I didn't mean to fall in love with Damon, it just kind of happened. One April morning I just woke up and realized that there was no two ways about it. I had been in love with Damon for ten damned years, and denial just wasn't cutting it anymore. I tried to forget how absored I could be in his deep green eyes, or how his dark hair fluffed out at just the right angle most mornings. Everything I had pent up exploded that morning, after I had the best dream of my life.

Now, I'm not usually one to believe in doomsday prophecys. I just had a nightmare that the world really was ending in 2012. The sky was black as night, and it was raining ash. I was nearby my local high school, when I started running through the deepening piles of snow and ash. Somehow I just knew that I had to get home, to be with my family when death came to whisk me away. Tremors shook the earth beneath my feet, and no matter how fast I ran the darkening streets only wound longer. My heart was drumming against my chest, and my hands shook with cold as I shielded my eyes from the falling ash. There wasn't a star nor a hint of the sun in the sky, I didn't even know if it was day or night.

Raspy breaths escaped me, and all that was keeping me going was knowing the end was near. Time dwindled with each passing second. Mom, Dad, and Jamie were all waiting for me at home. I wouldn't die without them, I kept tellling myself. I can't die alone, nobody should have to endure that. Panic shook me, but I didn't stop running. Every step was slower than the last, and by the time my sweet home was in sight I was running in slow motion. Frozen in midstep, I helplessly pushed forward.

I reached closer and closer. Up each impossible step, onto the frozen porch, and finally wrapping my hand around the icy doorknob. When I stepped into my house the slow motion of the dream passed, and time flowed normally. The house was warm and illuminated, there wasn't a light that wasn't on. Tension still twisted my stomach, I could sense something was amiss. No dogs greeted me in the doorway, and voices called out to ask who was there.

I didn't have to ask if anyone was home, I knew I was alone.

Time had run short, and when I looked out my window the sky was alight with a great billowing flame rising in the distance. Being home meant nothing when there was no one to make it home. Home was where my family was, and they were not in that house. An overwhelming sense of doom hit me like a bag of bricks.

"I'm going to die alone." I told myself, "It's over."

Hot tears stung my frozen face, but I did not wipe them away. I just walked into the kitchen and sat on the hard tile floor, hugging my knees to my chest. Resigning oneself to death is a strange feeling, especially when you're sure that it's real. I gave myself one last glance out the window, and I saw the growing flame licking at the grey sky. Death was edging its way closer to me.

The side door flung open. "Alice!" A voice cried out.

When I had sat on the floor, I thought that the last person I wanted to see was my mom. To thank her for raising me, and loving me. I was wrong.

Damon rushed over to my side and stood me up. My knees were buckling, and with one last cry of terror I wrapped my arms around him. He held me tight against his body, shielding me from all the fears that had mounted my consience.

Everything was better. All my worry, fear, and anger washed away in an instant. Damon was holding me, he was here. I wasn't alone anymore. It was ok to be afraid, but I didn't have a reason anymore. The house groaned, and I knew in that second that my life was going to end. But I wasn't afraid. I just held onto Damon, and let the warm tears pour down my cheeks as the house fell in around us.

That morning when I woke up from the dream, everything had changed.