by Nightlady

Archived December 2002 
Warning: This story is rated R. If you are under 
18 years then  please do not read any further

She had tried to ignore the date even though she knew that was impossible.
Tried telling herself that its other importance no longer mattered, if it
had ever truly mattered.  No, she shook her head. It HAD mattered and that
is what hurt so much. Sighing she leaned back in her chair, pushing the
unfinished piles of reports to one side. Seven years, it had been seven
years ago this night.  She sat, remembering, and finally gave into the
tears that had threatened all day. =20

Her brief outburst over, Natalie Lambert went to the sink and washed her
face, removing the worst of the damage the tears had caused.  When she had
come to, that morning not quite two years ago, to find herself in the
hospital she didn't think that she would ever know a deeper despair. When
her birthday had rolled around several months later she realized how wrong
she'd been. The reminder of the first time she'd seen Nick, the first time
she'd started to fall in love with him, spent without his presence had been
so painful that she'd called in sick. She'd sat in her apartment, cuddling
Sidney and crying as she looked at the few pictures she had of them=

She remembered lying on the floor of Nick's loft, too weak from blood loss
to move or speak, and watching through slightly open eyes as LaCroix had
plunged the long wooden harpoon into Nick's back. She would never forget
the cry of agony that had been torn from Nick's throat or the feel of his
body as he'd collapsed on top of her. The shock and horror of what she'd
witnessed had caused her to finally loose consciousness. For that she was
grateful, she couldn't have borne seeing Nick's body turn to ashes, not and
kept her sanity.=20

It had taken a long time before she had been able to vanquish her guilt.
She had made him swear to stay with her, and when he'd thought she was dead
he'd fulfilled that promise in the only way he could. She often woke from
nightmares in which Nick waited for her, unable to find peace. How she had
survived, she would never know. If Joe Reese, concerned over how Nick would
react to the news of Tracy's death hadn't come to the loft, she would be
with Nick. Instead he'd called an ambulance and modern medicine had saved
her.  She'd never revealed what had happened to her, but instead had made
up a story of two strangers who had attacked her. She claimed that Nick
must have arrived after she had been rendered unconscious. Nick was listed
as a missing person, who was presumed to have been a victim of foul play.

She finished her shift and left, but not for home. Leaving the building a
glance told her the sun was just finished setting. Since that last night
with Nick she only worked the day shift, reaching her car she got in and
drove toward the loft. She decided to go back this one last time and,
maybe, she could at last put Nick Knight behind her.=20

LaCroix looked at his son and sighed. It had been over a year since he'd
staked him, only enough to incapacitate him, and taken him from Toronto.
LaCroix had been certain that a change of scenery would be all that was
needed to make Nicholas see how foolish his behavior had been. Now here
they were back again, once more in the loft where everything had gone so
very wrong.  Nicholas had been more than difficult. Only LaCroix's
vigilance had prevented Nicholas from destroying himself on more than one
occasion. Disgusted, LaCroix shook his head, all this over a mortal.   This
trip back to Toronto was a last effort to rouse Nicholas from his
depression. Perhaps if they could locate and visit Natalie Lambert's grave,
Nicholas would be able to put her where she belonged, the past.  Checking
that Nicholas could not do any harm to himself in his absence, LaCroix
exited the loft just as the sun finished setting.

Nat pulled up outside the loft and sat staring up at the darkened windows,
except that they weren't entirely dark. As her eyes adjusted, Nat could
make out the faintest flicker of light, as if the fireplace might be lit.
The thought that someone else might be living here had never entered her
mind. Curiosity replaced sorrow and she got out of her car. The alarm
system was armed, but to her surprise, Nick's old security code still
worked. In the garage, the Caddy still sat, a layer of dust showing how
long it had been since anyone had touched it, or walked in here. Heart
thumping, Nat went to the stairs. Not knowing who was in the loft, she
didn't want to alert anyone to her presence by using the lift.=20

Reaching the top landing, Nat peered carefully through the small window in
the door. Despite the dust and grime on the window, she could still
recognize the familiar furniture inside the loft. By craning her neck she
could just make out the low fire in the fireplace. Hands trembling, she
found her key for the door and unlocked it.=20

Nick sat slumped against the leather couch. He glanced dully at the
manacles that held him where he was.  After he'd tried to destroy himself
for the third or fourth time, LaCroix had the manacles custom made,
insuring that they were strong enough to hold a healthy, well-fed vampire.
The chains ran to heavy steel hooks that LaCroix had set into the concrete
floor of the loft.  Nick could see the key to them, sitting mockingly on
the mantle. The past year and a half had been the worst in Nick's long
existence. The mere fact that he continued to exist, having killed the only
person he'd ever truly loved, was bad enough. That his continued existence
meant that he'd broken his word to Nat was even worse.  He was still
determined to finally fulfill his promise, and join her. When he slept, her
presence haunted his dreams. He both feared and longed for the dreams. Nat
never condemned him in them, but he would awaken from them with the
emptiness in his soul so great that blood tears would stain his pillow.  He
chuckled bitterly as he realized the date. How ironic that LaCroix would
bring him back to Toronto today.  Nick closed his eyes. He imagined he
could hear Nat's familiar heartbeat, could smell the honey and spice scent
of her. Red tinged tears slid down his cheeks and a moan of despair, want
and loss escaped his lips.=20

Nat stepped into the loft. Scarcely breathing, she listened but heard only
the soft crackling of the fire. As her eyes adjusted she walked silently
into the room. Memories of the many hours she'd spent here with Nick
flooded her mind. She trembled, her entire body aching with the pain of
loss. She had loved Nick, she still did. Without thinking, she moved toward
the leather couch and the fireplace.  She'd only taken a few steps when the
slightest of sounds caused her to freeze. Her eyes searched out the source
and she gasped as she found it. She could feel her heart thumping as the
firelight showed her a figure seated on the floor in front of the couch.
Blonde hair glinted in the firelight and as the person moved slightly she
caught a glance at his face. Her mouth opened but no sound emerged as she
mouthed his name. Suddenly the need to know overcame her shock and she
moved quickly to stand before the man.  Her breath came in gasps as she
stared down at the one person she never expected to see again.  She saw the
manacles on his pale wrists and dropped to her knees, her hand shakily
reaching out to caress his face.  "Nick?" She whispered. As she touched his
cool skin her tears started falling.=20

Nick opened his eyes; his mind thinking that he must be asleep as he looked
into the beloved face of the one woman he loved. He could feel the soft
warmth of her hand on his cheek, and hoped that he would never awaken.
Never before had she touched him in his dreams, never had she seemed so
real. He couldn't help himself, his hand raised toward her face, only to be
stopped short of it by the chain.  "Nat, I'm sorry. I tried to join you and
I'll keep trying. I love you. Please, wait for me." The fear that her touch
was a goodbye to him caused his words to tumble out. He had to make her
understand that he had not voluntarily broken his promise to her. The soft
warmth of her hand on his cheek seemed so real. He looked stunned as a tear
coursed down her face and fell on his hand.   He scarcely believed his
senses as he found her lips on his own.

Nat listened to not only the words, but also the pain in Nick's voice. She
saw him reach for her and how the chain prevented him from touching her.
She leaned forward and found his lips, letting her kiss tell him her
feelings. She felt him stiffen in surprise then respond with the passion
they'd shared that last night.  At last, needing to breathe, she broke the

"Nick, where have you been! I thought you were dead!" Nat said, finally
finding her voice.

"I thought I'd killed you. LaCroix only wounded me. He's kept me a virtual
prisoner and  I've been trying to die ever since." Nick said, unable to
take his eyes from her. He longed to hold her, to feel her body against his
own.  "Nat, on the mantle, the keys."=20

Nat stood and quickly found the keys. She dropped back down beside Nick
forcing her trembling hands to insert the key into the first lock. When his
hand was freed, she felt his feather touch on her face. Through tear
blurred eyes she managed to undo the other lock. As soon as the last
manacle fell away she found herself in his embrace. One of his hands
cradled her head as he kissed her brow, her eyes, and her face before he
again sought her mouth. The other held her body tightly against him. She
wrapped her arms around him, wanting to be as close to him as possible.=20

Nick at last reluctantly broke the kiss. Every nerve in him was screaming
to make love to Nat. Not the vampiric love he'd attempted the last time
they were in this room, but the sweet love of a man to a woman. He could
feel his loins burning with the need to be buried in her warm moistness. He
shook himself. Even if they dared to try again, right now he had to get out
of here with Nat before LaCroix returned. After the past year and a half,
Nick knew that he would never again let LaCroix or anything keep him from
Nat.  Holding her hand, Nick helped Nat to her feet. "We have to get out of
here, Nat. LaCroix thinks you're dead, he's out looking for your grave."
Nick buried his face in her wonderful, silky hair as she clung to him.  "Oh
Nat, I can't believe you're really here!"=20

Nat smiled. "I'm here my love, I'm here." She said her face pressed against
his chest.

"My, my how touching," LaCroix's voice sounded from the balcony.  "Dr.
Lambert, I must admit I'm surprised to see you."=20

Nick felt Nat stiffen slightly at the sound of LaCroix's voice. Giving her
a reassuring look, Nick pulled Nat close to him before he turned and faced
his master. "I won't let you harm her, LaCroix. I don't care what our
bargain was." 

LaCroix looked coolly at Nick. The conviction that rang in his son's voice
left no doubt in his mind that Nick would die before allowing him near the
aggravating mortal.  "I have no intention of harming your precious Natalie,
Nicholas. Why should I? The last time you seemed well on the way to
destroying her yourself." LaCroix saw the look of anguish that crossed
Nick's face at the reminder of his last meeting with Natalie Lambert.

Nat could sense the pain that LaCroix's remark caused Nick. She leaned
against him, trying to let him know that she didn't blame him for what had
happened. She squeezed his hand and met his glance with a look of pure love
and faith.

"That won't happen, LaCroix. I won't harm her." Nick said, tightening his
hold on Nat to insure that she knew that he truly did share her faith,
faith that they were meant to be together. 

"Perhaps," LaCroix said. "Tell me doctor, are you willing to trust Nicholas
again? You might not be so lucky again."

Nat raised her head and all but glared at LaCroix. "Completely. What you
have never understood, LaCroix, is that Nick and I love each other. That
means that we have faith in each other, and trust."  She looked at Nick as
she finished, her eyes shining with happiness. "I am not afraid of Nick. I
never have been."

LaCroix snorted to mask his discomfort at her words. "We shall see. I'll
leave the two of you alone. Good luck, doctor, you may need it." Giving
them a cold smile, he flew out through the skylight.

Nick relaxed as LaCroix exited via the skylight.  He turned to Nat, sadness
in his eyes. "He's right, I nearly killed you the last time. What if we try
again and I do kill you?" 

"But you didn't and I have faith that you won't now. We were both upset. We
were both acting out of desperation." Nat stroked his cheek. "I still think
we can be together. I still have faith in you, in us. I still trust you,
Nick and I've never stopped loving you."

Nick looked at her. "You are .... the most remarkable...person I've ever
known." He said, punctuating his words with kisses. 

Nat smiled, "You're pretty remarkable yourself." She leaned against him as
they embraced. "Nick, I want to make love to you. Really make love." 

Nick hesitated. He wanted her more than ever, but he was still afraid of
what his beast might do. "Nat, I've just found you again. I don't want to
loose you. What if you're wrong? What if I can't stop?"

"I don't care. If you lose control, bring me across." Nat looked at him.
"I've spent the last one and a half years without you, thinking you were
dead. I never want to be away from you again."

Nick nodded. "I don't want to be away from you either." He said, loosing
himself in the blue depths of her eyes.  "But this time I'm going to be
better prepared." He went to the fridge and taking out two bottles of
bloodwine, opened them and began to drink.

Nat picked up one and looked at it. Unlike Nick's usual sustenance, these
bottles bore labels.  "It's human?" She asked, softly.

Nick nodded. "LaCroix refused to allow me anything else."  He looked at her
waiting to see her revulsion. Instead she regarded him calmly.

"Good," she said, "then you won't be hungry." As he sat the second empty
bottle on the counter, she went into his arms. 

Nick held her for a moment and then bent his head to capture her mouth. His
hands roamed along her back, caressing and stroking her. He felt her mold
her body against him, her hands against his back, as a small moan of
pleasure escaped her. He probed with his tongue, feeling her lips part and
her tongue meet his. He could feel his manhood hardening, but so far the
beast was quiet.  As he deepened the kiss, his hands found the buttons on
Nat's blouse and he rapidly undid them, slipping the fabric from her

Nat released Nick long enough to let her blouse drop to the kitchen floor
quickly followed by her bra. She pulled Nick's shirt out of his pants and
soon had his chest bared. She again pressed into him, feeling his cool firm
flesh cause her nipples to harden. As Nick moved his lips from her lips to
her neck, she reached down, undoing his belt before unzipping his jeans.
Her hand found his manhood, already swollen and took it in her hand.
Smiling as she felt Nick shiver at her touch, she began to gently stroke
him. She could feel her heart racing as Nick's skillful mouth moved down to
her breasts. She groaned with pleasure as he began to softly suckle first
one, then the other. She felt Nick's hands as they cupped her butt,
massaging and squeezing the soft cheeks.  Warmth started to grow in her
womb as she gave in to the feelings his actions were producing. Her legs
were trembling and she clung to Nick. When he slid her skirt over her hips,
she stepped out of it, kicking off her shoes at the same time. She was now
clad only in a garter belt, hose and a small satin thong. She sighed as she
felt Nick pick her up in his arms.

Nick carried Nat over to the leather couch, and laid her on it. Sitting
beside her, he undid the garters, kissing her as he slid the nylons off
each of her legs. His mouth followed his hands, as he kissed and licked his
way down each leg. The taste of her skin, and the warm musky scent of her
arousal, caused him to harden even more. The nylons off, he grasped the
garter belt and thong and eased them over her hips and off. He stood for a
moment drinking in the sight of her nude body. She was even lovelier than
he'd imagined. Her full breasts with their dark nipples, her smooth, flat
stomach, and the curly chestnut colored thatch of her pubic hair caused him
to ache to posses her. He longed to feel her surrounding his cock. He
removed his shoes and socks and then stepped out of his jeans and
underwear. As his eyes found hers, she smiled and held her arms out to him.
He lowered his body to cover hers.

Nat could feel her juices flowing as Nick finished undressing her. The soft
leather of the couch was smooth against her back and Nick's hands and lips
traced velvety paths of excitement wherever they touched her.  Her hands
were touching any part of him they could.  At the look of love and desire
on his face, she felt her own passion erupt into driving need. She wanted
him in her, wanted his body against her own. She felt a physical pang as he
stood, her soul aching for his nearness. She watched as he removed the last
of his clothing, smiling with anticipation as she saw his large, thick
staff. When he came into her beckoning arms, she realized that she was
happier than she'd ever been in her life. 

Nick again kissed her, his manhood pressing against her warm skin. He
nuzzled her neck, behind her ear and the sweet space between her breasts.
He felt as if he was on fire as her hands traced his muscles and lovingly
kneaded his butt. As much as he wanted to taste every inch of her body, his
need to be in her would not wait.  He slid his knee between her legs, and
felt her part them for him. Kneeling between them, he lifted her hips
slightly as she took him in her hand and guided him to her opening. As the
tip of his shaft entered her, a sensation like an electrical tingle coursed
through his body. He eased himself in her, not wanting to hurt her and
smiled as she pushed her hips upward seeking to take all of him inside her.
As he once again turned his attention to her breasts he began to move
inside her. She pressed up against him, heightening the sensations. With
ever increasing speed they rose in a passionate wave of pleasure. Nat cried
out as she came, her muscles contracting around him and her body shaking
with spasm after spasm of ecstasy.  As Nat's orgasm swept over her, Nick
felt his beast rear up, demanding satisfaction. 

Nat felt the warmth in her womb burst into a fire that filled every nerve
in her body. She cried out as the gratification she had sought so long was
finally achieved. A cold, hard knot in her chest seemed to unravel as they
became one. As she looked up, she saw Nick's eyes change to gold and his
fangs drop. She realized that he needed her blood to reach his own
fulfillment. Unafraid, she pulled his head to her throat.  "Remember, Nick.
I have faith in us," she said as she felt his fangs plunge into her flesh.
She once again experienced Nick's memories, but this time she also felt his
determination to not harm her. She concentrated on her love for him and her
faith and trust in him.

Nick tasted the sweetness of Nat's blood, and found that her love was
indeed stronger than even the last time he'd drunk from her. As he savored
the mouthful he felt his climax shake his body. He also felt a warmth and
peace that he'd been seeking for almost 800 years. He felt human.  The
strength of her love and her overwhelming faith that they were MEANT to be
calmed the beast. His eyes tightly shut with emotion, Nick could hear the
strong steady beating of Nat's heart and, with a sense of joy, removed his
fangs from her neck and looked down into her smiling face. His heart beat
twice, as he saw the love in her eyes. He knew that she had been right when
she spoke to LaCroix. They did love each other and they did have faith.
Nick understood now that with their faith and love, they could be together,
forever. Still in her, Nick shifted them until she lay snuggled in his arm.
As the sweet release of their lovemaking fade, they lay quiet, softly
kissing and caressing one another. 

Nat felt whole for the first time since the night she'd nearly died. As she
gazed into Nick's face, she smiled thinking that this was the best of all
possible birthday presents. "Nick," she murmured, "do you happen to
remember what day this is?"  

Nick stroked her hair and gave her a dazzling smile, "Yes, it's our
birthdays." He saw her puzzled look. "Your birthday because it was the day
you were born, and mine because your love and faith has given me a new
birth and a new chance at life." He kissed her. "I love you Natalie Lambert
and I will love you forever."

Nat looked at the joy and peace that infused Nick's face. "I love you, too,
Nick and I believe," she gave him a smile. "I have faith that we will find
a cure and have all our dreams come true as wonderfully as this first one
has." Her face widened into a grin. "Happy birthday, but don't think you're
getting two sets of presents!" She teased. 

Nick looked at her soberly. "You are the only 'present' I'll ever want." He
told her. 

Nat snuggled closer to him, her face calm and serene. The long nightmare
was over and she was where she belonged, and where she would stay, forever.

The End