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Against my better judgement, I trudge up the steps to the Gilbert front porch. Adalynn is a few paces behind me, just as frustrated as I am with having to come here first. I ring the doorbell two times when no one answers my initial knock.

When I texted Damon about us staying at the boarding house, he quickly shot back that he'd rather we meet him here. With the thought, my phone buzzes in my pocket, but I can hear someone rattling around behind the door, so I decide to ignore it. The last time that I checked it was last night and I haven't had the chance to charge it ever since. It's a miracle it's still alive.

"Um, hi." Stefan greets in surprise when he opens the door to us on the porch.

"Wrong Salvatore," I whisper to Adalynn, but she's too busy eyeing the vampire to catch it. "Is Damon here? We're supposed to meet him."

"No, he isn't here," Stefan replies, "this actually isn't a great time..."

"Clara," Elena appears behind him and Stefan expands his grasp on the door so that it is open enough for her to see, but he doesn't bother dropping his arm.

This makes me notice his change of demeanor now that Elena is with him. I know that he's defensive when it comes to her, but it's different this time. I can't quite tell why.

When I try to take a step inside, Stefan blocks me instantly. I look down at his firm chest for a second before glancing at Adalynn. She nods slightly, confirming my suspicions about his emotions.

He's protecting Elena from me.

"Stefan, you don't have to worry about me hurting her. Esther doesn't have control over me anymore," I claim.

Okay, that was partially a lie. For some unknown reason, my magic is being manipulated into wanting to kill Klaus, and possibly the other Originals as well. That should mean that Elena is not in any danger as long as she stays out of my way.

My heartbeat continues steadily as if I wasn't telling the small fib, but I really would never intentionally put any of them in danger. Besides, Adalynn is here to stop any outbursts if need be.

"You've said that before," Stefan accuses. "Until I know you're not a threat to anyone in this house, you will not be coming in."

"Stand down, baby bro," Damon calls from the sidewalk behind us, "we've got bigger problems."

Beside Damon is a struggling Bonnie who is still dressed in last night's twenties costume. She has dried blood spattered against the side of her neck, but it seems the wound has entirely healed.

"Oh my god, Bonnie!" Elena exclaims, pushing past Stefan and I so she can get to her friend. She looks at Damon angrily, immediately placing the blame on him, "What did you do?"

Damon doesn't say anything until we get into the house. Thankfully, Stefan doesn't act as the Gilbert guard dog anymore so that Adalynn and I can follow them in. He knows better as it seems that Damon is now about to drag us into yet another supernatural mess.

"I saved her life, Elena," he scoffs, "Unfortunately, she saved Alaric's. He turned."

"What do you mean he turned? I thought you were standing guard," Stefan accuses.

I spot Adalynn giving me a short side glance. I must be radiating hope even though Evil-Alaric might be an even scarier hunter than Mikael.

"Don't blame me! Blame Bonnie, the blood bank! She fed him." Damon points to the witch, shifting the blame.

All eyes fall to Bonnie, but she's glances at me. I nearly let out a sigh in annoyance, sensing where this is going.

"I had no idea what was happening, just like when Clara was being controlled by Esther. I know that now..." she admits softly. "The witches led me there. They wanted him to feed so he turned."

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