Nightlady - (c) 1999
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WARNINGS: Explicit Sex (M/F) (Nick/Natalie)
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DISCLAIMERS: The Forever Knight characters belong to Columbia Tri/Star. No copyright infringement is intended. This story and all other characters are copyrighted by me.
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(March 1, the present)
She stood in the empty rooms looking at the now bare walls and the small scuff-marks where some of the furniture had been. Sighing, she turned and walked out of the door closing it for the last time behind her. Once in her car, she drove toward the place it had all begun, just over a year ago.
(Three days after Valentine's Day, the year before.)
Don Schanke sat at his desk staring at the empty seat across from him. For over two years he'd put up with the mercurial moods of his partner, Nick, and now it was over. Schanke still couldn't believe what Captain Cohen had said. As he tried to make sense of it all, Schanke saw Natalie Lambert enter the room and give a questioning glance at the empty chair at Nick's desk.
"Hi, Schanke." The attractive coroner said. "Where's Nick?"
Schanke swallowed. The last thing he wanted to do was to give Natalie the news. Sure she and Nick had always claimed to be 'just friends', but anyone that saw them together could tell there was far more than mere friendship to that relationship. "Nick? Um, well.." Schanke began. He almost cried in relief when Cohen's voice sounded behind him.
"Dr. Lambert, would you please step into my office?" Amanda Cohen said, gently.
Nat felt her stomach give a slight lurch. Something was up and she had a sinking feeling that it involved Nick. As she followed Cohen into her office, Nat struggled to control the anxiety that was overtaking her.
Inside the office, Cohen motioned for Nat to sit down. When she'd done so, Cohen took a deep breath and spoke. " I overheard your question to Detective Schanke. There's no easy way to tell you this, but Detective Knight resigned at the end of last night's shift." Cohen saw the color drain from the other woman's face.
"Resigned? Just like that? Did he say why?" The words tumbled from Nat's mouth.
"I'm sorry, he didn't. I asked him but all he'd say was that he didn't have a choice in the matter." Seeing the confused look on Natalie's face Cohen added, "He did say something this being the only way that everyone would be safe, but I don't have any idea what he could possibly have meant by that." She hoped that perhaps Natalie might be able to make sense of it.
Nat shook her head. "No, I don't have any idea." Even though she suspected that it had to be related to Nick's condition, that was not something she could share, now or ever, with anyone else. She stood abruptly. "I'm sorry, Captain, I need to get some air. " She turned and almost ran from the room. Nat could feel the eyes of the other officers on her as she rushed out of the precinct. She heard Schanke calling her name, but all she could think of was getting to Nick's loft.
As she drove toward the old warehouse that Nick called home, Nat prayed that she wasn't too late. Pulling her car to a halt in front of his garage, she quickly punched in the alarm code and entered the building. The sight of the Caddie, parked in its usual spot gave her hope. Walking swiftly to the lift, she rode up to the living area.
As soon as she opened the door to the main room, Nat knew that despite the car downstairs, Nick was gone. The room looked as it always had, on the surface, but her keen eyes noted the few, small, missing items. A pre-Columbian statue, several well read books and the small box that held Joan of Arc's cross. Unwilling to accept what she knew in her heart was true; Nat called out Nick's name. Only the slight echo of her voice answered her. Tears filled her eyes and fell unheeded down her cheeks, as she shakily made her way to the long dining table. Leaning on it for support, she saw the cream colored envelope with her name written in Nick's hand. Trembling she sat down and picked it up. Opening it she read the letter inside, and then, giving in to the grief that possessed her, laid her head in her arms and sobbed.
He stood looking out of the window at the dark expanse of lawn that surrounded the house. His mind wondering, as it had for the past long months, if she was well, if she was happy with someone that could give her the love he had been afraid to, if she hated him. He reached for the dark green bottle and poured some of its contents into a stemmed crystal goblet. He sipped slowly of the thick liquid and frowned as he sensed the presence behind him. "What do you want, LaCroix? Come to torment me some more?"
LaCroix shook his head as he answered his son. "On the contrary, Nicholas, I think that you will be pleased with what I'm here to tell you."
Nick turned and regarded his sire. "Unless you've come to tell me that I can go back and try to get Nat to forgive me, I doubt it." He held up the glass in his hand. "Or have you perhaps come to tell me that I may once again give up drinking human blood? " LaCroix had refused to permit him his usual cow blood during the past year. Nick was grateful that at least the blood had been voluntarily donated.
The past year had been one of unceasing pain for him. When LaCroix had discovered Nat, Nick had no choice but to leave Toronto, leave her. To stay would have meant exposing her to unspeakable danger. Nick sighed; the danger wouldn't have only been from his master. Nick knew that his need for Nat, his love for her placed her in a more immediate danger, from himself. It would have only been a matter of time before the beast had won and he'd given in to taste the nectar of her blood. He'd hoped that removing himself from her physical presence would lessen his ardor, but it had the opposite effect. Now not only was he even more in love with Natalie Lambert, but he also had the pain of not being able to see her, hear her voice, and occasionally touch her. He had to do something, and soon, or Nick feared he'd go mad with grief and desire.
LaCroix held out an envelope. "Actually, it's the first. Inside is a ticket back to Toronto, the flight leaves tomorrow evening." He smiled slightly at the stunned expression on Nicholas' face. "Oh, and I've arranged for your loft to be restocked with donated blood." He added. "You will NOT go back to drinking that swill you use to."
Nick narrowed his eyes, expecting some sort of trick. "What's the catch?" LaCroix sighed. "There is no catch, Nicholas. In spite of what you think, I do care about your happiness. I've watched you for over a year now and have come to the conclusion that you truly do love the good doctor. The debt for Fleur is forgiven." Laying the envelope on a table he turned to go. "Besides, I find that your continuous melancholy has become quite tedious." LaCroix allowed a small smile to play across his face. The good doctor was a strong woman, she'd make and excellent granddaughter.
Nick waited till LaCroix left the room, then picked up the envelope. He held the precious ticket and for the first time since leaving Toronto, felt hope. To be with Nat, he'd continue to drink human blood. Even though he knew that if Nat could find it in her to forgive him, it would mean that he'd eventually make her what he was. 'She did ask me, once to bring her across' Nick mused. 'Please, let her consider it when I offer it.'
The plane landed just before sunrise, giving Nick barely enough time to reach the loft before the deadly rays lit the sky. He was glad that he'd paid to have the loft cleaned on a regular basis. The thought of more than a year's worth of dust and cobwebs was distasteful. He climbed the stairs to his bedroom and removing only his shoes and socks, lay down atop the covers. Sleep, he suspected would be elusive. He resisted the urge to phone Nat, after the way he'd left he needed to see her in person. Closing his eyes, he tried to find sleep.
Nat watched as the movers carried her belongings out to the waiting van. She'd given notice at the coroner's office two weeks earlier, yesterday had been her last day. She'd tried for over a year to put Nick behind her, to make a new start, but finally she'd realized that it was impossible. The few times she'd dated in the past year had been disasters. She'd been unable to stop wanting it to be Nick with her, Nick touching her and kissing her. The thought of intimacy with any of them had been abhorrent.
And then, just a month ago, she'd lost Sydney.
Nat still felt a bit teary-eyed when she thought of her beloved cat. She'd had him since he was a kitten, almost 18 years ago. Nat knew that he'd had a good, long life and she was grateful that his passing had occurred painlessly. He simply hadn't awakened one morning, but she still missed him. Sydney's death had been the catalyst that led to this moment. Without him to worry about, there was nothing to prevent her from attempting to find Nick and to convince him that they were meant to be together even if it was in his world of eternal night.
The decision made Nat felt better than she had since that last night at the loft. When the movers were finished, she planned to go back to the loft and search for any clue as to where Nick might have gone. She realized that finding such a clue was at best remote, but she needed to be there, where she'd felt close to Nick.
Shortly before sundown, Nat paid the cab and walked to the door of the warehouse. The telltale green lights showed the alarm system was still operating, and she punched in the alarm code. A soft click sounded indicating that the door was now unlocked. She pushed it open and stepped into the garage area. She remembered the last time she'd been here, and closed her eyes against threatening tears. Squaring her shoulders she crossed to the lift. Moments later she opened the loft door. The room looked as it always had and for a second Nat wondered if the past year had all been a bad dream.
He was running through a gradually lightening landscape, the sun would soon be up and he had to find her before then. He could see her ahead of him, but even with his vampiric speed, he didn't seem to be able to close the distance between them. He could hear her heartbeat and smell the cinnamon and oranges scent that was unique to her. He shouted her name...
Nick sat up on the bed, breathing heavily, bloodsweat beading on his forehead. He'd had the same dream, almost every day, since he'd left Toronto. He wiped at the bloodsweat. Tonight he would at least be able to try and see Nat; he only hoped that there was a chance that she would forgive him. As his breathing slowed, he realized that he could still smell Nat's blood scent. He froze as his hearing picked up the distinct sound of her heart. Moving quickly, he got off the bed, out the bedroom door and stopped at the head of the stairs.
Nat considered going up to the bedroom, but somehow couldn't face the emptiness of that particular room. Instead, she made her way to the fireplace and lit it to take the chill from the room. She looked around, unsure of just where to start searching for information. Leaning against the mantle, she whispered, "Where, Nick? Where are you and how do I find you?"
She hugged herself. "I know we said that we would only be friends, and I tried to not fall in love, but I couldn't help it. I know that I'm not beautiful, like Janette and I'm sure many other women you've known, and I never expected you to return my feelings." Nat said to the air. "In that letter you left for me, you made it clear that we were only friends, or at least you only thought of me that way. But, I loved you then, and I still do." Her voice dropped on the last words to a bare whisper. She didn't know why she was talking aloud, but she just felt as if she had to. She shut her eyes; it almost seemed like she could feel Nick looking at her.
Nick felt the knot in his chest ease as he heard Nat's words. He couldn't take his eyes from her. She was even more beautiful than in his dreams. He shook his head as he heard her say she wasn't. Silently, he went down the stairs and approached her. He stopped about three feet from her. "To me, you are the most beautiful woman in the world."
Nat whirled around. For an instant she wasn't sure if the pale form before her was real or just her imagination. "Nick?" she questioned. As he took a step closer the light from the fire behind her splashed across his features. "Nick!" She blushed as she realized he'd heard what she'd said.
Nick closed the space between them. He brushed a loose strand of hair from Nat's face and allowed his hand to linger in a tender caress. "Nat, I've made many mistakes in the past 800 years, but never one as bad as leaving you." Nick said, blood tears filling his eyes. "I've missed you every minute since that night. You've haunted my dreams and my waking hours. Please, Nat, try and find it in your heart to forgive me for being a fool?" He lifted her hand to his lips.
Nat could feel her legs trembling. She looked into Nick's face and felt her heart well up with emotion. "I forgive you, Nick." She murmured.
Nick leaned toward her and softly kissed her on the lips. "I broke our agreement too, Nat. I've loved you since the moment I sat up in the morgue." He kissed her again, and wrapped her in a tight embrace. The feel of her in his arms, her scent and the silky cascade of her hair on his skin washed away the pain of the past year. This is what he craved, more than mortality, more than forgiveness for his years of vampiric existence. His body was responding to her nearness, Nick could feel his cock hardening as he deepened the kiss. His tongue gently probed her lips and, to his delight, she readily granted it entrance to the sweetness of her mouth.
Nat moaned softly as Nick's tongue caressed hers. She'd dreamed about such a kiss and now at last her dream was reality. She pressed against Nick's firm body and laced her arms about his neck. She could feel her need and desire flare, desires she'd only be able to ease while fantasizing, alone in her bed.
When Nick finally broke the kiss, she was breathless and her entire body was trembling.
"Nat, we need to talk." Nick murmured in her ear.
A part of her wanted to protest that talk was the last thing she needed at the moment, but deep down she knew that he was correct. Nodding her agreement, she allowed him to lead her to the couch. She willingly went into his arms as they sat side by side, her head resting on his shoulder.
"I left Toronto, for two reasons." Nick said. "One was that my master, LaCroix found out about you, about my feelings for you, and threatened to destroy you. The other reason was that I knew if I stayed, I'd eventually be unable to control myself, I'd give in to my feelings and make love to you." Nick paused and lifted her face so he could look into her eyes. "If we make love there can only be one of two endings. Either I will have to bring you across or you will die." He watched her face for signs of fear or revulsion.
Nat took a deep breath. "I know that. Nick, I once asked you to bring me across and you refused." She gave him a small smile. "And you were right to refuse me. I was asking you to do it because I was afraid of dying when that meteor hit. That's all in the past now, and I am not afraid anymore." She chuckled slightly. "No, that's a lie. I am afraid, afraid that I'll have to live again the way I have this past year. I love you, Nick. The only thing that I fear is not being with you. I've ached to see you, to have you caress my hair or put your arm around me everyday that you've been gone." She saw the thin red lines of blood tears course down his face and raised her hand to wipe them away. Her own eyes were filled with tears, too. "Make love to me, Nick. And when you do, give me the choice to return as a vampire, like you, or to step into the light." She beseeched.
Nick pulled her tightly against him. He knew that he could not deny her request. "You'll need to make arrangements. Until you can control, it won't be safe for you to be around mortals." He told her. "You'll have to quit your job, or at the least take an extended leave of absence."
Nat's smile was gentle. "I already quit and the mover's packed up my furniture this morning." At his startled glance she explained how she was preparing to try and find him.
Nick felt his need for her growing. There was no reason for him to delay partaking of that which had haunted him for so long. LaCroix had been true to his word and there was a more than ample supply of blood in the loft. Even with the needs of first hunger, neither of them would lack nourishment. His decision made, Nick rose from the couch and held his hand out to Nat. "Let's go upstairs. I want this to be special for you. We've denied ourselves for too long to rush now." He could hear the sudden increase in her heart rate, but the look of joy and love that shone on her face assured him that it was due to excitement, not second thoughts.
Nat laid her hand in Nick's and stood. She was already becoming moist, just thinking about actually making love with Nick. As he wrapped an arm around her shoulders, she slipped hers around his waist. Together they climbed the stairs.
In the bedroom, Nick again pulled her into an embrace, one that was full of passion. When she opened her eyes, she found herself looking into golden ones. Nat felt no fear. This was still Nick, still the man she loved. She reached up and pulled his mouth to her own.
Nick crushed Nat against him, hungrily kissing her first on the lips, then along her jaw and down the slim, creamy column of her throat. The scent of her filled his head and his cock began to throb with his need for her. Resisting the urge to rip her clothes from her, he carefully undressed her. He'd often dreamed of seeing her gloriously nude. Many days he'd imagined what she would look like as he lay sleepless on his bed. As her garments were removed, Nick feasted his eyes on her, pausing to kiss, caress, and fondle her. The soft rounded curves of her body seeming to draw his hands to it. He slid his hands down her back, cupping the cheeks of her butt. His lips moved down from her throat to the twin mounds of her breasts. Her moans and gasps of pleasure made his desire grow even more and when she undid his shirt and laid her soft hands on his bare chest, he responded with a low growl of ecstasy.
Nat's head was reeling from the sensations Nick was causing her to feel. Her own desire to feel his skin against hers prompted her to dare to undo his shirt. His growl encouraged her and she dropped her hands to the waistband of his trousers. Undoing his belt, she unbuttoned and unzipped them. When they fell to the floor, she could see the stiff rod of his manhood as it strove to be free of the confinement of his silk boxers. As Nick began to lick and suck at her breasts, she eased the boxers over his hips, freeing his large, thick cock. Her heart gave an extra beat as she anticipated having it deep within her. She reached down and took his steel like cock in her hand, slowly stroking. She gasped as his fangs lightly scratched the sensitive nipples of her breasts, sending shivers of enjoyment through her.
Nick buried his face in the fullness of Nat's breasts. He took the full, hardened nipple of one in his mouth suckling like a small baby on it. He traced his tongue over the sensitive surface, smiling as he felt Nat catch her breath and then moan happily at his actions. When he felt her grasp his tumescent cock, the wave of sensations that raced through him cause him to lightly scrape his fangs against the warm globe that filled his mouth, drawing a few small drops of blood. The burst of love and desire he felt from these drops assured him that Nat indeed was as anxious as he to relieve the burning need that overwhelmed them both.
Unable to resist anymore, Nick lifted Nat into his arms and laid her on the bed. He joined her, his mouth tracing a path from her throat to the thatch of wiry curls that covered the sensitive core of her sex. Nick shifted so that he could plant soft kisses along the tender inner part of her thighs, slowly moving ever closer to her damp core. The scent of her arousal was intoxicating to him and when his tongue at last tasted the ambrosia of her juices, he was lost to all other sensations. He could hear the rush of her blood as it coursed through her veins. As her body flushed with ever-growing passion, her unique cinnamon and orange blood scent increased as well. Nick abandoned all pretenses and gave himself fully to the enjoyment of these bounties.
Nat writhed as Nick's lips and tongue teased her. The coolness of his lips against the hot flesh of her thighs made her shiver. When at last she felt the soft caresses of his tongue against her clit, she gasped and clawed at the sheets in delight. Slowly Nick increased the speed and pressure of his ministrations and Nat felt her entire body tensing in anticipation of the orgasm she could feel building. Her breath came in shallow gasps and she moaned in pleasure as wave after wave of gratification swept through her, building higher and higher. She called Nick's name, as finally the ultimate wave of pleasure was achieved, and her body shook in joyous spasms of release. She could feel the dampness between her legs as her juices flowed.
Nick felt Nat's release and his passion reached a height he hadn't know could exist. He had to have her now, had to feel the rich moistness that flowed from her surrounding him. Kneeling he lifted her legs to allow him easier access to her core. He could see her vaginal muscles still contracting when he slid the head of his penis into her. As he felt the warm moistness on the sensitive head of his manhood, he closed his eyes, hissing with the pleasure it provided. Slowly he pushed into her, until his full length was deep inside her welcoming opening.
Nat had barely recovered from her orgasm, when she felt Nick penetrate her. She arched her back, allowing him full access to her as he slowly entered her completely. She closed her eyes, relishing how he filled her completely. She gasped again as he began to move, slowly at first but with increasing speed and force, and she again felt her body climbing toward an explosive climax. She arched upward, baring the smooth column of her neck to him and reached up to pull his mouth down to it.
Nick could no longer contain his need, slowly, but quickly picking up speed, he thrust in and out of Nat's warm core. The delightful friction sent tremors of pure elation through him. As he neared the need for his own release, he focused on Nat's heartbeat. Through half closed eyes, he saw her toss her head back, offering her slender neck to him. When Nat's hand encircled his neck urging him to that font, he did not resist. With a soft growl he sank his fangs deep into the pulsing vein. As her blood flowed into his mouth, he climaxed in several shuddering thrusts. He could feel his seed spurting into her as he drew her life into him.
Nat screamed in joy as an even more powerful climax washed through her. She'd felt the sharp sting of Nick's fangs in her neck and rejoiced that he was finding his fulfillment, too. Images of Nick, both the man and the vampire flooded into her mind. She faced them all with unquestioning love and acceptance. She knew at last the depth of his love for her and rejoiced. Even as she felt her life slipping away, she had no fear. This was not an end, but a beginning. As darkness overcame her she gave herself to it, confident that it would only be a pause before she and Nick would be united forever.
Nick drank deeply of Nat's blood, his head filled with the warmth of her love for him. He also felt her curiosity about and lack of fear or revulsion of his vampiric condition. He listened as her heart first raced then slowed. Only when she was at the very brink of death did he stop his repast. Cradling Nat against him, he slit open his wrist and pressed it to her lips. "Drink, my love. Drink and return to me." Nick knew that even though she loved him, there was a chance that Nat would decide to enter the doorway and not return.
Nat walked out of the dark tunnel to find herself on a warm, sunlit beach. Ahead she could see a doorway, through which a golden light emanated. She knew that if she went through the door, she'd see her mother, father, Richard, and Cynthia. A part of her ached to once again be with those dear ones, but stronger than that was the knowledge that Nick awaited her. She heard his voice, calling her from the darkness of the tunnel behind her, with no hesitation, she turned and reentered the tunnel.
Nick hadn't realized that he was holding his breath until Nat began to swallow. The sense of relief, that she was indeed returning to him. He allowed her to drink deeply of his blood. Nick knew that the more she received the more strength Nat would have as a vampire. When at last her eyelids fluttered and then opened, Nick softly stroked her face. He watched as her soft golden hued eyes focused on him and his heart grew light as he saw the warm, loving smile that spread across her features. He could feel her happiness and, with a joy he'd never known, Nick pulled her into a gentle, tender embrace.
Nat opened her eyes to see Nick's concerned ones looking at her. She was amazed at how much more she could see and hear. The colors in the darkened room seemed to jump out at her with a previously unseen brilliance. She could hear the sound of traffic on the street that ran along side the warehouse. The thing that was most amazing, and most welcome, was that she could sense Nick. Not just his presence, but his feelings. She knew at once that he'd been concerned that she might not return. She smiled, hoping he could see her love and happiness in her expression. As his mouth found hers, she knew that this was where she'd always belonged and where she would stay, forever.
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