Damon rolled over, cracking one eye open. God, he felt like crap. Everything from the night before flooded back and he groaned. And to think that he had slept with the bitch. He rubbed his wrists. Fucking bear traps.

His eyes landed on the book on his bedside table. What the hell? Picking it up, he heard a small sound behind him. Whipping around, his eyes widened to see Elena shifting on to her side, asleep. One eyebrow rose as he turned back to the book. The bitch must have done more damage than he thought for him to have not noticed her getting into bed. He read the post-it note on the front cover and his eyebrows drew down. What the hell?

Did he really want to read this? Honestly, he was just so tired of all the drama. He just wanted it to end. As much as he loved Elena, he simply didn't have the energy at the moment to continue fighting for her. Setting the journal down on the bed, he got up. He was almost to the door of his bedroom when he heard Elena sigh. He stopped and turned around. Why was she here, in his bed? Why would she sneak in in the middle of the night? The woman was an enigma that he just couldn't solve. One minute he was sure that she would barely notice if he left and never came back and the next minute she was doing something like this.

Curiosity won out over his weariness with the situation. He would always regret it if he walked away now and never got to read whatever the pages contained. Sitting back down on the edge of the four poster, he flipped to the first page and started reading. A few seconds in, his eyebrows rose. This was not a carefully thought out letter. It was chaotic, raw, the words clearly thrown on the page without a hint of caution or filtering. Was this what the inside of Elena's mind looked like? It was such a contrast from the cautious, carefully chosen speeches Elena normally delivered.

Dear Journal,

Someone tried to kill him today. Again. I could kill her, I really could. I'm not even sure I would feel remorse, which scares the crap out of me. I'm not the same person I used to be. Not even close. He's changed me. They all have. Klaus, Stefan, Damon, Katherine. Finding out I was the doppelganger was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I never thought anything could be worse than losing my parents. But then I learned that I am a pawn in a game played by the invincible. The invincible and the uncaring and I am damn fucking tired of my friends bearing the weight of the losses. There have been too many losses and too few gains. And playing the powerless, confused teenager hasn't helped anyone. I've been pathetic. Pathetic, thoughtless, and stupid. "Maybe that's the problem"? What the hell was I even thinking, saying something like that? First I go on and on and on about being a better person. And then I turn around and say something like that. No freakin' wonder he ignores everything I say. Or almost everything. He seems to remember every hurtful comment I've ever made. We are never willing to do whatever it takes are we? And we're quick to blame him when things go wrong or he makes a tough decision. But if he did nothing and let the chips fall where they may, if he had left town a year ago and said to hell with it, where would we be now? No one wants to ask that question. Because, in the end, I probably would be dead. In the end, there are only bad choices and worse ones. There isn't a good choice for him to choose from.

When I close my eyes, all I can see is Damon, beaten and bloody. What if I'd lost him? I don't know if I could survive it. It's funny, because he is the most unpredictable person I know and yet when I feel like the rug is being pulled out from under my feet for the thousandth time, I reach for him to hold me up. He is my stability, my strength. It's easy to say when the smoke clears that I don't want my life to be protected at the expense of others, but when I'm afraid of dying, I take peace in knowing he will do everything he can to protect me. That makes me horrible, selfish, and hypocritical, I know, but it's time for honesty to have a chance for once. I depend on the knowledge that at the end of the day, there is someone that would always put me first. And now I've jeopardized that love and it's slowly killing me. I can't blame him though. I never gave him any reason to believe loving me was going to get him anything but pain. The way I've been blowing hot and cold, I don't know if he trusts anything I do anymore. No wonder he's washed his hands of me. A few words and he was gone. So easy. Too easy.

Damon couldn't put a name to the emotion causing his chest to feel tight. Fear? Hope? Pain? It was somewhere in the middle of those, he supposed. He looked over his shoulder to see Elena's eyes open, watching him. He sat, eyes locked with her for what felt like forever.

Then she opened her mouth and whispered, "I'm sorry. I love you."