Damon woke up and squinted towards the clock. It was 7:45 a.m.
He wondered when the last time he slept through the whole night was, since he's been a vampire that is.
He got up, sitting at the edge of his bed and stretched. Damon then realized he hadn't gotten undressed last night and was wearing the same clothes as yesterday. This was becoming a habit, he thought.
After looking through his clothes, he decided on his favorite pair of black jeans and a black long-sleeved shirt.
Damon was about to walk out of his room when he realized he should take his sunglasses with him, it was already bright outside. Out of habit, he glanced down quickly at his hand to make sure the ring that allowed him to be out in the sun was still on his finger and then walked down the hall to the bathroom.
After some careful primping and preening, he walked back down the hallway and down the stairs.
Damon noticed his brother wasn't up yet, or at least he wasn't waiting for him, which was good because he wasn't in the mood.
He realized he needed something to eat. Had he not eaten yesterday? No, he clearly remembered he hadn't. Now that was a first for him. No wonder he slept so well, he needed to find food. If he wasnt careful he could end up killing someone and he promised his brother he wouldn't do that anymore, at least in town.
Damon prefered to hunt at night, it was easier not to be spotted. But he didn't have a choice now. It was that or try Stefan's diet and he didn't think he could stomach that right now.
He grabbed his keys, ran out the door, jumped in his car and sped of towards town.
Damon hadn't gone too far down the road when he saw a woman at the side of the road. It looked like her car had a flat tire.
I couldn't have planned this better, Damon thought to himself.
He got out of his car and asked the woman if she needed help. She told him her tire was flat and she had a spare but she had no clue how to change it.
Being the gentlemen he was, he decided to help her with the flat first, he wasn't an animal.
Once he was done, he compelled her so he could have a drink without her knowing what was going on.
He drank just enough of her blood so she would only be a bit light headed, as if she had just donated blood, only this time it was for Damon, not a blood bank.
Damon then picked her up and laid her in the front seat of her car and locked the door.
The woman would wake up in a little while not even remembering Damon had stopped to help her.
Damon got back into his car and continued driving into town. He felt good and strong and definitely not thirsty. Something told him it wouldnt be a good idea to visit Vella that way.
After parking his car, he walked to Vella's front door. He suddenly felt a rush of nerves, which was unlike him.
He nervously brushed at his hair with his hand, straightened up his jacket and knocked on the door.
This is getting stupid Damon, he thought. Get it together already! She's only a woman.
Once again he felt that the time between his knock and the time Vella opened the door was an eternity. In reality it was only 53 seconds.
She appeared at the door in a long purple robe and a pair of purple fuzzy slippers.
"Good morning, Damon," Vella said when she opened the door.
She then stood there looking at him with a smile on her face.
Damon wondered if she was waiting for him to make a move. He knew he couldn't just walk in without being invited. It also seemed to him that she knew this as well.
But how could she? he wondered.
"Good morning, Vella," Damon greeted her with his biggest and happiest looking smile he could muster, since he wasn't much of a morning person.. "How are you this morning?"
"I am fine, thank you," she replied. "If I invite you in, do you promise to behave?"
Hmmm, he thought. I don't break promises if I can help it. So do I really want to make a promise I probably can't keep?
"Of course," was his reply to her.
Vella stared into his eyes again, as if she was able to read them like a book.
"Okay, you can come in then," she said with a little trepidation. She knew what she was getting herself into and suddenly wondered if she had a death wish, or perhaps she had finally lost her mind.
Vella closed the door behind them and showed Damon into her livingroom.
He noticed she seemed to like purple. The walls were painted a pale lilac color. Her throw pillows and area rugs were all a pale purple as well.
Vella turned to him and said, "Make yourself at home. I have to go upstairs and finish getting dressed. There is some coffee in the kitchen if you would like some. It's the door ahead of you to the right."
With that, she left Damon and walked up the stairs to get changed.
Damon decided to go get a cup of coffee. He walked into the kitchen and looked around. The room was very bright and cheery. The walls were painted a lemon yellow and the cupboards were all white.
Damon spied the coffeemaker and walked over to it. There were two coffee cups waiting there.
He guessed that one was his.
Damon poured coffee into the cup, took some sugar from the sugar bowl and put it in his coffee, then sat down at the little table.
He scanned all around the kitchen, while listening intently around him. He wasn't sure who she was afterall. Who invites strange men into their home after only meeting them once?
Damon thought about the promise he made to Vella, not to misbehave. He wasn't sure he could do that but he would have to try. He didn't like to break any promise he ever made, even the one he made to his brother to leave Elena alone, even though it hurt him to leave her alone. She was the only woman who ever really understood him. Even his own brother didn't really understand him. He wasn't as cold and callous as he let on. There was a time when he only cared about himself, but that wasn't true anymore. Meeting Elena had changed that.
He was too deep in thought to even hear Vella come down the stairs and into the kitchen, even with his hearing.
"I hope the coffee isn't too strong for you, i don't like weak coffee,: she said as she walked into the kitchen.
Damon turned and smiled at her. "It's fine actually, thank you. I don't like weak coffee either."
Vella, walked over to the coffeemaker and poured herself a cup of coffee. She put some sugar in the cup and walked over to the fridge. She grabbed what looked like a small carton of cream and poured some into her coffee, put it back and shut the fridge.
Damon watched her intently. He needed to know what this woman wanted from him.
Vella walked over to the table and sat down across from Damon. She was trying to figure out what to say to him. Unlike her cool exterior, she was scared to death inside. She knew he could be selfish, self-centered and egotistical. In a man these traits are bad enough, but he wasn't just any man, he was a vampire and she needed his help.
Vella drank down her coffee as quickly as she could. Not because she needed the caffeine rush, but because of what she had put in it. Something to keep her safe just in case Damon didn't keep his word.
Damon watched her drinking her coffee in interest. He couldn't remember seeing anyone down a cup of coffee like that before.
Maybe she was trying to sober up, he thought with a chuckle.
Vella fidgeted a bit in her seat, still trying to come up with a way to start the conversation. She was saved by Damon's impatience.
"So, are you finally going to tell me why you wanted me here?" Damon asked.
Vella looked into his blue eyes. They reminded her of a pool of water in the moonlight.
"I know you have been following me and watching me," she started. "Why is that?"
"Following you?" Damon asked incredulously.
"Well haven't you?"
He had to admit he was, but this was her fault, wasn't it?
"I won't lie to you. Yes, I have been," he admitted. "But I assure you, I am no stalker."
Vella giggled. "I never said you were. If I thought you were, I wouldn't have invited you here, I would have called the police."
"Then why am I here, Vella?"
She couldn't keep toying with him, She didn't need him angry.
I just have to come right out and tell him. Or I'm never going to be able to.
Vella sighed, breathed in and out deeply a couple of times and looked straight into his eyes.
"I know what you are," she said when she finally spoke.
See! I knew it, Damon thought to himself. Wait a minute, what the hell?
"And what am I?" Damon asked with a mixed look of curiosity and surprise.
"You're a.....vampire." she said.
Damon was shocked by this statement. He knew he had thought it was a possibility, but he really hadn't believed that.
"Are you going to try and deny it, Damon?"
Damon screwed up his face into a sneer to mock her. "Are you telling me you believe in vampires?"
Vella snorted at this. "Well Damon, I only believe in things I have seen with my own eyes, so yes, I do believe in vampires."
Damon started to squirm a bit in his chair. If she really knew he was a vampire then she must know how to kill one or she wouldn't have felt safe inviting him in the house.
"Look," she started, "I don't want to play any more games with you. I got you here and that's all that matters to me."
Vella stood up quickly from her chair after this statement, turned around and walked in front of the big bay window that was behind her. She was so afraid at this moment she couldn't look at him right now and give it away. She wanted him to think she was tough, not scared out of her wits.
Damon was in shock and awe by her incredulous statement. For once in his life he didn't know what to say or do. He was definitely glad he had 'eaten' this morning. His hunch had been somewhat right.
He got up from his chair, walked over and stood right behind Vella so there was barely an inch of space between them.
Damon could sense her muscles tighten up and suck in a deep breath.
That was a good thing, she's scared, he thought. At least she's not insane.
Damon could feel her shaking now as he bent close to her ear and whispered, "Yes, I am a vampire, Vella."
Vella let out a little shudder, then took a deep breath and let it out.
She was afraid but she had to turn around and face him, look into his eyes, but she couldn't.
Damon lifted his right hand up and put it on her shoulder.
At this she nearly jumped, but turned around to face him instead.
Looking deep into his eyes she said, "Thank you, Mr. Salvatore. I thought I was going to have to pull teeth to get the truth from you."
At this they both let out a nervous laugh.
Damon backed up a couple of steps, apprehensive to stand too close to her. Not because he was afraid of her, but he was afraid what he might do to her. Vella was playing games with him and he wasn't sure how he felt about that. She knew what he was and even his name, so why did she pretend she didn't. And why was she toying with him?
Normally he would put an end to the games, he only liked the ones he played. But he felt something about this woman, something that stopped him from even considering harming her. But what was it? The only person who had ever made him feel like that was, Elena.
Vella had been carefully watching Damon. She wanted to give him a chance to really comprehend what she had said before she said any more to him.
A minute had passed and still Damon hadn't moved, or spoke. She was about to ask him into the livingroom, she felt uncomfortable standing in front of the window where her neighbours could see, but the words wouldn't come out. So she just walked past him, out the door into the livingroom and sat down on the couch and waited for Damon nervously.
Damon wished there had been a door to the outside in the kitchen so he could just leave, he wanted to get far away. But his morbid curiosity kept him from just running out. Instead, he walked into the livingroom after Vella and sat down on an arm chair beside the couch facing her.
Vella was beginning to feel light headed and sick to her stomach. She wasn't feeling brave like she had been the night before. Too bad there was no going back. She felt that if she didn't say something soon she was going to vomit.
It seemed Damon was just going to sit there and wait for her to say something, after all, he had all the time in the world, didn't he?
"I can't be sure if I can trust you, Damon. So I hope you will understand what I am about to show you.," she said as bravely as she could.
Damon didn't hesitate, he wanted to know something, anything.
"I'm not going anywhere."
Vella reached down into the front of her shirt and pulled out what looked like a necklace.
Damon leaned in closer to take a good look, that's when he realized what it was.
Instantly he knew the answer to one of his questions.
The chain itself was ordinary, it was the pendant that was hanging on it that was of interest.
It was the kind of pendant one would wear to make sure vampires couldn't compel or influence you. It was a pendant filled with dried vervain flowers.
Vervain was a very potent flower, to vampires that is. You just needed to have some on you to keep them from influencing you.
"Vervain," Damon paused. "So I was right. You did know what I was trying to do to you the day we bumped ito each other in the town square."
Vella wasn't sure if that was a question or a statement of fact, but she thought she had better elaborate.
"Yes, Damon. I did realize it. But before you get worried that it was for your benefit only, I have been wearing this pendant since I was a young child."
Vella paused, unsure what to say and do next. But she figured she should be completely honest with him.
"The only reason I didn't invite you in last night was because I was in a rush that morning and forgot my usual dose of vervain in my coffee."
Damn was shocked by her admissions, but as usual he had to be sarcastic, he didn't want her to know how much she had gotten to him.
"Did you remember the garlic and wooden stakes too?" he asked sarcastically.
Vella let out a nervous laugh and smiled nervously. At least he was acting like himself, she thought.
"No, but I'm sure I could find a stake if i had too," she grinned. "But if I was really that worried, would I have asked you here?"
"Maybe you have a death wish. Or maybe you are some crazy chick who reads alot of books about the paranormal. Do you believe in ghosts too? How about werewolves?" he continued with the questions, "Are you looking to make a name for yourself or something?"
Damon was mocking her but she wasn't angry. At least he hadn't tried to snap her in two pieces.
"Are those really the questions you want to ask me?" she said when he finally stopped mocking her.
"Why don't you just tell me, Vella?" he pleaded. "What is it you're after?"
Vella wasn't about to tell him everything, he would just turn around and walk away and she couldn't allow that to happen. It was crazy but he was her only hope right now. But what could she tell him?
"I need your help with something, Damon. But first I need to know if I can trust you before I tell you anything. And the only way to find that out is to get to know you," she paused for a second before going on. "This is a matter of life or death to me, so I hope you can understand my hesitation."
Damon leaned back on his chair a bit so he could think. Was she in trouble or was she just being dramatic, he wondered.
He was feeling a mix of awe, annoyance and curiosity.
She went through all this, knowing that I'm not likely to help her, knowing how dangerous I can be and yet here I am, still standing here, he thought.
Damon was suddenly feeling some respect towards, Vella. He couldn't imagine what she would need him to help her with, but it must be important enough to risk her life.
Damon gave her a sly grin,"I'm not sure what help I could be to you, but I am curious and maybe a bit flattered."
Vella's cheeks flushed a little when he said that.
He continued, "This is usually the kind of thing people ask Stefan to do."
"I realize that, Damon. But I really didn't want to involve too many people and it seems like your brother and his girlfriend, Elena are a package deal."
Well that was something Damon, could definitely agree with.
Damon sat and studied Vella for a moment before he spoke.
I can't promise to help you but something about you intrigues me, Vella." he gave her a flirty grin.
Vella blushed a little bit more at this. She felt a little better. At least he might help her. That's better than him walking out and never coming back.
"Thank you, Damon," she smiled, "I swear I will tell you everything soon. I just need to know you a bit better. You don't have any objections to that, do you?"
Damon figured he could at the least have fun with her. He didn't have to hide or pretend with her, she already knew most of his secrets.
"Okay, Vella. I'm game."
Vella let out a deep breath and relaxed a bit, then looked at her watch.
"Damn, I'm going to be late for work if I don't get out of here. Someone called in sick."
Damon stood up. "Okay, I will get out of here so you can finish getting ready." And he started to walk towards the front door.
"Wait, Damon," Vella said. "I will be off work around the same time as last night, "she paused, "If you would like to stop by."
Damon turned to face Vella, gave her a shrewd smile and said, "I might have time," as he walked out the door.