IAN SOMERHALDER TALKS DAMON AND ELENA’S NEW ROMANCE!

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The folks who make up The Vampire Diaries’ fan community are a rabid bunch: They’re even nominated for their own People’s Choice Award. “Our fans are the most extraordinary group,” says exec producer Julie Plec, “and they are very vocal.” There should be plenty of chatter now that Elena (Nina Dobrev) has officially hooked up with bad boy Damon (Ian Somerhalder), making Team Delena rapturous. And those Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Elena devotees? Not so much. “I will probably have to hide for a while!” jokes Plec.

That’s advice Damon might want to take once his brother Stefan finds out about the tryst. (“He’ll be in for a shock,” says Plec.) But first, we’ll let Somerhalder revel in his character’s juicy new story line.

TV Guide Magazine: How did it feel to finally have “hot vampire sex,” as Nina called it, with Elena in the November 29 episode?

Somerhalder: The fans — and I — have been begging for that for a long time. It’s payoff for them, but there are a lot of people out there, particularly dudes, who think Elena would be much better off if she were rid of both [Salvatore brothers].

IAN AT BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL SOCIETY FUNDRAISER IN LAFAYETTE

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Ian Somerhalder posted a sweet photo of himself and a dog at a kissing booth at the Best Friends Animal Society’s annual Strut Your Mutt fundraiser on Saturday (September 22). The Vampire Diaries star is teaming up with the charity – held in Lafayette, Louisiana – to try to raise $150,000 for a project which will go to abused animals and a teaching facility for kids who have bullied others.

He Tweeted: “Whoa! Struttin’Mutt! He needs a home! Please adopt Raj! I’ve kissed every – ok almost every inch of him;)Whoa! Struttin’Mutt! He needs a home! Please adopt Raj! I’ve kissed every – ok almost every inch of him”

“I really believe in Best Friends Animal Society and their mission of ‘No More Homeless Pets,” said Ian in a press release. “Their passion for helping pets really inspired me to work towards building an animal sanctuary through the ISF. Our sanctuary will be a safe place for all types of awesome creatures, including abused and abandoned pets.”

As for fans of The Vampire Diaries – The CW series premieres on October 11.