Wednesday, March 13, 2019
The Return: Nightfall Chapter 34
Elena had once f all(prenominal)en off that balcony and Stefan had derailed and caught her forwards she could lulu the ground. A human falling from that height would be dead on impact. A vampire in full possession of his or her reflexes would all twist in the air give cargon a cat and drop off lightly on their feet. a good dealover unmatchable in Damons particular quite a low tonightFrom the sound of it, he had tried to twist, al unrivalled had simply cease up landing on his side and get intoing bones. Elena deduced the latter from his cursing. She didnt reside to listen for more than specifics. She was off like a rabbit, down to the level of Stefans room where instantaneously and al more or less unconsciously, she sent protrude a unverbalised plea and indeedce down the stairs. The cabin had moody comp permitely into a perfect duplicate of the boarding kinsfolk. Elena didnt k at one time why, just instinctively she ran to the side of the kinfolk that Damon would k straight off the to the lowest degree(prenominal) the old servants quarters. She got that far in advance she d bed whispering things to the house, request for them or else than demanding them, and praying that the house would obey her as it had obeyed Damon.Aunt Judiths house, she whispered, thrusting the give away into a door it went in like a hot wound into butter and turned about of its own volition, and past of a sudden she was in that location again, in what had been her home for sixteen years, up until her first death.She was in the hallway, with her little sister Margarets open door showing her lying on the cut down of her bedroom, staring with wide-open eyes oer a coloring book.Its tag, stunner she announced as if ghosts appeared e rattling day in the Gilbert theater and Margaret was supposed to know how to deal with it. You go running to your fri closing curtain Barbaras and whence she has to be It. Dont stop running until you get thither, and then go prevail on Barbaras mom. only if first you give me three kisses. And she lifted Margaret and hugged her tightly and then virtually threw her at the door.But Elena youre subscribe I know, darling, and I portend to gain you again an separate day. But now run, baby I told them you would capture covert. You did before.MargaretRunChoking on disunite, but maybe recognizing in her childlike way the seriousness of the situation, Margaret ran. And Elena followed, but zagging toward a different stairway when Margaret zigged.And then she found herself confronted by a smirking Damon.You take too grand to talk to people, he tell as Elena frantically counted her options. Go over the balcony into the entry way? No. Damons bones qualification compose injury a little but if Elena jumped til now one story, she would probably depart her neck. What else? ThinkAnd then she was opening the door into the china closet, at the equivalent time sh bring outing out, Great-aunt Tildas house, unsure if the magic would lock in work. And then she was slamming the door in Damons award.And she was in her Aunt Tildas house, but the Aunt Tildas house of the past. No wonder they accused poor Auntie Tilda of seeing freaky things, Elena thought, as she saw the woman turning while get hold ofing a large glass casserole dish full of aboutthing that smelled mushroomy, and screaming, and dropping the dish.Elena she cried. What it cant be you youre all grown upWhats the trouble? demanded Aunt Maggie, who was Aunt Tildas friend, coming in from the other room. She was taller and fiercer than Aunt Tilda.Im being chased, cried Elena. I need to find a door, and if you see a boy after me And retributory then Damon stepped out of the coat closet, and at the same time Aunt Maggie tripped him neatly and give tongue to, toilet door beside you, and picked up a vase and hit the rising Damon over the whirl with it. Hard.And Elena dashed through with(predicate) the bathroom door , crying, Robert E. Lee High School give-up the ghost fall erect as the bells rungAnd then she was swimming against the flow, with piles of students trying to get to their classes on time but then one of them recognized her, and then another, and while apparently shed successfully traveled to a time when she wasnt dead no one was screaming ghost incomplete had anyone at Robert E. Lee ever seen Elena Gilbert wearing a boys apparel over a camisole, with her hair falling wildly over her shoulders.Its a costume for a swordplay she yelled, and created one of the immortal legends about herself before she had point died by adding, Carolines house and stepping into a janitors closet. An instant later, the most beautiful boy that anyone had ever seen appeared behind her, and rocketed through the same doors imagineing language in a foreign language. And when the janitors closet opened, neither boy nor daughter was there.Elena landed running down a hallway and almost crashed int o Mr. Forbes, who looked rather wobbly. He was drinking what counted to be a large glass of tomato juice that smelled like alcohol.We dont know where shes gone, all right? he shouted before Elena could say a word. Shes gone right out of her head word, as far as I can tell. She was talking about the honoring at the widows walk and the way she was dressed Parents dont create any pull strings over children anymore He slumped against the wall.Im so relentless, murmured Elena.The ceremony. Well, Black Magic ceremonies were commonly held at moonrise or midnight. And it was just a few minutes before midnight. But in those minutes, Elena had just come up with scheme B. let off me, she said, taking the drink out of Mr. Forbess hand and dashing it directly into the font of Damon, who had appeared out of a closet. Then she shouted, Some placetheir kind cant see and stepped into oblivion?Heaven?Some place their kind couldnt see.At first Elena wondered about herself, because she couldnt see much of anything at all.But then she realized where she was, deep in the earth, beneath Honoria Fells empty tomb. Once, she had fought down here to save the proceeds of Stefan and Damon.And now, where there should have been nothing but darkness and rats and mildew, was a tiny, shining, light. Like a toy dog Tinkerbell just a speck, it hovered in the air, not leading her, not communicating, butprotecting, Elena realized. She took the light, which felt up bright and cool in her fingers, and around her she traced a circle, lifesize enough for a full-grown person to lie down in.When she turned back, Damon was sitting in the middle.He looked fishily pale for roughone who had just fed. But he said nothing, not a word, just gazed at her. Elena went to him and touched him on the neck.And a moment later, Damon was again drinking deep, deep, of the most odd blood in the world.Usually, he would be analyzing by now taste of berry, taste of tropical fruit, smooth, smoky, woody, round ed with a silken aftertasteBut not now. Notthis blood, which far surpassed anything for which he had terminology. This blood that was filling him with power such(prenominal) as he had never known before.DamonWhy was he not listening? How had he come to be drinking this extraordinary blood that tastedsomehow of the afterlife, and why was he not listening to the conferrer?Please, Damon. Please entreat itHe ought to recognize that voice. Hed heard it enough measure.I know theyre controlling you. But they cant controlallof you. Youre stronger than they are. Youre the strongest.Well, that was certainly true. But he was getting more and more confused. The donor seemed to be unhappy and he was a past-master at making donors happy. And he didnt quite rememberhe real should remember how this had started.Damon, its me. Its Elena. And youre impairmenting me.So much pain sensation and bewilderment. From the beginning, Elena had known purify than to outright fight the tapping of her vein s. That would only cause agony, and it wouldnt do her the slightest bit of well-behaved except to stop her brain from working.So she was trying to lick him fight off the horrible beast indoors him. Well, yes, but the change had to come from inside. If she forced him, Shinichi would notice and just possess him again. Besides, the simpleDamon, be strong shaft wasnt working.Was there nothing to do but die, then? She could at least fight that, although she k unseasoned that Damons stance would make it pointless. With e precise(prenominal) swallow he took of her new blood, he got stronger he changed more and more intoInto what? It washer blood. Maybe he would answer its call, which was also her call. Maybe, somehow inside, he could beat the monster without Shinichi noticing.But she involve some new power, some new trickAnd evening as she thought it, Elenafelt the new Power moving in her, and she knew that it had eer been there, just waiting for the right occasion to use it. It w as a very specific power, not to be used for fighting or even for saving herself. Still, it was hers to tap. Vampires who preyed on her got only a few mouthfuls, but she had an entire blood supply filled with its enormous vigor. And calling upon it was as low-cal as r from each oneing toward it with an open mind and open hands.As presently as she did, she found new words coming to her lips, and most strangely of all, new wings springing from her body, which Damon was holding bent sharply back from the hips. These light wings were not for flying, but for something else, and when they fully unfurled they make a huge, rainbow-colored smashed whose very tip circled back again, surrounding and enfolding Damon and Elena both.And then she said it telepathically.Wings of Redemption.And inside, soundlessly, Damon screamed.Then the wings opened slightly. Only one who had learned a great deal about magic would have seen what was happening inside them. Damons anguish was becoming Elenas ang uish as she took from him every painful incident, every tragedy, every cruelty that had ever gone into making up the rocklike layers ofindifference and unkindness that encased his heart.Layers as hard as the rock candy at the heart of a black dwarf star were time out up and flying away. There was no stopping it. Great chunks and boulders fractured, delicately pieces shattered. Some dissolved into nothing more than a puff of corrosive smelling smoke.There was something at the center, though some nucleus that was blacker than sinfulness and harder than the horns of the devil. She couldnt quite see what happened to it. She thought she hoped that at the very end even it b ultimatelyed open.Now, and only now, could she call for the next set of wings. She hadnt been sure that she would merry through the first attack she certainly didnt feel as if she could live through this one. But Damon had to know.Damon was kneeling on one knee on the floor, with his arms clasped tightly aro und him. That should be all right. He was still Damon, and hed be a visual sense happier without the clog of all that hatred and disfavor and cruelty. He wouldnt keep remembering his youth and the other young blades whod mocked his return for being an old fool, with his disastrous investments and his mistresses younger than his own sons. Neither would he endlessly dwell on his own childhood, when that same father had get the better of him in drunken rages when he neglected his studies or took up with objectionable companions.And, finally, he would not go on savoring and contemplating the many stark things hed done himself. He had been redeemed, in heavens name and in heavens time, by words put into Elenas mouth.But nowthere was something that he needed to remember. If Elena was right.If only she were right.Where is this place? Are you hurt, girl?In his confusion, he couldnt recognize her. He had knelt now she knelt beside him.He gave her a keen glance. Are we at postulation or were we making love? Was it the Watch or the Gonzalgos?Damon, she said, its me, Elena. Its the twenty-first century, now, and you are a vampire. Then, gently embracing him, with her cheek against his, she whispered,Wings of Remembrance.And a match of translucent butterfly wings, violet, cerulean, and midnight blue in color, sprouted from her backbone, just in a higher place her hips. The wings were decorated with tiny sapphires and translucent amethysts in intricate patterns. development muscles she had never used before, she easily drew them up and forward until they kink inside out, and Damon was shielded within them. It was like being enclosed in a dim, jewel-studded cave.She could see in Damons fine-bred features that he didnt want to remember anything more than he did right now. But new memories, memories connected with her, were already welling up inside him. He looked at his lapis lazuli ring and Elena could see tears come to his eyes. Then, slowly, his gaze turned on her.Elena?Yes.Someone have me, and took the memories of the times I was possessed, he whispered.Yes at least, I think so.And someone hurt you.Yes.I swore to kill him or make him your buckle down a light speed times over. Hestruck you. He took your blood by force. He made up ludicrous stories about hurting you in other ways.Damon. Yes, thats true. But, please I was on his track. If Id met him I top executive have run him through might have ripped his beating heart out of his chest. Or I might have taught him the most painful lessons Ive heard tales of and Ive heard a lot of tales and at the end, through the blood in his mouth, he would have kissed your heel, your slave until he died.This wasnt good for him. She could see it. His eyes were white all around, like a terrified colts.Damon, Ibeg youAnd the one who hurt youwas me.Not you by yourself. You said it yourself. You werepossessed .You feared me so much you stripped yourself for me.Elena remembered the original Pendleton s hirt.I didnt want you and flatness fighting.You let me bleed you when it was against your true will.This time she could find nothing to say but, Yes.I dear God I used my powers to afflict you with ineffable griefIf you mean an attack that causes hideous pain and seizures, then yes. And you were worse to Matt.Matt wasnt on Damons radarscope. And then I kidnapped you.Youtried .And you jumped out of a amphetamine car rather than take your chances with me.You were playing rough, Damon. They had told you to go out and play rough, maybe even to break your toys.Ive been expression for the one who made you jump from the car I couldnt remember anything before that. And I swore to take out his eyes and his tongue before he died in agony. You couldnt walk. You had to use a crutch to get through the forest, and just when help should have come, Shinichi drew you into a trap. Oh, yes, I know him. You wandered into his snow globeand would be wandering still if I hadnt broken it.No, Elena s aid quietly. I would have been dead a long time ago. You found me at the point of suffocation, remember?Yes. A moment of fierce joy on his face. But then the trapped, appal look returned. I was the tormenter, the persecutor, the one you were so terrified of. I made you do things with with Matt.O God, he said, and it was clearly an invocation to the deity, not just an exclamation, because he looked up, holding his clenched hands to heaven. I thought I was being a hero for you. InsteadIm the abomination. What now? By rights, I should be dead at your feet already. He looked at her with wide, feral, black eyes. There was no humor in them, no sarcasm, no holding back. He looked very young and very wild and desperate. If hed been a black leopard hed have been tempo his cage frantically, biting at the bars.Then he bowed his liberty chit to kiss her bare foot.Elena was shocked.Im yours to do what you please with, he said in that same stunned voice. You can order me to die right now. b y and by all my clever talk, it turns out that Im the monster.And then he wept. Probably no other set of circumstances could have brought tears to Damon Salvatores eyes. But he had boxed himself in. He never broke his word, and hed given his word to break the monster, the one who had done all this to Elena. The fact that he had been possessed at first a little, and then more and more, until his entire mind was simply another of Shinichis toys, to be picked up and put down at empty didnt make up for his crimes.You know that I Im damned, he told her, as if peradventure that might go a small way toward restitution.No, Idont , Elena said. Because I dont remember thats true. And Damon, think of how many times you fought them. Im sure they wanted you to kill Caroline that first night you said you felt something in her mirror. You said you almost did it. Im sure they want you to kill me. Are you going to do it?He bent toward her foot again, and she hastily grabbed him by the shoulder s. She couldnt stand to see him in such pain.But now Damon was looking this way and that, as if he had a definite purpose. He was also twisting the lapis lazuli ring.Damon what are you thinking? Tell me what youre thinkingThat he may pick me up as a puppet again and that this time there may be areal birch rod. Shinichi hes monstrous beyond your innocent belief. And he can take me over at a moments notice. Weve seen that.He cant if youll let me kiss you.What? He looked at her as if she hadnt been following the conversation properly. allow me kiss you and strip out that dying malach inside you.Dying?It dies a little more each time you gain enough strength to turn your back on it.Is it very oversize?As big as you are by now.Good, he whispered. I only deprivation I could fight it myself.Pour le sport? Elena answered, showing that her spend in France last year hadnt been entirely wasted.No. Because I nauseate the bastards guts and Id happily suffer a hundred times its pain as lo ng as I knew I was hurtingit. Elena dogged this was no time for delay. He was ready. Will you let me do this one last thing?I told you before the monster who hurt you is your slave now. tout ensemble right. They could argue about that point later. Elena leaned forward and tilted her head up, lips pursed slightly.after a few moments, Damon, the Don Juan of darkness, got the point.He kissed her very gently, as if aghast(predicate) to make too much contact.Wings of Purification, Elena whispered against his lips. These wings were as white as untrammeled snow, and lacelike, barely existing in some places at all. They arched high above Elena, shimmering with an iridescence that reminded her of moonlight on frosted cob wind vanes. They encased mortal and vampire in a web made of diamond and pearl.This is going to hurt you, Elena said, not knowing how she knew. The experience seemed to come moment by moment as she needed it. It was almost like being in a dream where great truths are und erstood without needing to be learned, and accepted without astonishment.And that was how she knew thatWings of Purification would seek out and destruct anything foreign inside Damon and that the feeling could be very unpleasant for him. When the malach didnt seem to be coming out of its own accord, she said, prompted by her inner voice, play off your shirt. The malach is attached to your spine and its closest to the skin at the back of your neck where it entered. Im going to have to strip it out by hand.committed to my spine?Yes. Did you ever feel it? I think it would have felt like a bee sting at first, as it entered you, just a sharp little drill and a descry of jelly that attached to your spine.Oh. The mosquito bite. Yes, I felt that. And then later, my neck began to ache, and at last my strong body. Was itgrowing inside me?Yes, and taking over more and more of your sickening system. Shinichi was controlling you like a marionette.Dear God, Imsorry .Lets make him be sorry i nstead. Will you take off your shirt?Silently, like a trust child, Damon took off his black jacket and shirt. Then, as Elena motioned him into position, he lay crosswise her lap, his back hard with muscle and pale against the dark ground on either side.Im sorry, she said. Getting rid of it this way pulling it out through the hole where it entered will really hurt.Good, grunted Damon. And then he buried his face in his lithe, flat-muscled arms.Elena used the pads of her fingers, feeling at the top of his spine for what she was looking for. A squishy point. A blister. When she found it, she pinched it with her fingernails until blood suddenly spurted.She almost lost it then as it tried to go flat, but she was pursuing it with sharp nails and it was too slow. At last she had it held firmly amidst thumbnail and two fingernails.The malach was still alive and aware enough to feebly stomach her. But it was like a jellyfish trying to resist only jellyfish broke apart when you pulled. This slick, slimy, man-shaped thing retained its shape as she slowly pulled it through the breach in Damons skin.And it was hurting him. She could tell. She started to take some of the pain into herself, but he gasped, No with such vehemence that she decided to let him have his way.The malach was much larger and more substantial than she had realized. It mustiness have been growing a long time, she thought the little blob of jelly that had expanded until it controlled him to the fingertips. She had to sit up, then scoot away from Damon and back again before it lay on the ground, a sickly, stringy, white personation of a human body.Is it done? Damon was breathless it really had hurt, then.Yes.Damon stood and looked down at the flabby white thing barely twitching that had made him aggrieve the person he cared most about in the world. Then, deliberately, he trampled on it, crushing it under the heels of his boots until it lay torn in pieces, and then trample the pieces. Elena gu essed that he didnt dare blast it with Power for fear of alerting Shinichi.At last, all that was leave was a stain and a smell.Elena didnt know why she felt so dizzy then. But she reached for Damon and he reached for her and they went to their knees holding each other.I release you from every promise you made while in the possession of that malach, Elena said. This was strategy. She didnt want to release him from the promise of caring for his brother.Thank you, Damon whispered, the weight of his head on her shoulder.And now, said Elena, like a kindergarten teacher who wants to execute quickly on to another activity, We need to make plans. But to make plans in utter secrecyWe have to share blood. But Elena, how much have you donated today? You look white.You said youd be my slave now you wont take a little of my blood.You said you released me instead youre going to hold that over me forever, arent you? But theres a simpler solution. You take some ofmy blood.And in the end that w as what they did, although it made Elena feel slightly guilty, as if she were betraying Stefan. Damon cut himself with the minimum of fuss, and then it began to happen they weresharing minds, melting seamlessly together. In much shorter a time than it would take to speak the sentences aloud, it was done Elena had told Damon of what her friends had found about the epidemic among the girls of Fells Church and Damon had told Elena everything he knew about Shinichi and Misao. Elena concocted a plan for scaring out any other possessed youngsters like Tami, and Damon promised to try to find out where Stefan was from the kitsune twins.And, finally, when there was nothing more to say, and Damons blood had restored faint color to Elenas cheeks they made plans as to how to meet again.At the ceremony.And then there was only Elena in the room, and a large pig winging its way toward the Old Wood.Sitting on the cold stone floor, Elena took a moment to put all she now knew together. No wonder D amon had seemed so schizophrenic. No wonder he had remembered, and then forgotten, and then remembered that he was the one she was running from.He remembered, she reasoned, when Shinichi was not controlling him, or at least was keeping him on a very loose rein. But his stock was spotty because some of the things hed done were so terrible that his own mind had rejected them. They had seamlessly become part of the possessed Damons memory, for when possessed Shinichi was controlling every word, every deed. And in between episodes, Shinichi was telling him that he had to find Elenas tease and kill him.All very amusing, she supposed, for this kitsune, Shinichi. But for both her and Damon it had been hell.Her mind refused to control that there had been moments of heaven mixed in with the hell. She was Stefans, alone. That would never change.Now Elena needed one more magical door, and she didnt know how to find one. But there was the twinkling fairy light again. She guessed it was the l ast of the magic that Honoria Fell had left to protect the town she had founded. Elena felt a little guilty, using it up but if it wasnt meant for her, why had she been brought here?To try for the most important finale she could imagine.Reaching for the speck with one hand and clenching the key in the other she whispered with all the force at her commandSomewhere I can see and hear and touch Stefan.