Chapter 7: Elena
As soon as Caroline sat down beside me, and Damon left, I broke down again. I couldn't do this! Who on this earth was I kidding? I couldn't be what Damon needed! No way!
“I can't do this, Care. I can't go through with it,” I said, as she wrapped her arms around me and hugged me. I couldn't stop the tears from rolling don my cheeks. This had all been a very stupid idea. I just wanted to change into my own old clothes, go down and have fun with Damon, just like we used to. Then maybe I would feel a bit more comfortable with him.
“Of course you can do this! Elena, didn't you see the way he's been looking at you all day? Do you think he would've pretended to be your boyfriend, if he didn't think you were hot? You know how Damon is. You're just nervous. Remember what I said. Either you do something, or you get over it. Because then I will help you find another guy, you can kiss and maybe even sleep with. It's time to either let Damon go, or fight for him,” she said, trying to calm me down. And somehow, that worked. I stopped sobbing.
“I don't want to kiss anyone else. I want him to be my first, Care. I just don't know how I will ever be enough for him. He's used to girls like the one at the airport. Girls who flirts with him, who's sexy and confident. That's not me. Even though we've known each other for a long time, I'm still insecure with him,” I said, trying to figure out what I needed to do.
Caroline smiled at me and started wiping the tear stains away from my cheeks.
“I know, Lena. And I think he's going to be that guy. You just need to show him how wonderful you two could be together. First step, you're going to be sleeping in the same bed. And you're going to wear that nightgown I bought for you!”
I blushed at the thought of it. Caroline had bought one of those nightgowns you see in commercials for Victoria's secrets and stuff like that. I couldn't imagine my self wearing it, but somewhere along the way, I had promised Caroline to wear it. That, and the small bikini she had bought for me.
I had no idea how I was ever going to pull that off.
“I wanna start cutting again, so bad... I can't help it...” It suddenly hit me. When I had left for the bathroom, all I wanted to do was to grab my blade and add new scars to my arm. And why did I want to do that? I had no idea. I was supposed to be better.
“Elena Marie Gilbert, you are not starting that again! I worked too hard to make you stop, for you to just start again. Listen, I know that this is hard. You've been in love with him since forever, and it's going to be weird to start doing something about it. You've gotten so used to the other thing. But this is actually happening. And trust me, it's working. You haven't seen the way he looked at you in the airport. If I didn't knew better, I would say that he already is in love with you,” Caroline said, suddenly looking very worried. I looked down at the remains of my scars. Did I really want to add a new one? This time I couldn't just put on a sweatshirt to hide it. This time I didn't have a sweatshirt. And this time, Damon would notice. Caroline was right. I had to be strong.
“Thanks, Care... I guess I feel better... I just needed to get some of it out, and since I can't talk to Damon. He's afraid he's not enough for me anymore,” I said, feeling the same pain in my chest I had felt, when Damon had asked if he wasn't enough. Even though he had tried to make it sound like he didn't really care, I could see the hurt in his eyes. At that moment, I wish I could have just told him everything. But I didn't. I couldn't. All I really wanted to do, was to snuggled up to him, explain everything to him and hope that he wouldn't leave me.
But I couldn't do that. I didn't want to ruin our friendship and the chances of a romantic relationship. No way.
“Well, he'll figure it all out soon. You can tell him everything about all of this after wards. I'm sure he's going to love this story,” she said and laughed. I found my self laughing with her and nodded.
I loved Caroline, and she was my only girl friend. But she would never come close to what Damon meant to me. I didn't trust her, like I trusted Damon. And I never would. Damon and I shared something special, after both our parents died in the same accident. We understood each other in a way that Caroline didn't understand. Both her parents were alive and well, living together as one happy family.
“You ready to go down to Damon? I think he's cooking lunch,” Caroline said and helped me refresh my stained make-up.
“Yeah. I am. I hope he's making something delicious,” I said and smiled at her, as she finished my make-up.
“There you go. As good as new. Now, let's go downstairs.”
“You okay again?” Damon asked, as we walked down the stairs and joined him in the kitchen. The smell was amazing, and I felt my stomach react instantly. I loved Damon's cooking. He often cooked at home, especially when I was in a bad mood.
“Yeah, I'm fine,” I said and sat down on one of the bar stools closest to Damon. He smiled at me and focused on cooking. I loved watching the way his muscles flexed underneath his shirt. It was incredibly sexy.
“There will be lunch in about... 10 minutes, and I suggest that you girls change into your bathing suits, 'cause we're going in the pool after wards,” Damon said, and looked down at my body. I felt myself blushing. Was he looking at my body, like he looked at girls at bars?
“Great idea! Come on, Elena, let's go change,” Elena grabbed my wrist and pulled me down from the chair, back up the stairs. I sighed, and cursed Damon's idea. I wanted to spend time with him like we normally did. No way I was going to be able do that, if I was wearing a bikini. But Caroline had made sure that I didn't brought any bathing suits or sweatshirts.
“Go in, change, and come down. I'm sending Damon up to fetch you, if you haven't returned in ten minutes!” she threatened, before going to her own room. I shook my head lightly and returned to my and Damon's room. I looked at the big bed, and immediately felt the butterflies in my stomach, as I thought about laying in it, only wearing the gown and having Damon by my side. Usually I wore sweatpants and a sweatshirt to bed. This was something entirely else, and I had no idea how Damon would react.
I went to my suitcase, not wanting to think anymore about it, and started looking for the black bikini Caroline had bought for me. I was so no ready to show Damon my body. This was going to be awkward as hell.
When I found it, I went to the bathroom and put it on quickly. It fit perfectly and it actually didn't look that bad. But this wasn't how I wanted Damon to see me. An idea popped into my head. Caroline had made sure I got a lot of dresses as well. One of those summer dresses would be great over the bikini. Then I wouldn't be half naked while we were eating.
I smiled at my own brilliance and went back to the bedroom. Damon hadn't come up yet. I smiled and put on one of the white summer dresses. I still wasn't comfortable, but this was way better than only the bikini.
In that instant, Damon walked through the door and looked at me. A smile spread on his lips, as he looked at the dress.
“I thought we agreed on swimming suits?” he asked, as he walked to his suitcase. I blushed slightly and looked at my feet. I had put on a pair of blue flip flops Caroline had gotten.
“Yeah, but I was thinking that I would put on a dress. That way, I won't be half naked at the table, and you will be able to focus on eating,” I said with a sweet smile, that I didn't know where came from. What did I just say? Was I flirting with him?
He raised an eyebrow at me, with a smile on his lips. He liked it. I knew that smile. That was the smile he did, when he got what he wanted. Did he want me to flirt with him?
“Well, then thanks for wearing that. Then I'll have the possibility to focus completely on you when you take that off,” he said, and looked down at my dress again. I forced my self to smile and then left the room. My heart was pounding so hard I was afraid I was going to die. What the hell just happened back there? Did I just flirt with Damon?
While I tried to get my self back on track, I walked down the stairs and outside, where Matt was placing the food on the outdoor table.
“Hey, Lena!” he said, as I sat down on one of the chairs. He sat next to me, while we waited for Caroline and Damon to come down.
“Hey. It was kind of a surprise you decided to join,” I said, trying to get a conversation to flow. We hadn't really been talking together, ever since Matt went to another college than me. We had been great friends during high school, but everything just kind of... Fell apart after graduation. The only way I got to speak to him, was through Caroline.
“Yeah. Caroline invited me, and how can you tell that girl no?” he said, trying to smile casually. I laughed and nodded.
“I so agree. If there's someone capable of making me do something I don't want to do...” I let the sentence trail out and leaned back in the comfortable chair. I already loved the resort. We were sitting outside in the backyard, which had a pool and hot tub. Apart from that, it had a big green garden, which lot of space to play games and have fun. This place was perfect.
Matt looked at the pool, obviously trying not to look too much at me. I smiled and laughed at him, which made him turn his head in confusion.
“You are allowed to look at me, you do know that, right?” I said while laughing. He blushed slightly and shrugged at me. Be bold, Elena...
I stood up and took off the dress, revealing my black bikini.
“I really want to get in. You with me?” I asked and dipped a toe in the water. It was nice and hot from the sun. Perfect. Matt followed my lead and took off his shirt, following me to the pool. He smiled at me and lifted me without saying anything. Then he jumped in.
I screamed and laughed as we hit the water. I was going to have fun, and Matt was a great friend. Both of us swam to the surface and started splashing water at each other.
I loved being in the water again. I hadn't been in a very long time, because nobody were to notice my scars. But my scars were faded enough now. You wouldn't notice them, if you didn't look closely. And who would do that?
“You're it!” I said and touched Matt's head, before I swam off, trying to get as far away from him as possible. As he started chasing me, I couldn't help but wish that it was Damon chasing me, not Matt. But I quickly pushed the thought out of my head, and focused on the game instead. I shouldn't be thinking about Damon now. And I needed to do stuff that didn't have him involved. Playing with Matt was a great idea. He was with Caroline, and I knew he wouldn't try any funny business on me. Damon would join us when he came down in his bathing suit.
I felt Matt grab onto my foot and pulled me closer. I screamed a bit, but let him pull me to him. He was laughing just as much as I was, and had a big victory smile printed on his lips.
“You're it!” he said and put his arms around me. I frowned a bit at the action and pushed at his chest. I did not like him this close.
“A bit too close, Matt,” I said and pushed harder at his bare chest. He was a good looking guy, but I knew how he felt about relationships. And he was Caroline's. The girl code spoke clearly.
“Sorry. I'm not that used to shy girls,” he said with something that clearly was supposed to be a smirk, but comparing to Damon, it looked like a very insecure smile. It didn't have anywhere near the effects of Damon's smirk.
“What are you two girls up to?”
I heard Damon's familiar smooth voice, as he stepped out on the terrace, wearing nothing but his shorts. Why had I never noticed how beautiful his chest was? His pale skin was almost shining in the sun.
But something was off. His look was cold, and he seemed sad. It only lasted for a second. Then his usual smirk was in place, looking at me.
“Come on in, Salvatore! It won't hurt you to get a little wet. And I bet I'm still a faster swimmer than you,” I said, sending him a challenging look. He raised one eyebrow at me and started slowly walking closer to the pool.
“Are you challenging me, Gilbert?” he asked as he reached the edge of the pool. I smiled at him, trying to be as bold as I had been when I jumped in with Matt.
“Oh yes, I am. I will even bet you that I win,” I said, keeping my smile. It was starting to turn into a smirk I had no doubt that I had learned from Damon.
“Win what?” Caroline stepped out in her blue bikini and sunglasses. I smiled at her and waited for Damon to explain.
“Elena here thinks that she's faster than me. I am about to prove her very wrong,” he said and lowered him self into the water, “so what if I win? What will you bet?”
Be bold, Elena, come on. Just do it. You need to do this.
“What about we do the exact same bet as we did earlier? Unless you're afraid?” I asked, swimming a bit closer to him, while trying to look as confident as possible. His eyes widened for a second, making me doubt my actions. Of course he didn't want to kiss me. Why on earth had I thought that he would be interested in doing something like that? I was the one in love with him, not the other way around.
“What bet? Why haven't I heard anything about this?” Caroline said, clearly insulted. I had forgotten to tell her about the bet. She would've loved that detail. At that point, I didn't really get that I had actually agreed to that bet.
“You sure you want to do this?” Damon whispered, suddenly very close to me. I feel like my skin is on fire from where his fingers are touching my arm, and his breath on my face is almost enough to make me kiss him right there.
But the moment was ruined the instant someone grabbed my foot and pulled me underwater. I quickly saw Matt smiling at me, under the water, and started swimming after him. When we broke up the surface I jumped on his back, desperately trying to get him under the water. He just laughed at me, grabbed my thighs and started walking toward the stairs.
“Now, Elena, let's get some lunch. You guys on?”
Matt was now carrying me, as we stepped into the terrace and walked to the table. I blushed, as my whole body was exposed to Damon. This was the first time he saw me like this, and I didn't feel comfortable at all.
“Matt, let me down!” I said, trying to get down from him, but his hands were holding me firmly in place. I felt my face getting more and more red, as he refused to let me down.
“She said to let her down, Matt,” Damon said, suddenly not sounding like he was having fun at all. Actually, he was ice cold. Matt let go of my thighs, knowing that Damon wouldn't hesitate to start a fight, and Matt was going to be the loser. In most of my time, I hadn't met anyone with the same size of muscles as Damon. Another reason that I always felt safe with him. He would protect me against anything.
I walked to Damon, accepting the big towel he handed me. But instead of just giving it to me, he wrapped me up in it and started drying me, while pulling me into his arms.
Normally I would've questioned his move, but I really didn't care. He was half naked, and I liked being close to him. No, actually, I loved it.
“Ready for lunch?” he asked and handed me my sun glasses. I tried to pull off a smile, but it came out as an insecure grimace. His mouth was almost next to my ear and I could feel the top of his chest against my back. How was I supposed to focus with him touching me like that?
He chuckled a bit and stepped back, letting go of the towel. It fell down and revealed my body. I didn't miss the way he looked at it, and smirked as he sat down on the chair by the table.
All red in the face, I sat down opposite of him, and put on my sun glasses. Maybe that could give me some kind of privacy. But even though both of our eyes were blocked behind toned glass, he still looked right through me. That's why I kept my eyes on the delicious food he had made for us. Look at the food, not his body, food, not body, food, not... Why did he have to be half naked?