"So let me get this straight," I started. "You found her at the age of ten and adopted her?" I asked currently surprised at Alaric's confession.
"Exactly," he said taking a drink from his glass. "I was on my way home from a meeting with Elijah when I found her crying in an alley. I asked if she needed help but I saw how thin and sick looking she was so I just brought her home. Shes been with us ever since."
"And Jeremy?" I asked about the other kid their housing in their home. Alaric with kids and a wife, who would have thought?
"Hes my nephew, his mom was my sister. She an her husband died in a car accident years ago. Jeremy and Elena are practically brother and sister because they've been with us for so long," Jenna told me. Since her and Alaric had to explain all this to me she started getting comfortable with talking to me.
I shook my head and chugged the rest of my drink. Matt was there again to fill it up. Ric knew how to find a good bartender.
"So these are the changes we were talking about earlier?" I aked Ric. I couldn't and probably wouldn't get over the fact of Alaric having a family.
He nodded. "Like I said, its not drastic but its a change."
"My ass. Ric you used to be one of the most feared men in all of Chicago, no mobster alive would want to deal with you and now you have a wife and kids? Thats drastic my friend," I told him completely forgetting I wasn't allowed to bring up his mob days.
Catching my slip up Alaric glared at me.
I put my hands up in surrender. "Calm down, I didn't mean to go that far. Its just its hard to think of you so tied down like this. And what I want to know is why you never told any of us."
Ric sighed. "I didn't want Elena or Jeremy around any of that. They know, yes, about what I used to do before I married Jenna but they don't know detail."
I could tell Ric was silently telling me and they don't need to know so don't tell them.
"Jeremy had just gotten with us and I was barely leaving the mob when I found Elena. They didn't need any kind of link to that life, especially Elena. I don't want what happened to Rebekah to happen to her," he said.
I didn't have anything to say to that. Ric was right. What happened to Rebekah wasn't because of a Mob deal gone wrong or being on the wrong territory at the wrong time it was because she grew up a mobster's daughter.
I took a small drink from my glass and just sat there. Ric and Jenna had good reason to keep Jeremy and Elena away from the Mob but when you grow up with it your entire life you tend to hide away from the negative side of it.
We all sat together quietly, well except for Matt and Stefan. They were busying talking to some girls on the other side of the bar. Stefan was already looking for his smash for the night.
I chuckled at my brother and went back to observing the club but my eyes stopped when I met hers.
There she was, looking at beautiful as ever in her dress. It glimmered like jewels and fit her in all the right places. She stared back at me and in that moment electricity just flew.
We stared at each other from across the room just watching each other, seeing who would make the first move. I couldn't because I was just so struck by her beauty. Who could leave a girl like that in an alley?
The moment was ruined then when Jenna's voice called out to her. "Elena!"
She snapped from her gaze and looked at Jenna, giving her a smile. She started to make her way over to us and I could feel my heart pick up speed.
I watched as she moved, she was graceful like a swan and when she finally reached us I couldn't keep my eyes off her.
"There you are. I've been looking every where for you two," she said to Jenna and Ric.
Her voice. I could listen to it all day.
"We've just been here. Visiting with my friend Damon," Ric said gesturing toward me.
For a guy who wants me to stay away from her he was pretty quick at introducing us.
Elena turned toward me I could see the faint blush creep up on her cheeks. "I'm a Elena, its a pleasure to meet you," she said.
I took her hand and kissed it. "Believe me, the pleasure's all mine."
She tried to hide a smile that was growing on her cheeks. I just gave her my best smirk.
"I didn't catch your name," she told me gaining back her composure.
I let go of her hand and kept my smirk plastered. "Damon. Damon Salvatore."
"Stefan's brother?" she asked raising a perfectly arched brow. This girl was impressive.
"Well I hope so. It wouldn't be fun finding out the kid you've been beating on for the past 18 years isn't your biological brother," I said.
What a wonderful noise.
"Elena how about you come with me for a moment, I have some friends I want you to meet," Jenna said getting off her barstool.
Elena and I kept eye contact and I could see that she had no desire to move away from me but she turned to Jenna. "I'll be there in a minute."
She looked back at me. "I guess I'll be seeing you around Damon."
"Oh believe me, you will," I winked.
Elena headed over to Jenna and the two started to head to a table on the floor next to the bar. I couldn't keep my eyes off of her and she couldn't keep her eyes off me.
I saw Alaric glaring at me from the corner of my eye.
"What?" I asked.
He shook his head. "Your impossible."
"Hey you introduced us, that was all you my friend," I told him finishing my drink.
"Just because I introduced you doesn't mean you get a free pass. I care about her Damon and I won't let you hurt her," he said.
I knew Ric was serious. Just like me hes seen alot of beautiful talented young women get slaughtered because of their ties to the Mob lifestyle but with Elena it was going to be hard to stay away from her.
"I understand," I told him. I really did get why he wanted Elena away from the Mob but staying away from her? Yea don't quote me on that.
He nodded and his face turned serious. "Should we go talk business now?"
I finished off my glass. "Lead the way."
Ric and I headed started heading toward the stage but went to a door that was next to it instead. He pulled out a key and unlocked the door, he motioned me to go in first. He took a look around the club and then followed.
We walked up a staircase and into what I'm guessing is Alaric's secret office.
When we got there Ric went to his desk and poured himself a glass of what I knew as Rum. His favorite drink. He handed me the bottle and I poured myself a glass as well. Alcohol makes things alot easier.
I leaned against an end table while Ric sat in his desk chair. "So what is it you came here for Damon? I know it wasn't just to catch up."
I chuckled a sipped my Rum, liking the burn on my throat. I knew Alaric would catch on, I wasn't here for just friendly business but also Mob business. He knew that as soon as I walked in the door.
"We have a problem and Elijah wants you recruited back in," I told him.
Alaric was silent.
"I'm not going back Damon."
"Ric listen, this isn't some turf war or business deal gone bad, its not even because we need some muscle. We need you back just like we need all our toughest guys. Whats going on now is bigger then anything we've ever dreamed of in this lifestyle," I said getting up and walking over to Alaric's desk.
"Yea and whats that? Some big deal that needs Elijah look like the scariest guy alive? Well sorry to let you down Damon but I'm no longer part of that. As much as a surprise it is to you I have a family and responsibilities now. I'm not gonna put any of their lives in danger to make Elijah happy," Alaric said.
I set my hands down on his desk and looked straight in the eye. "I'll tell you what this is Ric. Its a situation were the city will rain with blood, where gunpowder will be the last thing you smell, we men are taken out by the hundreds. This is any old turf war, oh no, this is an all out brawl. A brawl in which only one King will win."
Alaric snapped his head at me. "Your not serious."
"I am," I told him.
It was silent again. Alaric was fuming and was ready to explode, what was happeing in the shadows of Chicago was going to become the city's biggest news report.
"Whos the rival?" Ric asked.
I stood up straight. "John Gilbert."
"You've got to be kidding me," Alaric mumbled to himself.
I stood their letting him take it all in. Our Mob has had trouble with John and his guys before but he was only a rookie in a game thats been going since before even our fathers were born. He wasn't the smartest guy around but lately hes been getting clever. Hes already killed a few of our guys, robbed our stores, and took over businessess. John isn't trying to get attention or start a brawl, hes out for something bigger and deadly.
"And why does Elijah need me back in?" Ric asked.
"What do you mean why? Have you meet you? Ric whether your like it or not your a walking death threat and Elijah's hitman. You took care of all his business and thats why he remained King and thats why we never had an issue like this before. John Gilbert isn't that crazy guy we all laughed at anymore, this guy has the resources now to kill us all. All operations have been cut and any business deals we had going. Elijah and I think John has spies in our neck of the woods," I told him.
"Oh please. You know that no man will ever go against Elijah, Damon. Hes King for chirst sake," Ric said,
"Then explain to me how money has gone missing, how John was able to get into our warehouse and steal our guns without evne setting off the alarm, or even how he knew that we set up a plan to kill him but he was able to get away. The only way that mini mobster could get all that intel was through our own, and you know that better then anyone Ric."
Again Ric was silent but this time he was looking considerate, like he was going to take up the offer.
"You know that doing this will also keep Jenna, Elena, Jeremy safe. They'll have men watching them every hour of the day and will keep them from danger. They don't even have to know. Just take up the offer and you get to keep your family safe."
Alaric looked up at me and I could see the wheels turning. It wasn't just the wheels of protecting his family but the wheels that made Alaric who he was. Most men loved being the Mob, Ric was the Mob. He enjoyed being feared of, he liked fighting with guns, he liked the feeling of speeding away from a job. Alaric was more then just a club owner.
"It will be like old times Ric. You, me, and Elijah, the most feared men in all of the city, the ones who grew up like brothers, who always had each other's back, who bleed together. We run this city," I told him.
Alaric stood up and faced me. "Alright, I'll come back but on one condition."
"Name it," I said.
"Elena, Jeremy, and Jenna don't get involved in this, at all. Don't tell them anything and don't let them know whats going on. Any business that has to come to me you bring it, if Jenna sees different guys walking in and out of here talking to me she'll know whats going on," he said.
"On behalf of Elijah, I accept your terms," I said sticking my hand out.
Alaric shook it with a firm grip.
I smirked. "The Mob War has offcially begun."
A/N: Sorry I took long to update. Hope you enjoyed the chapter :)