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"I want you to crash at my place tonight," Damon suggests after we make it back to the car, "Ya know, considering it's Rebekah-free and all."

I stay quiet, my eyes glued to the passing town outside the car window. I really wish tonight would have gone better. I feel so pathetic in thinking that we could have any sort of relationship after everything that has happened between us. She will always blame me; it's just how it is now.

I wonder if Rebekah had been playing us that whole time, even when we had that familiar moment of friendship. She was my sister again, my confidant. The fact that she openly hates me now is heartbreaking to say the least.

"You're the reason Niklaus is the way he is."

The words echo around in my mind, haunting me. It pains me to know that Rebekah would blame me for everything Klaus has done since then, but there was no way I could have known the effect my death would have on him. After Michael killed me, I could have returned and all of this could have been avoided, but I chose to follow my own path. Rebekah would say I ran away and took something that wasn't mine to take, but I only ever wanted to protect them.

"Only if there's bourbon." I finally reply with a defeated sigh.

He smirks, "Always."

The Salvatore boarding house is just as elegant as Damon had mentioned long ago. He described it as an overzealous bed and breakfast, but I think the mansion itself looks much more like a fancy cottage that is beautifully tucked into the surrounding trees more than anything else.

"Home sweet home," he hums as he links our arms to lead me inside. "Girls night in? I'll even throw in a pillow fight."

His tone is playfully suggestive, but I know him better than to call it flirting. He tries to hide his worry behind jokes and mockery, but I see right through the effort.

"How about we drink a lot and not speak a word about what happened tonight."

He smiles, "That's my girl."

The inside of the boarding house is bewildering compared to the outside. As soon as you step through the grand entrance, the roaring fireplace welcomes you in, making you just want to grab a good book and curl up in its warmth. It'll have to keep that in mind next time I build another house.

Damon and I separate so he can go make drinks for the two of us. I throw myself onto the enticing sofa and embrace the heat coming from the open flames.

"I can't believe you're here." He professes, as he gazes at me from the dry bar. "When I heard Klaus and Stefan were in Chicago, everything in me told me to call you. It just seemed right."

"I'm happy you did," I admit.

He raises an eyebrow in question of how I could possibly feel that way. I really don't believe it either, but I know that I would have given anything to reunite with my best friend again.

"I'm serious, Damon." I claim, "Our time together in the twenties was epic, and I've really needed something like that lately. I don't think it would have been very long before I came knocking on your door for something to do."

Damon comes around the couch with two glasses of bourbon. He hands one to me and takes a seat opposite of me on the other sofa. I lay my head back on the cool leather, letting the alcohol relax me with every sip.

"I'm not very epic anymore, Clara," he says, "I'm... parental now. It's absolutely horrifying."

I laugh obnoxiously, "I'm not sure parental is the word I would use."

Our back and forth camaraderie goes on for another hour or so. In that time, we each have a few more drinks and enjoy the other's company.

Times like these are precious, especially with Damon and I as it has been decades since we have met in person and I'm not sure how long this is going to last. If it were like this every night, maybe I wouldn't have a problem staying, but that is very unrealistic.

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