"Where are you taking me?" Elena questioned from the passenger side. Even with the darkness of the night seeping in through the windows of Damon's car, the smirk on his lips was unmistakable. She simply folded her arms across her chest and rolled her eyes, feigning anger and annoyance. It didn't last long as Damon's hand shot out to change the station of the radio, leaving Elena laughing as he begun to belt out to the first song he turned to.
'Cause I may be bad, but I'm perfectly good at it
Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it
Elena couldn't help the laughter and happiness that was boiling inside of her, and she couldn't help but sing along to the music that emanated the car.
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me
"Duly noted…" Damon teased. Elena licked her lips out of amusement, resorting to letting the music fill the car while she danced as best she could within the restraints of the seatbelt. Damon couldn't help but smile at the way that even in the car, Elena lost herself to the melodies that were emanating from the speakers. He continued to drive, the highway lights illuminating the road he'd been driving on – leaving plenty of room to stare out the window dreamily, the lights reflecting in her brown eyes.
"So you're really not going to tell me where we're going?" Elena questioned, once the Rihanna song was over.
"Nope," Damon said lightly with a tinge of finality. A few minutes passed when Damon took a deep breath, his grip tightening on the steering wheel. "I talked to Stefan," Damon announced awkwardly. Elena's smile immediately faltered, her gaze falling on Damon, confusion etched on her features. "I just felt like I owed it to Stefan to be straight with him, whether or not he liked what I was going to say."
"What exactly did you tell him?" she wondered aloud, her voice quiet and shaky. She never wanted to hurt Stefan, in fact – if she had let her brain decide, she'd probably ride off into the sunset with Stefan on his white horse while he wore his shining amour, a shield in front of him as they rode off into the unknown. Her heart, on the other hand had very different plans.
"Not much, he just asked what was going on between us."
"What'd you tell him?" Elena pressed, her curiosity peaking. What did Damon think was going on between them? Did he feel the same ways he did? Damon gave a weak smile, his eyes concentrating harder than necessary on the road in front of him.
"I told him I didn't know, I'm kind of out of the loop…" Damon added lightly. Elena nodded in the darkness, her eyes concentrating on the way the trees looked as he sped on the highway. She offered him a small smile in the darkness before reaching her hand out and placing it on top of his, which was on the stick shift.
"I guess we'll just have to figure it out," Elena whispered. He brought his thumb out from under her hand to caress the back of her hand while he kept one hand on the steering wheel. "Together," she added with a smile.
"It's so beautiful," Elena gushed as Damon's car approached a large building. It was visibly a log cabin, at least three stories tall. The entire front path and patio was made of stone, a stone fireplace in the center of the patio. Wooden stairs led up to a wrap around deck on the second floor of the cottage, first floor holding up the deck with wooden pillars. The third floor, or what Elena could assume was an attic was covered with large window panes. The cottage was literally surrounded by hundreds of tall trees, leaving the cottage completely private and remote. "Did you rent it or…?" Elena pressed, her eyes sparkling at the sight of the large structure.
"When you've been alive for over one hundred and sixty two years, you learn a thing or two. Starting with the economy, investments are always a good idea," Damon said with a light shrug. He begun to walk ahead of her, reaching in his back pocket for what she assumed was a key. She was proven right as he opened the door and turned on a light which illuminated the inside of the cabin, leaving Elena speechless from what she could see from outside. "You gonna stand out there all night?" he teased, extending his hand. She smiled back and slipped her hand in his, following his lead into the cottage.
The inside was even more beautiful than the outside. The walls, floors and ceilings were made of wood – the large windows at the back wall leading out to a pathway leading into the forest. A large fireplace occupied the left wall, a comfortable looking couch in front of it. A large bookshelf occupied the wall of the staircase, which was also wooden. She smiled at Damon who gave her a reassuring look as she hesitantly took ascended the stairs, her hand trailing along the polished banister.
The upstairs hallway consisted of four doors. The first door was a visibly a library, shelves covering three of the four walls, the fourth wall made of glass which gave you a perfect view of over the trees, the moonlight visibly shining through the window panes. The second door consisted of a single bed and a small dresser. The third door was a simple bathroom, consisting of the regular bath/shower, toilet and sink along with a small linen closet beside the sink. The fourth door was clearly the master bedroom, a large four poster bed with a white canopy occupying the majority of the floor. Patio doors which led to the back of the warp around deck, where she noticed a chaise lounge was placed. An ensuite bathroom on the other side of the wall led to a large bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub.
"What do you think?" a voice said from behind her. Elena jumped slightly, her heartbeat accelerating at the voice she'd grown to love every bit of.
"I wouldn't expect anything less," she retorted as she ran her hand across the white duvet occupying the large bed. Damon didn't even bother suppressing a smirk as he jumped on the bed, landing on his back – his arm behind his head as he watched Elena take everything in. "What does that pathway lead to?" Elena asked as she wandered out onto the deck, pointing to the path she had noticed earlier.
Damon abruptly got off the bed and blurred across the room. He automatically laced his hand through hers, a small smile on his face. "Let's find out," he announced.
"I've always loved this place. It's like Narnia; you always find something new…" Damon commented as he and Elena sat on a large rock. The pathway led to the lake at the back. The moon was reflecting on the water, lighting up both Damon and Elena's feature. The rock they sat on was so high that Damon had to hold Elena and jump up there, because it was too slippery otherwise. A small smile fell on Elena's face as she leaned her head on Damon's shoulder. He instinctively wrapped his arm around her waist and planted a light kiss on her temple.
She leaned further into his embrace, letting out a small sigh of contentment. Taking advantage of her momentarily small attention span, he managed to snake his other arm underneath the back of her knees, bringing her up to his body like he was cradling a baby. She giggled lightly when suddenly; he stood up on the rock. Elena automatically started to squeal in his embrace, but before she could get out of dodge – he threw Elena into the water.
"Damon!" she squealed once she popped up out of the water, brushing her hair away from her face. She instinctively twirled around in the water, Damon was nowhere in sight. It wasn't until she heard the unmistakable sound of laughter that Elena's gaze fell on the laughing figure on the rock she previously sat on – dry. "I hate you so much," she mumbled. She narrowed her eyes when a scheming smirk found itself on her lips. She licked her lips and trudged out of the water.
"Oh come on pouty, the water looks warm…" Damon teased from the top of the rock. She continued to smile to herself as she shrugged her shoes off her feet.
"It is," she agreed. "I just can't swim freely with all these clothes on," Elena teased as her hands moved to the zipper of her jeans. Soon enough, Elena stood in the dark with only her black lace bra and underwear covering her up. A smug smile replaced the scheming one when she saw Damon's reaction. "By the way, you dropped your jaw…" she taunted before jumping back into the water.
A frustrated growl erupted from the back of Damon's throat, a smirk on his lips as well. "Two can play at this game," he mumbled as he tugged his black shirt over his head as well as throwing his dark wash jeans to the pile of Elena's clothes. He backed up onto the tall rock and waited until Elena's head was above water, biding his time to cannon ball directly in front of her. His plan worked as her heartbeat accelerated, a small scream escaping her lips.
The scream quickly turned into laughter as she tried to swim away before his hands snaked around her ankles, bringing her closer to him. Elena started to laugh again, her hands pushing against the water in an attempt to create a large splash towards Damon's face. The gesture turned out to be redundant as he had already ducked under water. She waited patiently above water before she felt another tug on her feet. She was automatically brought underwater to feel a pair of hands cradle her face, his lips crashing onto hers briefly before she laced her fingers through his, bringing him above water with her. Elena instinctively wrapped her arms around Damon's broad shoulders, while his hands were on either side of her hips as he pulled her closer to him. Damon's blue eyes sparkled in the moonlight, a smile on his lips as his gaze darted between her brown eyes and her perfect lips. Her makeup was smudged slightly, her hair was a tangled mess and she was visibly tired.
"You're so beautiful," he whispered. Even in the darkness, Elena's flushed cheeks were unmistakable. A small smile appeared on her lips as she leaned in and brushed her lips against his. Much to Damon's dismay, Elena pulled away and he immediately felt lost from the loss of contact. He opened his eyes to see a moment of clarity reflected in Elena's eyes. She smiled, her heart fluttering when she leaned in to kiss him again. This kiss lingered, their lips moving in perfect synchronization with each other.
Elena's body begun to burn from the fire that Damon had ignited in her heart, body and soul. She laced her fingers through his raven black hair, pulling his face closer to hers hungrily. He responded quickly by hoisting her body up to allow her to wrap her legs around his waist. His hands begun to wander, exploring the bare skin of her torso and back before his hands landed on the nape of her neck, his fingers becoming tangled in her mess of brown hair.
She pulled away momentarily, Damon settling on kissing the exposed skin of her neck and jaw line. Elena quickly gasped for air, as she crashed her lips back to Damon's hungrily. Soon enough, she could feel them moving. It wasn't until she felt the cold air against her wet skin that she realized Damon was carrying them out of the air. She tightened her legs around his waist when suddenly it felt like she was flying. It wasn't until she felt warmth from the luminescence above that she realized he had taken them inside. Damon continued to kiss her hungrily, his hands running up and down the sides of her stomach, her body aching to mold into his.
Soon enough, Damon and Elena were both kneeling face to face on the bed. Her brown eyes were staring at Damon intently and his eyes met hers, Elena's mouth automatically turning upwards into a smile. She placed a hand on his chest – over his heart. Elena let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding as Damon's face inched closer to hers. Their lips began to move slowly and intimately against each other, Elena's hands on his hips while he laced his fingers through her brown hair.
Damon stopped kissing her abruptly and pulled away instinctively. He shied his head away, his body willing him to take a breath. Elena smiled admiringly at the man in front of her while her hands wandered to the side of his neck, willing Damon to look her in the eye. He reluctantly followed her silent instructions. A small gasp escaped her mouth at the sight of the veins beneath his eyes along with the noticeable color change. Elena quickly shuddered away any negative thoughts, her shaky hands moving to explore the contours of his face. Elena's finger's traced the skin beneath his eyes, the veins immediately disappearing with her touch. She couldn't help the smile that graced her features and she immediately crashed her lips onto his again.
Much to Elena's dismay, Damon pulled away a few moments – right when he felt Elena's hands wander to the waistband of his boxers. "Wait…" he muttered against her lips. "Elena, wait." He breathed. The feeling of rejection immediately washed over her like a tidal wave, her small frame cowering away ever so slightly as she prepared to run away.
"Don't you want me?" she whispered, her brown eyes wide with concern. Damon couldn't help but smile – the thought that he doesn't want Elena is damn right laughable.
"Elena," he breathed. Her heart fluttered at the way that he said her name – Elena knew that her name was safe in his mouth. "I've never wanted anything so bad. I've never wanted anyone so bad but…" Damon paused. He took a deep breath and Damon moved his hands to cradle her face gently. She instinctively leaned into his touch, closing her eyes in contentment. "It's only half past the point of no return so if you wanna change your mind, now's the time to do it." Elena shook her head as fiercely as possible in the confinement of Damon's hands.
"I want you," Elena breathed. She closed the distance between him, wrapping her arms around his neck. Those three words were the end of any resolve Damon had mustered up. Damon couldn't bring himself to care that tomorrow she could wake up and regret it. He couldn't bring himself to put his head before his heart right now – all he wanted was Elena. All he craved was Elena. All he loved was Elena.
Soon enough, Damon and Elena were tangled up in each other in every way possible. In the purest sense of the term – they were naked. They were naked physically. They were naked emotionally. They were naked spiritually. They had stripped themselves of all the walls they had unintentionally built around themselves. Any and every trace of doubt had washed away with the feelings of happiness and hope that now filled each of their bodies.
Damon kissed her lips both gently and passionately. He looked at her like she was the most beautifully exotic creature he's ever seen. He held her like she was the most precious thing to ever fall into his hands. He touched her like she was a delicate flower, threatening to crumble with the slightest wrong move. He looked at her like… like he was a blind man seeing the sun for the first time. Suddenly, everything was crystal clear – it was clear to him that he wasn't damned to an eternity because his brother needed him. He didn't choose the choices he made because of the coincidences the universe had thrown at him. He was brought to this earth – he was born – he was damned into an eternity of seemless nothings because of Elena. Because this was the creature – this was the girl – this was the life he was meant to live. This was the life that he was meant to live. He was meant to live for and love Elena Gilbert.
Soon enough, Elena was lying with her back towards Damon, leaving him to stroke her brown hair methodically while she drifted in and out of consciousness. His hand would occasionally wander down her arm and across her waist, fighting the urge to bring her closer to him but he could tell that she was having a pleasant sleep. Instead, he concentrated on the steady rhythm of her heartbeat along with the slow rise and fall of her chest. He could hear her heart flutter in the brink of her slumber as he gently kissed her shoulder.
"Damon?" Elena asked quietly, her voice barely a whisper.
"Mmm?" he murmured against her skin. Elena took a deep breath and stirred lightly as she turned on her side, the white sheet being the only barrier between their naked bodies. An unmistakable smile was on her lips, her brown eyes shining with a mixture of happiness and hope. She gently brought her hand up, her fingers lightly tracing the contours of her face again. it wasn't until she blinked that he realized her brown eyes were glistening with the tears that threatened to fall. He brought his thumb up to her face just in time to catch a fallen tear. She laughed lightly and kissed the palm of his hand before lacing it through her own.
She took a small breath, allowing the fight and denial to escape in the air from her lungs. She no longer wanted to deny what had been in her heart and on her mind for so long. Damon had become a part of her – now more than ever and there was no turning back. She didn't want to waste her time denying the inevitable. She didn't want to see the man in front of her be in anymore pain at her expense. She didn't want to break his heart – she wanted to fix it. She wanted to keep his heart safe, guard it as if it was her own. Damon's forehead furrowed together, his hand's moving to cradle her face, concern evident on his features. His blue eyes were sparkling with concern; and Elena's heart couldn't help but swell. "I love you," she whispered softly.
Damon opened his mouth to speak but easily, no sound came out. He was rendered speechless – by a human, nonetheless. He wasn't entirely sure what to make of the idea that someone was in love with him. "You what?" he found himself asking, much to his dismay. Elena giggled lightly, the sound of her laughter was easily enough to make his heart quench.
"I love you," she repeated.
"Say it again," he asked.
"Damon, I'm in love with you."
"I know," Damon taunted with a grin. Elena rolled her eyes, running a hand through her brown locks.
"Leave it to you to ruin the moment," Elena chastised. "I mean I finally tell you how I feel and you laugh in my face. I swear, if you just brought me here to sleep with me then you will face an eternity of something entirely different from misery-" she continued angrily before she was cut off by the sound of his voice.
"I love you too, brown eyes."
"You do?" she whispered, disbelief lacing her tone and eyes.
"Elena," he breathed – his husky voice masked with disbelief. "Do you have any idea how much I love you?" Elena couldn't help the laughter that continued to fall from her mouth, along with the tears from her eyes. "I love you so much," Damon told her earnestly. Elena offered him a small smile, brushing a piece of hair behind her ear.
"Please don't make me forget you saying that," she pleaded quietly – her voice barely a whisper. "Even if you change your mind or if I change my mind, please don't make me forget what this feels like."
"I'm not gonna change my mind," Damon said simply.
"You say that now but I'm only human so I'm just saying that if you do-"
"I won't," he said again.
"I'm just saying, if you do…"
"I won't," Damon announced with conviction. "If it's okay with you, Elena Gilbert – I'm going to love you forever."
"Do you promise?" Elena teased, a cheeky grin on her face.
Authors Note / Epilogue: The official pairings by the end of my fic were Stefan/Katherine (they left town together, she is going to help him control human blood). Tyler/Caroline and Bonnie/Jeremy. Alaric ended up hitting it off with Beth. Damon and Elena's relationship didn't go off without a hitch – they still fought like an old married couple but acted like children but when it came right down to it: Damon and Elena were irrevocably in love with each other. Thank you for all the amazing reviews; you are all such an amazing inspiration. I promise, this won't be my last Damon/Elena fic! Thanks so much.