Disclaimer and Warning: I do not own Vampire Diaries, however consider this story mine. Any dialogues not canon from the show as well as any descriptive sentences are the end result of over twenty years of writing. I have poured my heart and soul into every beautiful paragraph, every perfect sentence, every hot and/or romantic scene, and every funny one-liner. To copy this work or any other and claim as one's own, in whole or in part is a criminal offence punishable by ostracism, harassment by my loyal readers, and possibly even dismissal by the MODs. Repeat offenders will be reported IMMEDIATELY to Stop_Plagiarism on LiveJournal and your name will be placed on the watch list under all known aliases. It's not worth it; don't be a thief !

Dedicated to BadBoysAreBest. Without her suggestions and encouragement this wouldn't have been written.

"I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you"

Numb- Linkin Park

Part 1: Numb

The music is pounding in her ears so hard she can't recognize the song that is playing. But it doesn't matter; she didn't come here to dance, she came to forget. She wants it to be over; she can't deal with the painful memories. All that guilt she's been carrying inside is weighing her down, and she just doesn't want to feel anymore. It's her fault that so many people suffered and gave up their lives for her. It was her fault that Caroline was turned into a vampire and later bitten by Klaus as punishment when Stefan had refused to return to him willingly, and it was also her fault that Tyler had triggered the curse and become a werewolf; living a painful existence once a month until the day when Klaus tore his heart out of his chest when he'd tried to save Caroline from her fate. It seemed that whoever was involved in her life ended up in danger or worse. It was why she'd left Mystic Falls. Her best friend Bonnie; her aunt Jenna; even her brother Jeremy, they all died because she couldn't protect them. She shouldn't be alive; Klaus should have just killed her. It was what she'd been born for, after all. She was the doppelganger, destined to die so that the Sun and Moon Curse could be lifted. Instead they had convinced her to fight. They had refused to let her give up; and then when it was over, they had left her. They fucking left, and she was just expected to move on with her life. She tried, she really did, but the memory of that final battle haunted her dreams. She could still see Bonnie using the last of her power to incapacitate Klaus and keep him vulnerable long enough for Jeremy to stab him with the newly crafted dagger. He was already horribly wounded, his ring having been selflessly given to Elena despite her protests. His final act was to kill Klaus; he'd died a hero. Aunt Jenna hadn't been so lucky, having been taken by Klaus and horribly murdered when Elena had refused to come to him willingly. Elena couldn't forgive herself for getting her aunt involved; she should have told her the truth, and told her to run. But she'd stupidly continued to lie to her, and in the end that lie had only put Jenna in more danger than the truth would have. She closes her eyes and lets the music invade every part of her mind and drown out her thoughts. She's not aware of anything; the shots of tequila she downed at the bar earlier work their magic on her and dull her senses. For once in her life, she doesn't feel his eyes on her…

The woman on the dance floor is unmistakable; he would know those eyes and pouty lips anywhere. Elena. She has an air of confidence about her, and she's dressed to kill in a black cocktail dress and matching patent high heels. She doesn't notice him staring at her; because everyone is staring at her. Every man with a pulse is watching her hungrily, including the few vampires here tonight. They all want her, and yet she doesn't seem to care at all. She welcomes the attention, and yet she's indifferent to it at the same time; if she wasn't so clearly in her twenties, he would have mistaken her for Katherine. But he can hear her heart pounding in her chest, and he knows it's her; Elena Gilbert has finally crossed his path again, and she's all grown up. If he didn't believe in fate, he'd think she had deliberately sought him out, or that it was a coincidence. He knows it's not any of those things; she doesn't see him approaching her. She doesn't turn around as he moves closer, brushing against her as she continues to shake her hips and grind in such a way that feels like more of a mating ritual than a dance move. It still amazes him how far dancing has evolved in a century; or rather regressed considering how incredibly primal and sexual the whole thing has become, especially in clubs like these. It's why he came here in the first place; there are enough intoxicated, writhing warm bodies to feed an entire town of vampires, and he had originally come here for dinner and a show. He had a target all picked out; a hot little blonde had been giving him the sex eyes earlier. He had been about to make his move on her, get her back to his place, and enjoy a good fuck and a good meal before erasing the encounter from her mind and sending her back home, wherever that happened to be. Plans change.

She can feel someone behind her, brushing against her backside with his hips as he moves closer to her. His breath tickles the back of her neck and sends a shiver up her spine. She leans back into him, grinding against him to the pulse of whatever song is currently playing. She doesn't turn around; doesn't care who it is or what he wants, she just knows that this hard body pressing against her feels entirely too good to be real. She decides she must be drunk, because she is so certain that she recognizes that spicy cologne…

He still isn't convinced he isn't dreaming; she feels too good against him for it to be real. She still hasn't turned around, and he begins to wonder if he was mistaken; he could be grinding against a complete stranger who only happens to look like her. It's not the first time that he's made that mistake, after all. But her scent surrounds him, and he can't ignore the pull he's always felt whenever he was around her; the crackling electricity is there whenever he "accidentally" touches her skin, and he instantly craves more of her. He wants to bury his face in her long dark hair and breathe in her unique scent; she always smelled like strawberries, the most decadent chocolate, and a mixture of other sinfully erotic spices that he could never quite identify but turned him on like nothing else ever has.

His arms suddenly slide around her waist, and she can feel a warmth and comfort in them that she's rarely felt since she was seventeen. Her breath catches in her throat, and she turns her head slightly, tilting her face upward. Her heart nearly leaps out of her chest; the piercing ice-blue eyes practically sear into her soul. She still isn't convinced she's not hallucinating; it would be entirely possible since she's pictured those eyes and that cocky grin so many times that she's lost count. She's always wondered what it would be like to feel those lips on hers; to have him deep inside her and trace over every muscle with her fingertips.

"Elena."

She cuts him off, grabbing him and crushing his lips to hers to shut him up. She doesn't want him to say anything; it will make this real. And the cost is too high for her to allow that. Right now, she just wants one night. One night to get him out of her system, to have that taste of what she's been craving for so long; just one taste. She's pulling him to the back of the club; toward the narrow hallway in between the dingy bathrooms and the exit. She leads him to the dark alley, not wanting to risk bringing him back to her apartment and have him stay the night. This doesn't mean anything, after all; it's not real. It's nothing more than an alcohol-fogged delusion, or so she keeps telling herself. It doesn't matter; nothing matters to her anymore.

He's shocked at how quickly things have escalated; one minute they're in the club, the next she's dragging him outside without saying a word. She's pulling him to her, nipping at his neck and sucking on his skin as she writhes against him. She's always had a way of unraveling all his best plans, and tonight is no different. He had intended to seduce her, not the other way around. Still, he's not going to complain. She's here, and after all these years he can finally have what he wants; he would be a fool not to take what she's offering.

Her back slams hard against the wall, but she barely feels it. After so many years, she's used to the pain; it makes it less real for her; just another way she tries to feel something. Her legs wrap around his waist, her nails claw at the taut muscles in his back; she's probably drawing blood, but she doesn't care. Caring is something for those who can still feel emotion, and she doesn't; not anymore. She doesn't waste any time. She digs her nails into his shoulders, pulling him close to her so that every inch of her heated skin is pressing against him. His hands slide down to her hips before teasingly tracing the sides of her waist and she starts to feel her defenses crumble. She fights back the shiver that runs through her at his soft touch; she wants to give in to the feeling so badly that it hurts. But she can't; if she lets herself feel anything for him, it'll only hurt more when he leaves her. It can't be like that; it can't be tender. When he moves to kiss her again, this time she turns her head away. She doesn't want intimacy; she just wants him to fuck her, make her forget her life for a few hours, and then move on. Forget he ever saw her. Forget he ever loved her. It's easier that way.

For a second he thinks she's changed her mind, but then she buries her face in the crook of his neck and nips at his skin again. Her fingertips rake down his chest and trace over each defined muscle on their way down to the front of his jeans. He growls softly, pressing against her hand as she rubs over him with such skill that he can barely control himself. Her touch is fire and electricity mixed with raw animalistic need and he can feel a damp spot forming on the outside of his jeans as she shamelessly grinds against him again. He can smell her arousal even more than he can smell the blood pumping beneath her skin. What little control he had left when she was stroking him becomes nonexistent the second her fingers work the zipper down on his jeans; she dips her hand inside his pants, grasping hold of his cock and shifting her body so that he's pressing against the slick, moist heat between her thighs. She's not wearing any panties and the realization that she's naked beneath her dress makes him so hard that it's bordering on painful; he needs to be in her, now.

With one powerful stroke he's inside her; she sinks her teeth into his skin as he enters her, moaning softly at how incredible it feels. He fills her completely; sending shocks up sheer pleasure up her spine as he slowly draws back and pushes forward again. The pace is maddeningly slow, and she can feel tenderness in the way he's holding her to him; it terrifies her like nothing else ever has. She needs him to go harder, faster; she closes her eyes, tosses her head back, and trusts in his strength and the wall behind her to keep her upright as she slams her hips down to meet his. He leans forward, trying to capture her lips in a searing kiss, and she tilts her head to the side, exposing her throat to him instead. She cries out when his lips make contact with her skin, waiting in vain for his fangs to prick her skin. She wants him to do it; she was almost certain he would have, after having denied himself the pleasure of it for so long. But he places one soft, lingering kiss against the pulse point in her throat and pulls back just enough to move his lips back to hers.

He frowns in confusion when she turns her head again, refusing to kiss him. And then he sees something in her eyes; something that he hadn't recognized in his haze of desire for her but can now see so clearly that he feels disgusted with himself for not realizing it sooner. She's not there. She refuses to feel anything at all; won't let herself. Her eyes are closed, and her head is thrown back against the wall, and she's closed off to him. He didn't think it was possible for a human to flip the switch, but she has. It fucking pisses him off. He can barely control himself at the realization that this doesn't mean anything to her; she's using him. That kiss earlier in the club had been nothing more than a distraction, a way to entice him to her so she could get what she wanted out of him. It hurts him worse than if she'd driven a stake through his heart or set him on fire, and he can't help thinking that it's his fault that she gave up. He buries his face in the side of her neck, pulling her closer even as she continues to fight him. She won't let him hold her. She won't let him kiss her. She might as well be a stranger to him; he never should have left her. He hates himself for letting her go, and he hates her for giving up. She was supposed to live a normal, happy, human life complete with the white picket fence. She wasn't supposed to destroy herself. God, he loved her. He loved her so fucking much, and it's killing him that she's not there. She's empty. There's nothing left of the girl he loved; the fire in her eyes is gone. He slams into her, punishing her for it. He hears her sharp cry, but she doesn't stop moving and her eyes are shut tight. She's still closing herself off to him and he wants her back; he wants her to let him love her. It's all he's ever wanted.

He presses her into the wall and his chest, grinding against her, desperate to make her feel something. He knows she's still there; he refuses to give up on her. She tries to turn her head away again, but he effectively has her pinned to the wall and his hands slide up to either side of her head. He's gentle as he moves to cup her face, to hold her firmly in place as he slows his movements inside her and leans in to kiss her.

His lips are soft, and she can taste the alcohol on them as he coaxes her mouth open and slides his tongue against hers. She tries to fight him; she frantically, desperately tries to grind her hips into his and pull away from this far too intimate feeling. But he's so much stronger than she is, and he won't let her. She can feel the last of her control slipping away, and she begins to tremble in his arms. He's forcing her to feel things that she hasn't let herself feel in years; all those long-buried emotions are clawing their way up to the surface and she can't fight back the tears much longer. She knows she has to do something, anything to get him to stop kissing her like this. He doesn't love her; he wouldn't have left her if he did. She can't let herself believe the lie. Still, she opens her mouth to him, lets him in past all her defenses.

He can feel her beginning to respond, and for a moment he thinks she's come back to him. But then the kiss turns hungry, desperate. She's clinging to him, but her movements are fueled by lust, and it's in this moment that he realizes he can't reach her; she's too deep in her own selfish little human misery to feel anything else. She's numb, and he might as well be fucking Katherine right now for all the warmth she's giving him. So he stops. He slides out of her, setting her down on the pavement as she stares at him in obvious confusion.

"Why did you stop?" she asks him, still breathing heavily.

He turns away; he can't look at her right now. If he looks into those cold, empty eyes again he's going to do something he'll regret; he wants to shake her, slap her, anything to get that look out of her eyes. She's not the Elena he remembers; she's not the woman he loved enough to set free. He doesn't recognize this broken woman standing before him now, offering her body to him like it means nothing; like she means nothing.

"Because you don't want this," he spits out bitterly.

"I'm here, aren't I?" she responds without feeling. She couldn't sound more like Katherine if she'd magically transformed into the bitch herself. He shakes his head, furiously zipping himself back into his jeans.

"You're not here," he growls. "And I'm not about to let a stranger use me just so she can feel something."

"I thought this was what you wanted!" Elena shouts at him as he starts to walk away from her. In an instant he's in front of her again, and her back slams painfully against the wall. His jaw is clenched, his eyes an electric blue and crackling with fire and she smirks in triumph, thinking he's giving in.

"If you think this is all I ever wanted from you…" he growls, grazing his teeth against the column of her neck. She arches against him as he cups one of her breasts in his hand, pinching her nipple just hard enough to elicit a response from her. But it's hollow; everything about this encounter is meaningless to her. He roughly shoves her away, hating everything that she has become. "Then you don't know me at all!"

"Clearly I don't," she snaps back. She can feel the tightness in her chest; she fights back the tears as she watches him turn his back to her again. He's going to leave her, just as she knew he would; he always fucking leaves her when she needs him the most. She resists the urge to call him back, instead relying on her sarcastic tongue. "The Damon I knew wouldn't turn down an easy lay."

His jaw clenches in anger. "And here I thought the heartless bitch gene had skipped a generation," he replies coldly.

Elena stares after him in shock. He's gone before she can blink, and she's alone in the darkness with her dress still riding high on her hips.

Author's Note: This story was written for my good friend S (BadBoysAreBest) after she basically challenged me to write something darker. Hope I did a good job as this is my first time writing something truly angsty. Part 2 is in the works and I'm still working on Chapter 9 of "Living With Sin" and Chapter 14 of "All I Need" but it's not exactly going too well right now so you all might have to be patient. But if you miss me, there's always my LiveJournal! I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it is for me to connect with my readers, so feel free to message me anytime you like. BTW, there's a fic you all should be checking out that was specially written just for me! It's called "Fast Times" and was written by the ever-talented BadBoysAreBest. I'm still waiting for Part 2 since I know it's going to contain a super hot lemon, but Part 1 is hysterically amusing in itself. I just LOVE when Fun Elena and Caroline come out to play, and S always writes the two of them so well. Also, there's a new writer in town…Auntleona0 has written a really hot little smutfest called "Every Student Needs a Teacher" that you all just HAVE to read (and leave her rave reviews). I was fanning myself by the second chapter, and you know how I am about my smut ;)

Be Good and Review

Added Note: For those of you who are re-reading this, you might have noticed that I changed a bit of stuff around. In order to make the story more canon, I kind of had to re-write Caroline's death (since Jules is already dead). I figured that since Klaus is such an evil bastard, it wouldn't be such a stretch for him to kill more of Elena's friends just b/c he's not getting his own way. After what he did to Jenna, nothing would surprise me. Plus it adds more angst! Hope you all don't mind too much.