"Oh, wow." Chloe's eyes widened in amazement as the feathers floated all around her. "Okay, that's about the coolest thing I've ever seen."
Bonnie rolled her eyes, and yet her smile was pleased as she concentrated. "It's only a basic spell, but I've finally mastered it."
"Basic? It's levitation." Chloe couldn't keep the awe from her voice as she plucked a feather from the air and used it to tickle Bonnie's nose. "Bonnie Bennett, you rock."
"Thank you, thank you." Bonnie's grin grew as the feathers slowly lowered around them. "Grams has really been a lot of help. I wouldn't be able to even do this if it wasn't thanks to her."
"Sheila is awesomesauce, I'll agree to that." Chloe still kept the feather between her fingers.
"I'll let her know she has Chloe Alexander's seal of approval." Bonnie rolled her eyes in amusement. "She likes you. Says you have an 'old soul', and that's that I haven't told her why I'm so curious about reincarnation these days."
Chloe nodded, her smile failing her for a moment as she was reminded of the situation she faced.
Bonnie sensed the mood change and stole the feather from Chloe's hand. "So, I take the whole frownie face to mean that things haven't gotten any better with Jeremy."
Chloe's green gaze went to the girl that she was, against her better judgment, getting closer and closer to, and whom she might even consider a genuine friend and not just an ally. "Don't tell Elena I told you this, but I'm worried he might be doing drugs again."
Bonnie frowned. "Wait, what? Why?"
"I don't know, ever since I've been hogtied into joining the Mystic Pen and have had less time to spend with him after school he has been hanging out with his old friends again and you know that they are bad influences on him." Chloe was annoyed at how much she was worried about Jeremy. That guy was basically a pain in her butt. If he wanted to backslide into the arms of Vicki Donovan and her drug-induced passions, then Chloe should just let him. And yet she'd made so much progress with the guy, he'd be clean for so long, and the thought of Vicki Donovan being the devil on his shoulder tempting him back to the dark side made her want to growl.
"You can't be watching him twenty-four-seven, reincarnated lover or not." Bonnie made a face. "And, I mean, you have enough problems as is. It's not like he has these daydreams slash visions of Evelyn that totally envelope him at the most inconvenient of times."
It was times like these in which Chloe loved Bonnie Bennett. "You're right. If that little brat wants to act like a spoiled child because he wants attention then I really shouldn't indulge him, should I?"
"I never get over you calling him a brat, that's just so adorable," Bonnie snickered.
"It's what he is." Chloe rolled her eyes when her phone rang and she groaned when she saw the number flashing. "Oh god."
Bonnie glanced over. "Tyler?"
"His dad's computer is on the fritz again. I swear, if Mayor Lockwood takes care of this town the way he does that computer I'm surprised we haven't all died horribly." Chloe groaned as she reluctantly moved form Bonnie's comfortable bed. "I told him I'd gotten a ride to your place and to come pick me up whenever he was done doing whatever it is he does at this time of the evening."
"Football practice," Bonnie supplied the answer. "Caroline's the head cheerleader and they practice around the same time. Elena and I used to be cheerleaders as well but we've dropped out, much to Caroline's horror."
"I see. I'll make sure not to mention that topic then." Chloe grabbed her bag. "Remember that on Monday you have to be there for that interview Matthew Fell, for some reason, thought I was the best one to do."
"FYI, Matthew believes any girl with short hair is either lesbian or bisexual, and he's only doing this for his own perverse entertainment." Bonnie warned. "The fact that you're growing your hair out now is probably you just being in denial for him."
"He thinks I'm-?" Chloe scoffed before she brought her finger to her lips in contemplation. "Some of the comments he makes to me now make so much sense." She snorted. "Weird little pervert."
Bonnie couldn't hide her grin.
Sending Bonnie a last little wave, Chloe exited through the window, figuring that she was spending way too much time with Jeremy and that his bad habits were rubbing off on her. She didn't contemplate on that for long though as she moved towards Tyler Lockwood's car.
He rolled down the window and grinned at her. "There's such a thing as the front door."
"You're so rude I thought if I made you wait longer you'd start honking and betray the Mayor's son for the caveman he really is." She replied with a smirk.
"Ha. Ha." He flipped her the bird.
She smirked larger and didn't notice a car that belonged to one of Jeremy's stoner buddies coming around the bend as she winked at Tyler provokingly and reached for the passenger's door, opening it and throwing her bag onto the backseat.
"Hey hey!" Tyler yelped as the light inside the car came on, bathing them. "Careful with the leather."
"Oh god, you're such a guy," she groaned as she slid into his car and closed the door, the light turning off. "Next thing you'll be telling me is that you've named the car."
Tyler revved the engine. "She's so loud I'm figuring I should name her Chloe."
The blonde had only one answer for that. She smacked him up the back of his head. "Just drive."
"You need to remember that as the school's star reporter you need to keep the school's star athlete sweet so that he will keep giving you interviews." Tyler pulled out in front of a car, which was still a little behind him, and started driving.
"Will the 'school's star athlete' continue talking about himself in the third person?" Chloe wanted to know.
"You're seriously unbearable." And yet Tyler was grinning as he took the right, heading towards his home. "No wonder my parents like you so much."
"No, the reason they like me so much is because they're hoping some of my good ways will rub off on you." Chloe checked her phone.
"You realize that they think we're dating, right?"
Chloe dropped the phone onto her lap. "What?"
He snickered. "Don't look so shocked. You hurt my ego."
"It's big enough to take the beating." She glared at him. "Why do you believe they think we're dating?"
"Well, they know I'm not dating anyone else-."
"I think Vicki would counter that," Chloe murmured under her breath.
"-and dad told me the other day after you left: now son, that is the type of girl you bring home to your parents." Tyler made a face. "I got the shivers. It was almost as if he was telling me I better be dating you." He sidled Chloe with a sideways glance. "Please take as much offense as you want when I say that the thought of dating you sends shivers down my spine."
Her lips twitched in amusement. "The poor wolf cub scared of little red riding hood?"
"Little red riding hood?" He scoffed. "You're the devil."
Chloe threw her head back and laughed as the car that'd been behind them pulled up to their side. She covered her face and laughed harder, her whole body shaking with mirth. "You just make it so muchfun to torture you!"
Tyler pouted. "No, you're just Satan. I refuse to believe any other reason."
She threw her head back and laughed. "Okay then, I admit it."
Tyler smirked as he stepped on the gas and they continued snarking with each other all the way to his home, the guy reaching in the back to grab her bag as she slid out.
Chloe noticed Mrs Lockwood waving at them from the window, and she waved back. "I seriously love your mother." Her smile was pleasant. "How did she ever give birth to a miscreant like you?"
"One day you'll have a child, and by god, he better be as mouthy against you as you are against me." Tyler bemoaned.
"I'm going to annoy you and torture you until you bring Vicki Donovan here and tell your parents who you're really dating." Chloe replied, hands on her hips. "In fact, I should tell your parents now so that they don't keep believing something like-."
Tyler grabbed her arm and yanked her back towards him, knocking the girl into his chest and causing her to grab hold of him to keep from falling. "Sullivan, you open your mouth about Vicki and I'll-."
The door opened to reveal the Mayor, who grinned at them. "Now now Tyler, let's not give the neighbors a show." He motioned them in. "Chloe, you don't know how much I appreciate this."
Chloe smiled at the older man. "No prob, Mayor Lockwood."
Mrs Lockwood appeared at the door. "Chloe honey. The new dresses I got from New York have just arrived and I need some help picking out what to wear Sunday for the festival."
Tyler pulled her a little closer, his face a smile towards his parents and yet his voice filled with terror. "Oh dear god. I think they're gonna force me to marry you."
Chloe gave him a 'playful' slap to his abs which was more forceful than it seemed, the girl finally getting free when he 'oofed', and she smiled as she went towards Mrs Lockwood. "It will be my pleasure to go through those dresses with you, Mrs Lockwood. Do we do that before or after I check on Mayor Lockwood's computer?"
"Before, it's obviously more important," Mrs Lockwood sent her husband a teasing smile as she ushered Chloe inside.
Mayor Lockwood chuckled as he watched the women. "She's such a good girl, Tyler."
Tyler gave his dad a shaky smile as the man patted his back in approval.
As the door closed behind them, no one noticed the beat up car parked a little ways down the street, or the group inside of it, watching.
-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v -v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-
"I think the Mayor's in love with you."
Chloe coughed as she choked on her water.
Zach Salvatore, her guardian and the man pretending to be her uncle, gave her an apologetic smile. "And that was my last attempt at being funny."
Chloe pounded her chest with her fist. "I'm sorry to ruin your future in comedy but it really wasn't funny, Zach - it was highly inappropriate though."
"Oh, I didn't mean in that way." Zach flushed. "I just meant that I'm on the Town Council with him as I am a part of a founding family, and he does nothing but compliment you whenever we talk." Zach cleared his throat and tried for subtle, but didn't manage it in the least bit. "He says that you and his son have become very close. Tyler is a very good guy, a star athlete and definitely going places. And while they don't know your real last name, it wouldn't be the first time a Sullivan was linked to a Lockwood, either."
Chloe was really beginning to regret not having brought up Vicki at the Lockwood's tonight, although Zach's comment about Sullivans and Lockwoods made her seriously curious. Still, she needed to make one thing perfectly clear, to everyone it would seem: "I am not dating Tyler."
"That's a pity." Zach made a face as he cleared his throat, awkward. "Have a good night."
"You too." Chloe called after him before she made her way to her room and then closed the door, giving a little jump when she turned around to find Jeremy leaning against the window, a frown on his face. "That's it. I'm buying you a bell and putting it around your neck!"
Jeremy didn't look up from his black fingernails. "So, how was your dinner with the in-laws?"
"Not you too." Chloe rolled her eyes as she threw her bag on the ground and went to the bed, dropping onto it tiredly.
"Please, the whole town is talking about it. About how children of the two founding families are hooking up and being so cute and perfect for each other." Jeremy rolled his eyes. "How do you think this makes Vicki feel? She is his real girlfriend but has to hear everyone talking about how wonderful you two are together and she can't say anything about it. She wants nothing more than to be recognized, by him more than anything else, but not only won't he do that, he's bringing you to his house every other night."
"Hey, I tried to make Tyler tell his parents about her tonight." Chloe defended from the mattress. "And anyway, every time I've gone to his house it's been because of either school work-in which we keep getting paired up together-or because his parents want me over, and you have to keep the Mayor sweet." She turned onto her back. "And anyway, I don't think Vicki has a right to bitch about these things when she's sleeping with you on the side."
Jeremy's eyes narrowed. "I'm not sleeping with Vicki."
Chloe leveled him with a look.
"I'm not! And I haven't since that time I told you-which I still can't believe I did." Jeremy grumbled.
Chloe rolled her eyes. "You didn't even remember that you slept with her so how could you be so certain you haven't done it again?"
"Because I was drugged up at that time and I haven't touched those things since I came clean!" Jeremy snapped at her before his eyes narrowed. "Wait a minute. Is this your way of asking if I'm doing drugs again?"
"You hang out with those druggie friends of yours, and lately you've been acting weird." Chloe wasn't about to apologize. "Bad company is what got you in trouble in the first place."
"I can't believe you'd think-," he ran his hand over his face as he took in a deep breath. "Chloe, I promised you I'd get clean and I have. You have to trust me that I'll stay that way. For you if not for me, because you need someone to be there for you. You told me that. That you had no one to rely on but yourself, remember?" He snapped. "Or was this before you became the latest in Tyler Lockwood's harem?"
"Oh dear god Tyler and I are not a couple!" Chloe threw her hands in the air as she pushed up from the bed.
"Then what exactly are you?" Jeremy pressed. "Because it looked tonight like a guy bringing his girl to meet his deliriously happy parents! Hell! You spend more time at his house than you ever do at mine! And you know his parents better than you know Aunt-!"
"Tonight?" Chloe picked up on that, eyes narrowed as she turned to face him. "Were you spying on me again?"
"No." Jeremy fixed her with a hot glare. "This was coincidental. I was out with my 'druggie friends' as you call them and we happened to drive passed Tyler's house as you guys were going inside." His face darkened. "Vicki was there you know. Do you even get how much this situation hurts her?"
"I don't give a crap about Vicki Donovan or her feelings!" And that might be very harsh on Chloe's part but she really didn't. "I don't like her. I think she's bad for you. I think she's bad for herself. And I am not going to tiptoe around my life to make hers more comfortable." She poked her finger into his chest angrily. "It's her own damned fault that all of this is happening. She needs to tell Tyler to man up and tell his parents the truth about who he is dating instead of sulking around and acting like the victim when she has just as much fault in the fact that no one knows about them."
"You sound just like Thaddeus right now." Jeremy shook his head. "Can you two just stop being so cold and levelheaded in situations that should be more-."
"Emotional?" She'd stopped trying to dissuade Jeremy from entering "Evelyn Mode" a long time ago, and had learnt to counter him by entering "Thaddeus Mode". "You and Evelyn are emotional enough for the both of us."
"Okay, now you're entering bitch mode." Jeremy glared down at her.
Chloe sneered up at him. "I hate how tall you are. You annoying, bratty, tall guy!"
"And I hate how damned short you are! You shouldn't be that tiny and so damned infuriating! It's cheating!" He snapped viciously.
The two continued to glare at each other before backing down and looking away.
Chloe sighed and turned to face him and apologize when she realized she wasn't looking at Jeremy anymore, but instead was staring at Elena… Or better yet at her doppelganger, the vampire Katherine. "Oh great, you again."
Katherine, decked in all her socialite glory, raised an eyebrow as she sashayed closer. "Did little Miss Gilbert and you have another argument?" Her lips curled. "She is the only one who can get you in this sort of mood."
Chloe looked around her and discovered that she wasn't in her bedroom any longer, instead she was on the balcony of the Salvatore's home, and there was music playing inside. "Shouldn't you be inside playing Damon and Stefan off of each other so that you can get your sick little entertainment at their expense?"
"My, my, you are in a temper tonight." And Katherine seemed to be enjoying it as she gazed up at the stars. "And here I was about to tell you that George is willing to meet with you and join in our little alliance."
"George Lockwood." Chloe clarified, having seen Tyler's ancestor in these visions more than once.
"Yes, Georgie Porgie." Katherine turned to lean her back against the railing. "Considering you know about his family's curse as well, which you will have to explain to me how you knew that the Lockwoods run the risk of going… furry… He is more than anxious to talk to you, especially since you and I are in this little scheme together and it would do him well to do have the both of us on his side."
Right. The furry family curse. This was also something Chloe had learnt thanks to these memories. Apparently the Lockwoods had a family curse on them that if a male of their bloodline was responsible for someone's death, they'd become a werewolf, or the death would trigger their werewolf gene. She still didn't have all the details but that was enough for now.
The blonde raised an eyebrow. "So in other words, you're blackmailing him."
"Nonsense. I was persuasive, that is all." Katherine gave her a flirtatious smile. "You have the worse opinion of me, Thackery."
Whenever they were alone, Katherine liked to use that name, Thaddeus' real name, in an obvious move to remind him that she was the only one who knew (at least to some degree) who he really was.
Chloe gazed away from her. "Well, if that's all you wanted to tell me, Stef and Damon are probably searching everywhere for you." She shook her head. "They're my friends, but why they care for you is beyond my understanding."
"You break my heart." Katherine gasped as she brought her hand to said heart. "I am nothing short of adorable."
Chloe snorted and gazed out ahead of her in the darkness.
Katherine laid her hand on her shoulder. "Thackery, if that human girl is nothing but frustration to you, you know where my room is."
"And what? You expect me to want to queue up along with everyone else waiting outside your door?" Chloe snorted. "No thank you."
Katherine frowned darkly. "You are gonna give in and she is going to drive you to it." She then smirked. "And when you do, I will never let you forget you did."
"I didn't realize you were psychic on top of annoying." Chloe tilted her head towards brunette. "If I want company tonight, I'll visit Emily."
Katherine snorted. "Do not think that I do not know that the relationship you have with my maid is in no way sexual." She leaned closer, voice lowered. "You are just smart like me and know that it is wise to keep on the good side of a Bennett witch."
Chloe's eyes widened. Wait. What? This was new information! Katherine's pretty maid was Bonnie's ancestor and a witch?
Katherine trailed her hand up her shoulder. "Thackery, you and I think similarly. We are both survivors. If we truly joined forces-."
Chloe grabbed Katherine's arm with Thaddeus' mysterious strength as she wrenched Katherine's hand from her. "I'm going back inside." With that she walked into the ball, the lights shining brightly…
…and then Chloe blinked and found herself standing in front of the bathroom, like a zombie. She brought her hand to her head and groaned.
"Is it over? Are you okay?" Jeremy's voice was tainted with immense worry as he maneuvered her towards the bed and sat her down. "What did you see this time?"
"Apparently Bonnie's ancestor came to Mystic Falls as Katherine's maid, and she was a witch too. She was a powerful one as well, if Katherine can be believed." Chloe left out the vampire and werewolf part since she had yet to share that with anyone, but mentioned the witch part since Jeremy already knew about Bonnie's abilities.
Jeremy sighed as he knelt in front of her. "I'm getting worried about your visions. They're starting to take over."
"I think they're trying to tell me something." Chloe was sure of that. "But I don't know exactly what."
"How about that my ancestor was a total bitch?" Jeremy wanted to know. "Because from what you've told me about Katherine Pierce, I seriously detest her."
Chloe's lips twitched. "You're feeling Evelyn's emotions, Jere."
He nodded. "Could be. But it sounds like she had reason to hate this woman too."
Chloe sighed and leaned down to press her forehead against Jeremy's. "I hate fighting with you."
He let out a heavy sigh as well. "Me too."
"I'm not dating Tyler Lockwood."
"I wouldn't want to date Tyler Lockwood."
"Really?" Jeremy asked softly. "Because he seems to be everyone's ideal. I mean, he's rich, his dad's the Mayor, he's the star athlete, he's apparently handsome, and he's from a founding family."
"You're from a founding family and you mightn't be as ridiculously loaded as Tyler is but the trust fund your parents left for you is nothing to scoff at." She had no idea why she was encouraging him like this when she was the one who was keeping things as 'only friends' between them, but it killed her to hear Jeremy say those things about Tyler when she knew he was using them to compare against himself and finding himself wanting. "Plus, I've never liked the jocks in my old school anyway. Also, Tyler can't draw for crap." She smiled when Jeremy let out a little chuckle. "Also…" She hesitated as she took in a deep breath. "I wouldn't scoff at your looks even on your worse days. You're unfairly handsome."
Jeremy went still before he cleared his throat. "You-you really think I'm handsome?"
"Don't make me say that again." She closed her eyes, totally uncomfortable and embarrassed. "And stop pretending to be so surprised. You were the most beautiful woman in Mystic Falls as Evelyn, so why would it be so shocking that you're not exactly hideous now?"
He was silent before he chuckled. "So Thaddeus thought I was the most beautiful woman in Mystic Falls?"
"Evelyn, you compliment-hog!" Chloe laughed in embarrassment as she tapped Jeremy softly up the side of his head.
Jeremy chuckled and leaned into the touch before he cleared his throat.
"Oh, and you better have something 'civil war' period to wear, because you're my date to the Mystic Festival on sunday."
Jeremy pulled away, eyes wide. "What? I am? Since when?" He looked shocked. "I thought you weren't interested in that sort of stuff."
"I'm not," she clarified. "But Caroline is forcing me to go with her, Elena and Bonnie. I know it's not your type of thing either so I was just gonna go by myself and sneak out of there the first opportunity I got, but Mrs Lockwood totally blindsided me tonight while helping her pick out the right dress for the event, by asking if Tyler and I had made sure our costumes matched since we wouldn't want to clash with each other." Chloe ignored Jeremy's narrowed eyes at that. "I couldn't figure out why she wanted to know that until I realized that she thought we were going to go together, and if that happened there was no way that the whole town could be convinced I'm not dating him, so I told her that Tyler hadn't asked me and I was going with someone else, you."
Jeremy hesitated. "And if Tyler had asked you?"
Chloe snickered at the thought. "Never would've happened."
"But if it had? Would you have gone with him?" Jeremy pressed.
No. She most probably would not have accepted the invitation.
Chloe eyed Jeremy thoughtfully. "Does it matter? I'm telling you that you are going with me. Not him."
Jeremy didn't look too happy as his gaze slid away.
"Jere." Chloe reached for his face and brought his troubled gaze back to her. "I do not like Tyler Lockwood."
Jeremy nodded as he tried to shift his gaze away once more.
She wouldn't let him, tightening her grip on him, eyes narrowed. "I don't."
Jeremy stared up at her face before he let his lips curl in a small smile. "He seems a bit scared of you, anyway."
Chloe chuckled. "He's a smart guy despite appearances."
Jeremy's smile turned more genuine as he looked up at her. "So, we're going to the Mystic Festival together, huh?"
Chloe nodded, feeling a little worried. "Should I worry? I've obviously never gone to it before. What am I supposed to expect? "
Jeremy merely smiled at her.