All was well in Fells Church with Klaus gone for good. Elena stayed on in Fells Church as the mortal guardian of the Ley lines. Alaric moved to Germany to study a similar cluster of Ley lines and Meredith reluctantly went with him. Elena still kept the bottle of the water of immortal youth at hand, contemplating whether she wanted immortality or not. Stefan was content in his domesticity with Elena. Matt got a chance to play basketball after all and he went to pursue his dreams away from the supernatural. Bonnie and Zander kept working at their future her being a wannabe witch and him being an original werewolf. Damon left soon after the Guardian had bonded him to Elena. He couldn't stand the reality that Elena chose Stefan despite their connection. But on deeper perspectives, with their hearts now connected Damon could fathom why. Damon and Elena were the same, cut from the same cloth of spontaneity and adventure. Stefan provided stability to the wild streak in her. It was like Elena needed him to keep her sanity. Damon wanted that too but he knew Elena couldn't give him that. Damon had never searched for love since Katherine and when he met Elena the name changed but the face remained the same. He just couldn't bear to accept the fact that his first love was wrong but it indeed was. Returning to the Veritas estate wasn't really a choice for him. It was basically his anchor to keep him away from ruining the lives of two people he cared about. Damon left before graduation. He hadn't enrolled in college anyway, so it did not matter. Elena cried herself to sleep for a few nights which she explained were due to the bond. But the pain in her heart started to recede once Damon's absence became a regular thing. Years passed by. Zander couldn't move away from his pack in Dalcrest while Bonnie chose to be with her friends in Fells Church. It was a convenient arrangement and the entire pack would come and spend a couple of days on New Moons night when the wolves were the weakest and the witches were the strongest. The full moons were the loneliest for Bonnie. With every passing day, Bonnie's heart yearned for more. She was already twenty-two and still a virgin. Werewolves did not fool around before the 'mating' and Zander was yet to choose her as his mate. He said that the elders of the tribe did not feel it right to mate outside the pack and Zander was having a hard time convincing them.
"What if you fail to convince them, Zander? Shall whatever we share wither away?" Bonnie had once asked.
"Our fates are not in their hands. But the fates of the pack and that of Dalcrest is in ours. We could choose ourselves over the entire pack but if that leads to a discord that breaks the pack and causes trouble in the future the onus will be on us and I do not want that." He had answered.
Bonnie wanted to believe him so much that she forgot to think about the future till Zander's cousin came over to stay in Fell's church. She wasn't much welcome in the pack due to her peculiar bloodline. She was the daughter of a witch and a werewolf and had been conceived outside the mating once the werewolf mate was dead. She was considered not only illegitimate but an abomination. She carried the original werewolf gene but was more of a witch herself. So when she arrived in Fells Church Bonnie felt both excited and anxious. She was excited to talk about magic and power and spells but she was nervous because she was a naive witch while Serena was a seasoned one. Then it turned out that Serena was a leggy brunette with amber eyes and Bonnie wasn't just intimidated. She was simply jealous of her.
Serena and Elena bonded, simply because they were both self-assured in their respective domains. They started hanging out together and having sleepovers to which Bonnie found herself not invited because they would have mature discussions about the safety of the Ley lines. Bonnie felt that she was being sidelined. To add insult to injury Zander dropped by every time Serena gave him a call while with Bonnie the once in a month arrangement prevailed.
Things became weird by the time Bonnie realized that she had been living alone for over a week with no human contact whatsoever. That was when she decided to fiddle with the Grimoire which Mrs Flowers had given her years back. It wasn't meant for her use though. It was for safe keeping. Gwendowlyn's Grimoire was enchanted. The one who would be able to break the enchantment would be privy to its secrets. For the next few months that became Bonnie's obsession. After a lot of trial and error, the Grimoire opened but there was only half a spell written and it required a very special component that Bonnie had no access to. It required the Kiss of true love. Bonnie at first went and kissed Zander but nothing happened. She even managed to fly to Matt and kiss him, not only did they not feel anything but Matt laughed his gut out. Those were the only memorable kisses she could recall. But apparently, none of them opened the book.
As time progressed Bonnie grew more and more restless to find the contents of Gwendowlyn's Grimoire. The answer came to her in the form of a different book though. It was a garage sale in a neighbouring city that Bonnie found out through a witchcraft website. Bonnie drove by herself to obtain a solution to a problem that presented itself in the form of a moth-eaten book with no name. The covers had been torn out and it was in a pretty bad shape. Needless to say, she got it very cheap, only a few cents. That book wasn't just a book of witchcraft but much more. Bonnie found a spell to simulate the Kiss of true love. She didn't know what that would entail but started studying the book minutely. It required an eclipse though and fortunately for Bonnie, the eclipse of the century was right around the corner. It was a lunar eclipse supposedly a couple of hours long.
Meanwhile in Italy Damon was bored of his senses. He couldn't hunt because of the seal placed by the guardians. The only use left of his vampire powers were self-defence. On the other hand, Damon was gradually weakening in spirit, separated from all his family and friends. But he couldn't risk returning when his unhappiness might ruin Elena and Stephen. Katherine was right. The seed that she had sown among the brothers of animosity was being uprooted by her half sister's choice. Elena made the choice that Katherine refused to make. Damon had chanced upon Katherine a few times in the past few years. She had decided to settle in Germany, the place she used to visit with her maid, and through centuries had passed, memories endured.
The Salvatore's Veritas Estate had changed hand several times during the past few centuries but Damon had managed to buy back the entire land. No one remembered the Salvatore legacy that died with them. So no one questioned his own connection to the property. He has had treasures stowed in from all dimensions that he used to buy the property, lawfully. He could have compelled the present owners to hand it to him but one, it might alert Elena that he was doing something illegal, and second, it would prove his father right about his recklessness. He wanted to be more than his father's expectations. He wanted to be a man, a Salvatore.
It was the day of the Eclipse and it was not really visible from Italy. It was still the early afternoon when Damon was lying in his own chamber on his bed, reclining in his moroseness. That was when he suddenly noticed his surrounding dissolving and at the end, he found himself in a darkened circular room. In the middle of the room, there was a circular bed and the walls seemed to be made of nothingness. Damon tried to push the walls to see how thick they were which sent a stab of pain through his shoulders but he touched nothing. It was pure power. That was when he saw a figure materializing inside the circle from one side.
Bonnie had prepared for this day when she would get the true love's kiss and finally be able to read the rest of Gwendowlyn's Grimoire. She carefully drew the Mandala and placed the candles in a circle. As the Eclipse started she recited the spell given in the moth-eaten book. From where she stood she didn't see any change but the spell required her to step into the circle from a notch called the Eastern window. When she walked inside the entire scene changed. She was no longer in her room and before her stood the man who had once died to save her: Damon Salvatore.
Damon was helpless as the figure inside the room took shape. He tried to get his fangs out in defence but he couldn't. It was as if this cage of power had rendered him vulnerable and mortal. With heaving breath, he looked around for all possible avenues of escape but there was none. In a few moments, however, Damon's fears had transferred onto something totally other.
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