'The Vampire Diaries' sneak peek: Damon and Elena get close in 'The New Deal'

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tvd-newdeal-10.jpgJust a few more days of suffering before "The Vampire Diaries" returns to our screens on Jan. 5! In the meantime, we've finally got some photos of the first episode back, "The New Deal."

When we were last in Mystic Falls, Klaus had just realized that at Katherine's urging, Stefan stole the coffins containing Klaus's siblings (and, perhaps, a few other old friends). Stefan probably knew that Klaus would take his anger out on Damon and Elena -- but unfortunately for his brother and the former love of his life, he doesn't care.

Klaus is on a rampage, though, and no one in town is safe -- Tyler, in particular, is in trouble, given his new connection to Klaus, and the fact that self-control isn't exactly Tyler's strongest suit.

Jeremy, still reeling from losing Anna, Vicki, and Bonnie in one fell swoop, is teetering on the edge of another downward spiral. He even inadvertently lands Alaric in the hospital. Alaric's ring isn't working particularly well anymore, which would be a bummer, if it wasn't for his hot doctor... who just might surprise you.

There are a few things that stand out to us about these photos. First of all, Damon and Elena look awfully cozy -- getting hotter, perhaps? Also, we're glad to see Tyler and Jeremy connecting again after their friendship had a bit of a false start in the beginning of Season 2.

We've got to wonder, though -- why do Klaus and Damon appear to be sharing a friendly drink at casa Salvatore? Hmmm.

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Photo/Video credit: The CW