Disclaimer: I own nothing.

AN: This oneshot is for the amazing LoveEpicLove who prompted this for the DE holiday fic exchange. This ended up expanding and becoming a lot longer than I intended it to be, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless :) Thank you to everyone who listened to me rant and rave on Twitter about this one haha. xoxo

"And that's all for tonight!" She exclaimed with a faux-perky voice. "I'm Elena Gilbert -"

The silence was deafening. It was times like these when she wished her show wasn't aired live. There was no way to yell, cry, or beat the scoundrel next to her into a bloody pulp without breaking character. Out of the corner of her eye, she glanced at the raven-haired menace, and fought harder than ever to remain calm. His eyes were fucking closed.

Slowly, Elena uncrossed her legs, keeping her face poised as ever. Aiming at his calf, she kicked him with her Louboutin-clad foot. She relished the moment of contact, finding out that six months of working with the jackass had turned her into a violent monster. Her moment of joy was cut short as his eyes shot open.

"Fuck!" He cursed out loud and Elena cringed. Perfect. Just the sort of scene she'd been hoping to avoid.

"And that's it, folks! Merry Christmas, everyone!" Elena clapped her hands together nervously. "I'm Elena Gilbert–"

He glared at her before clearing his throat. "And I'm Damon Salvatore. Thank you for watching!"

Once the cameraman signaled her that they were off air, she appraised him with stony eyes. "What is your problem?"

Damon raised an eyebrow. "My problem? I was just assaulted on national television!"

"Boo freaking hoo." Elena rolled her eyes. "You're lucky I didn't aim higher."

"As much as I like the idea of you giving me a footjob, I don't think the 18-49 demographic would appreciate it."

"Gross." Elena hissed and stood up with a huff. "I'm watching you, Salvatore."

Stomping off, she heard him chuckle loudly. "Right back at ya. In fact, I'm watching you right now. Ooh that's it, strut that stuff, Gilbert."

Without looking back, she flipped him off, all the while tugging down her shirt. She was much too used to his chauvinistic barbs, but she still wished she hadn't worn her tight pencil skirt.

To say they had never gotten along would've been a colossal understatement. Damon Salvatore was egoistic, arrogant, and misogynistic. She hated him. She was sure that if he were to vanish off the face of the earth, the only one who'd miss him would be his Porsche dealer.

What was it about the rich that made them unbearable? Sure, she had money as well, but at least she'd worked for hers. She'd worked her cute little butt off to get a scholarship to Columbia, and had waited tables for years to make ends meet. Now at 28, it was her time to take the Big Apple by storm with her degree in journalism.

Had she gotten lucky? Hell to the yes. To get invited to a casting call for CBS at her age was a big deal. Granted, the scout saying "she had the look" had been slightly insulting to her brand spanking degree, but she was finally moving up in the world.

As she exited the soundstage, she decided to have a quick word with the puppet master. Stepping inside his office, she knocked on the door. He raised his eyes from the papers he was appraising, and smiled at her, before motioning for her to enter properly.

"Hey, Elena," Alaric said.

She paused by her executive producer's desk and leaned on it dramatically. "I can't do this anymore, Ric. One more show and I'll bribe one of the grips to help me hang myself with a microphone."

"The next filming date is December 31st. Just spend some time away from him, and I'm sure..." Alaric tried to reason with her.

Elena put up her hand. "He's a nightmare. I'd rather host Talk The Talk with Mussolini than that bratty monster."

"I don't know why I need to repeat this to you guys constantly." He sighed. "It's just a job. Stay professional and keep your drama off set."

Elena took a deep breath and shook her head. If only it were that easy. She was a peace-loving, Amnesty-supporting liberal. He just happened to bring out the gungho stiletto-wielding bitch in her.

"Like that time he switched the prompter's script so that I was reciting dialogue from 'Horny Babysitters 15' for a full 30 seconds?" Elena retorted.

"Yeah, remind us to never force you to forgo coffee ever again," He grinned. "We did get a ton of new watchers in the 18-25 demo again, though."

Elena nodded. It was true, their ratings had been going up for weeks now. It almost seemed as if the worse her relationship with Damon got, the more the viewers loved it. Especially the younger demographics, which the network was currently pursuing with various lures, such as freakishly blue eyes. Shallow, thy name is the American public, she thought to herself.

"It must be fun to watch us prattle on about Kim Kardashian's ass while Damon tries to grab mine," She muttered.

Alaric smirked. "It's why we picked you to be a match for him. We saw you two at the auditions, you were...snarky."

"Yeah, and it's gone from snarky to plain insane. I'm sick of the juvenile sandbox crap at work. No more whoopie cushions on my chair, or scary clowns, or helium in the ventilation system to make me sound like Pikachu."

"You did sick that shemale from Thailand on him. The poor guy was traumatized." He pointed out.

She snorted. "Serves him right. Do you have any big Christmas plans?"

Alaric's mouth flopped open comically, and he looked at his watch. "Shit! I promised Izzy I'd be home before the kids went to sleep."

"Run." Elena giggled.

He grabbed his bag, shoving various documents inside. Picking up his jacket, he looked at her expectantly. "Are you gonna be okay tonight?"

She shrugged. "I'll be fine. Just gonna go home and share a can of tuna with the cat. Very exciting."

"Oh that's nice," Alaric muttered absentmindedly as he dashed for the door. "Merry Christmas, Lena!"

Elena sighed and plopped down on to his desk. Was it pathetic that she was all alone in the city, and that she had no plans for Christmas Eve? Sure. She just couldn't do anything about it. Jeremy was back home with their parents, and it's not like she could afford to fly out for a few days. At least she could stay at the office for most of the night, and work on future topics for her and Damon.

Two hours later, just as the clock was about to strike midnight, she was absolutely spent. After finishing up on an exciting story about emus as pets, she wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed. Looking around the corridors, she quickly deduced she was all alone in the building, not that she'd expected anything else. It was Christmas Eve, normal people were having fun with their families.

Picking up her purse, she slung it on to her shoulder, and wearily trudged towards the elevator. Pushing the button, she took a deep breath and let her shoulders sag. Was it normal for people her age to be this tired? Being a workaholic wasn't one of her most attractive traits, that was for sure.

The elevator finally reached her floor with shrill ding, and she walked in as soon as the doors opened. Pushing the button for the bottom floor, she let her back fall against the wall, too tired to stand up straight. Just as the doors were about to close, a hand wedged itself between them.

She gasped in shock as the doors opened again. There, right in front of her, stood her mortal enemy. His face was red, probably from running, and he was trying to catch his breath with strain. Nonetheless, none of it deterred from his looks, much to her chagrin.

"Wait for," He took a deep breath, "Me."

She cocked her head to the side derisively. "Lacking stamina?"

Glaring at her, he stomped inside and leaned against the wall opposite hers. "Bitch."

Elena rolled her eyes and waited for the doors to close again. The sooner she got out of the building, the sooner she could begin to enjoy her Christmas holiday, otherwise known as 'The Seven Days of freedom'.

She closed her eyes and imagined days of lounging around in sweats, and watching reruns of soaps. She could eat junk food and read tabloids. IM with her brother. It'd be nice, a welcome change from the mundane routine of her existence. She was jarred from her musings as she caught him staring at her.

"What?" She gritted out.

Damon shrugged, before smirking at her. "I was just wondering if those were horns growing from your head, or if that's just your hair."

Self-consciously, she looked into the mirror and gasped. She had a tendency to run her hands through her hair as she worked, since it soothed her. She just hadn't realized the overall effect it had on her otherwise pristine appearance. Turning back around to face him, she crossed her arms across her chest defiantly.

"Not that it's any of your business, but not all women are shallow bimbos, that worry about their looks 24/7." She barked back at him.

Damon grinned, exposing his perfectly shaped white teeth. "Interesting, considering your choice of career. Face it, you're just a notch above flipping vowels."

"I have a degree in journalism from Columbia. All you have is daddy's platinum card."

He chuckled and smiled at her lasciviously. "Who's your daddy?"

Elena pretended to gag. "Oh gross."

"You know," He stood up straight, "If you could pull that stick out of your ass, you could actually be considered somewhat attractive."

"Gee, thanks."

"I'm serious, stop being such a prude and-"

His umpteenth rant on the subject was cut short as the power in the elevator abruptly went out. Elena's heart raced as she grabbed the railing for support. The elevator had come to a halt

"What the hell!" She screamed. "Damon, where are you?"

"Right where I was exactly two seconds ago." He answered her sarcastically. If she could've seen him in the darkness, she would've kicked him again.

"What is going on?" She breathed out. If there were two things she disliked, it was closed spaces and darkness.

"I'm sure Santa wanted to give us some ambience, just take a deep breath and get over this bitch fit you're having."

All of a sudden, she was reminded of the third thing she disliked. Him.


They were quiet for several minutes after that. It was only a matter of time before the power would come back on, she was sure for it. After all, they were in a freaking skyscraper! However, after close to 15 minutes of staring into pitch black, she felt the beginnings of an anxiety attack overtake her.

"Okay, seriously, what the hell is going on?" Elena yelled, running a hand through her hair.

"I don't know." Damon answered her, sounding serious for once. "I mean it's Christmas Eve and..."

"Oh no." Elena gasped and covered her mouth with her hand. "No."

"Spit it out, Gilbert." He sounded exasperated.

Elena wanted to smack herself. How could she have forgotten? "Didn't you read the memo?"

"Which memo?" He sighed.

Elena took a deep breath. "Damon, we got it over a week ago. It was about how they were going to rewire and reroute all the electricity in the building due to security leaks."


She took another deep breath, and tried not to lose her patience. "So, they had to cut off all the electricity running in the circuits to reroute. They said they were going to do it at a time when no one would be inside the building..."

She heard him curse in the dark. "And you're not fucking with me? You're honestly telling me that I'm stuck inside this building with you on Christmas Eve?"

"Actually," Elena glared into the darkness, "The power went out at exactly midnight. If you hadn't stopped the elevator, I could've just waltzed out. And right now, we're stuck inside an elevator, which I technically think is worse."

"Well this is a no good, very bad situation day."

Elena nodded in agreement, before realizing he couldn't see her. Best case scenario, they'd be stuck here for hours, worst case scenario...No, there was no way she was going to spend the night in an elevator with that asshat. Remembering something important, she slumped to the floor in a tangled mess of limbs, and started ransacking through her purse.

"Elena, what are you doing?" He spoke quickly, "Are you okay?"

She ignored him as she flipped her purse over to reveal its contents. Finally, she squealed in joy. "Ha! Gotcha!"

Pushing the buttons rapidly, she smirked both to herself and to him, as they were illuminated in a manner of seconds. "And let there be light."

"Well aren't you handy." He said dryly. "Why don't you use those dainty little fingers of yours and get someone to come over here then."

Elena frowned as she looked at the screen. "No service."


She grabbed a scrunchie off the floor and tied her hair into a messy bun, feeling her skin turn slick from the lack of ventilation.

"We need to get out." She waved a hand across her chest, though she stopped almost immediately as she realized it was drawing his attention to her cleavage. "Fast."

"Ditto." He looked dazed.

She paced the floor, taking a few deep breaths as she went. She pointed to the obscure buttons on the wall. "Does the emergency alarm thingy work?"

"Emergency alarm thingy?" He cocked an eyebrow, looking amused. "Why Elena, the sound would normally rouse anyone in the building, but since we're alone..."

She pointed at the wall more frantically. "And the one next to that button! Shouldn't that connect us to 911?"

"Where we'd be put on hold for hours." Damon muttered. He loosened his tie and shrugged off his jacket. "That's not going to do it, we need something faster."

"What choice do we have?" She bit her lip, feeling nervous once more. She didn't want to die looking at his stupid, gorgeous face.

Damon bent down and started looking at the contents of her purse, which were sprawled all across the floor. She bent down beside him, and grabbed his shoulder.

"What are you doing?" She questioned him.

"No offense, Elena, but shut up." He waved her off and continued his search for...whatever it was he was looking for.

Finally, he picked up a single bobby pin off the floor, looking victorious. "See? Good things come to those who wait."

Elena stared at him blankly. "So...You're waiting for me to do your hair?"

"No!" He scowled at her. "Just watch and learn, oh young one."

He stood up and reached for the ceiling. Straightening the pin in his hands expertly, she was suddenly looking at a makeshift lockpick.

"That was my lucky pin!" She shoved him.

Damon flashed his eyes at her. "First of all, I'm going all MacGyver to save us from this metallic box of death. Second, your hair looks better down. Now shut up."

That definitely shut her up. She touched her hair self-consciously, feeling insecure about him having any sort of an opinion on her appearance. She decided not to focus on it, and instead focused on him tracing the edges of the trap door on the ceiling. Standing up on his toes, he shoved the end of the pin into the lock.

With a surprising amount of dexterity and grace, he began to wiggle the pin in the lock. She looked at him skeptically, not at all convinced he could pick the lock. Much to her surprise, a few minutes later he yelled in victory as he heard the resounding click he'd been waiting for. Damon pushed the trap door open, and looked at her cockily.

"How did you do that?" Elena asked, amazed.

He shrugged. "I used to do this a lot when I was a kid. It's just like riding a biker chick."

"And he's back." Elena answered him dryly. "What do you suppose we do now?"

He looked thoughtful for a moment, before grinning at her madly. "Come here, baby."

"What?" She looked at him like he was mad. "I am not your baby, and I am not going to come anywhere near you."

He put one hand over the other, and cocked his eyebrows. "Either I boost you, or your tiny pixie self can spend Christmas Eve stuck here. Make your choice."

Well he had her there. Slowly, she bent down and shrugged out of her beloved shoes. As she stood back up, she caught him checking her out again.

"What?" He smiled innocently. "You have to admit, it's a really nice ass."

"Yeah, I'm looking at him right now," She sniped back. "Let's get this over with."

Walking over to him, she placed a hand on his shoulder and looked into his deep cerulean eyes. "Just don't let me fall."

As they made eye contact, she felt hesitant. This was the most cordial they'd ever been towards each other, and it was...Not bad. In fact, the more time she spent looking at him, the more she started to find comfort in his presence. She could've been in this situation alone, but she wasn't. She had him.

"I wouldn't." Damon smiled at her awkwardly, before looking between their bodies.

Taking a deep breath, Elena raised her bare foot and placed it on to his hands carefully. He bent down to accommodate her, until he was practically on his knees before her. She gulped, realizing he was dangerously close to a certain part of her body, one that he'd been targeting for several months now.

Much to her surprise, he seemed to ignore their proximity entirely. "Put your other hand on my other shoulder."

Elena did as she was told, and screamed as she felt herself ascend towards the ceiling. He began lifting her up, and she frantically tried to reach the trap door with her hand. Finally getting a hold of it, she tried to lift herself up through the doorway, only for her grip to loosen. She screamed as she could feel her fingers slipping. Biting her lip, she knew she had no other choice. Placing her feet on to his shoulders, she let herself fall.

Damon groaned as her bare legs encircled his head suddenly. "Well this is interesting."

"Shut up." She flushed red as she saw the position they were in. Beyond that, his smart mouthed self was now closer to his target than ever, especially since her skirt had ridden up considerably.

"No, seriously," Elena heard him laugh, "I have imagined this countless times. Granted, you're usually a lot nicer to me and wearing this red silky..."

She smacked him over the head, and used her foot to kick him in the back. "Shut up, I need to get back up."

"I'm already there." He chuckled.

She pretended to gag. "Whatever. Just...Can you just try to steady me?"

Elena inhaled and exhaled, before beginning her suicide mission all over again. Placing her hand on to the top of his head, she started maneuvering herself into an upright position. As she stood up and reached the edge of the trap door, she felt her mind go dark with rage.

"Damon?" She asked sweetly.


"What are you doing with my ass?" She hissed.

Elena heard him laugh, as he playfully squeezed her bottom with his hands. "I'm steadying you."

At least it served as motivation for her to get her behind as far away from him as possible. Quickly, she placed both of her hands on the outer edges of the trap door and used all her upper body strength to lift herself upwards. Slowly but surely, she pulled more of her body through the trap door, until she finally felt her feet leave his shoulders.

Resting her chest on the roof of the elevator, she pushed herself properly out, and took a few deep breaths. Looking around, she realized she was getting nowhere fast without Damon. After all, he seemed to know a lot more about breaking out of closed elevator shafts.

"Damon?" She yelled out hesitantly, peeking through the trap door at him.

"Still here." He muttered back at her.

Reluctantly, she lowered her arms inside the elevator. "Grab my hands."

He looked at her hesitantly. "You sure you can do this?"

"I work out three times a week." Elena said, flashing her doe eyes at him dangerously, daring him to disagree. "If you manage to lift your lazy ass up even an inch, I'm sure I can do the rest."

Damon scoffed at her, and began to unbutton the cuffs of his dress shirt. Rolling up his sleeves, he took a few deep breaths. Before she could gather what was happening, he bounced upwards with feline grace, and pulled himself through the trap door.

Unfortunately to both of them, he made landfall on top of her. Elena groaned as his body encompassed hers entirely.

"You okay?" He asked, working to steady his breathing.

She groaned again as she saw the position they were in once more. They'd been working together for 9 months, but when it came to unprofessionalism, this night definitely took the cake for her. He was practically straddling her!

"Yeah, yeah," She muttered absentmindedly, and pushed him off her.

Despite the closed quarters making both of them batty, and bringing them...uncomfortably close together, Elena couldn't help the impressed smile that took over her face. Slowly, she clapped her hands for him. "I take back whatever I said about your lack of stamina before."

Standing up, he dusted himself off and pointed upwards at a doorway. "I think I can open the doors to that floor with my hands."

"You sure?" She raised an eyebrow. She knew he was strong, but that strong? She had her doubts.

Damon rolled his eyes. "Not that you'd know, but when the elevator isn't functioning, the doors open with relative ease, for maintenance reasons. All I need is a lever or something, something I can wedge between the doors."

He ran his hands through his naturally messy hair, before grinning. "Wait a second."

Convinced he'd gone insane, Elena sat down on the elevator, and looked bored as he descended down inside the elevator once more. What the hell was he doing? Before she knew it, a single Louboutin heel landed in her lap. Elena gasped in outrage. No. He had to be kidding.

"Seriously? My $800 dollar shoe is going to be used to pull open those doors?"

He started to laugh at her. "I just wanna get the fuck out of here. Look, just send me the bill later."

Elena glared at him. "That's not the point, you jerk. I used all my savings to buy those shoes! Money actually means something to me."

"Never said it didn't." Damon shrugged. "I just thought freedom meant more."

"Fine, go ahead, get us out of here." Elena sighed, waving a hand flippantly. "Not like I care, as long as I can get the fuck away from you."

Damon muttered under his breath, before reaching for the doorway that was approximately a foot above them. Unable to resist, Elena stole a peek at him. She had to admit, she was more than just a bit impressed. All this time she'd been under the illusion that he was a waste of space with no skills whatsoever. At least she knew he was handy, that was a plus.

Pulling at the doors with his hands, she could see sweat gathering on to his brow. Once the doors opened a mere inch, he shoved her precious stiletto in between, and began to push harder. Okay, she wasn't just impressed, she was mesmerized. Who would have thought the rich kid was that gifted with heavy machinery? Never in a million years would she have thought she'd be in this situation with him.

Finally, after several minutes of grunting and pushing, the doors were open enough for them to pass through. Wiping a few delicious (What? Elena wanted to smack herself, those thoughts were not of the good.) beads of sweat off his salty (Seriously, was the lack of fresh air getting to her?) skin, he smirked at her. He was proud, and worst of all, he knew she was in awe of his skills.

Elena stood up again, and rolled her eyes. "Thank you."

"For?" He prodded with a grin.

She chuckled, in spite of herself. "For saving me."

"Salvatore, as in saviour." He quipped. "Want me to boost you up?"

Elena bit her lip. On one hand, pushing herself up would cause her arms to hurt like a bitch in the morning. On the other hand, him boosting her would give him an excuse to grope her again. She shook her head, determined to prove herself to him.

"I can do it myself."

"Whatever you say." He sounded amused, and she wanted nothing more than to wipe the smug look off his face.

Taking a deep breath, she bounced on her toes and grabbed the edge of the doorway with her fingers. Making sure her grip would hold, she began to push herself upwards. Finally, half her body was positioned in between the doors, which also gave him a great view of...Was he humming the melody to "Jingle Bells"?

"Staring at her ass, on a fucked up Christmas Eve, will she fall or will she crawl, either way I'll make her moan, oh Jingle Bells..." He crooned.

Elena turned around and tried to kick him with her feet. "You're not even rhyming!"

"You have to give me some credit here," Damon laughed gleefully, "That was pretty good."

"What is it with you and my ass anyways?" She muttered mostly to herself, not expecting him to hear her.

"Trust me, nothing good can come from me explaining myself," His eyes were still transfixed on her body, and she felt uncomfortably naked under his gaze.

Damon had always gone out of his way to make her feel uncomfortable, but tonight...It was different. For the first time, they were working together towards a common goal, and despite the barbs and jabs, it wasn't altogether unpleasant.

"You're probably right," Elena breathed out and pushed herself out of the elevator shaft once and for all. As she took in the familiar corridors of her studio, she sighed in relief.

Turning back around, she peeked at him again. "Need help?"


Elena shrugged and pushed herself upright. "Suit yourself. I'd say this was fun, but then I'd have to find brain bleach."

She started walking off, determined to find her way out of the building, as she heard his laugh echo through the hallways. "Merry Christmas to you too."

She rolled her eyes, but she couldn't hold back the smile that was firmly etched across her face. She was an honest-to-God survivor. She pulled out her phone from her pocket and cursed herself to the lowest depths of hell.

Had she taken stupid pills that morning? She'd left the flashlight on and now her phone was dead. Excellent. Taking a deep breath, she worked to calm herself down. Maybe things wouldn't be that bad. Sure, she was stuck inside an abandoned studio on Christmas Eve, but compared to where she'd been 20 minutes ago, she was just fine and dandy.

Walking towards the metal doors leading to the staircase, she clapped a hand over her mouth. Her electric keycard was still in the metallic box of death. Not that it would do her any good since the door was locked and would stay that way without electricity. Sure, there was probably a middleaged security guard eating donuts 20 floors below her, but she had no way of reaching the ground.

Exhausted and slightly delirious with cabin fever, she decided to search the halls for food. There had to be something. Better yet, she was willing to kill a hobo for a drink by then. If there was no way to get out, she'd have to make the night as pleasant as possible.

Walking the empty corridors, she found herself getting jittery over the tiniest of sounds. Whenever a door creaked, she jumped instinctively, much to her own dismay. She wasn't supposed to be the damsel in distress, she was stronger than that! Hell, she'd just crawled out of a locked elevator shaft like Lara Croft and that hadn't phased her!

That's because you were with Damon, a tiny voice inside her whispered. She quickly quieted down the voice, not wanting to face the fact that she felt lonely and scared without him. He was annoying, yes, but she couldn't deny that he knew his way around a crisis situation, for whatever reason.

Reaching a conference room at the end of the corridor she'd been walking by, she was surprised to hear sounds coming from the inside. Peeking inside, she stifled a tiny gasp as she saw him sitting alone on a table, looking out at the amazing view of the New York skyline. The twinkling lights coming from the other buildings bathed him in a warm light, as he played with the bottle of scotch in his hands.

"Where'd you get that?" She cringed to herself. Did she always sound so abrasive?

Damon turned around and looked at her in surprise. Quickly, he looked annoyed again. Elena berated herself mentally. He was who he was, but he'd taken care of her tonight. The least she could do, as awful as it sounded, was to be nice to him. Smiling at him gently, she noticed his expression shift into plain curiosity. He held the bottle up.

"I broke into Alaric's office and grabbed it." He explained casually.

She laughed softly, surprising both of them. "Can I come in?"

Damon narrowed his eyes. "Why?"

She bit her lip, feeling hesitant. She didn't like being vulnerable in front of him, not when he was already so good at pushing her buttons. "I'm scared, Damon."

He looked at her blankly for a moment, before bursting into hysterical giggles. Elena felt herself lose all hope, and she began walking away. Fine, he could keep the pretty lights and alcohol, she'd just...crawl into a hole and die.

She heard sounds coming from behind her. "Gilbert, wait!"

"For what?" Elena asked, crossing her arms. "I'm scared, and I hate you. Why can't you just be normal for once?"

He shrugged, before giving her the kicked puppy look. "Look, I was a jerk. Just please come back, I could use the company."

Elena scrutinized him with her eyes, before rolling her eyes. "Fine. But I'm doing this for you and your co-dependency issues, this has nothing to do with wanting to spend time with you."

"Naturally." Damon smirked at her.

Walking past him, Elena entered the conference room and sat down on the long table. Looking out of the wide window, she smiled gently at the sight. The city really did look beautiful, and the silence of the office only added to the effect. Strangely enough, she felt content, even after her disastrous night.

"Drink?" She heard a voice beside her ask.

Elena turned her head to look at the man sitting beside her. "Sure."

Damon handed over the bottle and uncorked it for her. Placing it against her lips, she drank deep, relishing the burn of the alcohol. It was soothing, to say the least, until the coughing began.

"Yeah, you might wanna take it easy with the hard stuff," He laughed next to her.

"I just haven't been out in a while, I'm rusty." Elena explained herself defensively. He raised his hands in surrender.

"I'm not judging." Damon shrugged nonchalantly.

"Good." She muttered mainly to herself. She might have been a lightweight, but she didn't need him to know that.

She focused her eyes back on the view before her. "It's pretty. I haven't ever been here this late, you know."

"Me neither."

Elena grinned. "Yeah, like that's supposed to surprise me. You usually can't wait to get out fast enough, leaving me to do all the heavy lifting."

Something akin to hurt flashed in his eyes, but she didn't regret her words. Perhaps it was time for them to get everything out in the open, and clear the air. He looked pensive, as his shoulders sagged. He looked defeated, which was surprising to say the least.

"My mother's in a nursing home." He sighed quietly. "The visiting hours end at 10pm, and unless I run there from work, I don't get to see her. I decided to work late tonight to make up for it."

Her heart stopped. Was she the coldest person ever? She hadn't even known. She'd always just assumed he'd been running to a needy booty call. What could she even say to that?

"I'm sorry." Elena said simply, meaning her words. "I really didn't know. If I had-"

"It doesn't matter." Damon interrupted her. "I don't need your pity, and I don't need you to act like you care."

She turned to look at him again. "But why won't you let me? A man that runs to take care of his ailing mother every single night is not a bad man by nature. Don't pretend you are, and just let me in. Why can't we be friends?"

Elena couldn't believe the words that escaped her. All this time she'd worried about being vulnerable in front of him, and here she was confronting him about the crux of their issues. Was she insane?

"Elena..." He said her name, as if testing it out. "You don't want to be friends with someone like me."

"You shouldn't make that decision for me." She said quietly, all of a sudden feeling the tension in the room.

Damon gave her a lopsided smile, his eyes twinkling with amusement. "You're cute."

She scoffed, ready to leave the room again. It was all one step forward and a gazillion steps backward with him. He read her emotions correctly, and placed a hand on to her shoulder, stopping her.

"Please, don't leave," He said hastily. "I just...meant it in the most genuine way possible."

"Really?" She asked, looking at him from beneath her lashes, feeling strangely shy. She wasn't used to this side of him.

Damon nodded, smiling wistfully. "I remember when I saw you at the auditions during our first day. You were just so wide-eyed and beautiful, and I knew I wanted to meet you. And then I did and you were just so...mean."

"I wasn't mean. You were just a complete asshat." She glowered at him. "Wait..."

He furrowed his brows. "What?"

"You thought I was beautiful?" She asked, bemused by his words. She couldn't help the tiny smile that pervaded her face.

He gave her a pointed look. "Don't fish for compliments, Gilbert, it's unattractive."

Elena rolled her eyes. "I wasn't. I'm just surprised that you ever thought that about me."

"Still do." He snorted. "How could I not?"

Elena blushed and tugged on her hair again. She wasn't used to this Damon, one that was actually relatively tolerable under the influence of alcohol. More than that, the compliments were clouding her better judgment, and she was letting him get to her. She knew he was full of shit anyways.

"How could you?" She scoffed.

His eyebrows disappeared under his messy hair. "You're kidding, right?"

She shrugged, tugging on the sleeves of her blouse self-consciously. Was she goodlooking? Probably, according to society's norms. It didn't mean she had to be convinced of it herself, especially when no one ever mentioned it to her.

"Okay, stand up." Damon told her. He stood up and placed his hands on his hips.

"What?" Elena laughed nervously.

"I'm not going to ask you again, Elena." He warned her mischievously. "Get up before I make you get up."

"I'm up," She jumped off the table.

He crooked a finger and beckoned her. "Now come here."

Eyeing him warily, Elena stepped forward, until she was only inches away from his face. Looking into his eyes, she gasped as she took into the playful spirit hidden in the depths of his cerulean pools. Never before had she fully taken the time to appreciate all the different flecks of color in his eyes. He was beautiful.

She tried to cower down as his hand came to cradle her head, only for him to pull her closer. Finally, she was wrapped in the warm cocoon of his arms, for whatever unknown reason. She looked up into his eyes, trying to find answers to all her questions.

Elena gasped as she felt his hand toying with the scrunchie in her hair. Slowly, she felt her chocolate colored locks cascade down her back. He played with the strands of her hair, and massaged her scalp. Her mouth dropped open at the sensation, and she had to work to stifle a moan. It'd been so long since anyone had done that for her.

"I told you I like your hair down." He whispered, staring into her eyes.

Elena nodded, feeling her throat constrict. What was he doing to her? She knew the rational thing to do was to leave and find an empty room for herself. She just couldn't bring herself to break the electric current running between their bodies. Not when he felt so...right.

She shuddered as she felt his hands travel down the smooth planes of her curves, before they settled on her bottom. If it was even possible, he pulled her even closer against his own body, letting her feel every inch of him.

"Damon..." She sighed, trying to find the words. Truthfully, there were no words to be said. She didn't even like him, not really. She just...couldn't get enough of him.

"Shh," He smiled, "Just don't. Whatever you're going to say, it's no good. Just let yourself feel."

Elena nodded. "We have tonight, right? Tonight nothing matters, and nothing exists."

"See, now you're starting to get the hang of it." He teased her.

Grabbing the back of his neck, she pulled him closer until she could feel his breath on her lips. "Damon...Don't take this the wrong way, but shut the fuck up."

Standing up on her toes, Elena kissed him deep. It was an experiment to her, a successful one at that. His lips felt amazing against hers, just as she'd always thought they would, whenever her body had betrayed her. He responded with equal amounts of passion and dominance, wrapping his arms firmly around her waist.

She let herself taste every inch of his mouth, pouring months of frustration into the act. He fought her every step of the way, exploring the planes of her mouth with his tongue, claiming her as his own. She moaned as she stepped back, trying to catch her breath. Two seconds later, she pushed him against the wide room length window.

Damon groaned as his back hit the thick glass, only for the sound to be swallowed by her feverish kisses. It was sick, now that she had a taste of the forbidden fruit, she couldn't get enough of it. Enough of him. Raising her hands, she sank her fingers into his raven hair, enjoying the texture.

"Are you," He gasped out between kisses, "Sure about this?"

Elena shook her head as she reached for the buttons of his shirt. "No. I just...I can't overanalyze this right now. I just..."

Her fingers were shaking as she tried to unbutton him. He grabbed her hands between his and steadied her. "You just what?"

She closed her eyes. "I need this."

Damon nodded, before capturing her lips again. He let his hands trail down her length until he reached her bottom again. He pulled her flush against his body, and Elena sighed as she felt certain parts of his physique coming to life.

"It really is a great ass." He muttered, almost in a daze, to himself.

Elena rolled her eyes, before bringing her hands back to his shirt. Slowly, she unbuttoned his shirt, until she had a clear visual of why the shemale from Thailand had been so fond of him. He was a god.

"Wow." She breathed out, not sure of what else to say.

He grinned at her cockily. "Your turn."

Before she had the time to feel self-conscious, he was on her again. With years of experience on his side, he quickly pulled her shirt over her head. He stood back and looked at her with hungry eyes, causing her to shift on her feet. He looked at her like he wanted to eat her.

"Come here." He told her gruffly.

She shuffled over to him. As soon as she was close enough, he turned her around so that her backside was flush against his hard length. Placing his hands on to her hips, he began to pull down the zipper on her skirt. In a manner of seconds her skirt was on the floor.

Damon didn't let go of her yet, holding her in their provocative pose. Teasing her, he let his fingers dance across her heated skin, until he reached her outer thighs. He groaned as he felt the lace that covered her legs.

"Stockings?" He whispered against her ear. "What are you doing to me?"

She whimpered as his fingers inched closer to where she wanted him. He teased her by tracing the edges of her black panties with his fingers, chuckling as he realized just how much she wanted him.

"Say it, Elena." He commanded her.

She shook her head, only for him to pull his fingers away from her. "Say it."

If she was already going to hell... "I want you to touch me."

"We aim to please." He laughed to himself.

Elena squealed as he suddenly threw her over his shoulder. Unsure of where he was going with it, she panicked, only to feel her back collide against the smooth surface of the conference table in a manner of seconds. She could only imagine what she looked like, spread across the table half naked with her hair fanned out.

Smirking at her predatorily, he spread her legs open and walked in between her thighs. Lowering his head, he began placing kisses on her stomach, ignoring the way she shuddered over the exquisite torture. He kissed every inch of naked skin he could find, before grasping her inner thighs hard with his hands.

Her breathing grew rapid as Damon brought his lips to her inner thigh, and kissed the skin before sucking on it gently. Was he trying to kill her? All doubt left her mind when he began to tug down her underwear. He grinned at her lasciviously after succeeding in his endeavour, before his head disappeared between her legs again.

Her head dropped against the table as she felt his mouth on her. Elena bit her lip, trying to keep quiet. He licked her wet slit from top to bottom, with extra attention to her needy little button. Before she could help herself, she placed her hands in his hair, pressing him down against the apex of her thighs more firmly.

Damon steadied her hips with his hands, preventing her from thrusting up to meet his tongue. She moaned out as he slipped a single finger inside of her, as her walls immediately expanded and swallowed the digit hungrily. As he began to suck on her clit, she could feel inner walls begin to flutter.

He continued to tease her, switching up his rhythtm, until she couldn't take it anymore. Elena closed her eyes and thrashed on the table as she felt inner walls flutter. Her mind exploded into a supernova as she unraveled before him on the table. He continued licking her as she tried to recover her wits on the table. Finally, he crawled over and laid on top of her, kissing her languorously.

"That was..." Elena sighed unable to finish her sentence.

"And I'm not done with you yet." Damon answered her huskily. He bounced off the table and stood by the edge. "Sit up and wrap your legs around me, sweetheart."

Feeling as relaxed as limp spaghetti, she couldn't resist. She straddled him as he grabbed her bare ass with his hands. She wrapped her legs firmly around his waist as he moved them back over to the window. Slamming her back against the glass, Damon grabbed her hands, forcing her to surrender to his delicious torture once more.

Elena kissed him again, sucking on his tongue playfully. He growled into her mouth, and thrust his hips into her bare center, reminding her of the urgency of their situation. Wriggling her hands out of his grasp, she brought her fingers to his waist and unzipped his pants. She raised an eyebrow, amused, as she found he was going commando.

"What? Easy access." He grinned, looking more boyish than ever.

She shook her head. "You are such a manwhore."

"Nope. I'm a boy scout." He smirked.

Elena scrunched up her face. "What!"

"Are you on the pill?" Elena nodded, as she felt him position himself at her entrance. "Good. As for how I'm a boy scout..."

Damon kissed her deep, sighing against her skin. "I'm always prepared."

He slammed inside her, hard, and Elena screamed. He felt huge inside of her, and she was literally left breathless as she worked to accommodate his girth. Damon kissed her again, swallowing her screams, as he gave her a minute to get herself back under control.

"This is going to be hard, and this is going to be fast, okay?" He breathed out against her skin.

Elena nodded. She was so sensitive from her last orgasm, she knew she was already teetering on the precipice of climaxing. She squeezed him experimentally with her muscles, and they both moaned at the contact. He looked into her eyes, searching for a signal to move, and she nodded in acceptance.

He thrust up into her, and her body welcomed him. She was lost in a haze of pleasure, as he began a steady rhythm. With each thrust, he pushed her body more firmly against the cool glass pane, and the different sensations were driving her wild.

"Does it turn you on?" Damon asked her, slamming inside her once more.

Elena sighed. "What?"

"Knowing that anyone could look up and see you like this," He quipped nonchalantly.

She grabbed his face and kissed him. "Shut up."

"It does, doesn't it?" Damon chuckled. "I always knew you were..."

Elena didn't let him finish his crass sentence, swallowing his words with her mouth. He didn't mind, as he responded with equal fervor. He slammed into the hilt, letting her feel his full length inside of her, even as her walls fluttered rapidly around him.

Angling her hips, she began pushing down to meet him thrust for thrust, even as her mind went haywire. He muttered something incoherent as she squeezed his hard cock with her muscles again, showing him her passion yet again. He might've had her trapped, but she had him played, just the way she liked it.

She screamed as he sank deeper inside her. Slowly, he began placing small butterfly kisses everywhere he could, on her collarbone, on her breasts, on her arms. She shivered in his arms, as he continued to steadily pound in and out of her, his hard length occasionally swiping at her clit on purpose.

Her eyes rolled to the back of her head as she experienced what could only be called a sensory overload. Just as he slammed inside her hard and came with a loud yell, she felt the dam break and she climaxed for the second time that night. He rested his head in the crook of her shoulder, still holding her trapped between his body and the glass.

"Hold on to me, okay?" He muttered to her. Elena nodded, too exhausted to even think about doing anything else.

He began carrying her across the room. Bending down, he picked up some of their scattered clothes and placed them on the table, before laying them both down on top. He pulle her on top of him carefully, and wrapped his shirt around her shivering frame.

"And a very merry Christmas to you too." Damon whispered against her ear, biting down on her skin gently.

Elena giggled, feeling reckless and wild, and loving it. "And a pretty fantastic New Year."

He was quiet for a moment, and she knew he wanted to ask her something. "Elena?"


"Does this change anything?" She frowned as she heard the insecurity in his voice.

Sighing, she decided it was best to be honest and blunt. "No."


Elena looked up and found him flashing his puppy eyes at her again. Deciding to be playful, she cocked her eyebrows. "Not unless I get a cookie."

He sputtered helplessly, and she burst into giggles. "A cookie?"

Elena nodded, trying to look serious. "Yes. It's the season after all. Also, I'm hungry and it's your fault I still haven't eaten."

Damon nodded, taking her seriously. "I'll get you a cookie."

He jumped off the table, stark naked. "I'll find you the biggest fucking cookie in this city, and then you'll eat it, and then we'll do this whole thing all over again."

She rolled her eyes. Men. She looked out of the window and smiled. "Damon, look."

He followed her gaze and smiled wistfully. "It's snowing."

Elena grinned, feeling inexplicably happy. It was a moment unlike anything she'd ever experienced before, but that was Damon for her. He was rash, rude, and reckless, but underneath it all, he wasn't half bad. She gasped as the lights suddenly turned back on.

They smiled at each other, even as they knew the magic of the night had ended. Damon nodded and picked up his clothes. "Guess I'll go change into these somewhere else."

He began walking towards the door, and she bit her lip. Please come back, her mind screamed. She couldn't just let him walk out like that, could she? She had to say something, anything, to let him know the ice had thawed.

"Hey, Salvatore!" Elena sat up on the table and smiled.

Damon stopped, before turning around and looking at her with a curious smile.

She grinned at him widely. "Nice ass."

AN: And that's it, folks! *Wipes sweat off her forehead* Merry Christmas to everyone, and thank you so much for continuing to support me! *Throws gingerbread cookies to her readers* I love you all so much! xoxo