Dusk was settling around her, casting deep shadows as she walked along the street. Her shadow was so long it appeared to be trying to escape and she smiled, desiring nothing more. Her smile faltered when her shadow was joined by another and she looked up.
"Stefan." Her greeting was strained and his smile didn't quite reach his eyes. She had tried to kill his brother a few nights past, would have burned him to ash if she could. Standing alone with him Bonnie became suddenly tense as he leaned down close. But his face grimaced with apology, not anger.
"I need your help."
Of course, Bonnie thought with a surprising rush of bitterness. She bit at her lip before it could twist. "Right. What do you need?" Stefan straightened at her tone and hesitated before speaking again.
"Caroline. She needs a daylight ring. You're the only one that I can ask, otherwise..." He let his sentence drift away, unsure under her scrutiny. Bonnie suddenly snorted, shaking her head.
"You'd still come to me even if there was someone else. There is no otherwise." Because I'm your witch.The thought came unbidden and unwanted and as a large part of her disregarded it quickly a deeper part, that old magic within her, knew it to be true. Why it was true she couldn't fathom.
He grinned, relaxing. "Well I hope you take that as a compliment." He shrugged his shoulders upwards, eyes wide and pleading. "So, will you?"
Bonnie frowned, looked down and gazed at the signet ring on his finger. She reached for his hand, traced her fingers over the stone and metal. Bonnie suspected he was gazing at the sky to see how far the sun had sunk.
"I'm not going to take it off."
"I know...I trust you Bonnie."
"Should you?" She looked up into his eyes. It wasn't a threat, a confusion more then anything. She had made it clear to him about what she was prepared to do and how he wasn't exempt from that. Even so she prayed he would never gives her a reason to test that resolve.
Stefan leaned down even closer, eyes intense. "I haven't forgotten what you said that night and the answer is still yes. It always will be." Bonnie was still holding his hand, touching the ring. She closed her eyes and delved, drawn to the magic that was woven through it. Magic is individual, as handwriting is from person to person and she can see the hand of her ancestor. It was strong. Bold.
Could she match it?
"You know for the all the danger the sun is to vampires you think you wold have found something more reliable then this." She let go of his hand and began to walk again, Stefan at her heels.
"You still haven't agreed."
"I'm still thinking about it." She crossed the street, night falling fast. He kept by her side, eyeing her now and again as she walked around, mulling it over in her mind. Witches were the agents of nature, their prerogative to restore balance. Has what Bonnie done brought balance or skewed things? Creating a ring would help her friend lead a normal life, as much as that was possible. But what if her help caused a death? Walking side by side with a vampire Bonnie suddenly wished she was amongst her own. Only they know the responsibility she has to take on and so young.
Her thoughts occupied so she only realised where she was when Stefan stopped and touched her arm. She's lead them to Grams house.
"Do you live here now?"
"No, I still live with dad but I like to come here as much as I can. Grams lived in this house for a really long time and I hate the idea of it getting lonely."
"She left it to you?"
"Yeah..." Bonnie opened the door and turned on the lights. She halfway toward the kitchen before she realised that she was alone. She found him standing outside, hands behind his back and a small smile played over his face.
"I bet this happens to you a lot."
"You have no idea," he touched the door frame and cocked his head at her. "May I come in?"
She doesn't want to but she has to. He trusts her but can she do the same? Bonnie exhaled and moved aside to clear his way. "Please come in Stefan."
"I brought the ring." He laid the silver piece of jewelery onto the table as Bonnie placed candles around the room. She regarded it with a lifted brow.
"Caroline will love it." She settled the last candle in place and took a seat next to Stefan.
"It was the only one I could find."
They were in her bedroom, the grimoire on the bed. Bonnie folded her legs under her and flicked the pages until she found the right page. Stefan rose and moved around the room, looking at the pictures on the wall, smiling at an image of her Grams as a young woman. Finally he took a seat in an armchair by the window.
"I knew Sheila when she was young."
Bonnie smiled, looking up. "I know, she told me. I think she had a crush on you." The words were out before she realised and she grew embarrassed for her grams, though she had laughed herself breathless when she had told Bonnie. Stefan's eyebrows climbed up into his hair and Bonnie bit the inside of her cheeks to stop grinning as she continued reading.
Suddenly Bonnie hummed, her finger coming to a stop on the page. "It says I need a beam of sunlight to preform the spell." She looked at the dark window. It would be many hours until dawn. Sighing she got to her feet, the spell book tucked under her arm. "I'll have to wait till morning."
"Right, I forgot...I can come back in the morning or meet you at Caroline's?" Bonnie stared at him with surprise before her features hardened. Stefan frowned, coming to her. "What?"
"Nothing. Of course you're not going to stay, I'm no use to you at this moment - "
"No, I didn't mean it like that."
"Really? You - all of you - only talk to me when you need me for something. Let me continue," she said firmly as Stefan tried to interrupt. He fell silent, face sad and serious. She had been withholding this for some time and she had thought about telling Elena when the time was right. But it seemed that time was now. "I know that what you ask of me is important and I'm the only one that can help. At those times I just swallow what I'm feeling and get on with it. Think of the times when you come up to me to talk. Is it to say hello? Wanna get a drink? How's school? I probably sound like I'm whining but I can't go on pretending it's ok."
As she spoke he had been quiet and as she continued his eyes had drifted down from hers to stare at the floor in shame. As she became silent he looked up and reached for her arm, slipping the book out and placing it on the bed. He replaced his hands on her arms. "You're not being whiny Bonnie. I'm sorry, truly sorry that I've made you feel like this."
"It's not just you."
"Even so I apologise. I guess, with all the crazy stuff that happens to us, I just came to expect that you would help because you wanted to and because we were friends. I never took you for granted."
Bonnie breathed a strange laugh, not believing him and Stefan pulled her into his arms. She stood there rigid for a few moments, not wanting to relent but her arms twined around his back and she sighed against his chest, relaxing. "Stupid vampires."
"Those jerks." Bonnie smiled and leaned back as Stefan brushed his lips against her forehead gently. He squeezed her shoulders in his hands reassuringly and then tilted his head. "You hungry?"
"Yeah, actually. I could put -"
"No, just give me a tour of the kitchen and I'll do it. I learned to cook in Paris."
"Wow, I'm impressed."
"You will be." He lead her out of the room and Bonnie felt considerably lighter then she did when entering it.
"That was amazing!" Bonnie slumped back in her chair, hands over her stomach as Stefan took small sips of coffee. He smiled over the rim.
"Not bad for what was available." The kitchen was sparsely stocked as she wasn't here enough to cook but he had whipped up a delicious meal with some let over pasta and tinned tomatoes and a few other ingredients he had found.
"You can definitely come back again."
"Good." He collected the plates and disposed them into the dishwasher as Bonnie got to her feet and went to the radio, switching it on. Glen Miller's Moonlight Serenadecrackled to life and she heard Stefan utter a noise of delight. "This takes me back."
Bonnie regarded him with a gentle wonder. "You would have heard it when it was brand new."
"And danced to it." He offered his hand to her and she laughed, shaking her head. She dodged past him and then pointed at her bare feet.
"You'll crush me."
"I won't! Fine." He toed his boots off and darted forward in a blur. Suddenly he was taking her hand and placing the other on her waist. She reluctantly began to dance, trying to follow his lead. After a few moments she smiled and shook her head.
"This is really strange."
"I tried to kill your brother because of what he is and now you're asking me to save another vampire. And now we're doing this."
"Caroline is not Damon. You tried to kill him because of what he's done, not what he is. She's your friend, isn't she?"
"Of course she is but it's not that simple. She could kill someone again." She came to a stop and Stefan stared down into her eyes.
"I won't let that happen. I'm going to help her, guide her. Ok?" Bonnie nodded, saying nothing but her face was set. He began to move them again in time with the music, humming into her ear and Bonnie grew calm. Her thoughts turned to the man she danced with, curious.
"Tell me what it was like, back than? Something nice."
He sighed softly and she thought he wasn't going to answer when he spoke quietly against her hair. "I was in Europe when the war broke out. The second one. I was trying to get back home and ended up in London during the Blitz. The sirens went off and I was herded into an underground train station, The Tube, with strangers." He smiled at the memory as they turned around slowly. "Everyone was quiet but they didn't seem scared. I think they were bored more then anything. Once they found out I was a "yank" they crowded round me like I was a movie star. Though they called me "cavalry" because I was the last one in... someone had taken their gramophone for safety and this song played. They all started to dance, with this song echoing down the dark tunnels. Any minute we could have been covered in rubble but they kept on dancing."
They had stopped dancing and Stefan blinked, focusing on the present. He smiled a little shyly and shrugged. "I dunno, it stayed with me."
"Keep on dancing while the bombs fall, right?"
They talked into the small hours of the morning, an open bottle of wine that Bonnie had convinced him to share on the coffee table. Stefan regaled tales of his past, both sad and amusing while Bonnie found herself telling him about her mother. He listened with sympathy and didn't push for more when she had no more to give. Instead she focused sleepily on Caroline's ring, which she had slipped onto her finger.
"What if I can't do it?"
"You will. From what I remember the spell was quite simple."
"For Emily it was."
"Come on, you'll do fine." He bumped his shoulder against hers and took the ring off her finger. He gazed at it for a long time and then put it onto his little finger. He turned to her. "Test it on me."
"What?" She had been slipping into a light sleep, curled up next to him on the couch. She blinked owlishly.
"If you're unsure. Do the spell in the morning and I'll put it on to see if it works."
Bonnie sat up. "And what if it doesn't? You might go poof!"
"It takes more then a few second for vampires to go poof."
"I dunno...if you're sure?"
"I am." He looked at the clock, sleepy. "I don't think I'm gonna stay awake for the sun rise." Bonnie agreed and being too tired to get up nestled deeper into the cushions. Stefan was going to tell her goodnight before he left but she had already fallen asleep. He had a fleeting thought of carrying her to bed before he began to nod off.
They awoke tangled together, his hand on her thigh while her knee was caught between his legs. They stumbled apart as if burnt.
"Sorry, I was going to leave when you fell asleep but -"
Bonnie waved her hand and straightened her crumpled clothes with the other. "Don't worry about it." She felt embarrassed but also something else, something that made it hard to breathe. She willed that something to fade away like mist but as she watched him brush his fingers into his hair it just intensified. She mumbled something about getting changed and escaped up to her room.
When she returned showered and wearing a pretty sun dress he stared, sat at the kitchen table. He had made her toast and pot of tea. She took a seat, clearing her throat.
"I need to know something."
"Ok." He put his cup down, focused on her.
"Have you done something to me?"
"What?" He jerked upright, eyes wide. "What do you mean?"
"After you saved my life I felt different."
"That was the blood, it would have -"
"No, that's not it. I felt it when you saved me from the crypt. People feel indebted in those situations, it's natural response but this is different. I feel like there's a bond or a pull here," she moved her finger between them before settling the point of her finger on the table. "Whatever it is I don't want you to get any...ideasor take it the wrong way then it's intended."
He had grown red but pinned her with a deeply serious gaze. "I can't say I understand it, I've never saved a witch before. But I promise I won't use this bond unfairly or take it for more then it is."
"Good." She sounded cold and she felt the night before growing further away. She tried to smile in what she hoped was a friendly way and motioned towards her room. "Let's get this done."
She couldn't undo Emily's spell on his ring, only she could do that, so with candles flickering around her dim room she performed the short spell on the new ring, relieved that it wasn't taxing. She didn't want to faint or bleed with him there. She scooped up the ring and handed it to him.
"You ready?" Bonnie asked. Stefan moved before the window, slipping off his own ring and throwing it to her. He nodded, completely calm. Her hand hesitated on the curtain, looking at him and wondering. Does this bond go both ways? If she left this place to start a new life would he be compelled to follow? Should she test it or would she be experimenting with something she didn't truly understand?
Bonnie gripped the curtain and pulled it aside and sunlight flooded the room.