Stefan walked in the house to find his brother sleeping noisily on the couch.
He shook his head in disbelief. Why isn't he sleeping in his own room?
Stefan decided to leave him there. He was going to spend the evening with his girlfriend Elena and didn't have time for Damon or whatever he was up to lately. He just hoped that it wasn't something he would regret ignoring, with Damon one never knew.
Damon was roused from his sleep by a slamming door.
"Were you still sleeping?" asked Stefan as he walked in the room.
Damon looked around and realized it was dark already.
"What time is it?" he asked.
Damon never cares what time it is, thought Stefan. How strange.
"It's 5 minutes to 9," he replied, studying Damon's face in hopes of figuring out what he was up to.
"Damn, why didn't you wake me up sooner?"
Damon jumped up, grabbed his car keys and ran out the door before Stefan could utter another word.
Damon drove much too fast through town. He was very surprised he didn't get a speeding ticket.
When he arrived at the woman's house, her light was on. He assumed it must have been after 9:15.
He walked up to the door, brushed a bit at his dark hair and knocked on the door.
He waited for what seemed like an eternity to him before the woman answered the door. In reality, it was only 46 seconds.
She opened the door and said, "Hi, hold on a sec." Slipped on her shoes and stepped out the door.
Damon noticed she was wearing a red sweater, his favorite color. At this thought he licked his lips slightly.
"I'm sorry i can't invite you in right now, I don't know you well enough, she said while closing the door behind her.
Did she put emphasis on the words invite in? Damon wondered. Nah, I must be imagining things. I must really be going crazy, or maybe just paranoid.
He turned his head to face her and realized he didn't know what they were doing here.
"I hope you don't mind joining me for a couple drinks?" she asked, even though it sounded more like a statement than a question.
Damon definitely wouldn't pass up on drinks. Maybe he could figure out what was going on this way.
"Of course I don't mind. Where would you like to go?"
"I usually go to a little place just down the street from here. "You don't have any objection to walking, do you?" she asked in a sarcastic voice.
Damon rolled his eyes a little. "Show me the way."
She began to walk towards the north and Damon walked beside her, though a step behind her. They walked past a few houses, crossed the road and past a few businesses until they reached the bar. There were very few people on the street at this time.
Damon was quietly amused by how quickly she walked, though he wasn't quite sure why. He spent the entire walk to the bar, thinking and wondering.
I don't even know her name, he thought as they walked up to the doors.
He followed her in the bar and sat down at a table across from her.
The woman ordered them each a beer. Then turned to face Damon.
"My name is, Vella, in case you were wondering." she smirked.
Good, that was one mystery solved, he thought to himself, while taking a drink from his glass.
"I am Damon." he said while looking straight into her eyes.
He was still trying to compel her, probe her, find out what exactly she was up to, but he still couldn't sense a thing.
"Nice to meet you properly, Damon. Normally I don't invite men I just meet to come with me to the bar, but you aren't exactly a normal man, are you?"
HUH? What does she mean? What does she know? These were all questions swimming through his head right now.
"No, I have never been accused of being normal," he answered sarcastically while rolling his eyes up a bit and letting out a tiny chuckle.
"I bet you have some questions for me, Damon. Feel free to ask me anything, unless you're unsure what to ask?"
This sounded more like a statement of fact, than a question to Damon. But it was a fact, wasn't it? He had no idea why he had been transfixed on her for the past 4 days. Did she know this? Did she know why or how? Did she know who he was? What he was? He really wasn't sure what to ask her without sounding crazy.
Vella knew what she was doing to him. She was playing with his head and enjoying it immensly. Damon had no idea what he had gotten himself into.
She just sat back, drinking her beer and watching him, waiting for him to say something.
Damon had decided what to do. He was going to get out of here, go home, forget about this woman and stay far away from her. At least that's what he knew he should do. But he couldn't do that. Damon Salvatore, didn't ever give up on anything this easy. If anything, he would at least find out that she was like any other woman to satisfy his curiosity. But did he really believe that?
Vella was having much more fun watching him squirm than she thought she would. She knew men like Damon. In fact, she knew Damon, sort of. She had been watching him since she saw him in the park months ago. Of course he didn't notice her then, she didn't want to be noticed then. She knew exactly who he was, what he was and she was ready for him now, ready for his help. But was she up to the task? That's what she worried about. Manipulating someone as manipulative as Damon, especially since he had many more years of experience could prove to be far beyond her abilities, but she had to try. Her life and maybe the lives of others hung in the balance. There wasn't any other way.
"Ok, I'm just going to come out with it." Damon started. "What is it you want with me?"
Damn, he was more perceptive than she figured. Time to change my strategy, she thought.
"You mean I can't see a handsome man and ask him out for drinks?" she said this with as much conviction as she could muster. If she couldn't believe it, how could he?
He definitely was handsome, he agreed. But that look. The inability to compel her, her tone, her everything, there was much more to her and he was determined to find out what it was, even if it killed him. At this thought he chuckled.
"Of course. But I believe there is more to this."
"I'm sure I can't be the first girl to ask you out. You definitely know how good looking you are."
Whoa, is she saying I am an egotist? Wait, I am.
"No, you aren't the first." he stated matter of factly.
He stared into her eyes again, hoping to be able to read her. She was very good at playing games, he thought. This could be fun for a change. I always enjoy playing with my food and she seemed like a worthy adversary.
At this thought he began to feel thirsty. He felt his face changing. but he couldn't let her see his 'vampire face'
"Excuse me, I need to use the restroom."
He got up from the table and hurried into the restroom.
He checked the two stalls just to be safe and then locked the door.
He splashed cold water in his face, hoping to cool down. He usually didn't have any problems controlling his instincts. But this woman was toying with him, like she knew him, knew which strings to pull. The last person who could make him lose control like this was Katherine.
At this thought he got worried.
I need to leave, forget I met her. If I had done that with Katherine, my life would have turned out so differently. I have lived long enough to learn from my mistakes. At least that's what his instincts were telling him. But since when did he run from danger? How could she be dangerous any way? It's not like she's a vampire. It was the only thing he knew for sure.
As soon as he thought he could control his thirst, Damon, turned off the water, wiped his face dry with a paper towel and walked back to the table.
She was still there waiting and drinking. She had even ordered him another beer.
Damon sat back down and took a swig from the glass of beer.
"It's getting late for me and I don't normally drink more than two glasses," she stated to Damon. "Will you walk me home?" she paused. "When you're done your beer of course."
"It's okay, I'm not really thirsty anymore, Vella. Just let me pay and we can leave."
"I've already taken care of the bill so no worries. I'm the one who asked you out, it's the least I can do." she smiled what seemed like an innocent smile.
Damon wasn't quite sure what to say. He was used to being chivalrous, at least most of the time. She didn't seem like the kind to argue with and decided it would be easier to go along with it.
"Thank you. The least I can do is make sure you make it safely home," he said with his usual grin.
Damon held the door for her as they left the bar. It was just after 10 p.m.
Vella inhaled a deep breath and let it out. "I love the crisp evening air," she stated. "Though I love everything about the night."
Ok, this is getting very odd, Damon thought. Does she know what I am? Or am I really paranoid? Hmmm, maybe a little from column A and a little from column B, he figured.
He settled on lack of sleep as the reason he was feeling so crazy and left it at that. Though all this thinking was making him feel crazy. Maybe this is what his brother felt like?
It only took a couple minutes for Vella and Damon to walk back to her house.
While Vella fished in her purse for her house keys, Damon studied her from top to bottom. He still wasn't sure what this woman wanted but he didn't think she knew what she could be getting herself into.
When she finally found her keys, she turned around to face him. "Would you come and visit me again tomorrow?" she asked. "I promise to behave myself."
Damon wasn't sure at first he had heard her right, but she had a very coy grin and he had a feeling she knew he would come back, if nothing but out of sheer curiosity.
Trying to sound as nonchalant as possible he replied with a "Sure, what time is good for you?"
Vella looked up as if she was thinking. "How about in the morning? It doesn't matter what time, as long as it's after 7 a.m. I don't normally wake before that. Is that fine with you?
Damon agreed to a morning visit, bid her farewell and walked back to his car. Once again, the drive home was pretty much a blur. He realized after he had arrived home that he shouldn't have been driving after he had been drinking, but figured only one beer would be fine, for him any way.
When Damon walked in the house, he realized his brother Stefan had been waiting for him and he knew that look.
"What have you been up to tonight Damon?" Stefan asked. "Am I going to be hearing about it on the news?
Damon was already annoyed that his brother had been waiting for him, but now he was questioning him too. What was his problem?
"You wound me little brother. Didn't you ask me to leave you and Elena alone? I promised I would. So what's your problem?" Damon said with a look of malice.
Stefan tried to cover his obvious annoyance with his older brother. He knew how Damon would react if he wasn't careful.
"Yes Damon, I asked you to leave us alone, but I don't need you causing any trouble in town either."
"Would you like me to call home once an hour with a detailed explanation of how I spent the previous hour?" he replied with heavy sarcasm. Damon wouldn't put up with much more from his brother, he wasn't in the mood. "There won't be any stories of killing sprees, missing women or anything like that. At least that I was involved in. I had a date, nothing extraordinary, end of discussion." Which he said with finality.
Stefan was about to ask him more, but decided his brother was in no mood and he would leave it at that, for tonight.
Damon gave his brother a look of pure venom and went to his room. He realized how exhausted he suddenly was and laid down on his bed. The next thing he remembered was waking the next morning.