Author's Note: Welcome to my first ever Damon/Vampire Diaries fanfiction! Enjoy, and please post some comments to let me know what you think; I'd love some feedback. Also if you have any suggestions or ideas, let me know!
Chapter 1: First Encounter
As she walked into Mystic Grill, Gianna Costa took a deep breath. Flipping her long, carmel coloured hair off her shoulders and out of her face, she forced her mouth into what she hoped was a friendly smile as she approached the bar.
Behind the counter stood an attractive, muscular young man with blonde hair and a kind, easy-going expression on his face. He didn't appear to me much older than Gianna herself.
"What can I get you?" He asked with a smile.
"Actually, I was wondering if there are any job openings here. I just moved to the area, for the summer anyway." Gianna explained.
"I can ask the manager if you like?" He suggested.
"Thanks." Gianna replied with a grateful smile.
"Welcome to Mystic Falls by the way." He added, looking over his shoulder as he walked towards the door marked "Staff Only". He paused beside it. "I'm Matt. Let me know if you need anything else."
Gianna nodded, feeling the first real smile she had experienced in a long time spread across her face. "I'm Gianna."
As she waited for Matt to return, Gianna sat on one of the bar stools, running her long, red nails across the smooth wood of the counter top. Out of the corner of her eyes, she noticed a tall man dressed in dark clothes standing in one corner. He was watching her. As she took in his intense blue-green eyes, only a little darker than her own, and his perfect, inhuman face, Gianna realised who he was. Damon Salvatore.
Before she could get caught up in his enigmatic, alluring gaze, there was a cough behind her.
"That's me." She said, swinging around on her stool to face the bar again.
The manager, a rather severe man in his late fifties, was standing behind it. "On behalf of all the town, I would like to welcome you to Mystic Falls, but regretablly Mystic Grill is not hiring any new, potentially inexperienced staff."
Gianna's heart sank. "But I have plenty of experience. I used to have a waitressing job at my uncle's restaurant back home."
"We are already overstaffed as it is..." The manager interupted.
"Please." Gianna begged. "I really need this job."
"There are currently no free positions." He insisted stubbornly.
"I'm sure you can open up a new position, can't you?" A voice contradicted from closeby, making Gianna jump.
There, inches away from her, stood Damon Salvatore. And he was even more attractive up close.
Damon gave Gianna a cocky half-smile, winking at her, before turning back to the manager expectantly.
"Welll..." The manager began.
Damon interupted, focusing on his piercing stare on him. "You're going to give her a job, aren't you?"
"I'm going to give her a job." The manager repeated as if in some sort of trance, unable to look away.
Gianna sat speachless, unable to believe her luck.
"Good." Damon replied. "She can start tomorrow."
"She can start tomorrow." The manager recited.
Damon nodded, satisfied, before dropping his gaze.
The manager blinked, before stumbling away in a daze.
Damon smirked at Gianna. "And that's how you get what you want around here."
"Wow." Gianna said, still speachless. "Thank you. Can I buy you a drink or something?"
"No, that's my job." Damon said, summoning over another one of the bar staff witha click of his fingers. "Two Bourbons." He glanced at Gianna's nervous expression and pale, drawn face. "Neat."
"Coming right up."
"So." Damon said ashe sat down beside her. "What's the story?"
Gianna relaxed a little, leaning back against the counter top. "Oh, its not very interesting. I'd much rather hear yours."
Damon laughed. "Nice try, but I asked first Gianna."
Without bothering to ask how he knew her name, Gianna gave in. "Fine, but don't say I didn't warn you."
Damon grinned, yet said nothing. When the bartender returned with the drinks, he slid one glass across the counter and looked at her expectantly.
Gianna took her time, sipping the alcohol slowly. "I arrived here yesterday from Forks, Washington. My parents sent me to stay with my Great Aunt for the summer because...well... they didn't know what else to do with me."
Damon raised an eyebrow, his eyes twinkling. "What did you do, steal sweets or something?"
Gianna rolled her eyes. "Not exactly."
"So what was it then? Drinking? Doing drugs? Sleeping around?"
Gianna laughed but shook her head as she finished her drink. "You wouldn't understand."
"Gianna ignored him and carried on. "Anyway, I'm broke and I need to start saving for a car. I barely know my Great Aunt, I can't ask her for the money. It wouldn't be right."
Damon automatically ordered more drinks as she spoke, his eyes never leaving hers.
"My parents think that this vacation will change me, break me even, but it won't. I'm stronger than they think. Stronger than everyone in this room. Both physically and mentally." Gianna looked up. "Everyone except you."
If he was surprised, he didn't show it. "How do you know?"
"I don't know."
Damon rolled his eyes, impatience flashing across his face. "But you just said that you do."
"What I mean is, I don't know how I know that you're stronger than me. I just do. I can feel it." Gianna clarified.
"You're not a witch are you?" Damon smiled teasingly as he said it, but his eyes were serious.
Gianna sat back for a second, considering how best to respond. Somehow, he knew. And for some reason, she didn't want to lie to him either. "Yes. Yes I am."
Damon gavea low whistle. "So that's whyyour parentssent you up here. They don't like it. Your Great Aunt is Dorothy Edwards right?"
Gianna nodded. "I'm still getting used to this. My parents don't understand anything; they don't believe that I can't help it. I still don't know how to control my abilities, but somehow I know that I could defend myself against anyone." Her eyes returned to Damon. "But you're different. Why do I get the feeling that you're dangerous?"
Damon smirked. "Because I am. You should stay away from me."
"But I don't want to." Gianna replied. The more she relaxed, the more her naturally flirty, mischevious personality began to shine through. She leaned in closer to him, her elbows on the bar. "So aren't you going to tell me your secret?"
Damon gave her that smoldering half-smile that made her heart do a backflip and send hoards of butterflies flitting through her stomach. "How do I know I can trust you?"
Gianna shrugged. "What does it matter? If you're as strong as I think you are, you could stop me from talking anyway." She paused, looking up at him through her long lashes. "But maybe I am as strong as you, mentally at least. I'd never let you mess with my head, not like you did with the manager."
"We'll see." Damon replied, his lips twisting into another smirk. He leaned forward too, his hands centimeters from hers. "You already know I'm dangerous. Doesn't that scare you?"
"Maybe a little." Gianna admitted. "But I don't care, not anymore." She stopped to down her drink. "There's something different about you, and I want to know what it is. You intrigue me. And I've heard the rumours."
"What rumours?" Damon's eyes darkened.
"Oh don't worry, I'm not talking about your little secret."
Damon scoffed. "I'm not sure little is really the right word."
Gianna carried on regardless. "I'm talking about your reputation, with women. You are Mystic Falls' notorious ladies man." Gianna leant in even closer, lowering her voice with a seductive smile. "And I'm interested in what you have to offer."
Damon laughed. "You're still going througha rebellious phase I see."
Unable to tell whether or not he was taking her seriously, Gianna simply shrugged. "So what if I am? Why shouldn't I have some fun, for once?"
Damon raised an eyebrow at her defensive tone. "Don't ask me, I'm all about having fun. I get it, you feel like everything is changing and you're expected to be this whole new person. You never asked for this and you don't see why you should have to change for them. Am I right?"
Gianna nodded slowly, trying to hide her shock at how completely Damon understood what she was going through. "I just want to be able to act like a teenager again."
"So be a teenager." Damon said, making it sound so simple. "Forget your new...powers...and just relax. Have fun." He pushed another drink towards her.
Gianna took it gratefully, wrapping her fingers around the cool glass. "I'm guessing that you can help me with that?"
Damon smiled and his hand left the bar, letting his fingers trail across her own hand and up her arm. "Definitely."
Gianna shivered with pleasure against his touch, but his earlier words refused to leave her mind. "What did you mean when you said that I'm still in my rebellious phase?"
Damon sat back with a smirk. "You're not the only one who listens to the rumours."
Gianna frowned. "There are rumours going around about me already?"
Damon nodded. "You came to Mystic Falls last Christmas with your parents didn't you?"
"Yes." Gianna replied, confused as to why the information was relevant. "What did you hear?"
Another devious smile spread across his face. "I heard you like it rough."
Gianna nearly spat her drink out across the bar. "Excuse me?"
"You heard." Damon grinned.
Gianna was speachless, for the second time in less than half an hour in the presence of Damon Salvatore. "And...and...how would anyone know that?" She gasped finally, flushing.
"Does the name Dylan Everett ring a bell?"
Gianna's heart dropped. Shit. Dylan Everett was the senior from the local high school that she had been stupid enough to sleep with out of pure boredom during winter vacation in Mystic Falls.
Damon laughed at her expression. "He's being telling the whole town about you."
Gianna could almost feel the look of horror spreading across her face.
"Don't look so worried, none of it was bad." He smirked. "For one thing, you won't be short of offers this summer. You little slut."
Gianna looked up at his teasing eyes. If anyone else had said it, she would have slapped them. But for some reason, she liked it when he said it.
Damon looked into her eyes, reading the confusion and conflict that lay there. He could tell that it was make-or-break time, now or never, and for some reason unknown to him, he hoped that she could handle him. There was no way he could ignore the obvious attraction he felt towards her. Fixing his powerful, burning eyes on hers, he let his hand trail back down her arm and rest on her knee. "You don't need to worry about that now though."
Gianna glanced back and forth between his hand on her knee and his hypnotising eyes. "And why's that?"
"Firstly, because if you're interested I can make you forget all about your five minutes with Everett. I know you'll enjoy it, and you won't regret it. I promise." He slid his hand up her thigh. "And secondly..."
Gianna gazed up at his, his electric touch sending goose bumps across her skin.
Damon withdrew his hand suddenly and stood up. After downing the last gulp of his drink, he turned to her look at her. "Secondly, I killed him."
Gianna opened her mouth to speak but the raw shock stopped her from forming a coherent sentence.
Damon left her at the bar, crossing the room without another word. Only when he reached the door which led to the back alley did he turn back to look at her. With one finger, he motioned for her to follow. Then, with a cocky smirk, he glided out through the door.
For a minute, Gianna couldn't even think. Dylan Everett, dead? Why? How? The questions flashed into her mind repeatedly but there was a much more prominant feeling poking and nudging at her, refusing to let her forget that Damon was waiting outside for her. It should have been fear...but it wasn't. It was excitement. Without stopping to think any further, Gianna made a split second decision. Smoothing down her hair and applying more deep red lipstick, Gianna jumped down from the bar stool and strutted across the room in her black heeled boots. Even as her hand touched the handle on the side door, she felt no fear. Because something inside of her told her that she didn't care. She didn't care what Damon was, or what he had done. All she knew was that she wanted him.
Talking one last look at the busy grill, Gianna pushed down the handle. The door swung open and the cool night's breeze hit her. For a second she couldn't see anything through the darkness. But then her eyes adjusted. Leaning against the hard, brick wall was Damon, with his eyes glinting like a predator.
Next Time On "Summer in Mystic Falls": Damon takes Gianna back to the old boarding house, the house which the Salvatore family have lived in for decades, for a night of "uncomplicated, non-comital fun" but by the time the sun comes up, Gianna knows more about Damon than she ever thought she would.