by HeatherLM and LizM

Nick walked slowly back to his desk after Nat left. He sank into
his chair, watching as the others cleaned up the party remains.
He couldn't shake the image of Nat's face. The sadness and despair
he saw in her eyes. He shook his head. He made a mistake, a big one.
She loved him and he refused what she had thought was her only hope. How
was he ever going to show her how much he loved her if he didn't start
now. Resolved to show her all he felt he stood up and moved over to
Schanke. " Schank, I'm booking off.... there's something I have to fix."
Schanke had caught Nick and Nat talking earlier out of the corner of
his eye. "Ok, Nick, sure. good luck" he said with a slight smile.
Nick nodded absently his mind already far away.

Standing outside the door to Nat's lab, he listened. He could hear
the sound of her heartbeat in his head, could feel how upset she was.
Making up his minde he silently pushed open the door a crack and looked
in. Nat was working on a body. she looked awfull. There were more
bodies then he could ever remember seeing here before. He had to get
her out of here.

She looked up and said "Please leave. I really don't want to see
you right now." "Nat, we need to talk about it. Work it through.
The whole situation was very bad for all of us." She just looked back
at her work, ignoring him. "Nat, please." Nat looked at him again.
"I feel like I've lost my best friend, my life, my love. You left me
when I needed you the most."

He closed his eyes as her words stabbed him in the heart. How could
he convince her that he loved her so much he couldn't condemn her to this?
He walked closer to her stopping very near."Nat, you didn't lose me,
I'm here. I just can't bear the thought of you being condemned to this

"Nick, I was going to die. The end, no more. I'm not ready. Don't
you understand? I wouldn't have you any more. I wouldn't be in your life,
helping you. I'd be dead. Then what would you do?"

He reached out a hand and lightly touched her shoulder. "Nat.... I have
no life without you, I know that now. I don't know what I would do with
out you." "Why didn't you do as I asked? There was no reason not to.
And why didn't you spend the day with me. I had just been through a
horrible experience and you deserted me."

Nick slowly walked around the table, trying to find the right words.
"Nat... I was being selfish, I guess. The idea that you could want to
be like me....even for a little while.... scared me. I didn't want to be
responsible for destroying your soul." he stopped and looked deep into
her anguished eyes. " I didn't stay, because I couldn't. I want you,
Nat. And I was too hungry to trust myself around you...... so I left,
and you don't know how sorry I am about that." "You can't trust yourself
to be alone with me for a whole day?..."Nat looked back at the bodies
piled up around her and burst into tears.

Nick was by her side in a flash, pulling her into his arms. "Nat,
come on, let me take you home. I promise, I've fed well, and I won't
leave you.... ever again." Nat nodded slightly and allowed Nick to help
her get her coat on. He steered her to the caddy and the drove in
silence to her place, her head resting on his shoulder, his arm around

Nat turned to face him. " Nick.... I want you to come upstairs with
me. I want you to stay with me. I want you to make love with me." She
put her finger on his lips to quiet his objections to her last statment.
" I know you think you can't control yourself, but I know you can.. and
I want you." With that she leaned over and gave him a passionate kiss.

Nick felt his resistance crumble. He would control the beast, for
her. Because she trusted him, had faith in him. He would trust her to be

Like it was a dream, Nick got out, came around and opened Nat's door.
He helped her out of the car, and into his arms. " Nat, I don't know
what's going to happen. But I promise I will be here for you, No matter
what." Nat smiled as tears rolled down her face. " That's all I ask"
Arm in arm Nick led her to her apartment and let them in.

Nick led her inside, helped her off with her coat, and sat Nat
down on the sofa. He bustled around in the kitchen, putting on water
for tea, lit a fire, and wrapped a comforter around her. As the water
boiled, he thought of how tired she looked and how much she wanted him.
He wanted her, but first, they had to talk. She needed to understand all
the risks involved when they made love. Then he realized wht he just
thought. *when*, not *if*. He took the tea and sat down next to her, handed
her the cup, and pulled her close.

"Nat, before we go any further, I have to be sure you understand the
risks involved... and that you are sure.... the last couple of days have
been so tough on you." He said smiling down at her "And I think it would
kill me to see you a vampire. I must be sure of myself and trust myself
before we go any further. Can you understand that?" She pulled away
slightly and smiled at him. "Nick, I understand. "Nick pulled her
gently into his arms. She sighed, contented, and let herself relax
against him. She was "so" tired. Nick sat there, enjoying the feel of
her in his arms, hearing her soft breathing and her heart beating.
She slowly drifted into sweet dreams and was asleep. He wrapped the
comforter tighter around her, lifted her up and carried her into the

Once there he gently laid her on the bed and removed her outter
clothing. Underneith her professional suit, she wore beautiful satin
underclothes. Nick was touched be her beauty of this complex woman.
There was so much to her. He had to admit that is one reason he was
totaly enchanted by her.

As he eased here into the bed she stirred a moment. Loooking around,
Natalie realized were she was & what had happened. "Don't think you are
getting out of this, Nick Knight." Her sleepy voice threatened. Nick
chuckeled as he slid in beside her. "I'll be right here, beside you, now
and always. I'm not leaving." Natalie smiled and snuggled up to him and
was fast asleep.

Nick woke slowly, unsure of where he was. The only thing he did know
was that he was at peace. He shifted slightly and realized he wasn't
alone. He smiled as he remembered where he was and who he was with.
He opened his eyes, and looked down at Nat, sleeping peacefully,
sprawled on her stomach, one arm draped arcoss his chest. He buried his
face in her hair and breathed in her scent. Absently, his hand began to
run over her arm, as he thought about her.She stirred slightly at his
touch, and her eyes opened.

Natalies blue eyes were clear and smiling as she looked at the man
she loved. "You know, I always knew we would wake up together someday,
but I never pictured it quite like this". "Oh" Nick lifted an eyerbrow,
"And what did you have in mind"? "This" Natalie leaned closer and
kissed him deeply. He pulled her closer and began to stroke her back

Breaking the kiss he looked deeply into her eyes and smiled. He
rolled her onto her back, and moved ontop of her. Nat sighed as she felt
his weight settle onto her. This was what she wanted!! She pulled him
into another kiss.

Nick's kiss deepened and their mouths hungrily expressed their
pent-up desire. Natalie was so happy. She had longed for this for so
long. It felt so right. Her hands ran over his body and she giggled
alittle as she realized he was still completely dressed. "Well, that
can't be too comfortable", she grinned. "It's not" Nick anwswered. "So
why don't I help you?" Nick saw the desire and the playfulness in Nat's
eyes. It was an irrestiable combination.

Natalie pushed him up and sat up next to him. She unbuttoned his
shirt, kissing his chest as more skin became bare. Nick's breathing
deepened. As she pulled the shirt away, Natalie stopped to carress his
skin. She had seen it before, but always as a dorctor. She enjoyed
taking the time to explore it as a lover should.

Time seemed to stop for them as they explored each other as they had
longed to do for so long. Toches, kisses, and murmured words passed
between them, each one adding to the bliss they felt as they moved
together. Suddenly, Nat cried out as a wave of pleasure swept over her.
Hearing her sent Nick over the edge, and his voice blended with hers as
they came together. Nick held her as she trembled with release. They
exchanged slow, lazy kisses, neither wanting this moment to end.

A deep sense of pleasure filled Natalie as she looked into Nick's eyes.
"I knew you could do it. I knew you could." The love and pride for him
was so strong. Never is his long, lonely life had Nick known such love.
Natalie was like no other person he had ever met. Only she knew all of
him and was not afriad to love him. "Natalie", Nick's eyes were filled
with love and gratitude. "I, I Love you. I always have."

Natalie's smile was radiant. "I love you". Nick took her hand and
continued, "I never want to lose you, ever. Stay with be? Be mine?" He
look at her and grinned almost nervously.

Natalie was touched to her heart by the sight of this powerful,
ancient creature. She felt suddenly shy and unsure about her feelings. She
kissed him, slow and lovingly. "Nick, I love you. My place is right here,
beside you. Now and for forever."

Nick smiled the most radiant smile she'd ever seen. "Thank you" he
whispered, as tears gathered in his eyes. Natalie smiled back at him, her
heart achingly full of love and happiness. Suddenly her eyes got huge
as she noticed something. A tear that had escaped Nick's eye and was
rolling down his cheek. It was clear! She caught it on her finger and
showed a confused Nick. "It's a sign, Nick! It's a sign. We will find
the cure and we will be together, always!"

Nick saw the tear and heard Nat's words. He had faith in her and she
had been right. He pulled her close and whispered in her ear. " I love
you, Nat. forever."

The End