Ch.1 Breath of Fresh Air

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The air was still around the Boarding House. Both brothers unknowing of the force that was quickly approaching them. Damon was nursing a glass of Bourbon by the fireplace when he heard a quick and quiet whoosh. Waiting a second and hearing nothing, he thought little about it. "Probably Stefan" ran across his mind.

Across the Boarding House, a soft knock rang against Stefan's bedroom door. Surprised at the noise his head whipped right. He thought of who could possibly be knocking at his door right now. Damon never knocks, the girls were away until tomorrow, and even if they did come back early, Elena was likely still pissed at him for breaking up with her. It's not his fault he caught her trying to kiss his brother. At least Damon had the maturity to respect his brother and not kiss her. Realizing he didn't know who it was, he got up and walked over to the door. Turning the doorknob, he would have never expected for those pretty eyes to stare back into his. A big smile rose on his face for the first time after his breakup. A smile that matched her's perhaps. She leaned forward, tightly wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him tight for a hug. Stefan wrapped his around her waist with no hesitation. She was exactly who he needed to see right now. 

Stefan's POV

I hugged her close to me. Afraid that once I let go, she would disappear once again and the small moment of happiness I felt would vanish with her. She was here. In my arms. There was no way I was letting her go anytime soon. She was my lifeline right now. I opened my eyes to stare down into her bright green eyes. They were always so unreadable. They showed only what she wanted people to see.

"Stefan, I missed you." 

"Oh Bellzy. I missed you too." I brought her tighter into me. She was so small. Seemed so easily breakable, but I knew better. But no matter how much she told me she could take care of herself, I would always be her protecter. If I had a little sister, she would be it. She was my best friend. Best friend. Shit. Shit. Lexi. As if on queue, she asked "Stefan, you wouldn't be aware of where my sister is do you?" I can't lie to her. I never could and I'm not starting now. I walked her over to my bed, picking her up a little and placing her on the covers. She giggled slightly. A small smile graced my face until I realized what I had to tell her.

"Belle, look. This is really hard for me to tell you, but I have never lied to you and I never will. Lexi, well, Lexi got into the middle of a few things and um, she got staked." Silence was all that followed. Nothing moved for a few seconds. I looked into her eyes, expecting some kind of emotion. Nothing. Her eyes were blank. No tears were ever present.

"Lexi is gone? Like gone gone? Like otherside gone?" She couldn't believe what I was saying. I could hear it. 

"Yes, I'm so sorry Belle." A tiny smile began to appear on her face, her eyes lighting back up. I don't think I've ever been so confused in my life. Why is she smiling?

"I'm free." It was so quiet I barely heard it. "I'm free." She whispered it once more. "I'm finally free." Her tone was still quiet, but it sounded so whimsical, like a five year old girl just saw a fairy or something. Her eyes glittered with happiness, sparkling with hope. What the hell is going on?

"Belle?" I needed her to explain to me what was happening.

"Stefan, I'm free." The rest were for her, but this one was for me. She wanted me to hear it. 

"I don't have to hide in the shadows anymore. No more fear! No more watching behind me scared someone will take me! I can finally live again!" With each word her smile got bigger and her eyes sparkled brighter. 

"Belle, I don't understand. She was your sister. What are you talking about?"

"Stefan, your Lexi wasn't the girl that was my sister. She tortured me. Any second she could hurt me, she did. She was your best friend, but my worst nightmare. When she went off with you, I was held captive in a dungeon. Yes, a dungeon Stefan. Dark rooms, cells, leaky walls, wet floors, chains. All of that. Since I have seen you, I've been down there, tortured in ways you wouldn't believe. All because of her." Dread raced through my body. My sweet innocent little Bellzy. It couldn't be true. It was almost a century since I last saw her. And Lexi. I could see she wasn't lying. Why would she? It was all true. I knew it. But why?

"Why?"

"They knew Stefan. You know those weird things I can do? That I told you to never tell anyone about? They found out. My step-father knew I wasn't his and Lexi was extremely attached to him, so she did his bidding. For over 300 years, I have suffered at the hands of my sister." Her eyes were back to their blank state. She was probably remembering all she has been through. No matter. She was here with me now and I will get my happy little carefree Belle back. She would have the best life now.

"Come. You should meet my brother." She looked happy at the change of topic. Smiling up at me, she grabbed my outstretched hand and gave me a little nod. She was so strong. We walked down the stairs, smiling at each other, happy to be back in each other's presence. 

"Damon." I called, walking into the parlor. He turned around, eyebrows slowly rising, smirk showing. 

"Stefan. What are you doing with such a pretty girl?"

"Oh shut it. This is Belle. She's my best friend." My smile grew with every word. I looked towards Belle to see her smiling at the ground, head bowed and a little blush rising. 

"Belle, stop you know your beautiful." I told her while placing my finger under her chin and picking her head up. She smiled at me gracefully. She turned back towards Damon.

"It's nice to meet you, Damon. I believe I've heard about you." I chuckled knowing she remembers everything.

"Have you now? I hope all good things?"

"Oh come on Damon! Even if there was some good, there can't be that much!" I jokingly say to him. Shouldn't have said that though as Belle sped over and slapped me behind my head.

"Apologize. He is your brother and that was rude. And just so you know half of it was good. So shove an ax up your ass, boy." 

"Yea, shove an ax Stefan." He smirks. Oh I want to wipe that look right off his face.

"Don't make me come over there too Salvatore." Her voice was deathly sweet like a siren leading a sailor to his death. Damon's face changed instantly. He put his hand up in defense. Smiling, I spoke up.

"Now that introductions are over, Damon, Belle is going to stay here with us for awhile." I smirked down at her, expecting the exact response.

"What? And who decided this?" 

"Well me of course. You are my best friend and I must protect you from any other monsters that may lurk around the corner. Duh."

"I second this decision. And you know what? You're my new best friend too, since my other friend ditched me." Damon said.

"Hold up here. She's mine, not yours." I sneered at my brother. She isn't being taken away from me again!

"Stefan, it's okay. You're my lifeline. No matter who is in my life, you will be the one I always go back to, the one my mind will think of first, the first one I would jump in front of a stake for." She said as she put both hands on my chest and held them against my body until they reached my face. 

"Okay." That's all that needed to be said.

"Okay." Damon spoke. Breaking our eye contact, we both looked towards him. "Then it's settled. You are staying here, Belle." The three of us smiled. It would be okay. At least for now, anyway.




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