Notes: For Andy, who the original outline of this piece was written for a long time ago, and who was the one person who indulged in my Datherine whims on demand with a fervor not unlike my own.


"Katherine," he whispered, low and suggestive against the shell of her ear as she peppered soft kisses on his neck, his hands coming to cradle her face, a lover's tender embrace with a strong, confident grip so starkly different from the shaky, nervous hands of her formerly human lover—"There are six other bedrooms in this house; go find one."

She fell back against the expensive silk sheets, a scoff on her lips as Damon idly flipped another page in the journal. With a dark grimace and a languid roll of her shoulders, she propped herself back up against the headboard, her composure returning effortlessly, a sly smirk curved into her lips—"You feel nothing for me anymore, is that the story you're going with?"

Damon didn't respond immediately, but his grip on the leather tightened. There was acidic venom in his voice with just a hint of regret when he spat, "You said it yourself—I'm not the same naïve human I once was, Katherine. You don't know me, you don't own me and you certainly don't know what I feel for anyone anymore."

Katherine frowned, and he would've ignored her were there not a disturbingly frank sincerity in her eyes that Damon had never seen before. "I think I know you better than anyone ever has or ever will, Damon. And somewhere, underneath this wall of resistance you've blocked around yourself, you know this, and it broaches against a pride you didn't even know you possessed—not until you reached the bottom depths of my greatest betrayal to you…" she cocked her head slightly in rhetorical question, the next words slipping off her lips in a gentle whisper; "the greatest betrayal anyone has ever committed against you, isn't it?"

His sharp intake of breath was the only encouragement she needed. "Indeed, I'm sure I was not the first nor the last to break a sacred trust, but those people—they didn't quite understand you, not like I did. They failed to recognize the magnitude of their betrayal; some of them might've been unaware of a betrayal at all. You see, without access to a man's open, vulnerable and trusting heart clenched tight in your hands, you are truly incapable of crushing every aspect of his being."

His eyes never strayed from the pages, but the lines were blurry—he had long ago given up on reading them, his ears attuned to the slightest inflections of her dulcet tones.

"You've only ever given that heart to one person, only ever tethered that faith to one face… I was the only person ever capable of crushing your existence, ever knowledgeable on precisely how far I could push you until you shattered. And I exploited it—purposefully, shamelessly… to meet my own end. That, Damon, was the only true betrayal of your life, because I was the only one to own enough of you to break all of you."

His jaw locked from biting back a response—he would not engage this, he could not engage this—and he continued to avoid her line of sight, a hoarse sentiment heavy on his tongue that it took all his willpower to suppress.

As usual, she plucked the thoughts right from his mind and twisted them so eloquently until they were no longer his, but just another weapon in her expansive arsenal—"Yes, I know," she conceded sardonically, "You hate me." Her smile was bright, but not malicious. "Let me tell you a little something about hate, Damon. Pure hatred is disgust, contempt—and, more often than not—bred from resentment. Hatred in its simplest form is nothing more than mangled attraction. In some cases, hatred bears a stronger resemblance to interest than even obsessive infatuation. You could argue that hatred is infatuation in its highest and darkest form. But you see, at one time you felt only love for me—obsessive, demanding, encompassing love." Her brow quirked, and she placed her hand on his thigh, a warmth he would never again allow himself to cherish.

"And yet, now you claim that it lies only in hatred; hatred is a defense mechanism, the natural expression of a love that your pride vehemently denies…"

He reacted suddenly and violently by gripping her forearm, pulling her flush against his chest, but she didn't so much as flinch, staring into his cold, determined eyes for less than a flash of a second before she was thrown back against the headboard behind them, Damon's mouth savagely possessing her own, and she groaned, grabbing a fist full of his hair and tugging it hard until his eyes were staring into hers; a fire—a thick strand of tangible lust, anger, frustration, emotion—so very present in his dark eyes. She pressed herself against him and the friction created a delicious heat that spread down between her sex and she leaned her head back, giving him a coy, victorious smile.

He reacted with a roguish laugh and taunted, affecting his best Southern drawl—"Don't gloat, Miss Katherine—it's unbecoming of a lady."

Her parted lips opened in rebuttal, but he swallowed her words with the ferocity of his affections, a broken floodgate of emotion—of hatred?—that shook her to the very core. Taken aback by the fervor of Damon's ministrations, she shook her head as she took hold of her barrings and grabbed the nape of his neck, pushing herself off his chest.

Catching her breath, her voice husky, not at all controlled or practiced as it usually was—"Let's get something straight right now, Damon. I played your emotions like strings, like a finely tuned violin, an orchestrated symphony of wallow and despair, of longing and misfortune. Was some of it necessary? Unfortunately, yes. Do I regret a single moment of it? Not at all." She captured his lips again and kissed him deeply, their lips scorching with heat, red hot anger—desire?—at the unbelievable truth she was spilling. "And do you know why Damon? Because as much as I've loved you, I've hated you just the same. For as many times I've imagined embracing you, I've imagined torturing you. Because for a hundred and fifty odd years, I've punished you simply for the sake of it, and I've relished in every single moment of it."

He growled, grabbing a fist full of her curls, his ice blue eyes daring her to continue.

"But you never truly wanted love, did you Damon? You wanted infatuation, and you wanted me, and you wanted to hate. You crave hate, because love is unfulfilling, unsatisfying with its lackluster passions. You and I, we're meant to hate each other, because love was never passionate enough for who we were together… for what we were together. I spent a century and a half punishing you, Damon."

She smiled at him, all genuine honesty, confident and secure in displaying her vulnerability like only Katherine could be. "Now it's your turn; punish me, punish my entire being with every ounce of hate you feel pulsing in your body. And maybe then, only then, will you begin to understand what I truly feel for you…"

His voice cracked on this, a question burning in his throat that he never even considered would pass his lips—"You'd relinquish control… for me?"

She placed her hands on his face, hooking her leg under his and flipping them over so she was trapped under his strong, unyielding hold—submissive, vulnerable, a meal for him to devour in any way he pleased. "I'm not truly relinquishing anything, Damon, and we both know it. You're mine, love, and you've always been mine," she said, smoothing back the hair matted to his forehead in sweat with gentle affection; "But now, I'm giving you a chance I should've given you a long time ago."

He held her small frame in his shaking embrace, staring into her dark, expressive eyes and seeing nothing but earnest sincerity, her smile a sweet, saccharine seduction that made his stomach clench with hot familiarity; "Make me yours."