Her eyes diverted away from the Damon’s snarky attitude and back on Seth, who was glancing back and forth between the two of them. She tried to ignore Damon’s unwanted presence, but by the looks of it he wasn’t going anywhere.
“I’m Seth.” He extended his hand to the elephant in the room and Damon gladly shook it.
“Damon.” His pearly white teeth beamed and his cocky smirk was smeared across his face.
“So now that we’ve introduced one another, Damon, I was actually talking to Seth.” Elena said in a perfectly calm tone, while her facial expressions screamed get lost.
He displayed his sincerest, yet sarcastic face and apologized. “Oh sorry to interrupt the thrilling conversation you two must have been having. I’ll be on my way. Good to see you, Elena.”
Popping the collar of his jacket, he walked off into the corridor quickly glancing at a young blonde girl who politely returned a smile. Good old Damon was in his prime and Elena rolled her eyes at his eccentric personality. He was beyond frustrating at times, but she had to admit she was glad to have him along with Stefan and Alaric close by with the sudden turn of events. A startling shiver warped through her at the thought of the past involving the four of them. How was this happening all over again?
“He seems…” Seth began as he shook his head in disapproval.
“Interesting.” Elena replied.
“I was going to say like a dick, but interesting is a nice way to put it.” He corrected her and gave her an apologetic smirk. “Sorry, I know he is a friend and all, but I’m going to be honest I don’t like the guy.”
“Damon is, Damon.” She concluded and laughed.
“So did you two date or something?” His question sparked more rushing memories of her past.
At one point she thought she had true feelings for him when she was losing hope in Stefan, her one true love. They had shared a few heated moments involving spontaneous kisses on her front porch or make out sessions in the depths of the night. In the end, she realized her feelings for Damon were nothing but lust and she knew a real relationship would never happen between them. Leaving him slightly heartbroken, Damon came to terms with her decision. However, that never stopped him from still trying to kiss her from time to time or being a flirt with her.
“No, just a fling.” She answered fast and wanted to change the subject.
Seth’s face showed he was not convinced and was curious for more answers, but she knew she had to steer clear of the Damon conversation.
“I never asked,” Or so she hoped she hadn’t already by her alter ego down by the river. She took the chance anyways. “How are you feeling with all of this?”
“Honestly, I’m fine.” He shrugged his shoulders. “It’s sad, but what can you do. Hopefully they catch whatever attacked the guy and it will be the end.”
The end. Nothing was ever the end in her book. She wished it was, but she knew the truth. After all, Katherine had reappeared and she never saw that coming.
“Me too.” Elena whispered. “Look, I hate to ditch you for the fifth million time, but I really need to get some research done on a project. Why don’t we catch up later for drinks? I’ll buy first round.”
“You had me at first round.” Seth smiled. He was really cute and probably the perfect guy for her to be in a relationship with, but she just couldn’t bring herself to date again. That road had been damaged too much to let her open up and accept someone like that again.
“Okay, how about that little place off 3rd?” She suggested.
“Sounds great. I’ll see you there around eight.” He piped and gave her the nod of his head gesturing his departure.
Elena watched as he weaved in and out of the crowd that was now forming in the quad. She had never seen so many people in the quad before, but considering the circumstances what else was there to do? There was no use in hiding in the dorms. It was an animal attack after all. She really wished that was true. Every single person including herself was in danger of Katherine. Who would be her next victim? Who would fall for her tricks of pretending to be her? Elena feared people would soon begin to question her and she knew that was only bound to come, especially from Seth.
Gathering her things, Elena went the opposite way from where the crowd was forming. She needed to find Stefan to escort her to her room so she could gather a few things and bring them to their headquarters. There was no way she was going to sleep in that room with Katherine having access to it. It boggled her mind to know Katherine some how connived her way into her room. The only answer of how she got invited in was by compelling the housing director. Only she and the housing director would have been able to invite her in. Elena sighed with anger.
As she turned the corner to the corridor, she picked her phone out of her pocket to call Stefan. Her fingers flicked through her address book and before she could hit “call”, she collided with a dark figure.
“Really?” Damon bowed his head. “Seth.”
“Not now Damon.” She growled and hovered her thumb over Stefan’s name on her screen.
“You’ve really downgraded.” His comment was not needed and she punched him in the arm. It was no use since it wouldn’t do much damage, but it made her feel better.
“You know I really didn’t miss your snarky little comments.” Elena glared at him and pushed her phone back in her pocket. Stefan would have to wait. “Leave Seth alone. I already have to worry about Katherine pouncing on him, I don’t need you too.”
“So have you two, you know.” He flickered his eyes with hint of curiosity and Elena sighed shaking her head.
“He’s my friend Damon. Thanks to you and Stefan I think I’ll never you know again.” She crossed her arms in front of her going into defense mode. “I don’t even know why I’m having this conversation with you. I need to find Stefan.”
“Well, if it makes you feel any better I’ll look after your friend to make sure he is Katherine free.” Damon said not pleased with his agreement, but he knew it was the right thing to do. “I’m only doing this because I know you were going to ask me sometime sooner or later.”
“I was thinking Stefan could have taken over the babysitting department, but since you offered.” She smiled watching his expression change to defeat. Catching him off guard was rare and she knew how to talk back to him.
Damon clenched his jaw and looked away from her. Elena retrieved her phone again from her pocket and pressed, “call” for Stefan.
“You’re welcome.” He said sarcastically.
“Thanks. Oh, and you probably should stay on your best behavior here if you know what I mean.” She pressed the phone to ear and gave him a quick smile. “We don’t want people to start wondering if the animal attack was well, not an animal attack and it sure looks suspicious being the new guy and all. See you later.”
Feeling satisfied with herself, Elena let the ringing of Stefan’s phone fill her ear. The only way to deal with Damon was to give him what he threw at her. She knew it was the only way to keep her distance with him.
Hours later, Elena found herself relaxing in the new headquarters with her journal. Her feet hung over the tiny dorm bed as Stefan stood at the window looking out at the university. Alaric was out preparing his new position as history professor while Damon was out prowling the campus looking for young girls to get his jollies on with. He never knew how to grow up really no matter how much time consumed his years.
The tip of her pen scratched the paper as she wrote the only word that she could think of, fear. She hated this feeling. It wasn’t something she had felt in a while, even though it sat in the back of her mind always.
“You’re writing again?” Stefan spoke softly.
“I figure I need to share my stories with my kids some day so they know what they are getting themselves into. It’s something I wish my parents would have done.” She said.
“They were protecting you.” He stated and pushed his hands into his front pockets.
“And look where that got me.” Elena chuckled. “I just don’t want to blind them with the truth. Plus, this helps me deal with, everything.”
He made his way over toward the bed and pulled out the desk chair. Sitting in it backwards so he could rest him arms on the back and face her at the same time, he stared at her. She felt uncomfortable. The history they shared was something very conflicting. Elena knew she would always love him; it was just the thought of falling back in love with him that bothered her. She knew it could be easily done and that’s why she distanced herself, but now the haunting memory of them was noticeably present.
“How are you?” She genuinely asked and closed her journal.
“I’ve been good.” He replied and smiled. “Sticking to a healthy diet.”
“That’s really good Stefan.” Elena was glad he wasn’t down the road of destruction anymore. Time was the only way to cure him emotionally and mentally of the torture he went through with Klaus. He was so high off of human blood for the longest time that she didn’t even know who he was anymore. However, as he sat across from her she saw the man she had befriended for the first time a few years ago in the school hallways of Mystic Falls. She saw the man she had fallen in love with.
“I don’t go a day without thinking about you truthfully.” Stefan confessed.
“Same.” Elena sighed. “But you know we can’t do that again, Stefan. I don’t think I could…”
“I know.” He responded strongly. “I’ve hurt you too much. I don’t expect for you to even feel anything for me.”
Tilting her head back, Elena closed her eyes. “I still feel something for you Stefan. I just try not to let it in too much. I told you I will always love you, I just can’t be in love with you.”
“And that’s very generous of you after everything,” His voice faded. He was still ashamed of his actions back during the Klaus era. “And I’ve never stopped loving you despite what I’ve said or done.”
“I know.” She smiled back at him.
Memory lane wasn’t really where she wanted to go down right now and she really wasn’t ready for the relationship talk with him just yet. It had been so long since she had last saw him let alone talk to him. The moment was overwhelming.
“So,” Changing the conversation, something she was beginning to get good at. “What are we going to do about Katherine?”
“I don’t know.” He said sounding displeased at her name. “We need to figure out what she is up to and why?”
“Why don’t we just kill her? All those chances we had in the past and yet we all let her in, believed her lies just so she could stick around a bit longer.” Elena exclaimed. “I say we will kill the bitch the first chance we get.”
“For once, you actually said something smart.”
They both looked at the doorway where Damon was standing with his arms crossed. Startled by his entrance, Elena looked back to Stefan. She knew they were about to start the great argument of whose idea was better. Some things never get old.