Smith L. J. - The Vampire Diaries
5. The Return: Nightfall
[Unabridged audiobook with text]
Elena Gilbert is alive — again.
When Elena sacrificed herself to save the two vampire brothers who love her—the handsome, brooding Stefan and the sleek and dangerous Damon—she was consigned to a fate beyond death. Until a powerful supernatural force pulled her back. Now Elena is not just human. She has powers and gifts that were bestowed on her in the afterlife. What's more, her blood pulses with an overwhelming and unique force that makes her irresistible to any vampire.
Stefan wants to find a way to keep Elena safe so that they can make a life together. Damon, however, is possessed by a "malach", and unwittingly makes a deadly bargain to Stefan with two twin demons. In exchange for Elena, the life of his brother is now in the hands of the Japanese demons. To imply that Stefan left, he writes a forged note and leaves it in Elena's diary.
A heartbroken Elena presents her devastated friends with the letter, all of them believe the fake note. only Matt has doubts on the note supposedly written by his best friend. "Judgment" is spelled by Stefan "Judgment" and by Damon "Judgemnt". He too succumbs to the mintly written letter. Damon, pleased with the kidnapping of his brother, searches for Elena to seize his chance to make her think he is meant with her. He is still very much possessed.
While Elena and Matt are investigating the possession of Jim Bryce's sister Tamra, Bonnie and Meredith do not understand why Stefan would leave Elena and them alone in this desperate time in full knowledge of the dangerous darkness infiltrating town. They stress how unlike him it would be to just up and leave. They are uncomfortable and decide to go back to the boarding house where Stefan lived.
Matt and Elena leave the Bryce home, while they are kidnapped by Damon and the twins. The spirit possesing Damon is being more evil than usual so he orders Damon's mind to threaten Matt and Elena's life. He proceeds to make Elena and Matt perform intimate acts. The formal couple complies in fear for their lives, but Elena oftenly tries to persuade Damon that it is not him saying those things.
Back at the boarding house, Bonnie and Meredith search Stefan's room. To their horror, they discover a duffel bag under the floorboards stuffed with Stefan's clothing and possessions. Sure that he has been harmed by Damon, they search the computer base for a back up file to the note written by "Stefan." Because Damon had failed to save the changes to Stefan's true letter, they discover the real letter written by Stefan to Elena, saying that if he did not return he has been harmed and a link to a vampire website. Horrified, enraged and worried the two girls vehemently search for Matt and Elena's whereabouts only to be stopped by a possessed tree on the way to the Old wood, Elena's and Matt's location.
Damon, pleased, knocks out Matt and puts Elena in his Ferrari. Afraid for her life, she jumps out the speeding car and harms her left leg and dislocates her right shoulder. She awakes in a cabin, being rubbed with a warmed towel by a surprisingly gentle Damon. Shinichi and Misao are away, so Damon is in possession of his mind and body. He is deeply caring for Elena and she starts to love him, but mainly only as a friend.
Temporarily overcoming his possession, Damon admits to Elena the bargain he made with the demons. Enraged, she slaps him and calls him a bastard. Relieved that Stefan is alive, she fervently hugs and thanks Damon for not letting them kill him.
They bicker, and Elena takes back every decent hing she said about him. She realizes he is once again possessed, and somewhat against his will she thrusts her finger into his back where the malach is growing. She pulls it out. Damon stomps on it until it looks like demolished jelly. To relieve him of the sins he made while he was possessed, she calls forth the "Wings of Redemption" Damon and Elena devise a plan into tricking the twins into revealing the location of the fox key.
Damon introduces her to magical key that fits into any lock and takes you to your desired location. After several locations, including her home, she demands in a rush a place where she can "hear and see and touch" Stefan.
She finds herself in a filthy prison, and sees Stefan through bars of his cell. Annoyed, he tells her to replace her face and calls her a bitch. Elena tries to persuade him it's her by telling him events they shared. He still doesn't believe her, and only when she thinks she is in an illusion does he realize it's really her. She demands he hold her and kiss her. Stefan does so happily, and the two sit there. Recalling something Meredith told her, her ability to lead armies, she vows that she will free Stefan. Stefan tells her it's impossible, that whoever goes in doesn't come out. She swears he will. He tells her about the fox key, the key she must attain to free him. Guards approach and Stefan begs her to leave so she won't have to see what they do. Loathing she does so and finds herself falling out of the sky in the cemetery into Damon's waiting arms.
Bonnie and Meredith find Matt in Elena's abandoned Jaguar along with Mrs. Flowers and Dr, who helped treat the possessed girls. In the Old Wood they are greeted by Damon and Elena. However, they along with Damon and Elena are cornered by the twins and their evil trees.
Elena sneaks away, and calls forth her supernatural powers. Translucent wings grow out her back and she arrives back in time to stop the evil trees and the twins from tearing her friends limb from limb.
She uses her powers to shrink the trees back, and grabs the fox- Misao, by her tail, and flies in the sky. Misao is actually really heavy and her faith in herself falters. Shinichi attempts to save his twin but is stopped by Damon. Elena can not fly any higher and she feels that she will let everyone down. However, Meredith senses Elena's distress and screams that she believes in Elena. The rest of the people follow along in Meridith's example, and Bonnie also uses her powers to help Elena. Elena flies higher than before and goes with Misao to a higher location, still in visibility to everyone on the field. She threatens to cut off Misao's tale unless she give the location of the key.
Misao doesn't cooperate, but when she sees that Elena will go through with her threat, she gives her a riddle of the location of the key. Elena and Damon release the twins who scamper away, quarreling with each other.
In the Ferrari, Damon hears through his police radar that they are searching for Matt. They rush over to Bonnie's where Matt is seeking refuge. He gets in Elena's Jaguar, and Elena tells Bonnie to give her love to Meredith, and says they'll "be in touch" very soon.
The book ends with a diary entry, and Elena is sleeping in the locked car along with the men outside.
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