Fic: In Our Noir Life 1/?

Nov 09, 2012 23:45

Title: In Our Noir Life
Recipient: elenarain
Prompt: Damon/Elena- Damon is a big time mobster, running BDSM clubs as a front; Elena is a dancer in one of the clubs. Damon becomes possessive over who gets time with Elena and eventually claims her as his own.
Characters/Pairings: Damon/Elena, Katherine
Word Count: ~ 4900
Rating/Warnings: NC-17 
Spoilers: AU - no spoilers
Summary: Elena is the new girl and Damon is immediately fascinated by her
Author's notes: Written for the tvdfic_exchange. There was need for a pinch-hitter and before I had even emailed Marta to volunteer, I had written ~300 words of this fic. It happened just like that. 
And then a funny thing happened where I was absolutely certain that I signed up for 11/7 and 11/9 - but I was (apparently) supposed to post this yesterday. Life being what it is, and this plot!bunny of doom being what it is, this is only the first part for now. I hope to have the second (possibly final) segment posted by the end of next week. Again, I am the ~worst and D/E ruin people's lives. Especially mine.

[This girl, swinging her legs so carelessly beside him, carried death about her person in an instinctual way - she had known too much of it. He felt an inconceivable urge to pull her into his lap, to tease her to tears and then wipe them away. To hurt her until she hurt him.]

If there was one thing you could say about Damon Salvatore with surety was that he didn’t like to get his hands dirty.

Until she walked into his bar.

Damon Salvatore rarely had time to deal with the interviews for the girls in his clubs. He was a busy man, keeping up a chain of “gentleman’s clubs” littered across the South as a front while secretly engaging in what could only truly be described as organized crime, but he felt the term too indelicate, too simplistic, for the sheer amount of interpersonal ass-kissing he did on a daily basis.

The Salvatore reputation depended on a devotion to silence. Mostly those who knew him called him “Boss” - which explained enough to anyone who didn’t know. He had contacts, contracts, affiliates, underlings, all of whom kept his identity close to the chest in fear. The only retaliation for a break of trust with Damon Salvatore was an inevitable death. It was a concept he prized above all others, it ruled him as thoroughly as he ruled his little empire.

And an old-fashioned empire it was, one that depended upon favors and smiles and silences. One that ruled through names and secrets, through charm and intuition; big gestures and big, flashy products tired him and so he never had a hand in them - once it was clear he no longer needed to. (Hired thugs were capable of keeping such things running; Salvatore kept his delicate hands out of such productions, reaping the benefits without having any need to acknowledge their existence.) It wasn’t typical - not in an age in which smiling and handshaking was done far more often for devious purposes by legitimate businessmen, while the crime lords were left to trade tricks with each other, running underneath the system like rats - while all the while the main stage was more corrupt than anyone fully realized. It was a time in which the lines between professions was blurring - a time when someone like Damon Salvatore could easily take advantage of both worlds, both sets of rules, and come out on top.

He believed, fully and utterly, that his approach had a delicacy, a refinement, a romanticism that the world was otherwise missing. He gave the world a sneak peek at a distant past, he built a livelihood on convincing others that they could live in that glorified world yet again.

So busy was he, living the archaic life of leisure, that he rarely bothered to deal with the day to day responsibilities of his clubs.  There was something about this new spot, though…  posing as a Swing Club and featuring an archaic big band sound for the respectable members of small town-Mystic Falls, while catering to a select crowd within its bowels - that he felt personally invested in. Something he had not bothered with in over a decade.

He had been feeling restless in the big cities there’s only so much New Orleans-kitsch a man can take in his life. He was getting older - still much younger than most men in his industry, but still… the ridiculously large plantation mansions in Mystic Falls were selling for cheap in the current economy, and under the complacent façade of the town, Damon sensed a setting ripe for his interests and special skills.

A town in which his quick smile and smooth manners (along with his fiscal generosity) would easily ingratiate him into the inner circle. It was a town he could get lost in, where he could pretend to be normal for half a moment. A space where being normal was so relative - where everyone was dedicated to the facade of normalcy. A town that would cater to his own aspirations of forgotten grandeur, where he could dig deep into his own fantasy and have the space with which to convince others that time had indeed stopped.  So he had picked up and moved; giving himself time only to design a club and refurbish his newly acquired mansion into a Southern Noir playground.

His biggest club - in New Orleans - he had left in the capable hands of his second hand, Rose. She was fierce but loyal, and had a crew of women that would keep things running smoothly in his absence.

Rose had been looking to retire soon - had started out as one of his “dancers” in that first club; won in the best poker game of his life. She had once been a delightful ingénue that had tickled his interest when they were both young and recklessly invested in their own pursuits, but now was his most trusted advisor. They had wrestled themselves into this world side by side, picking each other up when they fell and never looking back.  (No one knew that she preferred the company of his other girls… No one suspected their relationship was as platonic as that between a brother and sister.)  She was starting to get tired of the life, and there he was handing over half of the business to her. It’s not like it could be helped, there was no one else he could really turn to. Sage had her own handle on Atlanta, sending a smaller cut of her earnings each year… (The last man who had joked about Damon Salvatore and his female-driven mob was gifted with a sharp knife slipped between his ribs.)… and Stefan….

He rubbed his face with one hand and shuffled the stack of applications on the desk in front of him. Damon was constantly cleaning up after the string of forever damaged and battered women left in the wake of Stefan’s insatiable appetites. He was too much a danger to Damon’s girls, to the business, to himself… Sage and Rose had both promised to kill him if he ever set foot in one of their clubs again. He was too headstrong to deal with the intricacies of personal relations, too violent to run one of the clubs, too complacent to be sent off on his own, and too self-flagellating to be given any tasks in the field. Damon had once considered sending Stefan into the military or into a Police Academy - it would serve his purposes to have someone on the inside and Damon had hoped the discipline would have helped Stefan even himself out - but his younger brother tore off to Europe at the mere mention of the thought. Eight months later he resurfaced and the expense of the clean-up wasn’t worth another such argument.

Damon looked up when he heard a small cough in the chair on the opposite side of his desk, bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, and only barely registered a slight female form on the edge of the chair, long brown hair … everywhere. He looked back down at the papers and pretended to be fully absorbed in the blurry text there, How long had she been there? A message was beeping on his phone - it was Leonard, his receptionist. Damon sat down and extended a long finger toward the flashing red light, a tinny voice bursting into the room.

“Boss? Boss? You’re 3 o’clock is here. Are you done with Miss Gilbert?” Leonard’s voice held the unmistakable accent inherited from his French Creole mother, even when distorted by the ridiculous speakers on Damon’s desk phone. Damon hired the large man for all the things people would notice about him - and all the things they wouldn’t. The 30-something year old man was nearly 7 feet and over three hundred pounds of muscle, his features were a perfect blend of his French and African ancestry… and hidden under all that masculine physicality was a sweet-tempered gay man who loved Damon’s girls like they were all his own baby sisters and volunteered at an animal shelter in his spare time. Most women figured him out within a matter of minutes and had him wrapped around their pinkie fingers by the end of one evening, while the average male just steered clear. He was the perfect asset physically, add in his utter devotion to Damon and the girls - it had taken him only a few months to promote from bouncer to Salvatore’s personal assistant.

Damon stared stupidly at the phone and then at the girl in the chair across the desk, her lips were pursed into a smile she was trying to hide, her head bowed he still didn’t have a handle on what exactly she looked like at this point, but if her delicate and long - impossibly long - limbs and fingers were any indication, she wasn’t bred for this line of work. He cleared his throat, “Why don’t you just take care of the 3 o’clock and-”

“No need, boss.”


“It’s no good boss. I told you not to order so many roses, I’m going to have to send some back.”

Damon Salvatore sat back in his chair and stared at the phone. Either he had lost his mind, or his assistant was rambling about roses, “Leo - what the fuck are you talking about?”

Leonard’s voice sounded strained, “The roses, boss. They’re dated. No one likes them. You should really trust me on this one.”

Damon was suddenly aware that the girl in the chair across from him was now giggling aloud - and it was a nice laugh. Low, sultry, not at all what he had expected. Not at all what a giggle should sound like. It was practically obscene, that giggle.

The girl was suddenly leaning over him - though he was sure that she could have reached the button on the phone without coming to his side of the desk, he could smell her own musky skin just under a rich sandlewoody scent as her elbow grazed his knee - "Leonard? We got it. Thank you."

She said it as though she had spoken to Leonard through the phone on his desk, draped just above his lap, every day of her life. And it felt oddly as if this were true. As if it could be true; but it was only for a moment and then she moved and he pushed the feeling aside as if it had never been.

“Roses. She was too old,” the girl looked up at him. “Get it?”

He coughed, or something. He tried to be gruff, but she just stared at him wide-eyed and so innocent looking, there leaning up against his desk as she turned to face him.

Leonard scooted through the entrance with two steaming hot cups of coffee and beamed at them, the girl set aside some papers and hopped up on Damon’s desk, clutching the coffee in her hands with a smile - as though that was the most normal thing in the world to do at an interview - swinging her legs so that the loose skirt he now she saw was wearing, caught on his knee, his thigh, his chair, threatening to pull loose and expose her.

Leonard did not offer Damon the other cup of coffee. Instead, he pulled up the chair so recently occupied by the girl in front of him, and nursed the coffee himself. Within moments, Elena Gilbert - for that was her name, Damon learned as he followed the quick volley between herself and his assistant - had revealed half of her life story.

Damon stopped asking himself how Leo seemed to know everyone everywhere they went - it seemed as though the large man had known this girl her entire life, the odds actually being that they met earlier that day in line at a quickie-mart.

In between sulking that he had no fresh coffee of his own and being heavily distracted by Elena’s bare legs - less than inches from his own and in constant movement, Damon was able to glean quite a substantial amount about her life, without having to engage much in the conversation at all.

She was a psychology major at the State college only a half hour’s drive from Mystic Falls - she commuted every day, keeping up 16 units and working part-time on campus. Her parents were dead - as were all other family members, except a younger brother who was starting at a university that year. A brother that it seemed she all but raised alone there was a certain tone to her voice when she spoke of him, a tenderness and possessiveness that Damon recognized echoing emotions he still had for Stefan. She was hoping to become a child and family therapist but he instinctively knew that a girl like her would fare far better in an environment with people who understood death on the personal level she so obviously did. This girl, swinging her legs so carelessly beside him, carried death about her person in an instinctual way - she had known too much of it. He felt an inconceivable urge to pull her into his lap, to tease her to tears and then wipe them away. To hurt her until she hurt him.

And then she was addressing him - and somehow he had lost track of their conversation, he had missed vital pieces of information about this wisp of a girl perched on his desk.

“I can work weekdays, from 9 pm to 3 am. And if you need me here earlier to help with…?” her eyes scanned the scattered papers littering Damon’s desk.

He cleared his throat, “Nine is fine.”

And then she had breezed out, after laying a quick kiss on Leo’s cheek. Just like that. With just a nod of her head.

And Damon was left alone in his office with just the memory of her scent and Leo’s positively gleeful smirk.

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *

He loved to watch her at her work, from behind a screen he sometimes half thought she knew was there (though how could she know?). She was methodical in her every moment, looking down from such great heights at the men and women that begged her to hurt them.

But the pleasure her customers found was not in her whips and chains, was not in those impossibly sharp fingernails as they drew blood across the chests and arms of men crying out with the pleasure of it, it was in her eyes.

They weren’t dead. He had believed they were - the first time he watched her bring a man to tears with her instruments (she was the best around, she was famous, they all wanted her). She had no fear in her eyes, no passion or emotion - she had seemed so dead to her actions.

And then he had glimpsed her once, looking down at a man as she traced the edge of her stiletto heel down his cheek as he panted in pain and pleasure… and there in her eyes was a look of such wonder and curiosity. He had stopped and gaped. He felt something stirring in him that he had never experienced before, an unconscious need to possess that gaze.

This young girl, impossibly violent and impassioned to the pleas of her willing victims, who was able to walk out of his club each morning as innocent as she had first walked in, was in complete wonder. Not dead, not cold, completely entranced by the moment. There was a sense of complete honesty to her gaze that struck him to his core.

It was possibly in this moment that Damon Salvatore lost his heart to this young girl. Although he would always say it was that first day in his office - with her legs so close to his own. But they both knew that was just a story he told.

He began to watch her anytime he could after that - hand-picking her guests as slyly as was possible. Her honesty in the moment was so rare in this world so completely reliant on a sense of production and performance. Elena Gilbert never shied away from the brutal reality of her dark actions, she embraced them without pleasure or fear: just as they were.

He had seen so many examples of both extremes. His brother, who became so lost in the passion and feelings of power that his eyes went dark and his mind was completely lost into the action. Women who worked in the business so long that they became desensitized to the world he created around them, their eyes empty as they went through the emotions. Elena Gilbert embraced each moment without passion but with a bizarrely intense interest, it drove him to distraction. Her eyes haunted him - their compelling interest in every scream and sigh, the way her whole being seemed to respond to her world. They followed him into his dreams.

He lost hours watching her watch her handiwork on the patrons that flocked to her deft hands.

But the pain came from her eyes. The screams were all the more poignant and meaningful under her watchful gaze. He saw new meaning in every deliberate movement she made - as she gasped at the wonder of her own body, at the way it could harm another’s into the purest pleasure they would ever know, at the way her body responded to another’s passion  - she was not lost in the moment, she was not detached in the moment, and he saw in her open eyes the responses of her victims grow ever more pained, ever more from the depths of their own pleasure at having her watch them want her. It was intoxicating, this young girl’s gaze.

But she didn’t want you - she wouldn’t even fake wanting you. Damon was surprised there was no complaint about this, that his patrons not only were comfortable with this strange girl who watched her customers as if they were animals in a zoo - a strange curiosity that she experimented on with no emotion, only a detached wonder - they requested her with an alarming frequency. Her attitude added to their desire. He told himself he watched her in order to make sure she did not go too far - there was always the threat of real harm in her detached movements. He told himself he watched them watch her in order to find the root of their pleasure in her wonder at their habits.

He had known many girls and many styles over the years. The bored woman, who would only move toward her patrons if they begged. The silly girl who delighted and laughed at the men on their knees. The woman for whom the sight of blood and pain made her reckless with pleasure. The hesitant, shy lady who had to be coddled into every motion, who had to be guided into each position as she blushed and shook with her own fear. Each persona had its own perks and most consumers knew when they walked in which woman they wanted - which position they sought over the others. Some would switch and experiment with other performers - would ask that their regular performance be altered for one night. Never before had he seen such wide-eyed innocence, devoid of bashfulness and so lacking in judgment, disdain, or passion in one of his clubs. Never would he have thought such a girl would be so popular.

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *

And then one day, he was watching her as he usually did and something seemed different.

No one commented on his nightly surveillance of her room. Elena was his favorite girl, that was his prerogative. And not unusual in this line of work. The other girls coddled her for being so young; the bartenders and bouncers treated her more gently - less flirtatious, less ribbing, more like she was their kid sister's best friend from High School home for the holidays (Elena Gilbert made everyone feel like that) and his awkward, sneaky attentions didn't really change that, not the way it would have with any other girl. (Elena Gilbert wasn't like any other girl.)

But tonight something was off, something was different. Something was just a bit unusual. There was Elena, working as she always did - with one of her regulars - but in her eyes was just the barest glint of satisfaction and devious amusement.

Damon Salvatore was awestruck. (He shook the thought away with a slight grimace; he wasn’t the lead female in a romantic comedy - why did he always imagine a voice-over following him around?) It wasn’t what he was expecting; it wasn’t what he had hoped for. (Had he really hoped for anything, really?) The change was subtle, he probably only noticed because of his growing obsession with those eyes.

The warm coffee in his hand grew cold. The phone in his pocket buzzed incessantly. Time passed and he seemed all the more aware of every passing moment. There was just something so off-putting, so unsettling about that expression on Elena’s face. Still raw, still laid open for anyone to see, still with the same characteristic honesty - but so different. (It wasn’t what he had hoped to see - he had hoped to see something less primal, less disconcerting, less dangerous. Deviousness was not a word he would have picked to describe Elena Gilbert - and yet, there it was in her eyes.)

A small, thin hand suddenly came to rest on his lower back and a breathless voice said, “Sorry I’m late Mr. Salvatore. Did you get my messages?”

He turned to smile at the late dancer and was confronted with (her hand still reaching out, though his body shifted, now resting on his waist as though they had just been dancing, as though they were both young, carefree friends comfortable with each other’s skin - but where her light hand rested on his waist, all he felt was fire) Elena Gilbert.

He blinked down at her confusedly. Her long hair was a mess - tossed up in a messy bun on top of her head, revealing her impossibly long, thin neck, so many things about Elena struck Damon as impossible - once a man who believed anything was possible, anything could be under his command - but then there was her and he started thinking only of the impossible - her hands, her limbs, her neck, her eyes… they all seemed so other-worldy, so completely at odds with anything he had ever known as strands escaped the elastic band and floated around her face. She was flushed and currently biting her bottom lip with concern, her eyes evenly directed at him as always. She was wearing a bright pink sorority sweatshirt over skinny jeans and trainers (he had the impossible thought that if he pushed her up against the wall and slid his hands under that baggy sweatshirt all he would meet was her impossibly thin body wrapped only in her own thin, warm skin, which impossibly had more of an impact on him than the dozens of times he had watched Elena Gilbert nakedly writhing on top of someone else) and he had the sudden thought that of course she was in a sorority - probably was a cheerleader in high school as well. Confronted with her in this startling way (being forced for the first time to consider his girl outside of the world of his club, in the places where he couldn’t follow her gaze) he seemed incapable of forming words.

“Mr. Salvatore? Are you okay? You aren’t mad, are you?”


Her eyes widened and she smiled, “What was that?”

(Always so polite, that Elena.)

“Damon,” he smiled awkwardly. “Please call me Damon.”

She looked momentarily confused and then shrugged, adjusting the strap of the gym bag she was leaning into. (The spot on his waist where that hand had just been suddenly growing impossibly cold, as if a limb of his own was missing.)

He blinked at her and then looked back through the screen where Elena Gilbert was currently tracing the buttocks of a City Council member with a riding crop delicately. “What the fuck?!” He said under his breath (the intoxicating possibility of there being not one, but two Elenas to watch at their work wasn’t something he could verbalize - as though afraid that if he did, one would suddenly disappear) as though it was too strong a word to verbalize in her presence.

Elena Gilbert (the one in the pink sweatshirt, he reminded himself as his grip on the cup of now-cold coffee tightened) leaned forward, so close to him he caught the slight scent of the lavender laundry detergent she favored, and peered through the screen.

“Mother fucker,” Elena said loudly. It was neither a question nor an exclamation. Just a phrase. She looked up at him interrogatively, “What the hell is Katherine doing here?!”

Damon Salvatore took a long swig of his cold coffee (a man can only take so much) before biting out, “Who the hell is Katherine?”

Elena gave him a look that said, “just how much of a moron are you?” and Damon felt her judgment down to his toes. She sighed, “My sister. My twin sister.”


“Yeah - twin.” Elena shuffled a little, “I’m so sorry. I don’t know why she’s here.”


Elena laughed softly and averted her eyes as Katherine started to slowly unlace her corset behind the hidden screen, coughing in embarrassment.

Damon thrust open the door, which had no effect whatsoever on the girl, “Time’s up! Get out here, Katherine.” The man dog tied on the floor started to protest, but Katherine untied him with a flick of her wrist and sauntered out of the room as though she had been expecting it all along.

And then Damon Salvatore was in a hallway alone watching Elena Gilbert argue with a perfect mirror of herself. It was astounding how similar they were. His mind shut off a little as he stood admiring the beautiful symmetry of their matching lines, hearing only in small parts their argument - one that sounded so impossibly similar to his conversations with Stefan, it only seemed logical to tune it out. The way Katherine’s hair curled over one shoulder, her eyes bright with mischief. The way Elena talked with her long, thin hands (and he thought of those long fingers tracing patterns against his chest, losing himself in their movements); the way they were both staring up at him.

The way they were both staring up at him.

“I’m sorry Mr. Salvatore, it won’t happen again. It was just for a lark,” only the way Katherine apologized, Damon imagined her rolling a cherry stem around in her mouth … the words were there, but when they came out they were twisted with the same conscious sexuality as a knotted stem. A timeless sensuality - as though she actually existed in an old talkie, surrounded by Deans and Franks, a cocktail in one hand and bright red lipstick revealing her full lips. This was a girl that could stand at his side for a lifetime, in this life, in this fantasy of his reality - with bright red lips and small black numbers that revealed too much and kept hidden too little. Her timeless features and expressions - they were his ultimate fantasy. And like that, the fantasy drifted on the wind, so invested was Damon Salvatore in not only getting Elena Gilbert in his bed, but keeping her there - the possibility of a perfect façade, the most perfect character to round out his life’s great performance was suddenly no longer important.

He nodded, “No harm done.” Why did he feel like he was the one who had done something wrong? (There was something in Katherine’s eyes - as though she knew how long he had watched her, completely entranced with the site of Elena that he hadn’t completely noticed it wasn’t even her.)

“So you won’t fire Elena?”

Damon was pretty sure that he should - by all counts, he would have needed to. He was also pretty sure that Katherine was playing a game he could not yet figure out, so he merely shook his head and grinned, “Elena’s an… asset. I won’t fire her on the grounds of your behavior.” He directed his gaze over to Elena, “I have a brother.”

It was small. Missive. From any other man would have been so natural. But Damon Salvatore was not any other man. And Elena Gilbert was not any other woman. He never spoke of Stefan, she had never once mentioned Katherine (though the possibility of a twin-act would have doubled her income in a matter of days) and that silence was deliberate. As deliberate as this seemingly passing remark was, said so nonchalantly in a hallway with a cold coffee in his hand and her in a hoodie and jeans.

Katherine winked (Damon noticed now that Elena had covered the other girl in a baggy t-shirt at some moment during their argument) and walked away, somehow making it seem like her leaving was her idea and not her frazzled sister’s.

Elena stared down at her shoes (a ridiculous pair of dark purple Converse high-tops that looked at minimum five years old… a thought that was impossible. What was Elena five years ago? An innocent girl, a cheerleader, going to high school and dating her childhood sweetheart? What didn’t he know about her life outside these walls - how much did she keep buried under that winning smile that flashed with such alarming regularity?), “Katherine can be… impulsive.”

“Stefan can be destructive.” The statement didn’t shock either one of them the way he thought it would… the way any normal person would be shocked to hear something like that. The way he would usually be shocked to say something like that aloud - it was so nakedly honest

Elena smiled softly up at him, this smile so full of a secret they shared. “I better get changed.” She paused next to him and touched his arm softly, “I’m sorry.”

And Damon had the uncomfortable feeling that she wasn’t talking about Katherine at all.

To be continued (apparently)

fic: tvd, tvd: dopplegangers and bffs

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