*Warning* This story is rated M for a reason. Strong language, substance abuse, and graphic smut/lemons are included. Consider yourself warned now.
*Disclaimer* I do not own characters or anything directly related to The Vampire Diaries.
My fingers trembled as I tried to loop the black thread through the tiny hook of the needle. I had missed 18 times so far. I ran the thread across my tongue again to smooth the frayed ends and tried again. The tip of the thread very slowly began to ease through the hook when suddenly a spasm ran through my hand, causing me to drop both the needle and thread.
"Fuck!" I shouted as I dropped down on my knees to find them.
It had only been a day since my last high, but my heroin addiction was at its strongest and the shakes had already fucking started. I needed to shoot up desperately, but my wallet was empty.
"Just once I'd like something to go fucking right," I mumbled to myself as my hands swept across the dirty alley ground, searching for the sewing needle.
I sat up on my knees and turned toward the male voice. A guy I recognized by the name of Tyler was strolling toward me. I didn't like him. He was always too cocky.
"What the fuck to do you want?" I snapped. I was a bitch when I was going through withdrawals. Most people recognized the signs and stayed away.
He laughed as he came closer. "I see you're ready for me. Already on your knees." He pawed his junk through his jeans.
"Fuck you," I replied and went back to searching.
He laughed again and squatted beside me. "What cha' looking for?"
"I dropped a needle."
"Whoa, baby, you don't want to use that thing after it's been on this ground."
I closed my eyes to suppress my urge to punch him. "Not that kind of needle," I responded through gritted teeth. "A sewing needle. I have a hole in my jacket pocket."
"You carry a sewing needle around with you?" he asked incredulously.
"It's a travel kit. And yes, I carry it around in my purse." I moved half an inch to the right and as I did, the streetlight shone over my shoulder and glinted off the silver sheen of the needle. "Fuck yes," I whispered to myself and picked it up. Before I had the chance to lose it again, I opened up the travel kit, stuck the needle in its pouch, and put it back in my purse. I stood up and Tyler did the same.
"What do you want, Tyler?" I asked, not even trying to hide the annoyance in my tone.
He glanced over his shoulder, and then looked around me before moving in closer. "I heard you were illin'," he said quietly. His eyes roamed over my body from head to toe. "And by the looks of it, they weren't lying."
By the looks of it? I looked down at my body. Physically, I didn't look any different yet. I mean, of course the drugs made me too thin. My black skinny jeans didn't cling to me like they were supposed to and my leather jacket basically engulfed my upper body, but the withdrawal hadn't changed anything obvious. I wasn't even shaking that bad yet. I narrowed my eyes. "And who's going around saying that? It's only been a day."
He shrugged and dismissed my question. "Just people. But look, back at my place, I scored some sugar if you wanna' do up."
My heartbeat instantly started to race. Yes, I definitely wanted to "do up" but I hid my excitement. Here was my opportunity to get a fix, but one of the first things I learned when I started this game was that people didn't play for free. "I don't have any money and you know that," I answered. "What do you want in return?"
A sickening smirk danced at his lips and he kind of swayed as he shrugged again. "I mean, I don't know. I figured maybe if I did this for you, you would do…something for me. I thought we could figure out the details back at my place."
The muscles in my jaws tightened. Sex. Of course. Only a few times in my life I had stooped low enough to pleasure a man for my drugs, but each of those times were with my boyfriend turned drug dealer. I had never even touched alcohol before getting with him, but very quickly he had me hooked on weed and then cocaine and then my current addiction, heroin. When he had me right where he wanted me, he started refusing to hook me up until I did a little something for him. That game got really old, really fast and I left him.
"I don't do that, Tyler," I finally answered in a flat tone.
He nodded slowly to himself. "I figured you would say that." I watched as he reached around into his back pocket and pulled out a tiny, clear, plastic bag. "If you won't have sex with me, maybe you'll do a little something else?"
My eyes widened at the sight of the bag. I reached out to take it from him, but he jerked it away.
"Nah ah ah," he chided, "Like I said, this is if you do something for me. I mean, this shit ain't cheap."
I glared at him knowing my resolve was failing, especially with the bag not a foot away. "What do you want?"
I ground my teeth together as I stared at him. Was I even seriously considering this? If I was being honest with myself, I was. I mean, I'm a fucking heroin addict and the farthest thing from a saint. Seems like sucking him off would be the least of my problems.
"Let me see the bag," I said and held out my hand.
He eyed me suspiciously. "Why?"
"I want to make sure it's not literal sugar, Tyler. I'm not stupid."
He grinned, sensing that he was about to get his way. He tossed the bag to me and I wrapped my hand tightly around the smooth plastic, my body aching to consume what was inside. Going a few hours without the substance made me sick, going a full day without it submerged me in my own personal hell.
Gingerly, I held it in front of my face and frowned at the off-white powder. It wasn't even pure. Was it even worth it then? Degrading myself for a tainted bag of heroin? I rotated it several times as I considered the offer before me.
"So?" he asked slowly. "Do we have a deal or not?"
I stared at the powder for a moment longer before sighing and shoving it into my jacket pocket. Tainted heroin was better than no heroin at all.
He laughed. "Hell yes." His hand went down to his jeans and he began to pull down the zipper.
I closed my eyes and slowly bent to my knees. I was going to make this quick and he was going to be lucky if I didn't bite him.
Just as he was undoing his button, a loud crash echoed off the alley walls behind me and Tyler's head jerked up at the sound. "Shit," he cursed under his breath before turning and taking off running, struggling to keep his unbuttoned, unzipped pants up.
I turned around and saw the lid of a trash can roll in a crescent shape back toward the can it came from before wobbling and falling down, like a spun coin. I searched frantically for whatever had caused Tyler to run away. This town was full of guys worse than Tyler. If Tyler felt the need to run away, then I probably should, too.
Before I made out the figure, I heard his voice. "Elena?"
I sighed and dropped back on my bent knees, relief washing over me.
I heard his footsteps approach and stop behind me. "Please tell me you were not about to do what I'm thinking."
I closed my eyes and took another deep breath. "How can I be of service today, Detective?"
His hand gripped under my elbow suddenly and he pulled me to my feet. He spun me around to face him and I immediately recognized the disapproving look. "How many more highs do you think it'll take to kill you?" he asked bluntly.
I rolled my eyes. "I guess we'll find out when my check from the department comes in." He opened his mouth to respond but I cut him off. "You just don't like the thought of losing your precious C.I. Other than that, Damon, you could care less when I died."
I had been a confidential informant for Mr. Salvatore for nearly a year. One afternoon, my ex-boyfriend took me to a place he called "the warehouse" to get high and then left to get some booze. Luckily for him, he conveniently forgot to pick me back up and the next thing I knew, cops surrounded the place. On me personally, I had two bags of cocaine. I didn't know, however, that the back room was packed floor to ceiling with the substance. I was the only one in the warehouse and the only one to get busted for it.
After hours and hours of interviews with the cops, they finally believed me when I said I had no idea it was there. They then came up with a deal for me that if I helped them catch who did own the drugs in the warehouse, my slate would be wiped clean. A month later, the man was in jail and I no longer had a record.
I agreed to continue helping the detectives out after that, though, in return for money. Each time I gave them a worthwhile tip, they gave me $500.
He sighed. "I'm not concerned with losing my C.I, Miss Gilbert, I've got plenty more, but I've already told you that the next time you get busted, you're going to jail. There will be no more deals."
"I promise you, Mr. Salvatore… that I won't get busted," I responded, and leaned back against the wall, folding my arms across my chest and bending one leg back to rest against the bricks. I could feel my muscles starting to tremor again and this position would keep me steady.
His ice blue eyes held my gaze and I could feel an entirely different shiver creep across my spine.
Damon Salvatore was one of the youngest cops to make detective in the history of Mystic Falls. He was only four years older than me, 23. Most of the guys his age were still rookies. Damon, however, had helped nab a serial killer that had run untouched for twenty years, successfully closing eighteen cold case files, during the first six months of his law enforcement career. He had been on television and everything.
But besides the obvious way he excelled at his job, physically he surpassed even the hottest male models. He was often wearing black, like now, and it suited him just fine. His v-neck shirts always hung just tight enough to reveal the chiseled outlines of his toned abs and whenever he moved, the muscles in his arms flexed. His cheekbones were high and the structure of his jaw was angled to perfection and a near permanent 5 o'clock shadow decorated it. His lips were soft looking with a slight pout and his eyes were nothing short of entrancing. His dark brown hair was always perfectly messy with a few pieces falling into his eyes.
If he wasn't a cop, I just might have tried to date him.
But the fact remained he was a cop. And a nosy one at that. The more he got to know me, the more he started getting into my business and taking note of my addiction. He had threatened just about all of my dealers, making it that much more difficult for me to score.
He shook his head slightly and exhaled once more before reaching into his coat pocket and pulling out a picture. He held it in front of me. "Do you know her?"
I looked down and instantly recognized the girl. "Yes."
"Who is she?"
"Vicki Donovan," I answered honestly. As I stared at the paper, white spots appeared across the page and I felt the signs of a headache coming on. Just perfect. I needed to get rid of Damon fairly quickly. Usually during my withdrawals, I got the shakes, then a headache, then a wave of nausea followed by intense vomiting and more muscle spasms. I needed to use the stuff in my pocket before it got to that point.
"When's the last time you saw her?"
"I don't know."
"Think about it, Elena," he prompted.
I closed my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose with my thumb and index finger. Damon really needed to leave.
I tried to focus on his question. When was the last time I saw Vicki Donovan? I sighed. "I don't know. Maybe a week ago? I visited a friends," also known as my dealer, "and she had been there."
He lowered the picture. "What was she doing at this…friends?" He knew it wasn't just a friend. He always knew.
I thought back to that night. I had literally been at the house for maybe five minutes; just in long enough to get my drugs. "She was…" I tried to picture her face in the house to recall what she had been doing. My dealer had been on the couch in front of the coffee table with his supplies, his brother was in the kitchen; I heard him laughing, and Vicki had been…Oh yeah. All I had seen of Vicki really was her feet sticking out from behind the kitchen wall. She had been on her knees. And by the way my dealers brother said her name, I'm pretty positive she wasn't cleaning anything up, just making more of a mess. "She was hanging out with my friends brother."
He narrowed his eyes. "Just like you were hanging out tonight?"
My lips pressed into a tight line. I didn't like being compared to Vicki Donovan. She was more into this shit than I was. She would do abso-fucking-lutely anything for a hit. I was nothing like her…or at least I liked to think I wasn't.
"That was the last time you saw her?" he continued. I nodded. "Well, I'm gonna' need the name of your friend and his brother." He pulled out a pen and a small notebook.
I bit down on my lower lip, something I did whenever I started to get stressed. If I gave him their names, I was positive I'd no longer have a reputable dealer. "I don't know their names," I lied.
He looked up from the notebook with a raised eyebrow. "You don't know their names?"
He tapped on the notebook with his pen a few times and I knew I wouldn't like whatever he was thinking about. "Tell me their names, Elena, or I will arrest you for prostitution."
My jaw dropped. "Prostitution?" I shouted. "Damon, look at me, you know I don't have any money! If I were a prostitute, wouldn't I have money?" I shoved off the wall and started to walk away from him. I was done with this conversation. Damon would be lucky if I ever gave his department another tip again.
As I walked past him, I heard a soft tap on the ground and we both looked down.
Damon bent down and picked up the small baggie between two fingers. Fuck. I forgot about the hole in my pocket.
He stood back up, his eyes still on the bag. "Prostitutes don't necessarily work for money, Miss Gilbert."
I spun around to continue walking and as I did, a strong wave of disorientation hit me, causing me to wobble and hit the wall. Damon moved quickly and his strong hands gripped my upper shoulders to steady me.
"Hey, you okay?" he asked, moving to stand in front of me.
"Yeah, yeah," I responded, waving off his hands. "I'm fine."
Before I could move again, a blinding white light was being shone into my eyes and I lifted my hands to shield it. "What the fuck, Damon?"
The light clicked off and Damon lowered his pocket-sized flashlight. "Fuck, Elena, you're going through withdrawals aren't you?"
I shook my head. "I'm fine, Damon." I tried to walk around him again but he matched my movements to block my path again.
"You know, if the process has already started, we could get you to a clinic and get you dried out."
I rolled my eyes. "You would love that, wouldn't you?"
"Yes, I would, actually," he answered.
I looked up into his eyes and my brow furrowed. "Why do you even care, Detective? Do you put this much effort into all of your C.I.'s?"
His eyes fell to the ground. "You just remind me of someone I knew."
"Ah," I said with a nod. "Ex-girlfriend? What, was she all strung out, too?"
He looked back to me. "Something like that."
"And I'm guessing you weren't able to help her."
He shook his head, confirming my guess.
I put on my most friendly smile. "Well, Detective, as much as that sucks, I'm not your girlfriend. I'm no one to you, really, so I don't need your help and you have no obligation to help me." I took a step to the side and started forward again. I needed to find Tyler. After a conversation like this and Damon taking my small stash, I was willing to do just about anything to get a new bag.
I heard him sigh. "If I give this back to you, would you tell me the names of the two men?"
I stopped and turned to face him. Was he serious? A cop was offering to give me back my heroin? I nodded slowly.
He walked over to me and handed me the bag before taking back out his pen and notebook.
I stared at him. This just didn't feel right. He had just handed me the bag back. Just like that.
"Their names?" he asked, looking down at the paper.
"Mason and Richard Lockwood." As I said their names, I thought back to Tyler. These men were his relatives. If…when they got arrested, I'm sure he'd figure out it was me who gave up their names.
He wrote down the names, flipped the notebook closed, and pocketed it all again in his jacket. "You know, Elena, you don't have to live like this," he said as he looked back to me.
I pulled my lower lip in between my teeth once more and remained quiet.
He nodded to himself. "Well, Miss Gilbert, it was nice doing business with you again. I'll put in the request for your new check tomorrow."
"Thanks," I answered quietly.
He nodded once as a response then started past me. "I'm sure I'll be seeing you soon, Elena."
"Always a pleasure, Detective," I muttered, looking down at the bag in my hand.
Once he was gone, I picked up my purse that had been sitting against the wall. My headache was growing stronger and I could feel the nausea creeping up. Quickly, I rummaged through the bag for the pouch that held a razor blade. Usually my preferred method of taking the heroin was by injecting it, but I didn't have time for all of that. When I found the pouch, I pulled out a rectangular compact mirror and set it up on a trashcan. I poured the contents of the baggie out on the mirror and ran the blade through the grains quickly, creating a fine off-white powder. With a few scrapes of the blade, a line was made with the substance.
I stared down at it and an odd feeling washed over me.
This was my life. It had been reduced to me snorting heroin off a trashcan in the middle of an alley during the dead of night. I was even going to give a prick head to get the shit. What the hell was wrong with me? How could I have let myself get this way?
I closed my eyes and bent down to the can, pressing one finger against my right nostril. It didn't matter how I got here. All that remained was that I was here and I didn't have anything else going for me other than this white line.
With a deep inhale and a sweeping motion of my head, the powder was coating the inside of my nose and I basked in the burning sensation. I stood up and took a deep inhale of the fresh air around me. Snorting the drug didn't give me the same kind of rush I would feel if I injected it – it often took 15 minutes for me to feel the effects at all when snorting – but at the end of the day, it didn't matter how it got into my body as long as it did.
I turned around and pressed my back against the wall, slowly dropping down to the concrete.
I stared up at the sky and watched the dim twinkling of stars that made their way through the smog as I waited for my high.
Everything looked so peaceful up there. In space, there was nothing but calm. My life had been lacking of calm for a long time. The only way I knew how to get it back was to get high. That always made everything better.
As I watched the tiny lights, I could feel my pulse start to race and my brow furrowed. Usually my body went numb when I got high. My heartbeat would slow and an ocean of serenity would crash around me.
But not this time. My heart felt like it was trying to jump out of my chest and the tiny lights were starting to glow more and more bright. I could feel sweat start to coat my palms and an odd whirring noise was echoing in my mind.
Something was very, very wrong.
A/N: Hey, guys! I had an idea for a new story so I went ahead and wrote out the first chapter, even though The Obscure Line is not complete yet.
Let me know what you think! It's tooootally different than the usual stories I write. I'm excited to get reviews and hear your thoughts.
If you'd like to see the banner for this story (which shows the alley and Elena and Damon meeting) go to writingtoberemembered(dot)blogspot(dot)com .(Replace the (dot) with an actual period. Lol)
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To all my new readers who find me because of this story, hello! Welcome to the family. :)
See you guys next chapter.