Vella and Damon woke up early the next morning to the sun shining in their eyes.
Damon normally kept the curtains closed but he had been too preoccupied to remember trivial things like that lately.
The two of them cleaned up and went down into the kitchen so Vella could have some breakfast.
Vella wondered why Stefan and Damon bothered to keep food in the house when they didn't eat, but she figured it was for Elena, since she practically lived there nowadays.
After Vella finished eating, her and Damon went outside for some fresh air and then came back and sat in the livingroom until the sherriff showed up.
When Sheriff Forbes arrived, she asked to talk to Vella privately.
Damon gave her a shrewd look but relented to her request. Instead he went upstairs to tidy up his room.
Vella told the sheriff exactly what Damon had told her the day before. Her house had been ransacked and she left to find somewhere safe.
The sheriff wanted Vella to explain why she hadn't called the police.
Vella studied the sheriff's face, before answering. "Because I don't trust anyone in this town anymore."
Sheriff Forbes was shocked by this statement and wanted to know why that was. The town had taken care of her when her parents were murdered.
Vella snorted incredulously at this statement. She knew that wasn't entirely true. After she had shared blood with Damon, she had began to discover memories she didn't know were there before. The vampire attack just intensified the memories that had been dormant for so long.
Vella began to feel angry towards the sheriff for her false concern. She wanted to throttle her senseless but she kept a calm exterior
The memories Vella had began to remember, involved many members of the Founder's Council, including the sheriff. What she really wanted to know was why they lied to her about what happened to her and her parents.
When Vella confronted the sheriff about this, she denied knowing anything about her new found memories. Instead she was adamant that the events happened just like she had always known.
Vella knew the sheriff was lying but didn't press her. She knew Sheriff Forbes would go back to the mayor and the Founder's Council and tell them what was going on. Maybe she would get some answers now.
Vella walked the sheriff to the door and closed it behind her. She was standing behind the door with her hand on the knob when tears starting flowing.
Damon had heard the door close and came downstairs to see if Vella was okay after her encounter with the sheriff. When he noticed she was crying again, he took Vella into the livingroom and sat her on the couch.
Vella leaned on Damon for support. She buried her face into his chest and began to sob heavily.
Damon was distressed by all the crying Vella had been doing. He wished she would open up so he would know how to help her. He was considering using his compulsion but he couldn't justify it to himself. He would just wait until she was ready.
After about ten minutes, Vella's sobs became little more than the occasional whimper and then stopped altogether.
Damon lifted her head up gently and kissed her forehead. "Are you okay?"
Vella stared into Damon's eyes, which made her feel more relaxed. She wasn't sure whether she felt relaxed because she felt safe with him, or because he was compelling her to relax, but she decided it didn't matter either way at this point.
"I'm fine, Damon," Vella whispered.
Damon smiled at her, then leaned in and kissed her gently on the lips.
Vella kissed him back as gently as he had kissed her. She was surprised at how he could make her feel.
Vella felt safe with him like she had never felt safe before, at least not since her parents were murdered. She laughed to herself when she thought of how crazy she sounded. Damon? Safe? She never would have guessed things would have turned out like this.
Even though it hadn't been long since Vella had known Damon, she knew he was more sensitive then he ever let on. She felt herself falling deeply in love with him, but she couldn't think about that right now. She didn't need anymore distractions. She had to concentrate on her memories and figure out what these vampires wanted with her.
Damon and Vella cuddled up on the couch, each dwelling on their own thoughts.
Damon was well aware of his feelings for Vella and how dangerous they were. He knew if he wasn't careful something bad could happen to Vella and he knew he would never forgive himself if it did. He never went back on a promise, ever.
Is this how Stefan felt? Damon wondered. Is this why he is always brooding?
Damon never imagined he would ever be able to sympathize with his brother, even if they lived a million years. What a strange turn of events.
Stefan arrived home later after school with Elena in tow.
While Elena and Vella cooked some food in the kitchen for themselves, Damon and Stefan spent some time talking about the meeting with the sheriff.
Stefan reminded Damon that they needed to be careful where the Founder's Council was concerned.
Damon rolled his eyes at his brother. It's not like he needed to be reminded of this fact.
After they were finished eating, Elena and Vella joined the brothers in the livingroom.
Vella decided that this was the time she needed to tell them all what was really going on.
Vella summoned up all the courage she could muster before she spoke.
All eyes were on Vella. They all wanted to know what was going on, but no one more than Damon.
Vella tried her best to keep her eyes on Damon while she spoke so she could keep calm because the memories were still too painful.
"My mom was a witch, but she was much more than that. She was also the town protector," Vella started.
"For 125 years there has always been a witch protecting the town and a very important, but dangerous secret."
Vella choked back a few tears and went on explaining.
"Since the trouble they had in 1864 with vampires, the town decided they needed to stay vigilant. So their decision was to build a huge underground tomb, bigger than the tomb underneath Fell's church."
With this Damon and Stefan exchanged glances, while Vella went on explaining.
"It took them until 1884 to completely finish building it. Their plan was when they caught a vampire, they would lock it in the tomb so they couldn't create anymore vampires.This way they knew where they were and could ensure the town's safety. The only problem was they needed a witch to protect the seal."
Vella took a drink of water from a glass she had gotten earlier. She was starting to shake a little and almost dropped the glass, but Damon caught it before it fell onto the floor.
Vella looked into Damon's eyes apologetically. She was relieved to see a supportive smile from him.
"The Founder's Council are the ones who have kept the secret through the years. They have passed it down from generation to generation. That's how my mother became the town protector, from her mother and eventually it was supposed to be me."
It was hard enough for Vella to know this, but harder for her to say it out loud. It was what she had fought about with her mother they day she died and she couldn't forgive herself. Suddenly, she couldn't hold back the tears anymore. She let the tears fall and breathed a few deep breaths.
After she got herself under control she went on with her story.
"For the last 125 years, the Founder's council have been locking vampires up in the tomb. For some reason, unbeknownst to anyone, vampires like to frequent this town."
Vella had a hard time saying the last part without slightly grinning.
Stefan interrupted. "So how many vampires are we talking about Vella?"
"I'm not quite sure Stefan, that memory is still a little fuzzy but I know that it is in excess of 100."
Elena and the brothers gasped.
"Are you serious?" Elena asked.
"Unfortunately, yes. No vampire has been entombed in over 30 years though. My mother was the last person alive who knew the exact location of the tomb and who had the spell to break the seal.:
"So this is what these vampires must be after then," stated Stefan. "A way into the tomb."
"Yes, they have many family members in there and they want them all out. That's what they were after the night they killed my parents."
Vella took a few deep breaths so she could go on. "It seems they were after some gemstone and the spell for the seal. The spell is on a piece of parchment with a map to the tomb."
Damon, Stefan and Elena began talking amongst themselves for a few seconds, while Vella calmed down.
"The night my parents were killed I had come home to the door open and ran in without thinking. After the vampires killed my parents, they grabbed my sister and told me I needed to tell them what they needed to know," Vella closed her eyes. "But I didn't have a clue, because I had told my mom I wasn't interested in becoming a witch. That was what we had been fighting about earlier that night."
Vella didn't think she could go on with the story. She blamed herself for everything, especially for her sister. Her sister had only been ten years old and it was all her fault. Those words kept running through Vella's head.
Damon got up off the couch, walked over to Vella and held her close to him. She was shaking and sobbing but Damon's touch calmed her down a little.
Damon whispered in Vella's ear, "It's okay," then kissed her on the forehead and hugged her tightly.
When Vella was finally able to go on again, Damon sat back down on the couch.
"The male vampire, who I now know as Gabriel, held my sister, while the female vampire, Lilith came over to me and tried to compel me. She was livid when she realized I was wearing vervain too. Instead, she decided to take a bite out of me. She told me she would be torturing my sister until she got what she wanted."
Vella had silent tears running down her cheeks while she spoke. "I passed out at some point and woke up in the hospital surrounded by members of the Founder's council. I heard them discussing my mom's possessions and how they were unhappy they couldn't find something. I pretended to be asleep for awhile. It's all I pretty much remember. At some point they must have brainwashed me somehow to believe what they wanted me to."
Stefan, Damon and Elena all looked at each other with stunned looks on their faces.
Vella excused herself and went up to Damon's bedroom and laid on the bed face down. She began banging her fists on the bed with anger, which brought a new wave of tears. All she really wanted to know was what happened to her sister. Did the vampires kill her? Did they turn her? The unknown was more painful than any answer could be.
This is all my fault!
Damon came upstairs to see how Vella was a few minutes later. He had been speaking to his brother and Elena about all the new information.
When Damon entered his room, Vella was standing at the bedroom window looking out into the night sky.
The moon was full that night. It shined so brightly, it illuminated the forest surrounding the boarding house as if it was daytime.
Damon walked over to Vella and laid his hands on her shoulders. Neither of them moved or made a sound for a short time.
Finally, a few minutes later, Vella turned around and nearly passed out.
Damon scooped her up and laid her gently onto his bed.
"I'm sorry, Damon," Vella whispered to him.
Damon gave her a questioning look. "For what?"
"For everything," she replied. "For getting you involved in this mess. For being needy."
Damon placed his fingers on her lips to hush her. "Vella, you are not being needy. You just need someone right now and that person is me."
Vella gave him a weak smile. "It's kind of you to say but I know it isn't true."
Damon looked into her eyes sadly, "Why would you say that?"
"Oh, come on, Damon. Wouldn't you rather be doing something else, anything else than taking care of me, if I hadn't made you promise to help me?" Vella asked.
Without hesitation, Damon replied, "No, absolutely not."
Vella rolled over on the bed so she was laying on her side, facing away from Damon. She was feeling pitiful and she didn't want Damon taking pity over her. She would take care of her problems by herself. She was used to doing things alone. No one else needed to be hurt in the process.
Damon crawled onto the bed behind her and gently turned her over so she could look into his eyes. "Vella, please don't shut me out now. You can't do this alone. You need friends at a time like this."
Why couldn't she do this alone? Isn't that what she's been doing for eight years now? Having trouble keeping close friends? Having trouble confiding in people? Keeping everything to herself? These were all thoughts running through Vella's head.
Was Damon her friend? Vella thought there might be more between them, but maybe he was just pitying her. Yup, that was it, she decided, pity and the promise he had made her. Well Vella didn't want to be pitied, nor was she going to hold Damon to a promise he made before he knew what was going on.
Vella rolled over and mumbled something about being exhausted so Damon would leave her alone.
Damon kissed her on the back of her head and left the room. He knew she needed some alone time, so he decided this would be a good time to go hunting. Before he left though, he asked Stefan to listen out for her in case she needed something.