Home > Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries #4)(4)

Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries #4)(4)
Author: L.J. Smith

Bonnie was still paralyzed, but her mind was beginning to work again. Vaguely, she remembered Meredith speaking about this before, but she hadn't told her the full truth then. And she hadn't said when it had happened.

"Attacked-you mean like Vickie was attacked," Bonnie got out. She couldn't say the word vampire, but she knew Meredith understood.

"Like Vickie was attacked," Meredith confirmed. "Come on," she added, even more quietly. "They're waiting for us. I didn't mean to upset you."

Meredith doesn't want me to be upset, so I won't be upset, Bonnie thought, pouring hot fudge over the chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream. Even though we've been friends since first grade and she never told me this secret before.

pouring hot fudge over the chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream. Even though we've been friends since first grade and she never told me this secret before.

Then Bonnie shook her head determinedly. She couldn't think about this right now; she had a party to think about. And I'll make sure it's a good party and we all get along somehow, she thought.

Strangely, it wasn't even that hard. Meredith and Vickie didn't talk much at first, but Bonnie went out of her way to be nice to Vickie, and even Meredith couldn't resist the pile of brightly wrapped presents on the coffee table. By the time she'd opened the last one they were all talking and laughing. The mood of truce and toleration continued as they moved up into Caroline's bedroom to examine her clothes and CDs and photo albums. As it got near midnight they flopped on sleeping bags, still talking.

"What's going on with Alaric these days?" Sue asked Meredith.

Alaric Saltzman was Meredith's boyfriend-sort of. He was a graduate student from Duke University who'd majored in parapsychology and had been called to Fell's Church last year when the vampire attacks began. Though he'd started out an enemy, he'd ended up an ally-and a friend.

"He's in Russia," Meredith said. "Perestroika, you know? He's over there finding out what they were doing with psychics during the Cold War."

"What are you going to tell him when he gets back?" asked Caroline.

It was a question Bonnie would have liked to ask Meredith herself. Because Alaric was almost four years older, Meredith had told him to wait until after she graduated to talk about their future. But now Meredith was eighteen-today, Bonnie reminded herself-and graduation was in two weeks. What was going to happen after that?

"I haven't decided," Meredith said. "Alaric wants me to go to Duke, and I've been accepted there, but I'm not sure. I have to think."

Bonnie was just as glad. She wanted Meredith to go to Boone Junior College with her, not go off and get married, or even engaged. It was stupid to decide on one guy so young. Bonnie herself was notorious for playing the field, going from boy to boy as she pleased. She got crushes easily, and got over them just as easily.

"I haven't seen the guy so far worth remaining faithful to," she said now.

Everyone looked at her quickly. Sue's chin was resting on her fists as she asked, "Not even Stefan?"

Bonnie should have known. With the only light the dim bedside lamp and the only sound the rustle of new leaves on the weeping willows outside, it was inevitable that the conversation would turn to Stefan-and to Elena.

Stefan Salvatore and Elena Gilbert were already a sort of legend in the town, like Romeo and Juliet. When Stefan had first come to Fell's Church, every girl had wanted him. And Elena, the most beautiful, most popular, most unapproachable girl at school, had wanted him too. It was only after she'd gotten him that she realized the danger. Stefan wasn't what he seemed-he had a secret far darker than anyone could have guessed. And he had a brother, Damon, even more mysterious and dangerous than himself. Elena had been caught between the two brothers, loving Stefan but drawn irresistibly to Damon's wildness. In the end she had died to save them both, and to redeem their love.

Stefan Salvatore and Elena Gilbert were already a sort of legend in the town, like Romeo and Juliet. When Stefan had first come to Fell's Church, every girl had wanted him. And Elena, the most beautiful, most popular, most unapproachable girl at school, had wanted him too. It was only after she'd gotten him that she realized the danger. Stefan wasn't what he seemed-he had a secret far darker than anyone could have guessed. And he had a brother, Damon, even more mysterious and dangerous than himself. Elena had been caught between the two brothers, loving Stefan but drawn irresistibly to Damon's wildness. In the end she had died to save them both, and to redeem their love.

"I still can't believe she's gone," Sue said quietly, shaking her head and shutting her eyes. "She was so much more alive than other people."

"Her flame burned brighter," said Meredith, gazing at the patterns the rose-and-gold lamp made on the ceiling. Her voice was soft but intense, and it seemed to Bonnie that those words described Elena better than anything she'd ever heard.

"There were times when I hated her, but I could never ignore her," Caroline admitted, her green eyes narrowed in memory. "She wasn't a person you could ignore."

"One thing I learned from her death," Sue said, "is that it could happen to any of us. You can't waste any of life because you never know how long you've got."

"It could be sixty years or sixty minutes," Vickie agreed in a low voice. "Any of us could die tonight."

Bonnie wriggled, disturbed. But before she could say anything, Sue repeated, "I still can't believe she's really gone. Sometimes I feel as if she's somewhere near."

"Oh, so do I," said Bonnie, distracted. An image of Warm Springs flashed through her mind, and for a moment it seemed more vivid than Caroline's dim room. "Last night I dreamed about her, and I had the feeling it really was her and that she was trying to tell me something. I still have that feeling," she said to Meredith.

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