Rising from the Ashes @esm3rald
Chapter 2 - Discovery

Here you go, new chapter. Little of Damon in this one, sorry about that. I promise there will be tons of Blair/Damon interactions in the next chapters. Also, warning, this chapter is pretty Blair/Stefan heavily. Hope you don't mind. But don't worry, this story is Blair/Damon most of all. He's my favourite character, after all. I will always choose him over anyone else. Hope you'll like this chapter, I do. Tell me what you think!

Oh, I almost forgot. I changed some slight things in the previous chapters, Blair's appearance first of all, but other small things as well. So, I advise you to reread the story from the beginning, so you don't get confused.

Chapter 2


Blair was sitting in History class, feeling content that her morning routine hadn't been disrupted like yesterday. She had been a little scared of going out for her usual run but she figured, what were the odds of being attacked twice in two days, in the same path, by the same vampire? And really, she had already died once, what exactly did she have to be scared of? It felt almost freeing.

Blair sighed a little to herself. No matter how many times she thought about it, she always came to the same conclusion. She didn't know how, but she had died yesterday and she had, somehow, come back to life. It was impossible. But it had happened.

Like it was impossible what had happened when she woke up this morning. All of a sudden, she could see perfectly without glasses or contact lenses. It wasn't as weird as coming back to life after dying, but still high on the strangeness scale.

Perhaps she should revaluate the idea of 'impossible'. Vampires existing had been impossible only two days ago and yet, here she was, killed by one.

"The Battle of Willow Creek took place right at the end of the war in our very own Mystic Falls." Mr. Tanner was saying and Blair forced herself to pay attention. It wouldn't do for people to think she was slacking off. She was a straight As student and she planned on remaining that way, no matter what madness was going on in her personal life. She planned on going to Harvard, do pre-law, then graduate from Law school summa cum laude and move to NYC. That was her dream since she was 4 years old and she saw Legally Blonde for the first time. She planned on becoming the next Elle Woods, except, you know, a brunette, who didn't wear only pink, and a real person. She had no intention of letting anything or anyone stop her from achieving it. Not even vampires, or the mystery of her death and subsequent resurrection.

"How many casualties resulted in this battle? Ms. Bennett?"

Bonnie startled. "Um...a lot? I'm not sure. Like a whole lot."

"Cute becomes dumb in an instant, Ms. Bennett." Tanner mocked her. "Mr. Donovan? Would you like to take this opportunity to overcome your embedded jock stereotype?"

Donovan shrugged. "It's okay, Mr. Tanner, I'm cool with it."

Mr. Tanner turned to Elena next. "Elena? Surely you can enlighten us about one of the town's most significantly historical events?"

Elena looked guilty at her desk. "I'm sorry, I-I don't know."

"I was willing to be lenient last year for obvious reasons, Elena. But the personal excuses ended with summer break." Tanner said and Blair struggled to keep her face blank at his words. That was a low blow and not even Blair, as mean and bitchy as she was, would ever say such a thing to Elena.

"Blair, why don't you enlighten us? I'm sure you know the answer." The way Tanner caressed her name with his tongue made her feel a little sick in that moment. But she ignored the sensation, still kept her face blank and answered the question.

"There were 346 casualties, Mr. Tanner." She said, sure of her answer.

Mr. Tanner smiled at her widely. "Correct as usual, Blair."

"Miss Fell's answer is correct, of course." Stefan interjected. "But she forgot to mention the local civilians."

"I'm afraid, Mr…?" Tanner asked, a look of derision crossing his face.

"Salvatore." Stefan replied.

"Salvatore. Any relation to the original settlers here at Mystic Falls?"

"Distant." Stefan replied, a strange tone in his voice Blair couldn't identify.

"Well, Mr. Salvatore, as I was saying, there were no civilian casualties in this battle."

"Actually, there were 27, sir. Confederate soldiers, they fired on the church, believing it to be housing weapons. They were wrong. It was a night of great loss." Then with an expression that could have been a smirk on anyone else's face, Stefan continued, "the founder's archives are, uh, stored in civil hall if you'd like to brush up on your facts, Mr. Tanner."

Mr. Tanner didn't like that at all, but he couldn't come up with any retort so he simple hummed in response. Blair, on the other hand, felt even more intrigued by Stefan. A history buff? That was interesting, to say the least. Guys who looked like him weren't usually into academics. It was certainly a refreshing change.

Blair looked at her figure in the mirror with a satisfied grin. She looked gorgeous, of course. Her hair was styled in gentle waves cascading down her shoulders, her smokey cat eye makeup made her green eyes pop, her red lipstick emphasized her plump and full lips, and her outfit – leather jacket, tight red crop top and high-waisted leather short skirt with black, sheer, thigh-high stockings and black high-heeled ankle boots – accentuated all her best features: her long legs, her hips, her butt and her boobs.

"What do you think?" She asked Caroline. "Do you think Stefan Salvatore will like my outfit?"

Blair and Caroline were getting ready at Caroline's place before the party. Luckily, Liz Forbes was working because she certainly wouldn't have approved of the outfits they were wearing. Caroline was wearing a short, sleeveless blue dress with black pumps and a long, black cardigan with no buttons. Her hair was styled into perfect curls and her makeup was natural and classy. Her outfit wasn't as blatantly sexy as Blair's but she looked really well nonetheless.

"I think he won't be able to keep your eyes off of you…or his hands for that matter."

"Good, because if he behaves well tonight, he might even get a taste." Blair said with a smirk. She wasn't a girl who usually waited for who knew what to have sex with a guy. She was far from a virgin (she lost her virginity when she was 14) and she liked having fun. In fact, good sex or bad sex was a deal-breaker for her. Better knowing it in advance, right? And really, the whole teasing and anticipation thing? She didn't believe in it. In her experience, in fact, once guys slept with her once, they wanted it again, and again, and again; it was like they couldn't get enough. She was always the one who broke things off with a guy when she got tired of him. She had stopped counting the times when those that were supposed to be only one-night-stands, had come back for more, unable to stay away.

"Come on, let's go." Caroline said. "You have your prey for the night and I have mine. So, let's go hunt."

Blair chuckled. "That was lame."

Caroline smiled sheepishly. "It totally was. I don't know why I said that."

Blair took a look around, sipping from her plastic cup the subpar beer they were serving at the party. She had never been a fan of beer, she much preferred wine, especially red wine. She wondered what was Stefan's drink of choice. He didn't look like a beer guy either. He looked more sophisticated and elegant than the usual seventeen years old, beside being hot as hell.

Ah, there he was. Standing all alone…perfect. Blair sashayed towards him – the runaway walk she had spent weeks to perfect when she was still in middle school –, ignoring the eyes that always seemed to follow her every step – all except one. Tyler's. He was standing with Vicki Donovan in a corner, near the woods, but she noticed his head turning towards her when she made her way towards Stefan. Good, let him watch and seethe in jealousy. He deserved it.

"So, you made it after all." Blair told him, biting her lower lip and making bedroom eyes as him.

"I did." Blair noticed in satisfaction Stefan's pupils dilating slightly. He wasn't indifferent towards her, no matter how much he tried to pretend he was.

"Well, let's get you a drink."

"Well, I'm—" Stefan tried to protest but Blair didn't let him. "Oh, come on. It will help you loosen up. You look so tense."

"Alright." Stefan answered, trying to appear reluctant and failing miserably. He followed her to the kegger and poured himself a glass. Then the two of them started to walk through the woods, away from the rest of the people there.

"So, Stefan, tell me a bit more about you? How come did you decide to move to Mystic Falls of all places?"

Stefan shrugged uncomfortably. "I have family here."

"Hum. Zach Salvatore, right? The one who lives at the Boarding House?"

Stefan nodded but didn't add anything else.

"You don't talk much, do you? Is it shyness? Reserve? Or you simply don't like me?"

Stefan frowned at her, looking uncomfortable. "I don't know you, Blair. And, to be honest, I'm not sure I want to."

Blair raised her eyebrow, taken aback and perhaps a little hurt as well. She didn't allow his comment to faze her though. "Hum. You want to know what I think? I think I make you nervous. I think you're attracted to me, but you don't want to be attracted to me. Oh, you like Elena, that's pretty obvious. And Elena is so easy to like. She's sweet and kind and warm. I'm the complete opposite. Of course, you don't want to want me. But you still do."

Stefan's look of irritation was impossible to miss, but there was something beneath it that made Blair smirked to herself. Gotcha. "You know, Blair. I dated someone like you once. Beautiful on the outside and ugly on the inside. I don't plan on repeating the experience."

The words stung, but Blair's face remained blank. "Oh, yeah?" She stopped walking and came closer to him, until she was standing a breath's away from his mouth.

"Yes." Stefan replied in a firm tone. A second later they were kissing. His tongue invaded her mouth almost violently. There was nothing sweet or romantic about it. It was an angry kiss, almost like he was punishing her for making him want her. Her back hit the bark of a tree with such force that she wouldn't be surprised to find bruises the next morning. One hand went to the back of her head, grabbing her hair and tugging at it, the other descended to her thigh and brought her leg up, to encircle his hip, opening her legs and settling in between them. Blair moaned into his mouth – who knew Stefan had it in him? – and started rubbing against his hardening length, the skirt rising up to her belly, exposing her ass to the night air, his jeans and the flimsy material of her lace thong the only things stopping them from skin on skin contact. She went to the zipper of his jeans, wanting to remedy the situation, while his mouth moved to her chin and then her neck, kissing and nibbling at her skin. Before she could do so much as put her hand inside his pants, he became as rigid as a statue before moving away from her so quickly, she almost didn't see him move. What she did see though was his eyes. Black as pitch, with black veins underneath, moving like small snakes underneath his skin. A very familiar sight.

"No, no, no." Stefan kept muttering to himself, pacing up and down. "What the hell am I doing?" He stopped moving, zipped his jeans up and took a deep, calming breath.

"You're a vampire." Blair said, her arousal completely forgotten. She put her clothes back in order and fixed her hair, before passing her thumb on her lips to wipe off her red lipstick.

His neck snapped in her direction. "What did you say?" His face was back to normal now, though his look of desire hadn't disappeared one bit. Blair looked between his legs. Yup, he was still hard.

"That you're a vampire. Don't deny it, I saw your face just now. How your eyes changed." She was just about to ask him if he was the one who had attacked her yesterday when she realized that it couldn't have been him. The vampire who attacked her had bright blue eyes. Stefan's eyes were hazel green. And the vampire of yesterday morning had hair so dark, they looked black.

One moment Stefan was standing a few feet away from her, the next he was standing right in front of her. He did this strange thing with his eyes and said, "You're going to forget everything that happened here. I followed you to the kegger to get a beer, you came unto me but I told you that nothing was going to happen between us and then I walked away. You were just taking a walk in the woods. I was never here and you never saw my true face."

Blair realized what he was trying to do – compulsion. She had read about it in the Fell journals. But it didn't seem like it was having any effect on her. She remembered everything that had happened just fine. Still, she decided to play along for the moment. She didn't want a repeat of yesterday. Dying once was more than enough, thank you very much.

"You were never here. I was just taking a walk in the woods." Blair repeated, her voice assuming a monotonous tone, that she figured someone affected by compulsion would take.

"Good." Stefan merely said, before disappearing in a flash of vampire speed.

Blair waited a few seconds, making sure he was really gone before sighing. "So, Stefan is a vampire, huh? Do I have, like, a sign on my forehead that read 'vampire bait'? Seriously, two different vampires in two days, what are the odds?" She thought, before grinning to herself. "But, I was so right. Stefan wants me, even though he doesn't want to admit it. My vanity is well and truly satisfied. Too bad he stopped before I could get an entirely different kind of satisfaction." A second later, she frowned though. "Strangely, the fact that he's a vampire doesn't bother me at all. It should, I know it should, but it doesn't. Sometimes I wonder if there's something truly wrong with me. You know, beside the fact that I died and came back to life, that is. That is not the problem. What is a problem is the fact that I can't stand guys, or people really, who can't admit what they want. Indecisiveness is a real turnoff. I'm not going to make a fool of myself, chasing him and begging for his attention. Elena can have him. Instead, I'm going to find someone better, someone hotter, someone older (or at least someone who looked older than 17), and let both Stefan and Tyler stew in their jealousy and envy for something they could have had (in the case of Stefan) or something they had but lost (in the case of Tyler). The problem is, where do you find someone hotter than Stefan Salvatore in this town?"

Vicki Donovan had been attacked in the woods by a 'wild animal'. She wondered if it was Stefan who was responsible this time, or it was still the vampire who attacked her yesterday. Vicki had been left alive though, unlike her. Blair wondered if she should feel offended or flattered by that. Maybe her blood was so good that he wasn't able to stop. She had heard how much he had enjoyed drinking from her, after all.

Blair knew that she should feel horrified, and in a tiny part of her mind she was, but the feelings of fear and panic were safely put away and she could analyze the situation rationally and with detachment. Stefan hadn't drunk from her, hadn't even bite her. He could easily have. He could have drained her dry and no one would have known. They had been alone in the woods, it could have been the perfect opportunity.

But he didn't. What did that mean? Did it mean that Stefan didn't drink human blood? Did vampires that didn't drink human blood even exist? Was he like a vegetarian vampire like the Cullens? Was that a thing? Blair grimaced to herself. Huh, so lame. Did he sparkle in the sun too? She tried to suppress a giggle, then a new thought entered her mind. Wait, Stefan could walk in the sun. She knew from the Fell journals that vampires burned in the sun. How did he do it?

"Blair…" Caroline said, startling her out of her thoughts.

"Hum?" Blair asked absentmindedly.

"Do you want to go to the Grill to wait for news?"

Blair turned to look at her best friend with a teasing grin. "Are you going to offer poor Matty a shoulder to cry on?"

Caroline blushed. "Shut up." She pushed at Blair's shoulder playfully.

"You are, aren't you? Good on you, Care. But really, joking aside. That boy really needs someone on his corner right now. I can't imagine how worried he might be. Vicki might be…well, Vicki. But she's still Matt's only real family. You know, since her mother is MIA and her father hasn't been in the picture since he was a toddler."

Caroline looked surprised. "Wow, you seemed almost concerned just now."

Blair shrugged, feeling a little uncomfortable. "Well, I might be a bitch but not even I am completely heartless." Then, just to change the subject, she said. "Come on, let's go. I only had a glass of beer. I'll drive."

"I lost control today. She makes me lose control, like no one else I've ever met. Everything I've kept buried inside came rushing to the surface. I came so close to draining her dry, to return to be the monster I fought so long to suppress. With Elena, I almost feel human, but with her, the ripper is closest to the surface than ever. I have to stay away from her. For her own good, and for mine." Stefan thought, crossing in quick strides the Boarding House parlor and passing in front of Zach's office.

"What's going on?" Zach asked him.

"Someone else was attacked tonight, Zach, and it wasn't me." Stefan replied, before running up the stairs and reaching his room.

A crow flew from the open window and Stefan turned around, recognizing immediately the figure standing on the balcony.

"Damon." Stefan said, almost sighing the words. All those 'animal attacks'. He should have known it was him.

Damon smirked at him. "Hello, brother."

"Crow's a bit much, don't you think?"

Damon sauntered into the room. "Wait till you see what I can do with the fog."

"When'd you get here?"

"Well, I couldn't miss your first day at school. Your hair's different. I like it."

"It's been 15 years, Damon."

"Thank God. I couldn't take another day of the nineties. That horrible grunge look? Did not suit you. Remember, Stefan, it's important to stay away from fads."

"Why are you here?" Stefan asked, tired of Damon's games.

"I miss my little brother."

"You hate small towns. It's boring. There's nothing for you to do."

Damon shrugged nonchalantly. "I've managed to keep myself busy."

"You know, you left that girl alive tonight. That's very clumsy of you."

"Ah. That can be a problem...for you."

"So, he left her alive on purpose. Of course, he did," he thought before asking aloud, "why are you here now?"

"I could ask you the same question. However, I'm fairly certain your answer can be summed up all into one little word...Elena." Damon stopped looking around his room, playing around with the numerous paraphernalia left around, to look straight at him. "She took my breath away. Elena. She's a dead ringer for Katherine. Is it working, Stefan? Being around her, being in her world? Does it make you feel alive?"

Stefan glared at Damon. "She's not Katherine."

"Well, let's hope not. We both know how that ended." Then Damon smirked, provocatively. "Though I have to admit I am a little confused. What's your deal with that tasty brunette you were with tonight? I'm not sure Elena would approve."

"What are you talking about?" Stefan asked, though he already knew. A feeling of dread enveloped him. Damon must have seen them.

"Don't play dumb with me. I'm talking about the girl you were heavily making out with against a tree tonight, Stefan. Gotta say, I don't think you had it in you. Not that I can blame you. She's smoking hot. Sexy. Seductive. A little mean. She reminds me of someone…Oh, right, Katherine again."

Stefan didn't reply this time. Damon was right. Elena might look like Katherine, but Blair was eerily similar to Katherine in personality. Maybe that was the reason she attracted him and repulsed him at the same time.

"I thought you were gonna fuck her right there. Or, you know, rip her head off. One of the two. Instead, would you look at that. You actually controlled yourself. Congrats, Steff. You should be proud of yourself." Damon mocked him. "Tell me something, when's the last time you had something stronger than a squirrel?"

"I know what you're doing, Damon. It's not gonna work." Stefan replied, trying to appear calm.

"Yeah? Come on. Don't you crave a little?" Damon started hitting him, trying to provoke him into a fight.

"Stop it."

"Let's do it. Together. I saw a couple girls out there. Or just, let's just cut to the chase, let's just go straight for Elena. Or Blair. Or both."

"Stop it!"

"Imagine what their blood taste like!" Stefan's face transformed again his will. "I can." Damon continued.

"I said stop!" Stefan said, running into Damon and throwing out of the window. When he landed on the pavement, though, Damon wasn't there.

"I was impressed." Damon said, a few feet away from him, standing calm and composed against a light pole. "I give it a six. Missing style, but I was pleasantly surprised. Very good with the whole face...thing. It was good."

Stefan sighed, not even having the strength to be angry anymore. "You know, it's all fun and games, Damon, huh? But wherever you go, people die."

"That's a given."

"Not here. I won't allow it."

"I take that as an invitation."

"Damon, please." Stefan begged him. "After all these years, can't we just give it a rest?"

"I promised you an eternity of misery, so I'm just keeping my word."

"Just stay away from Elena and Blair."

Damon ignored his words. "Where's your ring? Oh, yeah, sun's coming up in a couple of hours, and, poof, ashes to ashes." Then he showed him the ring in the palm of his hand. "Relax. It's right here."

Stefan took him from him a little warily. As soon as Stefan's ring was back on his finger, Damon grabbed him by the neck and threw him against the door of the garage.

"You should know better than to think you're stronger than me. You lost that fight when you stopped feeding on people. I wouldn't try it again." Then they both noticed the light on the second floor was on and Damon continued, his voice changing from aggressive to calm in a heartbeat, "I think we woke Zach up. Sorry, Zach."

At the Mystic Grill, Blair and Caroline were sitting at a table, Caroline drinking coffee to sober her up.

"So, what happened between you and Stefan?" She asked Blair.

Blair shrugged. "He rejected me, can you believe it?"

Caroline gasped. "Really? But that never happens."

"I know." Blair agreed. She didn't want to tell Caroline about the whole making-out thing with Stefan, because she knew that, if she did, it would reach Elena's ears sooner or later – and the entire school with it (Caroline couldn't keep a secret to save her life). Not to protect Stefan or even herself – after all she wasn't supposed to remember any of it –, but to protect Elena's feelings and her relationship with her cousin. She knew Elena would be hurt by it. (Blair was worrying about someone else's feelings for a change, how did that happen?).

Blair didn't even know why she did what she did. Sure, Stefan was hot and Elena was interested in him, therefore that had made him even more interesting. And that kiss had been totally hot – if he hadn't stopped, she would have let him fuck her right there. She had experienced enough to know that sex with him would have been awesome and that was a shame. But she didn't even like Stefan all that much. Not as Elena obviously liked him, anyway. Stefan wasn't even really her type. She always went for the bad boys over the good ones. That was just who she was. And yet, there was something that had deeply attracted her to him all the same. Was it because he was a vampire and she had sensed it somewhat? Was vampire allure a real thing too?

Blair shook her head to herself. It didn't matter. It wasn't going to happen again, so why linger on it? "Nobody has ever rejected me before." Blair continued to explain to Caroline. "I don't know if I like the feeling. I mean, first time for everything and all, but still…"

"He obviously wasn't worth your time." Caroline immediately said, always the loyal friend.

"Right. If he can't see how awesome I am, his loss. I hope he and Elena will be very happy together. And I say that with complete sincerity. It's not like I really cared about Stefan anyway. He might have hurt my pride, but my feelings are completely untouched."

"You would have loved to fuck him, though, and parading him around in front of Elena, of course."

Blair nodded, not even trying to deny it. "So true. Damn, I'm such a terrible person."

"The worst." Caroline immediately agreed before giggling unrestrainedly. Blair immediately joined her, feeling good just sitting here with her best friend. It almost made her forget all that she discovered these last two days, all the strange things that happened to her. Almost.

"I'm going to get a refill." Caroline said, standing up from the table.

"Okay." Blair agreed before taking the phone out of her pocket to have something to do with her hands. She couldn't never sit still for long. She was always so full of energy, it was more than a little frustrating. Especially today, with what happened with Stefan. She really needed a good, hard fuck to take the edge off. Or an exhausting kick-boxing session. Perhaps she should go to the gym, tire herself before bed. It wouldn't be the first time.

She had just raised her head away from her phone when she saw him, sitting at a table not far from her own. Smiling. At her.

Those eyes. She would recognize those eyes anywhere. Bright blue.

"It's you." She said under her breath.

Damon merely smirked at her before standing up. He waved at her once and then walked away. "See you soon, Blair." He said, not even turning around.

"No, wait." Blair said but her view was blocked by Caroline, who had rejoined their table.

"Were you talking to someone?" Caroline asked her, confused.

"Never mind. Are you sober enough to return home?" Blair asked her, not feeling like explaining something that she wasn't even sure she could understand herself.

"Yeah, let's go."

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