Last night, what was going on?
Hold tight, only just begun
All out, love the party gowns
We the only ones
Ready, go, go
Killin’ It ~ Cher Lloyd
Izabelle had dozed off after we fooled around more that morning. After watching her nap for awhile, I pulled on some pants and headed downstairs thinking I could make her some breakfast in bed. I couldn’t hold back a grimace at finding Stefan and Elena sitting at the table.
“You’re still here,” Stefan murmured into his coffee cup as Elena turned away.
“Yep. Nice play with calling Izabelle,” I winked as I helped myself to some caffeine.
He snorted at my pseudo thanks. “It wasn’t me. We figured out that when Bonnie died before graduation that the spell broke. I asked if she could contact Emily or her grandmother to confirm it. Either way, she’s back and hopefully you can be happy now.”
I narrowed my eyes on him and cocked my head to the side. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
He turned in his chair and eyed me warily. “It’s just – Damon, it’s just that with Katherine aside, Izabelle was the only one that really got you without trying. I’m happy for you. Really. You’re good for each other. I am just worried about her relationship with the rest of her family and what that would mean for you. You may not believe it, but I do care.”
Unsure of what to make of his sudden change of heart after everything, I chose to simply ignore it. Shrugging, I made my way into the kitchen to see what we had on hand. “We need to go food shopping!” I announced.
“It was your turn last,” Stefan answered back making me scowl. There was next to nothing available for breakfast. The thought of leaving Izabelle in bed, without me around, did not sit well with me. I snarled slightly at my brother. “So – last night went well I gather from the trail of clothes leading to your room.”
“I guess so,” I muttered, inspecting the tray of eggs to see how many we had left. Enough for one, which was fine by me. I’ll made do with a blood bag until later. “Hey. Question. Who were those two dudes with you last night?”
Elena laughed as she turned to look at me for the first time. “Did you and her talk at all or were you focused on something else entirely?” she asked.
I sneered down at her after flashing to her side. “We spoke plenty but yes, we were focused more on what she and I wanted out of our relationship. Her friends weren’t exactly an important topic when we needed to know where we were. If you want to know if we fucked, then yes. Of course we did and you know what? It was the best I ever had.” She pissed me off with her obvious jealousy. I no longer understood what my brother saw in this woman now. She was no better than Katherine in my eyes, who wanted us both and was unhappy without having one without the other.
“Alright, enough,” Stefan interrupted, coming in between us. I shifted my attention to him and let my fury become clear. “Just make Izabelle her breakfast like you were planning and we’ll go take a walk. Just – relax. Okay?”
“No. You keep your manipulative copycat of Katherine away from me. She is no better than her and you know it. We wouldn’t be like this right now if precious Elena didn’t want the both us – again. But you know what the difference is now? I don’t have the need to follow her anymore. She doesn’t have witchy friends willing to tie us to her like that bitch did. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but that makes me love Bonnie all the more because as much as she always hated me, she wouldn’t do something that fucked up. Don’t you get it yet?”
I could see the battle warring in him as he knew that something wasn’t right with Elena anymore. Before anyone had the opportunity to say anything more, Izabelle skipped into the room dressed in one of my dark silk shirts that came down to her milky thighs causing a welcome distraction as my eyes focused on her with a smile.
“Good morning everyone,” she sang as she made her way around to my side. She pleased me even more when she wrapped herself around me, pulling me down for a fiery kiss that nearly had me on my knees, ready to claim her all over again. When she finally pulled back, she had a smirk as she reached for my abandoned coffee on the table. The movement allowed Elena to come into view again, her face furious as she glared at my girl. “Stefan, please take your pet for a walk. I don’t want her pissing on my man’s leg. He isn’t hers to get territorial over. After all, she had her chance and gave him up for you. Right?”
I kept my eyes on her as she gave out her orders, feeling extremely pleased and satisfied after he practically dragged Elena out the door. “You are very very naughty,” I teased, running my tongue along the curve of her ear.
“I only speak the truth. It’s not my fault that people don’t like to hear it. Anyway…Let’s be the selfish bastards they think we are and think of ourselves and be ridiculously happy. Get dressed. I’m going to bring you home to meet my friends. I think you’ll get on like fire with Emmett but be prepared to be put through the Dad test with Jasper. He’s a little over protective of me,” she shrugged.
“But I was planning on making you breakfast in bed,” I pouted as she walked away. What an ass that woman has…
“We’ll just grab something on the way. I’ll be in the shower,” she announced making me picture her naked and wet. Without a second thought, I was right on her heels before grabbing her and rushing us into my room to finish off the morning.
I wasn’t happy. I did not like this at all. I already knew Izabelle’s family so I didn’t need to deal with her friends, who might I add, looks like are capable of tearing my head off with the flick of a wrist. My girl sat besides me quiet as she stared at me in amusement.
“I’m so fucking glad you find this funny,” I grumbled. “Why did you have to bring them back with you? I have a great idea! We can run away and never come back. I say to hell with everyone here. Let them deal with their problems themselves. What do you say?”
She snorted and shook her head. “What do you want to do? Run off to Vegas, elope and go make babies in the middle of nowhere? That just sounds like the basis of a really bad made for television movie Cowboy.”
“Well, not the babies part,” I admitted reluctantly. The rest didn’t sound too bad even is she didn’t mean any of it. But it did put the thought in my brain of what I wanted in the future. I could see her wearing my ring one day.
“Not the babies?” she repeated. “Come on. It won’t as bad as you’re imagining.”
“Somehow I doubt that,” I sighed as I got out of the car. She made her way to my side and wrapped her arm in mine, giving me a smile that did help me calm down some. Before we made it to the door, I couldn’t help but hold her back for a moment as I considered sharing my thoughts with her about why I was so not into this. She looked up at me as I searched her eyes, knowing instinctively that she would give me all the time in the world that I would need and it partly scared me. While I knew she always had my interests at heart, I never fathomed just how much she did feel for me because I never thought myself worthy of anyone that didn’t want to cause me pain the way Katherine and Elena did. “I do trust you, you know that. It’s just… You know I don’t trust anyone.”
Izabelle gave me the saucy smirk that I love so much on her lips as she played with my jacket. “Then that is why I think you’ll get on just fine with Jasper. With his history, you both may be able to relate more than you think. As far as Emmett, well… He’s just a giant bear really. A bear with a mouth entirely focused on sex so it’s just another personality that is oddly like yours.”
I could hear laughter coming from the house at her words making me assume that at least one of them were listening in making me scowl at the intrusion of our privacy. Rolling her eyes, she continued on as she ignored the amusement coming from inside. “As I was saying, I really do think that you three would be good for each other. Their former partners were something like Katherine and I managed to get them free. Although it was with Elijah’s help, but still…”
“And what price did he make you pay for his help? You know he doesn’t ever do anything for free,” I complained. I really hated that asshole.
“Don’t worry about it right now. He said he wants my help with something but hasn’t said what yet. To be honest, I’m curious at what he’s planning and I need to know what it is so that I may be able to do something in time. Come on. Let’s get this over with before Klaus comes home. It’ll go smoother without him to taunt you into a fight.”
“Baby, I don’t need any push into fighting. You know I’m always game for a good round,” I teased, running my hand over her ass.
She spun around and fisted her hand over my junk and tugged just enough to make me flinch, immediately shutting me up. “Hm, yes you are. Try that again and I’ll have it removed, permanently. As much as I love it, I’m not a toy Damon. You’ll do well to remember that.”
I only grin back at her as I follow her into the house with her invitation. We continued on into a sitting room that was just off the large foyer that was well outside of my tastes where her two friends were lounging about like it was nothing.
“I see you idiots made yourself at home already,” she huffed as she made her way over to give them each a kiss. It was only on the cheek but enough to stir up a flash of jealousy in me. I hated the feeling. The blond guy looked over at me with an apologetic look but I shook it off. It’s not like he could know how I was feeling. Evidently he wasn’t being so sly about the look because Izabelle caught it. She looked from him to me and back frowning. He looked up at her and shrugged silently, the frown turning into a small smile. She made her way over back to me and before saying anything, she pulled me down to give me a very passionate kiss that had me wanting to find a bed – or take her right there. “There’s no need to be jealous with them. They are like brothers to me. Understand?”
That left me even more confused because how the hell did she know that I felt jealous at her attentions with them. I narrowed my eyes on the blond in suspicion before he sighed and stood up slowly. My eyes could pick up the faint lines of scars that covered his neck and parts of his face that resembled the scar on my Izabelle’s wrist. I knew it was done by a Cold One considering the temperature difference in the skin. Knowing she would tell me about it when she was ready, I said nothing to her but I couldn’t but wonder if it was this guy that caused it.
“My name is Jasper,” the blond said, introducing himself and held his hand out. I eyed it skeptically before shaking it as I put all my strength into my grip. He seemed to acknowledge my intent with that and nodded slightly. “Please be assured that what Bella said remains true for us. As much as we may tease or flirt with her, we only feel a sibling kinship with her.”
“Bella?” I repeated, finding the name odd on my tongue as I looked at her.
She only shrugged indifferently. “When I was hanging with their coven, I went by the name of Isabella and everyone took to calling me Bella and it stuck.”
“It suits you in a way I guess,” I muttered. “Though I think you’re more Bellissima.”
“And only you could call me that,” she smirked. “But what you are looking to know about what just happened is that, Jasper and Emmett used to be Cold Ones and we had a witch change them. Jasper’s gift did carry over through the change and he can sense and alter emotions. He let me know how you were feeling when I greeted them. I am sorry for making you feel that way because I never wanted you to worry about my feelings for you.”
I just stood there, unable to think of anything to say. I would apologize to her but that wasn’t me and she knew that. She knew whenever I felt sorry for anything I’d done and she never demanded the words from me. I could only nod as I kept my mouth shut.
“So – when were you turned man? I was turned in ’35,” the behemoth spoke up with a grin. I let out a small laugh as he successfully changed the subject enough to ease the discomfort. I had to suddenly wonder when I began to feel like a little bitch.
“1864,” I answered. “My brother was changed the same time.”
Jasper nodded as he sat back down and glanced at Izabelle before sharing his answer. “I was born in 1844, but I don’t remember exactly the year I was changed. I was forced to get involved in the Southern Wars that made me lose a large piece of time.”
I had heard of the wars he spoke of and frowned. Our kind avoided the region for fear of being sucked in ourselves. “Yeah, I headed west after I got out of this town for awhile just needing to get away.”
Izabelle eyed me but said nothing as she ran her hand over my shoulders. I hated thinking about that time and the pain I caused her at the hands of Katherine. “After Emily got me to leave, I had started for the south but met Jasper. We helped each other as I needed protection in the human body I had and he needed a friend. He helped me out with setting me up with a pair of friends he had that lived away from society. I spent most of my time away with them, but we are social creatures and eventually Jasper worked out a plan that brought me up to Washington state with the coven he’d been involved with. That’s were I met Emmett and of course their mates at the time. I tolerated them, even let them play with me, but I had been losing pieces of myself. I allowed myself to feel for one of them, but when he tried to break up with me… Well, that’s when I began to play.”
“Let me guess. You started to compel them into doing what you wanted? That’s hot,” I grinned, wagging my eyebrows at her before ducking in to playfully nip at her throat.
“Like I was saying, you and Jasper are more alike than you know. The vampire that turned him was one of the biggest in the south and a manipulative bitch that had the ability to have men submit to her will,” she continued as she looked me in the eye.
Sighing, I pulled back and nodded. “Just like Katherine,” I mumbled as I turned to look at the man who sat on the couch just looking at his hands. I could tell he was thinking about his history and his choices because I’ve been there except with a bottle of some really expensive whiskey in hand. “I may be going out on a limb here and say that I think today would be a really fucking good day to get drunk!”
We all shared a laugh as Izabelle made her way to the bar and began pouring us all something to drink. “Now you see what I mean? Plus it doesn’t hurt to have two more in your corner,” she winked. “And of their own free will too.”
“Why would anyone want to do that?” I asked her offended at her insinuation that I needed someone to fight my battles.
“Chill out lover. Just think about how much fun it would be to fuck with Stefan and the doppelganger’s heads. All of those so called friends think that you’re too evil to have any friends but we know better. I know you and Jasper knows what you refuse to show so you can’t hide your true self from him.”
I didn’t like where she was going with this and was starting to get pissed off more than before. “You know it doesn’t have to be that way. I could just turn it all off and where would that leave you and your mood ring if I have no emotions? Hm?”
The flash of pain that came to her eyes made me instantly regret my remark. It even felt like I could feel her hurt inside me. “You do that Damon. Flip the switch and turn it off, but you know that you can’t run from your problems like that. The emotions are always there just bubbling under the surface and you know that very well. Tell me. Do you want to turn it off and walk out that door? To leave me now that you know how I feel about you? How I’ve always felt about you?”
I couldn’t walk away from her after losing her once already and shook my head trying to get rid of the hurt and memories. “I – I need to take a walk,” I answered her before heading out the back door. I didn’t want to leave the house completely, to let her think that I wasn’t coming back. I just needed space to think.
When I felt the presence of someone else sit beside me, I realized I had been outside for awhile. Looking up to find Jasper, I would say I was surprised but I really wasn’t. “She’s pissed at me,” I stated at seeing the look on his face.
He glanced up to see Izabelle looking down at us from the window but she turned away. “Not really. She’s trying to give you the space you need to make your own choices. She wants you, you know that. She is afraid that you don’t want her in the same way and as much as she is capable of making you hers, she won’t.”
“Do you? I think you’re waiting for her to use her compulsion on you to keep you from running away. Something you seem quite good at. If you want to run, she’ll let you go. But for the rest of our sake, tell her that you don’t want her. That is if you don’t.”
Scowling at him, I refused to answer that aloud knowing that she could very well hear the conversation if she wanted to. Shaking my head I turned back to staring into the trees as I thought about everything for possibly the hundredth time since coming out there.
“You know what you want, but my question is if you’re brave enough to take it. I know you don’t want to hurt and you don’t want your friends to hurt either. You think you cause their pain, their unhappiness with your presence and maybe you do. You do because you are jealous that they have the happiness that you long for. That feeling of contentment of not needing for anything. That need of companionship. What you are having trouble reconciling with is that you have it now and she is right within your grasp,” he explained pointedly looking up to where she was just moments before.
“Thanks Dr. Phil,” I muttered. “I hope you don’t plan on my paying you for this psychobabble therapy bullshit.”
“The only payment I would accept is your doing the right thing,” Jasper said after staring at me for a moment. But what was the right thing? I thought.
I had sat out there for another hour after Jasper had finally stopped telling me about him and his brother. He had told me about their lives with the Cold Ones and how Bella met the family. I learned more about her than I was sure she’d have told me. At least right away. She was very much like me in wanting to keep the hurt out. She’d been hurt by her family like I had, just not in the same way. At least my father wanted me dead after I had transitioned. Hers wanted her and the rest of her siblings dead long before they were turned.
He had even told me about Edward and their relationship. I couldn’t see her going for a guy like that long term, but I guess I could see her trying. I did that with Elena, thinking she was that something more. Then Jasper had said something about being fixated and not seeing everything around them, something sparked inside of me. I realized that despite Katherine’s tricks, I was fixated on her long after she skipped town then it jumped to Elena. I hadn’t paid attention to the fact that behind a lot the action then, I had thought of Izabelle and ignored it. Her absence hurt me more than the rejections because I was close to switching off again.
Jasper had to have known when I finally understood because he quickly finished his story and left me be. That left me at the very pivotal fork in the road. Which way do I choose? Neither road was wrong, but it was clear. It was a life with or without Izabelle. Everything with her before was easy, but that wasn’t me anymore. And it wasn’t her either. We both had changed over the years apart, and we changed again in a mere day.
When I made the decision of what I would do, I stood up hesitantly and made my way back into the house. Inside, Emmett was rooting through the refrigerator for food and popped his head out when he heard me. “Hey man.”
“She’s upstairs. Sniff her out. You’ll find her,” he told me as he eyed me with concern. I knew that look. He was concerned that I was about to hurt his friend. I wanted to reassure him but I was terrified myself.
“Thanks,” I said simply and got the hell out of there. It was easy to find her room as she left her door open with her sitting at her vanity staring at her reflection. “Hey you.”
Her eyes found me in the mirror but she didn’t turn around. She didn’t hide her trepidation at what I came to say. “Damon,” she sighed, closing her eyes. When I saw the first tear fall, I was on my knees next to her wiping it away.
“No. Don’t cry. Please,” I begged, my fingers tracing the features of her face. As she tried to control her sadness, I continued to wipe away the fallen tears, kissing the salty skin left behind by them. “I can’t stand you crying. I love you too much to see you cry. Especially because of me. Please Bellissima. Don’t cry.”
Izabelle froze and her chocolate brown eyes locked on me as she attempted to breath. “What did you say?” she choked out.