From: Carla Martinek <email@example.com
Date: Thu Oct 28, 1999 3:54 pm
Subject: New Beginnings
I think I started posting this a while back, and never finished it. So,
here it is again in its entirety. Will also be posted to fkfic with
This is a shameless Nick & Nat love story. <g> Content is Adult, with a
little bit of slash thrown in as part of a police case. Do not read
this story if you are offended by Adult situations depicting Nick & Nat
together in an intimate fashion.
I don't own the Forever Knight characters - I just wish I did. Nick &
Nat & Company belong to TPTB and I'm just borrowing them to have a
little fun. This story is for entertainment only and no profit is being
made from it.
ARCHIVE PERMISSION: Permission to archive to Mel's FKFanfic Archive,
Mortal Love Archive and the FTP site. All others must ask permission.
Cheers, jeers, flames, etc. may all be directed to Carla at
Natalie checked her reflection in the full-length oval mirror in the
corner of her bedroom as she clipped on her small diamond earrings. The
deep, wine-colored velvet cocktail dress looked wonderful, but something
was missing. The long sleeves were off-the-shoulder, and the neckline
of the dress dipped low, displaying the upper curves of her breasts.
The princess-seams the skirt flared out into soft folds that draped to
mid-calf in front, and to her ankles in back. A sample spin verified
that though the skirt would float up, it was not to the point of being
indecent. She checked herself again in the mirror.
"That's it!" she said to herself. "I need a necklace." She had twisted
her long hair into an elegant French knot, with a short curly tendrils
hanging down to soften the effect. The result, combined with the low
neckline of the dress, left her neck and shoulders bare. She rummaged
through her jewelry box, looking for something that would go.
"Damn," she muttered, "I've got gold and silver necklaces, but they just
won't do." She pulled up a gold chain with a single diamond pendant,
and held it up to check it in the mirror. "No, it's not right. Oh, what
the heck does it matter? Who am I out to impress anyway?"
She had looked forward to attending the annual Christmas Ball until
earlier this evening. Nick was supposed to have been her escort, but at
the last minute he had been called into work on a murder case he and
Tracy had been working on for months. It seemed that while they were
checking out a murder scene, the suspect had literally fallen into
police custody -- a simple routine traffic stop, and a check on the
license had notified the officer that the driver was wanted on a murder
warrant. She was happy that they'd caught the guy, but why did it have
to be tonight? Nick had sounded regretful when he called - he too had
looked forward to escorting Natalie to the ball.
"Oh, well," she said to Sidney, who lay curled on the bed, "looks like
I'm going stag tonight. It won't be the first time, and probably won't
be the last."
With a sigh, she replaced the necklace she still held in the box. In the
back of the jewelry case, a glitter caught her eye, and she reached in
and pulled it out. "Oh, Richard," she said with a half sob, a tear
forming in her eye as she thought of her brother.
In her hand, she held an old-fashioned pendant. In the center was a
cabochon sapphire almost an inch in length. The rounded, smooth stone
sat in an elaborate carving of gold wire which looked as if it has been
twisted and turned and finally tamed to hold it's treasure securely from
ever coming loose. A few small diamonds trapped in the gold accented the
sapphire. Simply said, it was magnificent.
Richard and his wife had brought the pendant home to Natalie after their
European honeymoon. They had found it in a small antique shop in
northern France, and the price had been so reasonable that they *had to
get it for her. They had assumed that the larger stone was a fake
because of the low price, but the setting was still so beautiful it was
hard to pass up. Natalie had loved it instantly, and had worn it often
until she started in the Coroner's Office. Long necklaces had no place
when you were leaning over the remains of the latest homicide victim. It
had been put away, and the chance for wearing it again had just never
come up in the last few years.
She held the pendant up to her neck, and looked again at her reflection.
"No," she said to herself, "it's not right, either."
With a sigh, she wistfully set the pendant on the dresser and reached to
put the last finishing touches to her makeup. Just then, her door bell
rang. She glanced at the clock, noting that she was almost late for
leaving for the ball. The necklace momentarily forgotten, she rushed to
the door, intending to get rid of whoever it was so that she could leave
She opened the door, and there stood Nick, elegant in a double-breasted
tuxedo. Natalie's jaw dropped open.
"Nick, you said you wouldn't be able to make it tonight... the murder
Nick smiled at her. "Well, we pushed through the absolute minimum
paperwork to keep the guy in jail for at least 24 hours. Captain Reese
said to get going, and that he would see us at the ball a little later."
Natalie stood there, still a little shocked at his appearance. "Um, Nat,
can I come in?" Nick asked.
"Oh! Of course!" she laughed, stepping aside to let him in. He followed
her into her apartment, and closed the door behind himself. "Let me grab
my purse and coat, and we can get going."
"We'll have to take your car. It's snowing outside, and I was in a
hurry, and, uh, the traffic, and I wanted to get here before you
Natalie looked closer at him, noticing that his blonde hair was
windblown and had wet drops clinging to it. The coat slung over his
shoulder also showed signs of moisture, and it wasn't hard to figure out
just how he got to her place. "Well," she commented with a smile, "at
least you don't have to worry about traffic jams at that altitude."
Nick returned her smile, relieved that she wasn't angry, and hung his
coat on the rack by the door. "We've got a few minutes before we have to
leave, so can we sit for a moment?"
Nat cocked her head at him, and said, "Sure." She paused for a second,
as if making a decision, and then walked towards the kitchen. "Let me
get something to drink, OK?"
Nick walked over to the couch, and sat down, waiting for her to return.
When she walked back in the room, she was carrying two glasses, one
already filled, and a bottle. She set them down on the coffee table.
Nick looked at the unmarked bottle, and then turned to Natalie, his
eyebrow raised in question.
Nat dropped her eyes as she responded, "I borrowed it from your
refrigerator, to keep here just in case. I hope you don't mind... it was
a spur of the moment thought a while ago...."
Nick reached over, and raised Natalie's chin so that she looked him in
the eyes. "Thank you, Natalie. I appreciate it." He leaned over and
placed a gentle kiss on her lips, and then sat back. He reached for the
bottle, opened it, and poured his glass, and then raised it in a toast.
Natalie raised her own glass in response.
"A toast," Nick said, looking Natalie in the eyes, "a toast to the most
beautiful woman at the ball," and then he drained the glass. Natalie
blushed, and took a small sip of her own. "What has happened to him,"
she wondered to herself? First, he kisses me, and then he calls me
beautiful. He hasn't shown this much emotion since.... Azure."
Nick continued to speak, "Natalie, I know that I don't tell you how I
feel very often... it's hard, knowing that we may never be able to be
more than friends, but tonight, I just had to. And I have a present for
you." He reached into the pocket on his tuxedo, and pulled out a long,
slim black velvet case. "I hope you don't mind, but I had to get it for
"Nick, I..." Natalie was speechless. She felt as if she'd been
blindsided. She reached for the case, and held it in her hands, looking
at it. "I...."
"Please open it, Nat. Please."
Her hands trembled slightly as she opened the lid. There, on a
background of black satin, lay a beautiful diamond necklace. "This is
beautiful! Nick, I can't accept this... it's so expensive..." Nick
reached out and put his hand over hers. "Yes, you can. Natalie, you know
that the money doesn't matter to me. But I knew this would be perfect
for you. Besides," he continued with a smile, "it matches your
Natalie self-consciously reached up and touched her earrings. "How did
you know I'd have these on?"
"Because those are your favorite earrings... and you never get a chance
to wear them. I took a chance you'd have them on tonight. Please, wear
it tonight, for me."
Natalie paused, undecided for a moment, and then lifted the necklace out
of the case. The diamonds dripped over her fingers like frozen droplets
of water. She held the necklace out to Nick, and then turned her back to
him, baring her neck, silently inviting him to put it on. Nick took the
necklace, and reached around her to place it on her neck. He had moved
closer to perform this intimate task, and her upswept hair left her neck
bared to him. He could hear her pulse beating, and could smell the sweet
tang of her blood just inches away, but there was no urge to take her.
Maybe the bloodwine had calmed the vampire inside, or maybe it was just
the feelings that he had for this woman, this night, that were far more
powerful that the vampire could ever be.
He fastened the necklace, and then couldn't resist leaning forward a
little more to kiss the edge of her ear. Natalie almost jumped off the
"Shh.... relax. It's all right." He pulled her back against him, noting
that her pulse had quickened, and then leaned into her ear again. His
tongue traced the delicate swirls of her ear, and then darted quickly a
little deeper, before returning to it's previous task. Natalie gasped,
"Nick..." and closed her eyes, surprised, but trusting him to take care
Nick turned his attentions to the sensitive spot just below and behind
her ear, and felt her relax even closer against him. His vampire senses
told him that her body temperature had increased slightly, an indication
of her arousal. He scraped his teeth across the tendon of her neck, and
she moaned, throwing her head further back for his access. Nick felt an
unaccustomed warmth flow through him at the trust she placed in him, and
marveled that the vampire still lay dormant, despite the temptation in
front of him. He quickly turned Natalie so that she was sitting on his
lap, facing him. Her eyes snapped open at this sudden change.
Natalie had expected Nick's eyes to have the golden glow that appeared
whenever the vampire started to surface. Instead, Nick's eyes remained a
clear blue, heavy lidded with desire. Her silence asked an unspoken
"I don't know why, Nat. Let's not question it too closely right now," he
answered. "Come here," he said and pulled her close, covering her lips
with his own. Her arms reached up and twined themselves around his neck,
her fingers running through the curls at the back of his hair.
Nick's lips slanted across Natalie's, and he tugged at her lower lip
with his teeth. She opened her mouth for him, and their tongues met,
caressing each other in imitation of a far more intimate act. Nick's
hands had moved down her shoulders onto her arms, and now one hand
slipped over to cover her breast while the other reached behind her to
pull her closer. He rubbed his hand over the fabric covering her breast,
feeling the nipple peak and harden even through the thick velvet. All
the while, their kiss continued, though Natalie now turned her head
slightly to the side to catch her breath. Nick took advantage of the
situation to nip at her other ear, while Natalie gasped for breath at
these new onslaughts. "Oh, Nick..."
Natalie's eyes remained closed, in the event that if she opened them she
would find that this was all a dream. She didn't want this to ever end.
Nick could smell her arousal now, the warm, musky scent of her, and knew
that he would have to stop soon if they were ever to salvage any of the
evening. But he couldn't resist one more assault. The hand on her back
slowly unzipped her dress a few inches, allowing him enough room to pull
the dress's low neckline in front down enough to expose her breasts.
Underneath, he found a strapless black lace bra. Her nipples were hard,
and Nick dipped his head to capture one in his mouth though the lace.
Natalie arched her back, pushing her breast even closer to Nick's loving
ministrations. The scrap of lace was pushed out of the way, and he took
her exposed nipple into his mouth, and suckled her hard, almost
savagely, peaking the tip even more while she moaned, and then turned
his attention to the other, heretofore neglected breast, where it
received it's share of attention. Nick's arm behind her was the only
thing to keep her from falling backwards, but Natalie didn't care.
The smell of Natalie's arousal had increased, and Nick's response to her
made him so hard that it was uncomfortable. But a couch was *not* where
he wanted to make love to Natalie for the first time. Slowly, the
reality of their situation started to sink into his passioned state. He
kissed each breast, bidding it au revoir until later, he promised
himself, and then pulled Natalie up against him until his arms were
wrapped around her and hers around him. He rested his cheek against the
top of her head. Her breathing was heavy, and if he had been mortal,
Nick was sure he would be doing the same. His heart beat twice in
"Natalie, we have to leave soon," he said quietly. "We're expected at
the ball, and it's an official function. Otherwise, I wouldn't leave
here until you fell asleep from sheer exhaustion."
"Nick, did we just... how did...?"
"I don't know. Let's not question it, OK?" He kissed the top of her
head, and tightened his arms around her. Her breathing was slowing along
with her heartrate, and his body was also slowly relaxing. He wondered
himself why he had been able to get this intimate without the
vampire.... perhaps he might be able to follow Janette's path... but
those thoughts were better saved for later.
Natalie leaned back in his arms and looked up at him, seeing the
still-clear blue eyes of the man she loved. Was tonight an indication
that she might be able to tell him of this love? That they might share a
life together? She allowed the hope to take life. It was then that she
felt the breeze from the forced-air heating in her apartment glide
across her bare chest, puckering her exposed nipples that were still
damp from Nick's kisses. She ducked her head in embarrassment.
"Natalie," Nick said solemnly, using a hand to lift her head to face
him, "there's nothing to be ashamed of. You're beautiful, and what we
did together was beautiful."
Natalie nodded once, acknowledging him. She reached to put her clothing
"Let me." Nick's hands moved hers out of the way as he pulled the lace
bra back into place, his hands lingering on the fullness of her curves
for a moment. He bent his head and kissed her above the black lace. "You
smell so good," he said, as he nuzzled the exposed valley between. Then
he pulled the velvet dress back into its place, and reached behind her
to zip the dress back up. All during this, Natalie's eyes had never left
his face. She saw that his look was almost... reverent... as he looked
at her body. As much as she disparaged her figure on occasion,
apparently Nick didn't think it was so bad.
Nick's hands lingered on her body, reluctant to break contact. He wanted
to touch her, to hold her, to love her, forever. But duty called, and
they were going to be a trifle late getting there as it was. If he
delayed any longer....
Natalie took the initiative and stood up, but didn't relinquish her grip
on his hand. Nick followed her up, and again took her into his arms,
enveloping her in the warmth of his affection that banished the cool of
his vampire body. They stood together, not moving, for what seemed an
eternity, and then Natalie broke away.
"I've got to... freshen up... a little bit before we leave."
Natalie turned back to him. "Yes?"
"Please put some more perfume on. There are some aromas, no matter how
tantalizing, I do *not* want you to share with any other man. I want
that saved for me alone. But don't wash."
Nick's possessive and highly intimate statement made Natalie blush to
the roots of her hair, realizing just what *aroma* he referred to. She
"Natalie," he said, coming over to her again and wrapping her in his
embrace again, "I'm sure that no one other than a vampire would be able
to scent anything, but the chance than any other man there would
recognize it would drive me crazy. To me you smell erotic, sensual,
desirable.... Can you understand why I don't want anyone else to share
in that? It belongs to you and me only."
Natalie's blush continued. Where had this possessive streak in him come
from? He was acting like a feudal lord... which when she thought about
it, he had been at one time. "I think so... I just feel, so..."
"Natalie, you feel like a woman waiting for her lover to finish the job
he started. And tonight, after the ball, I'll try to remedy that to the
best of my ability. Go," he said with a little smile, pushing her
towards the bathroom, "touch up your lipstick and we'll get going."
Natalie reflected on Nick's comments while she finished her touch up.
She dabbed a bit more perfume on her wrists and behind her knees. It was
a musk-based perfume, with hints of jasmine, and had become her favorite
as soon as she had discovered it. She wouldn't put any more behind her
ears or between her breasts, knowing Nick's vampire smell might find it
a little strong. She couldn't believe his comments about her... what was
the term he used?... aroma. She still felt embarrassed about it. She
recalled her previous relationships, where the smells of sex and arousal
were something to be cleaned up and washed away as soon as possible. Was
Nick's preference born of his old-world life, or something the vampire
in him enjoyed? Perhaps she'd ask him. Later. Right now, she wanted to
remember what had just happened between them, and Nick's sultry promise
of what was to come later. She felt another flush of desire go through
her at the thought.
Nick drained the remainder of his bottle while he waited for Natalie to
return. He disposed of the bottle in the recycling bin in the kitchen,
and then put the glasses in the sink. He checked Sidney's food and water
dishes, making sure both were full, since he fully intended to take
Natalie to the loft after the ball, and not return her until sometime
Natalie still hadn't appeared, and Nick looked at his watch. They would
be fashionably late, but not unforgivably so. He made one more quick
decision. He walked into Natalie's bedroom, and noticed that the jeans
and sweater she'd had on earlier in the day lay across the end of her
bed. He opened her closet, and found a small overnight bag. He put the
jeans and sweater in the case, then put her tennis shoes from the floor
on top. That should be enough. Natalie would probably kill him when she
found out he'd just waltzed into her room and into her closet.
Natalie walked into the living room just seconds after Nick returned.
Nick turned around, and greeted her with a smile. "Nat, I hope you don't
mind... I made sure Sidney had food and water, and then I, uh, grabbed a
couple of things for you. I hoped I could convince you to stay with me
Natalie's surprise registered on her face as she took in the overnight
bag sitting on the couch. "Nick...." He stopped her by placing a finger
over her lips, followed quickly by his own lips and a searing kiss. Her
affront immediately melted away.
"Nat, I just didn't want to waste any more time. Please say you'll come
back to the loft with me tonight." Forever, whispered a voice in Nick's
head which he quickly quieted.
How could she turn down this invitation, when in truth she had been
waiting for it for years? That it came out of the blue, unexpected, made
it all the sweeter. "Yes, I'll stay tonight," she responded to him,
while to herself she silently added, "I'll stay forever if you'll let
me, but one night is a good start. I still can't fathom what brought all
this on so suddenly, but I will not turn it down."
Nick kissed her again, quickly, then went to retrieve her coat. He
helped her slide on the full-length wool coat, then pulled his own on.
Natalie grabbed her keys off the counter, and handed them to him. "Well,
it's not as romantic as the Caddy, but at least I don't have the
Coroner's station wagon tonight," she quipped, a smile lighting her
features. Nick took the keys, and opened the door for Natalie.
"After you, my lady," he said with a smile and a gallant bow. Natalie
checked the light switch, and called out to Sidney, "Be good, Sidney,
and I'll get you a can of *real* tuna tomorrow!" She led the way out the
door. Nick followed, and locked the door after him. As they started
towards the elevator to take them down to the parking garage below the
apartment, Nick wrapped his arm around her waist as they walked. Now
that he had made his decision, it seemed as if he couldn't touch her
They waited in silence for the elevator, looking at each other. Nick
reached out and brushed a stray tendril of hair off her cheek, his palm
lingering there. Natalie pressed her face into his hand, rubbing her
cheek against his palm and caressing the cool surface of it. She leaned
forward to kiss him again, but the opening elevator doors startled them
both, causing them to jump back guiltily.
There was no one in the elevator, and they laughed at their nervous
folly. They entered, and Nick pressed the button for the garage, his
other arm still holding Natalie close. She raised her face to his,
asking for the kiss they'd been denied seconds before. Nick obliged
happily, placing a sensuous kiss on her lips, tracing their outline with
his tongue. Natalie shivered.
"Nat?" he murmured against her lips.
"I can still smell you."
It took a second for his comment to sink in, and then Natalie jumped
back from him, hitting him with her evening bag. "Nick, how can you say
such a thing?" she demanded, taking in his grinning face.
"I didn't say it was bad," he offered, holding his hands up in mock
surrender, devilment lighting his eyes. "I happen to like it very much,
thank you. Besides, no one other than me would be able to tell, and your
perfume will be all that anyone else who even gets close enough to you
will smell. *If* I let them get close enough," he added.
Natalie's shook her head in bemusement, and then stepped back closer to
him. His teasing, as intended, had broke the sexual tension that had
been between them since he entered her apartment. If the two of them
arrived at the ball in their current state, there's no telling what
people would say. "I'll behave until the ball is over. How's that,
Cinderella?" he asked.
"I suppose that will have to do," she said with a long-suffering
dramatic sigh, and then snuggled into his arm.
"Only until the ball is over," he reiterated. "After that," he leered,
"I'm reverting to the beast!" Natalie burst out laughing, making the
comment, "Oh, does that make me the *Belle* of the ball, then?" She
giggled at her own comment, and then at Nick's obvious puzzlement.
"Nick, remember, we watched *Beauty and the Beast*?"
The light went on for Nick, and he smiled sheepishly. "What happened to
that famous vampire memory?" Natalie asked. Nick's reply was, "I was
blinded by your beauty?" which earned him another swat with her bag.
By this time, the elevator had stopped and opened its doors. Nick
escorted Nat out, and to her parking space, where he held open the door
for her to get in. Then, he went around to the driver's side. As he got
in, he banged his knees on the steering wheel. "Damn!" he muttered.
"Sorry. I forgot to remind you to move the seat back. Not everyone has
legs as long as yours," said Natalie. Nick reached down to the side of
the seat, and adjusted it so that he was comfortable. They pulled out,
and were on their way to the ball.
The drive to the ball was non-eventful. They kept the conversation
steered towards work, avoiding anything to do with themselves. The
anticipation for the events after the ball was building in both of them,
but they refused to acknowledge it. Nick pulled the car up to the valet
parking, and came around to help Natalie out, and then escorted her into
the museum, this year's location for the ball.
They checked their coats, and then started to mingle with all the other
city officials and socialites. Nick leaned down and commented privately
in Natalie's ear, "At least this isn't like a Victorian ball, where they
announce everyone as they enter. I feel as if everyone would know what
we're doing, and what we're *going* to do!" Natalie blushed again. ‘What
was with her tonight?' she wondered to herself. She had blushed more in
one evening than she could remember blushing in several years. She was
acting like a nervous teenager! She glanced up at Nick and shook her
head at him in mock disapproval, but couldn't hold it for long. Another
smile appeared quickly. Nick smiled back and tucked her hand into the
crook of his arm more securely as he escorted Natalie around, and they
made small talk with the people they were acquainted with.
It escaped Natalie at this time that Nick's actions, such as keeping her
hand on his arm at all times, and not leaving her, were statements in
themselves. The happiness she felt this evening made her face glow.
Nick's actions clearly stated to anyone smart enough to read them, "This
is MY woman. No trespassing."
A small orchestra had already been playing as Nick and Nat entered, and
now they struck up a waltz. They had been chatting with some of the
other officers in the department, but when the waltz started, Nick
offered the rest of the group a "Please excuse us," and then turned back
to Natalie, where he made a short bow from the waist, and asked, "May I
have the pleasure of this dance?" A few of the other women in the group
smiled at Nick's gallantry, while Natalie had no choice but to say yes.
Nick swept her into his arms and out onto the dance floor, where they
entered the flow of other dancers.
Nick's dancing wasn't the small, turning steps that Natalie was used to
at crowded wedding receptions, nor was it the grand sweeping steps of
someone in a ballroom dancing competition. It was somewhere in between,
and Nick, obviously an accomplished dancer, led her around the floor,
effortlessly avoiding what Natalie thought would surely be collisions
with the other dancers.
"Nick," Natalie managed to catch her breath as they danced, "I never
knew you danced so well."
"Years of practice, Nat. Centuries, you might say!" Nick rejoined with a
smile, never missing a beat. "Besides, with the *Belle* of the ball in
my arms, how could I *not* dance well?" They grinned at their own
private joke, and continued to twirl around the floor. The waltz came to
an end, and Nick reluctantly led a somewhat breathless Natalie to the
edge of the dance floor, but before they reached it, the orchestra
started in on Nat King Cole's ‘Unforgettable', and it was Natalie who
pulled Nick back onto the floor. At the same time, a singer stepped up
to a microphone to begin the haunting words of the song.
"I don't know how to dance to this," Nick complained.
"OK, old man, then let me lead this time... this is something *I'm* more
familiar with!" They stopped in a crowd of other dancers already
standing close and swaying to the romantic tune. "Hold just like you did
in the waltz," commanded Natalie. Nick complied, and then Natalie moved
herself even closer to Nick, so that their bodies touched from chest to
upper thigh. She curled their joined hand in so that it rested on Nick,
next to her face which she turned to the side and lay against his chest.
The hand she had placed on his shoulder crept up to his neck, and rested
there. Then she started swaying slowly and taking small steps.
"This, Nicholas Knight, is what we call *slow dancing*. Very close, very
intimate, and not much skill required. Anyone can learn to do it, even
"Mmm..." Nick replied, leaning his cheek down to rest on the top of
Natalie's head, as he saw several other dancers doing. "I suppose I
could get used to this." He slid his hand which had rested on her waist
around so that it rested in the small of her back, his fingers moving a
fraction to caress the upper curve of her buttocks. Conversation ceased
between the two of them as they swayed in time with the music, listening
to the words.
"Unforgettable, That's what you are...
Nick pulled Natalie in even closer to his body, enjoying her warmth and
the intimacy of the dance. The two were lost in a world of their own,
both thinking of the time that had come before this night, the
frustrations, the yearnings, the disappointments. But none of that
mattered now, in the face of Nick's decisive actions since walking
through Natalie's door tonight. With the tantalizing scent of her
perfume and that own unique scent that was Natalie wafting up from her
warmth to tease him, Nick vowed silently to himself that he would not
turn back from his chosen path tonight, that he would keep the vampire
under control so that he could love his Natalie, in every sense of the
As Nick made his vow to himself, Natalie also vowed silently to make
Nick fulfill his earlier promises. Tonight, if he backed away at the
last minute, *she* would become the aggressor. It had worked for
Janette; it would work for them. She didn't know *why* Nick had suddenly
become the lover she'd always hoped for, but she would find out.
The singer sang the last haunting notes of the song, and the audience
and dancers applauded to show their appreciation. Nick and Nat, lost in
their own world, kept dancing for a few seconds after her finish, but as
the applause broke into their consciousness, they grinned sheepishly at
each other, and stepped apart to join the clapping. Nick tucked
Natalie's arm back into his, and led her off the floor in search of
refreshments. At the edge of the crowd, they met Tracy, looking vibrant
in a short flirty red silk dress. She smiled at them.
"Well, it's about time, you two! Anyone with half a brain could see that
there's something different with you guys tonight. Way to go, partner,"
she added to Nick.
"Well, you know," Nick said, smiling down at Natalie, "it's Christmas, a
time for love and new beginnings..." he trailed off. Tracy nodded,
understanding what had happened to Nick earlier in the evening.
"Seriously, Nick," Tracy continued, "everyone's been hoping that you two
would work whatever it is between you out. No two people belong together
more than you. It just took you longer to realize it than everyone
else!" With that, Tracy gave Natalie a small hug, and then left the two
of them alone again, moving off to claim a handsome young officer for a
"From the mouths of babes," quoted Nick.
Natalie playfully swatted his arm, then added in a serious tone,
"Sometime soon you're going to tell me what happened tonight. Why the
sudden change of heart. But not now," she added, placing a finger over
his lips to stop any comments he might have. His tongue darted out,
wetting her finger, and then he sucked the tip of it into his mouth for
a quick nip.
"Nick!" she said in an loud whisper, yanking her finger out of his
mouth, "behave yourself!" Her smile softened her chastisement, and Nick
just laughed and escorted her to the refreshment table, where they both
picked up glasses of red wine. Nick's glass was more of a prop, but he
occasionally took small sips, while Natalie truly enjoyed the fine
The rest of the ball passed similarly, with the two of them alternating
between dancing and mingling with the friends, acquaintances, and
co-workers also present. Several of them commented among themselves out
of earshot (so they thought) that it was wonderful to finally see the
two of them together.
As Nick led Natalie in another slow dance, he spoke low for her ears
only, "Nat, they're talking about us."
"Who?" she asked, keeping her eyes closed and her cheek against his
"Just about everyone who knows us," he replied. She tilted her head back
to look up at him.
"How do you know? What about?"
"Basically, the same things Tracy said. ‘It's about time... they're so
perfect together... What took them so long?' They all approve," was his
reply. "To answer your first question, remember that I have *very* good
"Oh." If Natalie could have slapped her forhead and said, "Duh," it
would have been the same.
Nick tucked her head back against his chest, and they finished the dance
in silence. When the music was over, Nick placed his forefinger under
Natalie's chin, tipping her head up to look at him again. "Think we can
gracefully sneak out, now?"
Natalie looked at the large clock hung high on the wall. It was just
after midnight, and they had been there for over four hours. "I think
so. We've done more than our duty requires for tonight." She smiled at
him. "Besides, this Cinderella doesn't want her prince to turn into a
frog at the stroke of midnight."
"You're mixing stories there, Nat. The Grimms would be extremely upset."
"Who cares?" was her laughing reply. "Tonight has been the best
fairytale of all. Don't tell me you knew them?" she added.
"Well... I did run across them once. Very strange fellows. I'll tell you
about it sometime." With that, they made their way towards the coat
check, saying their farewells to the people they met along the way. Nick
retrieved their coats, and helped Natalie with hers before sliding his
own on. Suddenly, the warm affection that had been with them during the
duration of the ball disappeared, replaced by the earlier expectant
tension, heavy with unspoken desires and promises.
Nick handed the billet to the parking valet, waiting for Natalie's car
to be brought around. The two of them stood waiting in silence on the
steps, watching the fluffy snow that had started falling while they had
been inside. Nick wrapped his arms around Natalie from behind, holding
The valet returned with the car, and opened the door for Natalie. Nick
helped her in, and then went around to his side, tipping the valet
before he got in. Pointing the car towards the loft, and they were soon
moving through the dark city streets, both silent, both thinking of what
was yet to come.
Nick pulled Natalie's car into the lower level of his warehouse
building. They took the lift up to the loft, and Nick slid the door
back for her, allowing her to enter first. As she started to step out
of the lift, Nick suddenly swung her up into his arms. Nat instinctively
wrapped her arms around his neck.
"New beginnings, Nat," he said to her unspoken question, and carried her
into the loft. He carried her over next to the couch, and lowered her
feet so that she slid along the length of his body before she reached
the floor. "Here, let me take your coat," he said, as he helped her out
of it. He laid it over the nearby chair, then shrugged out of his own,
setting it on top of hers.
Meanwhile, Natalie had reached for the remote to open the shutters. As
they slid up, she could see the snow that still fell in thick blankets
coming down. Nick stepped up behind her, wrapping his arms around her
waist and pulling her back into him. He took the remote out of her
hand, and pressed one of the buttons. The stereo started up, the strains
of some soft classical piece filling the air. Natalie turned around in
Nick's arms, and wrapped her arms around his neck. She pulled his head
down to meet hers, and gave him a deep kiss, determined not to be merely
a respondent to Nick's overtures, but also an active participant.
Their tongues warred with each other, while their hands traced paths
that their mouths would later follow. Natalie could feel Nick's arousal
pressing into her, and she ground her hips slightly against his. Nick
growled in response, tightening his grip on her and deepening their
kiss. Then, without breaking contact, he lowered her onto the leather
couch, and lay partially atop her. Natalie squirmed slightly, working
her leg out from underneath so that she could wrap it around his. Nick
moved his kiss from her mouth over to her ear, blowing softly in it.
Shivers ran down Natalie's spine.
His teeth nipped the soft lobe, then he started tracing a path down her
neck. He reached up and cupped her breast in his hand, pushing it up so
that it rounded above the top of the dress, and his lowered his mouth,
gently sucking on the exposed skin. Natalie's breathless pants aroused
him more than any other woman in his long past ever had, and he knew
that this was right. He slowed his ministrations, and raised his lips
to gently kiss hers.
"I will NOT make love to you the first time on a couch, fully clothed,"
he stated, swinging his knees over to the floor, and kneeling besides
her. Natalie smiled a half smile, and replied, "Well, it isn't the most
comfortable spot in the world, but as long as I'm with you..." Her eyes
glowed with unspoken emotions.
Nick stood, and held a hand out to help Natalie up from the couch. She
rose gracefully, and he led her over to the stairs. Before they headed
up, he asked her if she needed anything, a drink perhaps?
She shook her head no, and he stepped close and swept her up in his arms
again. He lowered his head to kiss her, and the world disappeared again
while they lost themselves in each other.
Natalie opened her eyes again to find them outside of Nick's bedroom
door. "Nick, did you..?" she trailed off questioningly.
"Uh-huh," he said sheepishly. "It was quicker. Besides, you don't think
I was actually going to CARRY you up the stairs, do you? I'd be worn out
by the time I got up here!" His laughing blue eyes told her he was
teasing, and she punished him by pulling his head down for a kiss, and
nipping his bottom lip. He growled again, and strode into the bedroom
The sound system was wired into the entire loft, and the music on the
stereo still floated unobtrusively around them as Nick lowered her feet
to the floor again. He stepped away from her to shrug out of his tuxedo
jacket, and then started to remove the studs from his shirt. Natalie
brushed his hands away, intending to undress him herself.
As she removed each stud from his shirt, she laid it on the dresser. As
his shirt gaped farther open with each removal, she pressed kisses to
the cool pale flesh that was exposed. She tugged the shirttails out of
his pants, and unbuttoned the last few studs. She pulled the front of
his shirt apart, exposing his light brown nipples. She placed her mouth
over one, and sucked gently, her teeth grazing the sensitive nub. Nick
jerked in response, but remained where he was, allowing Natalie to
explore at her leisure. She slid her hands up his chest, and then slid
the shirt down off his shoulders and arms. His torso was now bare, and
she loved the maleness of it, the pale hairs curling on his chest, the
wiry muscles below the skin, and ran her hands over all of him, her
mouth following in a fiery trail afterwards.
Nick's vampire senses could stand no more at this point, and he pulled
her mouth up to meet his. He reached around behind her, and started
unzipping her dress. This time, he pulled the zipper all the way down,
and the dress gaped open at the top, exposing her lace bra and allowing
him to see to the foundation garments below her waist.
He repeated Natalie's actions, slowly pulling the dress down her body
inch by inch, kissing the skin that became exposed. When it reached her
hips, he gave a slight tug, and the velvet puddled to the floor around
her feet, still encased in their stockings and high heels. He knelt in
front of her, and wrapped his arms around her waist, laying his head
against her stomach, listening to her heartbeat echo within her body.
Natalie stood trembling with desire as Nick lifted his head and placed a
warm, wet kiss on her stomach and his hands moved to cup her buttocks.
He caressed them and squeezed slightly, and turned the kiss on her
stomach into a sucking motion. The simultaneous actions sent waves of
desire through her body, and she could feel the rush of moisture between
her legs. She had never realized that such simple actions could be so
Nick felt the minute shivers go through her body, and he could smell her
reaction. He lowered his head, and placed his mouth over the lace
bikini that hid her femininity. He could feel the wetness already
there, and he blew softly through the barrier, exciting her even
further. He then reversed, and sucked in, bringing both the lace and
the hidden nub into his mouth momentarily. Natalie moaned loudly, and
almost collapsed at the sensation. Only her hands braced on his
shoulders and Nick's grip around her waist kept her from collapsing to
Nick reached up and grabbed the edges of the panties, and slid them down
her legs, removing the barrier. Natalie still stood there in her black
lace bra and garter, and sheer black stockings and shoes, and Nick
thought he had never seen anything more beautiful. "The bra will have
to go," he said, "but the rest can remain for now."
Nick stood up, never releasing his hold on Natalie, and helped her step
out of the clothing tangled around her feet. Then he stepped out of his
dress shoes. She had regained a little control at this point, and
turnabout was fair play. She reached for the fastening on his pants,
and released it. Then, she slid the zipper down, careful not to catch
anything, fabric or otherwise, below it. His pants slid easily to the
floor, and he stepped out of them. He now stood in nothing but his
black patterned silk bikini underwear, and his socks. Natalie couldn't
help but giggle at the sight, and Nick rolled his eyes, easily guessing
what was on her mind.
"Why is it sexy for a woman to stand in her stockings and underwear, but
not for a man?" Nick asked, as Natalie knelt in front of him to help
remove his socks. She pulled one off, exposing an aristocratic-looking
foot, long and narrow, before smiling and replying, "Guess it's just one
of those things... only this time women get the better deal." She
removed the other sock, and then ran her hands around his calves before
heading back up to more interesting territory. She stopped at his
thighs, kneading and feeling the muscles underneath. She could see his
arousal straining at his underwear, but she ignored it for now, and
instead dropped kisses along the front of his thighs while her hands
reached for his buttocks. Nick stood unmoving, but she could tell that
it affected him, for the tenseness in the muscles under her hands
She traced little circles and paths with her tongue on his thighs, and
then blew air on them immediately afterwards, seeing the skin pucker and
the hairs stand up. She worked her way towards his underwear, torturing
him with her refusal to directly touch him.
Finally, she paused in front of him, and then placed her mouth on the
bulge in front of her, blowing hot moist air through the fabric in
imitation of Nick's actions on her. She glanced up, and saw his head
tip back and the cords in his neck stand out. Her own arousal was
increasing, and she was tired of waiting, so she took pity on and freed
She carefully pulled the fabric away from him, and down to the floor,
exposing him to her view. He was uncircumcised, which surprised her
until she remembered that of course he would be. The foreskin was
pulled slightly back, exposing the purplish heart-shaped head. A drop
of moisture glistened at the top, and as Natalie reached to touch him,
she darted her tongue out to catch it. Nick's indrawn breath told her
that she had surprised him as much as she surprised herself with the
She caressed his length once with her hands, and then stood up next to
Nick, reaching up and pulling his head down for another kiss. He
reached behind her and released the catch on her bra, freeing her
breasts and dropping the garment without a thought. Both hands reached
up to cup her as he backed her towards the bed, sitting her down on the
Natalie came up for air, and reached for the hooks on her garters. "No,
he said, "let me." He removed her shoes, then unhooked the garters and
rolled the stockings down. Then he pushed her back on the bed until she
was completely reclined, and just looked at her. Natalie started to
"You're beautiful," he said simply as he sat down next to her, reaching
for her hand and bringing it to his mouth. She could see that his eyes
were gold-rimmed, and that the vampire had made it's inevitable
appearance, but she felt no fear. "Natalie, are you sure? Do you trust
me..." he trailed off, not wanting to finish the thought.
"Nick, I trust you with everything. My life, my soul, and my love. I
know you, and we wouldn't be here right now if you were unsure."
"Natalie, I love you." There, he had finally said it, and there was no
going back. "You know more about me than any other human. You do
realize that for me to... complete... the act, I have to have blood?"
She nodded. He continued, "if you're at all unsure, we don't have to.
There's much I can do for you, to you, and still avoid that."
Natalie responded without hesitation, "I love you, Nick, and I trust
you. Together, we can do anything, conquer anything." She tugged on
his hand, pulling him down to lay on top of her. She didn't want to
They kissed, and once more their hands explored all the places on each
other that they'd only dreamed of. Natalie moved her mouth to Nick's
neck, biting him gently. "Nat... you don't know what you're doing," he
groaned. She smiled, and replaced her teeth with her lips, sucking.
She raised her head to ask a question, "Can vampires get hickeys?"
"Yeah, but they don't last very long. They'll be gone in a few
"Good," Natalie answered, and returned to his neck. She nibbled up and
down the cord in his neck, working from behind his ear down to his
shoulder. She nipped, she nibbled, she kissed, and she sucked. The
last action affected Nick the most, she noted, causing him to clench his
hands and turn his head for better access when she sucked extremely hard
and used her teeth to lightly bite. On a normal human, it would have
left a mark that would have taken a week or more to fade, but she didn't
have to worry about that with Nick. She finally took mercy on him, and
ceased. He turned his head back to her, and she could see that his eyes
were completely gold, and that his fangs had descended.
"Oh!" she voiced softly, surprised that she'd caused such a potent
reaction, but still unafraid.
Nick's brow knitted, wondering if he had frightened her. Natalie
placed a hand along his cheek, and said, "I didn't know that I was doing
such a good job. You were right," she added, "I didn't know what I was
doing. Was it OK?" she asked, worried that she might have went too far.
"It's all right," he answered, a smile looking incongruous around the
fangs, "but please remember that what you just did was as close to
sharing blood as you can get, and that is the ultimate act for
vampires. Next time, wait until later!" Natalie relaxed, relieved.
"My turn!" Nick added Nick, and he grasped her hands and pinned her to
the bed underneath him. He began his assault, starting with her mouth,
then trailing down her neck. He didn't stay too long, not wanting to
tempt himself overly much. He continued down to her breasts, and laved
each one with attention. He nipped, and then suckled on them, careful
not to draw blood with the razor sharp fangs. Natalie moaned and
squirmed beneath him. He released her hands, and she immediately
brought them to his head, running her fingers through his hair, holding
him against her.
Nick continued his ministrations, moved down her stomach towards the
thatch of curly brown hair at the apex of her legs. He reached up and
ran his fingers through the springy curls, and then used his hand to
nudge her legs apart. They went willingly, and she was exposed to him.
He could see the wetness of her, smell the musky scent that aroused him
like no manufactured perfume ever could. He slid a finger down through
the moist folds, and felt Natalie squirm in response. He brought his
other hand up to join the first, and spread the delicate petals apart
until she glistened pink in front of him. He lowered his mouth to her,
and she nearly jumped off the bed.
He quickly found the nub of her desire, and swirled his tongue around
it. Then, he took one finger and inserted it inside of her, and she
immediately flooded his hand with more wetness, indicating her extreme
arousal. He sucked the nub into his mouth, and at the same time
inserted another finger. As he thrust into her, he sucked at the same
time, and Natalie was going out of her mind with pleasure, the
anticipation that had been building throughout the evening only
hastening her to the end. Nick's only goal was to bring Natalie to
orgasm first, and she willingly complied.
The orgasm hit her suddenly, causing her body to tighten around his
finger and arch her back off the bed while she screamed his name. Her
hands clenched in his hair, and Nick could feel the contractions around
his finger, and eased his attentions as they subsided. He was rock hard
with his own arousal, and knew that he couldn't wait much longer. But,
he would be sure Natalie was ready for him after such an explosive
reaction. He slid up the bed beside her, taking her in his arms and
carefully kissing her.
Natalie could taste herself on his lips, but felt no revulsion.
Somehow, it was right. Nick was kissing her softly, insistently, and as
she returned to earth, she wrapped her arms around him, pulling him
closer. She was somewhat surprised to find that she was still
incredibly aroused, even after what had just happened. She reached down
to touch him, finding him hard and ready. She ran her hand up and down
the length of him, and gently circled his testicles, now drawn up and
firm within his scrotum. Nick growled in her ear, saying, "Love, I
can't go on like this for much longer."
"Then don't," she replied, pulling him on top of her. She spread her
legs and raised her knees so that he could settle between them. She
felt his erection pushing through her wet folds, and then the tip of him
was inside her. She could feel her muscles tighten around him, and he
growled again as he slowly pushed even further inside. He didn't want
to hurt her, knowing she was still sensitive after her orgasm, but
Natalie had different ideas. She wrapped her legs around him, and
pulled him in until he was completely buried inside her.
"Oh, God, Nat," he said with his head thrown back, moving in and out of
her, feeling her tighten rhythmically around him. Natalie, too,
marveled in the sensations of having him inside of her, loving her. She
pulled his head down to kiss him again.
They continued for what could have been a mere moment, or an eternity,
so locked in the rapture of each other were they. Nick's thrusts
increased, and he moved his mouth from Natalie's over to her neck, where
she turned her head to allow him access. "It's almost time," he half
moaned, half growled, allowing Natalie one last chance to back out. She
pulled his head down to her neck in response, and then tightened her
grip on him.
Thrusting fast and furiously, Nick felt the tightening in Natalie that
signaled the start of her release, and he strove for his own. Natalie
keened in his ear as she fell over the precipice of pleasure, hurtling
into exquisite oblivion. Nick was but one step behind her, and he
pulled his head back, ready to plunge into her neck. His fangs broke
the skin, and as she cried out in pleasure and pain, he heard her
whisper in his ear, "I love you, Nick. Come with me."
Her blood touched his tongue, and he thought he had never tasted
anything so wonderful, so pure, so full of love and trust. His release
was violently strong, unlike any that he had ever had, and he knew that
for a moment, damned creature of the night that he was, he must have
touched Heaven. He drank, but was surprised at how quickly he was
sated. A few swallows was all he needed, or wanted. He withdrew and
licked the small punctures he had made. Still within her, he could feel
Natalie tighten and release around him in the aftermath of her own
Nick rolled so that Natalie was now laying on top of him, still joined.
The vampire had retreated quickly, satisfied, and he wrapped his arms
around her, holding her close. He pressed a kiss to her forehead. "I
love you, Natalie Lambert."
"And I love you, Nicholas de Brabant Knight. I always have."
Nick reached for a cover, sensitive to the fact that she would probably
chill after the warmth of their exertions wore off.
Nick held Natalie close, listening to her breathing slow as she slipped
into Morpheus's arms. Never had he felt so content. He relaxed, and
let her sleep. He turned his thoughts to the events earlier in the
evening, which had instigated his actions tonight.
earlier in the same evening
Nick listened to the answering machine pick up as he pulled the bottle
out of the refrigerator. He had just crawled out of bed, and now
Captain Reese's voice boomed in the silence.
"Knight, I hate to do this to you, but I need you in here tonight.
Seems the perp from the Hanson murder struck again. Same M.O. I need
you to report to 759 Michigan St., Apt. 8D. Tracy will meet you there.
Regular patrol's already on the scene.
"Damn!" Nick cursed. Natalie was expecting him in a few hours. Tonight
was the Christmas Ball, and he had promised to escort her, to fulfill
their obligations to the department. Well, there was no helping it
now. He picked up the phone, and called Natalie's number.
"Hello," answered Natalie.
"Hi, Nat, it's me."
"Nick! Still on for tonight, right?" Her voice was bright.
"Well, that's what I'm calling about. Remember the Hanson murder?
Seems he struck again, and Tracy and I have to report to the scene. I'm
sorry Nat, I was looking forward to tonight. Maybe Tracy and I can get
it taken care of and I can meet you at the ball later?"
"Sure, Nick. I understand. I'll see you there later, then." Nick
could hear the disappointment in her voice; both of them knew that the
chances that he and Tracy would finish up anytime soon was almost
non-existent. Chances were they wouldn't be finished questioning and
searching the scene until well into the early morning.
"Nat, I..." Nick paused, "I was really looking forward to this evening.
I'm sorry." They said their goodbyes, and Nick hung up. He angrily
drained the bottle he still held in his hand, and then headed upstairs
to get dressed. He glanced at the tuxedo hanging ready, and reached
past it for his black jeans and a dark shirt.
Downstairs, he grabbed his coat, and headed down to the Caddy. As soon
as he pulled the car out onto the road, he reached for his cell phone
and called the Captain.
"It's Knight. I'm on my way to the scene."
He arrived at the apartment building, and took the elevator up to the
eighth floor. The scene wasn't hard to find... there was a crowd
outside the door. Nick flashed his badge, and went into the apartment.
A patrol officer pointed him towards the bedroom.
Nick walked into the bedroom, and stopped, staring at the sight on the
bed. The victim was a woman, and she had obviously been tied, tortured,
and raped before being killed. Her hands and feet had been tied to the
posts of the bed, and a piece of clothing had been shoved into her mouth
to silence her. Dozens of shallow knife cuts crisscrossed her torso,
deep enough to bleed, but not deep enough to kill. It had to have been
horrifically painful. Nick was thankful he had just drank a bottle
before coming on the scene, otherwise the amount of blood might have
affected him adversely.
The perp on this case was definitely a psycho, getting his thrills out
of bloodletting and torture. The woman had not died from the cuts on
her body, but from the knife that was still embedded in her chest. THAT
had been the killing blow. She had obviously been raped... blood
smeared her thighs and the forensic technician was taking samples of
what appeared to be semen before they moved the body.
What had stopped Nick in his tracks was not the gruesomeness of the
murder, but the victim's resemblance to someone he knew. To Natalie.
She had the same honey brown hair. Her eyes, which stared wide open at
the ceiling, were a hazel green, close to Natalie's. Her size, weight,
and age all appeared to be similar to Natalie's as well. Nick felt a
frisson go through him at the similarities.
"God, I hate this job sometimes," Tracy said, walking up behind him.
"It really makes you wonder if there's any hope for humanity when you
see something this sick."
Nick nodded distractedly, his attention still held by the unfortunate
"She reminds me of someone," Tracy started to say, but Nick cut her off.
"Natalie. She looks like Natalie." His voice was flat, dead. Tracy
wondered at the complete lack of emotion in it.
"Nick," she said, suddenly understanding his reaction, "let me handle
the stuff in here. You go see if there's any witnesses in the crowd
outside." She laid a comforting hand on his arm, forcing his attention
to her. "I'll deal with this in here," she repeated. She felt the small
tremors in the muscles of his arm.
He turned his head towards her, shocked eyes meeting understanding
ones. "Are you sure?" he asked, hoping she would agree.
"Go," Tracy said, shoving him towards the door. "I'll let the Captain
know that you're handling the witnesses."
A brief smile of gratitude appeared on Nick's face, and then he headed
out to see if there was any information to be found from the other
residents of the building. However, he couldn't shake his first
impression of the victim, and that it had been Natalie. And his
reaction at thinking she was dead, the regrets that had overwhelmed him,
the longings that screamed through his body. He never wanted to feel
that again. He had wanted to walk up to the roof of the building, was
ready to face the morning sun, before he had realized that it *wasn't*
Nick found the people outside the door, and started his questioning.
Nat woke to the unfamiliar feeling of another body next to hers, it's
arms wrapped around her. For a split-second, she wondered who it was,
and then the previous evening's events came rushing back to her.
Nick slept soundly beside her, his cheek tucked against the top of her
head. Nat glanced the clock next to the bed, noting it was almost
sunrise. Soft pre-dawn light filtered through the window, but Nick
still hadn't moved, so she slowly extricated herself from his embrace
and got up. She moved to the window and looked out at the dawning day,
noting that it had stopped snowing. Then she looked at their clothing
strewn around the room, and a small smile appeared. She touched her
lips with her fingertips, then moved them to the small punctures on her
neck. "Yes, it really happened," she said to herself, glancing back
over her shoulder at the sleeping form on the bed. She looked for
something to put on and picked up Nick's shirt from the night before. As
she reached to button it, she remembered that it had no buttons - the
studs that held it closed were on the dresser. She abandoned the
thought of looking for something else, and simply pulled the loose ends
closed with her hand. The shirt hung just below the curve of her
buttocks, which suited her purpose, and she headed down the stairs for
After using the remote to shutter the loft and protect her sleeping
lover, Natalie headed to the kitchen to see if there was *anything* to
eat. She opened the refrigerator, and there, much to her surprise, were
a couple of bagels and some cream cheese leftover from one of their
movie nights last week. Delighted, she took one out and smeared a thick
layer of the cream cheese over it and then quickly devoured it. She
washed it down with a glass of water.
Nat climbed the stairs back to the loft, deciding what she was going to
do for the day while Nick slept. Things had changed so radically in the
last 12 hours that her head was still spinning. "Just enjoy it,
Lambert," she said to herself. "Crawl back into that bed, go back to
sleep and enjoy it!"
Nick's shirt gaped open, forgotten, as she entered the darkened bedroom,
and she failed to notice that the bed was empty as she walked towards
it. Suddenly, arms wrapped around her from behind, and she shrieked,
"Relax, Nat, it's me!"
"I *hate* it when you do that, Nick!" She turned in his arms to face
him, a smile softening her rebuke. He grinned at her, and tightened his
arms. "I thought you were sleeping," Nat continued, "it's almost dawn."
"I was only dozing… I woke up as soon as you tried to crawl out of bed.
You're beautiful in the morning light," he added, letting her know that
he had been watching her.
Natalie blushed, remembering standing in front of the window in all her
naked glory, never realizing that she was being watched.
"I wish I could have stood there with you, but this is just as nice," he
added, looking down at her body between them. The shirt gaped open,
exposing Natalie's breasts, and everything else, to his view.
"Nick," she said as she reached to close the shirt.
"Don't," he countered, stopping her hand before it could grasp the
material. He leaned forward, his lips brushing against hers as he
whispered, "will you take it off for me, love?" and then pressed a
feather-soft kiss against her lips, which increased in pressure when her
arms came up to wrap around his neck. The passion of the night before
blazed into existence again as they touched and tasted one another. Nat
allowed the shirt to slide off her shoulders, letting it drop to the
floor before she pushed her body tighter against his, noting that he
hadn't even bothered with a robe when getting out of bed.
Nick walked Natalie backwards towards the bed, never releasing his hold
on her. They tumbled together down on top of it, and Natalie released
her hold on Nick long enough to put her hands against his chest and
"What the…?" Nick asked, surprised that she'd push him away. Natalie
laughed. "I couldn't breathe!" She positioned herself a little more
comfortably. "Now, come here," she demanded imperiously, an impish
smile ruining the declaration as she held out her arms.
Nick shook his head, and looked down at the bed for a second, then
lifted his head as he jumped towards her fully vamped out and then
grabbed her. Natalie shrieked again, startled.
"So, you want to play, do you?" Nick growled, looking as ferocious as he
could manage under the circumstances. He angled his head towards her
neck while at the same time moving his fingers over her ribs. His fangs
had retracted as quickly as they appeared, and when his lips met her
neck, it was to blow a big wet raspberry on it while his fingers
mercilessly tickled her. Natalie shrieked again, this time in laughter.
"Stop it, Nick! Stop it! Oh, please!!!!" she gasped, laughing
uncontrollably. Nick let her up, victoriously grinning.
"Much as I would love to repeat last night, my love," he said, "I don't
think we should. I don't want to weaken you." Natalie, still gasping
for breath, nodded her understanding. "But," he continued with a leer
on his face, "I'm only saving you for tonight!"
A flush of pleasure ran through Natalie's body at the thought that he
still wanted her.
"Natalie," Nick said, suddenly serious, holding her hands in his, "last
night was different than anything I have ever known. It was more
intimate, more passionate, more…" he trailed off, unable to come up with
the words to describe his feelings. "I don't know what's going to
happen in the future, but I do know that I want you with me as long as
you will stay. Will you stay with me?"
Natalie gazed into Nick's eyes. "Nick, are you asking me to marry you?"
"Yes, if you'll have me. Otherwise, will you stay with me for as long
as you can?
"No," she answered.
Puzzled and hurt, Nick repeated, "No?," the last thing he had expected
"No, I will not stay with you for as long as I can. But yes, I will
marry you, and stay with you for the rest of my life."
Understanding dawned in Nick's eyes, and he crushed her to him, holding
"Oh, God, Nat, I almost think that there might be a chance for me after
"So do I, Nick, so do I."
Finis, for now. To be continued in a little while....
Cheers, jeers, flames, etc. may all be directed to