Damon, with Elena and Matt, allows Stefan into the Dark Dimension to set him free from the prison he has been tricked into. When Matt sees Elena and Damon getting too close, he turns back and sends Bonnie and Meredith to inform Elena about what’s happening back home.
Bonnie and Meredith join Elena as all three are forced to enter as the property of Damon. Elena and Damon exchange blood many times throughout this book and grow closer. Stefan is imprisoned, and only Elena can free him by finding the hidden halves of the kitsune key to his cell.
Back home, Matt is hiding from the law and trying to fight the evil kitsune who are destroying their community. He enlists the help of the local doctor and her nephew, the boarding house owner, and Isobel’s grandmother, who was once a priestess, to keep their home together.
Elena and Damon go to Stefan’s prison and free him. Elena then feeds him her blood. As they leave, a good kitsune gives Elena a bouquet for Stefan. Damon’s curiosity gets the better of him, and the flower turns him human with one smell. Stefan and Damon wish that they could switch places with each other: Stefan as a human, and Damon as a vampire.