Far too early the next morning, Elena was drawn out of peaceful slumber by the sound of her cellphone ringing. Groaning, she nuzzled closer into Damon's chest in attempt to drown out the noise. When it persisted she sat up in irritation, answering it before it woke Damon, too.
"What?" she snapped, glancing at the clock; it was only 7:30!
"Elena? Are you okay? You sound upset…"
"It's barely past sunrise, Bonnie," Elena hissed quietly into the phone. "Did you expect me to be happy that you woke me up?"
"Oh… sorry. Look, Matt and I need to talk to you. Damon, too; it's about Ellie."
Elena clutched the phone tighter. "What do you mean, it's about Ellie? Ellie is asleep in the other room…"
Elena trailed off, worry nagging at the back of her mind. What if Ellie wasn't sleeping safely? She and Damon hadn't exactly been focusing all their attention on her last night, and it wasn't like all the dangers of Mystic Falls were gone…
"Well, it's not about Ellie in specific… it's about her parents. Her real parents, Elena. The thing is… they're dead."
Elena's brows furrowed with confusion; how could Bonnie possibly know that? "What do you mean, they're dead?"
"Look… can we just come over? I have something to confess, and you and Damon won't like it, but it's going to help us all in the long run. Okay?"
Elena sighed, "Fine. But if you're going to be here, you're going to be nice to Damon. It's ridiculous for you to be so cold toward him; you know he wouldn't have really killed you."
There was a pause on the other line before Bonnie finally quietly responded with, "Fine," and hung up. Elena shook her head, hanging up, too, and putting her phone back on the bedside table. Grinning, she looked back down at Damon, who was somehow still soundly sleeping.
"Wake up, Sleeping Sexy," she purred, moving to straddle his waist and grip his shoulders, bending down to place slow kisses along his throat. Damon stirred at the shift in weight above him, opening his eyes. A slow smirk began to creep to his features as he trailed his fingers down Elena's spine, her body covered only by the black John Varvatos button down he had worn the night before.
"Mmm… I'm awake now…"
Elena giggled and moved to lie on his chest, bending down to kiss his lips. Immediately, Damon wove his fingers into her hair, holding her in place as he kissed her deeply, hungrily. Flipping her beneath him so he was positioned between her legs, he smirked. "Hmm… nothing gets the blood pumping first thing in the morning like a quick round of wake up sex…"
Elena bit her lip, her eyes blazing with desire, but she shook her head. "As much as I would love to; we can't. Bonnie and Matt will be here any minute. She just called me…"
Damon frowned, still gripping her knees. "What? Why?"
Elena shrugged. "I have no idea. She said it had something to do with Ellie's parents. She was yammering on about them being dead…"
Damon scoffed with irritation, releasing her and sitting up on his own. "How in hell would she know if Ellie's parents are dead?"
Elena shook her head, propping herself up on her elbows to look at him. "I don't know, but she said we won't like what she has to confess to us."
Damon's eyes narrowed. "What did the stupid little witch do this time?"
She sighed. "I told you; I have no idea. I guess we'll just need to get dressed and find out."
Practically sulking, Damon heaved a heavy sigh and climbed out of bed, walking over to his wardrobe. Elena grinned, licking her lips, and couldn't help the giggle that passed through her lips at the sight of Damon Salvatore walking around his bedroom, completely naked. Turning his head as he opened the wardrobe doors, he smirked.
"What's so funny?"
She shook her head. "Oh, nothing…"
Climbing out of bed herself, she made her way over to the dresser where she kept all of the clothes she had brought here, opening the top drawer and grabbing a clean pair of panties and a bra. She was entirely oblivious to Damon's eyes watching her every move, and he gave a low growl of desire at the sight of the lacy red bra and panties he knew all too well these days. Blurring over to her, he took her by surprise and shoved her into the wall, making her gasp.
"Fuck Bonnie and Matt," he growled, hungrily capturing her lips in his own, grinding his body against her own. Elena groaned, unable to resist him any longer, and knotted her fingers in his hair, jumping up to wrap her legs around his waist. Damon bit her lip and tugged on it, causing her to groan more loudly. Releasing her lip, he gazed at her with smoldering, dark blue eyes.
"I'm taking you, right here, right now, against this wall. Bonnie and Matt will just have to wait patiently downstairs until we're done. Got it?"
She bit her lip, her own eyes nearly black with lust as she nodded. "Got it," she practically purred. Damon smirked and shoved roughly into her, relishing in the delicious cry and scream of his name that burst from her lips.
… . … . … . … . …
Caroline stirred from a very comfortable slumber, being woken by bright sunlight filtering into the room. It took her a few moments to process in confusion that it was coming from the opposite side it normally did. Her blue eyes fluttering open, she gazed around the room. It was dingy, empty, and piled high with boxes.
She frowned, and screamed with fright when what she had assumed to be a bed shifted beneath her, sending her rolling face first onto the dusty, wooden, unfurnished floorboards. There was a gasp from what she now realized was a couch, and she screamed at the face that was looking down at her seconds later.
"Caroline! Oh, my God, I am so sorry…!"
She gasped in a breath as the memories from yesterday returned to her, and she slumped back against the couch. "Jesus, Nick! You scared me!"
He blushed as he sat up, running a hand through his dirty blond hair. "Sorry," he repeated, offering her his hand. "I didn't mean to scare you."
She took his hand, still attempting to catch her breath as she let him help her back up onto the couch. "It's okay… I guess I just forgot where I was for a minute."
He bit his lip. "Because I look like him?"
She noticed the slightly pained expression on his face, and knew that he thought she meant he had scared her because she had thought he was Klaus. "Oh, Nick, that isn't what I meant…"
He shook his head, giving her a weak smile. "Don't worry about it. I guess I should get used to people screaming and running from me since I look like a mass murdering psycho."
"Nick," she said softly, a pang of guilt running through her. "That isn't true. People just need to get to know you. You aren't anything like Klaus was."
He gave a small sigh. "People won't give me a chance, Caroline. If they think I'm him, whom they obviously will, no one will even come within two meters of me. Unless, of course, they're trying to kill me," he said, giving a small smirk. "Maybe I should seriously consider plastic surgery."
Caroline laughed and reached over to hug him. "Don't be silly. We'll go talk to Damon and Elena today. Once they realize the truth, they'll try to help you, too." She smiled at him, but her expression was serious. "I won't let anyone hurt you, Nick. Don't worry, okay?"
He smiled, a genuine smile, and nodded. "I know. Thank you, Caroline."
She smiled and nodded. "Of course. Hey; do you have anything for breakfast here? I'm starving…"
"Starving?" Nick asked, going a bit pale. Caroline looked back at him, and she laughed.
"Oh!" she giggled. "Not for blood, silly; for food!"
He heaved a sigh of relief. "Okay… uh… do you like Froot Loops?"
… . … . … . … . …
"You can't tell them it was me, Bon!" Matt hissed as he drove them toward the boarding house in his truck. "I need them to trust me. I did this to help you; not to make them hate me!"
Bonnie sighed. "Lying is dishonest, Matt…"
"And sneaking into a baby's bedroom while he parents have sex downstairs isn't?"
Shooting him an irritated stare, Bonnie sighed. "Fine. I just won't tell them how the spell worked. I tell them I found a way to contact her parents, and found out they were dead when their ghosts started bombarding me with crazy yelling."
Matt nodded. "Good. The least they know I was involved, the better."
Rolling her eyes, Bonnie unbuckled her seat belt as Matt pulled into the driveway, and jumped out when he came to a stop.
"Bonnie, wait up!" Matt called in slight irritation as he unbuckled and jumped out, shutting his door and chasing after her. He sucked in a sharp breath when she just tossed the front door open and stormed in; after last night, he had no idea what Damon and Elena could be doing in there. "Bonnie…!" he hissed in protest, chasing after her.
But, as apposed to screams and cries of erotic pleasure, they were greeted by the happy giggles of Ellie, and the smell of fresh coffee.
"Hey, guys," Elena said with a smile from the couch, where she was dressed in a light blue blouse and jeans, Ellie bouncing on her lap, and a cup of coffee in her hand. Walking in slowly, Bonnie frowned.
"Oh; he's up in the shower," Elena said, and Bonnie noted Elena's still rather mussed hair; God, did those two ever stop screwing each other these days?
"Mind if I grab a cup of that?" Matt asked, pointing out the coffee in Elena's hand. "I'm exhausted."
Elena frowned in confusion. "Why are you so tired today? It's a Saturday."
Matt tried not to blush. "I was… uh… busy last night."
Elena nodded, trying to process the possibilities. "Go ahead; it's on the counter in the kitchen."
"Thanks," Matt said, quickly ducking out of the room.
"What's up with him?" Elena asked as Bonnie sat down in a chair across from her.
Bonnie looked at her, seeming nearly as nervous as Matt. "Uh… nothing. Why?"
Slowly, a grin began to spread across Elena's face. "Bonnie Bennett; are you and Matt Donovan…" she leaned closer, smirking. "Finally sleeping together?"
Bonnie's eyes widened. "What? No! Why would you think that?"
Elena seemed disappointed with this answer and sat back, Ellie giggling and snuggling into her chest, still dressed in her pink footie pajamas. "Oh. Well, I just thought… you two were together last night, and he's tired this morning…"
"Don't jump to conclusions like that, Elena," Bonnie snapped, flushing.
Elena frowned. "Sorry…"
Both girls looked up at the sound of footsteps on the stairs; Damon was making his way down, dressed in a black t-shirt and matching dark jeans, running a hand through his wet, messy black hair. He blinked when he noticed Bonnie sitting across from Elena, looking annoyed
"Is… everything okay?" he asked cautiously as he made his way across the room. Ellie shifted in Elena's arms at the sound of his voice, reaching out toward him, clenching and unclenching her tiny fists. Grinning, he carefully picked her up, kissing her tiny nose. "Hey, baby," he cooed to her, and she giggled.
Bonnie frowned. "No, everything isn't okay. Matt!" she yelled, irritated with how long he was taking. "Get out here!"
Slowly, Matt walked out of the kitchen, keeping his eyes down, focused on his coffee. There was no way he could face Damon or Elena, especially together. He had been an idiot for thinking he could. Not after last night, when he had vividly heard what they were doing…
Flushing, he took a seat and sipped at his coffee. Bonnie glanced at him before shaking her head, turning back to Damon and Elena.
"Did Elena tell you what I told her this morning?" Bonnie asked, and Damon nodded with a snort.
"Yeah; about Ellie's parents being dead?" he rolled his eyes as he sat beside Elena, muttering, "Bull shit…"
"Damon!" Elena hissed, swatting his arm. "Don't swear around Ellie!"
Blushing faintly, Damon bit his lip. "Uh… right. Sorry…"
Bonnie's eyes narrowed at him. "Yes, about Ellie's parents being dead; they are, and I have proof."
Damon snorted. "Sure you do…"
"Will you shut up?" Bonnie snapped at him, and he glared.
"Maybe I don't feel like listening to your ridiculous lies? Hmm? This is probably just some kind of scheme to convince us to get rid of Ellie!"
"Don't be such an idiot, Damon! I'm being serious!"
"No, you aren't! You're being a stupid little… ahh….!"
Elena's eyes widened as Damon's face contorted in agony, and she shot Bonnie a glare. "Bonnie, stop it! Now!"
Glaring, Bonnie looked away from Damon. "He deserved it…" she grumbled.
"Bitch…" Damon hissed.
Rolling her eyes, Elena took Ellie from Damon. "What did I just say…?"
"She deserved it!" Damon spat in annoyance, and Elena sighed.
"Just tell us what you came here for, Bonnie. We don't have all day."
Frowning, Bonnie continued. "I know that Ellie's parents are dead, because I contacted them last night, from the other side. They talked to me, Elena, and they sounded mad. Really mad."
Elena frowned. "Well, what did they say?"
Damon opened his mouth to say something, most likely something witty that would result in another mini aneurism, and Elena swatted him again.
"Hey!" he snapped, and she glared.
"Keep your mouth shut," she hissed through clenched teeth, and he slumped back against the couch, glaring at Bonnie.
Bonnie rolled her eyes before pressing on. "They kept saying to give Elizabeth to Nick. Over and over, really loudly. They also said Joanna and Jacob; their names, I'm assuming. As for Nick, I have no idea who that could be. Either way, they're pissed that you have Ellie."
Elena's eyes widened. "Why would they be angry? Someone left her for us! It isn't like we took her!"
"They don't see it that way," Bonnie said simply, and Elena felt herself pale. This was just their luck; as soon as they got rid of one problem that posed a danger to them, another arose.
"What do we do?" she whispered, and Bonnie shrugged.
"We find this Nick guy, for starters…"
"And what?" Damon snapped. "There's no way in hell I'm giving her to him!"
Elena sighed and laid her head on his shoulder in an attempt to relax him and calm her own nerves. "Of course we won't…" she whispered, feeling tears forming in her eyes. Ellie looked up at her with her big, light blue eyes and seemed confused about why she and Damon were so upset. Snuggling closer into Elena's chest, she gave a tiny baby sigh.
Matt looked at all of them and frowned. "If we aren't giving Ellie back to this Nick guy, what are we going to do? What if he comes looking for her?"
"Over my dead body anyone will take her…" Damon hissed.
Elena sniffled and blinked away her tears. "We need a plan… a new plan. Maybe we should just get out of town…"
"Running can't always be the option, Elena," Bonnie said, repressing the urge to say that things wouldn't be so difficult if they would just get rid of Ellie. Hell; school was scheduled to start back up again on Wednesday. What did she plan on doing then?
Elena sniffled again, more tears falling. "I know… but I just can't do this right now. Not again…"
Damon pulled Elena into his arms and stroked her hair as she cried into his chest. "No one will take her from you, okay?" he whispered quietly to her. "Everything is going to be okay…"
He shot Bonnie a glare. "Do you see what you did? Now she's going to be worried sick night and day. She doesn't need this, Bonnie!"
"I know she doesn't!" Bonnie yelled. "That's why she doesn't need that baby, and she sure as hell doesn't need you! Both of you are only ruining her life!"
Damon snarled. "Get out. Get out!"
In Elena's arms, Ellie started to wail with fear at the sound of everyone so upset and angry. She quivered and clung to Elena's shirt, and Elena held her tightly. "Both of you stop it!" she sobbed. "You're scaring Ellie!"
Damon clamped his mouth shut at her words, looking down at the two hysterical girls beside him. At that exact moment, the front door flew open.
"Guys, I have someone for you… to…" Caroline, who had been bubbly with excitement, trailed off as her eyes widened at the horrible scene before her. "What's going on?"
"I talked to Ellie's parents last night," Bonnie snapped. "Her dead parents. Apparently, they want Ellie to be given to some guy named Nick."
Caroline's eyes grew wider. "Oh, my God…"
"What?" Damon snapped. "What now?"
"I… um…" Caroline looked between all of their faces, and shifted awkwardly. "I have someone I want you all to meet…" she said quietly.
"Is this really the time, Caroline?" Matt asked, desperation clear in his voice.
She looked horribly conflicted. "Well… yes, actually, given the circumstances. But, you all need to know, that it isn't what it looks like. You're all going to want to freak out when you see him, but just… don't. Give me time to explain, okay?"
Damon was still ticked off. "No promises," he snarled.
"You especially!" she snapped and he glared.
"Everyone," Caroline said with a nervous sigh. "I want you to meet Nick Michaels. Nick!"
Outside, Nick took a deep breath, closing his eyes for a moment before opening them and heading inside to stand beside, and slightly behind, Caroline. The gasp from the group in the parlor was audible.
Damon was snarling. Elena was on the verge of screaming. Bonnie looked ready to go into full witchy migraine spree, and Matt just looked stunned.
"What in hell is he doing here? How is he alive?" Damon growled.
"It's not what you think!" Caroline cried nervously. "He isn't Klaus! He's human!"
Damon's growls continued, but Bonnie frowned in consideration. "She's right…" she mumbled. "His aura… it's not tainted with darkness like Klaus's was. He's… human."
Damon stood up, leaving Elena to cower on the couch, and stormed over. Grabbing Nick by the neck, he pinned him to the wall. "Who the hell are you?" he snarled, and Caroline gasped.
"Damon!" she cried. "Let him go, he can't breathe!"
"Nick…!" Nick wheezed, struggling to break free. "My name is Nick….!"
"Damon," Elena whispered, afraid he may actually kill him. "Damon, stop!"
Glancing over at her, he felt his senses return, and he released Nick's neck, watching him slump to the floor.
"Nick? As in the Nick that wants to take my daughter away?"
"Your daughter…?" Nick asked hoarsely, rubbing his neck. "I don't understand…"
"Ellie," Damon snarled, and Nick's eyes widened as he turned to Caroline.
"You told me he'd be reasonable!"
"Reasonable?" Damon laughed with no humor. "I think she must have been talking about somebody else, Nick. But let's get one thing straight, right now. There is no way in hell you're taking Ellie away from here. Over my dead body you'll take her…"
Nick groaned. "I just want to know why you have her. My parents told me they were staying her with friends, and that I was supposed to come and meet them. Now, I found out she's been living with you, and my parents are…"
"Dead," Bonnie mumbled. "Your parents are dead."
"What?" Nick whispered in shock, and Caroline's eyes widened.
"What are you talking about, Bonnie?" she cried.
"Their ghosts came to me last night. They're both dead."
"How do you know?" Nick asked.
"Were their names Joanna and Jacob?"
Nick sat, stunned, and stared at the wall across from him. "How… how did they…?"
"I don't know," Bonnie answered him simply with a shrug, and Caroline glared at her.
"Well, we need to find out!" she snapped and, at that moment, every single person in that room knew Caroline was right.
They needed to find out how Nick and Elizabeth Michaels' parents were killed, and how Ellie had ended up on Damon Salvatore's doorstep that very night.