posted by delenasalvatore
I knew I was in even madami trouble as soon as we arrived at The Old Manor for the wedding reception. It used to be a stately home, but it had recently been turned into an hotel. I could see right away why Jenna and Alaric had chosen it: it was surrounded sa pamamagitan ng acres of beautiful woodland, and the suite we were in had amazing floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out over the river. There were candles on all the tables, masses of bulaklak everywhere and beside the door, there was an actual fountain. It was all very romantic. Too romantic. It was going to be hard enough pretending I was indifferent to Damon for the evening without the whole place looking like a scene from a fairy tale. I mean, I'd had all these rules about how I had to stay away from him and not let myself think about him...and now here we were, at Jenna's wedding, with Stefan nowhere in sight and I didn't know what to do.
Damon seemed to be a lot madami relaxed than I was. I couldn't work out if this was a good thing or not. Once he even winked at me from the side between pictures as Jenna fussed with her dress.
There was only one awkward moment, when the photographer was trying to take a group litrato and somehow, I ended up perching on Damon's knee to fit into the frame. This definitely had NOT been part of the plan.
When the photographs were over, Jenna made her way across to me. "I know I'm supposed to throw this later," she said, holding out her bouquet. "But I want you to have it."
"But...I already have a bouquet," I protested.
"So what?" Jenna smiled. "Take it. It's yours."
Thank you." We looked at each other for a moment and then hugged each other.
"I wonder who you'll get married to," she mused.
I smiled. I probably wouldn't get married at all. But I didn't say it out-loud.
Jenna was whisked away sa pamamagitan ng Alaric for the first dance, and I was standing watching them as Damon approached with two glasses of champagne in his hands. He took note of the bulaklak I was holding and said, "So I guess that means you're next, huh?"
"No." I accepted the champagne and decided we needed to change the subject. "They look really happy, don't they?"
"They do." Damon was quiet for a minute, thinking. "It's funny how things worked out for ole Rick," he began.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, he spent so long obsessing over Isobel. He probably didn't think he would ever meet someone else, let alone fall in pag-ibig and get married again." He had a half-smile on his face as I looked over at him. I wondered if he was really talking about Alaric and his ex-wife Isobel, or Katherine.
"Some people say that you remember your first pag-ibig forever," I sinabi nonchalantly. "But if you want my opinion, first loves are highly over-rated."
"What makes you say that?" Damon asked, looking quizzically at me. "I think Stefan would have something to say if you're talking about him..."
"I'm not talking about Stefan." I shook my head. "This is before. Before I dated Matt even."
Damon raised his eyebrows. "This sounds interesting. Who was the guy?"
"His name was Jay. He was a taon older than me. He was on the basketbol team." I tried to laugh but didn't quite pull it off. "He was always surrounded sa pamamagitan ng girls. He would text me at the last minuto to ask if I wanted to hang out with him. I know it sounds obvious that he was just stringing me along, but at the time, I had it so bad for him. I couldn't see straight. It was like he had this...this power over me." I shook my head in self-reproach and took a sip of champagne.
Damon had been listening intently. "What happened?"
I thought for a minute, trying to remember. "I don't know," I sinabi finally. "After the holidays it was like - he, he changed or something. I hadn't heard from him for weeks and when school started again, he wouldn't even speak to me. I never found out why."
"Wow, that's harsh," Damon murmured.
I nodded. "It hurt for a long time. But I learned I was better off without him in my life - and I didn't want to be with someone who only remembered me when it suited him."
Damon shook his head in disgust. "What a loser. It's a good thing I don't know him."
I laughed. My nerves about the evening had vanished. I couldn't remember why I had felt so apprehensive when it was so natural to be with Damon. In the time I'd spent trying to stay away from him, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed his company. "Why do boys do that? Why do they act so...why are they so careless with how they treat girls?"
Damon took his time answering. "I think it's a mixture of different things. Immaturity. Insecurity. And it's easy for them." When he saw the expression on my face he reiterated with: "Most teenage boys have never been in love. They don't know how it feels to lose someone." It was the way he sinabi it that made me think he could have been referring to himself and Katherine. He really loved her. I wondered yet again if he ever thought about her and whether he was still in pag-ibig with her. I hoped he wasn't. Someone as heartless as Katherine didn't deserve to be loved sa pamamagitan ng anyone.
As if he could read my thoughts, Damon quickly steered back to the subject. "They're also idiots of course. That explains a lot." His tone was light and teasing now, the serious edge to our conversation had gone.
Stefan's not like that, I thought and was about to point this out when I remembered that Stefan didn't exactly pass as an average teenage boy. Before I could say anything else, we were interrupted sa pamamagitan ng Jenna, Bonnie and Jeremy all yelling at me to get up and dance. Their invitation apparently excluded Damon, So I had no option but to leave Jenna's bouquet on the mesa susunod to him and sumali them. In all honesty, I was sort of grateful for this. If I'd stayed with Damon for much longer, he might have felt he had to dance with me, and I'd already told myself that wasn't on the agenda tonight.
I successfully managed to avoid dancing with Damon, but after we'd waved Jenna and Alaric goodbye, the pace of the evening noticeably slowed down.
"Don't look now, but I believe your petsa has found a new partner," Bonnie told me, nodding in the direction of the bar where Damon was talking to a stunning-looking girl who was leaning flirtatiously towards him.
"He's not my date," I muttered sullenly.
"Who is she, anyway?" Bonnie asked.
"One of Jenna's friends." As I studied her, trying to remember her name, I tried to push the jealousy that was encroaching away from me. It was just that the girl was so much madami beautiful and sophisticated than me. She reminded me of one of the girls ASOS.com were always putting on the cover of their magazine: who had the perfect face and the perfect hair and the perfect wardrobe and the perfect everything. In the end, I couldn't bring myself to walk over to Damon and interrupt him. I turned round and walked away.
It wasn't as if Damon qualified as a real date, anyway. He had only agreed as a favour to his brother, and to me. Out of charity madami than anything, not because he actually wanted to. And he was certainly allowed to talk - and even flirt - with other girls. Knowing that only made my own feelings even madami confusing. What on earth was wrong with me?
I was standing sa pamamagitan ng the windows at the far end of the room watching the river below when I saw Damon's reflection in the glass approaching.
"Hey," he said. "Do you want to dance?"
Continued in Part 6 Coming Soon