Originally titled “The Scent of a Woman.” Written throughout most of 2006, as a release from Nick & Nat’s long unresolved sexual tension. Originally posted at JennJ’s proboards forum.
Nick loves and wants Natalie, as a man and as a vampire. Little did he realize she wants him, too — all of him.
“You say how much you value my friendship
But I want you addicted to my perfume”
— Amber, Sexual (Li Da Di)
Nick’s senses became sharply focused as he entered the Toronto Coroner’s Office. His nostrils caught the scent of death, blood and floor cleaner. Cleanly medical scents warred with the smell of decay. The faux pine scent of the disinfectant would have been more than sufficient to conceal the acrid smell of decomposition from a mortal’s olfactory senses, but it was not enough to hide it from him.
As he slowly strolled down the halls, hands jammed into the pockets of his blue jeans, he sniffed attentively at the air for a sign that she was present. She was. The familiar scent of her wafted to him; vanilla skin mixed with apple shampoo, and a faint hint of cinnamon and camomile from her more intimate areas.
His cobalt blue eyes briefly snapped golden sparks. Her familiar scent never failed to arouse him, bringing with it thoughts that burned with a deadly desire. It awoke in him fantasies of what he would like to do: immerse himself in her warmth, pound into her mercilessly as she’d release cries of startled pleasure. To take within himself the precious elixir flowing through her veins while pumping his cold lifeless seed into her. To love her the way no mere mortal man ever could.
The man pined away for her as much as the beast craved the sweetness of her blood. There was no distinction between either when it came to Natalie. Both parts engendered the whole, and both parts wanted her, lusted after her, longed for her. Both parts loved her for their own reasons… but the love of the beast would only mean her death. Unless…
How many times had he pondered making her his by bringing her over into his world of darkness? He would be able to possess every part of her. He would be able to claim her body, blood, mind and soul as his own; to give into and demonstrate the depths of his passion for her regularly. And all it would cost is her humanity.
He stopped in front of the heavy metallic double doors that led to the examination room. She was behind those doors. He breathed in her scent again before moving one of the doors aside and stepping in. She, wearing her work scrubs and with her hair pulled back in a scrunchie, never looked so gorgeous to him. The ambrosia circulating through her body called him far more seductively than anything Janette could conjure up.
Janette. In the past, she had been the one he had come to in order to satisfy his needs. She had once been the one to make his head swim with heady daydreams. But, in all honesty, he had never really loved her. He had been enticed by her, yes — but never loved. He had never known love.
Until he met Natalie. The light of her smile banished the darkness within his tormented soul, even if only for a brief moment in time. Her joyous laughter was the music of angels, and the salt of her tears stung him to the quick more surely than holy water.
She smiled at him. “Hey, you.” Such a simple unobtrusive greeting, yet her eyes sparkled with delight upon his presence; a break in a boring working “day”.
Her heart filled with love and longing at the sight of him. She wanted so badly to rush into his arms and smother him with kisses; as if she were greeting a long-lost love. She wanted to enfold herself in his embrace, clinging to his strong body tightly, secure in the knowledge that nothing could touch her.
Nick gave her a tight-lipped smile. “Hey.” He paused. “I got shot again today. Mind removing the evidence?”
Her breath caught at the notion of him getting shot. Silly as it was, her fear was validated by the notion that one day the bullet might be a wooden one tipped with garlic. Or perhaps it would be an arrow from a crossbow instead.
“Where’d they hit you?” she asked him, giving him more than a cursory glance. In fact, her examination of him was more than just professional interest even through her concern.
His silent response was to shrug off his leather jacket and remove his shirt with the mechanical ease of long practice. She saw the scars on his chest where they had healed over the recently entered bullets. On his lower torso, however, she caught a glimpse of an old war wound from his mortal days; the slash from a sword that trailed parallel to his pelvic bone, but started farther up on his side from where it slashed downward.
To see his pale skin so battle-scarred gave her a brief lump in her throat that she swallowed hastily. Had he not survived such an unfortunate encounter with the sharp weaponry involved on the battlefield, she would never have met the man she so loved and had so dramatically changed her life. Had Janette not seduced that same disillusioned crusader and brought him to the attention of her ancient Roman master, this moment would never have occured. The entire sequence of seemingly coincidental incidents that brought them together led her to believe that it wasn’t coincidence at all, but that fate had engineered the events that resulted in them being together in the same time period. After all, what were the odds of meeting a real medieval knight in modern day Toronto, on the bridge of years leading to the 21st century?
Brushing her hand lightly against the light blond sprinkling of soft hair on his chest, she made a clean incision into one bullet scar after the other with a scapel, removing the offending metallic object from the muscle tissue underneath each time with a specially designed pair of tweezers. Nick grimaced as each bullet was removed, but allowed himself a small amount of pleasure in the skin to skin contact. The tender touch of her hands seemed to mitigate the brief stings that pulling the bullets out caused. It almost made him look forward to getting shot again the next time he had to apprehend a perp. Almost.
Interestingly enough, Natalie seemed to enjoy playing doctor to him as well. He had long ago noticed that the brief run of her fingers against his chest or shoulders and the lingering gaze at any bared part of his body hadn’t been with professional detachment. Of course, hearing her heart briefly race every time he had to strip down for an examination was the clincher. She had also dropped the occasional hint during times he was well-clothed that she had a more personal interest in him. While he had noticed, he didn’t want to carry it too far out of fear he’d either lose control over the vampire or that she would fear him once he revealed the vampire’s lust to her. It was the vampire that, time and again, stood in the way of him genuinely courting her as a suitor.
The silence between them was comfortable, yet paradoxically fraught with the tension of their own desires to consummate a relationship that spelled danger out in big neon lettering for Natalie, and had no hope of lasting beyond the singular moment of their union. He had deliberately pretended ignorance of her feelings to discourage her, which for the most part, only backfired. Not acknowledging their mutual longing to be in each other’s arms and loving each other intimately was as maddening for him as it was for her.
In the time it took for her to remove the last bullet, he had come to a decision. Natalie dropped the newly acquired evidence into a tray and placed the scapel and tweezers on the empty slab behind him. She then picked up his shirt and handed it to him. He took the shirt from her and smoothly put it back on with the same robotic efficiency he had observed removing it. Natalie sighed softly in regret that he was again fully clothed.
Nick smiled gently at her, his eyes alight with a boyish humour at her sigh. “Nat,” he told her in a tone that never failed to make her weak in the knees, “what time are you getting off of work?”
“In another hour,” she replied, raising an eyebrow. She was wondering why he was curious and didn’t dare to hope on the reason behind his question.
“And you’re going home after that?”
“Well, I have to pick up some kitty litter for Sidney but, after that, I’m going straight home. Why?”
“I was just thinking that, since we both have tomorrow off, that” — he briefly hesitated — “that… well, I was hoping you wouldn’t mind if I spent the day.”
Natalie blinked, surprised that the request. That was more than she had hoped for. “I’d… I’d love for you to spend the day with me.”
“I’ll have to get some supplies though,” he told her, hinting that he needed to be well-fed to spend the time with her in such close quarters.
“Not at all,” she protested lightly. “My ‘fridge is stocked. You know. ‘Just in case’.”
He grinned. “Yeah. I know what you mean.” Picking up his jacket and shrugging it back on his shoulders, he added “I’ll just need to pack some clothes, in that case. See you in an hour.” The smile still on his face, he planted a kiss firmly on her lips and brushed his hand against her backside. Slipping away from her before she could recover, he vanished out the door. He was looking forward to the morning.
Nick quietly entered Natalie’s apartment, suitcase in hand to spend the day. She had provided a key for him some time ago in the event he needed asylum, so it wasn’t as if he was breaking into the premises. Natalie herself hadn’t arrived yet, as the scent of her seemed slightly faded among her belongings, but indicating that she had been there a few hours before.
Sidney twined himself around Nick’s legs, purring raucously as Nick removed his jacket and set both it and his attach? on the couch. Nick squatted, reaching his hand down to gently scratch the feline behind the ears. Sidney flopped on his side, purring even more loudly than before, butting his head against Nick’s fingers demandingly.
“I don’t suppose you’ve been fed yet, eh Sid?” When the cat in question gave a plaintive mau in response, the vampire chuckled, “Looks like I’ll have to feed you then, before you decide to tear up Nat’s drapes.”
Sidney stared at him innocently, as if to say “Who, me?”
“Oh, don’t give me that look, buddy. I’ve heard all the stories.” Nick laughed again, gently caressing the back of the kittling. “Anyway, your mom will be home soon. And I’m going to make myself comfortable here for today.”
Standing, Nick entered the small kitchen, rummaging through the pantry to find the cat-food. He went through the affair of cleaning Sidney’s food dish and furnishing it with the required sustenance, before placing it on the floor for Sidney to do as he pleased with the offering. After that task was complete, Nick found himself staring into Natalie’s opened refrigerator, arm leaning against the ajar door, mutely gazing at the bottles on the top shelf ensconced in the coolth of the machine.
Absently, he pulled out one of the bottles, surprised that she had part of the Raven’s stock coexisting with the bread, casserole, yogurt and other foodstuffs that adorned the shelves of her refrigerator. He had guessed, wrongly, that there would be her usual protein-shake concoctions there. She had managed to surprise him yet again. Perhaps a discussion was in order.
He smelled the sudden clarity of her scent moments before he heard her footsteps in the hall. Placing the bottle back in the fridge, he closed its door and walked to the apartment’s main door to meet her. At the same time he heard the muffled sounds of her searching for her keys in her purse, he opened the door.
Natalie’s face registered surprise before delight upon seeing Nick already inside. It was not often that she had someone other than Sidney to come home to. “Welcome home, Nat,” he told her with a grin.
Natalie?s smile grew wider. “I’m glad I came home when I did.”
Nick glanced toward the floor. Propped up against the wall was the bag of kitty litter. Wordlessly, he lifted it into his arms, before saying, “I fed Sid for you.”
Natalie found that she couldn’t stop grinning. The happy realization of seeing his face the moment she came home filled her with a joy she hadn’t felt in some time. “Well, thank you. That makes my life a little easier.”
They had gone into the apartment by this point and closed the door behind them. The kitty litter was already on the floor inside her pantry and Nick was fixing dinner for her, at his own insistence. It was a surprising feat, considering that this was a man who hadn’t dined on mortal delicacies in more than seven centuries. But he had a photographic memory and could reproduce virtually any cuisine dish faithfully. Besides, it wasn’t often that he actually got to prove his mettle as a cuisenaire. He also felt content and oddly domesticated in her home. All in all, it was a fine experience cooking for her, especially upon seeing her pleased reaction while biting into the platter he served her.
Between the handsome vampire in her presence and the delectable smell of the food he was cooking, Natalie found herself salivating. She had had a lifelong love affair with food and found herself torn upon whether to eye the dish or the cook. Of course, that Nick was handsome went without saying. But he never failed to surprise her with a previously concealed talent. She found herself wondering if those talents extended to the bedroom as she gazed at his jeans-encased derriere, and found the heat of a blush reaching her face.
A college friend of hers had told her long ago that a sign that a man was good in bed was “if he cooks messy but cleans up well”. Nick certainly fit the profile, as he was now wiping down her counter from a spill of olive oil that occurred, politely but intently gauging her reaction as she ate.
“This is wonderful,” she said finally through her chewing the fettuccini alfredo. The alfredo sauce was light yet creamy, with a vague hint of spice. It was simply divine, and she twirled another piece of fettuccini around her fork, popping it into her mouth. Jerking her head in the direction of the fridge, she mumbled through the bite, “why don’t you get yourself something?”
“Ah, I was thinking of saving that for later,” he said, with a hint of? was that embarrassment in his tone? “I didn’t think you’d take all that well to my having my own dinner in front of you. I know how much you dislike it when I ‘vamp out’ on you.”
“Dislike” wasn?t actually the right word to Natalie’s mind. Seeing his vampiric side excited her, scared her and aroused her. She was more terrified of her own feelings about the ‘beast’ in him than seeing his eyes change colour. As for the fangs, well? she had fantasized about him dining on her willingly offered neck many a time, to the degree that it should have been alarming. “Not at all. You need feeding up too.” At his dubious look, she added, “Really, I don’t mind.”
He opened the fridge again and, as if seeing its contents for the first time, he asked her, “Nat? Why do you have Raven bottles in your fridge?”
“Take one, sit down and I’ll tell you.”
With some trepidation, he grabbed the one he had had in his hands earlier and closed the fridge door. After retrieving a drinking glass, he sat down on the other side of the table so he could watch her across from him. Biting into another sample of her dish, Natalie managed slowly, “I was looking over the results from all the tests we’ve done on you over the years. That’s why I was late coming home.”
She finished the bite and swallowed. Putting down her fork, she looked at him intently. “The results were pretty clear. The current treatment I have you on is of little good. There has been a negligible change in your enzymes with the introduction of the protein-shakes only diet. And with your backsliding, it doesn’t seem to be doing any good for your morale either.
“I want you to start drinking blood again.” She paused, taking in a deep breath before continuing, “And not just any kind. But human blood. The blood you’ve been used to drinking for centuries. Between a steady, controlled diet of both the blood and additional protein and vitamin A supplements, we may be able to make some headway? and you won’t be starving.”
He sat there, stunned, not knowing what to say. “Nick, I failed you. I tried to cure you while denying you of your most basic needs — proper nutrition. And for you, proper nutrition means regular quantities of blood.” She stared at her plate, pushing the remaining food around, not daring to look at him.
“You’ve been starving for at least the past three years. To be able to reverse your condition effectively, you need to be as healthy as possible, and by starving yourself? you’ll only make yourself sick. In whatever way that manifests for your kind.”
“Natalie,” he said carefully, still reeling from this change of heart, “My kind doesn’t get sick without blood. We become more dangerous. Blood isn’t merely nutrition to us, it’s how we feel life. Every drop of blood within you tells your life story. Everything you are is transformed into touch and taste. Imagine the temptation to take one sip, and then another? and another. To take that person inside you, to know all their secrets and to let them know yours. To be them. That’s why it’s such a tough habit to break.”
Natalie had sat listening to him, spellbound as he described in his soft sensual voice how it was to feed. The tendril of an aroused shiver coursed through her body. God, when he put it like that, it sounded better than sex! The fantasies she entertained in her daily solitude returned to her with more clarity, mentally edited and embellished with the new information. Giving herself a firm mental shake to cool down, she gestured to the still-unopened bottle of the Raven’s house special. “Then maybe you shouldn’t break the habit just yet. Drink up.”
Popping open the bottle, he poured the precious liquid into his drinking glass. It was cold, but it would suffice. Nick fought to hide a small smile, catching the scent of her renewed arousal and thinking to himself how he?d rather partake of the hot blood surging through her veins. “And how much would you recommend?”
“As much as you feel you need for today,” she said evenly. “Because, unless I miss my guess, it’s going to be a long day.”
Nick and Natalie remained talking comfortably for several hours, until their conversation became punctuated with tired yawns. Once he realized how weary she was, he stood and, like a true gentlemen, ushered her to bed and tucked her in for the day. He also made sure to close the blinds and draw the curtains. As he was about to leave the room, he heard Natalie softly say his name. “Nick?”
He turned back to her, softly stepping over to her bedside. “Yes, Nat?”
“Would you sleep next to me for the day?”
“Nat, I don’t know if I should,” he replied, somewhat vexed by her request. If she only knew how enticing the offer really was, would she have dared?
Natalie sighed. Of course, there was little hope of getting him into bed with her. She should have known. But part of her wondered whether he was afraid of the bloodlust or didn‘t feel anything for her, and didn‘t want to hurt her because of it. Or perhaps he just wanted to be a gentleman about it. He was so hard to read sometimes. “Please?” she wheedled gently, before adding coyly, “I promise I won’t bite.”
Nick chuckled softly. “No, but I might.” He pondered the possibility of sharing the bed with her in sleep. They were both tired, after all, so it wasn’t like anything was about to happen then. But he didn’t want the temptation. He was certain that, with her warm body so tantalizingly close when he woke, he’d forget himself and wouldn’t be able to control his lust. And, in his case, that meant a risk to her life.
“Not today, Nat.” ‘And probably not for sometime to come‘, he thought sadly. “Get some rest. I’ll be on the couch if you need me.” After leaning down to plant a tender kiss on her cheek, he straightened himself back up and left the room.
As Nick lay on the couch in the living room, he pondered his reasoning for coming here. ‘What possessed me?’, he thought. ‘I should’ve known better. Vampires and mortals don’t play house. But she’s so beautiful, and spirited, and full of life…’ and on his thoughts went, in circles.
As he thought, he remembered that Valentine’s Day, when he had told her he loved her and had kissed her passionately, only hinting at the fire she had stoked in his long stilled heart. That fire remained and refused to be put out or burn itself out. If he was totally honest with himself, he was probably in love with her since the night they first met and didn’t realize it at that time. Damn LaCroix for his debt, and damn himself for being a vampire! The vampire had brought them together, and yet it was the very thing that kept them apart.
Still, her vibrancy, her warmth dispersed the supernatural chill deep within his bones. He felt alive when he was with her, and he felt emotions with her that he had felt with no other. As he heard the soft breathing of her sleeping peacefully in her room, alone, he pondered more of what he wished would have happened had he taken her up on her offer.
In his fantasy, he crawled into bed beside her, kissing her deeply and slowly removing her pajamas. Then slow caresses, nibbles and kisses to her warm vanilla-scented skin would occur; a slow seduction of her willing self. His hand found the zipper to his jeans and, as he imagined her soft hands caressing him, he freed his cock from the clothing constraining it.
He enclosed his hand around his cock, pondering how it would feel to have her heated touch there instead, and proceeded to slowly pump his hand around it. His imagination soared, reproducing the warmth of her kiss faithfully and transforming it into how it might feel if her lips followed her hands to his shaft.
As he fantasized of her first pleasuring him then riding him, he found himself quickly climaxing. Absently, he grabbed the now mostly-empty bottle of blood sitting on the coffee table and drained it of its last. It was cold, and lacking the vitality that he imagined Natalie’s blood would have, but it was sufficient enough. It brought him to an orgasm, the sound of his unearthly growl muffled by turning his face against one of the pillows on her couch.
Sated for the time being, and grateful that he had not roused her from her much-needed rest, he pondered how many days he had tortured himself like this. How many days he wanted what he could never have. It was depressing, more particularly considering he was consoling himself with a fantasy when the one who inspired it lay in bed not more than two rooms away from him.
Damn all the luck. Damn it all to fucking hell!
* * *
Natalie dreamed deeply of the man she loved, who was not more than two rooms away from her. As she slept, she saw the two of them together, reclining on his bed. She could almost feel his kisses, his touch, everything. Everything was as vivid as if it were actually happening, and she reveled in it.
Quickly the action in the dream jumped to her lying on her stomach on the black satin sheets, with him taking her from behind. She could feel the coolth of his hands stroking her shoulders then sliding under her body to fondle her breasts, as his fluid thrusts brought her to orgasm. The shriek of pleasure she uttered in the dream echoed in her room and caused her to snap her eyes open.
She shook herself as the grasp of the dream faded from her consciousness. It had been only the feminine equivalent of a wet dream. Unfortunately, none of it had been real. She almost wept until she heard Nick’s tentative knock on the door.
* * *
At Natalie’s yelp, Nick quickly got himself together and flew down the hall to the entrance of her bedroom. Uncertain what had occurred in that moment, he knocked to see if she was all right. “Nat? Are you ok?”
She gave a tiny gasp at first, before offering a timid reply, “Yeah, I’m fine. It was just a dream.”
Nick sniffed the air, catching the now familiar scent of her arousal, and he quickly put the pieces together. ‘That must’ve been some dream.’ “I’m glad you’re all right. I just wanted to make sure.”
There was a momentary silence, then he heard her say with more certainty, “Nick, please come in here. It’s kind of ridiculous to talk to me through the door.”
Nick found himself grinning. Now there was a hint of the Natalie he knew and loved. He opened the door slowly, to see her now sitting up in bed staring at him. Her auburn curls a wild mass draped over her shoulders, and the pajama shirt bunched up from her previous movements and no makeup. She looked incredibly beautiful to him as she was. Of course, there was little doubt in his mind that she would be even more exquisite naked.
“Nick, I think we need to talk.”
Nick left the door open and strode over to her bed, sitting down on the edge closest to her. “I’m all ears.” He waited patiently, for her to say what she needed to say.
She hesitated, taking a deep breath. She had to know one way or another. “Nick, tell me… did you really mean what you told LaCroix at the Azure?”
Nick was flabbergasted. “You remember that?”
Natalie nodded. “Yes, I do.” She paused, running her tongue against her lower lip; a nervous tick that Nick thought was adorable. “I need to know because… I love you, and I feel like I’ve wanted you ever since you woke up in the morgue, without my really knowing it.” She gave a sharp intake of breath then, not knowing what his answer would be and expecting the worst.
The worst never came. There was a moment of tense silence before Nick spoke softly, almost reverently. “My God, Natalie. How stupid could we both be?”
“Nat, I love you and desire you like no woman I’ve ever met. And here I’ve been thinking that while you may be attracted to me, you‘re repulsed by the vampire, and altogether I’m really just a fascinating puzzle to you.”
“But you are a fascinating puzzle,” she said with a grin. “And not just scientifically. You are, simply put, a total enigma. Four years we’ve known each other, and I’m still trying to figure out what makes you tick. You challenge me, perplex me, sometimes irritate me… and you make me feel in a way I’ve never felt before. You’ve expanded my concept of the world around me. Knowing you has totally changed my life, and I don’t regret it.” She blushed, dropping her gaze to her lap. “I can’t imagine what you see in someone like me, after all those centuries of being surrounded by the most gorgeous women.”
“Natalie,” he protested. “Do you not see how breathtaking you truly are? It isn’t just your looks I love. I love your passion for life, your determination, your intelligence, your kindness and dark sense of humour. Sure, I’ve been with my share of women. I won’t deny that. But most were for fun — bimbos, really. There are very few who I genuinely enjoyed their companionship. You are both my best friend and the only woman I’ve truly loved. No one could ever be you. You have both beauty and brains — a very rare combination, in any century.”
“I have a confession to make,” he added. “In the beginning, I wanted to be cured to lift this curse from hanging over my head, but…”
“But you don’t want it now?” she asked softly.
“No, that’s not it. My reason for wanting mortality has changed. I want to be mortal again so I can show you, in every way, how much I love you. I want to give you a normal life and children. I can’t do that as a vampire.”
Natalie pondered this. It was touching really, even though he was sorely mistaken. “Nick,” she said. “Do you really think I can’t love you because of the vampire?”
Nick fell silent then, tilting his head downward for a pensive moment. When he lifted his head, his eyes were radiating an amber glow and his fangs were unsheathed. “How can you love this?” he asked her, the strength of his soft baritone augmented by the releasing of his beast.
As he gazed upon her, changed, he saw no fear in her eyes. Only love was there. When she placed her soft hand against his cheek, he leaned his head into her touch, emitting a purring note. She then told him, “Nick, I love you very much. And I’ll take you any way I can get you. Vampire or no vampire.”
Nick felt a lump forming in his throat and tears threatening to reach his eyes, so touched was he by the certainty in her declaration. “But I’m a monster. You deserve better.”
“You’re no monster, Nick. There are plenty of mortals more monstrous than you could ever be staining the pages of history and walking on the streets today. And you know that better than I do, because you’ve seen or met some of history’s worst offenders. Besides,” she added firmly, “I don’t want ‘better‘. I want you.”
Tenderly, he took her hand in both of his. She curled her fingers around one of his, and he brought her fingers to his lips, lightly kissing them individually. He closed his eyes, until they returned to their natural dark blue, still holding her hand.
“So,” he said finally. “Where do we go from here?”
“Well, now that we’ve both admitted we love each other, we’ve gotten past the hard part,” she said quietly, which was followed by a sigh. “Now the tricky part comes in making it work.”
“Nat, do you know why I lied to LaCroix at the Azure?”
She shook her head. “No, not really.”
“I did it to save you from him. In the beginning, a few years after I had become what I am, he fell in love with my mortal sister, Fleur. I told him that he was only with her to satisfy his lust, and he let her go. But I foolishly made a deal with him after that, promising that once I had truly fallen in love with a mortal, he would be able to take her from me.” He sighed. “I had no idea what I was getting into, and thought that I would never fall in love. Vampires aren‘t capable of falling in love… or so I thought.”
“I still stand by my declaration that he should’ve never even considered bringing Fleur over. She wouldn’t have survived as a vampire. She was too gentle and kind-hearted to be a killer.” He sighed, removing one of his hands from hers to run it through his hair. With the hand he still held hers by, he gave a tender squeeze, then placed her hand on his lap.
Her hand freed from his, she gently stroked his thigh. He gave a sharp breath, golden flecks returning to his eyes. Clearing his throat, he managed to continue, “and it isn’t just LaCroix. It’s the Enforcers as well; the ones who maintain our secret. It’s against the code, vampire law, to reveal one’s nature to a mortal and let the mortal continue to live as they are.”
“I have been breaking the code left and right since I’ve met you by telling you so much, and allowing you to experiment on me. If the Enforcers ever catch wind of this, we’re both as good as dead.” He paused briefly. “And if, by some miracle, we manage to avoid both LaCroix and the Enforcers, we still have my own bloodlust to worry about. To say that the odds are stacked against us would be an understatement.”
“Considering the odds, it might be easier for you to bring me over,” she told him, her tone pensive. “Although I don’t think I’m quite ready for that just yet. I want to know as much as possible first.”
Nick was shocked by her proposal. “Nat, I couldn’t bring you over. I don’t want you going through what I’ve gone through all these centuries. And I don’t want you to end up hating me for making you a killer.” A brief pause. “And, let’s face it, my track record with fledglings isn’t all that great.”
“I guess there’s only one solution for us then. We take one day at a time,” she told him. “Now, I believe the most immediate concern is your bloodlust. Care to elaborate on that?”
“Remember what I told you about feeding? Well, consider that, because of the nature of sharing blood with another vampire, sex becomes almost a redundancy,” he told her matter-of-factly. “Not that we don’t have sex. We do. But sex is a fun game leading up to feeding, whereas it’s the feeding that is what pushes us over the edge.”
“So… sex is to vampires what foreplay is to mortals?”
He nodded. “In a manner of speaking. As a vampire, I can’t reach orgasm without feeding. I can enjoy sex, and have. But I can’t climax without taking blood. Taking blood while having sex is the most incredible experience you can have.”
“How much blood do you require to reach orgasm?”
“Generally speaking, just a few swallows. However, because I love you, I’m afraid I might not be able to control myself and get a little too greedy. I want to experience every part of you, and to do that… well, it could prove fatal.”
Natalie considered this. “There’s got to be a way,” she said softly, her voice holding the intensity of her yearning in its tenor. “I want that experience too. I want to feel you in me. I want us to be able to make love together, without any fears holding us back.”
Nick listened, his arousal renewed with the tone of her voice, her confession of wanting to make love to him, and the hand that was steadily tracing it’s way up his inner thigh. He could feel his burgeoning erection straining once again at the zipper of his jeans. In that moment, he did the only thing he could think to do — hastily exit her room.
Nick very nearly ripped the refrigerator door off its hinges in his haste to get to the bottles of blood there. Grabbing the closest bottle, he popped the cork with his teeth, spat it out in the garbage can and chugged the contents of the bottle down. It wasn’t until he had partaken half the bottle’s contents so speedily that he realized Natalie was standing at the kitchen entrance, leaning against the lintel with arms slack at her sides.
He gazed at her intensely, with undisguised lust, his eyes returned to the vampiric amber state. “Do you have any idea what you do to me?”
Natalie grinned. “Oh, I think I have a good idea of it now.” Truth was, she enjoyed knowing he was driven mad by desire for her as much as she was for him. It leveled the playing field a bit.
A not quite evil smile slowly came to Nick’s face. “You hussy,” he drawled. Then he took one more swig from the bottle and placed it on the counter. As he regarded the bottle idly, Natalie came to his side and placed her hand on his shoulder.
He turned slightly, and she used his distraction to confiscate the bottle. In a rare moment of daring, she put the bottle to her lips, tilting it slightly so that some of the liquid inside it clung to her lips. She heard Nick give a sibilant growl as she returned the bottle to its place on the counter. Then she pulled him close and firmly kissed him with her newly blood-stained lips.
She could now feel the rumble of the growl in his chest, as the press of her lips against his muffled it. He instinctively pulled her more tightly to him, so their bodies fit together, with his jeans-encased erection rubbing against the soft skin of her belly and the thin fabric that only slightly concealed her from his touch.
As he latched his hands against her backside and lifted her up so she could wrap her legs around his waist, she tentatively explored his mouth with her tongue. She lightly ran the edge of her tongue against his lower teeth at first, before impaling the skin on his sharp fangs. There was a brief twinge of pleasure-pain as her tongue bled in his mouth, but that was forgotten at the tortured groan he gave upon tasting her blood for the first time.
He sat her on the edge of the kitchen counter, kissing her roughly, suckling on her tongue and pressing his erection into the crotch of her pajamas. He only momentarily released her to take another pull from the bottle before his hands returned to her, unbuttoning her pajama top to expose her full, pert breasts to his sight. He gently caressed one of her breasts and lightly pinched the nipple in his fingers before placing his mouth around it to suckle it. After giving the one all the attention it required for the nipple to become erect, he did much the same to its partner.
Natalie, breathing heavily, only just managed to find the wherewithal to remove her pajama pants. Now that she was clad only in her panties, she felt vaguely chilly, but neglected that in favour of Nick’s ministrations. As his mouth paid homage to her bosom, one of his hands found its way to the crotch of her panties and began to massage her slit there through the thin fabric. Natalie’s breathing became more audible and heavy, before she finally released a soft moan.
Grinning wickedly, gratified by her responsiveness, he moved the crotch of the panties away from her slit with his thumb and forefinger before plunging the middle finger into her depths, which were already slick with moisture. He brushed his middle finger against the soft muscles within her, before reaching her hardened clit. His thumb and forefinger joined the finger already present, as he began to massage her nub with the pad of his thumb, while putting the forefinger and middle finger together and thrusting them both into her, finding a gentle yet inexorable rhythm as he finger-fucked her.
Her legs were now parted totally to his exploration, the muscles of her inner thighs tensing and relaxing and her womb contracting with the rhythm he had created. Her soft moaning steadily escalated and her hands ran through his hair, before the fingers entangled in his blond locks.
His eyes remained their solid amber, and his fangs were still distended, but he found more gratification this time in pleasuring her than in putting his own needs and desires first. She was such a beautiful creature, and he found himself unable to stop or pull away as he gazed upon her face, which registered the intensity of the physical sensations occurring, and hearing her passionate mewling. She was full of life and so incredibly sensual as she gave herself to those feelings completely.
She reached out with her own hand to touch him, but his free hand caught hers the moment her extended fingers came into contact with the considerable bulge in his pants. “No, Natalie,” he commanded huskily. Reluctantly, she did as told, because she didn’t want him to stop.
Yet even without taking additional pleasure in touching him, she reached her climax quickly. Tilting her head back so it rested against the cupboard door, she gave a wordless, tormented whimper as she came on his hand. He slowed the rhythm as she rode out her orgasm, his cool fingers still seeking the warmth within her.
When reason returned to her, he finally removed his fingers from her to taste her juices that wetted them. There was a look of pure ecstasy on his face as he sampled her offering, and found he hungered for it almost as much as he did for her blood. He cleaned his fingers with his mouth and tongue and found himself reasonably contented. For the moment, at least.
Tenderly now, he placed a kiss on her lips. “You… are such a sexy woman,” he told her softly, his voice still containing his arousal. As well as the more obvious physical alterations, but that went without saying.
“That felt so good,” she murmured. “But why wouldn’t you let me touch you?”
“I wanted to satisfy you, without my own needs getting in the way,” he said simply.
“But I want your needs. I want you to be satisfied as well. I just want more of you.”
“As I want you, Natalie. But I don’t want to hurt you.” His voice was soft yet firm.
“But you didn’t hurt me or lose control just now,” she protested. “So, who’s to say you’d lose it if we did more?”
He chuckled. “Woman, you test the very limits of my self-control.”
“Nick, please,” she wheedled. “I love and want you so much. I want more. Don’t deny me.”
Nick fell silent, gazing at her for a long moment, before finally saying, “all right then, but no complaints if I have to stop. This is your life we‘re talking about here.” There was a pause. “You also have to know that, once I have fed from you, even just a little bit, you will be in my thrall. It’s not something I like to do, because it can enslave the mortal and you will die without me.”
“Nick, I already feel like I’d die without you. And as for being enslaved, I’m already a slave to my desires.” At his quelling look, she added more meekly, “Well, it couldn’t be that much worse. And I don’t want to be without you. Ever.”
Nick tenderly took her face in his hands, forcing her gaze on him. “Are you really that certain?”
“Yes!” she cried, a spark of defiance in her eyes.
Nick was only slightly taken aback by the force of her response. But nonetheless, he slowly grinned. “Very well, then. Freely consented, freely given.” He lifted her up from the counter, into his arms. “Let’s get some rest first, and then we can continue this where we can make ourselves more comfortable.”
It was in the cool of the early evening that Natalie awoke. She knew that the sun was still up because, after having known Nick for so long, she had learned the subtle differences between the sights and sounds of the daytime world and that of the nocturnal. The days were getting longer and the darkness was gradually receding.
She sighed contentedly, curling up against his long frame more comfortably, relaxing with the feel of his strong arms around her. Altering her position resulted in her feeling an uncomfortable damp in her panties. She reached her hand down experimentally to feel the fabric and came away with her own blood on her fingers.
“Shit,” she hissed quietly, so as to not rouse her lover. She managed to slide out of his arms, with him yet remaining in a deep sleep. She then ran for the bathroom and the cleansing shower of water that awaited her.
Despite having been a doctor for some years with acute awareness of the functions of her own anatomy, she still hated having her period. And this particular one arrived two days earlier than she had calculated. As she showered, she endeavoured to remove the smell from her body insomuch as possible, so it would not offend.
Nick, meanwhile, had roused himself just before Natalie had completed the task of bathing herself. Nick smelled blood upon his awakening, his eyes snapping open instantly. Those same golden-flecked cobalt eyes searched the room for the source, before falling to the empty space on the bed beside him. There, the bed sheet held a small stain of Natalie’s blood. His nostrils flared, catching the scent and knew it was a particular form of her blood instantly. It awoke the beast in him, and he stalked to the bathroom door. There he waited with great patience until the sound of the falling water stopped, and was replaced by the running of the drain.
“Natalie,” he called to her, his voice hypnotic, his body radiating power and sexual prowess. “Let me in.”
“No,” she replied with an uncharacteristic timorous quality to her voice. Even though he could not use his mesmerism on her, she was nonetheless weakened by the tone of command out of her own desire for him. She could feel the intensity of his power that he gave off even through the door. It took her breath away, and she knew the dangerous quality in him would not be prevented from her with a mere slab of wood between them.
“Nick, please,” she begged. “I don’t want you to see me like this.”
“Uh… because Aunt Flo decided to come and visit?”
He gave a mirthful chuckle at her childlike embarrassment. “Natalie, you of all people should know it’s the most natural thing in the world for a woman of childbearing age to go through.”
“I know it sounds silly,” she replied honestly. “But I feel hideous at this time of the month. And, well… not that I‘ve had many boyfriends, but the ones I had tended to give me a wide berth when I was on the rag, and got squeamish when I tried to talk to them frankly about it.”
“Idiots and mere boys, is all they are. Natalie, you are always beautiful no matter what condition you think you’re in. Never be ashamed. Do you know how my kind perceives your… shall we say, dilemma? For vampires, especially the males, the scent you give off while menstruating is highly erotic. It’s the vampire equivalent of a mating call, Nat.”
Natalie wasn’t sure how to respond, but she found herself opening the bathroom door to him. Nick closed the distance between them by pulling her into his arms and, though she clung to the towel wrapped around her like a security blanket, he unceremoniously removed it and dropped it on the floor. He then swept her up in his arms and carried her back to bed.
Now lying on the bed with her once again, he kissed her forcefully, before telling her in a guttural murmur, “you don’t know how many times I was driven absolutely crazy by that smell.”
“I never knew…”
He grinned. “I was trying to be a gentleman about it.” He then proceeded to nibble lightly on her earlobe, as his hand found its way once again to her slit. He gently placed his fingers inside, to massage the inner muscles. He then pulled his hand away, her blood on his fingers. He brought his fingers to his lips and tasted of her bounty. He purred in pleasure at the sampling of her, then slowly kissed, licked and nipped his way down her body.
Eventually, he reached the short crop of curly red hair surrounding her slit and, after briefly placing a kiss just above the place where it began, he placed his tongue into her entrance. His tongue caressed the labia and clit before plunging into its center. He lapped up her juices greedily, his aroused growls rumbling in his chest and muffled against her.
Natalie gave a startled squeak when his cool tongue first touched her slit, as she could also feel the hardness of his fangs against the tender flesh. The area had become exceedingly sensitive, and her legs instinctively closed at the intrusion, resulting in his head being locked there. But his hands grasped her thighs and parted her legs, placing her shapely calves against his broad shoulders. Her heels dug into his upper back as he availed himself of the renewed freedom of movement.
She placed her hands behind his head, tightening her fingers in his hair. She could feel the muscles in the back of his neck brushing against the sides of her hands as he pleasured her, the strength in those muscles apparent as he didn’t seem to be tiring of the methodical actions to bring her to orgasm. She glanced down to watch him and he looked up, without stopping, his golden eyes staring at her covetously. ‘You are mine’, his gaze seemed to say.
Natalie, having been panting hard through the affair, finally experienced release. She arched her back, throwing her head back against the pillows adorning her bed, and uttered a primal scream. But he had no intention of stopping, continuing onward until another crescendo followed in the wake of the first. It was only then he permitted her respite, slowing his pace until he finally stopped.
While the mixture of blood and come flowed freely still, he savored every drop of it. When he was satisfied, he crawled further up the bed and ensconced himself around her naked body, kissing her tenderly. He ran a hand through her hair as he rained kisses all over her face. “Mon coeur, mon ame, tout que je suis; c’est seulement pour toi, ma belle Natalie,” he whispered. ‘My heart, my soul, all that I am is only for you, my beautiful Natalie.’
Natalie sighed contentedly, curling her arms around his waist, running her hands along his back. She responded in a fervent murmur, “Then let me have all that you are. Now. I want you so badly, it‘s killing me slowly. Make love to me, Nick. Please.”
As their gazes locked, he told her, “You’re absolutely certain?” He remained concerned that his passion, if unleashed, could be a threat to her.
She grinned. “Did I stutter?”
He chuckled. “No, you did not.” He then exhaled slowly. “But if I need to stop…”
Her gaze upon him was tender, full of compassion and love for him. “I understand.”
He pondered the logistics of it for a long moment. “All right,” he said finally, slowly untwining himself from her. “But I’m going to need some… refreshments, first.” She nodded assent, and he disappeared back into the kitchen.
When Nick came back from the kitchen, Natalie was sitting up, rooting through the night-table drawer. Nick eyed her appreciatively; here was this incredible woman, gloriously naked, and she was all his. What man, human or otherwise, could possibly want more?
When he entered the room, she hastily closed the drawer. He sat the two bottles he had retrieved from her refrigerator on the night-table’s surface, just in case.
Natalie smiled at him mysteriously. “What were you looking for?” he finally asked her.
“Nothing,” she replied enigmatically.
He smirked and, in a blur of movement, pinned her to the bed. “We’ll just see about that.” He kissed her roughly, knowing from his previous taste of her blood that she liked to be manhandled a bit. Natalie instinctively curled her arms around him, whimpering against his mouth. Just his kiss was enough to arouse her, and she slipped her hands into the collar of his shirt briefly, before pulling them out again to unbutton his shirt. But her hands were trembling, and Nick took pity on her, helping her remove his shirt which was quickly discarded and forgotten.
He then rolled them over so she was lying on top of him. She ran her hands along his chest, her fingers luxuriating in the feel of the light sprinkling of blonde hair, while he stroked her shoulders and back, a hand coming to rest at her bare bottom. A light slap followed, and he grinned audaciously at her gasp of pleasure from the brief sting of pain. He then tenderly rubbed the area, before slapping her backside a little harder. Her response was to crush her lips against his, and grind herself against his cloth-restrained erection.
He chuckled at her eagerness, and removed the rest of his clothes in the space between two of her mortal heartbeats, before she was even fully aware he was now unclothed. Only his belt remained on the bed. He then sat them both up with blinding speed, and turned her around. He captured both of her hands and pulled them back behind her, so he could hold onto both with just one of his hands. With his free hand, he then bound her securely by her wrists with the belt.
He held her by her waist, pulling her backside against his lap. Instinctively, she kneeled on the bed, legs parted to accommodate the unorthodox position. He held her in this position, flexing his muscles so the cool tip of his cock brushed against her slit from behind, teasing her. She moaned softly as his cock touched her labia, finding herself going mad because he wouldn’t enter her. He too, gave a quiet hiss, wanting to bury himself in her warmth but holding back.
“So, tell me,” he said in a seductive tone. “What was it you were looking for?” When she blushed, hanging her head, he chuckled, “Oh come now, my love. Don’t be shy.” He nibbled lightly on her earlobe as he continued to tease her with his cock.
“My toys,” she said finally, after she could stand it no more. “I was hoping we could find a use for them. Among other things.” She whimpered as the tip of his cock again brushed against her slit. She realized then that was the only part of his shaft touching her.
“Clever girl,” he murmured, and rewarded her honesty by sliding one hand down to massage her clit, while his tip rubbed against her labia. He only did just enough to drive her over the edge, but not get her off. He then got up from the bed and opened the night-table drawer. Natalie watched him, a mixture of lust and curiosity in her eyes, wondering what he was planning to do to her.
It wasn’t until he turned around, one of her toys in his hand, that she finally got a good look at his naked body. She had seen him shirtless many a time, but never completely unclothed. His frame was muscular, but not overly so, especially his arms, thighs and backside, after having spent centuries in the saddle. His stomach was flat and there was of course, his ever-present battle scar. It was the indentation of his pelvic bone that drew her eyes down to his cock. She had never been a size queen, but she was nonetheless impressed. He had been blessed with above average length, with plenty of girth to spare. She licked her lips, then looked up into his eyes pleadingly. He smiled benevolently at her. “Tell me what you want, Natalie.”
“I want to taste you,” she said softly. “Just a little. Please?”
He stood before her, placing her toy on the bed. Both just out of her reach. “Is that truly what you desire?”
“Yes,” she murmured softly. Her mouth suddenly felt dry, and she swallowed hard. “Please.” In response, he gently pressed the tip of his shaft against her lips, and she began to suckle upon it, adding little licks to tease him. She licked, kissed and gently nibbled along his shaft, trying to cover as much area as possible till she reached his sac. She sucked on one of his balls, then the other, murmuring her enjoyment of the task as she did so. Then she traced her way back, to again suckle on the tip.
Nick growled softly. Her warm lips against the coolth of his cock felt even better than he had imagined it would. He placed a hand behind her head, gently nudging her into taking him more fully into her mouth. She did so without hesitation, fully enjoying submitting to him and the feeling that such a thing brought her. Every inch of her skin tingled; she felt alive and driven by her need for him. Tasting the sweet chill of his cock in her mouth made her body respond with equal pleasure as what she was giving him. She needed to please him in order to satisfy herself.
He then braced her shoulders, pulling her back before he could climax so as to not unleash the beast before he was prepared. He had only lasted this long because he had fed well throughout the day. “That’s enough, Natalie,” he commanded. She licked her lips and sighed in regret when he pulled away from her, casting her eyes downward. He removed the belt restraining her, and then pointed to her toy waiting patiently to be used on the bed. “Take your toy and lie down. I want you to show me how you pleasure yourself.”
She nodded obediently, collecting the vibrator he had removed from the night-table drawer, and arranged herself comfortably on the bed. He slid into bed beside her, watching her carefully. She turned on the vibrator and it buzzed quietly as she brushed it against her labia and clit before plunging it into the center. He briefly kissed her on the lips, before gently grasping one of her breasts in his hand. “Tell me, Natalie,” he said, “What do you think of when you do this?”
“I think of you,” she said, between one moan and another.
“And how do you think of me, when you do this?”
She was panting hard, from her ministrations to her own body, and just barely managed between gasps, “I… I imagine… us… making love.” She was thrusting the vibrator into her center hard and, he smiled, taking control of the toy from her. With her hand trapped between his and the mechanical construct, he steered it inside of her, pulling it out and thrusting it in repeatedly with deep strokes.
“Is this how you imagine my thrusting into you?” he asked her.
“Yes!” she cried, tormented by her own desire.
“And this is what you would have me do now?”
“Oh God, yes! Please!”
That was all it took. He unleashed his beast fully, his fangs dropping and his eyes giving off the fiery amber glow. “Then surrender yourself to me,” he told her, his voice augmented by his beast into a demonic bass tone. But Natalie wasn’t the least bit frightened; this was the man she loved and desired over all others. She gazed at him intensely, with unmitigated lust.
He pulled the vibrator out of her and tossed it to the floor, before sheathing his erect cock deep within her. She shrieked out her pleasure as his cold tip touched her cervix, and filled her completely. He proceeded to thrust hard within her, enjoying the feel of her tight, heated muscles surrounding him. The warm damp of her open wide to his cold shaft was a thrilling experience for them both, and she raised her legs high against his back, to strengthen the friction between them.
They gazed into each other’s eyes as he pounded her, until Natalie found herself climaxing. She threw her head back, arching her back so her body was pressed against him, as she gave herself over to the explosive orgasm that awaited her. But he did not even consider stopping. Rather, he continued onward until she came enough times to lose count and forget herself. He would remain unsatisfied until he was certain she had had all she could take.
“Please, Nick,” she begged him finally. “I want you to come inside me.”
He growled loudly, his pent up passion finally insisting upon release with her gasping breaths. He reared his head back, and plunged his fangs into her neck. She entangled her fingers in his hair and her muscles squeezed his cock, her body taking in his come as he began to drain her.
As Nick began to draw the life from Natalie’s veins, within his mind, something gently nudged at him. Stop. Now.
But I don’t want to… The taste of her was intoxicating. To stop would mean to cease the sensation that her blood flowing in his veins gave him. In this way, he could know her better than she knew herself. Everything about her was open to him as her blood flowed freely against his tongue.
If you truly love her, you’ll stop before you kill her, that niggling feeling insisted. Before he was even sure of what he was doing, he found himself releasing her. Tenderly, his fangs slipped from her pliant neck as his still partially-erect shaft withdrew. He lovingly licked the twin wounds he had created upon her and, with the restorative quality present in his saliva, the puncture marks closed till they resembled mere scars.
Natalie slowly opened her eyes and, dazed from the experience, closed them again as if to ward off the dim light present in the room. She slightly loosened her grip on him, murmuring contentment as he traced kisses from the site of the marks to her lips. The kiss that occured when their mouths met lacked the fire of their union, as she was spent. He nuzzled her, softly uttering words describing his love for her in as many languages as he knew, all manner of endearments coming to mind with an unexpected flood of emotion.
He altered his position so as to not crush her slight frame with his bulk. She would recover now, he knew. He had stopped himself before he could take too much. What she needed at this moment was rest. For a moment, he allowed himself to drift into a reverie. If this coupling was possible, then could offspring be far behind? If she accepted the prospect, then nothing would give him greater pleasure than to become her husband, and to father any children they might have in the future.
There would be a way. Somehow, they would get through all that stood against them and would achieve those long dearly-held dreams. It was only a question of time.
* * *
Unbeknownst to the lovers, a figure enveloped in the shadows of the early evening had seen the last of their consummation from outside the window. The figure scowled upon the tender image revealed of the golden-haired vampire holding his beloved close to him. And so it begins, the adversary thought. Enjoy it while it lasts, Nicolas, for you shall not have her for long.