by Blusette de Nuit (Joni Goad)

So I've been feeling a bit on the dark and
'angsty' side lately. This story is my effort to
channel those feelings into something creative.
This really *is* an N&N story even if it is decidedly dark.
My thoughts are that Nick and Nat should be together, no
matter in what state of being that might entail.
Ya'll know I don't do this story writing thing often, so
please excuse the simplicity of my work...this one just
*had* to be written. I've cleaned this up a bit so I can
post it to the N&N Loop. Maybe I'll post the adult version
to the endlessknight loop and to the Dss page...

All the usual disclaimers apply. Nick and his
friends don't belong to me, if they did, I'd let them
play and have lots more fun than TPTB ever did. No
infringements intended. The song, 'Possession' is by
Sarah McLachland and is on her 'Fumbling Towards Ecstasy'
CD. Thanks to Nancy Taylor for the awesome beta reading
job...her work was cut out for her!

Possession (1 of ?)

After work she had come over to watch a video,
'Sleepless in Seattle', with him and have Chinese
before she went home to bed. He couldn't even
remember exactly what he'd done that had touched off
yet another one-sided argument with her that morning.
No, actually, that wasn't right. It wasn't that he didn't
remember what he'd done, for in truth, being a vampire, he
had total recall. He simply didn't *know* what he had done
this time. The only surety he had was that she was angry
and it most definitely had to be his fault. It was *always*
his fault. He knew this with the certainty born of 800
years of guilt.

When the movie had ended and he saw that yet
again she was sniffling and reaching for a tissue, he
had thought how endearing it was that Nat could get
all emotional and weepy over some 'schlocky' love
story. He had taken the tissue box from her hand and
wrapped his arms around her in a big hug. As she slid her
arms around him and snuggled her cheek against his chest, he
had brushed aside her hair and placed a sweet kiss on her
temple. She closed her eyes and raised her face to him in
anticipation of the kiss she wished for. As the red flags
started waving in Nick's mind, he planted a chaste peck on
her forehead and quickly disentangled himself from her.

A blush came to Natalie's face as she realized
that not only was Nick not going to kiss her on the
lips, he had just very pointedly brushed her aside
once again. Now she was embarrassed and frankly
angry... at Nick, herself and mostly the untenable
situation they were stuck in.

As she stormed toward the lift door to make
her escape, she turned and gave him her famous `you
should be staked' look. Only this time he noticed it
was tinged with. . . what?. . . disappointment and hurt?
He hurried to the lift and reached for her arm in an effort
to slow her exit and to get her to talk.

"Nat, please wait. What's wrong? What have I
done to anger you so much?" he asked her, genuinely

Natalie jerked her arm out of his grasp. "You
really don't know do you? You really haven't a clue."

As he insinuated himself between the lift and
Natalie he turned to face her and replied, "No, Nat, I
honestly don't. Please talk to me. Please tell me so I can
make it right."

"Well then Nick, I guess I'll have to tell you,
won't I?" Natalie snapped at him as she threw off her coat,
stomped back to the living area and plopped down on the
leather couch. She indicated that he too, should sit with
an impatient stab at the air with her index finger toward
the chair opposite her.

He sat down where she pointed.

"Alright, here's the way I see it. We are
friends, right? *Just* friends, that is what you tell
everyone including me, correct?"

"Well, yeah, I suppose so. What's wrong with
that? You don't want people to know we are friends?"
Nick asked, feeling decidedly cornered.

Her hands flew up in disgust and then fell back
to her lap in resignation. "No, Nick, it's just fine
to tell everyone that we are friends. You tell them
all that, okay? We are friends, *just* friends." She
sighed, stood and retrieved her coat. As she walked
dejectedly toward the lift door, she said to him,
"It's really all we can have isn't it? It''s really all
you'll ever be able to give me until we find a cure for

Nick stood and made as to go to her. "Nat,
please, you know why I have to keep it this way. I'd
like for it to be more, but I just can't take the
chance with you. What if I couldn't control myself?
What if I hurt you?" He took a tentative step in her

One hand automatically covered her mouth to try
to stifle the sob that was escaping her lips. The
other shot up, palm forward to indicate that Nick should
stop and not approach her. "No. Don't Nick, please. I
need to go now. You are right." Then something else
flashed across her face and she continued, "But one thing
first.... How dare you not even give me an option in this
`decision' that you have made for us. Did you ever ask me
what I wanted? Did you ever give me a choice in this? It's
*my* life too you know! What if I told you that I *wanted*
to be brought across. That if that was the only way for us
to be together, I was willing to do it. Also, that I
figured if I was a vampire, we could look for a cure
together as long as it took, and *be* together while we
searched. Did it ever occur to you that I might care for
you that much?"

He looked down at the floor. He knew that if he
looked at her or spoke of how he felt, they were both lost.
As he heard the lift door slide open and then close he stood
there, looking down. As he heard the mechanism engage to
lower the lift, he stood there. As he heard, with his
vampiric hearing, the garage door open and close, and as he
heard her car start and drive away, he stood there looking
at the floor and now at the droplets of red tears that were
staining the tiles between his feet.

Then, from the very core of his being a rumbling
howl began to build and finally made its way out his
mouth in a fierce roar of bestial forlorn-ness and
sorrow. With one leap he was out the skylight window,
shattering it as he flew through it. Into the air he rose
to be swallowed up by the night, only another lonely howl
was left in the darkness behind him as he vanished toward
the northwestern skies.


He landed once just inside a smallish town.
The scrap of newspaper near his feet had the heading
`Gravenhurst Dailey' across its top portion. He hoped that
his cell phone was still in range for the call he needed to

When he had made his call and excuses to the
captain , he
scooped up the bit of newspaper and walked to the
trash container a few feet away and threw it in. He
turned toward the north again and rose into the air to
continue his journey toward whatever lay ahead of him.

It was for solitude and quietness he had gone
into cottage country. It was to be near familiar
surroundings and safe memories that he had gone to
Schanke's old fishing cabin. He knew that Myra hadn't been
here since Don had been killed...what, over a year ago now.
He gave
himself a mental shake and walked onto the front porch.
Running his hands along the uppermost edge of the door
frame, he felt the key that he had been pretty sure would
still be there. With
another `shake' of his mental state, he turned the key and
opened the door.

By the time the eastern sky was glowing lighter
and the clouds were beginning to colour in pinks and
corals, Nick had secured all the windows from
sunshine. He had set a fire in the fireplace to chase the
years-old chill from the cabin. Rummaging around in the
cedar closet he had found bed linen and even towels for a
shower. But a shower would have to be later when he awoke,
to give the hot water heater a chance to do its job after
being lit.

He peeled out of his jeans and shirt and laid
them on the chair near where his shoes and socks were
neatly placed on the floor. As he lay down and began
to relax a vision of Natalie slid into his
semi-conscience mind. He vowed to himself just
before he fell asleep that he would stay away from her until
he had decided what the best course of action would be.

When he awoke that evening he was hungry.
He decided that his *first* best course of action was
to start his self- imposed exile off right and go back to
the loft to procure his feeding supply needs. If he hurried, he should
be able to get what he needed and drive back in the Caddy
before dawn.

Natalie had called in soon after she got back to
her apartment. She didn't think she wanted to deal
with the job of examining dead bodies that next
evening, and she was pretty sure that the crying she
had already done and the tears she anticipated
shedding during the day to come would make it
impossible to get past Grace's all-knowing scrutiny. She
needed time to yet again put her heart away and build
another wall around her emotions just so she could survive
being close to Nick in a professional manner.
This was all so unfair, she found herself thinking.

She woke from a dream of Nick. In her dream
she was happy and safe. They were lying in his bed
together, her head resting on his shoulder, his hand
petting her hair. He was murmuring words of love and
comfort to her, and she could feel the vibrations of
his words through his chest against her cheek.

As she rose to full consciousness she
realized that she had a double armed `death hug'
around poor Sydney. Even though his fur was mussed
beyond what most self-respecting, well groomed cats
would tolerate, he was happily purring and even
licking the interesting tasting hair spray in his
'Mommy-person's' hair. "Oh sorry Sydney, I guess I
mistook you for someone else. Damn my luck." She
nuzzled his furry side once more and smoothed out his
coat with a couple of pets. She noted that even
though it was only late afternoon, she felt rested
enough that going back to sleep really didn't appeal
to her. So she climbed out of bed with a sigh.

"What do you say to some breakfast, my sweet
boy, and maybe some coffee for me, eh?" Sydney
promptly jumped off the bed, stretched to his fullest
extension and gave himself an all-over shaking out
before he proceeded with his own `getting up with
Mommy' routine.

As the coffee was brewing she began to rehash
the scene between herself and Nick from the night
before. She realized then that in his own uptight way he
had confessed that he cared for her. Why else would he be
so adamant about not being willing to risk hurting her if he
couldn't control himself? Why couldn't he control himself?
She knew that there had been other times in his life when
drinking from a person had not necessarily caused their
death, that he *could* `not take too much'. She
rationalized that only because he cared so much for her was
it so difficult for him to stop at a safe limit. The
possibility that his needing her and loving her would cause
him to not be able to control the amount of blood he took
from her clicked in her mind as the reason he was so afraid
he'd harm her. She had to know if her theory was right.
She needed to confront him with this and ask him if this
was why he kept her at arm's length. She needed to see him
right away.

Gulping down the rest of her coffee and getting a
scorched tongue for her haste, she rushed to her
bedroom to throw on a pair of jeans and a sweater.
She gave her face a cursory wash and brushed out the
tangles in her hair. Her Reeboks were under the side
of her bed, so she grabbed a pair of socks and plopped down
on the floor to fish them out. She put the socks and shoes
on right there where she sat. Natalie grabbed her purse,
keys and jacket, locked the front door and was gone before
Sydney could even register his disapproval of her leaving
him before the appropriate time.

She really didn't think too much about Nick not
answering the doorbell when she had tried it. She
knew that he `slept like the dead' and might not
respond to the ringing bell as his subconscious
would know from her heartbeat who was here, and that
there was no threat to him. So she punched in the
security code and got into the lift.

When she stepped into the room she knew that
something was very wrong. Nick never left his window
blinds open during the day. He was always careful to
close them before he went to bed so that if he should
arise before sunset he could still move about the
loft with ease and not be concerned about the direct
sunshine that might flood the area. They were wide
open now, and there was glass on the floor directly
below the skylight. Looking up she could see that the glass
and frame were broken and twisted. She realized by the way
the metal was bent outward that the breakage was caused from
something or someone going through it from the inside.

Natalie got out the dustpan, broom and trash
basket from the closet off the kitchen area to begin
cleaning up the broken glass. She picked up most of
the big pieces and was just moving the coffee table
aside when she noticed a whiff of vapor rising from
the floor. It was just by where the table had been
casting a shadow before she moved it. She knew this
reaction. It was vampire blood being vaporized by
sunshine. She'd certainly seen this particular
manifestation many times before in her experiments on
Nick's blood.

Why was there blood on his floor? It scared
her some. She checked the angle in correspondence
to the broken window, thinking that most likely
Nick had cut himself when he flew through the glass
in his haste to leave the loft The angles were all
wrong. As the sun reached another drop of vampire
blood the same reaction occurred again. Natalie
quickly moved the table back to shade the rest from
the direct sunlight. It was as she stood over the
table and looked down that she realized what it was doing
here in Nick's living room at all, and who had shed this

The first thing she tried was his cell phone. It rang
and then she got a `not available' message. So that most
likely meant he was not in Toronto, or, his phone was turned
off. Her next thought was the precinct. She called the
duty desk and asked if Detective Knight was scheduled for
that evening. She was told no, that he had called in the
night before and booked off indefinitely. Now she was
getting worried. A quick call to Tracy was no more helpful
than anything else so far. In fact, Tracy had said she had
been trying to reach *her* most of the afternoon to see if
she knew what was up with Nick. He hadn't even called her
to tell her he was taking off.

She sighed, gritted her teeth and dialed the
number for the Raven. That odd, rather quiet
bartender, answered the phone. "The Raven. This is
Miklos, what can I do for you?"

"Ah, yes, this is Dr. Natalie Lambert. I'm a
friend of Detective Nick Knight. He's not there by
any chance, spending the day with Mr. LaCroix is he?"

"I'm sorry, Doctor, I haven't seen him. Shall I
ask LaCroix if he has seen him for you?"

"Could you, please."

As she waited on the phone she could hear
Miklos walk across the floor of the nightclub and
knock on a door. Presumably the door led to LaCroix's
private chambers off the back of the bar area. This was
making her skin crawly. She had never liked being around
LaCroix, but especially since the winter sometime around
Valentine's day. She felt a chill lance up her spine at the
thought of being brought across by LaCroix. < I wonder why
Nick doing it doesn't scare me?>

"Good evening, Doctor. How may I be of service
to you? I understand you are looking for my errant
son...." came the smooth as silk voice from the Raven
end of the connection.

She took a deep breath, steeled her nerves and
said, "Yes, LaCroix, I thought perhaps he had spent
the day there with you."

"No, my dear Doctor, I haven't seen Nicholas in
ever so long. When you *do* finally catch up with
him, please tell him for me that he really should
visit me more often. Or I just might start seeking
him out myself. Good-bye, Natalie. Oh do forgive me
my familiarity, Doctor. Ever since that delightful
time we had together that evening in February, at the
Azure, I can't help thinking of you as one of *my*
acquaintances also and not merely Nicholas'."

"Ah, no, please call me Natalie if you like."

"Why how kind of you, Natalie. I *do* hope you
have some luck finding Nicholas. Please convey my
message to him for me won't you? Good night." he
purred at her, knowing damn well that she would have
no luck. He was quite sure that the reason his son's
mental link with him had been thrumming in emotional
distress last night had to do with some foolish
demand that the `good doctor' was making on him. Whatever
it was had caused Nicholas to actually leave the area. Not
too far away that he couldn't still feel him, but far enough
that others just might have trouble finding him. He
certainly was not giving away any clues. Perhaps this was
the beginning of his boy breaking away from all those
irritating mortals at last.

"Um, okay, LaCroix, thank you anyway. And good
night." She hung up the phone and scrubbed that
hand over her thigh trying to wipe away the creepy
feeling she had in it, just from holding the receiver
that had held his voice.

She finished cleaning up the broken glass, and
found the number for the contractor that Nick used
for various odd jobs about the loft. Nick had told
her before on one occasion that needed the expertise
of the handyman, that he was efficient, would work
nights and asked no questions for the large sum he
charged. She called and made arrangements for him to
meet her at the loft tomorrow afternoon to fix the
skylight. Apparently the man knew all about the size
and shape of the thing, having fixed it several times
before in the past. She
chuckled to herself.

Natalie concluded that if Nick didn't want to be
found, then there was no finding him. After all, he
was an 800-year-old vampire, and could *fly* for
Pete's sake! She saw no evidence that he had plans of
leaving the area for good. Nothing had been packed or
covered up. She checked his closets and didn't see any
large amounts of clothing missing, so about all she could do
was wait for him to return to the loft.

She figured he just needed some time to sort
through and own the spiteful things she had said to
him. She had no doubt that he would conclude that her anger
and hurt was all his fault in some way and would be around
to make his apologies in no time, but that nothing would
really be different between them.

Figuring it was not likely he would return this
evening, Natalie thought she would just leave a note
and get away from her thoughts of her `Knight in
tarnished armour' by doing some shopping. She decided to
swing past her place to grab a change of clothes and spend
the night at the loft so she would be sure not to miss Nick
when he came home.

Since she had taken the night off, this was the
perfect time to go grocery shopping and maybe even
take a spin through the mall for something `girly' to
wear the next time she and Nick went to a movie. She
had no more than pulled away from the curb and turned
the corner when Nick flew through the broken
skylight and landed with precision in nearly the same
spot he had taken off from the night before.

He saw Natalie's note on the table. As he
grabbed it up and held it to his face he could still
smell the scent of her on the paper. . . sandalwood and
roses. At the mere thought of her his fangs began to ache.
He rushed to the `fridge, grabbed a bottle of bovine and
ripped the cork out in his usual way. . . .with his teeth,
spitting it into the sink or onto the floor, where ever it
happened to land this time. He upended the bottle and drank
until it was empty and then repeated the procedure again.
When the second bottle was finished, he began to feel more
in control of his emotions and calmly opened the third
bottle in a more civilized manner. He even chose a goblet
and filled it with the thick red liquid.

He thought of what she had said to him last
As he thought of touching Natalie, of seeing her in his
bed, inviting him to come to her, his fangs dropped and his
eyes turned amber.

He knew if she had been here at this moment, she
would have no choice in whether or not he took her
blood, and he would have had no choice in whether or
not he would have brought her across. She would have
been dead before he could have made himself stop. He
shivered at the thought of killing his Love. If he
was going to do this thing, he must be in control of
the beast and that meant time feeding on human blood
so he would be accustomed to it again. It also meant
he would need to stay away from her until he felt that
control in himself return. Mostly it meant that he needed
to stay away from her until he was sure he even wanted to do
this unthinkable thing to the woman he loved. He sighed
and turned to pick up the phone.

Nick made a quick phone call to the Raven for
the human blood supply he would need, and the
arrangements to pick it up on the way out of town. He
called Myra and made sure she didn't care if he used the
cabin for a while, and then gathered up a few things he
thought he might need, including a personal CD player, and a
large stack of CD's. He decided not to leave a note for
Natalie, but to phone her later and explain to her `in
person' , so to speak. As he got into the Caddy, he already
felt a new kind of control over the direction his life was
taking. It felt pretty good, except for that tiny black
cloud of guilt that hung in the back of his mind about
committing this heinous deed he was contemplating.

As much as he liked all manner of fancy technical
gadgets, he could never bring himself to violate the
authenticity of his Cadillac by replacing its `when it
was new' state of the art AM/FM radio with a cassette
or even a CD player. Besides, he told himself,
he usually only listened to the Nightcrawler broadcasts on
the car radio anyway. The sound distortion on the old style
receiver seemed to fit LaCroix and his show quite well for
the most part. So after loading down the Caddy with
clothes, the CD's and player, his own satin sheets, several
sets of his personally monogrammed towels, and of course the
two cases of human blood he had gotten from the Raven, he
set out to drive the several hours back to the fishing

He repositioned the portable CD player on the
front seat beside him, and pulled out a CD from the
full carrying case he had brought along. It didn't
really matter to him what he listened to since he was
already too far away from Toronto to pick up LaCroix's
broadcast tonight anyway. < A little 'musical roulette'
might be just the thing to pass some time>, he thought as he
hit the play button.

Dark enchanting keyboard and drum rhythms
assailed his ears as the first song began to play. A
lush female voice that tickled the edges of his memory of
another voice from long ago began to weave a spell around
him. The Celtic feel of the song, the drums and the timbre
of the voice with its slight yodelling effect was so
familiar, only the beautiful harp sounds were missing. Even
though the song was new and modern, it 'felt' ancient and
familiar to Nick for some reason. He began to listen to
the words closely as he drove the night deserted highway
into cottage country.

Listen as the wind blows
From across the great divide
Voices trapped in yearning
Memories trapped in time
The night is my companion
And solitude my guide
Would I spend forever here
And not be satisfied

As the chorus began he felt his fangs begin to
ache and demand to drop down. He knew his eyes were
changing to amber as his breath became ragged and his
heart quickened to beat more than it usually did. He
could hear Gwyneth singing in his imagination, but only
envisioned Natalie's face as the hauntingly seductive words
touched his mind and spirit.

And I would be the one
To hold you down
Kiss you so hard
I'll take your breath away
And after I'd
Wipe away the tears
Just close your eyes dear

~~~~~His mind's eye was filled with the vision of
Natalie. He liked fantasizing about her, but this was
different. He could see this happening in their lives,
and the music was somehow all wrapped up in what would
happen. She would come to him, slip into his arms and
invite him to kiss her by turning up her face to him
and slowly, sensuously smiling. She would soon be
kissing him and running her fingers through his hair,
pressing her body against him tightly. ~

Hitting the pause button on the player, he pulled to
the shoulder of the highway and stopped. He wiped his hand
across his upper lip and forehead. When he looked at his
hand it was covered with blood-sweat. His fangs were
descended, and when he looked into the rear view mirror he
could tell his eyes were amber. He jumped from the driver's
seat and hastily walked back to the trunk of his car.
Opening the trunk, he took out a bottle of his newly
procured human blood supply. Again he opened it in his
usual manner and spit the cork unceremoniously onto the
ground. . . As the `real stuff' coated the inside of his
mouth and slid down his throat like liquid fire, he wondered
how he had drunk the swill he had existed on for so long.

Replacing the empty bottle and retrieving a full
one, he slammed the trunk and hopped onto it. He
stretched out his legs and leaned against the rear
window like a backrest. After opening this bottle in
approximately the same way and taking a long pull on
the life affirming liquid inside, he relaxed a bit and
gazed at the stars. Snippets of memories of the people that
had been in his life over the past 800 hundred years drifted
across his mind. Some were good memories of people he had
loved through time, some were bad memories of people who had
hated and betrayed him for what he was.

Then his thoughts turned again toward Natalie. He
remembered her direct, honest look and her questioning him
as to what he was that first night in the morgue. He had
seen then that she wasn't afraid.

He remembered passing her on the street after
he had tried to hypnotize her into forgetting what she had
found when she opened the body bag. She had told him that
she remembered what he was, that she wouldn't forget. He
thought of her tentatively touching his arm and telling him
she might be able to help cure him. Then there were flashes
of many of the happy times he had with her over the last few
years. He achingly remembered the times he had wanted to
take her to him and make love to her as a mortal man *and*
as a vampire.

He remembered the unwavering faith she had in him and
the cure they would find together. He knew it was her love
and hope for them that kept him from giving up and walking
into the sun.

Through this world I've stumbled
So many times betrayed
Trying to find an honest word to find
The truth enslaved
Oh you speak to me in riddles and
You speak to me in rhymes
My body aches to breathe your breath
Your words keep me alive

He sighed resolutely and slid off the car,
checking his watch he realized that he needed to keep
driving if he was to spend the day in a bed and not
holed up in the trunk. As the kilometers rolled
away, he kept thinking about that song and finally
hit the resume button.

And I would be the one
to hold you down
Kiss you so hard
I'll take your breath away
And after I'd
Wipe away the tears
Just close your eyes dear

~~~~~Again a vision of Natalie came to him. They would
be together in his bed... and oh, the things they would be
doing to each other! ~

With tires squealing on the pavement, Nick slammed on
his brakes and tried to make the turn-off to the cabin from
the highway. He backed up and
took another try at the turn, this time having no problems
manoeuvring the corner. It was only a few miles off the
highway over the country road to Don's old fishing cabin.
Nick was relieved to see it and to have gotten there before
dawn. He quickly unpacked the car. Storing the cases of
`special blend' that LaCroix had insisted he take in a safe
place was his primary concern. < Don't want anyone
decanting this for wine. Better find a good safe place for

Next he started a fire and then changed the bed linens
to his own. He ruefully laughed at himself for such a
pampered need, thinking of the many times he had slept in
the trunk of the Caddy. He thought of how in centuries past
he had on many occasions merely dug as deep a hole as he
quickly could in the very ground itself to escape the
killing rays of the sun. Not that his vampire need for such
tactile luxuries as satin sheets had ever really changed
much over the ages, just his abilities to procure and
maintain the use of them.

LaCroix had explained it once to him when he was a
fledgling. It seemed that part of the `dark gifts' of his
new existence included a heightened set of all the senses.
Of course the night vision and augmented hearing were
immediately obvious to him, but more subtle were the other
benefits. A sense of smell, even to being able to
distinguish one person's blood from another by how it
smelled was a 'useful' and certainly interesting ability.

A vampire's sense of touch was also heightened.
Textures on all surfaces seemed to pop out into a more
obvious relief to all of the skin, not just the
fingertips. Everything just `felt' more. Thus, the desire
for as smooth and soft a surface for clothing and linen as
possible to be next to his skin. This helped to not cause
a feeling of continuous sensory overload that could make
any vampire more highly strung than was good for the
mortals he might come into contact with. He especially
noticed this phenomenon to the most sensitive parts of his
body like his neck, nipples, and 'privates'. "Okay,
yeah, I got it. Now can we talk about this seriously? I
need to know what you think about this. Oh, and by the way,
I'm real sorry I never let you broach this subject with me
before. I truly thought when you told me I had been right
not to bring you across during that meteor scare that it was
what you believed and really thought was right. You caught
me off guard the other night. That, on top of feeling so
rotten about not being able to hold you and kiss you and
tell you how I felt about you was more than I could handle
right then. So when you walked out, I flew away for a while
to calm down and think. I'm sorry, Nat. I know this is all
my fault for not being more open with you."

"And *I* knew you'd take all the blame for what
happened the other night." She smiled to herself, took a
breath and continued. "Even though I am just as much at
fault for not staying and calmly talking this out with you.
Let's just forget that part of this for now okay? Let's go
back to the other, more important subject....you bringing me
across. Are you telling me that you might actually *think*
about doing this?" Hope started to grow in Natalie as she
waited for his answer.

"Yes, I have been thinking about it. Mostly, I think
it's wrong and that I can't do it. Then I remember that I'm
going to have to leave in a few more years when people begin
to notice that I'm not getting any older, and I can't stand
the thought of losing you. I'm pretty confused Nat. The
only thing I know for sure is that I love you, and I want us
to be together.... somehow."

Her voice quivered as she said, "That's the very first
time you ever told me you loved me. I *did* hear you right
didn't I? You *did* just say you loved me, right?"

"Yes, I love you. It's the reason I have tried so hard
to stay away from getting too physically intimate with you.
I love you so much, I'm afraid I won't be able to keep from
biting you and taking too much. I don't know what I'd ever
do if I hurt you that way. I need you in my life, Nat, not
as another casualty on the list of sins I have to atone for.
Can't you see that?"

"Of course I can see it, Nick, but if we try and
figure this out together, perhaps we can find some
solutions. If we are ever to be together, we *must* be open
with one another." She paused, "Nick.... I want to start
being open to you right now. I love you too, Nick. I have
almost from the first time I saw you."

"Oh, Nat.... it's so good to hear you say that." Nick
said with real relief in his voice. "I know we need to
talk, but frankly, I'm afraid to be alone with you. Just
thinking about you has begun to cause me to lose control."

Natalie chuckled as she commented, "Honestly Nick, I'm
always on the verge of losing control every time we are
close to each other. However, I suppose that the
consequences of my lapse is a bit less serious than your's
could be, eh?"

"Aww, Nat!" Nick was quickly getting edgy.

"Okay, I'm sorry. Guess I get silly when I'm nervous
sometimes. How's this, you get some rest, I'll finish
getting mine and then this evening we'll talk?"

"`K." It came out sounding almost pouty, even though he
knew she was trying to be practical.

"So I'll book off for tonight again and be waiting
for your call here later this evening when you wake up.
Bye for now. Oh, and .... I really *do* love you Nick."

"I love you too, Nat. I'll talk you to after while
then. Bye."

He hung up the phone and sighed.

Nat hung up the phone on her end of the line and
grinned. Then she squealed and spun in a circle and said out
loud to the walls and the cactus and the `fridge, and
anything else her eyes fell on, "He loves me. He loves *me*!
He *loves* me!" Rethinking the plans she had made for that
night, she headed upstairs to pack a small bag with a change
of clothing, a pretty gown and some toiletries. She was
hum/singing a song she had heard on the car radio last
night, coming home from shopping. "And I will be the one to
hold you down, kiss you so hard I'll take your breath
away.... Yeah Nick, you sure take my breath away, hope that
new nightie I bought does the same for you."

After dropping Sydney off at Grace's with a promise to
let her know what was going on the minute she herself knew,
Natalie had stopped past the morgue `to tie up a few loose
ends'. She needed to make arrangements to take
off indefinitely, just in case she were able to talk Nick
into bringing her across. She also managed quite easily to
pilfer several units of blood from the `fridge without
being caught, figuring that they would come in handy as an
extra `snack' for Nick. She was really hoping that if she
got her way, they would be 'breakfast' for her tomorrow
morning. She stashed them into a small cooler she had
brought along, and set out on her quest for immortality and
endless nights.

Natalie was almost at the cabin. She was thinking
about what to say to Nick when she arrived, why she had
changed her mind and just driven up to see him and not
merely talk to him on the phone about what they were to do.
She knew he would be upset. He didn't like it when things
happened that weren't really part of the `plan', but she
felt she could make a much more convincing argument to be
brought across if she were there to talk to him face to

The sun was still up, although it was getting late in
the day. She was glad that it was early fall, so that there
was going to be daylight left to keep Nick in the house and
give her a margin of safety if he really was as out of
control as he had indicated. She didn't mind the thought of
Nick biting her at all, though. In fact, it turned her on
to think about him holding her, and kissing her, and sinking
his sharp canines into her. She just wanted to make sure
that in the end, she would wake up undead, and not merely
*be* dead.

She really *thought* she had gone through all the
possibilities rationally and this was the best chance for
the both of them to be together.

She knew sometimes she let herself get too scientific
and that as much as she wanted it to be that way, vampirism
wasn't just a condition to be cured by medicine. It had a
supernatural side that she could not fathom at all. She
was drawn to that aspect of Nick in a way that she could
not prove, test, log into scientific data or understand,
but she was drawn to it anyway, almost as one enthralled.

To make things even more complicated, she was also in
love with him and that was almost as wondrous and as
foreign to her as vampires.

As Natalie chuckled to herself she turned on the car
radio and found a station that was playing a song she
recognized, and that wasn't French. She hated it when all
she could pick up were French stations and the only songs
she knew were Celine Dion singing something from a Disney

she listened to the words more closely this time.

Into this night I wander. It's morning that I dread
Another day of knowing the path I fear to tread Oh,
into the sea of waking dreams I follow without pride
'Cause nothing stands between us here and I won't be

The words drilled into her. She found herself
thinking of how she wanted Nick. How she wanted to be with
him, to make love with him. How she was *not* going to be
denied this if she could help it. As the song went into
the chorus again she began to fantasize about making love
with Nick.

~~~~ First she would slip into his arms and smile up at him
seductively. She would run her fingers through his hair and
pull his face down to hers and kiss him long and lingeringly
while she pressed herself against him as closely as she
could. Then, she would slowly unbutton his shirt and slide
her hands over his chest like she had wanted to do so many
times in the past. She had only had the occasion to see
him with his shirt off or unbuttoned because she was either
taking out another bullet or collecting tissue samples for
her tests.

All of a sudden the turn-off to the cabin was in
front of her. She slammed on the brakes and made the turn
without much problem.

Soon she had pulled up to the cabin and parked next
to Nick's green Caddy. She checked the level of the sun in
the sky and then her watch. Next she dragged the rustic
wooden bench that was on the front porch over to the front
door, climbed up on it and slid her hand along the top of
the door frame until it came into contact with a key. She hopped
down, pushed the bench back into place and stood facing the
front door. With a deep breath and a silent hope for the
best she unlocked it and stepped inside.

As she shut the door and the room became wrapped in
darkness again, a hand closed over her mouth from behind and
vise-strong arms wrapped around her. It all happened so
quickly she could do nothing but stare forward in wide-eyed
terror. Her arms were pinned to her sides by one cold arm,
as the hand that was on her mouth turned her head to the
side. She heard a snarl escape the lips of her captor and
then felt sharp, deadly fangs grazing the skin of her

She instinctively ground the heel of her foot into the
instep of the person that held her. As her captor yelped
and loosened his grip at the pain she had just inflicted
upon his right foot, she freed one of her pinned arms. Then
she went for the hand that was on her mouth by twisting the
pinky finger and pulling the hand away. "Dammit Nick, you
scared the crap out of me! Let go and turn on some lights
in here," Natalie barked as she smacked at his hand that
still held her one arm pinned to her side. Then she elbowed
him in his ribs for good measure.

"Ouch! That hurts." He stepped away from her and
toward the light switch asking, "How did you know it was
me, Nat?" The room lit up to reveal Nick standing on one
foot, rubbing the other and examining where Natalie had
stepped on it.

"Beethoven on the stereo, silk pajamas, you're the
only vampire I expected to be here...it seemed pretty
logical to me. Oh, and then there *was* that whiff of your
after shave I got while you were slobbering all over my
neck." She smiled thinking of his fangs on her throat and
to herself she said, To
Nick she asked, "Why did you try to scare me, anyway?"

"To teach you a lesson about sneaking up on sleeping
vampires. I know, it was stupid, but not as stupid as you
coming up here unannounced and against the plans we had
made. What are you doing here, anyway, Nat?" He gave her a
stern look, crossed his arms over his chest and patted a
bare foot on the floor.

"Well..." she stammered. "I decided this was a topic
we needed to discuss face to face, not over the phone....
and I really missed you, Nick." She finished up by moving
a few steps closer and flashing a fetching little smile
just for him.

Nick felt vaguely warm all of a sudden. His fangs
began to tingle and ache. Taking a step backwards, he
turned on his heel and headed for the kitchen in a vampire
rush. When Natalie walked into the room after him, he was
just finishing up a fresh bottle of human blood from the
`fridge. She didn't say a word, but somehow, just knowing
she was seeing him drinking it, made him feel guilty and
defensive. "Don't you say anything about this, either," he
countered at the protest he anticipated, while thrusting the
empty bottle toward her. "If we are to have any chance at
all of succeeding in my bringing you across, and *not*
killing you, I need to be thoroughly sated on good quality
human blood. You can thank your potential grandfather for
the supply later. That is, *if* I do this thing."

"Gosh, Nick, calm down will ya? I didn't say
anything about the blood. In fact, I brought some more
along, figuring it might be useful. I understand about the
need for you to be accustomed to human blood again, and
believe me, I'm not willing to take any chances with my life
that I don't have to in our attempt to bring me across.
You're just reacting out of a conditioned guilt response
because I've upbraided you so often when I caught you
drinking. I'm sorry for that, it obviously hasn't helped
make you mortal, only more miserable and guilty around me.
Now, why don't you finish up your `breakfast' and I'll go
get some of the things I brought along with me out of the
car. Then we can sit down and talk about this rationally.
Okay?" She didn't move any closer to him as she thought how
skittish he seemed and whether she should have stayed away
like he had told her.

She had finished bringing her cases into the front
room and had put the blood packs away in the refrigerator.
About then Nick calmly strolled out of the bedroom fully
dressed and impeccably groomed as was his usual manner. He
carried two empty bottles with him. He took them to the
kitchen and came back to the living room area to find
Natalie curled up into a corner of the big, comfortable sofa
that sat in front of the fireplace. She was gazing into the
flames. "All better now?" she asked as she looked up at him
and smiled.

"Yep, all better. You just caught me off guard there
for a bit. Hey there's a coffee maker in there and coffee,
would you like some?"

"Sure! Any food around? I rushed up here so fast
that I forgot to eat on the way. The only time I stopped
was to call the repairman and tell him I couldn't meet him
at the loft today after all." She thought about the
scenario she had played over in her mind on the drive up,
and the way she had almost missed the turnoff because of it.

"Oh don't worry about Jake needing to get inside to
fix the skylight, he knows how to access the stairway to the
roof, and it can be fixed from there." Nick mentioned in a
much too casual tone.

"Yes... he said as much to me." And to herself she
thought, She smiled
noncommittally and headed for the kitchen.

It was dark by the time Natalie had finished her
make-shift meal of powered scrambled eggs, spam and stale
coffee. She made a mental note to herself that she wanted
to have a *real* last meal before she was brought across.
Nick had already stated emphatically that there would be
*no* being brought across tonight. He wasn't ready, and he
still wasn't sure he would *ever* be ready to bring the
person he loved into the darkness he had lived in for nearly
800 years. Natalie kept silent during his triade, and bided
her time. She would save all the arguments she had
until he was more ready to hear them, and less inclined to
fly off into the night again by himself.

She wouldn't force his hand on this like she had with
Richard, her brother. Even now she could hear herself
demanding that Nick bring him across as he lay in the
hospital bed, dying. This time, if there
*was* a this time, he would have to want it as much as she.

Natalie now knew that only if Nick loved her enough to
not be able to live without her, would he be willing to
bring her across. When he turned to her with a serious
look on his face and took her hand, she knew it was time
to discuss their situation. She schooled herself on
dropping all her pretenses and readied her most logical and
truthful reasons for wanting Nick to try to bring her

"Nat, we need to talk about this." He rubbed the palm
of her hand with his thumb as he looked into her eyes with
an expression of dread and concern.

She pulled her hand out of his, knowing that physical
touch with him right now would only distract them both,
"Yes, we do. What do you *really* think about my wanting to
be brought across?"

"Well, frankly, I think it's ridiculous. It
frightens me to even think about it. Then I think about
having to move on soon and losing you... are you really
sure that a cure isn't going to happen soon? Have we
explored all the possibilities?" he asked hopefully.

"Come on Nick, you know I'd never hold back any
information from you on your cure. You know everything I
know, and that's very damn little right now. We know that
the Litovuterine-B worked to some extent, but it was
addicting and deadly, and that we can increase your
tolerance to sunlight, but not by much. I'm leaning toward
believing the condition may be on a molecular level
and since the technology is still pretty sketchy in many
areas and is not even accessible to the likes of me on the
scale we would need, it may be years before it can be
possible to isolate the genes affected and find the right
splicing techniques needed to come up with a cure. I'll be
too old by then to be of any use, scientifically. Not to
mention, that now that we know how we feel about each other
for sure, the only way I wouldn't end up tempting you into
making love with me and biting and probably killing me is
to purposely bring me across or leave permanently, and
never see each other again. Do you see any other

She was now into her most logical and scientific
mode. She knew that emotions would not help them make the
monumental decisions they needed to make. Natalie also
knew that if she reduced this whole situation to a more
emotional level, by reiterating her `undying love' for
Nick, he might slide down another train of thought that
would take him back to his 13th century ideals of eternal
damnation. He, for sure, would not be willing to curse her
to that life, and would probably not even be willing to
discuss the possibility of bringing her across, then. So
she stayed strong and dispassionate for the time being.

Nick stood up. As he paced back and forth in front of
the fireplace, he tried to enumerate the pros and cons of
the issue in his mind. He stopped in front of Natalie and
sighed as he looked down at her. "You see, Nat, over the
years I've lost so many people that I've loved to time and
death. Until you, I had been so careful not to let myself
really love anyone for a very long time. I couldn't help
loving you, God knows I tried! I can't, no, I *won't* lose
you. I really have no choice but to bring you across if you
say there is no chance for a cure any time soon. The problem
is I'm scared to try it. I love you so much, I'm afraid I
won't be able to stop when I should and that I'll take too
much. You know it has happened to me before."

Natalie stood and took both of Nick's hands in hers,
"I know this is all so hard for you, Love. You're such an
honorable person and this is compromising your beliefes on
so many levels. But I see no other alternatives." She
pushed herself wilfully away from Nick and walked to the
window, opened the drapes, and gazed out at the darkness.

With a sigh of resignation followed by a look of
determination Nick turned toward Natalie and the night that
waited for them. As he passed the end table by the sofa
he hit the play button on the CD player. Walking up behind
Natalie, he wrapped his arms around her. As he hugged her
to him and rested his chin on her shoulder, dark enchanting
keyboard and drum rhythms began to fill the room.

As Natalie turned in his arms to face him she said
with an astonished look on her face, "You know, I've
heard this song so often lately. It reminds me of

Nick pulled her tighter into his embrace and
murmured into her ear, "I've thought of you often while
listening to this too. It seems right to me that we
should be reminded of each other by it."

As Natalie pressed herself closer to meld with
Nick's body, she said to him, "I love you Nick. I have
complete faith in you. We'll have forever to be together."

Natalie smiled seductively as she slipped her arms
around his neck and ran her fingers through his blond
curls. As she pressed her lips to his she thought,

As the chorus began to the song that seemed to have
played such an important role in their lives in the past few
days, Natalie felt something drop onto her cheek. It was a
blood tear that Nick had shed even as he kissed her. She
wiped at his cheek with the cuff of her sweater and said to
him, "Everything will be all right, Nick. We love each
other. How could anything go wrong as long as we love each

Nick closed his eyes and kissed her again.

And I would be the one
To hold you down
Kiss you so hard
I'll take your breath away
And after I'd
Wipe away the tears
Just close your eyes dear

The End