The fact that Katherine is so much stronger makes it easier, in a way. Elena tells herself resistance is futile. When the window slides open in the darkest hours of the morning, when Katherine's perfume, combined with the soft scent of her skin fills the room, Elena pretends she's still asleep.

Futile, again futile.

"I can heart your heart speeding up," Katherine says, pushing Elena's hair out of her eyes, draping it behind her ears. "Don't pretend you're sleeping. You're not a good liar."

"Go away, Katherine," Elena says. "Just… Why do you keep coming here?"

Katherine stands, then, sometimes, to strip her own clothes away and Elena tries to look away; but she can't. She tells herself it's like watching herself strip in front of the mirror but she doesn't move her hips like that, doesn't trim her pubic hair into the shape of a perfect, tiny heart.

When Katherine strips the sheet away from the bed, she gives a wide smile.

"Nice lingerie. For me?"

Elena tries to pull the sheet back up. She can't. Katherine is strong and in control and Elena is weak, and stripped of her control.

But not willingly, no. She tells herself.

"Go away, Katherine. Just go."

Katherine, nude, all long, lean lines, straddles Elena on the bed. Elena can't ignore Katherine's wet heat, spread wide across Elena's own tanned flesh, just an inch below her belly button.

"I'll call Damon," Elena threatens.

Katherine smiles wider. "Fuck, Elena, but you do come up with a good idea from time to time. Just think. You can eat me out while he fucks you from behind. What a view I'd have. What a view Damon would have."

It's the talking, that's the worst. So crude, so… Elena doesn't want to call it hot but Katherine rubs herself against Elena's body and maybe, maybe hot is what she's thinking.

"I think we'll do that, one day. One day we'll get Stefan in here, too, complete the circle. Tell me, Elena…" Katherine rolls her hips, and Elena has to bite her lip, and she wishes, wishes, that she still wore pyjamas, like she used to before Katherine started coming. "Do you think Stefan and Damon have ever. You know?"

And she shouldn't ask, and she knows it, but Katherine has a filthy mouth and Elena wants to hear her say it.

"Ever what?"

Katherine smiles, lascivious, because Elena is so transparent. "Ever fucked. See, I think they do. I think when things are quiet a while, they fuck every chance they get. I think Damon likes to be on top. Has he ever fucked you in the ass, Elena? You should let him, some time. You should beg him to. He loves it when women beg."

Elena feels something slick begin to run down between her legs. Katherine smiles broadly, because she can smell it. Because she knows how badly Elena wants her to taste it.

"Ever begged Damon, Elena? Begged him for anything?"

Elena doesn't know when this became her life.

"He'll make it worth your while. He'll make you come so hard you'll be screaming. You'll be crying long before that, though. You two are a match made in heaven. He loves to humiliate. And you, Elena…" Katherine purrs, rubbing tiny circles around Elena's nipple, through the silky fabric of her bra. "You love to be humiliated."

If this was not so fucking true, Elena would start locking her window, maybe.

"This week, Elena, tell me. How much time have you spent thinking about this?"

Elena closes her eyes, ignores the heat continuing to build between her thighs.

"How much time have you spent imagining my lips on your breasts?" Katherine runs a finger around the shell of the cup of the bra. "Take it off, Elena."

"No," Elena says. "I won't. Not this time."

"Yes you will. You chose this lingerie because you knew it would turn me on. Congratulations. I'm turned on. Now. Take. It. Off."

A low growl in her throat. Her lip twisting viciously.

Trembling like the girl she is Elena sits up, unclasps the bra from behind and removes it, dropping it over the edge of the bed.

"Much better," Katherine purrs again, all sweet once more. She runs her fingers over Elena's bare chest, pausing to pinch her nipples. Exactly hard enough, Elena thinks, and why don't boys know this stuff? Why are they always either too gentle, or too rough?

"You haven't answered my question, Elena," Katherine whispers, as she lowers her lips to Elena's nipple, a perfect tiny o, as she places a quick slippery-sucking kiss there, as Elena makes an involuntary little moan.

Katherine delights in being crude, because it makes Elena uncomfortable. She resists, a little, when Katherine catches the elastic edges of her panties and pulls them away, but not much, and she tells herself, over and over again, Katherine is too strong, I can't do anything.

"How. Much. Time?"

Elena rolls her hips again, Katherine's teeth just worrying at her nipple enough to make her teeth ache.

"How much time what?"

Why does she do that?

"How much time have you spent imagining my mouth on your breasts, you little slut?"

For a moment Katherine's eyes flash black and Elena knows, suddenly, that it will be one of those nights. Katherine wants to bite her.

"A… No time," Elena claims, feeling a blush rise to her cheeks, to her breasts, Jesus, to her thighs. Can your thighs really blush?

Katherine chuckles, running her lips and tongue further south. Elena feels her most intimate muscles start to flutter.

"I have a better question for you." Katherine moves back. "How much time have you spent imagine my lips on your clit?" As she says it her finger, unerringly, finds the soft bud, not enough to satisfy, not enough to tease. Just a reminder. "How much time have you spent imagining my tongue in your cunt?"

"No time." Elena can barely breathe. "No time at all."

Suddenly, so suddenly, Katherine's hand is around Elena's throat, one finger on her pulse point, just starting to threaten Elena's blood supply. "Tell me how much time, little slut, or I won't do it again."

"A lot of time. All the time. I can't…" Katherine's hand lets up, and Elena pants with relief. "Please, Katherine…" Please what? Please go away? Please do it again?

Katherine sits back. Drinking in Elena's nude body. "God, we're hot," she says. "Maybe I will call Damon. Can you take direction?"

And why isn't Katherine's mouth where Elena wants it?

"Huh?"

Katherine frowns. "'Huh'? What sort of a word is that? I asked if you can take direction."

"I don't know what you mean."

Katherine runs her tongue over Elena's mouth. Not a kiss, not quite. "I mean if I sit over there and tell you what to do, make you beg him to fuck you while I watch, can you do it?"

Elena closes her eyes and turns her head. "No," she says. "I can't. I won't."

"You will, and you'll be crying, and Damon will taste me in your mouth. And you'll come screaming like a banshee and you'll love every second, even while you wish you didn't." And this is, unfortunately, true. "How did you turn out like this? Mommy Gilbert was a good girl. Oh. Isobel, I guess. Genetics. Can't be helped."

"You and Isobel…"

"Once I had her under control she used to beg me to tie her up. You could fuck that woman anywhere, with anything. I loved her." Katherine grips Elena's chin in her hand. "You might not believe that but I loved her. And I love you."

Elena shakes her head. "Then why do you keep doing this?"

"Because you want me to."

Katherine hooks the discarded panties on her finger and dangles them. "See? This is how badly you want me here." She brings them up to her face, sniffs deeply. "Fuck, Elena, you smell good. You're wetter than a whore on Sunday afternoon. Maybe I'll tie you up after all. Maybe I'll take photos. You think if I texted photos of you dripping and begging and with your eyes all wide like that, we could get Stefan, Damon, and Matt to all come play? I'd love to see you get fucked by all three of them. Stefan in that glorious pussy of yours, Damon buried to the hilt in your ass, and with a mouth full off Matt's cock." She pushes the damp crotch of the panties up against Elena's nose. "Sniff," she commands. Elena obeys, and realises her hips are rocking again, rocking hard against nothing.

With a violent shudder, Elena comes.

Because she has no choice, because Katherine is strong and Elena is weak.

"I could stuff these in your mouth but I like listening to your pathetic complaints." Katherine traces Elena's jaw line with her finger. "And I like making you ask."

Tears burn Elena's eyes.

"I love it when you cry. Even prettier than me, maybe, when you cry." She tilts her head. "I bet Stefan begs you to leave your hair curly. Does he ask you to wear more makeup?"

"N…No," Elena says, and it's a lie.

"Did Matt tell you about the time he fucked me in the store room at the Grill?" Katherine smiles even wider. "He knew it was me, in case you were wondering."

Elena closes her eyes.

"I think I'm going to turn Matt," Katherine says. "And then I'm going to tell him to turn you."

Maybe it's the tears and maybe Katherine is getting bored of hearing herself speak but she moves back even further on the bed.

"Spread your legs."

Elena shakes her head. "I won't," she says.

"What makes you think it's a good idea to pretend you don't want to?"

Elena spreads her legs.

"Wider." She does. "Wider." Tears burn Elena's eyes again. "Tell me, Elena. Is that as wide as you can go?"

Burning, Elena draws her knees up a little, and lets them fall to the sides.

"Better. Tongue, or finger?"

"What?"

Katherine mimics Elena, lip twisting cruelly. "What? What? I said, Elena, tongue or finger? Choose."

"I won't."

"You'll choose, or I'll go."

Not so long ago the threat was 'you choose, or I'll choose for you'. When did this start working instead?

"Tongue," Elena says, and her voice is so tiny she can pretend she didn't say it.

"Tongue. A bold choice. You're doing beautifully. Now, tongue what?"

"What?"

"I thought you wanted to be a writer, Elena. Seriously. You need to learn a few more words. Here's some practise for you. Tell me what you want me to do with my tongue?"

Fresh tears prickle Elena's eyes. "You've never asked me to do that before," Elena says.

"I'm providing you with an education, Elena. This is a new lesson."

"I won't do it."

Katherine smiles like a cat smiles, and the capillaries in her face darken. Her eyes take on a red tinge.

"Elena," she says. "I'm doing you a favour. Now. Tell me what you want me to do or I will tie you up and call my three favourite boys. Hey – you think Alaric's busy? Though…" Katherine studies her immaculately manicured hand. "He makes time for me. He and I have an understanding. Whose is the biggest dick you've ever seen, Elena? Damon? Alaric's is bigger. And he knows what to do with it. Sometimes I make him call me Elena while he fucks me. I always straighten my hair before I go knocking on that door. Not that I knock, generally," she confesses. "You never know what you'll find in that loft. Found him and Damon going at it on Alaric's weights bench, once. Damon actually looked like he was in pain."

A murmur escapes Elena's treacherous lips.

"Did you know they were fucking?"

Elena says nothing and suddenly Katherine's hand is fisted in her hair, tugging hard, and this shouldn't make her thighs tremble so badly but it does. "Yes… yes," she says. "I knew."

"How did you know?"

"I…" Elena wants to cry again and wants to backtrack back to when Katherine gave her an opportunity to ask for what she wanted. "I saw them."

Katherine smiles. "Saw them."

"I… watch them. Sometimes. They don't know."

Katherine looks impressed. Leans to reward Elena with a graze of teeth on the underside of her breast, just drawing blood, licking it away again. She gets her mouth up close to Elena's ear. "Damon knows. If you can see them, you're close enough to smell. And what do you do while you watch?"

"I… nothing."

Katherine takes Elena's bottom lip between her teeth, runs her tongue across it. "Do you do some needlepoint? Play cards? Take a couple of happy snaps?" The gravel in her voice, the hitch in her breath. She shifts to drop her nipple into Elena's eager mouth. "I asked you what you do while you watch them."

"I touch myself," Elena admits. "Is that what you want to hear?"

"You know it is. Though next time I'm going to need to you be a lot more specific. And now, I want to hear what you want me to do with my tongue."

"I want you… to lick… me. Down there."

"Down there? What are you, twelve?"

"Katherine…"

"Where do you want my tongue?"

"In my… in my cunt," Elena says, and coming from her own lips the word sounds wrong. It' not her word. It's Katherine's. "Please. Don't make me say it again."

"You don't want to tell me a second time that you want my tongue between the dripping folds of your cunt?" Katherine relishes every syllable, drawing the words out.

Elena closes her eyes.

"Open your eyes, Elena. Is that what you don't want to say?"

Elena opens her eyes. "Yes."

"Yes what?"

"That's… what I don't want to say."

Katherine smiles and there is maybe less of a predator in it. Her fangs are withdrawn. "And after. Will I bite you, tonight?"

"No."

"That was almost assertive. I liked it. Okay. No biting. Tonight. Next time I get double."

Elena likes it best when Katherine bites her on the inside of the thigh. Which is where her mouth is now, wetly devouring first the left and then the right before finally, suddenly, finally, Katherine's face is buried in the wet heat at the juncture of Elena's legs; and it's like a mouth, she's kissing it like a mouth, all hunger and tongue and all want and need and Elena starts to come almost right away. She can't help it – cries out, hips writhing against Katherine's face, and even though it's only been a few seconds, she needs a break – you can't just keep coming, can you? And oh, god, she's being too loud, Alaric is here tonight, not at his loft, Alaric will wake up and burst in here and find them like this. And Elena doesn't want him to, but she cries out again, louder, thighs closing over Katherine's head, rocking on her hips.

She tries to pull away, and Katherine growls, holding her hips in place, and Elena keeps coming, until she's crying, covering her face with her hands.

Katherine sits up, her face shining and wet. "I think we're nearly done for tonight," she says. "As soon as you kiss me."

And Elena can't help it, throws her arms around Katherine's neck, devouring her mouth, tasting herself on Katherine's lips and tongue even as she asks herself why, why, why? Breath hitching in her chest, as her tears continue to fall.

And all too soon Katherine is dressing, her approval evident in every look she darts in Elena's direction.

"I think it's time we up the ante a little, Elena."

"You're…" Elena swallows a sob. "You're really going to bring Damon and Stefan here?"

"Not yet." Katherine shakes her head. "Not yet. No. You want to know what happens next?"

"Yes." She needs to know. Watches Katherine shimmy into leather pants and a white top so tight it looks like paint, nipples erect and stark. Elena doesn't want to look but she does, because Katherine is strong, and Elena is weak.

"From now on, if your window is locked, I won't come in."

Elena's heart skips a beat. "Wh…what?"

"I think you heard."

Elena sits up straight. "No. Why? You can get through any lock."

Katherine smiles. "God, you really are a quick study. If your window is locked, I won't come in. So you think about that. Next I'm going to teach you to really beg, instead of just asking, and I know you can't wait for that." Katherine sits on the edge of the bed, sweet smile oh her face. Traces Elena's lips with her finger. "You'll learn to beg me, first, and then I'll teach you to beg someone else. I want to see that cocksucking mouth of yours suck some cock. Is that so wrong?"

Katherine stands up again, and picks up the discarded panties, smelling them again. "I'm keeping these. I'll let you know what Matt thinks about the scent. I'm betting he'll want them in his mouth when he fucks me next. But I won't tell you, not what he says and not what he does with them, not until you beg me to. Goodnight, Elena."

And she's out the window and Elena's alone again, tears drying on her cheeks.

She knows she'll never lock the window. Never.