Bella’s first day of school was as expected. Boring. She didn’t share classes with any of Elena and Stefan’s group because they were juniors and she was a senior. If she was honest with herself, she was fine with that because she was still feeling rather hostile in regards to Elena for what she pulled with Damon.
By the time their lunch period came, she had even less interest in sitting with the girl and her friends, opting for an empty table outside, ignoring the curious looks that she was getting. She could feel her temper beginning to get the better of her, the stares and whispers behind her back.
As she looked up from her meager lunch that she had lost an appetite for, she saw Elena across the school campus staring back at her, but Bella simply knew that the girl was inside the cafeteria with her friends. Narrowing her eyes on the girl, she glanced back to look to make sure that she wasn’t hallucinating again and sure enough, there she was. When she looked back, the other girl was gone.
Standing up from the bench, she looked around more alert because what she saw wasn’t some illusion or hallucination that she had been experiencing the two days before since they got into town. This was someone very real. Bella looked back towards the table at Elena with renewed agitation and desire to keep a distance from the girl until she knew exactly what was going on.
Evidently whatever was going on with her hadn’t slipped by their attentions completely because she saw Stefan coming through the doors toward her.
“Are you okay Bella?” he asked, nothing but concern on his face as she eyed him approaching.
She wasn’t sure yet as to his intentions because anytime he was near, her scar continued to remind her of its presence which put her on edge. “Umm…” she hesitated, looking back to where the Elena look-a-like had been.
“Bella?” he asked again, turning towards where she had been eyeing, wondering what she was trying to see.
“I don’t know. I – I thought I saw Elena, but she was inside with you,” she said with confusion, and enough suspicion that made it clear she knew something wasn’t right. She watched him as his eyes widened slightly and he pulled in a breath, holding it fractionally before letting it go and nodded. “I wasn’t imagining it, was I?”
Swallowing, Stefan held out his hand, laying a soft touch on her arm to guide her back to the building, almost in a protective manner that she was familiar with as he kept an eye on the distance behind them. “No. You weren’t. I – can’t explain it right now, but I promise you that I will. Can you promise me that after school, you’ll go straight home? Either Damon or I will come there and talk to you. This girl, the one that looks like Elena – we don’t know what she wants with you, but we’re trying to find that out, but I am begging you to trust us. We will tell you everything we know.”
Bella looked back up at him searchingly as she considered his request, feeling nothing but honesty in his words, making her want to believe him. For that, she felt the need to be honest with him with what she knew as well. “Okay. Um, just, be careful,” she said, her voice wavering as she felt as if this being, whoever she was, could be a potential threat to him.
He smiled gently as he nodded. “I will. You do the same,” he said as he walked away to return to his group as they started questioning him curiously while Bella quickly escaped to go to her locker and finish out her classes for the day.
Since lunch, she was extremely distracted, wondering what Stefan would have to tell her. He had said that this look-a-like wanted her but that they didn’t know why. She wondered how he knew that she wanted her and when he found out that she did. The more she thought about it, the more questions she had.
By the time Bella got home, she dumped her backpack on the floor just inside the front door with a sigh. Immediately her eyes found the note Charlie had left for her that he was going to be late as it was also his first day with the sheriff’s office.
Thinking about Stefan and Damon, she was anxious to see them, pacing the length of the foyer as she pulled out the cell phone that Damon had delivered to her. She debated about calling him to see if he was coming, hoping. Why she wanted to see him, she wasn’t sure but she did. As much as she felt okay around his brother, she felt safer with him.
It baffled her the strength of the feelings she was having after having only met the two and couldn’t but wonder if it had anything to do with the strange visions she was having that seemed to feature them. Biting her lip, Bella was about to dial one of the brothers at random, but a knock at the door stopped her.
With her heart racing, she spun to stare at the door for nearly two full minutes before she started to move towards it. Slowly, she opened the door, almost afraid of who she would find on the other side. The initial sight of black leather leaning against the door frame before more of Damon was revealed as she opened it the rest of the way.
“Damon,” she greeted, breathless with relief, causing his eyes to widen in surprise.
“Hey Bella. You okay? Stefan told me that I needed to come over. That something happened at school but didn’t say what. He would be here as soon as he got Elena situated,” he said softly as his eyes drifted over her face before shifting behind her for something. “Can I come in?”
Bella blinked as she nodded. “Yeah, sure. Come in,” she muttered, stepping back to let him in.
He brushed past her, his hand coming down over her arm reassuringly. “Are you okay?” he asked again, not believing her answer.
She teared up as she wrapped her armed around herself as she shrugged. “I don’t know Damon. So much is going on that I don’t understand.”
Damon was confused as he looked at her before he pulled her into the living room, sitting her on the couch. Bella watched him as he took a seat on the coffee table in front of her, as he too kept a close eye on her at the same time. “Tell me what happened. Stefan didn’t tell me anything other that I needed to get here. I’m sure I have an idea of the direction it might be and trust me that whatever it is you want to say, you won’t surprise me.”
Bella remained quiet as she considered what to say, her mind going in different directions as his fingers rubbed gently over her wrist that was meant to be a calming gesture, but all she could focus on his proximity to James’ bite mark. Her eyes slowly turned to look up at him, curious, contemplative as he sat watching her with his own equal expression that had his own worry for her.
“I don’t know where to begin,” she started, frustrated and scared.
“Let’s start with what happened at school then. What got Stefan all up in a tizzy that he sent me here for protection detail?” he smiled, thumbing at her chin to get her to look back at him.
His words made her narrow her eyes on him before answering. “I thought I saw Elena across the campus, but I knew it couldn’t have been her because I had literally just saw her inside with her friends and purposely went outside to not have to sit with them,” she replied, her emotions growing unsteady again as she recalled the scene and the angry expression on the look-a-like’s face. “Stefan must have been looking out at me and saw how confused or whatever I was feeling because the next thing I knew, he was coming out to check on me. I told him what I saw and convinced me to finish the day and come home where he or you would come talk to me.”
Bella, despite the roller coaster of emotions she was feeling, was surprised at how calm she got that out but was fairly sure it was because of he composure that Damon had been holding himself in that allowed her to keep herself together as he listened. She had been watching him, for his reactions, and saw his eyes widen with something that she saw in Stefan’s eyes at the mention of someone looking exactly like Elena.
Damon let out a sigh as he ran his hand over his face, looking at her almost as if he wasn’t sure what to say or do. “I want to be honest with you but I don’t know about you Bella. We all barely know each other, having met only a few days ago,” he said but it felt off to her as she furrowed her brows. She hadn’t felt more at ease and familiar with someone before and it was that what made her nervous now with the brothers. “I understand if you don’t want to trust us, but we don’t want anyone to hurt you.”
Pulling her hand back from him, she pushed herself up from the couch and walked away as she felt the familiar flames of rage licking at her heels. “Damon. If there is one thing I hate, it’s liars. I’ve been through that before and I won’t go through that again. I would certainly like to be friends with you and your brother but if either of you can’t be honest with me – if you can’t trust that I am incapable of thinking for myself, then there is the door. I’ve survived well enough without you.”
He sat there, staring at her as he tried to understand what he said that provoked a reaction like that but he certainly was able of sympathizing. “If you want me to be honest with you, I can. But I don’t think you would like what I have to say and I don’t know if I would like how you might react.”
Bella pursed her lips as she glared at him. “Try me. Can’t be any worse than what I’ve already been through,” she threw back, making him raise an eyebrow curiously.
“If you want it that way,” he nodded. “First you need to understand that Mystic Falls, is anything but your typical town. It’s a bit – mystical.”
“No shit. I kinda got the gist of that when I started having fucking hallucinations my first day here,” she bit back, starting to pace the floor again as she grew anxious, wringing her hands nervously from her memories and the images that had assaulted her.
He was quiet for a moment as he seemed to think about how to proceed. “Can you tell me about some of these hallucinations?” he questioned cautiously.
Bella shrugged. “Most of them seemed harmless. Only a couple really freaked me out so far. The first one seemed to have Stefan and Elena but in clothes from like a really long time ago and they were in town. Except Elena looked like to be a grade A bitch.”
“Uh huh,” he murmured as he stared at her, speechless. “Go on.”
She looked up at him, raising an eyebrow. He didn’t seem very surprised about what she said, but continued anyway, wondering what he seemed to be waiting for. “Um. There was one that there was some kind of event on the grounds here. I just remember feeling extremely scared from it, like I was being caught and taken.”
He nodded again as he moved closer, his eyes looking deeply into hers. “Tell me everything you remember,” he said strongly, but there was a vulnerability to it that made her want to give in, but she resisted.
Shaking her head, Bella ran her hand through her hair, thinking about the one that seemed to be of him when they got to the house but didn’t want to tell him. Swallowing, she went with a different vision. “There was one with Elena in my room. She seemed to be studying me before taking off through my window. I had the feeling as if she wanted to kill me,” she whispered.
Damon tucked her hair behind her ear as he looked at her gently. “That’s because she does. The girl you are seeing isn’t Elena. Her name is Katherine and she does look exactly like Elena.”
“Elena didn’t mention she had a twin sister,” Bella said confused as she looked up at him, not wanting to pull away from his affections.
“She’s not her sister. It’s more complicated. Elena is actually Katherine’s doppelganger, somehow her descendant. We’re still trying to figure out how exactly because as far as we know, Katherine’s line ended with her,” he said with some hesitation.
She watched his face as he seemed unsure of how to continue, to tell her more. So she had to take what he had given her already the only thing she could come up with when he mentioned this woman’s line was something like a bloodline. Ending one would be like changing. Perhaps something like a vampire but the girl she saw wasn’t like the vampires she knew of.
“So what? She’s like a vampire or something? Damon, be serious because I’ve met vampires and wolves and I’ve had enough of the supernatural crap to last me ten lifetimes. If this Katherine person was a vampire, then how the hell can she walk in the sun without sparkling like a glittering idiot?” she asked, confused as hell, not caring that she may have outed her knowledge to some random person.