by StormyNite
circa November 1996
Needless to say these characters are not mine the belong to
TriStar but I promise to return them only slightly used. Some mild
Adult scenes here.

The tall dark brunette stepped into the alley behind the Raven to smoke
a cigarette. It was a vice she had when she was mortal and she did it
more out of habit than anything else. It was her escape from the noise
and the chaos within. Every night after her dance set she would go to
alley, light up and relive the night's conquests and failures. Only
this night, she was not alone. She sensed the man at the end of the
alley as she would any other mortal entering her space. As he
approached, his heartbeat rang loudly into her senses. He was obviously
a brave man or stupid because his heartrate never increased as he
approached. Foolish man! No one approached an alley behind the Raven
after 2 am without precautions. Oh, well she was beginning to feel the
pangs of hunger anyway.

"You are beautiful child!" He spoke with a slight English accent. One
of culture and refinement with no sense of fear.

Rana blew the cigarette smoke into the air and walked forward to eye her
next meal with lascivious pleasure. "You must be new to the area Sir!"
Her eyes turned golden as she approached him unafraid and laughing.

"Ah, you must be referring to my choice of location for our meeting!"
He pulled a weapon similar to a gun from his coat. "You see, I am not
totally uninformed!"

Rana laughed as she continued to approach while her fangs dropped. She
lunged for the gentleman as he pulled the trigger on the weapon, firing
not a bullet, but a wave of some sort. As the wave hit Rana full in the
chest, she crumpled to the ground in agony. Writhing on the pavement,
the man knelt beside her adjusting the dial on the weapon.

"That was only at the setting of 1, would you care to feel 2." Rana
tried to pull away from him as he pulled the trigger, firing yet another
blast, causing her to scream in agony and collapse against the nearest
wall. "Now that I have you attention, you will answer a few of my
questions! Understand?" She nodded in compliance. "I want the name of
the oldest vampire with the most control in the community!" He set the
dial to 3 and placed it against her chest.

"LaCroix ..Lucien LaCroix! He owns the Raven!"

He smiled patting her head like an obedient child and placed the gun
back into his coat pocket removing a wooden stake at the same time.
With one swift motion he plunged it into her heart.

"LaCroix! Interesting! Maybe this time he would get lucky. He returned
to his car placing the gun in a small suitcase in the backseat.


It was almost dawn when Nick stepped into the loft. 2 murders-both
domestic violence crowded his mind. Nat would not be home till she
finished the autopsies on both. It would be late day before she would
finally give in to fatigue. Then she would complain about the raccoon
look for 2 days!. Women! So that left him with Sidney to take care of.
Actually, he and Sid were starting to come to an understanding. No
pouncing on the stomach to wake him up during the day or no food when
Nat was gone. It wasn't that he disliked Sidney, he was just more a dog
person than cats.

Nick went to the refrigerator and removed a glass of blood and drank it
slowly, savoring the taste as it ran down the back of his throat. When
he finished he pulled out the protein shake Nat left him that morning
with the note attached:

"I know you had the blood first, so drink this second
or Sidney sleeps with you instead of ME!"



She never ceased to amaze him. He accused her of being psychic on
repeated occasions. So he refilled his blood glass and took the shake
to the sofa. He lit the fire and sat down drinking the shake first
while Sidney climbed warily onto the back of the sofa. "Well, Sid you

will vouch for me or we get to be bed partners!" Sidney with questions
in his eyes, climbed down the coach and sat beside Nick giving him the
unusual opportunity to pet him. Nick's thoughts drifted back 3 months
to LaCroix pulling the stake out of his heart and the aftermath that

"When you come to your senses Nicholas come and see me!" LaCroix pulled
the stake out that he planted in Nick heart, at his request, and tossed
it into the fire. "You will see the foolishness in this endeavor. I
promise you!" LaCroix disappeared through the skylight with Nick cursing
his name.

-By sheer will Nick lifted Natalie into hiss arms and flew her to the
hospital. He sat by her side day and night for three days until the
Doctors pronounced her out of danger. Only then did Nick return to the
loft and collapse. The wound over his heart, not completely healed due
to his lack of blood, only seemed to amplify the guilt he felt for
almost killing the one person who meant everything to him. 2 days later,
Nick sat at the hospital dreading the look he would see in Natalie's
eyes when she came too. He could smell her, taste her, feel her in his
blood to the point he thought he would go mad with desire. Yet he
refused to leave her side. He promised her they would be together
forever. He would not let her wake up and find him gone. When she
woke, his was the first face she saw. He was afraid to touch her. That
she would pull back in fear and disgust. He had let her see all that he
was and all that he felt. It scared him most of the time, it had to
terrify her. Instead of fear in her eyes, he saw love. She reached for
him and he pulled her into his arms burying her deep within his embrace.
She willingly went to him, placing kisses along his neck as he lost
himself to the sensation of having her in his arms again. They both
sat crying in each others arms until exhaustion claimed them both.

"We have to have a talk about your foreplay Nick!" Natalie laughed,
lighting up her whole face as Nick let her lay back down on the hospital
bed. Nick pulled her hair away from her face as he caressed her with
his fingertips memorizing each feature with his touch.

"I guess that means you will have to move in with me and teach me
EVERYTHING you have in mind!"

"That means you will have to take Sidney too you know!" Testing him for
his seriousness.

"I don't scare the Hell out of you after what I did?" He was terrified
of the answer, yet he knew they could not go back to the way they were.

"I love you Nick! All of you! Bad and good! Vampire and Man! But
most of all, I trust you! I was not wrong Nick! You stopped! I did
not want you too because I want to be with you forever until you let me
see what it was like and why you hated it so much. I understand now why
you are afraid to cross me and how much you love me." She pulled him
back to her, and kissed him gently at first until he deepened the
embrace tasting the inside of her mouth with his tongue. Refusing to
let her go, she melted her body into his as his hand caressed her back
and arms. He released her lips long enough for her to breathe and
captured them again. Rapidly losing control of their desires, he laid
her down on the bed and joined her. Laying on top of her, filled with
desire to plunge himself into her willing body he could not stop
touching her. Natalie arched toward him as he kissed her neck and then
her breasts eliciting a moan from deep within her soul. When he
returned to her lips swollen from his kisses, he was almost beyond
control. "

"Natalie! Look at me!" His eyes golden and his fangs dropped. Barely
in control he forced her back to him. Afraid she would pull away, he
waited for her to understand their circumstances.

Natalie knew his fears. They were in his blood and now hers. She
understood what it took to control the vampire and how hard he fought.
"I am not afraid Nick! We can do this one step at a time! Your not
alone anymore!
Natalie moved in with him the next day Sidney and all. They continued
to get closer everyday. She slept in his arms each day, and continued
to love him no matter what happened.

Sidney had crawled into Nick's lap for attention, and was purring for
the very first time as Nick drifted off to sleep on the sofa. He hated
sleeping in bed without Nat in his arms. Some things were easy to
adjust too.
LaCroix turned off the final set of lights in the bar when the heartbeat
became very distinct. Turning towards his intruder to late, the blast
of pain sent him to his knees. Recovering quickly to lunge at his
attacker, he was hit with a stronger blast toppling him to the floor in
pain. The last thing he remembered were green eyes of fire placing
something into his chest which made him explode into fire and then
blissful nothingness.
Coming too in a room filled with laboratory equipment, tubes, IV, and a
hospital bed in which he was chained down to, LaCroix felt the residual
affects of the blast. Odd, his body should have healed faster than
that. He must increase his blood intake to compensate for the drain on
his metabolism. He tested the chains, deciding in his present condition
he was not going anyplace soon. The sunlight shown through the window
on the side stopping short of the bed by 2 feet. LaCroix eyed it warily
and the tall gentleman from the alley as he entered the room.

"I see you are non to worse for wear Mr. LaCroix!" The man carried the
small gun in his right hand. LaCroix focused his attention on the gun.
"I used a setting of 5 to bring you down. I must admit no one has ever
survived a setting that high. You must be very old or you have
incredible control. Which is it?" He waited for an answer.


"The name is Dalton Merriweather Monsieur LaCroix and I am in need of
your help!"

"Indeed! Most people usually ask!"

"Most people are NOT a 2000 year old vampire!" LaCroix raised a
skeptical eyebrow. "I am going to release your chains so you can follow
me. I have this gun set at 6. Since 5 knocked you out, 6 will probably
kill you. Or at least slow you down enough for me to use this." He
pulled a wooden stake from his coat pocket. " A man needs a little
insurance these days." He released LaCroix and proceeded into the next
room where a beautiful young woman lay dying on the bed. "I need you to
cross her before it is too late!" The man eyed LaCroix pointing the gun
directly at his chest. "If you kill her...I kill you!"

LaCroix sat down on the bed by the young woman, admiring her beauty and

feeling the life drain away from her as they watched. "She is already
dead!" He rose carefully watching the man with the gun.

"She still breathes. I can see that from here! Cross her before it is
too late!"

Stoic and patient as always, LaCroix approached the man slowly. "She
lies near death as we speak. You must care whether she lives or dies in
order to have a chance at crossing her. You need someone with a
conscience, and a desire for her to live. I have neither of those.
That is why I am OVER 2000 years old." LaCroix smiled wickedly at the
man as an evil thought crossed his mind.

"You need my son and his delicate sensibilities for such a task!"
It was noon before Natalie finished the last of the 2 autopsies. She
felt like death warmed over and was certain she looked like it as well.
She added the last bit of information to the computer disk and the hard
drive, grabbed a sandwich out of the refrigerator, and headed for her
car. Nick would have crashed hours ago and she did not want to wake him
when she came in. She knew he would be on the coach when she arrived.

He would not sleep in bed without her. It both pleased her and scared
her to have someone love her as much as Nick did. They were becoming
closer each day. He kept the vampire in check longer each time, but
progress was frustratingly slow. Some days she just wanted to throw him
down and have her way with him. Soon! Soon! It was what kept them
both going.

She sat wearily behind the wheel and started the engine. A man with a
very large knife placed his arm silently around her neck forcing her to
freeze in place. "Natalie Lambert... I presume! Your pictures do not
do you justice! You will drive exactly where I tell you to go."
Nick awoke before dusk and placed a telephone call to the morgue. Grace
answered. "Grace! It's Nick!"

"Nick what a pleasant surprise!" Grace suppressed a giggle.

"Liar!...Where is Natalie?"

"I don't know Nick. She didn't go home?" Grace knew they were living
together. Half the precinct knew. Nick was sure Tracy made a brochure
to announce it. "Tammy said she left around noon and her car was gone
when I came in."

Fear grabbed Nick's heart as he hung up the phone and dialed Tracy's
number. "Trace-I need a favor! Can you swing by and pick me up early.
Natalie's disappeared. Something's wrong."

"It's still daylight Nick! You will fry like an egg!"

"I'll ride in the trunk. We need the computer banks to start the
search! Hurry will you?"

Nick put an APB out on Natalie. Half the precinct dropped their
assignments to help with the search for clues. Natalie was well known
and liked. Heaven help anyone who would hurt her. The phone rang on
Nick's desk. "Knight!"

"Nicholas Knight?"

"Yes" Fear clutched his heart.

"I have something you want. Very badly I believe. She is about 5 5
with auburn hair and bright blue eyes. You will come alone to the
warehouse on 4th and L Street. Bring anyone with you or try to have
the place watched, and I kill her. Understand? 10 minutes! I know you
can fly to make it! Be alone!" He hung up.

Nick grabbed his coat and ran out the door saying nothing. Trace caught
him in the parking lot before he became airborne. "Nick... It was him
wasn t it? He has Natalie? I am coming with you!"

"He wants me Trace. For what reason I don't know. If he sees anyone
else...Natalie is dead. I cannot take the chance!" She touched his
shoulder calmly.

"Be careful!"

"Always" and he was gone into the night.
At the warehouse on 4th and L Nick cautiously entered from the top
floor. Though it is dark his eyesight could distinguish everything
within. Circling the building from the inside in the air, he landed in
the center of the room. The tall dark Englishman entered the warehouse
from the South. Walking into the light shining through the window, a
man came to a standstill in front of Nicholas.

Nick not sensing anyone else with them lunged toward the man, who in
turn shot him in the chest with his gun. Feeling the impact but very
little pain, Nick knocked him to the floor. Rolling to one side, the
man came to his feet retreating a few steps while changing the dial on
the gun. Not possessing vampire speed, the man aimed the gun in a wide
pattern. As the second blast hits Nick, pain screams through his body
causing him to collapse on the floor. Still struggling to gain the
weapon from the man, Nick pushed off the floor to attack again. Now
certain of victory, the man advanced on Nick placing the gun directly on
Nick's chest releasing it full force. Every nerve it Nick's body
reacted to the energy wave, yet he still managed to stay conscious
bringing the man to the floor with him. Unable to stop the man from
changing the dials on the weapon, the final blast put him into blissful
blackness eliminating the pain raging through his body.

The man looked at Nick's unconscious body on the floor, and then the
setting on his ultra -gun. "10 no one can survive a 10. NO ONE!" He
picked up Nick's limp body and returned to the lab.
Natalie stood chained to the wall in the laboratory. The lab was
ultra-modern and equipped with the finest equipment that money could
buy. A small man with wire rim glasses entered the room several times,
and drew her blood. Never once speaking, he would leave and return for
more. Silently he ran the equipment occasionally sneaking a peak at her.
After looking under the microscope, he finally spoke.

"You are not one of them?" He stated it like it was a revelation.

"One of them?"

"Vampires! You are not a vampire? What does he want with you?" The
little man seemed confused as to why she was there. The door opened
with Merriweather carrying an unconscious Nick over his shoulder.

Placing Nick on the table in the center of the room, Merriweather
proceeded to chain Nick to the bed. He turned to the little man. "Draw
his blood! He is the one we have been seeking! I am sure of it. I had
to hit him with a 10 setting to bring him down. His control is
incredible!" The little man stared in amazement.

"That could cause irreversible damage to his nervous system! His system
may not be able to throw it off! He will need blood and a great deal of
it just to survive!! What were you thinking?"

"I was thinking about staying alive and getting him back here in time
before he ripped my head off!" Merriweather looked at Nick and then
Natalie. Walking over to her, he released her shackles. "How much
control does he have Dr. Lambert? Enough to keep you alive? I need to
know." He then walked to the table and unchained Nick. "He is in your
care Doctor, and yours is the only blood in the room! Come Vernon we
should leave before the good Detective awakens with his pain and hunger.

"Nick! Nick! Can you hear me?" Natalie checked him over for signs of
injury. His breathing was fast and it seemed everywhere she touched him
caused pain. The gun had to be ultra-sound. She had seen the effects
on Nick when he went by the ultrasound department in the hospital. It
caused him intense pain throughout his body. The perfect weapon against
a vampire. Total central nervous system shut down with the pain to
match. Coming slowly awake as the waves of pain racked his body, Nick
finally focused on Natalie's voice. "Nick...It will wear off in time.
He shot you with ultra-sound. Your whole system is in shutdown. You
need blood to fight it!" Frantic.. knowing he would fight her on the
only workable solution, she forced him to listen.

Pain ravaged his body as well as the hunger that was seeping through his
very core. He needed blood! And he needed it now. He screamed in
agony as the pain continued and he collapsed to the floor trying to
escape it and Nataliess heartbeat. "Please Nat! You have to stay
away!" His eyes were golden, and his fangs extended. Panting from the
exertion and the fight not to take her, he came closer to the edge of

"You have to take my blood Nick! It is the only way!"

"NO! I WILL NOT STOP!" Doubling in pain as his entire body began to
shake and go into convulsions. "Remember what happened last time? I
almost killed you. I know what you taste like! I want you beyond all
reason Natalie! I won t stop! Self preservation will take over. IT'S
THE ANIMAL IN ME! PLEASE! Nat stay away." Nick tried to get to the
window where the sunlight touched the floor. He would end it before he
hurt her again, but his body would not cooperate. Realizing what his
thoughts were, Nat pushed him up against the far wall from the sunlight.

"Look at me Nick! You said I will love you forever! I believed you
Nick! I trust you beyond all else! You will stop because you love me!
I know that because I know you Nick. The real you! All of you! One
step at a time. I cannot do that alone, and if you walk into that sun
that is what I will be... alone! I won't be alone again Nick. You
promised me that! Did you lie to me?" As pain ripped through his body,
he brought her into his arms. The hunger was beginning to control his
every thought, but he would not let it control his heart.

"I have NEVER lied to you Natalie!"

"Then save us both Nick, because I cannot live without you!" Nick
pulled her into his embrace as he sank his fangs into her delicate skin.
Savoring the flavor and the warmth as it poured into his veins, he felt
her come into his soul. His Natalie with love and hope for both of
them. She warmed his soul. She made him whole. All that he was he
gave to her and her in return. He felt her start to fade and he pulled
back afraid to hurt her, causing her to whimper as he pulled away.
"Don't stop Nick, please don't stop, I need to feel you inside me. He
looked into her eyes and the desire to be with him. He returned to her
neck tasting her one more time and then pulled back. She rested her
head on his shoulder as their breathing came back to normal and Nick's
pain disappeared. Locked in each others arms, they both began to feel
the exhaustion overtake their bodies. Meriweather returned.

"You are the man I seek Detective Knight!" Anger flared in Nick's eyes
as he pulled Natalie behind him to protect her from this vile creature.
Meriweather placed the ultra-gun on the table and stepped back. Nick
picked it up and hurled it against the wall advancing on Meriweather.
"Kill me if you must Detective, but I had to know you had the control
and the desire to keep a mortal alive. I need your help!"

"You need my help!!! You kidnap Natalie and torture me and you want my
HELP! You are certifiably crazy!" Nick's eyes returned to those
beautiful pools of blue as he returned to the gun and smashed it into a
thousand pieces. "Correct me if I am wrong Mr. Meriweather, but don't
most people just simply ask when they need help?"

"Come with me...Please? Both of you" Meriweather walked toward the far
door to the lab and invited them into the next room. Nick and Natalie
entered the darkened room to find the beautiful young women lying
unnaturally still on the bed. "My wife Detective Knight. She is
dying!" Natalie checked her over slowly, as she still suffered from the
loss of blood given to Nick.

"Leukemia?" Natalie affirmed his diagnosis with a quick nod.

"We tried everything? Drugs, bone marrow transplants, chemo, x-rays.
Everything! She just keeps fading away." Meriweather went to her side
to hold her hand. "I cannot live without her. She is my life, my hope,
my future! Without her, there is nothing! I am told only a vampire
with a heart, and a love for life has a chance of bringing her across!
YOU are that vampire!" Looking at Natalie beside Nick "You love her
beyond all else, including saving your own life. I watched you both.
What you feel for her is what Rachel and I have. In the name of love, I
beg you to save her. Save our love just as Natalie and you saved each
other." Meriweather collapsed to his knees beside his beloved wife with
tears flowing down his cheeks.

Realizing how close Rachel was to death, Nick looked to Natalie for
guidance. "I cannot choose for her Meriweather. The decision to become
what I am is hers alone. You cannot choose and neither can I."

"We chose a long time ago!"

"Do you know what she will become? What she will face? What you both
will face if she becomes vampire and you stay mortal? Can you live with
not touching her? Watching her turn cold before your eye? Watching her
kill to survive? To become part animal as she ages? Is that what you
want for her? Can you live with that? Can she? This is not a life!
It is the darkness the encompasses your soul and sucks all that is good
out of you! It makes the evil within you control all that is around you
and destroy anything of beauty...Yet you claim to love her!" Nick
walked toward the door. Natalie placed her fingertips gently on his arm
to stop him.

"Love is forever Nick! You and I have defeated the evil within you in
the name of love. They can too! Do this! Not just for them but for us
as well!" Natalie put her arms around his waist to hold him next to
her. Nick ran his hands through her hair as held her close.

He walked back to the bedside and gently placed his fangs into Rachel's
neck. He drained the sickness away and her mortal life. As she lay on
the brink, he ripped his wrist with his fangs till he bled placing it on
her lips till she began to suck gently then harder. Nick pulled away as

she began to awaken. "Bring her blood now if you value your life."
Nick held her down as she came fully awake, assaulted with the first
wave of hunger. Meriweather brought the blood as Nick forced her to
feed. After having quenched her thirst she looked to Nick for guidance.

"You do not want to be my master?"

"I am no one's master. You belong to yourself and only yourself ."

Rachel stared at Natalie across the room. Nick followed her gaze to

"Thank you for sharing him with me Natalie. You are a very lucky woman!
His heart belongs only to you! Not many find what they search for in a
thousand lifetimes, but you and Nicholas are one, and nothing shall ever
change that! I envy you! For you both have found what you seek, while
Meri and I have just begun." She smiled at her beloved husband and
turned back to Nick and Natalie. "But we have a lifetime to learn!"

The End