Chapter 2: It’s not always rainbows and butterflies…
Okay, witchy. Game on.
Stunned didn’t even cover what Bonnie felt. By the time she recovered, Damon was long gone. What did he mean, ‘Game on?’ Was Klaus’ blood tainted or enchanted? Damon had never, ever looked at her like that before. Okay, yeah, she had caught him ogling her chest a few times, but she ignored him. He was a manwhore. He couldn’t help himself. Besides she wasn’t his type. Elena was his weakness. Definitely not Bonnie Bennett, the witch.
“Game on. Who says that?” she muttered, as she started to pace the length of Jeremy’s bedroom. Her mind worked at a furious pace to deduce a plausible answer until it finally hit her.
Whew, she released a sigh of relief. The vampire was too infuriating for words. Of course, he was liquored up, when wasn’t he? His reputation with women was notorious, sick, and long. If he thought for one second she’d become an addition to the notches on his belt, he could f*ck all of that. It wasn’t happening! And so what if she recognized his sex appeal for a split second? So, she thought, swallowing the unease that settled in the pit of her stomach, it was just a split second and hand to heart, it would never, ever happen again!
A sudden wave of exhaustion came over her. She sat on Jeremy’s bed and curled onto her side. Maybe a quick nap would help her headache and by the time Jeremy came back, she’d feel better. Bonnie hoped for the best as she crossed her fingers and drifted off to sleep.
“You so fucking owe me, dude.”
“I know,” Jeremy admitted as he followed Matt from the manager’s office to the bar. He waited as Donovan reached under the counter for a blank availability form and a pen. The interview had gone well despite Jeremy missing the original appointment. Whatever Matt said or did to smooth things over with Susie, the manager, worked. Jeremy got the job and he’d be added to the wait staff in time for the next payroll.
“The new schedule comes up every Thursday,” Matt said.
“Okay.” Jeremy filled in his availability for the following week, making sure to keep the weekend clear for his getaway plans with Bonnie. He gave the form back to Matt.
Matt frowned. “Weekends are required.”
“Not this weekend,” he said. “I have plans.”
“I can only save your ass once.”
Jeremy shrugged. “It’s good.” He and Susie had already compromised on this weekend. He’d make up the hours later.
Matt nodded and left with Jeremy’s form. Jeremy turned to leave and was surprised to find Damon blocking his path. “What?”
“Have a drink with me,” Damon offered.
The invitation almost sounded friendly, but Jeremy had other plans. “No thanks—”
“I insist.” The vampire claimed a stool and gestured toward the empty one beside him.
“Barkeep!” Damon pounded the counter with his fist. “A beer for my friend and a whiskey sour for me.”
Jeremy shook his head. “He can’t serve-”
“Ssh!” Damon said to Jeremy before he leaned toward the bartender and stared into the man’s eyes.
“A beer for him and a whiskey for me.”
With a smirk on his face and gleam in his eye, he winked at Jeremy and nodded toward the bartender who said, “A beer for him and whiskey for you.”
“On the house,” Damon added.
“On the house,” the bartender repeated and then shuffled off to obey the vampire’s compulsion.
“That was shitty and a waste,” Jeremy said. “I’m not drinking with you.”
“Aw, Gilbert, come on,” Damon said. “We can hang for a bit…man to man.”
Jeremy could have sworn the smirk grew on the “man to man” part. He didn’t have time for this bullshit or Damon trying to use him to get next to his sister.
“You’re in a hurry.” The vampire’s eyebrows lifted. “Racing to get back to the witch?”
Jeremy’s jaw tightened. His hand clenched into a fist, but hitting the bastard was useless. He just hated the way “witch” sounded in reference to Bonnie. She was more than that. Damon was too much of a dick to notice.
The bartender returned. “A beer for him and a whiskey for you,” he said, setting the drinks down. “On the house.” He stood still until Damon waved him off.
Jeremy turned to leave again.
“Fine, I’ll drink alone,” Damon said. “Tell the wit—Tell Bonnie…” He raised the glass of whiskey to his mouth and swallowed. “Never mind. I’ll tell her myself.”
Jeremy took one step and stopped. Of course, the vampire was fucking with him. Damon f*cked with everybody. That was his thing. He was a miserable piece of shit who got off on raising hell and taking the bait would only give him exactly what he wanted.
Knowing all of that, Jeremy turned around anyway and moved to just inches from the vampire’s face. “You have nothing to say to my girlfriend.”
“Ooh, touchy, touchy.” Damon laughed but only coldness glowed from his eyes. “Just conversation.”
Jeremy straightened to his full height. “I’m not afraid of you.”
“Take off the ring and say that.”
“Hey, Damon, the pool table’s finally free,” Ric said as he rounded the corner. Jeremy felt Ric’s gaze jump from him and Damon and back again. “Hey, guys, what’s up?”
Silence answered that question.
“Guys?” Ric stepped into the bar area. He moved between them. “What’s up?”
“Nothing,” Damon said. “Kid stuff.” He grabbed the beer from the counter and shoved it into Alaric’s hands. “Have one on me. Let’s go play pool!”
The vampire strode off without sparing a second glance in Jeremy’s direction. Jeremy watched him weave through the crowd, smiling at the girls and chatting up the guys as he headed to the back pool table. The smug sonuvabitch—
“Jer,” Ric said, quietly, placing a hand on his shoulder, “what just happened?”
“He’s a dick.”
“Well…yeah,” the older man conceded. “He can be. I thought you two got along.”
“A walk in the woods in the moonlight, Witchy, you are full of surprises.”
She smiled. He had no idea.
“Where are you taking me?” His tone was deeper than usual, more sensual. The hold on her hand tightened as he pulled her to a stop. His other hand rested at her waist. His fingers flexed against the rise of her rear as if testing her resistance. He cocked his head to the side and growled, “What are we doing here?”
“What do you want to do?”
The question came out so easily. A question she had longed to ask forever it seemed but the opportunity had never presented itself. Until now. Now the opening was there so she took it. Damon had never looked so handsome, so sure of himself. His firm hold had never felt so warm and inviting.
“You don’t want to ask me that,” he said. A slight crease formed at his brow. The symbol of uncertainty looked so foreign on him. She reached up to smooth it away. His mouth parted but so unlike him, no words escaped.
She laughed. “Rendered speechless. And it didn’t take a spell.”
“Didn’t it?” he asked, his clear blue eyes searching hers under the hypnotic glow of the moon. He lowered his head, just inches from hers. As his mouth was just a breath away, he paused and waited.
The wait tore like agony in her chest. She feared her hurt would burst from the pain of it. If she was this close and could not taste him, it would all be for naught.
Not another second shall pass, she decided. Not another one.
Decision made, she pressed her mouth to his. The skilled lover swiped his tongue across her lips once, twice, three times until they parted. A low moan reverberated from his chest. One hand pulled her hard against him as the other cupped her face.
His body should have been ice cold, but he was fiery hot. Heat emanated from him and slid into her with every thrust of his tongue and caress of his hand. When their lips finally parted, she moaned in protest. He suckled her neck. A fang nicked her, but he didn’t latch on. Instead, he rested his forehead against hers and hugged her to him and whispered, “Bonnie…”
“Bonnie…” A husky male voice whispered against her ear followed by series of kisses against her neck.
“Damon, don’t!” Bonnie woke with a start and shoved the male away from her.
“Damon?” Jeremy repeated. His expression was unreadable as he gave her a hard look. “Why are you calling me Damon?”
“I d-don’t know,” she stammered, as she moved into a sitting position. Bonnie looked around. What the hell was going on? She pressed a hand to her lips. Was that a dream? Kissing Damon in the woods? Damn, it felt so real. But it couldn’t be real. She’d never kiss Damon.
“You kissed me,” her boyfriend said, “but then you called me another guy’s name. Not just any guy. That fucking vampire asshole.”
“I was asleep,” she said half to herself. Her brain felt fuzzy. Images lingered just on the edge. She couldn’t quite grasp whether they were real or imagined. Time and space didn’t match. If she could figure out the what, where and when, she’d be able to answer Jeremy.
She rubbed her eyes and forced herself to focus. They were on his bed. Yes, she remembered taking a nap on Jeremy’s bed while he went to the Grill for the interview. There was no moonlit walk in the woods. She didn’t kiss Damon. Ew. She pressed a hand to her mouth.
But damned if she couldn’t still taste him.
No. No, no, no. It was Jeremy’s kiss she tasted. His scent that filled her scenes and his arms that warmed her. That had to be it.
“So you were dreaming about Damon?”
“Yes!” Then upon the stricken look on Jeremy’s face, she quickly added, “No!”
He rose from the bed and sat at his computer, his back to her.
“No, Jeremy. No. Not like what you’re thinking.”
“What am I thinking?” he asked.
She left the bed to go to him. She crawled onto his lap before he could protest. “Something gross and icky.”
He fixed her with a brown-eyed stare. “Such as kissing? I didn’t know you thought kissing was gross and icky. I’ll have to remember that.”
“Not your kisses,” she said, feeling somewhat relieved when he smiled.
“So he kissed you in the dream,” Jeremy stated, his expression strangely thoughtful.
She stared, unsure of what to say.
“You can tell me,” he said softly.
Bonnie nodded. “Yeah.”
Jeremy turned his head sharply and frowned, as if he was listening to something.
“What is it?”
He looked at her. His mouth parted, but he seemed uncertain.
“Are you okay?”
His frowned deepened. He swallowed hard. He placed a hand on her thigh and squeezed in that way that reminded her that his sexual experience exceeded hers. She wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face in the hollow between his neck and shoulder. His arms closed around her, pulling her close. Content, she snuggled closer. “It was just a dream. That’s all.”
He kissed her forehead before whispering against her ear, “Did you kiss him back?”
Bonnie reared back in surprise. “Jeremy—”
“I know it’s a dream and I’m not mad if you did.”
“So why are you asking?”
“He’s playing games, Bonnie,” Jeremy said.
“What?” she asked. The earlier conversation with Damon came to mind. She hadn’t expected them to talk Damon this soon or at all. Hell, she hadn’t really considered mentioning the earlier thing after writing it off as one of Damon’s drunken episodes, but now her suspicions were raised. How much did Jeremy know? “What do you mean by games?”
“Other than being an asshole dickhead?” he asked. “I guess with Stefan gone, he doesn’t have anyone to fight with for Elena so he’s set his sights on you.”
“Let’s go away tonight,” he continued. “Not just tonight. For the weekend.”
“The weekend is days away! I can’t just go away.” She started to move from his lap, but he wouldn’t release her.
“Not so fast, sexy mama,” he said with a sudden grin. “I know it would be hard, but wouldn’t Caroline or Elena cover for you?”
That grin said it all. In fact, it said everything. Bonnie extricated herself from his hold and started looking for her shoes. He wasn’t planning just any weekend trip. He wanted The Weekend Trip. The one that would completely change their relationship and she wasn’t sure if she was ready. “I don’t know, Jeremy. That’s asking a lot.”
“Of them,” he asked, “or of you?”
He found her shoes under his bed and handed them to her. “I don’t expect you to do anything you don’t want to.”
She dropped her sandals to the floor and stepped into them. “I know.”
“Look at me when you say that.”
Bonnie folded her arms across her chest. “I know what you want.”
He mimicked her movements and stared down at her. “Oh, really?”
“Don’t make fun of me.”
She looked at him for one second longer, but the doubts started creeping in. Bonnie Bennett wasn’t one to run from a fight, but she was scared shitless right now. She snatched her purse from the dresser and headed for the door. Somehow, he beat her there.
“You can’t just run out like that,” he said, taking her hand. “Talk to me.”
“I have to go.”
“Not like this. Come on, Bon.”
“I’m a virgin, okay!” She shoved past him and raced out of the house before he could stop her.
The drive to her Gram’s house was filled with curses and recriminations. As long as she lived, she’d never forget the look on Jeremy’s face when she told him. She felt like such a reject. Shit!
The Prius screeched to a halt outside her grandmother’s former home which now belonged to her. Instead of going inside, she ran around back to the wooden swing that she, Elena and Caroline played on when they were little and climbed inside. She drew her knees to her chest and hugged tight.
“It wasn’t supposed to be like this,” she said, crying and feeling stupid for crying which caused more tears. She sobbed because she always knew what to do and this time she didn’t.
“It can’t be that bad.”
Bonnie stiffened. How had he snuck up on her? She didn’t need this right now. “Go away,” she choked out between sobs.
“You’re such a dick.”
Damon laughed. “I’ve been called worse.” He went to the swing. “Scoot over.”
“No,” she emphatically shook her head.
“I could just pick you up.”
“I could just burn you to a crisp,” she snapped.
“Ah, there she is,” he murmured, sitting at the ground near her feet.
“Damon, please, just go.”
“Did you and the Gilbert boy break up?”
That could not possibly be concern she heard in his voice. Bonnie looked down at him. Excitement gleamed in his eyes. The bastard didn’t even try to hide it.
“Um, no! We did not break up and what’s it to you?”
He smiled that half snarky, half sexy smile at her. “It’s nothing to me, remember?”
“And you’re too beautiful to cry.” A glimmer of sincerity flickered across his chiseled features, but only for a moment. “Okay, what did the little prick do?”
Bonnie stared at him. There was no way in Mystic Falls hell would she divulge her insecurities to him. Of all people. Damon Salvatore. As if. Her tears dried and she wiped away the few that had rolled down her cheeks.
“What are you doing here?”
He began to pick imaginary pieces of lint from his leather jacket. “I heard you crying.”
“Really?” She frowned. “Where were you?”
He shrugged. “At the Grill.”
“That’s five miles away!”
“I didn’t know vampires’ sense of hearing was that good.”
She lowered her feet to the ground and stood. This wasn’t good at all. Provided he was telling the truth. She wished she knew a spell that would make that clear.
“What else did you hear?”
“If I knew what you and the boy fought about, I wouldn’t have asked.” Damon stood, too. “For all I know you summoned me.”
He twirled one of her errant curls around his forefinger. “Oh, didn’t you?”
A twig snapped. A gentle flutter of air blurred past her and he was gone. In the next moment, Caroline appeared with cell phone in hand. “Hey, Elena? Yeah, tell him I found her. She’s okay.”
Bonnie touched the curl that was only seconds before in Damon’s gentle grasp. For once in her life, she had no words. She looked at her good friend and then away toward the adjourning woods. Where did he go? And worse, why did she want him to come back?
“You scared them shitless,” Caroline said.
“Who?” Bonnie asked, not really paying attention. She dropped back onto the swing. Caroline joined her and the two began to slowly rock just like when they were little.
“Are you okay?”
She shrugged. “I miss my Grams.”
“I thought it was getting better.” Caroline linked her arm through Bonnie’s. “What can I do to make it better?”
“Nothing really,” she said with a sigh. “Who did I scare shitless?”
“Jeremy first and then Elena when he told her what happened—”
“He did what!”
“Okay, dial it down a decibel,” Caroline requested. “He just said you took off upset and she saw you racing down the street like a maniac. You’re lucky my mom didn’t catch you. Her deputies have a quota, you know.”
“I know,” Bonnie murmured. “What else did Jeremy say?”
“He didn’t get into the details, Bon,” her friend said. “He’s scared that he fucked up.”
Caroline’s tone hinted that she wanted details, but she was gentle enough not to push. Bonnie appreciated it. She wasn’t sure how much she wanted to divulge especially since her BFFs thought her sexual experience was on par with theirs. Yet, the truth was the cute camp guide summer before last barely spared her a second glance let alone slip into her cabin after hours. She just said he was cute and Caroline and Elena created the rest of the story. Maybe she should have stopped them but when Caroline gushed about the Lockwood’s pool boy and Elena sighed over how gentle Matt had been—well, Bonnie’s pride demanded silence. She didn’t know how to come clean now.
“He didn’t fuck up,” she said. Maybe she wouldn’t have to come clean. Maybe there was another way around it. Maybe it was time. “I…um… Can you do me a favor?”
“Can you cover for me?”
Caroline nodded. “Duh!”
Bonnie laughed. “You didn’t even ask.”
“I figured you’d tell me if you wanted me to know.” Caroline gave her arm a friendly squeeze. “You’re always here for everybody else. My turn. Whatever you need, you know I can make it happen.”
Bolstered by Caroline’s confidence, Bonnie timidly confided, “Jeremy and I are going away for a few days.”
Caroline’s grin gave way to a frown. “Are you sure?”
Bonnie nodded. “Yeah. Still wanna help?”
“Hell yeah. You’re sleeping at my place tonight. We’re lingerie shopping in the morning. Jeremy Gilbert won’t know what hit him,” her mischievous best friend slash vampire promised.
Bonnie took her at her word.