Users
by Kate Keene
circa December 1996

For the Benefit of Several Readers Mistress Keene's Much Admir'd
Romance USERS. This work of Drama and Much Pathos of a Romantick Nature
is not intend'd to Interfere, Upset or Annoy Mr. Parriot, Mr. Cohen, Mr.
Slan, Mr. Borchiver, Mr. Seigel, Anyone at Tristar, Anyone at the Sci-Fi
Channel, or anyone of their Solicitors as they hold the Copyrights to
these Characters and certain Quotations. It is the fondest wish that
Mistress Disher does not mind the idea of being pursued and seduced by
flexible and athletic young gentlemen; and that Mr. Wyn-Davies will be
amused or at least not be so annoyed that he finds out the Authoress'
address and sends Ruffians to her Home; and never, ever learns that she
and her husband did impersionations of him singing "I want to go back to
dear old Syracuse", because then a Tricky Situation may occur.
Marcus, his friend Mags and other assorted Characters of Note are
under the tutalage of Mistress Keene, and mayn't go out to play without
their Mother's Permission.

For Readers of Delicate Sensibilities, persons use Impolite
Language, engage in Sexual Situations of a Reasonable Conventional
Nature. Interactions are m/f; and include Janette, Nick, Natalie and a
nice young man named Marcus.
This story is rated one medium jalapeno.
And so, without further ado...
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The aching hunger that doesn't go away, the desire that is never
fulfilled. The lust...the lust...
It keeps calling me.

He flew, wondering if she'd be waiting for him. She'd know, she
always knew. But would she come for him?

I like it when you need me.

I'm sorry I used you.

And I you. We have needs, Nicholas, just as mortals do.

I shouldn't have.

Are you saying that you didn't want to?

No, its not that.

The sound of the gulls, the water, the taste of her blood in his mouth.
Its just that I have to fight so hard to control it. I have to control it.

Not with me. Ever.

She could still make him hopeless with longing. She could draw
him in, and it was so sweet. He needed her so badly.

But those are needs you don't have anymore. That's all in the
past... isn't it?

No, it wasn't.

Natalie wouldn't understand. It was easier for her not to know.

Natalie prowled around the apartment for the fifth time. Sydney
was getting good playtime batting at her ankles. She changed out of her
good slacks into her battered 501's, but then put the silk camisole back
on. Glancing in bathroom mirror she pulled her thick hair out of it's
knot. She brushed it out, finding the action soothing. Perhaps she
should get a few beers, go down and look at the water. Try not to
remember Nick talking about the hunger, the need to possess, how he
understood...

How it made her feel.

How it made her want.

"Screw it," she said aloud. She scooped up her wallet, her coat
and her keys and went out the door.

Janette was waiting for him, all paleness and darkness. Her
mouth was soft, gentle on his own. The taste of blood on her was earthy,
thick and welcome.

Natalie took a perverse pleasure in the fact that were several
clubs in Toronto that weren't the Raven. The Morgue was packed with
Goths, Slackers, and Strays like herself. Post-instusrial, neo-celt and
assorted other music mixed with the usual Gothic flavor. Nat looked
around; hell, nobody she knew. She looked up to the upper tier. A tall
man with very short fair hair moved into shadow, he looked familiar. She
could have sworn he had watched her come in...

Her Corona with lime was set in front of her. She took a fast
sip. Nobody to play with. Sounds familiar, Natasha? Oh well, I could
go to the Rat's Nest, or I could go to the lake. She swirled the beer.
Enough of these and maybe I'll jump off the bridge again.

A hand touched her silken back with familiarity. A soft, tenor's
voice in her ear. "Doctor, doctor, I got me the worst kind of pain."

She swung in the chair, her voice was soft, but she knew he could
hear her. "Marcus!"

Her friend was twenty-five, tall and lithely muscled. His face
was oval, severely so, with graceful sculpted cheekbones and jaw balanced
with a very high forehead and shoulder length mohangany hair. His
almond-shaped dark eyes sparkled with delight, and his sensual mouth was
in a soft smile.

He reached out with a long, graceful hand and brushed her bangs
around his smile growing larger. "Not a trace left."

She pushed his arm away, "No thanks to you. It took a week for
that bruise to go away. They were laughing at me all over the office.
And I told them I did it just getting clumsy into my car."

He took a sip of her Corona. "Imagine if you told them the
truth. Come on, they've got to have at least a little sense of humor."

She gave him a light slap on the stomach and took her beer back.
"Oh yeah, I can see it now. How you get the giant bruise on your
forehead Nat? Oh, nothing much, I just got knocked unconscious playing
Midnight Death Frisbee. Nick and Schanke would have a field day with
that one. I'll stick with the car story."

He ruffled her hair affectionately. She liked it. "You're such
a good sport. And you were doing great until you got hit."

She drank more of the beer. "No gigs for you tonight."

He leaned back against the bar, the full length leather coat
falling open. His silk shirt and dark trousers draped over him in a way
too affectionate for Natalie's troubled psyche. "Nope. I spent an
afternoon teaching a group of 13 year olds how to accept Bruce Lee as one
of their personal saviors and how not to hurt themselves with practice
kicks. And then I did two hours of practice for my next belt trial. So,
I've been a good boy. No dance class at the moment, so I thought I'd go
out and see who's out and about. And here you are." He touched her
shoulder as she shifted to face him.

"Here I am. Nobody else is around. I'm glad to see you,
Marcus."

"Even though the last time you saw me I knocked you out."

"Even though."

His hand moved down to her hip, lightly, delicately. His eyes
lit up and the smile was joyful on his face. "Dance with me?"

She draped her coat over her chair, took his hand and followed.

The kisses fell into each other, Nick couldn't tell when one
stopped and another started. The sweet caress of her tongue, light
against the gum, brushing a fang, then dancing with his own. I need
this, I need her... Don't let go, please, I'm falling in...

Marcus danced as if his bones were made of water. His muscles
moved with effortless grace; years of dance and martial arts had rewarded
him. His mahagony hair turned red and black in the shifting lights. His
hands were strong and sure around her. His eyes shone with the pleasure
of holding her. She felt her self-consciousness glide away and they
drifted together in perfect time, in perfect rhythm.

She was still amazed by it. Even that first night of the dance
class she'd taken, they'd seem to flow together. She answered an ad in
the paper; Dance classes, evenings only, experienced teacher traditional
and modern call 871-1663. She'd ending up missing some of the classes
due to work, and had ended up getting together with Marcus later. They'd
hit it off and become friends. He'd shown her a lot of the underground
music scene and she'd taught him proper first aid. They had fun
together, she basked in Marcus' good nature and high spirits. She could
relax and be silly, and go to Jackie Chan movies and get talked into
things like Midnight Death Frisbee or the infamous Midnight Babushka Mojo
Golf. Even when he'd asked her out for real... She'd tried, she really
had, Marcus had been funny, romantic and sexy... It had almost
happened...would've happened, she could have fallen head over feet... If
it hadn't been..

If it hadn't been for Nick, tell the truth, Natalie, if it hadn't
been for Nick. She had told the truth, that she was in love with
somebody, and until she had come to terms with it, she couldn't start a
relationship with someone else. It wouldn't be right, she couldn't ask
someone to be with her with that kind of shadow over them. Marcus had
understood perfectly, and stepped aside with admirable grace. He said he
still wanted to still be her friend, and meant it, then proved it. After
a while, he got involved with a singer friend of their buddy Mags, then
that fell apart. He immersed himself with Kung Fu, for the first and
then second black belt. He wrote song after song, finally selling some
to local bands. Worked on perfecting his jive dancing, which gave him
another reason to call her. He had no girlfriend, preferring to hang out
with their friend Mags or with Natalie if he wanted female companionship.
The divide had never grown uncomfortable.

She'd met him so long ago... No, not really, but Richard had
still been alive... and everything before Richard died seemed so long
ago.

Tasha, take care of your brother!

Sorta blew that one... She put her head against Marcus
shoulder, and blocked it out.

In this dream of life and death
I know so much I will forget
I know your body and your breath
I know your rhythm and your touch
I want you here
I want so much
I fear too much

The cape slipped from Janette's shoulders and pooled at her feet.
Nick supported her head with his hands and ran his lips over her throat,
her jaw, slipped down to the upper curves of her splendid breasts. She
smiled in pleasure, her eyes closing. He drew her close, slipping his
hands over her back, roaming over her hips. Her cool hands opened his
shirt, hungry across his chest, lightly scratching his nipples. He
moaned softly and kissed her dark hair. He dropped to his knees before
her, wrapping his arms around her, hugging her. Her hands touched his
hair. He slipped one hand under her skirt, the feel of her stocking then
her thigh burning into him. She gasped softly, her thighs parting. He
kissed her belly, chewing on the suede as his hand touched her
intimately, quietly parting her labia. She was so beautiful to touch.
Time, time is stopping.

Two beers, three dances and much laughter made Natalie sparkle.
The honest, raw longing in Marcus' face was intoxicating. Desire was
spiraling inside, flowing around and beyond the space inside that Nick
was carved on, past it, taking on force. Natalie never chose a
substitute for Nick, she was too proud to pretend. Marcus made her feel
wanted, beautiful... and what? Worthy of desire?

This wasn't fair. Why did Marcus have to have this effect on
her? Why did he have to have a crush on her? Why did he have to be so
funny, so smart, so young, so sexy? Why was he here when she didn't
want to be alone?

She flowed closer to him, their hips touched, her breasts
pressed against him. Her lips found his... sweet, so sweet.

Why'd you break up with Rachel, Marcus?

Remember when you told me about this guy you've fallen for? The
one you have to figure it all out before you can get honestly involved
with anyone else?

Yes, I remember...

It's the same kind of thing. It wasn't fair to Rachel.

Marcus, I'm sorry. Please...

No, no, don't. It's alright, Nat. I can handle this.

Can you, Marcus?

If you can, I can.

She didn't want to hurt him. But the glory of his kiss was
indescribable. I want this, I want it so much...

Take me while you can
I can see you standing at the smoky entrance
Giving up your good intentions

Leave the shadows dancing
Dancing on their own
Let the moment free you now
And leave it all behind you
I'll know where you've gone
Let the world go on

Janette slipped down before him, her mouth crushing his. Nick's
hand never left her, his thumb rubbing her clitoris as his fingers
entered her. She opened for him, wet and hungry. Her tongue ravished
his mouth. His other hand supported her buttocks, to keep her balance.
His self-control was fraying. One of her hands moved down, squeezing his
erection through his trousers, his entire body jolted with the contact.
The smell of blood and arousal was everywhere, overwhelming. "I want
you, Nicholas, I want all of you."

"Take me..." take me over...

They danced out into the parking lot, then Marcus spun her and
lifted her onto the trunk of a car. The feel of his fingers on the back
of her thighs sparked in her mind. Natalie touched his face, brushing
his forehead, touching his narrow nose, then cupping his face. His lips
and eyes smiled softly at her, and she made a decision deep within. She
kissed him with warmth, with longing, with need. She loved the taste of
his mouth, its warmth. He leaned forward into the kiss. She felt a
fluttering in her stomach and her nipples hardened. He sucked gently on
her tongue, then lazily let his own drift back. They parted
reluctantly. She lowered her hands from his face.

"Did you drive here?" He asked.

"Nope, I walked over. If I have too much to drink, I just fall
over it rather than run into it." She smiled, and balanced her arms on
his shoulders. She waited for his next question, anticipating, with
nervousness and desire.

"Why don't I walk you home?" They both knew what was being asked.

"Why don't you?" She whispered. Her mouth closed over his.

He laid back on the grass, crushing her cape under him. She
reached for his belt, quickly opening his trousers, freeing his cock.
She stroked him urgently, he gasped out her name. She closed her mouth
over him, her fangs teasing the underside of the shaft, her tongue
lashing the tip. He tore at the grass with both hands.

They walked in circles, pausing to embrace against fences,
against trees, against the sides of buildings. Other couples passed
them, some also embracing, some not; they all drifted past and were
swallowed by the shadows. Nat thought she saw the fair-haired man again,
but he moved away so quickly she couldn't tell if she knew him or not.
Marcus kissed her again, then it didn't matter. She loved the walk,
loved the way his penis hardened more and more every time he pressed
against her. She took his hand and guided it to her breast. His touch
was warm and sweet, she wanted to purr. She feasted on his mouth.
Countless frustrated nights seemed far away now, her body was wide awake.

Wake me with your dark embrace
And make me open in your arms
I want to lose myself within
Leave the person I have been
Let me enter

Janette was too excited to torment him for very long. He loved
her arousal, her hunger, it never failed to excite him. She slid over
him, pressing against him, the feel of her clitoris against the head of
cock was exquisite and unbearable. He dug his fingers into her thighs,
the suede soft under his palms. She smiled as she guided him in.

He closed his eyes, feeling all of her. Good, so good... the way
it has always been... He was losing himself in her. Yes. She rocked
back and forth on him, starting slowly, then building. "Nicholas" she
breathed. "Oh, Nicholas"

Marcus pushed the front door shut with his back, and locked it
with one hand. Natalie dropped her keys and leaned into him pulling up
his shirt until she felt skin. Their lips sought each other again. He
pushed her coat off, because of the wallet it made a thud when it fell.
He slipped a hand between her legs and pressed down. The touch was
scorching, her breath caught and her knees went weak. God, she wanted
him. But...
He drew back a little, his eyes searching her face. He could
sense her conflict, perhaps see it her eyes. He waited.

"I don't want to use you." she whispered.

He lifted a hand to her face, his eyes gentleness and desire.
"Use me."

One kiss, and she gave herself over. He supported her back and
she stretched her arms behind and then she was on the floor. He slid a
camisole strap off her shoulder, freeing her breast, lips closed over her
nipple, tongue rasping over it. Her hand slid through his soft, long
hair. Her breath quickened as he unbuttoned her jeans. His hand found
its way inside, fingers moving under the elastic of her underpants.


Control was lost now, he held her hips with both hands and thrust
into her in a frenzy. He turned his head to the side, silently begging.
Now, do it now! She leaned forward, and sank her fangs in. The
yielding of flesh, the release of blood, this was...was... His hands
tightened, if she had been mortal he'd have bruised her. She growled
with pleasure, drinking deep, riding him fast, relentless. With a cry,
he gave himself up, let go.

The skirt of his leather coat felt heavy on her legs. The touch
of his fingers on her lower fur was teasing, electric. The first brush
against her clitoris caused her to gasp, he lightly rubbed her labia.
She was so wet, she was soaking him. He rose slightly, smiled sweetly,
and kissed her harder than ever. His touch became urgent, his thighs
were trembling. She rose herself on her elbows, shifting her angle,
increasing the pressure. His fingers thrust inside, finding her welcome.
The heel of his hand massaged her, it was so intense it was almost more
than she could bear. His mouth, his tongue hungry against her neck. He
ran his teeth against her throat, and lightly nipped her.

She came.

It was sharp, sudden, uncontrollable, unstoppable. Her head
dropped back, her entire body shook. She gasped in sobs, it was so
intense it was nearly painful. Her thighs closed tight around that
beautiful, tormenting hand.

Nat opened her eyes and Marcus was looking at her with awe, with
the expression of having seen something wondrous. She rose herself to
him, and kissed him as if she would swallow him whole.

Janette pulled away from him, his blood dark on her mouth. "My
chevalier, my brave crusader." She smiled, delighting in the power she
had over him, excited by his surrender; he could see it in her face.

Your turn now, love...

His arms slid up from her hips to her back and drew her close.
Nick loosened her dress. He nuzzled her large, friendly breasts; teasing
with his tongue and teeth. Now that she no longer had to hold him inside
her, she moved her thighs back so she could rest more comfortably on him.
Her hand ran through his hair and moaned. He bit lightly at her
nipples, a few drops of blood flowed into his mouth.

You're just as helpless to it as I am. Yes, love, yes...

Finally, she couldn't take any more. She seized his head with
both hands and pulled him away from her chest. She guided him to her
throat, whimpering. This is what she needed, what she had to have.

He bit deep, and felt her shudder.

With her help Marcus managed to get her jeans off, her underpants
getting lost inside. She kicked off her shoes. He pulled his coat off
and started to unbutton his shirt. Natalie didn't want to wait. With a
fierce kiss her hands went to his belt. His head dropped back as she
stroked him, his cock felt heavy and hot in her hands. One of his hands
clumsily dug into a coat pocket, some condoms and a small tube of
lubricant fell from his fingers. His breath came fast. He looked so
sexy she had to kiss him again. His brow knitted, and he said softly.
"Feel what you've done to me? I don't know how long I can last."

"Shh, let me." Nat took the lube from under his fingers. After
putting a little into the palm of her hand she stroked him again. Once
he was covered with it, she opened the condom and rolled it on. The
moisture of the lubricant caused the condom to cling to his penis like a
second layer of skin. She continued touching him, enjoying the change in
texture, liking how he jumped under her hands.

She smiled, she kissed him and let him push her back down. She
opened her legs and he drew over her, pushing her camisole up and baring
her breasts. She raised her hips as he guided himself in. She gasped
with the pleasure of penetration. He moaned out her name, thrusting
eagerly; one hand reaching under them to cup her backside, giving
support.

Their position and the hardness of the floor didn't lend itself
well for deep penetration, but it felt too good to stop. Natalie laid
her hands on his hips gently, gently guiding as he thrust until he
pressed against that soft place inside her. Oh yes, there now,
yes..."Marcus, oh God, Marcus." The taste of him, the silk friction
against her nipples, the feel of his trousers against her calf, the
incredible feel of him inside her... Sensations washed over her in a
flood, she was drowning, she was falling. She clung to him, burying his
face into her hair.

"Beautiful, you're so beautiful." he rasped out. His breath
caught, his arm tightened around her as he fell, too.

He held her close, kissing her gently, the taste of her blood a
perfection in his mouth. He didn't want to move, didn't want to think,
didn't want to breath.

He could hear a voice in the back in the back of his mind. Don't
want to wake the conscience, Nicholas?

"I must go." She pulled away, slowly, reluctantly. With an
unhappy sound, he tried to pull her back. She kissed him and smiled.
"Now, now, cher, I have to put the children to bed. And you may wish to
explain our condition to the Park Patrol, but I do not. " She kissed him
tenderly. "Come to the Raven and spend the day if you wish."

She rose, and he followed. They fastened their clothes, he shook
out her cape and fastened it around her with a flourish. One kiss more,
one touch, and she was gone.

When she was with him, he could almost forget. His doubts, his
conflicts, his guilts... he could almost lose himself in their
existance... be what they were...

Almost. But not completely. And that was the void between them.
He could never become mortal without rejecting her, he could not lose
himself in the vampire without hating himself, without it poisoning his
love for her. He should let her go, get away from her, bury all down,
drive her away... He couldn't. Perhaps he didn't love her the way he
once had, but she understood him in a way no one else did. And to resist
her touch was like attempting to stop the tide coming in. He sighed, the
isolation pressing down on him.

No-one can truely understand, is that so, Nicholas? My, the
clarion call of the self-piting. How complex you insist on making a bout
of sexual exess, simply enjoying passion just wouldn't be enough for you.
No, why not analyze it, too.

Suddenly, sharply, he longed for Natalie. Her calm, her warmth,
could soothe him.

She could remind him... remind him of what he wanted...
Just to hear her heartbeat... just to be near...
She'd never know he was there.
He took to the air.

End of Chapter One.

Song Credits are to October Project one of the Most Wonderful Bands in
the Universe. E-mail me for information about them.

Midnight Death Frisbee and Midnight Babooshka Mojo Golf are play'd by
certain adventurous Rakes known to the Authoress. Anyone wishing rules,
regular, tournament, and rain: just write to me.

Users-Chapter 2
by Kate Keene

Nick flew, the night air cold and sharp on his face. He wondered
if Natalie would still be awake... or if the sound of her heart would be
slow and steady; only changing when she dreamed.

Did she dream of him?

Did she long for him to hold her, kiss her, take her body...

Take her blood...

NO.

He couldn't think that... not about Natalie...

The soothing warmth of her touch, the kind light in her eyes when
they were together. These things that he held on to...

We have needs, Nicholas, just as mortals do...

The smell of her, the sounds she might make, the taste...

No, not her. Never her.

Natalie pushed Marcus against the door frame of her bedroom,
kissing him deeply. He pulled the silk camisole off, over her head and
tossed it to the side. He ran a finger down a breast, lightly circling a
nipple.

"You're sure you want me to stay?" He asked, his voice soft.

"Oh, yes." The pang of regret was exorcised by the magic of his
touch. The joy of being wanted, the escape from her lonely frustration
was heady. "I don't think I'm through with you just yet." She kissed
him again, feeling shy and wanton at the same time. His face lit up,
delighted as a child at Christmas.

"Great, do I get my own food dish; or do I share Sydney's?"

She laughed. "I don't know. How agreeable of a pet are you?"

"Very." Marcus leaned forward and licked her earlobe. "I'm
clean. I only bark at strangers. I'm easy to brush and I don't mind
getting my nails trimmed. I've had all my shots." His eyes met hers,
significantly." I've had all my tests."

She nodded. "Regularly? Me, too." she smiled. "You'd made a
good boyscout."

"Nah." he nibbled at her ear. "All the boyscouts ever taught the
guys I know was how to smoke dope and shoplift."

Laughing, she pulled away from him. Walking with deliberate
slowness, she went to the bed and pulled the comforter back. Laying
down, she moved into a graceful curl. "I only have one question."

He leaned against the frame, smiling fondly. "What's that?"

"Why are you still dressed?"

Marcus moved closer, opening his shirt. "Let's do something
about that."

Nick landed on the ledge without sound. The trees to the side
would mask him from view, he knew. He had been here many times, wanting
to be close...

Wanting...her...

She's my friend.

And a good and dear one, Nicholas. So sweet, so loyal, so...
forgiving of your Occasional lapses. So beautiful when she smiles... and
you wonder... wonder what it would be like...

Listening to her heart...

No! She's just my friend... I can't think of her like that... Not
while I'm like this...

to take her... She might like it... She might want you...

No! She wouldn't!

Do you even know, Nicholas, what she might want? It amazing she
hasn't gotten nosebleeds from the pedestal you've placed her upon. She's
only a mortal...

Nick listened for Natalie's heart; trying to drown out the
mocking voice in his head.

With a mortal's needs...

Her heart, strong and steady. A little fast, now.

A mortal's desires...

A second heartbeat, overlapping hers.

What?

She wasn't alone. At this hour? Who could be with her at this
time of the night? He moved closer, listening. Was she in danger? Was
she all right?

A voice. A man's voice. Nick concentrated on it, moving closer
to the window.

"Natalie?" A young man's voice; sensual and shy all at once.
"You're so beautiful when you come..."

Nick almost fell off the ledge.

The sweet sound of her laugh. "That's a new one."

"No, no, I mean it. Your skin flushes with color and your face
is so open... I can't describe it... It's wonderful. It's beautiful to
me."

Nick's fingers clung around the bricks.

"Marcus... come closer." Her voice, soft and thick. Footsteps.
Speeding heartbeats... the cutting of his breath as she kissed him...
the sound of his hands roaming over her skin...

Natalie's skin...

Nick's fingers bruised the bricks.

What is she doing!

Oh, Nicholas, don't be so naive...She's entwined in the embrace
of someone...

Who is THAT!

Who isn't you...

The sharp intake of breath as the kisses ended, the sound of lips
running across flesh... the whisper of a moan from her...his dear one...

Jealousy, furnace hot radiated out from his wounded heart and
threatened to choke him.

How could she! How could she do this! How could she hurt me
like this!

Like how, Nicholas? My how sweet is the scent of hypocrisy
combined with Janette's lingering perfume on your skin.

That isn't the same!

Are you so sure? Then why isn't Natalie allowed to know? Or is
it because you never thought about your precious mortal angel having
enough passion to measure against your dark love? Or because her lover
can please her when you won't; and she'll cry out his name rather than
yours...

No...It isn't anything like that!

The sound of the zipper being pulled was agonizingly loud. The
soft rustle of trousers falling to the floor with a rattle of coins
raised the hairs on the back of his neck.

I don't want to hear this!

Then, leave, Nicholas, just leave...

Nick edged closer to the window, the soft light barely making a
glow through the heavy drapes.

if you can...

"Natalie, Natalie...wait." the young man, what was it, Marcus?
His voice was cheerful and soft. "It'll be a little while before I can
be ready again...Lay back... let me play with you for a bit."

Natalie chuckled. "Am I an instrument now?"

"You make very nice sounds." The sound of HIM climbing over her.

"But it's been a while since I was tuned."

Marcus groaned and tickled her, exploding her into laughter.

Nick was incredulous.

How can he just admit THAT so matter-of-fact?

It would seem that the young man has fewer inhibitions, than you,
Sir Knight...

Doesn't he take any of THIS seriously?

Natalie gave a sharp gasp, then a low moan...

Yes, I think he does...

Nick closely examined the window. There was a small gap where
the velvet panels buckled unevenly. If he pressed against the bricks, he
could just peek in...

No! I can't do this!

Then, leave Nicholas, leave... and never know...

Natalie moaned again and whispered, "Yes, oh yes..."

Never see...

The bricks were scratchy against his face, and he couldn't see
the bed.

Her sounds were muffled now, as if she were swallowing them.
Perhaps she'd buried her face in the pillows...

Shifting his head slightly, he could see the large mirror on
Nat's vanity table. It reflected the bed. He could see her. She was
glorious.

Natalie...oh God, Natalie...

She was on her back, her hair a chestnut cloud on the pillows
behind her. She was biting her lower lip which was swollen from kissing,
her eyes were closed, and her face was flushed. Her soft, full,
wonderful breasts rose and fell with her rapid breathing, nipples dark
from her lover's attentions.

She was beautiful, primal, passionate...

More than you ever let yourself dream of...

The young man's hands were on her hips, holding her still. His
long dark hair shone in the soft light as he bent his head between her
thighs. Her legs were lazily drawn around his shoulders. The long,
flat, lithe muscles of his back curved exquisitely into his buttocks and
long legs.

Son-of-a-bitch! Even his Feet have muscle tone!

My, what an impressive specimen...

At times like this, Nick Knight wished his inner voice would go
get a job somewhere else.

Marcus brought his hands down from her hips, bringing them into
play. His tongue was connecting with something electric; Natalie drew in
a slow, shuddering breath. Then she gave a sharp gasp; reached down and
touched his hair.

The way she gave herself to pleasure echoed in Nick's mind.

If only...

The muscles in his shoulder rippled as Marcus touched her. The
sound of his whisper was painfully loud to Nick. "I love how responsive
you are... You're so sensitive to the least little touch... It's
exciting to make you wet..."

Your mortal angel, whimpering with desire... Don't you wish it
was with you?

Nick's teeth ground together like tectonic plates.

Don't you wish you could see better?

Marcus shifted his position. Nick could see all of Natalie now,
her soft, wet vulva swollen and beautiful with arousal. Marcus was
penetrating her with two fingers, working them slowly as she cried out in
joy. Marcus put two fingers of his other hand in his mouth, sucking
them, getting them wet. He lowered his hand and looked up at her.

"Do you mind if I touch you here?" he asked.

She made a sound that was something between a moan and a squeak.
It took a moment for her to answer. "God, no!! Oh, that's nice..."

Oh, he's not!! Not there!

Marcus massaged her anal opening with one moist finger, waking up
the many nerve endings. His other hand still thrust into her. With a
smile he lowered his mouth back to her clit.

Natalie's shoulders arched, and she turned her head to let the
pillow swallow her cries.

She couldn't prevent the small shriek of pleasure as Marcus let
the moist finger penetrate her anally. Her hips rocked in response and
the muscles in her legs and feet tightened around her lover.

Natalie's nipples were rock hard and her breasts flushed pink
with color. Nick ached to touch them... to lower his mouth on them as
she rocketed towards her climax...

What the hell am I thinking!

My, what an interesting development for our noble knight...

"That's it, my lover, come for me; be open, give yourself to
it..." Marcus increased the fucking of his hands and lashed his tongue
hard across her clit. Natalie's moans were almost sobs. Her legs jerked
wildly as she came, her back arched like a bow and her fingers tangled in
Marcus' hair.

She was so wild, so overcome, so everything! Her beauty and her
passion were overwhelming. Nick's cock stirred, his jealousy only
feeding the need.

It would scorch you to touch her... fucking her would be like be
inside someone with fever...it would take all yourself control not to
come immediately, Nicholas... admit it...

He looks so pleased with himself... the smug little bastard!

It was unfair, but Nick didn't care.

Marcus held Natalie, kissed her tenderly, until the tremors
stopped.

Nick waited to see what she would do.

Natalie reached one hand down between the two of them and took
hold of Marcus.

Heat and ice rushed to Nick's groin.

Marcus grinned. "Well, I guess we know how long a while is for
me. You do have my undivided attention, by the way."

Natalie gave him a long, lingering kiss; stroking him all the
while. Nick became mesmerized by the movement of her hand. There was no
hesitation in her gentle touch. Nick knew what her fingers felt like on
his own skin... was she touching Marcus with the same firmness... did
Marcus feel the same heat that Nick did...

Wondered how it would feel on his own cock...

I shouldn't be here... I shouldn't be watching...

Are you saying you don't enjoy it? For all your ridiculous
jealousy, you're hard all the same...Crusader...

Dammit! The bastard's circumcised, too!

Now, you're being irrational.

Shut Up!!

Marcus disengaged himself from Natalie's grasp with a kiss on her
nose. "I left my stuff in the hall, let me go get..."

"No, don't." Natalie rolled over and opened a drawer on her
night stand. The light reflected off the blue foil packets as she
dropped them on the bed. Digging for a moment, she pulled out a small
plastic bottle; then closed the drawer.

Fascinated, Nick watched her pour something from the bottle into
her hand, then caress her lover again. Wetness reflected off Marcus'
skin, looking inviting. Marcus leaned forward to reach for a condom, but
Natalie pushed him back. He looked a bit bewildered. Nick was as
puzzled as Marcus.

Her eyes sparkled as she lifted the condom and tore it open.
Turning it over with her fingers she put it in her mouth.

What is she doing?

Kneeling forward, she took a hold of Marcus and held him steady.
She brought her lips to his cock, slightly parted as if she was going to
kiss it.

Oh my...

Her lips tightly engulfed the head of Marcus' cock, slowly
drawing it in. His head rocked back and a ecstatic gasp escaped him.
She moved forward with a fast push, taking him in her mouth about
halfway. She pulled back, and Nick saw she had been rolling the condom
on with her mouth. Reaching up with her fingers she rolled the latex the
rest of the way down.

Nick's hardness began to ache as he watched Natalie continue to
suck on Marcus' erection through the barrier. Wildly, he wondered what
the pressure of her mouth felt like through the latex veil. Marcus held
her head, his breathing fast and thick, and closed his eyes in rapture.

Slowly, reluctantly, she released him. Reaching out, she pushed
Marcus on his back and moved astride him. Picking up the bottle again,
she poured more wetness into her hand and applied it to Marcus' cock.
Then, she reached between her own legs, making herself open and ready.
With a gentle smile she positioned herself, her soft chestnut hair
falling over her shoulders and breasts.

Oh, Sweet Jesu, Natalie...yes...

Nick's own erection refused to be ignored. Self-consciously, he
rubbed himself. The need, the ache was fed by jealousy and the beauty of
the sight before him. His earlier orgasm was lost, forgotten... an age
ago.

So, beautiful...so exquisite... Look at it, Nicholas...
everything you never let yourself dream about... You want her to take
him... to see how she can make him feel...to see her flow on her pleasure
like a river...

Nick used one hand to support himself against the bricks. His
other hand slid under the waistband of his trousers.

With agonizing slowness, Natalie lowered herself on Marcus' cock.
She took him in at an inch at a time, her eyes dancing with delight.
Her self-control was astonishing. Marcus gasped out as she took him,
clearly the most exquisite torture he'd ever suffered. His hands flexed
on the bedclothes, but he didn't interfere.

Nick's cock leapt under his fingertips and his fangs itched.

She rode Marcus slowly, luxuriously taking him in deep. It was
tender, poetic...Marcus' muscles relaxed under her rhythm rather than
tightening with frustration. He didn't move to thrust back, just gently
rocked under her motion.

Beautiful... so beautiful...

What if it were you... would you stay so placid, so
self-contained in the first stirring notes of this Magnificat or would
you rush on... Hungry and wild, bereft of holiness, but longing for the
Gloria Patri to echo in chorus...

Nick felt the blood sweat flush on his forehead. Unconsciously,
the hand on his cock increased pressure in its ministrations.

Marcus moved to segue the lovemaking to further intensity. He
moved one hand between the two of them to carefully massage Natalie as
she rode. She moved her hands from his chest to her calves, to give him
easier access. Moving in time, Marcus started thrusting with her.

Nick's mouth opened in a silent moan of desire. She was so
beautiful it hurt to look at her. He knew she could feel all of Marcus
inside of her, it was there in her face. Her eyes closed in bliss and
her skin colored in excitement. A scar Nick never knew she had looked
pale and vulnerable under her ribs.

So much you never knew, Nicholas...

When she shook with orgasm it took all of Nick's self-control not
to burst into the room and catch her when she fell.

Marcus sat up and cuddled her close. Drawing his legs and
positioning them carefully, he moved in a gentle roll. Natalie was
placed on her back with Marcus over her, having never broken contact.

Nick's jaw dropped.

How the HELL did he do that?!

What a flexible young man...

But, how the HELL did he DO that?

Nick's jealousy flared hot at this new blow to his pride. The
sight of Marcus' muscular body over Natalie's soft one only aroused him
further. Watching her wrap her arms and legs around him, seeing the
force of Marcus' thrusts excited him almost beyond reason.

I can't look anymore... I'll put them in danger... I can't...

The critical voice in his head gave no arguement. Nick closed
his eyes and pressed his face to the bricks; stoking his cock hard and
fast. He made no sound, their gasps and moans became his own. In his
mind, it was HE who rose over Natalie riding her hard and fast. It was
HIS back that was left to the mercy of her fingers. It was HIS thighs
her legs were wrapped around. It was HIM buried in her velvet warmth.
It was HE who called her name when he came...

So, so close now.

He could hear the sound of her, following Marcus to climax.

He bit into his wrist, letting the blood fill his mouth.

A rush of warmth and the scent of blood as he came.

"Natalie..." he whispered.

She burst into tears, and far closer than she could imagine,
tears of blood fell in the dark.

End of Chapter 2

Users-Chapter 3
by Kate Keene

Nick fell on his knees on the floor of his loft, the sound of the
slamming door echoing. He had barely made it home before the light.

Frustration, anger, jealousy... Emotions washed wave after wave
over him. He knew much of his reaction was unreasonable,
disproportionate, but he couldn't stop himself.

After all, Nicholas, she is a beautiful young woman. It would be
foolish to expect that no-one else would show interest in her...

Hearing her tears through the wall and being unable to go to her
hurt him more than he had ever dreamed possible. The humiliation of
standing out in the cold wind, the remains of his desire on his hands,
and listening to that MAN comfort her...HIS Natalie...cut deep, very
deep.

He still couldn't make himself leave, though. He seemed beyond
pride... or so he thought. Until he overheard Marcus comforting her.

"Shh... it's all right, it's all right." the sound of HIM
kissing her. "You don't have to love me... you don't... I do understand,
Natalie, I do."

"I'm sorry, Marcus, I'm so sorry. I shouldn't do this to you."
She had whispered.

"No, no, don't." Another kiss, achingly loud. "You're my Maud
Gonne, you know. You have given me more than you'll ever know. You
don't have to love me, all you have to do is forgive me for loving you."

"Food for poems..." she whispered softly.

"And songs, and prose and art, and joy, and friendship. Dear,
dear one."

It was like a slap in the face, more than his ego could stand.
He tore himself away from the window, not caring if they heard him. He
had flown incoherent with anger and wounded pride until the faint glow of
dawn had driven him home.

He knelt on the rug. The shutters shut automatically with a
hollow sound, leaving him in darkness. In his emptiness and impotent
fury the dark didnĂt soothe.

His Maud Gonne! As if he could know! Comparing himself to
Yeats! His love to theirs! As if he could know! I saw it!

Calling her his Muse, his well of inspiration. It was heady,
romantic, entirely worthy of her... and completely unforgivable.

As if he could ever need her the way...
A cold realization swept over him.
The way I do...
He lowered his forehead to the floor.
He can never love her the way I do...
He rolled onto his side.
I love her...Jesu, I love her...
He covered his face with his hands.
Why wasnĂt it me?
The pain was ugly and ferocious.
Because of what I am...
He could still smell the remains of his spent lust on his hands.
Because of me...
He wept.

He didn't know how long he lay there. Finally, he dragged
himself to his feet and went upstairs. Shedding his clothes, he got in
the shower. Exhausted, he slumped in the corner and let the water run
over him.

You've danced this dance before. Has it ever ended in anything
but tragedy?

It hasn't been quite like this before...

You mean no other woman has risked so much for your sake
before...

No, it's more than that...

And been given such short shrift for her pains...

Finally, he pushed himself up and began scrubbing furiously. As
if he could scrub away the truth about himself. As if he could rip away
the shame he felt.

Every time he closed his eyes he could see them again.

She had been so beautiful.

Had there been a time when he hadnĂt wanted her?

No.

No matter who else had been; Alise, Janette, Anne, Emily, all the
others... he had still wanted her, still returned to her side. Had still
been jealous of whoever she went out with, whoever saw her in the
daylight. Almost from the moment that they had first met.

What was it that Marcus had said, You don't have to love me...
She doesn't love him...
Does it matter?
Yes, if she loves me, yes...
Will it make you mortal?
We could be together then...

He closed his eyes and saw her again, astride Marcus, working
toward climax. She had been magnificent, passionate...more than he could
ever have longed for. What would she be like with him? Would she be as
wild, as unbound? Or would she be shy, kind, guiding him gently into the
light.

In the light...

Make love to her in the sunlight... On the rug downstairs, while
light pours through all the windows. Her hair would glow in the light...
he remembered the time he'd seen her in the sun, when the drug had gone
wrong. Her skin had been warm with color and her sapphire eyes had
danced. He would see her like that again. He had too...

He'd move slowly, savor every second. He'd undress her with
care, slipping each garment off to pool on the floor beside her. Cover
her skin with kisses, trace his tongue over her shoulders, her neck, her
breasts as she stands naked and golden. She would be a Venus of Light,
he a pale acolyte.

She could kiss him and he would taste of food, of wine, of
arousal, without the hint of blood. He would be warm to her touch. He
could stroke her hair and back and there would be no involuntary shiver
from the chill of his hand. She would move into his caress, sighing with
pleasure, reaching to remove his clothes. The warmth of her breath on
his skin. The heat of her tongue as it lashes across his hard nipples.
Would she reach down and take him or tease him, tickling the hair on his
belly?

You'd want her to tease you...tell the truth now...

Yes, Nick had to admit it. He'd want her to tease him... trace
her fingertips lightly across his belly, tickle his flanks, rub his
thighs, brush past his pubic hair, make him wait... give him time to
grow harder... suck his nipples, nip at them, her breath would be hot and
sweet...The sun would be warm on his back.

The feel of her skin under his hands, the soft weight of her
breasts. It would be sweet, so sweet to him. He would lay her on the
rug, slip a pillow under her hips. Suck and tease her nipples without
fearing for her safety. To smell her, to taste her, without the need to
feed, to destroy. Opening her legs and laying his mouth on her...
Tasting her tangy wildness, breathing in her musk until she thrashes with
orgasm and is liquid with longing.

To have her touch him as he rises over her. Stroking his aching
cock, moving his foreskin, making him ready... ready to bury himself in
her. He would want to sink into her slowly, teasing her as she did him,
take her an inch at time...her velvet soft vagina tight and welcome
around him... pushing his self control to the edge...

Thrusting into her... gently at first, then wildly... her fingers
digging into his back, her legs tight around his thighs...hearing her cry
out his name as she comes...kissing her hard when he comes, tight on her
mouth with bruising force... holding her afterwards...telling her...I
love you, all for you, only you.

He opened his eyes, alone. The shower was cold now. Fresh come
and blood spattered his thighs. He rinsed it off with hands that shook.
He'd been so lost in the fantasy he couldn't remember touching himself.

Subdued, he went to bed.

It was night and he was hungry. He was back in the park, close
to where he'd met Janette. He looked around...had she called him back?
Changed her mind, perhaps? Yet, it was different... the sky darker, the
wind stronger, the chill off the water sinking deep into his skin.

She wasn't there.
There was only him, and the dark.
Something was very wrong.

"Good evening, Nicholas."

"LaCroix." Nick swung around. For a moment, Nick felt relief at
the sight of a familiar face. "WhereĂs Janette?"

"At the Raven, I should think. She isn't here. I've been
expecting you." LaCroix shimmered in the darkness. A malevolent shade.

"You called me here?" Nick was immediately apprehensive. "Why?"

"I want to show you something." LaCroix swung around and
started walking. He didn't look back to see if Nick was following.

Nick stared after the elder vampire, distrust and curiosity
wrestling within. Slowly, cautiously, he followed.

"A young girl came to the water's edge tonight. An interesting
specimen. She's covered with self-inflicted cuts... some kind of middle
class tragedy I should think... and sat reading poetry with a flashlight.
She wept." LaCroix beautiful voice slid through the darkness. "One of
us is watching her... very patiently."

"One of us? No! Why haven't you stopped it!" Nick seized
Lucien by the arm.

"Stop what, Nicholas? There's nothing to stop...yet. That's why
I was waiting for you." LaCroix extradited his arm with barely a
movement. "I've brought you a gift, Nicholas. Something that you've
wanted for a very long time."

LaCroix gracefully pointed to the water's edge.

The girl was young, a teenager, with dyed black hair and a pale,
lost face. Dark smudges of eye makeup hid her eyes, shuttered windows
for a lost soul. A torn CERK t-shirt clung to her thin frame,
insufficient against the waters chill. Scars from a hundred self
inflicted cuts shone pale on her arms. A book of Sylvia Plath's poems
lay open in her lap, a resting place for the flashlight. The light
caught a razor blade clutched in fingertips decorated with chipped black
nail varnish. It hung, suspended, over one skinny wrist. One shallow
cut was already weeping blood.

The smell of blood, death, and despair was thick in the air.

Nick took a step towards her, and LaCroix's hands held him back.
"Wait." The elder vampire whispered.

Then Nick remembered LaCroix's earlier words. "One of us is
watching her."

There was barely the sound of moving air as the female vampire
moved out of the shadows.

A strangled cry of recognition escaped Nick. "Natalie..."

Where as Nick had always seen her before radiating with warmth
and light, she now seemed colored with a thousand shades of darkness.
Her beauty had not been lost with her transformation, only become more
tactile, more sensual...more hungry.

Natalie walked up to the girl slowly, as if the child were a wild
animal she was afraid of frightening away. Tears ran from the girl's
eyes and the blade slipped from her fingers as Natalie reached out and
touched her face.

"You're so alive, " Natalie whispered.

"No...no...I'm not...the pain..." the girl whimpered.

"So alive..." Natalie reached down and kissed the girl on the
mouth, claiming her lips with sensual grace.

The girl kissed Natalie back, fingers digging into the vampire's
shoulders with fierce desperation. A drop of blood rolled down the
girl's cut arm and fell between Natalie's breasts. Bright red flowed
across ivory and Natalie's skin drank it in.

Natalie struck the girl with enough force to tear into her throat
and pop her neck. The sad child died instantly. Natalie's lips closed
over the wound and she drank deeply, feverently.

"She's so beautiful when she kills. It's a joy to watch her. She
seems drawn to the lost and the suffering, bringing the death that ends
their pain. The way they look at her with such fear, and such longing.
It's as if she is an angel as well as a devil to them. It makes it all
new again." LaCroix's voice drifted back across the divide. "Haven't
you missed it, Nicholas? The swift rush of life and death? The pure
simplicity of our existence? She can bring it back to you... She can
make you feel at home with us."

Natalie lifted her face from the girl's neck, lips shining with
red. She rocked the child tenderly in her arms, entranced, as if sending
her to sleep.

LaCroix was right. It was beautiful and unholy. The hunger rose
in Nick with a rush of desire more intense than he'd ever felt. He took
a step forward and all his struggling toward humanity fled.

The girl slid gracefully through Natalie's arms like falling
sand. Natalie gently folded the girl's arms over her chest and closed
her eyes.

She turned to Nick. Glowing eyes met glowing eyes.

She was in his arms before he moved another step. Her mouth was
on his; the girl's warm, fresh blood a fitting communion for this
joining.

With one kiss all the barriers inside him tore apart. He tore
her dress violently, the velvet heavy in his hands. He licked the blood
from between her breasts, hungry. Her hands laid open his shirt and
scratched his chest. Leaning up, she nipped his earlobe.

Entwined, they fell to the ground. He rolled on his back,
pinning her to his chest. His kisses were bruising, tongue lashing in
her mouth. Her fangs scratched his lips, she sucked greedily.

Penetrating, and being penetrated... his cock deep inside her...
her fangs buried deep in his throat....this is were he belonged... this
is what he was... what she was meant to be... why they were brought
together...

LaCroix gathered up the dead girl's body and turned away.

Nick woke up.

He pulled himself to the edge of the bed and held his head in his
hands. He was clammy with blood sweat. The nightmare was sharp, buried
deep and refused to fade.

All for the love of you...
Darkness, light, would they give up both?
Would he?
All for the love of you...
Natalie...
Would I give it all up for you...
The thought made him cold.
At this moment, right here, right now...yes, yes I
would...forever...
forever... all for you...

More sleep was impossible. Nick toweled himself off and put on
his robe. Walking downstairs, he poured a glass and went to the piano.
Aimlessly, he played the same series of notes over and over. After a
moment, he recognized what he was playing.
With a rueful smile, he let the rest of the notes follow out.

Could you turn me down gently would I
be out of order
If I declared my true feelings or do I
Act out the part,
Of the father confessor of the shoulder to cry on.
WeĂre always so close yet so far away.

He sung softly, irony not withstanding.

What would you do if I got down
On my knees to you
Would you hold it against me
Would you stand me in line
What would you do if I
Opened my heart to you
Would I just be another whoĂs wasting his time
Darling, are we just good friends?

LaCroix was right about one thing, there is a song for all
occasions. She might not love him, after all. She might have set that
possibility aside long ago... It wasn't as if there was a future with
him.
And if she does love you?
I should let her go...
How noble of you... unless...
Unless what?
Unless itĂs too late...
No.
Can you face being alone once more?

He should leave, disappear, give her a chance to have a life.
She could marry, have children, rise in her profession without the fear
of someone finding out about altered files, secrets, all she had done for
him.
Let her go...
Yes...
Like Janette?
I've been here before haven't I...
Once or twice...
There's a song about that too...
There's a song for everything...
Could I...could I do it...

The keys under his fingers were a comfort. They sang randomly,
until the melody was found...

So here I am once more
In the playground of the broken hearts
One more experience, one more entry
In a diary of pain...
Yet another emotional suicide
overdosed on sentiment and pride...
Too late to say I love you
Too late to restage the play
Abandoning the relics of my playground of yesterday...

Stay, say nothing... go on being friends... bury his jealousy...
rejoice in her happiness... give her up... let this young man win her
heart...
Let her live without him.
She would make a lovely bride...
yes...

He had thought of painting her that way, dressed in white,
covered in lace. Natalie as a bride. Her wedding day... Her chestnut
hair would escape from under the veil. Pearls...no, pearls were unlucky
for a bride. What was it? YouĂll shed a tear for every pearl you wear
on your wedding day?

Perhaps, she would even wear a cross. Be married in a church.
Men in morning coats, flowers everywhere. Pennies tossed in a fountain,
to wish the couple a happy life. A garter of satin and lace crocheted by
a grandmother, to kept forever by a lucky groomsman pressed in a book.
Bouquet tossed in the wind, caught and magic passed on.

To leave with her beloved, as he stands in the shadows.
Watch her go...

And I will hold my peace forever
As you wear your bridal gown
And the silence of my shame
The mute that sang the silent song
Has gone solo in the game
Has gone solo, solo in the game

Can you still say you love me?
This jesters tears...

With an angry bang, he slammed the lid down.
He couldn't do it.
He couldn't let her go.
Not without her knowing.
It was the most selfish choice of his life. He knew that.

He walked over to the couch and laid down. He'd didn't know what
would happen. He didn't know if she would agree to even try. But... he
couldn't lose it without it ever not having been said.

I love you, Nat...

At five in the morning, Marcus kissed a sleeping Natalie goodbye.
He dressed happily, and without regrets.

If this was all there was to be, it was beautiful and it was
enough.

He shut the door to her flat quietly behind him and danced
gracefully over to the bus stop. Pulling a small notebook out of his
pocket, Marcus wrote some random notes and checked to see what he had to
do today. The first pink shadows of dawn were coming up. A fair-haired
man in a dark coat and sunglasses bought a paper from the machine. The
bus pulled up with a loud snort.

Marcus dropped two tokens in the slot and smiled at the man with
the paper. "Have a seat, this one's on me."

"You're very kind," LaCroix said softly.

fini

The two songs were written by D.W. Dick; who sings under the name Fish.
Just Good Friends- Fishy Music Ltd from the album Internal Exile
Script for a Jester's Tear - by Marillion / Charisma Music Pub. Co. Album
of same name

W.B. Yeats Adoration for Maud Gonne, that most Facinating Woman, was
Romantick tho' not entirly Healthy. He Believed that because she first
saw the Writer she could only Be Disappointed in the Mere Man, so he
could not seek her favours for Himself, but that she would be the
greatest Muse of Inspiration to Him.

The Poem the Girl was reading in the Nightmare Sequence is Sylvia Plath's
"Medusa".

Thank you for reading my little tale.
I hope it has pleased and amused.