Hotel California

AU/AH! Caroline has had enough of Elena's love for Damon. That's why she makes an ultimatum. Do something about it, or get over him. And she's determined to get her two best friends together. Delena as always!

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8. Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Damon

 

It took less than an hour for everyone to finish eating. We had been talking, mostly Elena and I, and had enjoyed the food. Elena had seemed a bit off, though. After she had put on her sunglasses, she seemed a bit more confident, but not very much. I really wanted to spend more time with Elena, but Blondie took her back inside, and left me with the Quarterback and a mess of plates and leftovers. Matt tried to make small talk, but I wasn't interested. My mind was still on my best friend, and my thoughts were nowhere near pure.

Elena in that white dress had been stunning. She was tan. Actually tan. I had no idea how, since she was always wearing those damn hoodies, but she was. And it looked amazing on her. Her skin had looked so soft and creamy. And God those legs... But then she had taken off the dress, and her body had left me speechless.

Of course, I didn't get the chance to ogle it the way I wanted.

Fucking Donovan.

Who did he think he was, putting his hands on her? She deserved so much better. Besides, wasn't he here to keep Caroline occupied? Why wasn't he groping her up, instead of teasing Elena? I hoped Elena was okay. If Matt was leading her on, I was going to kill him. I really was. Elena was too sweet, to amazing to be hurt like that. No way I was going to let him play her.

Once the mess was cleared, I walked inside the house. Caroline and Elena were on the big white couch in the amazingly big living room. The whole house was modern. The walls were painted white, and was covered by paintings and other art stuff, I didn't knew a single thing about. The couch was turned towards the big fireplace, which Elena and Caroline were looking at. I'll hand it to Blondie, she didn't do bad on the place settings, though she was bound to get something right occasionally.

"What are you two up to?" I asked, walking over to them. Elena smiled at me, making my heart feel warmer.

"Deciding what we should do today," she said, looking at Caroline with a raised eyebrow. Had they been fighting or something?

"Ah," I smirked, noting that her white sundress was back in place. Thank God, then I would be able to actually focus. I would get it off her later.

"What's the verdict?" I asked, sitting down in a comfortable looking chair.

"I opted for just chilling here, laying at the pool and working on our tans, but Elena doesn't want to," Caroline said, shooting a glance at Elena. I smiled. Yeah, my girl wasn't a lay out and sunbathe kind of girl. That didn't explain her tan either.

"And what does Elena want to do?" I asked, directing my question at her. It didn't matter what she wanted to do. I would go with her.

"I would like to go see the beach," Elena admitted, "I've never been to the ocean before, and I saw it on the plane ride over, and well, that's really all I wanted for today..."

Her big brown eyes blinked at me, as if waiting for me to tell her no, that it was a stupid idea, and we should all flip through girly magazines by the pool with umbrella drinks. Why would I ever choose that?

"Yeah, that sounds so much better."

Her smile was shy, but rewarding. Blondie groaned at my choice.

"Really! Doesn't no one just want to relax?! I mean look at this house! It's incredible!" she said and extended her arms. I chuckled lightly at her actions.

"Yeah, well, so is the ocean," I argued, taking Elena's hand, and lifting her from the couch, "Matt can stay here with you."

Caroline shrugged, just as the Quarterback in question came in.

"Matt can what?" he asked, making all of us look at him.

"I'm taking Elena to the beach, you can keep Barbie company." A smile spread on his face and I fought the urge to roll my eyes. No question of what they would be up to the second we left.

"You're welcome," I shot, then looked down at Elena, "You ready?"

She nodded at me, with a big smile.

"Yeah, but we need a towel!"

"There's the one you used a second ago outside on the table. We can grab it." She nodded, that beautiful smile back on her face. I could get used to seeing that smile.

"Okay, then yes, I'm ready." I squeezed her hand and led her out the door, liking the way her hand fit in mine.

 

"Wow," Elena sighed contently, looking around as we left the property. I smiled at her happiness. It seemed a little too rare. But even I was in awe. California. It really was a great place for vacation. Our house happened to be across the street from the beach, so as soon as we were cleared around the corner, the ocean was in sight.

Elena squeezed my hand as I walked us over to the cross walk and hit the button. As we neared the ocean, she was all but skipping.

"Someone's excited," I chuckled. She stuck her tongue out at me, a teasing look in her eyes.

"I am allowed to be excited, aren't I?" I smiled at her.

"No Elena. You have to sulk in misery this entire trip. Fun is not allowed."

She giggled at this, and I rather liked the sound. The shell that usually hid her away from the world seemed thinner. And I planned on taking advantage of that. This was going to be the summer of our lives.

We got across the street and then there was nothing but sand and water...and people. A lot of people, though that was to be expected for a summer beach in California. Elena didn't seem to mind though, so I didn't care.

"Were you just wanting to stare at it, or are we actually gonna get in?" I teased, and she shot me a smile.

"Race you to the water?" I laughed, "Sure! But we probably want to sit down our stuff." I motioned to the towel in my hand, and then there were our shoes and the water bottle I had grabbed for us, just in case.

"Okay," Elena agreed, "Let's find a spot." We walked down the line a little and found a place where the people thinned out. There were lines of those little umbrella covers, so I picked one and sat our things next to it.

"You want me to put your sunglasses down?" I asked her. She probably wouldn't like for them to get wet, or lost in the ocean.

"Oh, crap, yeah," she pulled them off her head, "oh, and I guess this too."

In a fluid motion, she reached for the hem of her dress and pulled it over her head, revealing her black bikini, and a lot of skin. So apparently I have been fucking blind my entire life. How in the hell did I not know that this is what she was hiding under all those sweat shirts?

Her legs were long, flowing up into her flat, toned stomach, which I was able to stare at for the first time, ever. Not to mention her breast. God, they were perfect, and the bathing suit top curved so well against the-

"Damon?" Her voice cut through my thoughts and the blush on her cheeks shamed me. Great job, Damon, scare her off as soon as she get's half naked. That will work great in your favor!

"Yeah..." I asked, noting that I was a bit out of breath. What the hell was she doing to me?

"I thought we were gonna race," she reminded me, and her arms crossed self-consciously over her chest. Damn, now she felt bad about herself. I mentally kicked my own ass.

"Yeah, we are. It's just that...I've never seen you wear something that-" Sexy? Tempting?Mouthwatering? "Uh, revealing..."

She blushed deeper, and I couldn't help but like the color on her cheeks. It somehow made her look even sexier.

"Yeah, Caroline made me...I really shouldn't have let her, but she-"

"No," I interrupted, "It, uh...it looks good on you. Really." Good didn't even begin to describe how it looked on her. She was obviously starting to feel uncomfortable, and I needed her to loosen up a bit. When we were small, we had been naked all the time. Now, she was used to her sweats. And I was going to turn her from that. A body like her shouldn't be hidden.

She seemed surprised at the compliment, but smiled at me.

"Thanks." I nodded back, knowing that if I didn't do something soon she was gonna turn me into a drooling idiot. How had my best friend, who also happened to be completely innocent, managed to put me out of my own game?

"So...one, two, three!" I yelled, and took off across the sand. Elena yelled behind me, but was soon on my tail. I purposely slowed, letting her get neck to neck with me before we crashed into the water. I dove under, loving the rush, and the way the chill of it made me feel alive. Once I came up for air, I turned, looking for Elena. She surfaced a second later, wiping the water from her face.

She had been smart enough to not apply make-up before we left. If she had, it had been running down her face by now.

"You good?" I asked, making sure she wasn't hurt. That would've ruined everything. She nodded, as I noted the big smile on her face.

"God, this is amazing!" I chuckled as she laid her head back, then sun shining against her skin, "I could so get use to this."

"Me too," I smirked, but I wasn't talking about the water. Something about this felt right. Me and her, just enjoying life together. I hadn't realized how much it meant to me, until now. And it wasn't something I ever planned on giving up.

 

After a while of splashing and attempts of drowning each other, Elena wanted to get out of the water. I followed her toward our things, unable to stop myself from staring at her ass. Her whole body was so curvy, and perfect. How had this escaped my attention before? I had been holding her at night, as if she was my girlfriend, for crying out loud.

As we neared our things, I realized that I wasn't the only one with eyes on her body. Hell, half the guys she walked past were throwing her looks. I felt an irrational annoyance boil in the pit of my stomach and moved to put my arm around Elena's shoulders. It had worked in the airport. Why shouldn't it work this time?

It wasn't an unusual move for me, so she thought nothing of it, but I still felt the urge to glance around and made sure all those guys noticed that she was here with me, so they should put their eyes back in their heads. At this moment, I kind of wished I could put her back in her sweatpants and hoodie. Then no one else would be staring at her. No one else than me. Because I had to face it. Even with the big clothes, she was beautiful.

We reached our things and she grabbed the towel, laying it out and sat on it, leaving plenty of room for me. I took my place next to her, and handed her the bottle of water.

"Thanks," she offered, taking it and downing it in one drink. I raised an eyebrow at her.

"Were you a little thirsty?" She glanced at the almost empty bottle and shrugged.

"Yeah...I guess I was." She blushed slightly and I chuckled. God, she looked cute.

"Well we can go back home if you want to-" She was shaking her head before I was even finished. "No. I like it out here. I don't want to go back yet...besides, Caroline and Matt are probably...busy."

I laughed at her innocence.

"Oh, so you caught that, huh."

She smiled a little.

"Who would have missed it?" She sighed then, her gaze landing out over the horizon. I idly wondered if she was bothered by the thought of Matt with Caroline. I imagined that knowing what they were up to was torture for her. Except, she didn't really look sad. If anything, she looked more relaxed than I had seen her in a while. Was she already getting over Matt?

"You okay?" I asked, worried that the moment were ruined. She looked my way, and gave a small smile. The way the sun shone on her face, just made her look even more beautiful. I was falling hard for this girl.

"Yeah...I'm glad we took this trip,” she said, tucking some of her hair behind her ear.

"Me too," I agreed, reaching for her hand. I used it to pull her closer to me, but instead of coming against my side, she laid herself down on the towel, letting her head fall in my lap, which was just fine with me. She closed her eyes as I let my fingers play with a strand of her wet hair. Now that she couldn't see me, I took the type to really notice every small feature of her beautiful face. I still couldn't believe that she was so tanned. Seeing that she didn't open her eyes again, I let my gaze wander down her body, taking in every curve, every inch of her beautiful olive skin. How had I never noticed her beauty? All the nights we had spent together, every time I had hugged her or held her. I'd never noticed.

We sat like that for a while, Elena relaxing while I stroked her head, then her face, and her shoulders and arms. I wanted to touch every inch of her skin, but refrained from doing so. I was just glad that she hadn't covered herself back up with that dress, because I was really enjoying this. Her eyes remained closed, and if it wasn't for her shallow breathing I would have thought she'd fallen asleep. Only with all the nights I'd spent next to her, I knew her breath deepened and slowed when she slept. No, she was still asleep. And this was peaceful.

The world went on around us for a while, and with each minute the beach cleared. I lost track of time, but knew that it had to be getting later. Still though, Elena was so relaxed, I didn't want to move her. She needed this more than I did. Besides, I didn't mind at all that she was this close to me, in so little clothes.

"What are you thinking about?" I asked quietly. She sighed, her eyes remaining closed.

"Life." I smiled, that was such an Elena answer. Vague, mysterious, and infinitely deep.

"What about it?" Her eyes opened, and she met my gaze. Something in her eyes had clearly changed. Something I couldn't define.

"I just don't want to waste mine. We never know how much time we are going to have...and I don't want to look back with regrets." I nodded, hearing the words she didn't say. She was probably thinking about our parents. We knew first hand what it was like to see a life taken away in the blink of an eye. And of course she wouldn't want to waste hers.

"I don't want to waste mine either," I told her and she smiled slightly.

"Let's make a deal." I smirked, wondering what she wanted. We already had one bet, and now a deal? Maybe she was beginning to be found of gambling.

"Another one?" I asked, and she rolled her eyes playfully. I sighed at the memory of our journals. I hadn't even written today, and I was not going to let her win the bet. No way.

"No...this isn't some silly bet,” she said.

“Hey, why is it silly?” I asked, faking an insulted look. She hit my upper arm gently and laughed at me.

"Okay, okay...what deal then?" Her expression was thoughtful. This seemed to be somewhere serious.

"Let's live life to the fullest, starting on this trip. We will try new things, have new experiences, and make tons of memories. We will really start living..." I took in her words. I was going to make her feel like she was living. Maybe it was actually time that she started living, like a girl her age should. Or, a woman her age. I had to stop seeing her as a little girl. She clearly wasn't. That body proved it way too good.

Oh no, don't think about that! Her head was in my lap, I couldn't start thinking like that. Or else she would start noticing very soon.

"Okay. Let's do it." She nodded, closing her eyes again, as if she had known I would agree. Maybe she had...she knew me better than anyone.

"Good..." She looked so innocent at that point, I couldn't help but lean down and place my lips to her forehead. Even though I really wanted to kiss her lips and not her forehead, I was happy with this. For now. Right now, she didn't need her best friend in love with her. Right now, she needed to get over Matt, because he wasn't worthy of her. Nowhere near.

"I promise you, Elena. We will have tons of new experiences, while we are here. I will make sure your life is full, always."

She smiled up at me, her doe eyes bright. God, I loved those eyes.

"I know you will, Damon." She sat up then, stretching out her body, while yawning slightly. I imagined that body stretching out beneath my body, her beautiful brown hair spread on the white pillow, and her hands grabbing the sheets...

"Well, I think I am just about done here... You wanna head back now?" I nodded, a bit sad our time at the beach was done. We were getting closer to each other, even though I wasn't sure that was possible.

"Sure, if you want," I said and helped her gather our things. Even though I really wanted to stay with her, she was the one needing this.

We started back the way we came, and again I took Elena's hand. We had our shoes in one hand and each others in the other. If someone had seen us, they would have probably thought that we were dating. Just like the airport.

And that was what I wanted. I wanted to be in a relationship with her. I had never thought that day would come. Damon Salvatore, in a committed relationship? That had never happened before, but it was going to. I wasn't going to let her go.

We passed a life guard stand on the way up, and I couldn't help but notice the sign on it. I stopped walking and Elena looked at me confused. Smiling, I glanced at her.

"Hey...about that living to the fullest thing..."

"Yeah?" she questioned, her eyes narrowing suspiciously. I motioned to the sign in front of us.

"Let's start it tomorrow." She saw what I was pointing at. The sign read, in big letters: SURF LESSONS: $50/person. 9 am-10 am 12 pm-1 pm 3 pm-4 pm. Elena raised a brow at the sign.

"Surfing...you want to learn how to surf?"

I smiled innocently.

"Nope, not me, us."

"Us?" she questioned. I nodded.

"Yep, you and me." She shook her head at my request and started walking. But our hands were still holding each other, and I pulled her back to me.

"Damon, I am clumsy enough walking on solid ground, how do you really expect me to survive standing on a piece of wood as it cuts through high water?" she asked, anxiety showing in her eyes. She didn't have to be afraid.

"Ah ah ah," I cautioned, "no hating on the surf lessons. You wanted a new experience, and you wanted some fun, some adventure, well...we gotta start somewhere."

She contemplated this.

"Yeah....but surfing? Really?" I kissed her head, and pulled her along as I began walking.

"Yes. We'll do it tomorrow, and no complaining." She rolled her eyes, but smiled a little, so I knew I had won. It was perfect, really...and anything to let me see her back in this bikini.

 

When we got back to the house, Caroline and Matt were in their room, doing things that neither me nor Elena wanted to know anything about. Elena blushed when the sound of moaning reached her ears, and quickly disappeared into the kitchen. I laughed, put our stuff down in the big living room and followed her to the kitchen.

“I am not leaving you alone in a kitchen, since that time you started a fire,” I said, raising an eyebrow. She turned and looked at me. She had never looked at me like that before. She still hadn't put on the dress, and her body was pulling me towards her. God, how I wanted to kiss her senseless, right there. But this wasn't the time. She needed time, to adjust to all of this, and to get over Matt. But it would happen. Sooner rather than later. I had no idea how I was going to tackle my new found love for her. It had been there, for a very long time. But I had never noticed it, until now.

“Urgh, are you never going to let that go? It was once and I was thirteen! And pancakes are hard to make,” she said, trying not to laugh at the memory.

“To answer your question, no, I am never going to let that go. But I will teach you how to make pancakes. We should be having the ingredients here, so put on an apron,” I said and started looking in the fridge. She laughed and put on an apron, handing one to me. But when I saw her, wearing that apron and nothing but her bikini underneath, I stopped dead in my tracks.

Holy shit. This was getting a bit too close to one of my fantasies. A fantasy that I wouldn't mind sharing with Elena. Not at all.

It looked like she was wearing absolutely nothing but the apron, and the look in her eyes, almost seemed to look like she wanted me to kiss her. And God, I wanted to kiss her. Hell, I wanted to do a lot more than to just kiss her. I wouldn't mind taking her right on the kitchen counter...

What the hell was I thinking? This was Elena! My best friend. The most innocent girl I have ever known, and now I'm fantasizing about her and me on the kitchen counter?

“Damon?” she asked, suddenly looking very nervous. I snapped out of it, and put on a smile. Hoping that my arousal wasn't too noticeable in my shorts, I put on the apron she gave me, and started mixing the batter, explaining what I was doing. The best part of the cooking, was that while she was focused on the food, while I was focused on her. She looked beautiful when she tried understanding this. She didn't really need to learn how to cook. I had made it very clear, that I would always be here to cook for her. Always. But she still wanted to learn. And I could get used to her in an apron. Some day, she would be wearing nothing but that apron. 

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