Chapter 1: And So It Begins

July 12, 1864

Richmond, Virginia, Confederate States of America

The large neo-classical Ballroom at the Whitehouse of the Confederacy is teeming with the crème de crème of Richmond and the Army of Northern Virginia. The women are dressed in the finest silks that could have been found in Richmond during this trying war. The greater part of men present, are decked out in Confederate gray. Including Lt. Damon Salvatore wedged between Mrs. Hill and the young Miss Hill.

To say that Damon was bored beyond belief was an understatement.

The whole war had been a bore as far as he was concerned. It really was not some great, exciting, adventure like he and his comrades had been told it would be at the start of the war. It certainly didn't end after 90 days like everyone was certain it would.

Surprisingly he really did not mind the killing part, just the getting shot part.

That is why he is stuck in this ballroom tonight while his former unit is receiving all the glory while he is forced to partake in a mere celebration of their feat.

According to the latest news, his former unit were only five miles away from the Union Capital of Washington D.C. and closing in. He supposed it could be worse. He could be stuck at some somber dinner because they suffered a defeat.

But at present, he was the one suffering. If it wasn't trying enough listening to Miss Hill drone on and on about her hardship of finding the finest lace in Richmond because of the Yankees as Mrs. Hill threw in comments about her dear fallen son. Did he really seem like the type to care about how hard it is to acquire lace? He is trapped inside a stuffy ballroom, in the middle of the hot humid Richmond summer, deeply regretting that he wore his uniform-his wool uniform.

Katherine was impatient and bored. Though the numbers of admires surrounding her keeps growing, they've hardly kept her attention throughout the night. Their conversation was sadly and not surprisingly, lacking.

Moreover, none, absolutely none, of them asked her to dance which was terrible because she loves to dance. She especially loves how her skirt makes a whooshing sound as she twirled and twirled around the room.

If it wasn't bad enough that none of them had asked her to dance, she was getting thirsty. Oh, her admires had brought her glasses of lemonade. But that was hardly going to suppress or quench her thirst. Alcohol would suppress her thirst but the gentlemen would hardly bring young lady sprits. Only human blood would quench her thirst.

It was not like she could just bite anyone here without drawing some attention to herself or rather what she is, but the officer on her right, smelled heavenly delicious. She would have to remember him for later, but that hardly solved her current problem.

She was not one to deny herself anything. Why should she?

If she could only be somewhere else, she could feast on whomever she wanted. However, she is here for a reason. She is searching for him.

Damon did his gentlemanly duty, however begrudgingly, by faking his attentiveness to Miss Hill's little pathetic woes. Every so often he gave a supportive sound or nod while. Even once commenting "I don't know how you ever bare such trials."

If only he could have refused the invitation then he could have spent the night in with the beautiful young widow Mrs. Galloway.

Just as the orchestra struck up another waltz Damon heard the tinkling of a woman's laugh.

It was not like others laughs; there was something about it, something different. He had this sudden urge to laugh too. His eyes searched the crowed room for the source of the sound. There, he found it.

Surrounded by 15 or so men is a petit little thing. She is beautiful with her long rich chestnut curls framing her heart shaped face. As she looks up from conversing with an officer on her right, his eye catches hers.

He has to know her.

He wants her.

She spotted; or rather felt him, as soon as he entered the ballroom. When he came into her sight, she was surprised at how he looked so like him minus the uniform. She hadn't expected that, hadn't prepared herself for that. She felt as if she was 16 again; not 126. It shook her to her core. She told herself it was just seeing him again for the first time in so long.

She waited for him to notice her.

Katherine was speaking to Officer Andrews (or is it Anderson?) when she felt the weight of his stare. She lets him wait a bit (build some anticipation) before meeting his stare. She slowly turns her head towards him and their eyes lock. She wants him. She feels her thirst of a second ago intensify so fast that she can barely keep her true self from appearing.

He would do.

She bats her eyelashes quickly and turns her gaze down in attempt to appear modest and pure. How dull but necessary for the moment.

He doesn't come over straight away but that does not surprise her. He will. So she waits.

And waits.

And waits.

She likes building anticipation more than the next person, but he should have come over within an hour of their eyes locking, but he doesn't. He spends the next hour or so flirting with other women! Men do not ignore her.

She had been waiting a very long time for him. Patience is not one of her many virtues.

She begins to take action.

She leans over towards Officer Andrews (she decided that is his name) whispering into his ear to bring him to her. He jerks back exclaiming he doesn't understand why she should want him when she has him. As she unfolds her fan to cover her face, she holds his chin with her other hand and looks him in the eyes. Her pupils dilate as she tells him to bring him over to her. He immediately agrees and goes off to do her biding. Better.

Maybe she won't have Officer Andrews for dinner after all . . . or maybe she will.

Damon stops himself from immediately rushing to her side. Ladies that beautiful are too used to men flocking to them. He watches from the other side of the Ballroom as the number of admires continues to grow and grow.

He keeps himself occupied by attending and socializing with other ladies, who are being quite ignored by the men (who if not by her side were blatantly staring at her).

Every so often, he would catch her eye for the briefest of seconds before she quickly turns her bewitching gaze onto one of her admires. He watches as she flits, bats her eyes, and toys with her fan.

He is speaking to a rather distraught Miss Myers (who now is the second most beautiful lady in Richmond) when he feels the heat of her stare. He turns to face her. She is shooting him daggers with her eyes. He holds up glass of champagne as a salute and smirks while cocking his head to the right. Her eyes flash with fury. He's always enjoyed passionate ladies. She is just about where he wants her.

She quickly turns to that damn officer on her right again.

The next thing he knows that damn officer from her right is tapping him on the shoulder.

"Can I help you…" Brows creased Damon quickly glances down to the officer's collar to view the rank. "Major?"

"Miss Pierce would like to meet your acquaintance."

"Is that her name?" Damon reply's in a bored tone- even though that was far from the truth.

"Miss Pierce would like to meet your acquaintance."

Interested Damon leans towards the Major and asks, "Did she send you over here to fetch me?"

The Major face draws a blank but then replies, "I know that she wants to meet your acquaintance."

"Fine. Introduce me. The name is Salvatore. Damon Salvatore." The Major escorts him to right in front of Miss Pierce.

"Miss Katherine Pierce, please allow me to introduce you to Lt. Damon Salvatore."

Damon bows to her. "Miss Pierce."

She extends her right hand for him to kiss. He takes her hand raising it to his mouth for a kiss. He lifts his eyes to hers. Katherine has a look of satisfaction in her eyes.

"Salvatore. What an unusual name. Is that Italian?" inquired Katherine.

"Yes, Miss Pierce."

"Do tell me. Where are you from Lt.?"

"Mystic Falls." A flash of confusion crossed Katherine's face.

In a tight voice she asked, "Mystic Falls, Virginia?"

"Right again. You sound like you actually know where it is. Have you been there?" Her lips pursed. She looked furious. He didn't understand her reaction. Although Mystic Fall was not his favourite place, it could hardly illicit such a visible negative reaction.

Her admires noticed her displeasure of hearing where Damon was from that they started shouting out where they were from as if that could when them her favour.

She shakes her head at them. She looks Damon straight in the eye and asks him another question, "Do you dance well?"

Catching onto her hint, he asks her a question. "Would you like to dance Miss Pierce?" He extends his hand to her.

"I would love to," She places her hand in his. "Please call me Katherine."

And so it begins.