Note: This fiction is based on Stefan's line to Elena "You don't know what I look like when I'm not in love with you". I hope you'll like it. I wrote this first chapter on a whim, and I hope I can update it anytime I can "steal" someone's pc for a bit (I'm still without mine). Since I am a bamon shipper I will probably somehow involve Damon too, later on.
As usual, Thanks to Syeira Lei.
His walk is elegant and agile as he moves through his bedroom.
Rebekah saw him walk with that same grace the first night they met in Chicago, the only difference is that he was actually wearing clothes then; while now, the light of the day stresses every tiny detail as he dries himself after the hot shower. But, really, there's not much of Stefan that's tiny – she thinks with a rush of satisfaction.
She clearly remembers his fingertips caressing the wood balustrade, before he leaned over – light as a feather as his mere presence cut the air - to admire the band performing. Gloria, standing on the stage, had eyed him instantly; she - whom lived to sing – had broken the spell created by her black voice, ungracefully interrupted St. James Infirmary just to publicly flirt with him and make herself available. Rebekah had wanted him so bad that night that it almost made her sick to her stomach.
Right now, as she lies naked between the sheets of his bed, she can feel that sensation resurfacing with a vehemence that makes her feel defeated, and the same light that shows her the hard muscles of his lean body will not reveal her the contents of his locked heart.
"I want your heart," she says boldly, as her hand lazily caresses the empty space next to her.
His lips stretch with a sort of arrogant grace on his face and he stops drying the skin of his chest. Stefan turns his face slightly, pinning her down on the mattress with his clear eyes. His gaze makes her breath erratic and her skin warm, and she involuntarily tighten her legs in response.
"It seemed to me that there was another organ which interested you more," he replies, looking at her the same way he looked at the world that night in 1920 – like it was his playfield- before going back to his occupation.
When he uses the towel on the organ which had interested her more she bites her lower lip. He's slow and deliberate and very much in control; it is a blow for her ego but an allurement for her desire. She's wrapped around his very talented fingers and they both know it.
"I'm greedy," she says, rising on her elbow to stare at him as he dries his thighs, "I want both."
"My heart is not on the plate," he replies, so suave that her body dares to respond to his tone with a quiver. "I'm terribly sorry," he adds, with a tone that's anything but. "Be so kind as to let me apologize properly," he says, letting the towel fall to the floor to walk to the bed and join her once again.
There's no need to bring back the Ripper to have a little fun, he thinks as he dresses himself observing his image in the mirror. He grins thinking of Elena's face as he escorted Rebekah to the door.
Life still tastes sweet, he realized as he reminisces about Rebekah's taste against his tongue. It's been very long since a woman had willingly proposed for him to drink from the inner thigh. Oh, there are more than a few benefits in bedding a vampire, especially when it's as wild as Rebekah.
"I can't believe it!" Caroline enters his room without knocking and he barely glimpses at her before going back to buttoning his shirt.
"Tell me it's not true," she says, standing behind him with her fists on her sides.
"It's not true," he answers immediately, with a blank tone. She knows he will say anything to avoid this conversation.
"Rebekah? Seriously?" she asks, "Do I need to list all the reasons why that's a monumentally bad idea?".
He doesn't bother to reply, but observes her with a sort of amusement that makes her feel frustrated. Stefan turns and goes sit in a chair, crossing his legs and resting his chin on his closed fist, as his elbow is shored up on the chair arm.
He looks like he could teach a lesson or two about bearing to Henry VIII himself.
"Please, go ahead," he says, with an elegant gesture, inviting her to make her speech.
Caroline grimaces, looking at him as she's pleading, "I know that Elena broke your heart, but this is not a good reason to be involved with Rebekah. She's bad Stefan."
Stefan stares at her for a few moments before asking "That's all? I was expecting a longer list, edited in alphabetical order. After all, organization has always been your area of expertise."
"She is going to backstab you," she warns you.
He grins at her. "Then she'd better stand in line," he says, with a light, bitter tone. Caroline must take away her eyes to not give up entirely on her purpose for talking him out of it. He's right, after all, the people he loved the most in the world betrayed him without a second thought, and the only thing she can do now is appeal to his conscience.
"You're going to hurt her," she says, "You can't give her what she really wants."
"I gave her exactly what she asked for," he replies with a shrug, "And she asked for it a lot, I assure you."
Caroline shakes her head but she has no time to reply before he speaks again, "Elena did not break my heart, she crushed it," he explains with a hard look, daring her to make any excuse for her friend, "But I don't resent her. Your heart can be your strength as well as your weakness, and now I am without weakness. I am actually enjoying my condition greatly. In fact, I should probably send her a card, but since you're here – on her request," he adds smiling, amused by her childish try to make him do what she wants by using Caroline, "You can bring her my sincere thanks, for both her interest in my love life and her decision to leave it."
He gracefully stands from the chair, walks to her and kisses her cheekbone, before leaving the room.
Caroline's worry is endearing and understandable, even if it's been fueled by Elena's need to be the absolute center of attention even after she decided to walk all over his heart for his dear brother. Tyler's try is laughable, because Rebekah can be Klaus' sister but she's still a hot girl and he cannot find the sincerity to tell him to stop having fun with her. Jeremy can try all he wants to be rational and balanced but Stefan only nods his way through the boring one-way conversation and once the boy has left him alone he realizes he's still nodding. Matt shows up too, but he doesn't even touch the subject – decency is always been one of his strongest traits after all and he's got enough to not interfere.
Bonnie is another story entirely. Rebekah is seductively whispering against his ear and he's trying to decide if he will be generous enough to play along or not, when Bonnie enters his bedroom.
"Sweetheart," she addresses the vampire, "Out of here before I warm up to you," she says, sarcastically, pointing her thumb over her shoulder.
Rebekah bats her lashes with conceit, bothered, "You do realize I can break your neck before you can even think to stop me," she warns her.
Bonnie crosses her arms under her breast feeding her a molasses smile, "I would like to see you try."
"I'm just going to imagine you two naked," he informs them, making them both turn towards him. Then he grins, amused.
"I'll see you," he tells the blonde vampire, letting her know she must leave. She's clearly annoyed but she does.
"I was actually wondering when you would show up; after all, you're the secret weapon," he tells Bonnie, observing her with curiosity. "Please," he says, turning his back on her to open a drawer and pick a shirt, "Don't let me interrupt you. I'll change in the meanwhile, since I have plans for the night. You don't mind, do you?" he asks, taking off his shirt before she has the time to answer his obviously rhetorical question.
"What are you doing?" she burst, making him turn around. He sports his best clueless look.
"I'm changing," he explains, letting the shirt he took off fall and hang on the headstock of his acoustic guitar.
"I can see that," she says, unable to calm down her alarmed tone. Bonnie can feel her cheeks warming up but she tries her best to not give away her embarrassed state, "I meant with Rebekah."
She's pretty positive he was not a gladiator when he was alive so she really has no idea how he can possess such a well-defined, impossibly muscular body. But that's not the point, she reminds herself with a mental shake.
"Generally we have se-"
"I got that," she cuts him.
"Then I don't know what else to say," he says, with a bored look, finally putting on the shirt he picked.
"Do you think having a relationship with her it's a smart move? She's our enemy and you can be sure that once we have the cure she will take it away at the first opportunity."
"I do not have a relationship with her," he clarifies, "You must be confused."
"Yes," he says patiently as his eyes mock her misplaced candor, "Elena. Of course. If you need her you'll find her in my brother's bed. As for me, I don't know who's bed I'll grace tonight but I have to go and find out," he says. "With your permission," he adds with a graceful bow, walking past her.
"Wait," she calls, making him stop in his tracks. This time, when he looks at her over his shoulder, there's no reproaching, no condescension. This time, when he looks at her, he doesn't see Elena's lap dog, only Bonnie. He thinks that straight hair makes her look more sleek and sophisticated.
"Does it make you feel better?" she asks, with a light in her eyes which makes him turn to watch her with more attention.
He grins at her uncertainty. There's something about her that reminds him of himself. She's a river of power twirled on itself for the sake of someone that discards her more easily and more often than she realizes.
"Living for myself?" he asks, "Indulging in the power of seduction? Reveling in the pleasure of sex? Having no promises to keep or pains to bear in the name of a love only I care about?" he asks, looking at her like he knows her secret, "Yes, it does."
Stefan exudes confidence, but not in the arrogant way Damon does, which makes her hands itch and pushes her to use him like her personal stress reliever. Instead, Stefan makes her want to hide inside her skin cover both her eyes and her ear to prevent herself from being drawn to him. The way he stares through her makes her feel like she's naked in front of him — not in dirty way — but like he can actually read her mind.
"Why are you looking at me that way?" she asks, suddenly unreasonably dismayed by him.
"I'm waiting for you to live for yourself, too," he answers simply, "And maybe indulge and revel," he suggests.
But she chuckles at him, arousing his interest. His interest is easy to catch but close to impossible to keep and she's so promising.
"Why not? Is it such an unpleasant perspective?" He urges her as he slightly bends over to watch her closely. "When was the last time you did something just for yourself?"
"A life lived only for yourself is a wasted life," she says and he smiles his first genuine smile in a long time.
"Yes," he nods, "But what about a life not lived at all? Isn't that wasted too?"
Bonnie feels like Eve talking to the snake, like there's something dark hiding behind those clear, intense eyes, behind his reasonable words. He can read both her distrust and her interest so very easily; she, who's used to feel like Athena, acting like the virgin patron of the city, is doubting herself, because she can feel in the right, but she's nowhere close to feeling happy and no one cares enough to say it aloud.
"You're the magic prodigy and the best friend anyone ever had, so can't you take a break and have fun every once in a while?"
"I do have fun," she insists sounding like a lying child to her own ears.
"And who could ever deny that," he says, sarcastically, "I'm constantly disabled by your blinding smile."
"You're hurt and you're behaving in a way you would never if things were different," she tells him, regaining her composure.
"There's no denying that," he admits with a nod, clasping his hands behind his back. The tight shirt he's wearing stretches more because of his position, exalting his muscular chest, "But things are not different," he reminds her, "and, after all, you're not finding a trail of dead bodies with my signature on it, and I'm of a fairly good humor, all considered. The world isn't falling off its axis just because I'm enjoying myself. You should try it once," he says, "Just once, takeup space," he spells out "demand attention, feel good about yourself. What's wrong with that?" he asks, his voice impossibly gentle.
He raises one hand to stop her from talking when she opens her mouth. "You don't need to argue with me on this. I know what you're about to say," he explains with a smile, "Let me know if you ever change your mind," he adds, taking his leather jacket from the back of a chair and leaving.
"I think you should let him do what he wants," she tells her and Elena can't even look at her. She turns her face, refusing to meet her eyes as she insists Stefan is doing what he's doing just to hurt her, like she's all he thinks about, like his world turns around her, like there's no other way.
She doesn't know if it's confidence or arrogance – maybe it's just that there's really no other way. After all, Matt still looks her way with nostalgia, and Damon has been holding on for so long just for her to give him a chance, and Stefan is her soulmate. Yet, whatever it is, Bonnie feels a bit of envy, and disgust.
"Even so, you don't love him anymore, so he can't hurt you."
"But he's hurting himself, and I'm worried. Maybe I'm not his girlfriend anymore but I still care for him," she says, her head high, her look proud, like she actually believes her words. "He's my friend and I'm trying to look out for him."
Bonnie wants to shake her, tell her she's merely defending what she thinks is her territory - she's so used to keeping both of the brothers on the leash that it upsets her to see Stefan getting away from her –but she doesn't have the courage to argue with her.
"I know," she just says, feeling hypocritical. She's always speaking of truth and the right things but when it comes to Elena she just hides her head in the sand.
"Here you are," Damon's voice interrupts them and it's one of those very rare occasions when Bonnie is relieved to see him.
He sits on the arm of the sofa and lean to get a kiss from Elena, as Bonnie rolls her eyes to not witness the unpleasant show. She likes to think herself as open-minded – she's a witch, after all – but whenever she sees Elena and Damon together she can't hush up that tiny voice, asking her if it was too much trouble to wait a little before jumping into the bed of the older Salvatore and maybe avoiding going at it two rooms away from Stefan's bedroom.
She can understand Damon's haste – he's been rejected all his life and she knows the hunger that can grow from there - but not Elena's, for she has been loved and adored every single second of her life, and Stefan loved her like no other.
Walking over that - sire bond or not - it's something Bonnie will never understand.
"Judgy," Damon greets her, "It's a pleasure to see you."
"I wish I could say the same," she replies, standing ready to leave.
"You hurt me."
"Don't give me any ideas, Damon," she answers, rolling her eyes before walking away. She can feel his eyes on her back before hearing Elena's giggle. Quickly looking back over her shoulder, she sees Elena turning Damon's face, holding him by his chin, to make him look at her again and kiss him.
It's like she can't go a whole minute without him worshipping at her altar. She's only glad Stefan is not there.
He said he would stop by her house and so she washed her hair, took her time to curl it, put on makeup and wore and pink lace t-shirt he had told her he liked. It takes her one hour to prepare a cheesecake but she doesn't mind because it was his favorite and she imagines the smile on his face smelling the warm scent of it in her kitchen.
She has already made peace with the fact that she will be spending her night watching a basketball game because he loves it. After all, leaning against him for two hours, enjoying the contact and the warmth of his young body against hers not a bad option at all and she finds herself smiling at the prospect.
If Stefan could see her now he would know that she does have fun, and she does smile, and she does live her life and is happy.
But as she waits and waits and waits some more for Jeremy to show up, the smile falls away and even if her eyes are low on the floor she can't find it anymore. It's nothing new, really, she should not be mad or sad about it. He always took her for granted and she never told him otherwise. She has never asked for him, and he's just a boy who will not try to fix a thing that's not broken. Only, he would know she's broken if only he bothered enough to take a good look at her.
She takes the phone to call him, ask him where he is and if he's alright, but she's pretty sure he is. after all, if he or anyone else needed help she'd be the first one they'd call. They only call to ask for favors. The last time somebody checked on her just for the sake of it was four years ago, when she was in bed with the flu, way before Stefan came back into town. That time, she suspected Elena had called her only to have an excuse to get away from Matt because she was growing bored of him; so, maybe it doesn't count.
The umpteenth disillusion adds up to every little - and not so little - wound inflicted on her, and she's saying the words before she can regain the lucidity to not to.
"I changed my mind."