The only thing Elena wanted is to eat. Food she used to love was not that attractive to her at the moment, and sometimes she got strong cravings for food she used to hate. Suddenly, she found herself wanting to eat food she didn't eat in years, in the most unexpected situations. There were times when she woke Stefan in the middle of the night, because she wanted to eat ice cream, and he had to walk to the town to buy ice cream in one of those stores that work 24/7, only to find Elena asleep when he came back. He couldn't help but smile. For the first time there was food in the kitchen in the Salvatore mansion. When Elena woke up, she wanted pancakes, and eggs, and fresh juice, and she started thinking about lunch, and for some reason, she always wanted chicken. The only problem was that she had no idea how to cook, so Stefan had to do all the cooking by himself. Elena would sit on the chair by the kitchen table, and she would keep making him laugh while he was preparing her food. Damon wasn't much around these days, but when he was, he was making Elena laugh. He was teasing her about how big she's going to get soon, but the truth was, he thought she's more beautiful than before. Stefan thought so too, because Elena had that special glow. Somehow, her smile was wider, and her eyes were bigger, and the way she moved was so gracious. The only thing that bothered Elena is the way other people were looking at her. She always wore tight jeans, so now she had some problems with buttoning them. All the shirts she owned were also very tight, and her baby bump was showing. And people have noticed that, especially people around school. She had a feeling people are judging her, people that don't even know her. And from time to time, she wanted to tell everyone everything that has happened, and how this was never supposed to happen, and how she thought it's impossible. Especially when she was standing alone near her locker, and when she caught people looking at her bump. But she was never alone for too long. Stefan didn't like the thought of her being alone. He wanted to do everything for her. He was afraid she'll get too tired. He wanted to carry her everywhere, like she was a feather. It was obvious to her that he doesn't know how to act around her in this situation, and sometimes it amused her how lost he looked. But with a little help of Caroline and Bonnie, he got by. When she wasn't with Stefan, she was with them. And they made her feel good, because they understood how she's feeling better than any of the guys did. Sometimes, they took her shopping. They tried to get her into small sizes so she could feel all sexy. And even though her baby bump wasn't that large, it wasn't even visible if you're not close to her, it was still there, and Elena knew it. Caroline suggested she should wear dresses, because they would hide her baby bump, and the pregnancy won't affect the fact she has perfect legs. „Unless you don't ease down on that chocolate" – Bonnie was always joking. Elena didn't know why, but she had a strong need to feel sexy, and to be wanted. Sometimes, Stefan was acting like she's made out of glass, like his touch is going to hurt her, and she had to spend a lot of time assuring him he's not, that she's not going to break down that easily. Sometimes she would wear short nightgowns, or her silky bathrobe wide open over her panties and bra. Before sleep, Stefan was always reading, while Elena was taking a bath, so she would come behind him, put her hands around his neck, let her hair fall all over his shoulders, then slowly leaned over and silently whispered in his ear – „Make love to me." Stefan loved to hear those words. She never said sleep with me, at least not when she wanted to be intimate. She never said have sex with me. She always said make love to me, and somehow, that made it even more special. Those words gave a deeper meaning to the whole thing. He would shut his book as she stood in front of him, glowing with all of her women charms, took him by the hand and led him to the bed. She wanted to take his clothes off fast, but as soon as she took his shirt off he would stop her and took her clothes off gently, then he would lay her on the bed, place himself on top of her and look her deep in the eyes. And then she knew. She knew this is not only passion, or sexual hunger. This is more. This is love in the most beautiful form a person can experience love. And that love mixed with passion, mixed with need and want, was a feeling that ruled both of them. Stefan would caress her cheek gently, to make her feel safe. Then he would move his finger on her neck, slowly pulling it down her arm, and then pulling it back to her shoulder. Stefan's touch on her bare skin would send delicious shiver trough her spine. He would always start of by teasing her like that, with simple touch that would made her want him even more. He would kiss her neck, then move slowly to her chest, and finally to her stomach. Her skin would burn under his kisses, and in the moment of passion, she would plunge her nail in his skin, but he never said anything. Sometimes it seemed he liked her holding on to him so tightly. And when her body finally became so hot under his, she would roll him over and sat on top of him. He would smile devilishly as she was trying to contain her hair. She would start kissing his bare chest, then she would slowly move to his lips. First, she would kiss the space around them, and then when she felt she teased him enough, she would kiss him right on the lips. And the truth was, she was the one who wasn't able to keep her lips away from his any longer. And when they were both done with playing and teasing each other, they would slowly take the rest of their clothes off, and made love. And every time they did it, they felt even closer to each other. They felt like their bond is stronger, and every time they made love, they felt like they're one step closer to melting into one person, one soul. And in a way, they did. One day, in not such distant past, they made love, and the happiness they shared was too much to handle, and their content showed all the boundaries of possibility, and both of them gave one piece of themselves, and those pieces formed a new life. Their child was a person they melted in while they shared the most intimate moment lovers can share. But as much as Elena enjoyed making love to Stefan, and as much Stefan enjoyed making love to Elena, sometimes to both of them, the best moment was the moment after they did it. When they layed under the sheets in complete silence. When Elena was curled up in front of his body, and when both of his hands were on Elena's bump. That moment was so sweet, but after some time Elena decided to turn around. She looked him right in the eyes, and she was mentally sending a massage to him. „I love you", she said in her mind. And she felt like he understood her, because he smiled at her, and his eyes were saying, „I know, I love you too." Because love doesn't really need words.
Elena was laying on the bed in the doctor's office. She was wearing tights and simple pink sweater, which perfectly rounded her baby bump. She felt a little uncomfortable, but Stefan was there, holding her hand. She was pregnant for three months now, and they were in doctor's office for the first ultrasound. They were both nervous. Stefan probably more than Elena. He constantly worried, because this was something that should have never happened. It wasn't supposed to happen, or better to say, it was impossible to happen. He couldn't find any explanations for it, nor he have heard about any other cases like theirs. Damon was traveling a lot, he was trying to find a reason or an explanation of why this has happened, and what does it mean. And as much as they were all curious about how this happened, they were all really scared. What does this mean for Elena? She's the one who's carrying an impossibility in her wound. Most of all, Stefan was afraid of losing her. He was afraid of something going terribly wrong, of things complicating, and of losing Elena forever. He couldn't wait for the day of the ultrasound, because he wanted to make sure everything is fine. Elena spent a lot of time explaining to him they don't make ultrasounds before 12th week of pregnancy, and while he understood that, he was still anxious.
But in the times when they weren't worried, they felt like everything is perfect. This situation, it wasn't something they planned, or something they wanted, but it was something that was given to them. And they decided to make best of it. Elena wanted to include Stefan in everything that was going on, and he liked the feeling of being close to something that has more humanity in it than anything else in the world. Every day, Elena pulled her shirt up, grabbed Stefan's hands and put them on her stomach. „I know you can't feel everything I'm feeling, but I want you to feel as much as you can" – she told him while looking him straight in the eyes. And he did. Waterfall of emotions was flowing all over his body, and the amount of feelings he felt at that moment could not be expressed with words. He never felt more connected to Elena than when he thought something will physically bond them for the rest of their lives. He knew he wants to be with Elena forever probably from the moment he saw her. He knew he could live with her and only her for the rest of his life. But as time flew, he was sure of it. He was sure Elena is the person with whom he could sit in the complete silence for hours, and feel like he said everything he wanted to say. But this, this was something different. He never thought he would be able to create a life, or to have an experience of expecting and raising a child. He also never thought there's ever going to be a person he would want to love and protect more than he loves and protects Elena. Just by thinking about that little, fragile thing he'll hold in his arms in few months got him feeling overprotective.
„Everything is fine, Stefan" – Elena said silently, while Stefan was kissing her hand. He had a concerned look on his face.
„How can you be so sure?" – he asked.
„If you were the one carrying this child, you would be sure too" – she replied.
He smiled at her, and in that moment the doctor came to the room.
„Good morning" – the tall, black haired woman said, while entering the room, and eying Elena who was laying on the bed.
„Good morning" – they both replied at the same time. The woman smiled to them.
„How are you feeling?" – she asked Elena.
„Good" – Elena said with a very silent voice.
„Excellent. Are you ready?" – she asked Elena while lifting up her shirt. Elena nodded.
The woman had put cold gel on Elena's stomach, and turned on the monitor. At that moment, Elena squeezed Stefan's hand as hard as she could. She knew everything is fine. She could feel it. But still, she could never be 100% secure, even when she was telling Stefan she is. Stefan sensed that, and he loved her for that, for not making him even more worried, and in the same time he wanted to take every doubt from her. He was ready to take away every pain she ever felt and make it his. Just so she doesn't have to go trough it. They didn't see anything on the screen, at first. It was just a black and white picture with some waves, and then, they saw something.
„And meet your baby" – the doctor said.
And there it was. Right in the middle of those black and white waves, there was a baby. Their baby. And it looked perfectly fine. It was small, and it was really just a shadow of a human being, but from the moment both Stefan and Elena saw it, they knew they're never going to love anything else in this world as much as they're going to love this child.
„Everything seems to be fine" – the doctor said while smiling.
„Everything is fine?" – Stefan asked curiously.
„Yes, everything is perfectly fine."
Stefan and Elena looked at each other. Elena's smile was wide, and there was no more doubt in her eyes. And every fear Stefan felt was gone. When their eyes met, they smiled at each other. Stefan brought Elena's hand to his mouth, and kissed it.
„I'm going to give you some privacy" – the woman said. She got up from the chair and left the room.
„Look Stefan, it's our baby" – Elena said while looking at the screen, like she's looking at the most beautiful thing in the world.
„I can see" – Stefan replied. His voice was sweet and warm, and the picture he saw on the screen had waken up so many hidden feelings in him.
„I told you everything will be fine."
„Yes. Yes, you did" – Stefan said while smiling. She looked up at him and smiled back. He hugged her and kissed her forehead. „Everything will be fine."
4 MONTHS LATER
Time flew by so fast. They didn't even have enough time to turn around, and the spring was already there again. Everybody seemed to stop asking themselves how did Stefan and Elena found themselves in that situation. Damon stopped traveling to find the answers, and he tried to spent as much time as possible helping with everything he could help with. Matt was still confused, as always, but he was actually pretty sweet about the whole thing. So was Tyler. Caroline and Bonnie were there to make her feel good about herself, and Jeremy didn't know what to say, as per usual. But as much as all the people she cared about were there for her, trying to make her laugh and to make her feel good, no one was more successful in it than Stefan. Whenever she was feeling moody, he would take her in his arms and she would be calm again. When she cried, he would take away her tears. And when she laughed, he would laugh with her. When she was tired, he would make her go to bed, and when she was hungry, he would serve her everything he knew she liked. When her arms would get too heavy, he would brush her hair, and when she was feeling lonely, he would take her in his arms, and hugged her like he's never letting go. He would help her study, and to dress when she couldn't reach the zipper, and before bedtime, he would read to her and to the baby. And then he would get in the bed, and she would crawl next to him, and he would stay awake until she falls asleep in his hug. All the things Stefan did, small things and big things, everything that was expected from him and everything he didn't have to do, Elena appreciated.
It was such a lovely day. The sun was shinning, and there wasn't even one cloud in the sky. It was Friday, and Elena just got back from school. Next week she's having her finals, and she was glad everything will be over soon, because all the studying made her tired. She was wearing silky floral dress she found in her mother's things. She had flats on her feet, and Stefan by her arm. They were walking trough the forest, that was especially lovely in this time of the year. Stefan wanted her to rest, but she insisted in taking a walk since she needed some fresh air.
„Stefan?" – she murmured.
„I was wondering.. if this whole thing played out differently.. if this wasn't your child, would you have left me? Would you be mad at me, and disappointed? Would you hate me?" – she asked with no hesitation.
The last question had stung Stefan right in the heart. He could never hate Elena. No matter what she does or say, he would never hate her. Love is so much stronger than hate, and the way he loves her, how much he loves her.. well, no amount of hate would be able to destroy that.
„Sometimes.. my mind tells me that I would, be mad at you" – he replied while looking at the grass. „But my heart keeps telling me that my mind is lying" – he looked her in the eyes. She nicely smiled to him, then put her hand on the back of his neck, and slowly kissed him on the lips.
„Stefan, there's something I have to tell you" – she said while smiling. „Today, I received a call.."
„Well, well.." – the voice behind them interrupted Elena in the middle of her sentence.
They turned around and saw a tall, dark man leaning on the tree.
„So the rumors are true. A human impregnated by a vampire" – he said with a very cold voice. He seemed interested, but also slightly disgusted.
Stefan stood in front of Elena, trying to cover her body with his. She was scared, and her hand was searching for his. When he felt her hand on his, he intertwined his fingers with hers, and she had put both of their hands on her stomach.
„I want the girl" – the man said. No, he wasn't a man. He was a vampire. Stefan could smell that on him.
„Excuse me?" – Stefan asked.
„The girl. I want her" – the vampire said, more calm than the first time.
„The girl is not going anywhere" – Stefan replied.
„We can do this in a hard way, or in a easy way. I kinda hoped we could do it in a easy way."
Stefan sarcastically smiled.
„I guess not" – the vampire picked a large branch that was laying on the grass, and in a split of a second, he was standing in front of Stefan, trying to put the branch trough his heart. Stefan didn't even see it happening, because the vampire was extremely fast, and before he knew it, the branch was in his chest. But before the wood touched his heart, Damon showed up out of nowhere and tackled the vampire on the floor. And he ripped his heart out. Although Damon was fast, it was too late. The branch was already in Stefan's chest, right in front of his heart. He could feel the end of the branch tickling his heart, and he felt like he's going to explode. He felt weak, and in the same time he was hating himself, because he couldn't protect Elena. Because he wasn't fast enough or strong enough. Without Damon there, he would be dead, and Elena would be gone. He fell on the ground.
„Stefan!" – Elena screamed. She leaned over him, and in the moment she wanted to put her hands on the branch to pull it out, Damon screamed no.
„What?" – Elena asked shocked.
„It's too close to his heart. One wrong move and you'll kill him" – Damon said. He fell on his knees, and looked Stefan in the eyes. His eyes looked dead, and for a moment it seemed like he's giving up. But Damon knew he would never, not with Elena by his side. She was the one who was his source of power without even knowing it. Everything he needed to survive was in her eyes. If she was by his side, he would be able to live with a branch tickling his heart for an eternity. Stefan was looking at Damon, and he had a feeling like Stefan was trying to tell him „thank you" with his eyes. He felt grateful, and Damon knew it. And for a moment, Damon felt happy, because not only he saved Elena, he saved his brother too. Then Stefan's look moved to Elena, who once again intertwined his hand with hers, and put them on her stomach. She was caressing his hair. „I'm sorry" – he mouthed to her, without even peaking a sound. Tears were rolling down Elena's cheek, and she was shaking her head.
„Help him, Damon" – she said silently. Then she looked Damon who was looking back at her. He glanced at Elena's stomach with her and Stefan's hand on it, then he moved his look back to her eyes, and he replied silently, „Of course I will." He grabbed the branch with both of his hands, slowly and carefully, and he pulled it out. Stefan felt relief, and he was trying to get up, but he couldn't. He couldn't move. Then he felt Elena grabbing his face with her hand, with a very serious look on her face. She had put her wrist on his mouth and said, „Drink."
„No" – he replied.
„Stefan, you have to."
„No. It will hurt you. It will hurt the baby. I can't take your blood.. you need it. All of it" – he replied, but every word that came out of his mouth pained him more than the last one. Physically.
„I'll be fine Stefan. She'll be fine."
In that moment, Stefan realized Elena refereed to the baby as she. Not the baby, but she. As in a female person.
„She?" – he asked.
„Yes" – she teared up. „That's what I was trying to tell you earlier. The doctor called. It's a girl. We're going to have a daughter, Stefan.."
Stefan managed to smile, and she smiled back to him.
„Now drink" – she pressed her wrist to his mouth. And he did. He had bitten her wrist, and he drank.
Elena felt her heart beating faster, and in a moment, she thought she can feel baby's heart beating too. But it wasn't a bad beat, like she felt she's going to explode. It was a good beat, a strong one, and she felt something going trough her, something she couldn't explain, and in the moment, that feeling felt silly to her. After a while, Stefan had let go of her wrist. He cleaned his mouth and he tried to sit. He looked at Elena's wrist that was covered in small blood stains. Elena had noticed his look on her hand.
„It's all right" – she tried to clean it with her other hand. „It doesn't hurt."
She looked Stefan in the eyes. She saw him trying to get up, but in that moment, he fell back on the ground, and closed his eyes.
„Stefan!" – Elena screamed his name again. She grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him. „Stefan! Wake up Stefan! What's wrong with you? Please Stefan, you can't leave me! You just can't. Do something Damon! Help me!" – she was screaming. But Damon did not know what to do, because he had no idea what is happening to Stefan. He was watching his brother's lifeless body while Elena was shaking him.