Disclaimer: "I really wish that the Vampire Diaries was all mine mine mine"… but I have to borrow things!

The next morning, I had made the ultimate decision to "take my time", while headed to work. The city wasn't going to get any smaller and neither was my fear – I needed to embrace my new life.

So I got up earlier than usual and jumped straight into the shower, a routine I had intended to continue. It felt nice, and I enjoyed these moments because I got to spend time in one of the coolest places in our apartment. Caroline had lucked up with her loft style bedroom, but my bathroom… it was unique. It had this sort of retro ambiance blanketing the room.

After finding a suitable outfit to wear to work, and by suitable I mean "adult", I moved on to my next step towards a positive change – breakfast. But to my surprise, Caroline had beaten me to it. She was sitting at the kitchen table with bagels and a generous pitcher of orange juice.

She smiled up at me with expressive blue eyes as she blew over her mug of coffee, "Good morning sunshine. Sit, and gather your thoughts before starting your day."

I took a seat across from her as she placed a large blueberry bagel on an empty plate in front of me. It looked positively delicious.

Everything within me wanted to protest. After all, the fact that she felt I was unable to cope in my own way was rather offensive. But I shoved away the thought. She was my best friend. She knew me. She understood me… and she loved me. So I didn't argue and instead, slathered my bagel in blueberry cream cheese frosting.

"Your step-dad stopped by this morning?"

"Alaric," I asked mid bite.

"Yeah," she got up from her seat and disappeared for about thirty seconds, returning with a teal box and fancy white ribbon – Tiffany's?

It wasn't a very big box, and not small like a ring box. I couldn't describe it if I tried. The gift tag had a note on it in Alaric's thin and scrambled handwriting. It read:

It's not what you think… I promise.


That could mean a lot of things. But I was sure that it was something typical of him.

I slid off the lid, and there lay a fancy and compact teal tube with a keychain attached to it. I held the gadget up and observed it carefully until realization set in, "Pepper spray- typical Alaric."

"Awesome, right?," Caroline laughed. But the expression on her face was as if she had already seen it.

"You knew about this?" I asked her.

"No… but he gave me one too," she smirked, and bounced up from her seat grabbing both of our empty plates. "Run along, my dear. The work day awaits you!"

I sat at the table for a few more moments, thinking… very intensely. I was already paranoid. This thing would be a constant reminder of my paranoia. So for today, I decided to leave it home. We would try again tomorrow.

On my way to work, I took my time as planned. I imagined this time could be used to really take in the people, and my immediate surroundings. Unfortunately, it was extremely cold out. Eventually, I picked up pace and fell back into step with the rest of the world.

The subway ride wasn't bad. I was able to find a seat this time; reminding myself not to get used to it, as tomorrow could always turn out to be just like the day before.

That's when a memory of Damon popped into my head. His eyes, the way they glazed over as I had walked away from him that day. He was in his place, the place that he was supposed to be at that moment in time. I wondered what had happened, to get him on the subway at that moment. Where was he going? Or was it just my side of unfortunate mishaps that led us to my impending disaster?

As soon as I reached the tall glass doors of my new place of business, my phone buzzed to life. I'd made special note to turn it on vibrate before I started working. And it seems as if she had been watching… waiting, for just the right moment chime in - my darling Caroline.

"State your business," I answered.

"Bonnie, the pepper spray is totally ineffective if you leave it in the key basket. There's a keychain attachment which means you should attach it to your keys."

"I'll bring it with me tomorrow. I just… forgot it."

"Sure you did. How has your second day been so far?'

"Well," I started. But before I could get out another word, my mind at that very moment, decided to play wicked little games with me.

Standing across the street, staring directly at me, was Damon.

Surely, this was mere coincidence. But the way he looked at me …more accurately, looked through me, was positively unsettling.

"Hello?," Caroline's voice sang on the other end of the line.

I moved closer to the inside of the sidewalk, out of the way of other rushing pedestrians, "Sorry. I… that guy."

"What guy?"



"The guy, from the subway. I see him," as I turned back to look in the direction of where he was standing, was an empty space. He was nowhere to be seen-as if he had vanished into thin air.

"Never mind," I mumbled. "I'm on my way inside. I'll give you a call on my lunch break."

"Okay," I hung up with Caroline and tucked my phone snugly into my purse, hugging it close.

As I made my way to the elevators, my nerves started to unravel just slightly. I wanted to believe that it really was Damon that I saw. But the look on his face and in his eyes, it terrified me.

It was at this very moment, I came to a very disarming realization. At this very moment, all I could see was him. At this very moment, all I wanted from the very depths of my soul was for him, which I thought was on the other side of the street, to be with me. This terrified me far more than my self-imposed paranoia.

Author's Note: Sorry it took this one so long. I still needed to develop the story. This particular chapter changed a lot, but I'm glad it turned out the way that it did. I hope you've enjoyed it thus far. The next two chapters are done and I'm having them proofread.