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Pen Your Pride

Lettuce Leaf!

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The guilt I felt was overwhelming. I still hadn't told Damon about the risks of me bringing Elena back, and it was eating me up inside. I wanted to tell him, but I knew as soon as he found out he would stop it from happening, and then Elena would die.

I tried to focus on the fact that there was a good chance I would survive this, but my mind kept straying to the fact that I might not. Each day I would have an inner battle with myself, but I couldn't back out now. That wouldn't be fair to Elena.

I was sitting at the Grill picking at my food with a fork. I don't even know why I ordered food. I'd lost my appetite completely. My birthday was tomorrow, and the party Caroline was planning was that night. But I wasn't looking forward to it. The full moon was on Sunday, which meant that I had three days to cross off everything on my bucket list.

Caroline was still trying to con me into going to school for my birthday, because it fell on a Friday, but I was undecided. Although I'd much rather stay home and sleep all day, I did want to see my friends. Even though I claimed otherwise, I always got excited about my birthday. This year was different. I know I should be hoping for the best, and try believing that I would live to see next week, but I just couldn't. I was trying to face the fact that I might die. I'd done this a fair bit in the past, but I'd had three weeks to think about it, which was a lot longer than I usually had to contemplate death.

It was especially hard to be around Damon, knowing that I might not see him again. I loved him so much, and thinking about that made my heart ache, as cheesy as it sounded. I knew he was going to be furious when he found out, and I was afraid of what he'd do. I didn't have that reassurence that I had last time. Elijah and I had planned everything out perfectly, but Elijah wasn't here this time, and I had no safe haven.

Someone cleared their throat and I jumped, having not noticed Stefan sitting across from me.

"I didn't mean to startle you," he laughed. He always found humor in catching me off guard. A couple of years ago, we'd had this competition about who could catch the other by surprise more. Stefan, being a stealthy vampire, won.

"I was just distracted," I murmured, giving a small smile.

"What's up with you lately? Usually you're happy about it being so close to your birthday," he stated.

"I'm just starting to... regret something," I frowned. "No, regret isn't the right word. I did the right thing, but I'm not sure how it will turn out, and I'm worried."

"Marni, what's going on?" Stefan asked.

"I made a decision, and it has concequences," I sighed. "And I'm not sure how severe those concequences will be."

"What decision?" It was clear Stefan was getting worried now. He could always tell when something was wrong.

I opened my mouth to respond, but stopped myself quickly. I'd almost told him what was actually bothering me. But he couldn't find out. He'd tell Damon, and then everything would go downhill.

"Letting Caroline throw me a party," I lied. "At the last party, a girl died, and Tyler triggered the werewolf side of him. I just don't want anything to happen."

"Everything will be fine," Stefan reassured me. "I promise. But now you have to tell me what's really wrong."

I ran a hand through my hair and put my head down on the table.

"I can't," I mumbled.

"Yes you can."

"But you'll be upset about it," I insisted.

"Marni, does this have something to do with you and... Damon?" he asked.

I snapped my head up.

"What?" I asked, shock coursing through me.

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