A/N: heavy reading ahead... Warning:: plus a little bit of a time jump ahead.

Chapter 8

After the death of his brother, Damon went from mean to downright cruel. He had no filter, and he took pleasure in making his subordinates squirm. His new secretary had been going out of her way trying to gain his attentions, but he was having none of it. Her bright yellow dress had a plunging neckline that irritated Damon. He was the new CEO and majority shareholder. Unprofessionalism wasn't something he'd put up with.

"Krystal! My office!" He barked through his phone intercom.

His booming voice sent vibrations through the thin walls causing nearly everyone on the 21st floor to look toward the startled brunette. She quickly jumped to her feet, and headed toward his office.

"You wanted to see me sir?" She asked, trying her best to sound sweet.

He never even looked up at her like she'd hoped. Instead he handed her a copy of the 'company policies pamphlet.'

"Your dress is highly inappropriate." He said dryly. "Not to mention tacky, and reeks of desperation. You won't get another warning." He added

Krystal hung her head. She was embarrassed, not to mention the blow to her ego. Men usually worshipped at her feet. Damon Salvatore never even looked at her twice. ' Maybe he was gay?' She thought. But she remembered his relationship with socialite Katherine Pierce. The tabloids kept the couple front page news a few years back. ' So what was his hangup?' Did he not find her attractive?

"And before you go, get my wife on the phone!"

And there it was. He was married. Krystal had no idea. He never mentioned a wife, and neither did anyone in the office.

"Her number is in your directory… Bonnie.'

He added as he motioned for her to leave.

Krystal's eyes scanned him from head to toe one more time before she took her leave. 'He didn't look like the doting-husband-committed type.' Maybe if she played the game well, she could get his head to turn. She wanted Damon Salvatore, and no marriage certificate was going to change that. She briefly wondered what his wife was like. ' Lucky Bitch!'

Bonnie was enjoying her biweekly secret lunch with Matt. ' What Damon didn't know wouldn't hurt…' Was Bonnie's motto when it came to Matt Donovan. He was her only friend, and even though Damon forbade her from seeing him last year after 'catching them alone together.' They were only doing homework over coffee, but Damon lost his mind. It was the closest he'd ever come to hitting her. Bonnie saw it in his eyes. He wanted to strike her. After Matt's reluctant exit, Damon cornered her and struck the wall inches from her head. Bonnie was scared shitless. Damon never put his hands on her in a punishing way outside of a spanking here or there, but those were always sexual in nature. She thought she was over that phase of fearing him… now she wasn't so sure. Damon was cruel to everyone, but Bonnie seemed to be his favorite target. Still, she couldn't bring herself to give Matt up. Even though Damon wasn't totally wrong in his assessment of their friendship. Matt had made several attempts to woo her, going as far as kissing her once. She didn't kiss back, and she made it clear that it could never happen again. 'I just really need you to be my friend.' She told him. Matt saw the truth and desperation of her words reflected in her eyes, and quickly agreed. He'd take whatever she was willing to give. And friendship was all she was offering. The two never had to have that conversation again, and Bonnie was relieved. Now sitting across from him at a small bistro, she was able to tell him anything.

"So where does Sir Damon think you are today?" Matt asked jokingly.

"He left before I woke today, so I didn't have to come up with anything."

"For Shame!" Matt mocked. "You let His Highness go without his home cooked breakfast?

Matt began laughing until he saw the tear slide down Bonnie's cheek.

"I'm sorry Bon…"

"It's okay. I just know he'll remind me of that later."

Matt was concerned. He reached across the table for her hands, and waited for their eyes to connect.

" He hasn't?…"

"No!" Bonnie quickly cut him off.

She couldn't have Matt thinking the worst of Damon. Even if she knew it was coming. She lived in fear everyday hoping he wouldn't cross that line.

"Damon would never…"

Matt's brow creased. "If you ever need to get away Bon, you know where I am."

"I know. And i love you for that Matt, but I would never leave Damon. I love him, and he's just has a lot going on now. Things are tense, but they'll be back to normal soon."

Matt bit his tongue. Now was not the time to point out that Damon had always been intense and controlling… and an ass! Bonnie was too adamant about staying with the prick.

"He doesn't deserve you Bon."

Matt was saying as her phone began to ring.

"This is Bonnie." She answered.

There was a long pause on the other end before a feminine voice spoke.

"Please hold for Mr. Salvatore."

Bonnie rolled her eyes. And signaled for Matt to stay quiet.

"Where are you?!" Damon barked into the phone.

"Lunch." Bonnie stammered.

She didn't want to lie to Damon. She hoped he wouldn't ask if she was alone.

"I didn't have breakfast this morning. Bring lunch to my office."

Damon demanded while also reminding her that she was failing as a wife by sleeping in. He'd probably bend her over some flat surface when he got home and fuck her hard for the oversight. There was a time when Bonnie enjoyed Damon being rough with her in the bedroom. She got off on it too. But now, that's all he did. He never held her. He never took care of her. And he didn't care whether or not she was satisfied. Some nights she'd finish herself off in the shower. Other nights she'd lay in bed wondering when this would end, wondering when she'd get her Damon back. She'd foolishly thought that marrying him would change things.

"I'll be there in an hour." She agreed.

"Make it 30 minutes." Damon answered.

Bonnie rolled her eyes, but didn't say anything. There was no way she'd be able to make it to him in 30 minutes. She'd have to order his food from where she and Matt were dining, but then she'd have to explain why she was having lunch way across town from where they lived.

"Okay." She answered.

She quickly said goodbye to Matt, called in Damon's lunch order from his favorite restaurant near his job, and made it to his office in 40 minutes. She rushed through the lobby and up to the 21st floor. She hadn't been to his office in a long time, not since he took over and moved up to the top floor.

She exited the elevator bay, and made her way through the large double doors. She approached the reception desk.

"I'm here to see Damon… Mr Salvatore." She quickly corrected.

The brunette behind the desk arched her brow. She didn't recognize the girl standing in front of her, and her boss had no meetings scheduled. Bonnie noticed the other woman's hesitation, and held up the takeout bag.

"His lunch!" She said, not feeling the need to elaborate.

The secretary exhaled. "Oh. I'll take that."

"I got it." Bonnie countered, not liking the way this woman dismissed her as some sort of delivery service. She was wearing all designer clothes for crying out loud. From her undergarments to her jewelry, and everything in between, screamed money.

"I'm sorry Miss…" Krystal started to say before being cut off by her boss.

"Mrs." He corrected from behind her. "That's a married woman you're talking to."

Bonnie smiled condescendingly at Damon's secretary before reaching out to shake her hand.

"Bonnie Bennett Salvatore." She introduced herself before walking away with Damon, leaving Krystal speechless. 'So this was the wife?' She didn't peg Damon as the child bride type. Maybe it was the little waif's exotic eyes that captivated Damon because other than that Krystal didn't think Bonnie had much to offer. Maybe turning Damon's head would be easier than she first thought… at least as far as her competition went. Little did she know that Damon Salvatore, no matter how dysfunctional, had eyes for only one woman. He spent a lot of time training her, but for him she was the perfect wife. He was just too much of an ass-hat to admit it.

Bonnie was smiling brightly, amused at Damon's secretary's reaction to her. But it was short-lived because Damon's eyes were blazing. He was pissed. Bonnie swallowed hard.

"Sorry I'm late. Traffic was thick…"

She tried explaining before he cut her off.

"Where were you?" He said through clenched teeth.

Bonnie didn't answer. She just swallowed the lump in her throat.

"And what the fuck do you have on?"

Bonnie unconsciously took a step back before looking down at her attire. Everything was Damon approved. She didn't know what to say, but it didn't matter because Damon advanced on her. She backed up more until her back hit the wall with a soft thud. She watched his blazing gaze trying hard not to look at the floor. She knew how much he hated that. ' Look at me when I'm talking to you.' He would say.

She lost the battle because the way he was looking at her had her stomach doing somersaults. She bit her lip before dropping her gaze to the floor. Damon quickly had her face gripped in his angry hold. He used the back of his hand to wipe all traces of color from her lips.

"Red is for whores little girl… especially on black women."

Damon always found a way to make her feel self conscious. Up until this moment, she thought she looked good. Matt said she looked beautiful today. But Damon didn't approve, and his approval was the only one she was after.

"Didn't your parents teach you anything?" He added just to make sure she felt like shit. She was late, and that irritated him. His wife was supposed to cater to his needs. He made sure she had everything she wanted, no expense spared. It was only right that she held up her end. The tears in her eyes did nothing but piss him off more. Why was she crying? It was his job as a husband to correct her shortcomings. He released her face from his grip without warning, causing her head to thud against the wall. It didn't hurt her. He was just reiterating the fact that she pissed him off.

"Clean those tears up." He said coldly. "You are not a baby. You are a grown ass woman with responsibilities. Crying should be beneath you."

Bonnie quickly wiped her tears. She took the makeup wipes from her bag to clean her face. In seconds she was bare faced, and flawlessly beautiful. Damon didn't tell her that though. He just stared at her. He leaned back against his desk with his legs crossed in front him.

"Come here." He said seductively. He wanted to touch her. She was just too beautiful standing there, and she was all his. In that moment he realized that Bonnie was all grown up. She was sexy as hell, and could probably have any man she wanted. He was just lucky that she didn't know it.

Bonnie came to stand in front of him, and he pulled her into a hug. She was so surprised, she flinched a little before relaxing into him. It felt so good to be held. She actually exhaled. Damon kissed her softly on her neck while lovingly stroking her back. It had been so long since he showed her any tenderness, she felt the need to apologize.

"Sorry." She whispered into his button down shirt."

"We're both human." He said instead of apologizing too. "Just promise me that no matter what you won't leave me like everyone else I loved did?"

Bonnie was shocked. This is the first time he ever mentioned loving her. Even when he proposed. It was all about obligation, and what's right. No CEO should be living with a teenage girl. It was either marry her, or get rid of her and he damn sure wasn't doing that.

Bonnie's eyes shot to his. "I would never leave you." Show promised. "I love you too much."

Damon actually smiled at her. And her heart melted.

Later that evening, Bonnie was still feeling giddy from her afternoon with Damon. She dressed up for dinner, made his favorite meal, and had soft music playing. The table was set beautifully, and she was lighting candles when he walked through the door.

"Hey." She greeted him with a shy smile. Damon stood stoically by the door, only looking away from her to set his coat and carrying case down. When his eyes met hers again, Bonnie was frozen to her spot. 'Why was he angry again? What had she done now?' Bonnie sat down her lighter before straightening her spine to wait for him to talk. He said nothing as he walked into the kitchen to turn the burners off.

"Where did you have lunch today?" He asked before turning his full attention toward her. "And before you think about lying to me, know that your shiny knew Range Rover has a tracker on it."

Bonnie began fidgeting with her hands. She was unable to look up at him, certain that he knew she'd been lying to him for over a year.

"Damon…" She barely whispered.

"Speak up!" He yelled.

His voice was so loud, Bonnie nearly jumped out of her skin.

"Who the fuck were you with?"

His eyes were burning her skin. And he spoke to her in a voice so booming, tears pricked her eyes. Time stood still as he waited for her answer. Bonnie took a quiet breath before admitting quietly…

"Matt. I was with Matt."

She had no time to approximate his reaction because before she even blinked, she was hitting the floor. His first blow was a backhand to her face. Pain shot through her lip, jaw, and left eye. His next blow came by way of his size 10 Tom Ford's to her stomach.

Fear paralyzed her. She laid motionless on the floor as her heart shattered. She knew he was capable of physical abuse, and she'd even psyched herself up for it. But nothing could prepare her for the heartache. Something inside of her soul broke as she curled up into the fetal position on the dining room floor, tears rolling down her cheeks and loud sobs escaping her lips.

A/N: Yep, that just happened. Damon is not stable right now. And some of you may be wondering why Bonnie always suffers some form of abuse in my stories? That's just the way I see her character. They may not have taken it to the extremes that I have, but like I said... Sometimes my mind is a depraved place. As with most humans. I'm just brave enough to share it with you.

: I in no way condone violence against women of any kind. I grew up in an abusive household, and know first hand the damage domestic violence can cause, lifetime long damage. I am not trying to romanticize it. But the reality is, a lot of woman stay. Never the less, this is just a story. I hope you enjoy it. Bonnie and Damon have a long way to go.