A/N: I do not own Elijah or the Vampire Diaries. Some mention of abuse. I know I probably shouldn't start another with two still unfinished but this has been bugging me all week and before I knew it I had 10 chapters so here it is anyway.
Shut out the pain
Elijah had never before been faced with a conundrum such as the one that faced him now. He often wondered why he put himself in meddlesome situations but his latest was certainly different. He had been out of town and therefore away from one of his estates for a few weeks, and had only returned because rumor reached him of a powerful witch family that could kill his brother, Klaus. With night coming soon and lack of the want to travel, he'd made his way to the manor he'd purchased just outside of Chicago.
It had been the scent of fresh and unfamiliar blood that'd captured his attention, along with a broken window in the rear of the house. The lights were off and nothing was out-of-place as he'd entered his home curiously. Not many would be foolish enough to steal from an Original, his reputation preceded him. Elijah walked the fine line between ripper and good, usually his morals and code of honor kept him in check enough to do so. He also banished most emotion from his mind, existing each day for as long as he'd lived took its toll otherwise.
As he'd reached a bedroom following the scent of the intruder, he'd been surprised to see the form of a young girl, curled deep into the blankets of the four-poster, fast asleep. He moved closer, listening to the steady breathing as the girl dreamed. She had dark brown hair that brushed her shoulders, long lashes and fair skin marred by a welt on the cheek facing him. Her small hands bunched in the covers, pulling them close to her as if for comfort.
Elijah examined the girl silently, unwilling to disturb her slumber. He operated by whatever means necessary in order to insure that he got what he wanted, and had no interest in friends, they only died eventually anyway. He knew next to nothing about children, and from the looks of it, she was about eight. There wasn't much he could do until she awoke, but that also brought complications. Where was she from, and why had she broken in just to sleep? All he could see of her clothing was a worn t-shirt, and she wasn't dirty so he assumed her to be a runaway. Judging by the welt on her face, she had come from a bad home, unless she'd harmed herself in some other way.
He gently sat on the edge of the bed, still watching the dozing girl, careful not to wake her just yet. Nevertheless, she moaned in her sleep and turned over, revealing the other half of her features, and a blooming black eye. Now he had no doubt that whatever drove his guest to his manor had been unpleasant. Ought he to wake her to find out, and then send her on her way? He was no good with people; his mannerisms often portrayed him as stiff and out of date for today's age. He zeroed in on the source of the bleeding, a bandaged cut on her upper arm, and as he glanced around he saw that she'd placed a jacket and a backpack near the bed beside a pair of sneakers.
He reached for the jacket and studied the dried blood where her arm had been wounded, then replaced it to look at the backpack. He noticed a name embroidered upon it and ran his fingertips over it, so her name was Ryssa. He faltered before setting the bag back down, while he did wish to know more about her, he respected privacy. It seemed his choices were either to wake her and question her, or allow her to sleep and catch her in the morning before she took off. He looked back to the girl, Ryssa, before standing and leaving the room. The girl looked as if she had not slept in a while and he mused that he would consider this newest development over tea. She could rest awhile longer.