The first time Jeremy ever cut his hand on purpose, he'd realized that something was strange, something was unnatural about it. It hurt like hell- he was bleeding, after all- but Anna's face had been unusually alluring. Her entire demeanor had changed, and as he angled his hand so that she could see it better, so that she could see his blood pooling in his palm, he had felt their relationship shifting from innocent to something else. Something similar to what he had found with Vicki, and yet so much deeper.
The feel of her tongue over his skin, the sharp prick of her teeth and the sheer desperation that clung to her had been intoxicating, and he had drunk of that as deeply as he could even as she lapped the blood from his hand. Then she had been killed, and of all people to come to offer consolations, it had been Damon who apologized for being unable to save her.
The worst part about it was that while it hurt she was gone, Jeremy was kind of relieved in the same breath. He hadn't ... He had loved her, but not like that. It hadn't been the same all-consuming passion that he'd felt with Vicki. He wanted it to go away, the guilt, the pain, everything. Anna's blood was sweeter than he'd expected, coppery and sharp. The pills hadn't been his first choice, but spilling his own blood with no one there to consume it had seemed oddly wasteful. Even worse, why was he concerned about it?
It was just blood.
After all of that, Jeremy was still painfully human, and with the Gilbert ring weighing heavily on his hand, he found himself in the woods again. Back against a tree, the moonlight glinting off of the brittle leaves, he knew that he had to do something. He had to find some way to release the terrible pressure building in his chest.
And he'd found Damon again, sitting on one of the few remains of the old church. The crypt where Anna had planned on feeding Jeremy to her mother.
"What are you doing out here? Shouldn't you be in bed?" An arched eyebrow and a wry smirk, and then Damon was drinking from the bottle between his fingers.
"Couldn't sleep," Jeremy muttered, ignoring the mocking tone in Damon's voice. "Having someone kill you tends to amp up your adrenaline, you know."
"Don't I know it." Damon laughed, but it was dry, brittle as the leaves crunching under Jeremy's feet as he closed the distance. "Out for revenge, Elena's little brother?"
"Don't." Jeremy leaned against a piece of stone jutting up across from Damon. Wordlessly, Damon offered him the bottle, and even though he knew he shouldn't, he took it. He deserved it, right? He took a long drink, but Damon's laugh made him hesitate. He handed the bottle back, frowning. "What's funny?"
Damon waved a hand and put the bottle down, then he was leaning over Jeremy, hands on either side of him, fingers digging into the stone. Jeremy swallowed, and he knew he looked vulnerable. He had to. He felt vulnerable.
"What are you really doing out here?" Damon's voice was low, just over his ear, and Jeremy glanced around them both guiltily. "No one's coming to rescue you yet, Jeremy. Answer me."
And so help him, Jeremy nodded and whispered, "I had to get out of the house."
"You didn't know I was here?" Another arched eyebrow, and Jeremy wondered if Damon already knew the answer to that. Wondered if it was a test.
Jeremy shook his head, and then Damon licked his earlobe.
"Good boy," he murmured, and Jeremy felt himself going perfectly still. He wasn't entirely certain of what was happening, and he didn't trust himself to say anything. Then Damon took his hand and leaned one hip against the same rock that Jeremy sat on. He turned Jeremy's hand palm up and licked across his wrist, and Jeremy felt his heart skip a beat. "Why didn't you cut? That's normal for teenage boys, isn't it? Would have been a lot more certain than pills." Damon's eyes lifted, and Jeremy wondered what exactly he was thinking.
"I... Maybe. It seemed like a waste," Jeremy answered quietly, unable to stop himself. He wasn't even sure that he wanted to stop himself.
"All that blood? It would have been." A small smile played over the corners of Damon's mouth, and Jeremy nodded his agreement. "So thoughtful. Would you like for me to bite you?" The offer was so low that Jeremy thought he must have misheard him, and then Damon was laughing again. This time, Jeremy was certain that it was because of his own sharp intake of breath, the way his heart skipped a beat. Damon could surely hear that, could sense Jeremy's arousal at the thought of his teeth sinking in.
"Damon..." He said the name like a talisman, as though it might keep him safe from his own desires. It had been one thing to bait Anna, because even knowing what she was, she seemed sweet; innocent. Baiting Damon was an entirely different beast, one that Jeremy didn't know if he could handle playing with.
"You would, wouldn't you?" Damon's teeth grazed over Jeremy's throat, and Jeremy felt his body clenching, felt his pulse racing. He tilted his head to the side just slightly, and he moaned when Damon pulled him close, fitting their bodies against one another.
"A-are you going to?" Jeremy licked his lips, his hands still clinging to the stone he was leaning against. He couldn't let go, not without finding something new to hold, and he wasn't entirely sure about holding onto Damon. Even if Damon's tongue was flicking over his throat, those teeth- fangs- lightly brushing over the artery there. Damon made a low purring noise, and Jeremy's eyes fell closed at the sound of it vibrating over his skin.
"Should I?" Another scrape, this one a little rougher, and Jeremy shivered. He didn't flinch, didn't move.
"I want you to," he whispered, and he shivered when Damon shoved him back.
Those blue eyes flashed over him, locking and holding onto him, not letting him look away. "Why?"
"Because." Jeremy tilted his head back, forcing himself to look up toward the tree branches over head. "Because I like it," he whispered as softly as he could, and he braced himself for the mocking laughter.
But it didn't come.
Instead, Damon reached up and put his hand over the back of Jeremy's neck, pulled him down to really look at him. Jeremy couldn't stop himself from licking his bottom lip again. Damon didn't 'vamp out' at the suggestion the way Anna had, but to be fair, there wasn't blood in the air between them yet.
He did lean forward though, tracing the muscle that connected Jeremy's neck to his shoulder. There was no warning. One moment, Damon was simply nuzzling his neck, and then there was a sharp rush of pain and Jeremy moaned, his eyes closing.
He wished he could see Damon's expression in that moment, see the way his eyes would have darkened. But he could feel Damon's tongue lapping the blood spilling over his neck, he could feel Damon's fingers digging into his shoulders, into the back of his neck, holding him exactly where Damon wanted him. Jeremy couldn't find his voice to tell him that it wasn't necessary. He couldn't have moved for anything at that point.
By the time Damon drew back, Jeremy's head was spinning, and Damon pulled him down a little more, pressing a heated kiss to his lips. Jeremy could taste his own blood, and he moaned into Damon's mouth at the sharp coppery tang of it. Anna had never kissed him like that.
Jeremy melted under Damon, almost incapable of keeping himself standing up straight. Damon's lips were red, and Jeremy was almost certain that he was imagining how bright red they really were. He felt Damon pick him up- like a girl, he realized vaguely, although he didn't have the strength to argue- and then there was a rushing sound that filled his ears.
He woke to the sunlight pouring in through the window, to Damon's muffled voice in the next room.
"Yes, he's here. Your little brother is just fine, Elena." There was a pause, and Elena must have popped something off, because Damon laughed. "Ooh, snippy, aren't we?"
Jeremy didn't get up though. Instead, he simply buried his face in the pillow, breathing in the lingering cologne there. He wondered how loud the smell must be to Damon if Jeremy could smell it so easily. When the door eased open and shut again, he didn't move, even when the bed sank behind him.
"I know you're awake."
Jeremy smiled at the reminder. "My breathing, yeah. You forget, I've dated a vampire." He heard Damon snort, and he rolled over to look up at the Salvatore brother curiously. "I... I remember. Last night."
Damon arched an eyebrow, his usual playboy smile curving his lips. "I would hope so."
"I wasn't wearing Vervain."
"I know that. Naughty boy that you are, you haven't been drinking it either." Damon leaned over Jeremy, pushing him back against the bed. The motion caused his body to lay flush against Jeremy's, and Jeremy made a soft noise at the contact.
"Dated a vampire," he muttered with his best sullen teenager tone. It didn't seem to bother Damon though, because Damon simply leaned down a little more and started licking his way down Jeremy's throat. "Damon..."
"You like this." Damon scraped his teeth over Jeremy's skin, and he grinned when he felt Jeremy's heart jump. "I could hurt you. Seriously hurt you. Anna could have hurt you." As though to punctuate the point, he caught the collar of Jeremy's shirt and ripped, tearing it open straight down the middle.
Jeremy swallowed, and he nodded slightly. He didn't know how to explain it to Damon, but it was the allure that they were so dangerous that had gotten him started on it in the first place. Damon seemed to understand though, because he simply shook his head and bit Jeremy just hard enough to prick the skin.
Blood welled up, but Damon didn't drink it. He dragged his fingertips over it, smearing it down Jeremy's chest. He was drawing or writing something, and Jeremy was mesmerized. Damon's eyes were dark, although he still hadn't changed the way Anna had. Instead, he looked almost peaceful, tracing designs over Jeremy's torso with the blood.
"Will... will you keep doing it?" Jeremy's throat felt dry as he asked the question, and he could hardly meet Damon's eyes. Damon didn't answer for a moment, instead choosing to lean down and lick the blood up. The tip of his tongue followed the same pattern his fingers had, only in reverse, and Jeremy whimpered slightly. "Damon."
"Hush," he murmured, and then he was licking again, tasting the blood still seeping slowly out of the bite.
Jeremy moaned, and then Damon's teeth were tearing the skin again. Jeremy arched under the touch, his head rolling to one side to offer Damon more room to bite. Damon made a low noise against his throat, and he drew back just long enough to press a bloody kiss to Jeremy's lips.