Stefan Salvatore stood on the roof of his boarding house, facing the rising sun with a determined and steady gaze. He knew what he was going to do but found himself questioning why he was doing it. It was unhealthy to say the least. It could be incredibly dangerous, but there was something sickeningly thrilling about playing with fire that he could hardly refuse himself this one thing. In all of his one hundred and sixty four years he had never been intrigued in this genuine way. There was a period when he thought he was... But just thinking about those times brought on both a sadness and anger that he did not wish to feel.
He knew the risk, but he had no choice. He had to know her.
* * * * *
Elena Gilbert sat on the large cushioned window sill as she did every morning with her legs crossed, her diary in her left hand and a black fountain pen in her right.
Dear Diary, she wrote.
Today will be different. It has to be. I will smile, and it will be believable. My smile will say "I'm fine, thank you." "Yes, I feel much better." I will no longer be the sad, little girl who lost her parents. I will start fresh, be someone new. It's the only way I'll make it through.
Writing the words down was going to be entirely different from actually following them through and she knew that. But it was a whole new year at school, the perfect time to start afresh and try to leave behind the horrific memories that plagued her mind each day.
Later that morning, she stood facing the mirror, dressed but not necessarily ready for school. Photos of her parents lined the large mirror that hung on her wall and she was reminded of the tragic event that had occurred during the summer and the emptiness in her life. Once more, the large hole in her heart threatened to overwhelm her, to cripple her, to stop her from living her life.
But she shut it out. She was determined.
This year was going to be different.
When she got downstairs into the kitchen, her Aunt Jenna was peering into the fridge for something to whip up for breakfast. She didn't look hopeful.
'Toast!' She suddenly announced. 'I can make toast?'
'It's all about the coffee, Aunt Jenna.' She replied, pouring herself a drink.
'Is there coffee?' Elena's fifteen year old brother Jeremy appeared out of nowhere. She looked at him, really looked at him, and to her dismay noticed a vast change in just about everything about him. He was mature for his age, perhaps a little too mature, but the death of their parents had really taken its toll on him. His eyes, dark and dull were lifeless and his general stance had become languid and uninterested in anything. She didn't want this for him. He was too young.
'It's your first day of school and I'm totally unprepared,' Aunt Jenna rushed over to the table to reach in her bag for something. Strands of dark blonde hair escaped from where she had tucked them behind her ear. Aunt Jenna was young, only in her early twenties, but had taken both Elena and Jeremy into her care when her sister had been killed. She had struggled, found it a near-on impossible task, but would have it no other way.
Jeremy took the mug of coffee out of his sisters hands. Elena rolled her eyes and began making a fresh cup.
'Lunch money?' Aunt Jenna offered.
'I'm okay,' Elena assured her. Jeremy took the five dollars, tucking it into the pocket of his jeans.
'Anything else? A number two pencil?' She smiled briefly at this. It reminded her so much of when she attended high school. 'What am I missing?'
'Don't you have a big presentation today?' Elena frowned.
'A meeting with my thesis adviser at...' Jenna checked her watch. 'Now! Crap!' She tore the hair band out, letting her hair fall loosely around her shoulders.
'Go,' Elena ordered her. 'We'll be fine.'
Jenna threw them an apologetic look before dashing out the front door.
Now that her Aunt had gone, Elena turned to face Jeremy.
'You okay?' She asked gently. She wanted him to open up to her, to tell her how he was really feeling. She would comfort him, be the protective big sister and reassure him that it was going to be okay. Even if she didn't believe it herself, she had to make Jeremy believe it. He was just a kid.
Instead, he completely shut her out. 'Don't start,' he sighed, walking straight past her.
She stared after him, feeling completely powerless. She wanted so much for his pain to go away, but it was so difficult when she couldn't control her own. Something like this didn't just go away, it leaves such a big impact on everyone.
Whilst Elena was contemplating the day ahead, the TV screen behind her switched to breaking news. Two faces were on the TV screen, a man and a blonde woman. There were two separate pictures of two separate people, both smiling into the camera. Under the man it said: NEWS UPDATE, then his name: Darren Malloy, 24. The woman, Brooke Fenton, was 22. They had been found mauled by a vicious animal. Police were still looking into it.