Unmasked. Page 2. Also by L.J. Smith. THE VAMPIRE DIARIES NOVELS. Volume 1 (books 1 & 2): The Book The Salvation – Unspoken. THE STEFAN'S. Vampire Diaries The Salvation Unmasked - [Free] Vampire Diaries The [PDF] [ EPUB] The series was originally published in and it. THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: THE SALVATION VOL. 2: UNSPOKEN THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: STEFAN'S DIARIES VOL. 1: ORIGINS THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.
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The sun came out from behind the dark clouds, and a mockingbird sang an insistent trill from a nearby tree. She gasped and whipped back around, but Damon was gone. The green grass over the graves behind her was as smooth and empty as if he had never been there. I really do. Elena wondered. There were no dark figures among the trees. No black bird rose toward the sky. Elena shook her head. The three girls sat quietly for a while, watching the soft white clouds blow across the sky.
Bonnie stared back at her, brown eyes wide and a little hurt. But it did feel, a little bit, like they were different people from the ones she knew. If Elena managed to change what happened now, if she could keep Damon from killing Mr. Tanner and setting the future she already knew in motion, would her friendship with Bonnie and Meredith change, too? She ached with sorrow at the idea.
Just school and stuff.
Bonnie and Meredith had sworn that they would do anything Elena asked in relation to Stefan. And Elena had sworn not to rest until Stefan belonged to her. Not even if it killed her. It had killed both of them. An oath like that—sworn in blood in a graveyard— had true Power. She held out her own thumb, a plump drop of blood swelling on its pad, and Bonnie and Elena pressed their thumbs against hers. Affection for them both swelled inside Elena.
These were her sisters. This was sacred.
Bonnie gasped and pulled back, and they all giggled. A flush of satisfaction filled Elena. Elena rested her head in her hands, staring down at the scratched surface of her desk as her classmates settled into their seats for trigonometry class.
Ignoring their chatter, she went back over her meeting with Damon in the graveyard the day before. Was there something she should have done differently?
She had seen his pupils widen when he leaned in toward her, his eyes curious and hungry. Halloween was coming. The night Damon had killed Mr. Shifting uneasily in her seat, Elena remembered how Mr. His throat had been caked with blood. Elena squeezed her eyes shut tight, trying to block out the memories. Damon had been at the Haunted House that night, and seeing Elena and Stefan together filled him with jealousy and seething resentment.
He had lashed out by feeding on Mr. Tanner when Mr. Tanner stuck a dagger into him. Damon had killed him out of surprised rage and pain. Stefan would die. They would all be doomed. In history class she tried to close her mind off, scowling with concentration as she chanted multiplication tables or dialogue from old movies in her mind—anything to drown out whatever part of her might call to Stefan. But Elena could feel him watching her in the halls, as clearly as she could feel Damon watching her on the streets.
His gaze had been soft and longing, hungry. She wanted to comfort him, but Elena already knew how that would end. The speaker set high on the classroom wall crackled, jolting Elena out of her thoughts. Voting will take place in the cafeteria over the next week. Congratulations to all the nominees. No way.
Homecoming had been when it all began. The lid of the tomb in the ruined church shifting under her hand. The ripping sound as Tyler tore her dress.
Stefan saving her, taking her in his arms. Her whole world changing. Halpern said to Meredith and Elena as the speaker clicked off. Is there something I have to do to drop out of the race? There was a moment of utter silence as everyone contemplated the thought.
Elena Gilbert, queen of the school, refusing to compete? She was sure to win, they all knew that. Halpern said, her forehead crinkled in a puzzled frown.
Ignoring the whispers around her, Elena waited out the rest of the period.
When the bell rang, she pretended not to see Meredith striding toward her and slipped out the door alone. She would have to figure out some kind of explanation to give Bonnie and Meredith. Outside, Matt was waiting, a smile stretching across his handsome, all- American face.
She needed to let him go, kindly, before she went after Damon. I should have realized before. Unbidden tears rose in her eyes. My true friend. How had she not seen this the first time? She barely remembered this conversation. It had just been a means to an end: When she pulled back from their hug, Matt was staring at her, his forehead creased with concern. Elena bit her lip to keep back a hysterical giggle.
If she kept up with these mood swings, remembering the future that might not come, everyone was going to think she was having a nervous breakdown. I love you so much. Take a football scholarship. A good one, at some big football school. Elena thought of Jasmine, with her easy smile and soft eyes, her fiercely loyal heart. His eyes narrowed. Elena met his gaze squarely. Then the corners of his mouth tilted up in a small, sad smile.
It was a warm afternoon, and Bonnie had invited Meredith and Elena over to hang out. Katherine had killed Yangtze, Elena remembered. The dog was so spoiled, she was the only one who could stand him. But there had been no sign of Katherine in the cemetery the other evening, no wild surge of Power to send the girls running screaming across Wickery Bridge. But wait, she thought, pulling back her hand. The dog was the smallest part of all this, but every piece of the world made a difference.
Something terrible might happen, Elena thought, suddenly cold with panic. What if the dog finally managed to push its way out, ran into the road, and caused a fatal car accident?
Anything could happen. Not Stefan, though. Stefan had died. Not Elena, who was dying. And not Damon. She was the last one he had left. For a long time, Stefan had been the only person in the world Damon gave a damn about.
And then Elena had come, and their bond had tethered Damon to her, to humanity. And now, in her reality, Elena was dying and Damon was losing the last bit of that humanity he had left. She looked exhausted, dark circles under her eyes. Mary sighed and closed her eyes for a second.
Down by the Wickery Bridge? Especially not alone or at night. Things had been different this time, down near Wickery Bridge. What happened? He was some homeless person, I guess. He was probably sleeping under the bridge when he was attacked.
He might die. Elena felt weighed down by guilt.
She had thought things had changed. Was Stefan following Elena in this reality, too? Had he been overcome with the need for blood and attacked the homeless man anyway? Or was it Damon who had attacked the man under the bridge? Damon had been at the cemetery. Maybe the man had been destined to be terribly hurt that night at the bridge, no matter what.
If so, perhaps her mission was doomed to failure. Maybe she and Stefan and Damon would continue on the same path, no matter how she tried to alter things. They thought it might have been an animal at first, but now Dr. Lowen says it was a person. And the police think whoever did it may be hiding in the cemetery. She bit her lip. You went there alone. Elena clenched her fists, her nails biting into the palms of her hands. There was a way to save Mr. Tanner, a way to keep the town safe from all the havoc Katherine, Damon, and Stefan had, in their own separate ways, brought down upon it.
She had to find Damon, and soon. Halloween was coming fast, and she would need time with him if he was going to fall in love with her, if she was going to show him there were things more pleasurable than destruction.
Elena needed a plan. Elena had made excuses to dodge Bonnie and Meredith after school, and headed out to the woods. She had to draw Damon to her again, needed to start building a connection between them. And here, isolated beneath the ancient oak trees, was just where he was likely to appear. A bird crashed through the top of the tree above her, and Elena looked up with a burst of relief. But it was just a blue jay, not the sleek black crow she was waiting for.
No, that would only make him suspicious. If he was nearby, there was one thing that ought to draw him out. Elena uncrossed her arms and looked around carefully.
A rough gray boulder lay half-buried between two trees with twisted roots growing up around it. That might do. Steeling herself, Elena wandered toward it. Her toe caught on a root, and Elena tipped forward, eyeing the sharp-edged rock.
About right. Pretending to lose her balance, she threw herself onto the ground hard. There was a jolting, blinding pain in her knee. Her palms were stinging, scraped by tree roots. Winded, Elena lay gasping for a moment, fighting back tears of pain. She glanced down at her leg and was relieved to see a trickle of red blood.
But it was the wrong one. Elena looked up to see Stefan Salvatore standing above her, his hand extended. Tentatively, she laid her hand in his and let him pull her gently to her feet. Upright again, she winced a little, and Stefan quickly turned her hands palm-up, carefully brushing away dirt and bits of dry leaves. Her voice cracked, and she had to swallow hard.
Of course he never changed; he was a vampire. Gently, he blotted at her knee and then tied the handkerchief around it as a makeshift bandage. Impulsively, Elena stepped forward and took hold of his leather-jacketed arm. He was so close, so solid, and real. A warm flush of love and relief ran over her. You should be careful, though, out here alone. Did you hear about the attack? Without the sunglasses, he looked vulnerable and terribly tired.
For a moment, their eyes met. Elena was almost touching him now. She wanted to run her hands across the chiseled lines of his face, remind herself how smooth his skin was.
His gaze traced over the curve of her neck, she saw, and his lips parted a little. Elena suppressed a grimace. She wanted to announce the truth: Crazy and vicious, but not dead. There was no way she could know that now, or at least no way she could explain.
And so, Elena said nothing. Instead, she reached out a hand, slowly, carefully, as if she was taming some wild creature, and finally touched him. Just for a moment, her fingers brushing across the bare skin of his wrist. But this—a moment of touch—she needed.
It was like a circuit connecting. Stefan became utterly still, his eyes dilated and dark as he stared at her. She thought he was holding his breath. There was a moment when it seemed like time was suspended, like anything could happen. And then, with an intense jolt of sorrow, Elena pulled away, letting her hand fall limply to her side. He handed her what looked like a handful of scrappy, skinny weeds, a few with small pale flowers. You can even make herbal tea out of them.
If she kept it close, it would keep vampires from being able to cloud her mind. Who was he protecting her from?
Then she got it. Himself, of course. It was just like Stefan, to be thinking of himself as a danger while he did everything he could to protect her. She stared up at him again, holding her gaze until, reluctantly, he let his eyes meet hers again.
Elena sighed and tucked the vervain into her pocket before heading home. She felt safe, despite the dark. Elena brushed her hair with smooth, even strokes, watching herself in the elaborately framed Victorian mirror above her dresser. She met her own reflected gaze levely, her dark blue eyes as steady as her hand on the hairbrush.
Her golden hair fanned out like silk across her shoulders. It was odd, she thought, that she looked almost exactly the same here as she did in her own time.
When she had chosen to be with Stefan forever.
She was not going to think about Stefan. Her hand slowed and her eyes dropped. There was still that instant fire between them. The rest of the world melted away when she was with Stefan.
It had felt so right, so perfect, to talk to him and touch him again. She had to stay away from Stefan. Giving in to her love for Stefan led, in the end, to death and despair. There was a reason she was here. She put the brush down on top of her rosewood dresser, lining it up neatly between her jewelry box and her comb, and reached into the top shelf of the dresser for a lacy white nightgown.
The house was silent. Aunt Judith and Margaret were already fast asleep, but Elena was buzzing with nervous energy. Still, she should try to rest. Suddenly, there was a rap at the window, a sharp, cracking noise. Elena spun around. Outside, she could just make out a pale face in the darkness, hair and clothes as black as the night around him.
You want to let me inside. A hot flush of anger ran over her. In two quick steps, she crossed the room and flung the window open. Her heart was pounding. Gratefully, she thought of the withered vervain in her pocket. Cocking his head to one side, Damon eyed her thoughtfully. Sitting on a branch of the quince tree outside her window, one arm braced on the windowsill, he somehow managed to look as comfortable and graceful as ever.
If she wanted him intrigued by her, it was probably best to leave a little mystery. She was safe. Damon hesitated for just a moment, uncertainty flickering over his face, and then he was through the window smoothly and standing in front of her.
What could she say? All the things that might make Damon trust her were still in the future. Damon moved closer. There was something hot and hungry in his gaze, and she had a sudden urge to raise her hand to cover where her pulse beat.
It would have felt wrong, would have felt dangerous, if he had seen her like that right now, her throat so exposed. For her Damon, the Damon she loved in her own time, Elena would have swept back her hair and bared her throat in an instant, eager for the sweet connection that came with the exchange of blood. Even now, she ached for that feeling.
But no, not yet. He just wanted to take. Instead, she set her jaw firmly and stared back at him. He took a step closer to her. The fine hairs rose on the back of her neck, some small, primitive part of her brain recogni zi ng: His gaze was unfriendly. But Elena held her ground. And how to protect myself. His touch was gentle, but his gaze was cold, and Elena suppressed a shudder. Damon smiled. Are you flirting with the darkness, Princess? Do you want to come with me into the night?
His eyes were on her throat again, and his fingers dug into her upper arms. Her voice sounded startlingly loud to her own ears, and she realized they had been speaking in hushed voices, almost whispering. His fingers were holding her too tightly. I want you to come into the light with me. I could show you. Alone in her bedroom, Elena touched her fingers against her lips, her heart pounding wildly. For her own safety, she would have to remember that.
She gazed at Elena across the kitchen table with wide blue eyes, her unbrushed dandelion-fluff hair sticking up in all directions. Behind her, Aunt Judith poured cereal into bowls. Margaret squealed and bounced in her seat.
Elena smiled at her sister. Mornings like these were an unexpected blessing of her excursion into the past, Elena thought as she watched Margaret blow bubbles in her milk.
Aunt Judith set down a glass of orange juice in front of Margaret. She stood and reached for her backpack reluctantly.
There was a quiver of nervousness deep in her stomach at the idea of seeing Stefan again. And then there was Damon. She could connect with him, she was sure of it. Damon would change for her. He had changed for her. Without Stefan between them, it would happen faster.
Aunt Judith sighed and handed her an apple. Eat something healthy at lunch. How rough his voice had been when he asked if she wanted to come into the darkness. She opened the front door, and there, a dark figure against the bright colors of the day, was Damon, as if her thoughts had summoned him.
Elena jerked back, her mouth dropping open. In one hand, he casually held a bouquet of white roses. She stepped back and headed for the kitchen. Her bedroom and the living room were the only remains of the original house, the one that had almost completely burned in the Civil War. Perhaps, she thought, hearing his soft footsteps behind her, she should have kept him out.
But he had never hurt Margaret or Aunt Judith. She had to show that she trusted Damon if she expected him to start trusting her. In the kitchen, Elena reached into a high cupboard to take out a vase and began to fill it with water.
Damon turned on his most brilliant smile and held out his hand. What happened to Matt? And there was a familiar note in it, almost coaxing. Was Damon using his Power on Aunt Judith? Was that because Damon had cheated? She swung around to stare at him. Damon met her eyes innocently, a bland smile on his lips.
Behind him, Margaret stared at Damon from the kitchen table. Elena set the vase of roses down on the table, a little harder than she needed to, and kissed her aunt on the cheek. She was aware of the vervain nestled deep in her pocket, but it was interesting that Damon could sense it as well. Or perhaps he was only guessing. The car parked outside was amazing: Damon opened the door for her. Aunt Judith will worry if she hears I cut. School it is. She watched as he started the car and pulled out, admiring his strong, graceful hands on the wheel.
When he shot her a sidelong smile, she grinned back. This was all so familiar. She knew the way he scanned the road, the way his long legs fit into the footwell of the car. This is Damon, she thought, with a sigh of satisfaction. When she was with him, she felt at home. All around her, their friends turned as if drawn by a single, invisible thread.
Meredith shushed her. She smiled prettily up at Damon as he helped her out of the car, pretending not to notice the spreading whispers all around them. Elena gave him a small, private grin in reply.
Raising her hand to touch where he had kissed, Elena watched as Damon slid back into his car and drove away. A tendril of affection curled warmly inside her. Once the black car had turned out of the high school parking lot, an excited babble of voices rose up behind Elena. I was too busy looking at the guy. Then, turning, she came face to face with Matt. His lips were pursed tightly. Elena flinched. Tyler slapped Matt on the back, his big, red face openly amused.
His girlfriend, Vickie Bennett, clung to his arm and tittered uneasily. Ignoring them, Elena reached out for Matt. She tried to follow him, but Tyler blocked her path, taking a firm hold on her arm. Tyler had always been a jerk, Elena thought dismissively. And then she felt her own eyes widen as what he had said hit her. Homecoming night. Elena had been so angry that night. Angry at everyone: Stefan for snubbing her; Caroline for bringing Stefan to Homecoming; Bonnie and Meredith for thinking that perhaps she should give up on Stefan.
And so she had drunk bourbon with Tyler and Dick and their friends, and gone with them to the cemetery. Tyler had tried to rape Elena. Stefan had rescued her—that was the one moment that had torn down the barriers between them. But Tyler and the others would probably still go to the cemetery. The tomb that hid the entrance to the catacombs in which Katherine was concealed.
Offended, Katherine had tormented Vickie for months, nearly driving her over the edge of insanity. Elena glanced back at Vickie, who was now crossing the parking lot toward the school, still arm in arm with Dick.
Elena had to try to protect her. She was staring across at Tyler, she realized, frozen. She shook her head quickly, as if to scatter the memories, and turned to her friend. Meredith was beside Bonnie, looking at Tyler with an expression of disdain.
Tell me now! But right now we have to go to class. Maybe she could pretend Damon was what he had told Aunt Judith, just a college student who Elena had happened to meet. Bonnie huffed and rolled her eyes, but Meredith nodded.
Elena stared at him, and he let go, snatching his hand back. Meredith nodded and tugged Bonnie after her into the school. His lips were drawn into a tight line. Unthinkingly, Elena raised a hand to touch Stefan, but he flinched back from her. His eyes were dark, insisting. You have to stay away from him. If only Elena could take Stefan in her arms and hold onto him, shut out the world so she could do nothing but bring Stefan comfort.
She could feel his eyes watching her. I think I might do pink for Homecoming this year. Then, basically, Elena pleads with the arseholes to let her live, and for some unknown reason the arseholes suddenly decide to give a flying fuck. Now I'll admit, I started to enjoy this book just a little.
I liked Elena going back to the past and trying to change stuff, even if it is the biggest plot device in existence. I don't care. No one is reading these books anymore for quality, lets be honest with ourselves. All we want to know is who Elena ends up wuving forever and ever and ever and ever and ever.
And ever. Until something happens and she changes her mind. And again. Really Elena, ugh. I hate your face, and I haven't even really seen it, that's how much I hate it. At first Elena tries to make Damon fall in love with her and 'ignores' Stefan, so that Damon will never get jealous and go all 'i must kill the history teacher on halloween because So, yeah.
God, what does Elena not understand about 'keep it in your pants or you'll die! You big nincompoop'. Oh yeah, I went there. But then, hold onto your hats my peoples, Elena realises that maybe I was shocked too. But then, hold onto your hats my peoples, Elena realises that maybe I was shocked too.
So, anyway, Elena tries to get the brothers to reconcile, because she thinks it's Stefan's love for Damon that could save him, and by extension, everyone else. To be fair, she is right. Elena's actually pretty smart about it, she goes to Katherine, with the help of Bonnie who she tells everything to about the possible future Elena is from and gets Katherine to admit to the brothers what she did and how she wanted them to love each other yadda yadda yadda.
Long story short, Damon and Stefan have this big moment and Damon decides to not kill everyone! Slow hand clap bitches! But, I did really like that Damon and Stefan decided to become real brothers again. I just wish I could have seen more of them together as loving brothers. Stefan and Damon decide to leave town and go back to Italy together so they can be all brotherly and Then Elena goes back to She lives in Paris and has a job as an art But, she doesn't have Stefan and Damon in her life obviously, because they left and the whole future is different.
I'll give you a run down of what the new future is like: -Matt and Meredith don't know anything about the supernatural. So basically, all the past books have become obselet since now none of it actually happened. Even though she has a great life in Paris, Elena feels like it doesn't feel like home to her.
But, then, she gets back to Paris she went to Bonnie's wedding , and at the airport a Salvatore brother is there. Apparently this Salvatore is her true destiny since even after everything they still managed to find each other.