Surprises of the Heart
Warnings: A couple uses of a very minor curse word, brief mention of sex but no actual instances.
Spoilers: The Vampire Diary Books by L.J. Smith
Disclaimers: The character of Damon and other Vampire Diary characters referred to (Katherine, Elena, Stefan) are the sole property of L.J. Smith and no harm is intended in using them here.
Comments: The characters written here, including Virtue, my own character creation, are NOT high school students but young adults.
Surprises of the Heart
Virtue closed the door hard. Taking a deep breath to calm herself down, she flicked the light switch and headed for the stereo. A moment later the room was full of the sounds of Miles Davis and his trumpet. Sitting down on the cream colored couch, Virtue sighed. She glanced around the room.
Black and white framed photographs and a couple of brightly colored tapestries decorated the walls. Surfaces held, among other things, books and small statues of mythical, religious, and just plain interesting figures. A coffee cup on the table before the couch was half full of cold coffee left over from that morning. Deciding she needed some but feeling too lazy to start another pot, Virtue picked up the cold coffee and headed for the microwave in the kitchen behind her. It was sure to taste terrible but at the moment she didn’t care.
The kitchen and living room were separated by a counter. Virtue, after turning on the microwave, observed that she had a number of pots and pans she had to wash. Groaning frustration, she shook her head. It wouldn’t be so bad if only she didn’t feel so terrible already. All she wanted to do for the rest of tonight was to attempt to relax, and forget about this latest dating disaster.
It had started out decently enough. William had shown up on time, which is more than she could say for most of her dates, had been reasonably attractive and polite. She’d thought that maybe this time Sharon had picked a guy to set her up with who might actually work out. How wrong she was!
Virtue took the coffee out of the microwave and headed back to the living room as she admitted that William hadn’t been too bad. It’s just that he was so . . . boring. A business major with no artistic interests who seemed to worship his professors, he seemed to have no opinions of his own. He was able to quote everyone but himself. Virtue figured Sharon had thought him to be “safe.” Virtue shook her head.
Sharon didn’t understand. She didn’t want “safe.” Virtue wanted to find someone
interesting. Someone who could appreciate good literature and discuss foreign affairs. Someone who realized that jazz music went beyond Kenny G and that art and creativity were things to cherish. Okay. So he didn’t need to have all of her interests. He could hate Billie Holiday and think that comic books were more interesting than Shakespeare, as long as he was informed and confident enough to back up those opinions. That’s all she wanted, a man who was educated and had a mind of his own, who spoke his opinion whether or not people always agreed with him. Was that so hard to find?
“It doesn’t matter what the Harvard scholars are saying. History has proved, time and again, that’s a tactic that doesn’t work. No Eric I really don’t give a damn if you agree with me. I’m getting bored. I’ll talk to you later.” Or not, Damon thought as he headed from the bar in the club, walking along the side of the dance floor, admiring the girls in the room. That was the problem, Damon thought, boredom. It’s why he’d left Fells Church to come here. Stefan and Elena were just too predictable.
He’d thought at one time that Elena was different, more like him. The girl had certainly proved to have guts, but even that wasn’t enough. She and Stefan belonged together. It’d taken him a little while to understand that, but he thought he did now. And now he was bored again. A tall scantily clad brunette smiled at him and Damon smiled lazily back. Even the women, he thought. This woman would more than likely be just like the one the night before, and the night before that. Wishing for one minute that he could find someone more interesting, who could surprise him once in a while, he shrugged. Maybe he’d just lived too long, seen too much. Hey, he thought to himself. He didn’t need anyone, not really. His mind just went kind of crazy on him sometimes. He headed toward the brunette. Time to stop thinking so much.
Voices. Virtue lifted her eyes from her book and waited, listening for a moment. The voices didn’t fade so she set the book down and walked over to the window, which she’d opened earlier, hoping for some breezes to alleviate the heat inside of the apartment. She reached to shut the window, at the same time taking in the sight of the couple outside that was making so much noise.
A tall thin brunette in clothing so small it looked like she’d borrowed it from a five year old, and a man in a leather jacket who could fit anyone’s definition of dark and handsome. Even though she couldn’t make out his facial features, Virtue could tell he was extremely attractive. The brunette was laughing as the man said something into her ear. Virtue allowed herself a moment to appreciate the man’s appearance before she closed the window and headed back toward the couch and her book.
This is too easy, Damon thought as he followed the brunette (Lisa) into her apartment. Where was the challenge, he wondered as he closed the door behind him. Then Lisa reached for him and Damon decided to concentrate his attention elsewhere.
“Hey!” Virtue bent down to retrieve her mail, not bothering to glance at the person who’d bumped into her, causing the envelopes to fall. When they were back in her hands, Virtue finally looked up at the person who hadn’t yet moved. Her eyes widened for a moment. It was the man from last night. Even though she hadn’t seen his face the night before, she’d taken plenty of time to study the rest of him and this was definitely the guy. A blush crept into her cheeks. There was a pause.
“Well what?” she asked. The man looked at her. His gaze was intense. She glanced at her hands for a moment, slightly unnerved.
“Aren’t you going to apologize?”
“Apologize?” Virtue finally stood up. “For what?”
“I don’t know.” He placed his finger to his temple, as if he were thinking, brought it away. “Maybe for running into me.”
“Running into you?” Virtue stared at him.
“Yes.” He nodded. “Running into me.”
“But you ran into me!”
“Excuse me girl, but I never run into anyone, that is, unless it’s intentional.”
“So it must have been intentional.” Virtue was getting annoyed. The man studied her for a moment. Then, ignoring her comment altogether said
“If you would like to make it up to me, I would be willing to accept dinner tonight.”
“Make it up to you!” Virtue was indignant. “I’m not the one who has making up to do. I was just minding my own damn business.” Then she swallowed. Wait a minute. Had he said dinner? Was he asking her out?
“Actually I was insinuating that you should ask me out.” Virtue stared. She hadn’t spoken aloud. Had she?
“I . . . uh. . .”
“It’s not hard.” He told her. “You just open your mouth and say “Damon,” cause that’s my name, “Damon, would you like to have dinner with me tonight?””
“Are you Italian?” She asked, suddenly realizing he had an accent. Damon laughed.
“Not too good at staying on the subject are we?”
“I resent that.” Virtue told him.
“Fine. Then why don’t you tell me what we were talking about?”
“You were telling me to ask you to have dinner with me tonight.”
“Dinner with you? Tonight?”
“Sure.” He told her. “I’ll have dinner with you.” He turned then, to head away, "How about I show up here around eight?” Virtue was confused.
“Wait. But I didn’t. I mean I never. . .”
“Do you have plans for eight tonight?”
“Then I’ll be here.” He headed away before she could reply. Virtue shook her head, still trying to put things in order. Had she asked him out, or had he invited himself? One thing was for sure. Dinner was going to be interesting, and she wasn’t sure it was the kind of interesting she wanted.
So he had a date already set up for tonight. Damon smiled. And she had actually been able to surprise him for a moment there with her comebacks. Not that he expected it would keep happening. It was kind of hard to surprise someone who’d been around as long as he had. Still, she had been attractive, golden blond hair and deep blue eyes. Her loose jeans and T-shirt hadn’t given him much of a look at her body, but that only made him more determined to see her again. It wasn’t until that moment that Damon realized he’d never asked her name, nor had it occurred to him to search her mind for it. Well, he’d find out that night. In the meantime, he needed to get to his apartment and get
Reflections on LJ Smith