bonnie, “So if you are asking me, I want you to know that I fully support my boyfriend eating what he needs to never attack me or my friends.”
Alaric is taken aback by what she has told. It makes total sense, but then…”So you are saying I shouldn’t hunt Vampires?”
Bella laughs, “Obviously you have levels. You probably hunt the irresponsible ones. Go for it.” Then her eyes turn hard, “But don’t come after me and mine.”
Stefan is just shocked. His mouth keeps opening and closing.
Bella takes pity on him. “Stefan, one vampire who is careful about hunting is fine. I knew 7 who did it sometimes every day. From what I gather from Damon, you even eat the bunnies. You have a reason for it. You are a ripper. And if this is the way you maintain control, then that is fine. Just don’t condemn others that are doing their jobs.”
Bonnie stands up, angry. “Who the hell are you to judge us?”
Bella shot up and is in Bonnie’s face, “I am the one that is being judged. Damon is the other. Just because your grandmother was killed, is not Damon’s fault. He had no idea what opening that vault would do. And he does regret it. But you have it set in your head he was the bad guy, and because he feels guilt, he allows you to heap it on him. For you to attack him with your head trick. But that ends now. Get on with your life.”
Bonnie’s eyes flash and Damon dives out of the chair to get to Bella, but before he can, Bonnie falls to the ground screaming.
Stefan is by her side and glares at Bella. “Stop it!”
Bella shakes her head. “I told her that I had a quirk. That quirk allows my head to belong to me. So whatever she is suffering from, she tried to do to me. Poetic justice, I believe.”
She moves to Damon’s side and he pulls her to him, holding her close. “I believe that has been enough of the Grill Bella time for today.” He running his hand down her back, and unknown to all but Stefan, his chest is doing that purr that it had done last night. “I am going to be with Bella, we will be out of your hair here shortly.” With that he moves, and before they realize what he is doing, they are both gone and a door slams upstairs.
Elena is by Bonnie’s side as is Caroline. She looks to Stefan, “Will she be alright?”
Stefan opens a vein, forcing Bonnie to drink it. His words are clipped as he tells her, “Once she heals she will be. What she does is cause our synopsis to misfire. It hurts like hell for us, but could possibly kill a human. Luckily she stopped sending it when it bounced back to her.”
Caroline shakes her head, “I’ve told her in the past to watch doing that, one of these times it will be visited back on her. Stefan what is Bella?”
Alaric is the one who answers her, “A shield. They are a rare being, so rare I have not heard of one in centuries. But Bonnie’s attack shows that she was right, she cannot be compelled, nor can anything get in that head of hers.”
Stefan looks at him, “Are you sure? That she is with him because she wants to be?”
Caroline snaps at him, “Stefan! There are times you show the infamous Salvatore indifference. And this is one of them. All Damon has wanted all his life is for someone to want him for himself. And here is someone who is doing that. Stop being hateful towards him.”
Damon’s voice comes from the doorway, “Don’t worry, Barbie. It will take a while. Alaric, Bella would like you to join her sometime at her home. She wants to share with you what Isobel has sent her. Elena, you are welcome, but I warn you, it is all research material.”
He looks at them all and smirks, “Now, I am going home with that awesome woman, and I bid you adieu!” With that he leaves.
Final count, 4,851 words.