"Elena, are you sure you want to do this? To say it's risky is putting it mildly." Bonnie had agreed to help Elena in any way she could, but that didn't mean she couldn't try to talk her friend out of this course of action.

"I'm sure, Bonnie. I have to at least try this."

"You know the risks. It's not just a matter of whether or not it works. It's whether or not you die. Are you really sure? Once we start, there is no backing out."

Elena reached across the couch and grabbed Bonnie's hand. She had no doubts about her plans. Now, she needed to erase her friend's.

"Bonnie, I need to do this. I want to be with Damon forever, not just another twenty, thirty or forty years. Forever."

"Elena! You can have that right now. Just have him turn you. Let's forget about all of this and go home. You tell Damon what you just told me. He'll turn you faster than you can say Damon Salvatore. You can have forever."

Elena shook her head. Bonnie just didn't get it.

Damon, who had dozed off, sat bolt upright, his eyes wide open like he had just had a 'aha' moment. Before Stefan could ask what was going on, Damon had pulled his phone from his pocket and shot off a text. After a few more rapidly exchanged texts, Damon dropped his phone in the center console and answered Stefan's unasked question.

"The two names that Elijah gave us, Jennifer and Isabella, there was something that was bugging me about them. They almost sound familiar."

Damon's phone buzzed, another text received. After reading it and tapping out a response, he returned his phone to the console.

"I might actually be onto something here. Jennifer and Isabella, they're kind of like Jenna and-"

"Isobel!" Caroline exclaimed. "They are close to Jenna and Isobel. You don't think that's a coincidence?"

"I might have, except Elijah just checked with one of those 'unsavory persons' he told me about earlier. After Elena contacted him about the fake ID, another woman approached him. She gave him a specific name that she wanted him to use on the ID and doubled his fee to make it happen."

Stefan's brow furrowed even more than usual. "Why would someone do that?"

"Again, I wondered that too, until Elijah gave me the woman's description – black, 5'2" or 5'3", petite, green eyes. Sound like anyone we know?"

"Bonnie!" Stefan and Caroline shouted in unison.

The girls stayed up talking late into the night. Elena felt like she was revisiting territory that she had covered a thousand times, but she needed Bonnie to understand her reasoning, even if she didn't agree with it.

Elena started with the most superficial of her reasons. She had seen the looks from younger girls, lusting over Damon and wondering what he was doing with a 'cougar' like Elena. It was only a matter of time before the looks moved from curiosity to disgust as she continued to age and he didn't. She hated that it bothered her so much.

Elena moved on to the reason that had haunted her since her parents died. Abandonment, in one form or another. She had lost so many people beginning with Grayson and Miranda Gilbert, moving on to Jenna, John, Alaric, even Isobel and so many others she just couldn't name. She had grieved and moved on after each of those deaths.

Once Elena and Damon got together, part of her had worried that he would tire of her and move on. How could a twenty year old possibly keep the attention of a vampire who had walked the earth for more than one hundred and seventy years? If she were completely honest, she still wondered why he had stay with her for so long.

When she tried to imagine her life without Damon, she couldn't. It was too painful. She would rather relive the deaths of her loved ones over and over again, than face living a day without Damon. If there were something that she could do to be with him forever, she had to do it.

Elena could see that Bonnie still had her doubts. She did the only thing she could think of. She dug down deep, dredging up her biggest confession, her biggest regret, her most cowardly act.

If anyone had asked a twenty-one year old Elena how she pictured her life at the age of forty, she would have had two answers. She would either be dead or she would be a vampire. She assumed the decision would be taken out of her hands. For so many years, she faced death on an almost daily basis. All too often, her survival was the result of vampire blood in her system. She had accepted that there would come a time with the blood wasn't enough to save her, but would instead bring her back. The decision would be made for her. Choosing to avoid making a conscious decision was cowardly. She realized that leaving it all to chance meant that in a way, she had never completely chosen Damon. That was her biggest regret.

Bonnie hugged her friend, fully understanding Elena's choice. She promised to do whatever Elena needed her to do, to support her completely.

Elena had gone to get ready for bed, while Bonnie locked up the house. Bonnie's phone buzzed, the lit screen announcing another call from Damon. She slipped outside, hoping that Elena wouldn't hear the conversation. She had agreed to support Elena completely. She intended to do that, even if her idea of support might be different that Elena's.

"Damon! Hi, what's up? Sorry I missed your earlier calls."

"Bonnie, where's Elena? I know you're in on this, whatever this is."

"Damon, I can't tell you what is going on with Elena. I'm spending time with my friend, Shelley."

"Shelley? Who the hell is Shelley?" Damon demanded. "Please, Bonnie, just tell me where Elena is. I need to talk to her. Please."

Bonnie could count on one hand the number of times that Damon Salvatore had used the word 'please' with her. His breaking heart was breaking her own. But, under no circumstance could she tell him what he wanted to know. Instead, she had to keep leaving bread crumbs, hoping that he would follow them.

"I'm sorry, Damon. I'm with my friend, Shelley Benjamin. But, if I hear from Elena, I'll tell her that you called. And, Damon, don't give up on her."

A/N - Once again, thanks for reading! Every favorite, follow and review mean so much. ~ craftyjhawk