It wasn’t the soft echo of his steps, or his unique smell, or the way the glass in his hand tingled against the metal of his ring, to give his presence away. Elena didn’t need any of these things to just feel his presence near her. She was sitting in front of the fireplace, the flames dancing slowly, hiding half of her in the shade.

Damon didn’t say anything. It wasn’t really necessary. Words weren’t really necessary between them, probably they never would be. Plus, Elena was pretty sure that the argument – fight – she had with Stefan moments before, didn’t go unnoticed in the house. Maybe not even in the neighborhood. She was so tired. Just so tired.

Slowly, the notes of an old melody vibrated all around her. The beautiful music, somehow, made her feel much less tense, or maybe it was just because of the calm tenderness pouring from Damon’s baby blue eyes. Those little oceans where looking down at her now, reassuring Elena, like they were always able to do.

He stretched out his hand and she looked at him in confusion. “You need a distraction.” “I don’t.” She could feel Damon almost rolling his eyes at her usual stubbornness. “Yes. You do.” Elena didn’t even put up a fight. She reached for his hand as she stood up with grace and Damon took her in his embrace.

We have to dance.” His breath was hot against the skin of her neck, caressing her in a never ending shiver. “It is tradition.” Elena smiled at his words, mimicking hers from a not long time ago. He was right. It was tradition.

She let him guide her through the beats of the music, they weren’t really dancing, more like swaying around a little, staying very close to each other. So much closer than they used to be a year before, when she was the one competing for the Miss Mystic Fall title. Damon’s jaw was lightly brushing her forehead and Elena could feel his hard plane chest against her breast.

Damon’s touch was gentle but firm, a little bit possessive, too. She could feel it in the way his long fingers curled around her waist, keeping her near him, as if he was afraid she could disappear from his embrace. They danced in silence. Just finding comfort in that intimate moment, letting the rest of the world slipping far away.

When the music came to its end, Elena’s eyes found his again, but she didn’t step away. His presence was just so good, so - she was almost afraid to admit it – right, that she wasn’t ready to lose that warm feeling just yet. But Damon’s lips were too tempting, his eyes too bright, his body too perfect and she knew she had to let him go.

In the end, he was the first one who took a step back, while his hand left hers to caress her cheek. “How are you feeling?” Elena almost couldn’t handle all the concern, the pure love in his eyes. It was just too much, and she was just a step away from crossing a dangerous line. Again.

Better. Thank you.” So, she just smiled and stepped back, too. “You’re welcome.” Elena headed for the front door, well aware of Damon following every single move she was making. She turned around when she reached the doorknob. “Goodnight, Damon.” He smiled his usual sad smile. “Goodnight, Elena.