“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world:
someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
“Damon,” Bella whispered, searching his eyes for answers that he needed to give her. “What are you asking? Because if it’s what I’m thinking, I – I honestly don’t know. I don’t think…”
He hushed her with gentle kisses on the outside of her mouth as she tried to talk until she finally settled down enough until he felt she would allow him to explain without interrupting. Smiling he shrugged a shoulder as he took her hand, studying the ring on her finger. “First, I didn’t choose this ring personally,” he said. “Bonnie brought it over when she heard that you were in transition and we were waiting for you to wake up, leaving it with Stefan. He brought it up about an hour or so before you woke and I put it on your finger right away.”
“Damon,” she repeated, her tone slightly harsher because he hadn’t given her the answer she was truly looking for.
Running a hand through his hair nervously, Damon took her hand again and fiddled with the ring, unable to take his own eyes off of it. “It’s not an engagement ring so don’t get all panicky but I’d like to think of it more as a promise to you,” he explained with a grin as he looked up at her. “After I left Forks, I always was concerned, worried about how you were doing but we had been so busy with shit here that I never was able to make it back there to check on you before you showed up here. It fuckingsucks the shit that you had to go through to bring us back together but it happened and here we are. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a selfish asshole and I wouldn’t change a thing because I have you with me, but I am relieved that you’re here and like me now. And – and I’m not going to let you go.”
Bella was quiet while he spoke, allowing him to get what he needed to say out. She let out a slow, deep breath as she looked into his eyes. She leaned in and pressed her lips to his as he sat there, stilled in surprise. It took him a moment before he reacted and responded to her, pulling her closer to him. She fit so perfectly inside his arms that he never wanted to let her go as he just held her there.
Letting out a sigh, she looked at him with a small smile. “Well, while my change came sooner than we would have liked, we knew it was inevitable. Only we had believed it might have been Victoria coming first and not Alice and Edward. Speaking of them – where are they?”
He sighed as her question broke the spell of happiness that was around them broke. His hold tightened fractionally. “Edward is in pieces downstairs. Stefan and Tyler thought it would be a good idea to keep him around for questioning later. For once, he thought with his brain.”
Bella smirked as she rested her head on his shoulder. “He can chill out there for awhile. I’m in no rush to deal with him at the moment. From what I remember that Jasper told me once, the longer they are apart, the more painful it is when they are put back together.”
Damon grinned as he pulled her hair back and kissed her neck. “You just are a saucy little devil aren’t you?”
“Well, he doesn’t deserve anything less. Now what about Alice? She got away, didn’t she?” she asked, frowning.
“Yep. We’ll get her. Whatever she is up to, she wants you. I doubt that she expected you to stay dead when she killed you. If she knew how our kind changes, then she would have anticipated that we would make sure that you would have someone’s blood in you to ensure you would survive to transition. Also, we have the mind raper as our prisoner.”
She sighed as she moved to get up, pacing the floor in front of him as he watched her with concern. “We can’t keep him in the house here. He’ll still be able to hear our thoughts even dismembered. I don’t know about me now, and not you, but we don’t know about everyone else. It’s not safe. Can Bonnie secure him in the tomb?”
“It’s worth a try. Come on. You need to drink some more,” he said as he held out a blood bag for her.
Bella took it reluctantly, knowing that it was now a part of who she was and she would need more as a young vampire until she would get a control of her later. Pulling open the port, she sucked on it with a sigh, enjoying it more than she knew she should.
Damon watched her with an appraising eye as she drained three more bags, trying not to look concerned. “Okay there Princess. We’ll get you more in time. Now what would you like to do for your first day as a brand new vampire?” he asked.
She thought about it for a moment, but with everything so fresh in her mind, her anger and thirst for vengeance was at the forefront. “Deal with Edward. I want the bastard to pay for what I’ve been through,” she said, turning her eyes to him as he nodded.
Pulling her hand up to his lips, he kissed her ring with a smirk. “As you wish,” he said as he led her down to the cellar where the vampire was being kept.
Tyler, who had been standing guard, despite the man being in pieces, smiled at her. “Glad to see you feeling better Bella,” he said. “What can we do for you?”
“I want to see him,” she said simply, her tone indicating that she wasn’t taking no for an answer.
He glanced up at Damon for confirmation that it would be alright and he nodded his permission. “We’re both here to back her up but she’s running the show. She’s been since the beginning.”
“True that,” the wolf grinned as he moved to open the door.
Slowly, as it opened, Bella could see more of the floor being revealed. Stalks of vervain that were normally piled in the corner were dumped on the pieces of Edward’s body that hadn’t been halfheartedly reattached to his torso so that he couldn’t get up and run. “Who all is in the house?” she asked, not taking her eyes off the marble vampire she once cared so deeply for.
“Besides us, Stefan is in his room. Everyone else is out,” Damon answered from behind her.
Edward grimaced in pain as he looked up at her. “Bella. Please. Don’t let them do this to me. Don’t let them separate us like this,” he begged, venom spitting from his mouth.
She ignored him as she continued to study him, pleased that he obviously couldn’t hear her thoughts in her newly undead form. In fact, she wasn’t entirely sure that he wasn’t in denial that she was actually dead because of Alice and his actions.
“And he can’t hear Tyler’s thoughts either?” she asked curiously, glancing at the hybrid.
“Oh he can. I just been regaling him with memories of times with all the girls I’ve been with as you told us about. He’s been a simpering idiot in here since we put his head back on his shoulders. Kept his limbs under the vervain. I was actually surprised that it actually causing a reaction. It’s like its burning the marble of his skin, causing it to darken. Reminds me of gangrene,” Tyler replied as he moved the vervain aside with his foot to show her.
She wondered idly if it would heal after he fed but decided it wouldn’t be worth testing for awhile. If she could cause permanent damage and let him live, it might be worth pursuing. “Call Bonnie and ask her when she will be ready to see if we can lock him in the tomb. I don’t want him in the house longer than necessary.
“Bella! What is wrong with you! They are brainwashing you! This isn’t you!” Edward cried out to her but she continued to act as if she hadn’t heard a thing he said, making Damon smirk in amusement.
“Anything else your highness?” Damon questioned, making her smile as she stared down at the vampire as she thought.
“Actually yes. There is,” she said before turning around and looking him in the eyes. “Does he really need a guard here? Because I would like the house to ourselves for awhile. In fact, tell Stefan to get the fuck out as well, or find some ear plugs.”
Tyler burst out laughing and shook his head. “I’m going to go find Caroline. Maybe she’s up for some fun since I’m all riled up from thinking about her all over my car…” he said as he walked out.
“Bella! Don’t do this! What has gotten into you?!” Edward screamed but could do nothing to stop her as she pushed Damon out of the cellar, pulling the door closed behind her and securing it.
“Edward. Shut up. You lost the right to have any say in my life when you told me you never loved me and left me in the woods to die, left me in the supernatural world to fend for myself without any defense. I lost my family, my life. And you think that by lying now and claiming you love me still that would change things. You’re an idiot. Alice is using you just as you were using me and don’t pretend like you weren’t. I know more than you think I do. Enjoy the show,” she smirked at him before pulling Damon with her.
They barely made it around the corner before her restraint broke and she had him against the wall. Taking a breath, pulling in his scent, she grinned as she leaned in to kiss him. His hands came up to gently caress her cheek, his fingers burying deep into her hair, as he deepened it.
She ran her hands over his shoulders, to the collar of his shirt to trace it down to find the buttons as she worked to undo them as fast as she could before giving up and ripping the damned fabric right from his body. “You know that was my favorite shirt,” he grinned at her.
“You have four more identical to it in your closet,” she replied back, looking up at him through her eye lashes.
He growled at her before he picked her up and spun her around, quickly repeating her actions, and leaving her in her bra as she panted breathless against the wall. Bella blinked back at him as her legs were wrapped around his waist and he ground himself into her. “You were saying?” he asked, earning a low moan in response.
Before they could continue, the sound of footsteps paused near the door to the cellar. “I really hate to interrupt you two, but Bonnie just called with disturbing news,” Stefan called down. “You need to get dressed. Everyone is heading back now.”
Damon dropped his head to her shoulder and sighed. “Fucking cock-blocking brother and witch.”
She chuckled as she ran her hand through his hair reassuringly. “Eventually. When you and I are meant to be together, they will let us. Trust me, I want this too.”
“Good to know because as soon as I get you naked in bed, damn anyone that interrupts because they are going to get an eyefull,” he warned, making her laugh. “Hang on tight. I’ll run us up to our room since you’ve shredded our clothes.”
Bella held onto him but glared. “I did nothing of the sort to my shirt. That was all you asshole!”
“Semantics! You enjoyed it!”