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Four Weeks (2003)
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Verbrennen: the Writer

Xandra Caelan followed her friends into the crowded nightclub despite her better sense. She knew nothing good could come of dancing with a bunch of drunk guys out to get laid. It didn't matter though; she didn't feel like sitting at home, alone and bored. Xandra sat down in the corner of the bar, trying to remain unnoticed. She was quite pretty, but was also overwhelmingly intelligent and felt as if the common nightclub crowd was unworthy and shallow. Xandra didn't want sex or money; she needed a soul mate...someone who could understand. She sipped her Jack and stared at the bar countertop as if to gain infinite knowledge from the deep black linoleum.

Hadrian Warrick walked along the walls of the club. He hated nightclubs, but it was the only real place a vampire could interact with society unharmed and unquestioned. He was bored though, bored with the same blank faces and meaningless conversations night after night. Hadrian sat down at the far end of the bar, next to a beautiful, mysterious girl. "Do you care if I sit with you?" He asked.

"Not at all," Xandra replied. "But I promise, you'll have more fun with the girls out there."

"Only if you consider faking interest in clothing and makeup fun," Hadrian smirked. She blushed.

"I'm Xandra Caelan," she said.

"Hadrian Warrick," he offered. "Do you want to dance or anything?"

"No," she laughed. "Not really, I'm not one for meaningless social trends like dry humping a stranger." Hadrian smiled at her.

"You're very beautiful," he said. "I can't stop staring at you, it's like you've cast a spell over me. And it's strange, because there's just something about you I've never...felt the essence of before."

"Well I'm not quite sure how to reply to that, but thank you," Xandra blushed. "You don't seem half bad yourself." They paused and glanced back and forth at each other for a minute.

"Listen, do you want to leave and go somewhere else, somewhere a little less loud and chaotic?" Hadrian questioned.

"Like where?" she asked with and edging tone.

"No, no, I don't mean to imply anything like that. Like a coffee house or something," he recovered.

"Of course," Xandra smiled. They stood up to leave. ", you're really...taller than I thought," she said.

"Is that a problem?" Hadrian asked, worried. He liked Xandra very much and didn't want to miss out on her company just because he was slightly less than seven feet tall.

They stepped out into the crisp night air. Xandra shivered and Hadrian quickly offered his coat. They walked, talking, until they were lost deep in the city. "Where are we, do you have any idea?" Hadrian wondered.

"No, I was following you!" Xandra exclaimed.

"Well that's no good, I was following you," Hadrian mused. Xandra smirked.

"So how are we going to get back if we don't know where we are?"

"We'll find someone to ask," he assured her. He noticed the sky was getting lighter. "Hey, if we don't get back soon...we're going to have to find some place to stay."

"Yeah right we are," Xandra said.

"Well...I don't have to, but I do, it's hard to explain..." Hadrian sighed. "Look, you should get on the bus and get on home, but I need to find somewhere to hide. But I'll see you again." He started to walk to the nearest hotel.

"Wait," Xandra ran after him. She hugged him. "I fell like I am supposed to go with you. I don't know why." She looked up at him, half expecting to be told to leave.

Hadrian ran a hand through Xandra's hair. "Okay, let's go then." They fast walked into the lobby of a Holiday Inn. "Do you have any vacancies? With no windows?"

"Yes sir," the desk clerk said. "How many nights do you plan on staying with us?"

"Just one," Hadrian replied. The clerk gave him the room cards. They walked down the hall to the elevator and went to floor 6, room 613. Hadrian opened the door then followed Xandra inside. She walked around the room, and stopped in front of a mirror. Hadrian pretended to drop something and bent over to pick it up whilst walking by. He flipped on the television, kicked off his shoes, and lay down on the bed. "You can come over here you know, I'm not going to bite you or anything," Hadrian almost laughed at his own joke. He had no intentions of biting Xandra, but the secret pun was still humorous. She walked over, with almost glaring bedroom eyes, and sat down on his hips. Hadrian slid his hands up her thighs. Xandra bit her lip.

"I've never done this before..." she whispered.

"Done what?" Hadrian asked dumbly.

"" She sighed. "I've never had sex before."

"Never? In your entire life?"

"No," Xandra blushed.

Hadrian paused and sat up, with Xandra still sitting on him. "How old are you?"


"Oh I was really scared there for a minute. Nineteen and you're never had sex? What have you been doing the last five years?!" Hadrian joked. Xandra bit her lip. He pulled her close against his chest, then kissed her passionately. After a moment Xandra pulled back.

"Waiting," she answered.

"For what?"

Xandra though for a moment. "I'm not sure but I think I've found it..." She kissed him. Hadrian slid Xandra's dress over her head.

"Lie back," he told her. She obeyed. Hadrian kissed her from mouth to inner thigh and ceased moving further down until he pleasured her to orgasm. When she was finished he kissed her on the forehead. Xandra wrapped her legs around Hadrian's waist and gazed into his eyes. He kissed her again, on the cheek, and whispered to her. "Just breathe," he said.
The first time Hadrian thrusted into Xandra it took every bit of her inner restraint not to cry out in pain. But soon his deep, rhythmic movement, passionate kisses, and gentle caresses became soothing and she began to follow his motion and moan with pleasure. "Hadrian..." Xandra exhaled. Hadrian grasped onto Xandra's body firmly, groaned, came inside of her, and proceeded to collapse overwhelmed onto the bed. After a few moments Hadrian rolled over to hold Xandra in his arms. She pressed her still trembling cheek to his chest and fell asleep in the comfort of his embrace.

Week 1, Day 1

Xandra woke up feeling weaker than she had ever previously felt in her entire life. She felt Hadrian's presence beside her in the bed but was too drained to reach out to him for assistance. Xandra calmed herself for a moment to gather her energy, then finally called out to Hadrian. He remained asleep. She tried once more. Hadrian opened his eyes and sat up. "Mm hmm?" he asked sleepily. Xandra replied an inaudible whisper. Hadrian turned sharply and looked over Xandra from head to toe. "You...just need something to eat, that's all," he lied. Hadrian dialed the front desk of the hotel and ordered room service. Once it arrived he fed Xandra small pieces of food until she was better enough to sit and feed herself.

"Hadrian, there's something wrong with me. I feel very awful. I think I should go to the hospital," Xandra spoke quietly.

"NO!" Hadrian exclaimed without thinking. Xandra looked at him, scared. "I's can't go to an ordinary hospital."

"What have you done to me?" she whispered. "What have you done?"

"I didn't mean for anything to happen, but what destiny deems must happen does. I can't tell you yet because you won't believe me. You will be fine but you have to obey what I say and I need to keep you hidden," Hadrian went to take Xandra's hand but she leapt from the bed and backed against the door.

"Stay away from me," she cried.

"Xandra if you walk out that door there will be things you can't even imagine out there waiting to kill you. Please let me protect you," he pleaded.

"I can protect myself," Xandra stammered.

"You will never know what's wrong with you until it's far too late if you leave. Please Xandra, I need to protect you. I want to protect you," Hadrian said sincerely.

"Tell me, tell me now," she demanded.

"You won't believe me."


"When I was first bitten, there was a prophecy that-" Hadrian was cut off.

"Bitten what?" Xandra asked. Hadrian approached her, took her right hand, and slid her pointer finger gently around his long, sharp fangs. Xandra covered her hand with her mouth to stop herself from screaming. She walked across the room and sat down on the bed in complete shock.

"I would have told you when you were ready to know Xandra, I didn't mean to upset you by not telling," Hadrian sat beside her. "When I was first bitten it was prophesized that one day I would have a son, and that if he was born he would rid the undead world of anything not vampire. Demons, monsters, wizards, everyone else would be destroyed by him. But the part that relates to you is that he would be able to walk the day."

"How does that relate to me?" Xandra asked.

"For a vampire to be born able to walk in the daylight, he must be part human," Hadrian grasped Xandra's hands. "In a full lunar cycle from this evening, exactly four weeks, you will give birth to my son."

Xandra hung her head and cried. Hadrian embraced her dutifully. She pushed him away. "Why would someone want to kill me, it's not my fault? Why didn't you send me home last night if you knew this would happen to me?"

"Because there is something about you I never want to lose!" Hadrian yelled, springing to his feet. "Because I hadn't felt a damn thing in a hundred fifty years before last night and mostly because you didn't want to leave anymore than I wanted to send you away!"

"I never thought I'd get hunted down by werewolves and demons!" Xandra retorted.

"There is absolutely no such thing as werewolves, don't be ridiculous," Hadrian remarked. He dropped to his knees, facing Xandra, who was still sitting on the bed. "Please let me keep you. Let me protect you." He rested his head on her lap.

"If I don't...I will surely die?" Xandra asked.

"It will be you or them, and they will have no sympathy for a human who is carrying the means of the end of their kind," Hadrian replied. "All but the other vampires can hunt you during the day."

"Why would the vampires want to kill me?" Xandra questioned, confused.

"There are a couple of reasons. Day-walkers in general are...feared. Nobody wants a day-walker in their community. Secondly, it's rather...frowned upon to have sex with a human unless you plan on drinking it afterwards. Kind of like when you were little and your mother told me not to play with your food. But mostly it's because of the hierarchy," Hadrian explained.

"There's a hierarchy? How many vampires are there?!" Xandra asked.

"A little less than two million worldwide. The hierarchy...well for the hierarchy to be changed then everyone in charge has to die," Hadrian replied. "So no one in power wants a day-walking, prophesied God to be born." A loud thump on the door connecting to the adjacent room interrupted the conversation. "Get your stuff we have to go now," Hadrian said quietly. Xandra put on her shoes and grabbed her purse. "As soon as I open the door, run into the hallway and down the stairs. On three. One, two, three," Hadrian opened the adjacent door and ran with Xandra down the hall to the stairwell. They heard whatever was chasing them ramble down the stairs roughly fifty feet behind them. Hadrian and Xandra reached the ground level and burst into the lobby. "Oh shit," Hadrian said, glancing outside. The sun was still setting. In the middle of the lobby they stopped. Xandra screamed and started looking around, immediately turning away every time she stopped. Hadrian quickly covered her eyes. "None of it's real! You have to believe it's not real! It's just playing with your vision, calm down," he whispered in her ear. He glanced outside. The sun was finally down. "Let's go," Hadrian grabbed Xandra's hand and ran outside. They continued running for several blocks until they reached a man getting into his car. Hadrian pulled out a gun from his jacket and forced the man out of the car. Xandra got in the passenger's side and locked to doors as Hadrian sped off. She was crying. "I need to know what you saw," Hadrian said gently, taking her hand.

"When I looked around, there was all these...zombies stumbling towards me. Some of them were half-rotten, some were horribly mutilated, some were oozing this disgusting green pus, it was awful. And when I turned to look at you, there was a dozen nude blonde porn stars all over you, and you were kissing them," Xandra told him.

"Are you afraid of zombies at all?" Hadrian asked.

"Hell yeah I am!" she replied.

"Are you afraid of being abandoned for an anorexic blonde with abnormally huge bobs?" He asked.

Xandra paused. "More than anything. Ever since I was fifteen," she answered.

"It was a Fear Demon. The only thing you can do is to not be afraid. It kills by literally scaring you to death," Hadrian told her. "There's no such thing as zombies, werewolves, or goblins. And ghosts aren't on the same realm as us."

"But pretty blondes are real," Xandra said quietly.

Hadrian sighed and pulled over. "Nothing and nobody could ever tear me away from you," he said, stroking her face. "Especially not some blonde whore." Xandra nodded and gave a little smile. Hadrian leaned over and pulled her into a kiss. After a few minutes he unbuckled her seatbelt and pulled her onto his lap. Suddenly he stopped and ground his teeth together.

"What?" Xandra asked. Hadrian shook it off.

"Nothing, I have to feed though," he replied.

"Oh," Xandra said, moving back to her seat. Hadrian started driving again.

"You're upset," Hadrian conjectured.

"No," Xandra corrected him. "I'm just a whirlwind of things right now. I'm not upset with you."

"Okay," Hadrian said. "I should probably just get some blood from my apartment but you'll have to wait somewhere else."


"Trust me, they'll be waiting for you in my apartment," Hadrian said bitterly. "Do you know how to shoot?" He handed her a gun.

"I don't know," Xandra replied.

"Pull the back, push the lever. Now it's cocked. Point and pull the trigger. Use both hands," Hadrian explained. "I don't think you'll need to use it but just in case...if anything comes within fifty feet of you and you don't know for sure it's me, shoot it."

"How will I know for sure?" Xandra asked.

"Tell me something that most people wouldn't know," Hadrian suggested.

"My favorite lyric fragment from a Kidneythieves song is 'spend nowhere with me, sweet dreams'," she told him.

"Okay," Hadrian laughed. He parked the car. "Don't unlock the doors for anyone, I have the key." He got out of the car and ran for his apartment.

Xandra sat in silence. It was four in the morning. "Don't kid yourself sweetheart, he loves the baby not you, nobody could ever love you," she told herself. "You've known him what...twenty four hours now? Yeah, that's really good: getting pregnant the first time you ever have sex. I'm sure mother would be proud," Xandra started to cry and looked up to the moon. "I tried to resist the temptation, mother, I really did, but...I think I am supposed to love him and I hate him but how I love him," she sobbed. "I am none more than a pawn of fate." A knock came at the window.

"Open the door, let me in," Hadrian demanded.

"What's the password? Where are your keys?" Xandra suspected "Hadrian" to be a fake, and it was evident in her voice.

"They're following me, I don't have time, hurry!" the fake Hadrian pleaded. Xandra fired straight into his temple, then screamed. The fake fell back and landed with a thud. Xandra sat, shaking and still holding out the gun. She cocked it again. Hadrian came running.

"What happened?" He asked. Xandra pointed the gun at him. "Xandra," he whispered, taking out his keys, "spend nowhere with me." She lowered the gun. He got in the car and drove off. "Are you all right?"

"I am anything but all right! In less than a day there has been two attempts on my life, I'm pregnant, I'm hungry, I'm tired, and I have never lived in such fear in my entire life!" Xandra screamed. "Not to mention it's all your fault, but somehow I love you,!"

"Let's get married," Hadrian said.

"Excuse me?"

"I mean it, I want to marry you."

"You met me yesterday."

"If it takes you more than a day to 'fall in love' then it isn't really love anyway. If you love someone, you always love them," Hadrian remarked.

"But you're-"

"We can make it work," Hadrian cut her off. "Because I will never allow it not to work. I love you too much."

"You love your son too much..." Xandra sighed.

"You're wrong," Hadrian said quietly. "I loved you as soon as I saw your smile."

Xandra hung her head. "I'm sorry," she whimpered. "I always screw everything up. I'm wrong and I'm sorry."

"You don't screw everything up," Hadrian corrected her. "You're smart and beautiful and strong willed and you are everything. And everything bends to you."

"And how would you know that?" Xandra asked.

"Because in fifty years of browsing clubs you're the only person I ever saw who wasn't a cookie cutter slut," Hadrian replied. "Please don't fight it, Xandra. Please." He stopped the car in front of a homeless shelter. "Stay here for today. Don't leave for anything. I'll be back twenty minutes after sundown." Xandra looked out the window, silent. "It's just for today, I promise."

"Can't I stay with you?" Xandra pleaded.


"But you said you'd protect me!" Xandra cried. Hadrian pulled her onto his lap.

"I will but during the day you're safest away from me and around a lot of other people," he rubbed her back. "I'm useless during the day. It would just make finding you all the more easier."

Xandra nodded and got out of the car. She walked into the shelter. "Can I help you?" one of the volunteers asked. Xandra remembered that she was still in her club dress and felt suddenly as if the whole building thought her to be a whore.

"My parents beat me and told me that if I ever came back home they'd kill me," Xandra lied. "I just need a place to rest for the day, I've been wandering the city for a shelter all night." She started crying for effect.

"Come in here and get some clean clothes on. They're a little worn but they're warm and comfy," the volunteer led her to a back room filled with donation clothes. Xandra picked out a baggy black sweater with a hole in the right sleeve and a pair of paint splattered overalls at least three sizes too big. The volunteer handed her a pair of socks and white Keds. Xandra thanked her and smiled. "My name is Bailey if you need help with anything," the volunteer offered. Xandra nodded and went into the bathroom to shower and change her clothes. When she was done she walked into the main room where there was a few dozen cots, a soup line set up for breakfast, and twenty or so homeless being assisted by volunteer workers from the city. Xandra had a bowl of oatmeal, two pieces of toast, a plate of eggs, and three glasses of milk. She sat down on an empty cot. A scraggily middle aged woman came and sat down near her.

"What's in the bag?" the woman asked.

"It's just my purse, all that's in it is a couple of bucks, my license and my makeup," Xandra told her, neglecting to mention the gun.

"Look what's in my bag..." the woman started to rummage. Bailey walked over.

"Cass, leave her alone, she's tired, you can talk to her later," Bailey told the woman. Cass grumbled off. "Cass practically lives here, she's a," Bailey commented to Xandra. "What's your name?"

"Xandra," Xandra said. She did not want to give her last name.

Week 1, Day 2

Xandra lay down on the cot and slept until dinnertime, when Bailey shook her awake. "It's dinnertime," she said. "Come and get something to eat." Xandra strolled over to the line and got two bowls of beef stew, three rolls, one Jell-O dessert, and three glasses of milk. "I've never seen such an appetite for such a small person, it's like you're eating for two," Bailey commented. Xandra nearly coughed soup through her nose.

"No, no, this is just the second meal I've had in two days, that's all," she recovered. The last bit of sunlight visible in the window disappeared behind the horizon. Xandra grabbed her purse, checked its contents, and began to walk for the door. "Thanks for everything Bailey," Xandra said. "It's good to have someone care." She walked outside and sat on the curb. The tin crash of a trashcan being knocked over came from around the corner. Xandra stood and took the gun from her purse.

The attack came from behind. Xandra shot, but the assultant was immune to the bullet. He pulled her head back, exposing her neck. Xandra felt the teeth press against her skin and screamed. Hadrian shoved the attacker away and quickly drove a wooden stake into his chest. Xandra ran to hug him but he refused, instead roughly inspecting her neck before pushing her into a new car. He got in the driver's side without a word and drove off. Xandra scowled. "I'm happy to see you too," she pouted.

"What did I tell you before you left?" Hadrian yelled. "I told you not to leave that building under any circumstances and what did you do? You sat outside, in the dark, alone."

"I'm sorry-"

"You almost died!" he shouted. "Don't give me that 'sorry' shit just don't do it again!" Xandra opened her mouth to say something but instead shook her head and gazed out the window. Hadrian knew she was crying without looking or hearing, but offered no apologies. "How do you feel?" he tried to break the ice between them.

"Oh now you care," Xandra smirked. "Absolutely fucking wonderful, never better, what do you think?"

"Don't get sarcastic with me, I'm trying just as hard to please you as you are trying to be icy and closed off and it's not getting us anywhere," Hadrian remarked. "I'm sorry."

"Me too," Xandra pouted. "Take me home."


"I want to go back to my apartment. Take me home. I'll jump out of the car, I mean it," she said.

"You know you can't do that," Hadrian spoke. "You'll die."

"I don't care," Xandra protested.

"Well I do, and you're acting like a child."

"I still have a fake ID for Christ's sake, how grown up could I possibly be?" she said angrily. Hadrian sighed and drove onto a bridge overlooking a rapid stream. He stopped.

"Get out and jump if you want to die so badly," He taunted, getting out of the car. She followed.

"Fine!" Xandra climbed onto the ledge and looked fifty feet down at the river. She held tightly to a beam and looked back at him.

"Do it. Jump," Hadrian continued to taunt. "Hurry up if you're going to do it though, I don't want to waste a whole lot of time out here. C'mon Xandra, jump off. Kill yourself."

"I'm trying!"

"You're too weak, you won't do it," he hissed. "Come on, I dare you to prove me wrong."

Xandra jumped down from the beam onto the pavement. She tripped over her too-big overalls but quickly got back up and started walking away. "I hate you!" Xandra yelled, not looking back. She tripped over her overalls again. Instead of getting back up she just sat facing the moon and sobbing. Hadrian walked over and picked her up like a child then took her to the car.

"Do you feel a little better now?" he asked.

"Only kinda," she said softly.

"You can shoot me if you want to," Hadrian offered. Xandra laughed a little.

"No, that's okay," she smiled slightly.

"Well that's a relief."



"Don't ever yell at me again," Xandra said.



"Please give me your unquestioned trust for the next four weeks," Hadrian replied. She nodded. "I love you," he kissed her. Xandra kissed back and rolled over, facing him. Hadrian pulled the lever on the side of the chair and it fell back against the backseat. Xandra unbuckled her overalls and took off her shirt. She maneuvered her pants to the floor and straddled Hadrian's hips. He grabbed on to her thighs. Xandra unbuttoned his pants and yanked them down. She leaned forward and kissed Hadrian, slowly lowering herself onto his cock. Xandra sat up and Hadrian groaned loudly. She rolled her hips back and forth, in and out. After some time Hadrian's breath quickened and he pulled down on Xandra's thighs roughly then held her there. He relaxed. Xandra lay down on Hadrian's chest. He hugged her tightly and kissed her forehead. Xandra sat back up and moved onto the passenger seat.

"I heard something," she said, alert. Hadrian handed Xandra her clothes and they dressed quickly.

"I don't hear anything," he told her once they were dressed. Hadrian started the car and started to drive off. A thump came from the trunk. Xandra looked at Hadrian. He pulled over and parked. "Get on this side, if anything happens take off. Do not get out of the car." She crawled over to the driver's side. Hadrian got out and popped the trunk. Xandra took the gun from her purse and waited. She looked in the mirrors but the trunk blocked her view. Suddenly a loud screech came from outside followed by the sound of fighting. It became silent. Xandra got out of the car and walked to the back. There was nobody there. She picked up a dagger from the ground.

"Hadrian!" Xandra yelled out. "Hadrian where are you?" A hideous demon darted from the tall grasses. Xandra shot it twice in the temple and backed away. "Hadrian!" she panicked. Something grabbed her from the back and she flipped it over her shoulder and plunged the dagger deep into its chest. It made a shriek similar to the noise she heard in the car. Xandra walked into the grasses. "Hadrian!" her voice was shrill and antagonized. "Where are you?" she cried. She heard a rustle of the leaves behind her. Xandra cocked the gun and spun around.

"I though you agreed to listen to me," Hadrian said, disappointed. Xandra went to hug him, but he turned away. She followed him back to the car. "What the hell was that?!" Hadrian exclaimed, pointing to the two dead monsters on the ground.

"Wasn't that what was in the trunk?" Xandra asked.

"No. Where'd that dagger come from?" Hadrian asked.

"It was on the ground. I figured you'd dropped it," Xandra explained. Hadrian pulled it out and immediately tossed it away. He looked at his hands. They were burned where he touched the dagger. She looked at her hands. They were fine. Xandra went to pick it back up.

"Don't touch it!" Hadrian warned.

"I must," Xandra said, picking the dagger up. She was unharmed.

"Please leave it," Hadrian requested. "I don't feel good about it."

"Only because it burned you. I think I need to keep it. I feel like I was supposed to find it," Xandra said.

"Whatever," Hadrian gave up. "It's already four."

"Okay," Xandra said, getting back into the car. Hadrian got in and drove towards the next city. "Where are you dumping me off today?"

"I'm not dumping you off, I'm hiding you," Hadrian corrected her. "You know I'm coming back tomorrow." Xandra sighed. "Don't be so melancholy."

"I hate being alone with a thousand strangers," she protested. "I hate that you feel comfortable just leaving me."

"Hey now," Hadrian said. "Nobody ever said I was comfortable to leaving you in a crowded lonely place, I'm just more comfortable than leaving you with me or alone." She pouted. "Besides, I think you'll like where I'm hiding you today."


"Just wait," he said. They drove to an IHOP across the street from a mall. Hadrian handed Xandra five hundred dollars. "Get something to eat and then go shopping for a new wardrobe and some baby clothes. I'll pick you up inside Macys around six thirty, upper floor by the escalator."

Xandra bit her lip. "What size baby clothes?"

"Regular newborn clothes...he's not going to be a mutant or anything," Hadrian smirked.

"Well I'm sorry it's such a stupid question but I've never had a vampire baby before. Sometimes I can feel him move and grow and I didn't think he was supposed to do that yet," Xandra said angrily. She got out of the car and slammed the door. Hadrian got out after her and spun her around, facing him. He embraced her tightly.

"Calm down you're going to stress yourself to death," he whispered. "I love you, no matter what, and I don't think you're stupid, and everything will be okay." Hadrian gave Xandra a kiss on the cheek and left. She walked into the IHOP. A waitress named Ida seated Xandra.

"Can I get you a drink to start out with? Orange juice perhaps?" Ida asked.

"One large orange juice, coffee, and a large glass of two percent milk," Xandra replied. Ida looked at her strangely. "I've been ritualistically fasting the past week," Xandra lied. Ida nodded. A few minutes later she came back with the drinks.

"Do you know what you'd like to eat yet, or do you need a few more minutes?" Ida questioned.

"Actually I have multiple orders, but I want them made in succession not at the same time," Xandra started. "First I want a stack of buttermilk pancakes with chocolate chips. Second I want fried chicken with biscuits and gravy. Finally I want an omelet with onions, cheese, mushrooms, and sour cream on the side."

"Alrighty then, you've got one hell of an appetite," Ida joked. She left. Xandra finished the juice, milk, and entire pot of coffee before Ida returned with her first dish. "Would you like something else to drink?"

"Diet coke," Xandra replied, cutting into the stack of pancakes. She ate quickly, but neatly. By the time Ida arrived with the sodapop and chicken she was done and reading a newspaper from the machine in the waiting area. Xandra thanked Ida and again speedily devoured the food. "Where do you put it all? I've seen some big eaters in my time but you take the cake..."

"I'm just really hungry," Xandra shook her shoulders. "I don't normally eat like this. Hey after the omelet can you bring out a slice of blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream?" Ida laughed.

"Sure, no problem," she left to get the omelet. Xandra sighed. She thought about the large amount of food she'd eaten and wondered why she still felt weak and hadn't gained a single pound in the past two days. Ida returned. Xandra ate the omelet, slower than she'd eaten the first two items but still quickly. Ida brought the pie almost immediately afterwards with the check. Xandra was stunned. Alone she'd eaten fifty dollars of food plus tip. She left a fifty on the table and walked across the traffic to the mall. Only the major department stores were open so far, so Xandra decided to start at the one nearest to Macys and work her way around the mall top and bottom. At six fifteen she'd spent almost every cent and was only half way around the upper level.

Week 1, Day 3

"Damn it," Xandra said, checking her watch. The day had been fun; she had a four course Chinese lunch, got another copy of the Kidneythieves CD, two pairs of overalls, one jean and one khaki, two identical black sweaters, four pairs of thick socks, a long sleeved jersey cream colored lounge dress, ten one piece baby outfits in blue, green, and gray, and a black chenille blanket. Xandra sat down on a bench near the escalator. At 6:45 Hadrian showed up. "You're late, I almost went outside to look for you," Xandra teased. He kneeled down beside her and took a small box from his pants pocket.

"I had to make a purchase," Hadrian opened the box to reveal a glittering, clear, dark ruby platinum ring encrusted with small diamonds all the way around the band. Xandra took it from the box and looked at the engraving inside:

Spend nowhere with me...

Hadrian slipped it on her left ring finger. It fit perfectly. "Will you marry me Xandra?"

She was stunned. "You didn't have to get me a ring, I would have said yes anyway," Xandra cried happily. She wrapped her arms around him and breathed. "I haven't slept in a day, I'm so tired..."

"You can sleep in the car, we're going to Chicago," Hadrian kissed her.

"Why Chicago?" Xandra asked. They walked outside to the car.

"It's a big city, lots of people day and night, and nobody will think to look for us for a while. We can stay in the John Hancock for the rest of the month. Together," Hadrian promised. They got in the car and drove away.

"Yay," Xandra smiled at the last part. "Will we make it there tonight?"

"I hope so, I don't want to ride in the trunk during the day," Hadrian remarked. "Hey guess what I figured out today? Our son will be born around two in the morning on Christmas." Xandra had forgotten all about Christmas. Her family and friends would be looking for her. "What's wrong?"

"My family and my friends are going to notice I'm gone pretty soon. I've never spent Christmas away from home," she looked upset. "They're going to come looking for you and me. And if they find out what you are then they'll kill you."

Hadrian was at a loss as how to comfort his distressed fiancée. "We'll be fine. We have to be fine," he sounded shaky.

"That wasn't so comforting," Xandra said.

"The media and the wrath of your parents are two things I don't know how to conquer, Xandra. But we will last because I believe in it. I believe in you," Hadrian consoled her troubles. Xandra sighed, and lay her head on Hadrian's lap. "I love you too much not to believe." But she was already asleep.

When Xandra awoke she was in a room of an extravagant penthouse. Hadrian stood at the window looking at the sunrise. "Hadrian, are you crazy?!" Xandra jumped from the bed and pulled him from the window.

"No, no, it's okay, the windows are tinted so dark it doesn't matter," He assured her, walking back to the window. She followed closely behind him. "I haven't seen the sunrise in forever," Hadrian spoke softly. Xandra stood behind him and pressed her cheek to his muscular back whilst wrapping her arms around his hips. Hadrian turned her forward and put his arm around her shoulder. "You're very short."

"No," Xandra sighed, "you are very tall. How are we going to get married?"

"I haven't figured that out quite yet," Hadrian replied.

"When was the last time you ate anything? Well, drank anything I suppose..." Xandra asked.

"Last night, while you were asleep," Hadrian replied.

"How old are you?"

"One hundred seventy three."

"Is that old? When's your birthday?"

"No, that's actually pretty young. October thirty-first, ironically enough. When did you suddenly get so curious?" Hadrian asked.

"He told me he wanted to learn," Xandra said.


"Our baby, when I was asleep," she replied. Hadrian suddenly got very scared.

"He talks to you?" He asked.

"Just a little. He doesn't comprehend too much right now I'm pretty sure. But he told me to talk more," Xandra said. "You don't believe me."

"I do, only because our baby is no ordinary baby," Hadrian assured her.

"Where did you die?"

"Nowhere special. I lived in Richmond but I ran away to Detroit."


"Opportunity, freedom," Hadrian said. "I don't like being told what to do. I was engaged, I was supposed to take over the family business, I was supposed to do quite a bit I didn't really want to do."

"What did you want to do?" Xandra asked.

"Be a millionaire bachelor," he admitted.

"How'd you get your money?"

"I invested in B&O Railroad, then I invested in Ford, then I invested in Microsoft, it all just...piled up," Hadrian explained.

"How much do you have?"

"I think about 38 million," he thought. "38 million sounds about right." Xandra's jaw dropped.

"Why didn't you tell me?" she asked.

"Well I didn't think it was important really," Hadrian said. "You didn't seem to care about money."

"Well I don't but 38 million dollars?! That's a fortune!" Xandra exclaimed. Hadrian just shrugged. He dug into his pocket and withdrew a fifty-dollar bill.

"Go downstairs and get some groceries. Then you should lie down," he said, handing her the money.


"It's better for your back, you're going to have four weeks to adjust to what most people have nine months to adjust to," Hadrian explained. He softly smacked her ass. "Now go."

Xandra took the elevator to the floor with the grocery store. She bought bread, raspberry jam, peanut butter, Mac-n-cheese, a gallon of 2% milk, and a coconut. She took the stairs back up and knocked at the door. "What took you so long?" Hadrian asked, opening the door and taking the grocery bag.

"I took the stairs," Xandra said.

"Don't do that. You're an easy target and it's not good for you," Hadrian warned.

"I'm so tired of not getting to walk around at all. It's so melancholy," Xandra sighed. She put the groceries away and lay down on the bed.

"Don't be melancholy. It's only a month, and think about the reward," Hadrian said, lying down beside her.

"What reward, people trying to kill me?"

"No, birthing a God," he kissed her.

Week 1, Day 4

At 4:30 Hadrian shook Xandra awake. "Honey, come see, hurry up," he said excitedly. She groaned and rolled off the bed onto the floor.

"Ow," Xandra grumbled. Hadrian helped her up and took her to the window.

"The sky is such a magnificent red and orange, it's getting purple near the horizon," he remarked with wonder.

"It's just a sunset," Xandra commented. She shook her head and leaned against Hadrian's chest. "But I suppose I would miss seeing them if I didn't see one in over a hundred years."

"I had a dream once," Hadrian started, "right before I ran away, I dreamed I would never see the sunset again. And every night before I was bitten it rained, and until just now I hadn't seen the sunset since."

Xandra shuffled into the kitchen and took a twisty tie from one of the drawers. She shuffled back over to Hadrian and twisted it around his finger. "There. The sunset has married us," Xandra smiled. Hadrian laughed.

"Okay," he said happily. Hadrian picked Xandra up and spun her in a circle, then jumped onto the bed with her still in his arms. They stared at each other in blissful silence, smiling. Xandra rolled onto her back and Hadrian hovered above her.

"Make love to me," she whispered. They kissed and undressed each other. Hadrian took careful time satisfyingly teasing Xandra before climaxing himself. They lay on the bed in each other's arms. "I love the moon," Xandra said dreamily, looking out the window. She sighed. "What will I do after the baby is born?"

"What do you mean?" Hadrian asked.

"You will be twenty three until the end of time. Each St.Patrick's Day I'll be one year older until I'm old and dead," Xandra explained.

"I don't know," Hadrian sighed.

"You'll have to drink me," Xandra suggested.

"I most certainly will not," Hadrian said. "I'd kill you. It's hard to stop once you start drinking."

"Well what if someone stabs me in the heart tomorrow, and you have to turn me into a vampire or I'll die forever?" she conjectured.

"I'm not going to think about it because it's not going to happen," Hadrian ignored her. Xandra just sighed and buried her face between his body and the pillows.

"I like the way you smell," she commented. "It makes me feel like adrenaline is pulsing through my veins. And it reminds me of your eyes. Your eyes are so amazing."

"Sadly enough all I can smell is your blood," Hadrian shrugged. "But it smells sticky sweet, like a honeysuckle. It's intoxicating."

"Were you going to drink me when you first met me?" Xandra asked.

"No, but it's been tempting, especially when you're exposed and your heart is beating quickly. It's like having someone hold out this beautiful, delicious cake in front of your face and knowing you can never, ever eat it because you know you can't have just a little slice, you'd have to eat the whole damn thing," Hadrian described. "If I bit into you, I'd never be able to stop until your body was dry."

"I want to see you drink someone," Xandra said with wonder. "It sounds fascinating."

"You're one of those people who slows down at really bad car accidents, aren't you?" Hadrian asked jokingly.

"Only the really bad ones," Xandra smiled sheepishly. "I think they're fun."

"I don't think you should go. I just don't think it's a good idea. There's too many ways it could go wrong," Hadrian said. "You can go after you have the baby."

"Oh but please, even though you don't want to admit it you know there is a fair chance I will die before the month is up, and I just want to go this one time," Xandra wined. "Pretty please with sugar and a cherry on top?"

"I already took the cherry," Hadrian joked.

"You're a jerk," she pouted. "I want to go."

Hadrian sighed, knowing he could not win the argument. "Okay," he gave in. "But just this once and you'd better listen to everything I say."

"Yay!" Xandra said happily. "Let's go!"

"Put on your club dress and your heels," Hadrian ordered, putting on a suit jacket and slacks. "You're going to be bait."

"I'm what?" Xandra stopped dressing.

"Well would you prefer me baiting some whore?" Hadrian asked.

"Well what would you normally do?" Xandra smirked.

"Get some chick to follow me into some dark alley or closet and drink her," Hadrian said. "Don't be so pissed off, nothing else happens. And I haven't killed anyone since I met you, I've been drinking donor blood." He kissed her on the forehead. "I wouldn't do anything that could piss you off."

"Okay," Xandra said quietly. "I'll be bait."

They walked to a nightclub not far from the John Hancock building and went inside via the fire exit. "There's a man watching you over by the blue spotlight. Go over and get to know him, then take him back out the fire exit. I'll be there waiting," Hadrian smacked her ass and walked off. Xandra made her way over to the man slowly and danced with him.

"Who are you, hot stuff?" he asked.

"My name doesn't really matter, does it sugar?" Xandra teased. "How about you come out back with me?"

"Yes ma'am!" the man followed her out the back fire exit. Hadrian quickly grabbed him and bit into his neck, draining him from every drop of blood in his body. Xandra watched with mixed horror, intrigue, and wonder. Hadrian tossed down the body and looked at Xandra.


"Very," she replied. "I want to go back now." They walked back to the apartment. Xandra changed back into her comfy clothes and crawled under the covers.

"Okay, what's wrong this time?" Hadrian asked with an inflection of annoyance.

Xandra was silent for a minute. "'s just...I didn't think the body would spasm like that. That's not how it works in the movies. It's rather...disturbing to me." She rolled over and faced the wall.

"That's not it. What else is wrong?" Hadrian questioned.

"Nothing." Xandra lied.

"Xandra don't lie to me. You're upset about something else," Hadrian pressed.

"I feel really sick," she spoke softly. "I feel like I'm dying." Xandra started to tear up. "I feel like something is wrong inside of me." Hadrian froze, in an intense silent panic. He knew no hospital could help her and taking her to a vampire for help would be suicide. "I need someone's help, I know I can't go to the hospital," Xandra cried slightly with each word.

"How long have you felt like this?" Hadrian asked with obvious concern.

"About an hour," She whispered. "I need to take off my clothes, I feel like they are suffocating my skin." Xandra tried to remove her clothing but was too weak. Hadrian took off her clothes and pulled back up the bed linens. Beads of sweat and tears rolled down Xandra's face. Hadrian took her hands in his and sat, thinking. "Hadrian what's wrong?" Xandra whimpered.

"I do not know what is wrong with you or how to help you," he said, trying not to become too obviously upset. "And I know that's not what you want to hear. I do not know how you could be so ill so suddenly and have no idea why."

Xandra clenched her teeth to keep from screaming. She let out a loud cry and gasped for air. "Hadrian make it stop!" Xandra sobbed.

"I do not know how, I simply cannot!" Hadrian burst out, crying. "I don't fucking know, just don't hold back and scream it out if it feels better, I don't know!" He stood up and paced the room frantically. Xandra screamed and moaned at uneven intervals and collapsed on to the pillows in between as if a ghost of pain possessed her randomly. Hadrian picked up a vase from the counter and threw it violently against the wall. He fell to his knees at the window and screamed in emotional agony at the moon. "It is not enough for you to condemn me to eternal life alone and damned, but you must give me love and force me to be helpless as she suffers from some unknown foe. What are you, this God of men and torturer of souls, to do such a thing to my wife and my child? What edict of your heaven gives you the right to punish both on Earth and in the afterlife? What has she done, what has my son done to suffer for my sins?" Hadrian cried angrily to an unseen God. He continued to stare out the window at the moon. "I hate you. With every hell bound fiber of my soul I despise you."

Xandra had ceased to vocalize her pain and was lying motionless except for her struggling lungs. Hadrian turned and looked at her, still by the window. He crawled over to the bed and slid under the comforter but not the sheet. Xandra turned her head to face him in an eerie fashion. Hadrian moved next to her and stroked her hair. Xandra turned her head back to face the ceiling. "He's here, I can feel him," she whined. "I just can't seem him..."

"Who?" Hadrian asked. "Do you know where in the room he is?"

"No..." Xandra sighed. "He's very angry. All I feel is the loath he has towards you."


"I don't know," Xandra yelled.

"Why does he want to hurt you?" Hadrian questioned. "Is it because of me?"

"He doesn't want to hurt me, he wants to hurt the baby but out son is stronger. I hurt because they fight," Xandra said. "But they will fight no more tonight." Hadrian sat up, amazed.

"Xandra go to sleep. And try to ask our son how to fight," Hadrian suggested.

"That's ridiculous. I can't just talk to him, he has to talk to me," Xandra yawned.

"Then just rest," Hadrian sighed. He rolled down the sheet and kissed Xandra's naked belly. "Take care of your mother," he whispered. Hadrian moved under the sheet and pulled back up the covers. "I love you, Xandra," he said to his sleeping wife.

Xandra woke up around three in the afternoon. She sat up and shook awake Hadrian. "Hadrian, wake up, I feel perfect, like nothing ever happened. Wake up," Xandra said. He opened his eyes and smiled.

"I told our son he had to take care of you," Hadrian kissed his wife good morning.

"He told me," Xandra smiled. "That was actually the first time you had ever spoken to him you know. You should talk to him more, when I'm asleep."

"Did he say anything else?" Hadrian asked.

"He said not to let you get rid of the dagger I found. That I would need it when he was born," Xandra replied. "You haven't taken it out of my purse, have you?"

"I can't even touch it," Hadrian reminded her.

"Oh well that's good. Give me some money, I want to go out shopping," Xandra demanded.

"My wallet is in my pants," Hadrian pointed to a pile on the floor. "Do not stay gone too long or I will worry and go crazy because I can not leave the penthouse."

"Okay," Xandra got dressed and took a small stack of bills from his wallet. "Give me you twisty tie wedding ring."

Hadrian handed it to her. "Don't do anything too girly."

"I would not do that to you, come on," Xandra rolled her eyes and left. She took a cab to a chic jewelry store in downtown Chicago. Xandra walked in, clad in her sweater and overalls, and started looking around.

"May I help you, Miss?" One of the jewelers asked.

"I need a pain, boring platinum band in this size, men's," Xandra set the twisty tie on the counter and smiled. The jeweler looked at her strangely. Xandra set the money on the glass counter. "I'm sure that is more than sufficient payment if that is what you are worried about," Xandra reacted crossly.

"Come this way," the jeweler smiled uncomfortably. She led Xandra to a display of plain men's bands.

"That one," Xandra pointed to a medium thickness band. "I need it this size and I need an engraving."

"It will take about an hour to get the engraving done," the jeweler commented.

"I have more then plenty time," Xandra said.

"What do you want the engraving to say?" the jeweler asked.

""Spend nowhere with me'," Xandra said. "In pretty cursive handwriting." The jeweler nodded and took the ring to the back room where the master jeweler worked on the jewelry.

"You can wait on one of the benches in the front or you can come back in about an hour," the jeweler said.

"How much is it?" Xandra asked.

"Nine hundred eighty seven and thirty two cents," the jeweler replied. Xandra handed her ten one hundred-dollar bills.

"Can I have the twisty tie back? It has sentimental value," Xandra smiled. The jeweler gave it to her and she twisted it around her pinky three times. "Wow Hadrian has big hands," she commented to herself.


"Nothing," Xandra said. "Just reminiscing." She sat on the bench for a while before the jeweler called her over to the counter and handed her the ring in a box.

"Have a nice day, Ma'am," the jeweler smiled fakely.

"Okay, bye bye," Xandra smiled and left. She skipped some of the way back to the John Hancock building before getting tired and calling a cab. She skipped through the lobby to the elevator and down the hall to the penthouse. Xandra knocked on the door and covered the peephole. "Guess who!" she said happily. Hadrian opened the door and picked her up. He swung her around in a circle and then put he down.

"Who?" Hadrian laughed. They kissed. Xandra took the box out of her pocket and put the ring on Hadrian's finger.

"Spend nowhere with me?" she asked.

"Of course," he kissed her.

Week 1, Day 5

"Mmm, harder," Xandra sighed. Hadrian rubbed her lower back. "I'm only like, three months pregnant and I feel like my spine is revolting against the rest of me."

"It's only going to get worse," Hadrian said. "Most doctors would probably advise against living nine months of pregnancy in a lunar cycle."

"Probably," Xandra nodded. "Now it is time for the sex."

"Oh is it?" Hadrian asked, kissing the nape of her neck.

"Yes, because pretty soon there will be no sex anymore for a while," Xandra played. "So we must have the sex right now." Hadrian took off his pants with Xandra still sitting on his lap. "That was smooth," she teased. He took off her clothing, still without moving her from his lap. Hadrian moved up on his knees and at the same time pulled Xandra on to hers and leaned her over so she was balancing on her palms on the edge of the bed. Every time Hadrian pushed forward Xandra instinctively pushed back to keep from falling off the bed. It was intense beyond words and ended with simultaneous paralyzingly amazing orgasms. "That was...absolutely fucking amazing," Xandra breathed, falling back on to the bed with Hadrian.

"That was a pun as well," Hadrian agreed. "For all my life I never wanted to get married because everyone swore to me sex went downhill as soon as you had on the ring. You're violating years of tradition, Xandra. You ought to be ashamed."

"I'm completely appalled with myself Hadrian, you have no idea," she laughed and kissed his cheek.

"Do you know how to curse?" Hadrian asked.

"Shit piss fuck cunt cocksucker motherfucker twat pussy bitch bastard," Xandra said proudly.

"No, no I mean like cursing someone. A hex," Hadrian explained. "But that was pretty good."


"Do you want to learn?" Hadrian asked.

"Not particularly," Xandra replied.

"I want you to be able to defend yourself mentally, it is going to be hard to do much at all physically in a few days," Hadrian suggested.

"I am sure I will be fine," Xandra yawned. "Our son will tell me everything I need to know I imagine."

"We should name him, so we can stop referring to him as the baby or our son," Hadrian commented. "I am sure he would like a name."

"Okay, run to the drugstore and get a name book," Xandra said.

Hadrian dressed and left for the nearest drugstore. He searched the aisles until he found one containing over two thousand names and decided that it would be sufficient. Hadrian paid for the book and walked back to the building slowly, staring at the moon. He took the stairs back up to the penthouse and opened the door. "You took a long time," Xandra whined. "It's already five, I was getting worried."

"How long was I gone?" Hadrian asked.

"Three hours!" Xandra exclaimed.

"Oh," Hadrian said. "I just lost track of time I guess." He handed her the book.

"Okay, I'll read out names and definitions, you tell me if you like it, and the ones you like I'll write down," Xandra flipped open the book. "Aaron, meaning 'light'."

"Too trendy," Hadrian said.

Xandra stopped. "Your name means 'dark one'."

"How fitting. There will be no Hadrian Jr., it's a horrible name," Hadrian sighed.

"I like your name. It's sexy," Xandra smiled.

"It's too close to Adrian and that's a go-both-ways name. But anyway, go on," Hadrian said.

"Ambrose, meaning immortal," Xandra suggested.


"Darryl, beloved"

"Too boring."

"Ezra, salvation."

"Eh, okay."

"Kristos, the Christ bearer."

Hadrian said nothing for a moment. "That's it. Kristos. And we can shorten it to Krist."

"Are you sure, we're only to the K's..." Xandra reminded him.

"No I am sure, I am one hundred percent sure," Hadrian assured her.

"Well I'm going to keep going anyway," Xandra sighed. She continued saying names and asking Hadrian's opinion until early afternoon, when she reached the Z's and quit. Xandra yawned. "You still want Kristos don't you?"

"Yeah, but Trent was pretty good as well. Kristos Trenton Warrick. I think it sounds pretty good," Hadrian said.

"If that is what you like, then it is okay with me," Xandra smiled. "I am very tired."

"Then go to sleep so I can talk to Krist and tell him how cool his name is," Hadrian said almost excitedly. Xandra lay down under the covers and quickly fell asleep. Once Hadrian was sure she was sleeping he rolled down the covers to right below her belly. He laid his head down on Xandra's rib cage and rubbed her abdomen. "You don't know how jealous I am that you can talk to your mother but can not talk to me," Hadrian said. "I am really excited about finally having you. I hope I am a good father. I wouldn't really know because I have not been one before but I love your mother a whole lot and I am sure I will love you just as much. I do not quite know what you are doing in there or how come you are so smart but I am glad you are helping your mother. All of this is really hard on her. And I know you don't mean to, but be careful because sometimes you hurt her. I do not think she was quite ready to have a baby physically, especially not in four weeks time, but she's trying really hard to keep you healthy and safe. It kind of sucks having people try and kill you before you are even born, does it not? Hey guess what, we picked out your name today. We decided to name you Kristos Trent Warrick. I made sure your mom did not pick out anything girly." Hadrian continued on through the afternoon, when Xandra ran her fingers through his hair to notify him she was awake.

"Having fun?" She smiled.

"Oh yeah, it was long have you been awake, by chance?" Hadrian laughed.

"Not long enough to have heard anything incriminating, I can assure you. Can you go make me a sandwich?" Xandra asked.

"What do you want on it?"

"Well since my options are 'pasta' and 'peanut butter and jelly', I think I'm going to opt for the peanut butter and jelly," she smirked. "What else do we have that would be suitable on a sandwich?"

"I have no idea. Butter?" Hadrian shrugged.

"Have you never had a sandwich, ever? There is no such thing as a butter sandwich you fool," Xandra laughed.

"They had yet to be invented in my lifetime of actually living," Hadrian explained.

"I can not imagine life without sandwiches. What the hell did you people eat?"

"Meat and rolls. You know what else we lacked? Deep fat fried chicken in corn flakes and potato chips," Hadrian nodded mournfully. "I lived such a sad culinary life."

Xandra laughed. "You didn't have Jell-O either. Poor soul."

Hadrian glanced out the window. "I should go hunt now," he said. "Get it done early and come back."

"Okay," Xandra sighed. "No club sluts."

"Okay," Hadrian kissed her. "I love you."

"Yeah I know you do," she smiled.

Week 1, Day 6

Hadrian wiped his mouth and tossed the body to the ground. He hated drinking homeless people because he felt like it was unfair somehow. But Hadrian knew he had to do it, simply because Xandra had requested that he not hunt down some whore in a nightclub. On the way back Hadrian picked up a newspaper for Xandra. He entered the penthouse quietly and set it on the counter. She had fallen asleep again. "Xandra..." Hadrian sat down beside her. "Wake up, you sleep too much, it is making me lonely."

Xandra's eyelids fluttered open. "I have nothing to do but sleep when you are gone, and when you are here you tire me out very quickly," she said.

"I picked up a newspaper for you," Hadrian retrieved it from the counter. "Because I know you hate living under a rock."

"Who said I was unhappy?" Xandra asked.

"You just...sometimes you seem like you're sad. And I don't want you to be sad. I want to make you happy; I want you to be happy with me," Hadrian handed her the paper and kissed her cheek. "I love you."

"I know you do. And I am happy with you, sometimes I just feel overwhelmed. But I am happy. You make me happy," Xandra smiled. She sat up and unfolded the paper. Xandra and Hadrian flipped through each section, gathering information they had missed over the past few days. She stopped at the local news section. One of the articles read, "Local College Student Missing, Police Comb Lake in Search of Body."

"They are looking for you," Hadrian said. "Your parents are offering a reward for information that leads to you. And you were last seen with me." He looked concerned.

"Please do not leave me alone again," Xandra hugged on to Hadrian, crying. "Do not make me hide. I cannot stand being alone and scared. Don't leave me!"

"I was not even thinking about it. I told you that I would not hide you again. We are safe here. Calm down," Hadrian comforted her. "I bet nobody will even think to look for you in Chicago. And besides, they got the description of me all wrong and that picture of you hardly looks like you at all. We will be fine. Nobody living or dead is going to take you away from me."

"Do you swear? Upon everyone you know, living and dead?" Xandra asked.

"Absolutely. I promise," Hadrian said. He kissed her. "Did Kristos ever tell you what he was fighting a couple of days ago?"

"He doesn't know," Xandra said. "But I have never felt so awful before and I have not felt it since."
"I wonder what he will look like," Hadrian pondered.

"That was pretty random, what made you think of that?" Xandra questioned.

"It has been so long since I last held a baby. I can only imagine what they even look like anymore. I keep trying to place an image but the only thing I can come up with is a shrunken down person, and I know babies do not look anything like that," Hadrian explained. "And then I wonder if he will look more like me or like you."

"He will look like you," Xandra said.

"How would you know?" Hadrian asked.

"Because I know what he will look like. I had a dream of him being born, and somehow I know it is right," Xandra told him. Hadrian sat silent. "You are upset by that somehow."

"I am just jealous I suppose," Hadrian shrugged. "I guess I feel left out, like I am missing out on something really great."

"You are not missing out on a single thing. You job while I am with child is to protect me and help me, and you are doing really great. Krist really likes it when you talk to him and talking back just is not an option for him right now," Xandra smiled. "Besides, being pregnant is no cakewalk. I feel horrible most of the time. Sleep is my physical haven."

"Sleep and sex," Hadrian said.

"No...just sleep," Xandra corrected him. "Sex is not a relief from the pain, it is only a distraction. That, and having sex with you has never been about the actual sex for me."

"Well what has it been?" Hadrian asked.

"When you are making love to me I you love every part of my body and soul. I feel like I am wanted and that I have a purpose," Xandra spoke softly.

"I do love every little bit of you. And not just when we are having sex. You are the only good thing to ever happen to me," Hadrian kissed her.

Xandra smiled. "I have only been awake for a few short hours, yet I am already tired. It is so bothersome, to have a child grow so quickly."

"I am sure it is. Succumb to the sandman again, Sleeping Beauty. I'll be here when you awake," Hadrian sighed.

"Stay in bed with me, please, I find it comforting," Xandra requested. Hadrian and Xandra snuggled under the covers. When she was asleep, he ducked down under the sheets to talk to Kristos once again.

"Hi again, it is me, your father," Hadrian started. "Your mom said she had a dream about you being born. She seemed kind of scared, but I think everything will be okay. I wish I could have a dream too though, just so I could be more prepared. That is one of those Boy Scout things, always be prepared. I do not think I have ever felt more unprepared to be honest. But I promised your mother I would not screw up, so I will not. The three of us are going to make a pretty awesome family. And when you grow up, you are going to be really powerful, and you are going to do a lot of good things."

Hadrian paused to kiss Xandra's belly. When he did his mind warped into a dream of the future. In the dream he was holding Kristos, still covered in blood from birth, and crying. They were in a big room lit by candles with high ceilings. The dream stopped, and Hadrian flew out of the bed and landed on the floor, unconscious.

Week 1, Day 7

"Hadrian, wake up," Xandra was crying. She shook him roughly. "Wake up!"

Hadrian sat up suddenly as if struck by lightning. Xandra wrapped her arms around him and sobbed. "How long have I been out?" he asked.

"I woke up around five and I have been trying to wake you up ever since," Xandra dried her tears.

"What time is it now?" Hadrian questioned.

"Seven thirty," Xandra replied.

"Seven thirty?!" Hadrian said in shock.

"What happened to you, I was worried to death," Xandra breathed. It was no lie, her face was pale and she had an appearance to be likened to the countenance of a corpse.

"I held Kristos. In a church I think. It was incredible; it felt so real. After that, I have no idea. I blacked out," Hadrian explained. He held Xandra. "You have something so incredible growing inside of you."

Xandra shivered. "It is very cold in here, did you change the thermostat?"

"Nope, I will check it though," Hadrian got up to look. To his surprise it was set at forty degrees. He pushed it to seventy and turned on the heat. "It was on forty, I wonder why one of us did that," Hadrian pondered.

"Maybe it was not you or I that did it," Xandra suggested. "Maybe we have refrigerator gnomes."

"Do you really think there might be? They are usually quite noisy," Hadrian said, waking towards the refrigerator.

"I was so, so not serious. I had no idea there really was such thing as refrigerator gnomes. How did they live before refrigerators?" Xandra giggled.

"There was no refrigerator gnomes until the 1950s. They are a type of winter gnome," Hadrian searched the refrigerator. "I do not see a single gnome."

"Still, I think there is something in our house," Xandra worried. "I know I would not lower the thermostat, and you would have no reason to."

"Well maybe it was a ghost. Ghosts have no reason to be after you, they just want recognition. Hey we need more groceries. I think you have exhausted the supply of peanut butter and jelly as well as Mac-n-cheese," Hadrian smiled.

"Okay, I want lots of cheese ravioli, two jars of alfredo sauce, pomegranates, hot cocoa mix in the little packets, a bag of mini marshmallows, potato rolls, pepperoni, muscatine grape jam or preserves, peanut butter, wheat bread, three gallons of whole milk, and peach juice," Xandra requested.

"Anything else, your majesty?" Hadrian joked.

"A tiara, slave, and Cheetos," Xandra laughed.

"Shoot anything that walks through that door and is not me; I will be back by ten," Hadrian walked out the door.

Xandra sat on the bed, bored. She flipped on the television. The eight o' clock news came on. "First tonight, the mysterious disappearance of a local college Junior. Xandra Caelan was first reported missing nearly a week ago, after leaving a club with an unidentified stranger and failing to return the next day. The case became suspicious when a local hotel worker reported seeing Xandra the evening after her disappearance with the same male she was seen leaving the club with. The worker reported that Xandra seemed crazed and hallucinating before she and the man left the hotel. A car was reported stolen in the nearby area and was later found in the county lake, but no body has been found. If you have any information about Ms. Caelan, shown on the left, or the man she was last seen with, on the right, please contact police immediately."

Xandra changed the channel, shocked. She watched a rerun of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart but could not calm her mind. "What if someone at the store was watching the news and recognized him? What if he has been arrested? What if they are coming to get me right now?" Xandra thought. She turned off the television and rocked back and forth. "What if they figure out what he is? What if they take me and I go from being barely pregnant to full term in three weeks? What if they kill Hadrian? What if they kill my baby? What if they kill me? What if we are tortured? What if they arrest Hadrian and put him in a jail cell with a window facing the sunrise? What if they take Kristos to do experiments on him?" Xandra's mind flooded with the horrible possibilities. She loaded the gun and sat across from the door, ready.

A half an hour later it swung open. "If you move a muscle you are dead!" Xandra stood, gun drawn. Hadrian let the door swing open and did not move. Xandra sighed and lowered the gun. "Get inside and shut the door, hurry."

"Whatever I did I am wrong and I am sorry," Hadrian said.

"You did nothing. I was on the news. The whole state is looking for me. Probably Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan too. I am just so afraid the police will burst in one day and everything will fall apart in seconds," Xandra explained.

"And you are willing to die in a hail of gunfire to make sure this does not happen?" Hadrian asked.

"Either way I will die, I would rather go without watching you and our son die first," Xandra stated boldly. "I would rather die without them winning, even if I have to lose as well."

"Your family does not want you dead. They want me dead. So our death warrants should cancel out," Hadrian smiled. "I am not worried. You should not be either."

"I just think we should stop going out altogether. I can live off of what we have now. It is far too risky for us to go out in public anymore," Xandra said.

"I am bound to suffer never seeing the sun. I will not allow you to bind yourself to that same fate strictly out of fear. You will go out tomorrow, and you will walk head high, facing the sunlight and all those who walk under it," Hadrian commanded. "Allow nobody to take that right away form you."

"Hadrian I am scared. I am really truly scared. It is one thing to be chased by demons, witches, and vampires, it is another to be chased by the state of Illinois. There are people looking for me right now who will not stop, day or night, until I am found living or found dead. And if I am dead they will keep looking until they have found everyone worth blaming," Xandra cried. "It seems that every time I tell myself it can not possibly get worse, somehow it does. Somehow fate has deemed that I will have to work my own miracle to have this baby."

"And it will continue to get worse. It will get so bad you will swear that living is nothing short of impossible. But I will not let you take it all alone, and I will not let you give up," Hadrian kissed her. "You are too strong to give up. And what you hold is far too important to be lost."

"Will all of this stop, once he is born will everyone go away?" Xandra sighed.

"I have not a single clue, Xandra. It will get better, because he will be powerful even from birth and able to defend himself. Once he is born you can tell your family you are safe and all the media will die off," Hadrian said.

"I could tell them now. I could get to my parent's house and back in daylight. That way they would know I was safe," Xandra proposed.

"I don not think that is a wise idea," Hadrian warned. "I think no good would come of you doing that."

"What bad could happen?" Xandra asked.

"They could follow you back. Something else could follow you back," Hadrian pointed out.

"Then we will go together tomorrow. We must leave exactly at sunset. I can sneak in my parent's house and up to their room and tell them I am fine but I can not yet return. Then I will just leave before they can ask any questions," Xandra suggested. "I just want to lighten the stress load. I feel like the whole world is out to get Kristos and me."

Hadrian sighed. "I still think it is a shitty idea but it is what you want to do so I supposed it would be futile to argue about it."

"Good. Then I will go shopping for our trip once the sun is up, and then I will sleep until we leave," Xandra smiled.

They sat and plotted their course of action for the next few hours until six in the morning when Xandra left to get supplies. She went to Wal Mart and picked up basic housebreaking tools: a crowbar, a wrench, some hand towels for breaking glass, an indoor room lock pick, and a flashlight. She also bought a bag of Cheetos, a six pack of diet coke, and some mint gum. Xandra took a cab back to the building but loaded the car before going back upstairs. Hadrian kissed her at the door and ushered her to bed. "I do not want you to be cranky the whole trip, so go to sleep and rest up now. I will need you to get me to your parent's house," he said, covering her up with blankets.

Week 2, Day 8

Hadrian carried Xandra to the car. He knew the way out of Chicago and back to Xandra's city of origin so he felt no need to wake her until they had arrived at the city. When they were about ten miles away Hadrian pulled over and woke Xandra from her deep slumber. "Time to wake up, baby doll, I have no clue where to go from here," he shook her gently.

"Baby doll?" Xandra smirked, stretching. "Get off at the next exit and turn left." Hadrian pulled back on to the highway and drove to the next exit. He turned left.

"Now what?" he asked.

"Right at the third stop light, then turn on to Waterford Drive. I think it's the second or third right," Xandra said. She retrieved her bag from the back seat and fixed her hair and makeup. "Want some Cheetos?" Xandra held out the bag of puffy orange goodness.

"No thank you, I do not eat anything I can not identify the origin of," Hadrian laughed.

"It comes from a plant or something. The Cheeto tree. What the hell do you think cheetahs live in?" Xandra joked.

"Yeah, yeah," Hadrian smiled. "Where to now?"

"Go left here. Okay, park at that house," Xandra pointed to a large brick house with dark blue shutters. A large weeping willow tree in the front yard added to the spookiness of it all. Xandra grabbed the break in gear she purchased and unbuckled her seat belt. "If I am not back in twenty minutes, go park at the gas station off the main road." She started to depart the car. Hadrian took hold of her wrist and stopped her.

"I love you. Do not get hurt," He kissed her. She smiled and got out of the car.

Xandra first checked under the mat for a key. Luckily, it was still there. She opened the lock and punched in the code for the silent house alarm. Stepping softly, Xandra walked up the stairs and down the hall to her parent's bedroom. She gently opened the door and crept up alongside her mother. "Mama," Xandra shook her. "Mom..." Her mother sat up and screamed. Xandra quickly covered her mouth. "It is just me, Xandra, stop screaming for the love of God and all that is holy!"

"Xandra? Oh honey we were so worried, where in the blue hell have you been? Who was that man; are you all right? Have you been to the police yet? Are-"

"Mother I am not staying I just wanted you to know that I am okay," Xandra said, pulling away from her mother's hug. "I am involved in something very important; I can not tell you what right now but I will come back to see you in three weeks or so."

"Where are you going? How will I know you are okay? Who are you staying with? Xandra you are not in a cult, are you? Honey, we have been so worried..." her mother cried.

"I am not in a cult mom, do not be ridiculous. I am staying with my husband in our house and that is all you need to know," Xandra explained. "I am fine and I am happy. You do not need to worry anymore."

"Your husband?! Oh Xandra what have you done," her mother sobbed.

"Yes I am married to a good man who protects me and takes care of me and we will have a baby soon, I have to go now," Xandra got up from the bed and walked towards the door. Her mother tried to follow. "You can not follow me mom, I will be back. It is a danger for me if you follow or try and find me," Xandra stopped her and ran downstairs out to the car. She got in and buckled her seatbelt. "Go," Xandra turned to Hadrian. "Go before she has time to call the cops." Hadrian backed out of the driveway and took off.

"How did it go?" Hadrian asked.

"Okay I suppose. I left her in hysterics but otherwise it was fine. She asked about you," Xandra replied.

"What did you say?" Hadrian questioned.

"I said you were a good man, and you protected me and cared for me and that we were married," Xandra smiled. Hadrian took her left hand in his right.

"Well why did you say all that?" he looked at her.

"Because it is all true and I wanted her not to hate you. I have no idea if it worked or not, but I would rather have you identified on the news as my husband instead of my captor," Xandra said. "She probably thinks I am crazy, for marrying so spontaneously. She probably thinks you brainwashed me or something. Oh well."

"Great, I will be known on the news as the guy who forced an innocent college girl into marriage," Hadrian smirked. Xandra smiled slyly at him.

"You dirty bastard, what were you thinking tricking lil' old me into your bed?" Xandra joked. "You ought to be hung from the highest tree."

"I do not know, Miss Caelan, I just can not keep it in my pants I suppose," Hadrian played along. "I just had to get me a piece of that fine virgin ass."

"You are such a slut, Mr. Warrick. Slut slut slut slut slut. No decent woman is ever going to want to marry you," Xandra fluttered her eyelashes.

"I guess I will have to settle for you then, huh?" Hadrian asked.

"I guess you will have to," Xandra replied matter of factly. They laughed. "Good times," Xandra nodded. "Good times."

"Do you love me?" Hadrian asked quite abruptly. "I mean really love me?"

"Of course, why would you even ask?" Xandra replied.

"Because you never say it. Like you have some kind of phobia," Hadrian explained.

"I do so, you just say it first," Xandra defended herself.

"Okay," Hadrian said. They were silent. Xandra leaned back her chair and went to sleep. When they arrived at the penthouse Hadrian carried her upstairs and gently laid her down on the bed. The sun rose over the horizon. Hadrian sat at the smoked window and watched. Once it was done rising her turned on the television.

New police reports say that last night at about one in the morning Xandra Caelan made a visit to her parent's suburban house to "check in" and let her family know that she was all right. We interviewed her mother early this morning:

" It was horrible, she spoke to me as if she had not been gone at all and that everything was okay. She told me she was doing something important and that she was married to the man that kidnapped her. I do not know what to say...she is obviously under the control of someone or a group of people or something. Xandra come home, please. And whoever you are that has her, we will find you and we will get our daughter back."

In other news-
Hadrian turned the television off. "I knew it was a bad idea. I knew," he told himself. He slammed his fist against the wall, creating a hole where his hand impacted. Hadrian sat down beside the bed and rested his head upon her stomach. "Look, I know it is a lot to ask, but if you could endow some sense into your mother I would really appreciate it. That or get her to trust my decisions. Either way it's going to be real tough for us men if we keep doing what she wants to do all the time," he sighed. "Kristos, if only you knew how crazy you mother is. It is a wonder that one of us has not gotten killed or impaled yet. She is so smart but so damn stubborn sometimes, I swear." Hadrian kicked of his shoes and crawled into bed with his wife. "Woman you are going to be the end of me," he smiled at the sleeping Xandra and kissed her cheek. "I hope I wake up before you do so you do not have enough time to come up with some new way to get us caught or killed."

Week 2, Day 9

Hadrian sat up and stretched. Xandra woke up at about the same time and cracked her neck. "That is so gross," Hadrian yawned. "It sounds like you are breaking your neck into little tiny pieces."

"It feels good," Xandra continued cracking. She yawned. "I want some Cheetos," Xandra commented, standing up from bed. She looked at the clock. "Hey, it is already midnight, we slept through prime time."

"What the hell is it with you and those flavored air wads?" Hadrian questioned.

"Mmm, they are really good," said Xandra with her mouth full. "They are cheesy, but not really. You can have some."

"You violate so many laws of reason, you know that?" Hadrian laughed. "If I was not one hundred percent in love with you, I would have you locked up until the end of time. You are crazy."

"I know, but I would not be nearly as interesting if I was not," Xandra munched happily on her Cheetos. Hadrian just shook his head and laughed.

"I suppose you are right about that," he smiled.

"Are you sure you do not want a Cheeto?" Xandra danced one in front of her face before eating it.

"Not unless you bleed on it first," Hadrian said dryly.

"That is disgusting. You do not bleed on Cheetos," she slapped him lightly. "Cheeto killer." Xandra crawled back on to the bed with her bag of Cheetos.

"You are getting crumbs all over the linens," Hadrian sighed. Xandra moved over and sat on his hips.

"Then I will get crumbs on you instead," Xandra resolved. "Even though you and the bed linens are equally washable."

"Yes, but now you will have to wash me once you are finished eating cheese toes," Hadrian pointed out.

"Cheetos. And really I could just brush the crumbs off," Xandra shrugged.

Hadrian rubbed her thighs. " would definitely have to wash me. Look, see, I am already covered in orange powder," he insisted.

"It is called 'cheetle' or 'chee dust' not 'orange powder'," Xandra rolled her eyes. She smeared lines of orange across Hadrian's cheeks and smiled. "Chee war paint."

Hadrian sat up and kissed Xandra. He pulled the bag from her hands and set it on the nightstand. "Now you really have to wash me off, look how dirty I am."

"I can feel how dirty you are," Xandra bit her lip. Hadrian lifted her up front piggyback and carried her to the bathroom. He turned on the water to fill the enormous Jacuzzi. "Wait, Hadrian," Xandra paused. "Please be very careful. I do not want to get hurt."

"I know, that is why we are going to wait until we are in the water," Hadrian kissed her again. "It will relax your back. If I though it could hurt you I would arrange to keep my pants on for a couple more weeks."

Xandra stood up and took her clothes off. "I trust you then," she smiled. Xandra took Hadrian's shirt off and started to unzip his pants. He pushed her hand aside.

"Not until the tub is full. I would have a hard time handling you and myself being naked but not being able to do anything. Just wait," Hadrian kissed her. He sat down on the edge and watched the Jacuzzi fill slowly. Xandra shivered and sat down on Hadrian's lap. He enveloped her in an embrace and they brushed their lips against each other's faces. Hadrian glanced into the tub and saw that it was about halfway full. "This is torture," he murmured. "Go on and get in, the water is warmer than I am and it will fill faster if someone is in it."

Xandra dipped her toe in the water before sitting down. "When it is filled up it will go right over my shoulders up to my chin."

"That is the idea," Hadrian said. "So the water absorbs the movement not you."

"Get in with me," Xandra teased. "Please, I am so lonely."

Hadrian leaned forward to whisper into her ear. "I am so worked up right now, if I get in there before it is filled up, I will probably break you in half. Be patient," he whispered. Hadrian got up from the edge and walked out of the bathroom.

"Where are you going?" Xandra asked.

"In the other room as not to be tempted, heathen," he winked at her. Xandra sat impatiently until the Jacuzzi was filled to midway up her neck. She turned off the water and started the jets.

"Hey, cool," Xandra said. She ducked under the water right as Hadrian walked in. He stood at the edge, arms crossed, until Xandra arose. She sat up on her knees so her shoulders were about hip height with Hadrian. They looked deeply into each other's eyes.

"It is already one thirty. I should go drink first," Hadrian commented. Xandra said nothing, but continued to look into Hadrian's eyes. She unzipped his pants and hooked her hands inside the top of his pants and boxers to pull them down.

"Speak now or forever hold your peace for a while at least," Xandra spoke softly, still gazing into his eyes. Hadrian put his hands on top of hers and pushed down. He climbed into the Jacuzzi. Within seconds Xandra was on top of him with her ankles crossed behind his back. She kissed him quickly and moved at a feverish pace.

"Slow down," Hadrian breathed, pulling Xandra close against his body. "Make it last." They rocked back and forth slowly. The heat from the water gave Xandra's flesh a deep pink hue and beads of sweat rolled down her neck and face. After a while Xandra arched her back and moaned loudly. Hadrian closed his eyes and focused his mind elsewhere. He continued to move with Xandra until she had come a second and third time then finally let go. Xandra lay her head on Hadrian's shoulder.

"That was amazing. Thank you," she kissed his cheek.

"I am happy you are pleased," Hadrian said, stroking Xandra's back. He drained some of the water from the tub until it was about three inches below her collarbone. Xandra got out of the Jacuzzi and grabbed a washcloth and a bar of soap from the bathroom counter top. She quickly got back in the tub and shivered.

"Brrr, chilly," Xandra snuggled close to Hadrian. She made the washcloth sudsy and ran the soapy mini towel over his body. Hadrian did the same for Xandra. She repeatedly and intentionally exposed her neck in a seductive way. Hadrian drew his lips across her neck and kissed it. Xandra rolled her head back on to Hadrian's shoulder. Suddenly, he shoved her away. "What was that for?" Xandra inquired angrily.

"You know damn well what you were doing and I can not believe you would try and do it," Hadrian got out of the tub and tied a towel around his waist, infuriated. "How could you try and get me to do that? What were you thinking?"

"I did not do anything!" Xandra denied his charge. She was lying.

"Do not lie to me Xandra. Do not," Hadrian warned. He left the bathroom and slammed the door behind him. Xandra sat in the tub, too stubborn to confess to her own error.

"I just wanted to make sure I would never be alone," she cried to herself. Xandra sat for a few minutes more then drained the tub and dried off. She sat at the vanity looking at herself in the mirror. "I hate you," Xandra pouted. She stood up to leave the bathroom but slipped on a puddle of water and hit her head and face against the chair. Expecting Hadrian to come in and assist her, Xandra lay on the floor, crying and holding her head. After ten minutes it became clear he was not coming in so Xandra stood up and carefully and walked out of the bathroom. She passed Hadrian silently and went to the bedroom to change. It was almost morning so Xandra went to the mirror to put on her makeup and noticed her left eye socket and cheekbone were turning a deep purple. "Ha-" Xandra stopped herself. She knew Hadrian could do nothing about he black eye anyway so she decided to just ignore it. Xandra left the bedroom and walked into the kitchen. Hadrian did not even look up. She made herself a sandwich and departed from the penthouse. Xandra had no idea where she was going and had no money. She walked for hours, until noon, when she was too tired to even make it back to the penthouse. A lonely park bench was Xandra's only comfort. She sat down and stared at the sky. Fluffy clouds passed the blue-sky overhead. Xandra sighed.

"I know who you are," a small voice whispered from an unknown source. Xandra looked around. She saw nothing and deemed the voice to be a figment of her imagination. "We will get him," the voice whispered again. Xandra stood up, scared.

"Who are you?" she asked quietly.

""We will get him before he gets us," the voice replied. Xandra ran. The faster she ran and the closer to the John Hancock building she got, the angrier the voice told her to stop. She reached the building and bounded up every single fight of stairs until she got to the penthouse.

"Let me in please," Xandra cried pounding on the door. "There is something after me, let me in." The door did not open. "Let me in, let me in, please, I can not even see the thing to defend myself, just let me in!"

Hadrian opened the door and shut it right as Xandra got in. He said nothing but walked away as if he had no interest in what had just happened. Xandra bit her lip tearfully to keep from crying loud enough for Hadrian to hear. She went into the bedroom and slammed the door, but neglected to remove her hand from the doorframe. Xandra screamed and sat on the floor, openly sobbing. She shut the door with her feet, knowing Hadrian was not coming to comfort her anyway. The big empty bed beckoned the Xandra, so she crawled in and cried herself to sleep.

Week 2, Day 10

Xandra awoke, black and blue. Her right hand was swollen to twice its normal size and she could not flex her fingers. Xandra touched her bruised face. The swelling had gone down very slightly, but the bruise itself was darker than midnight. The silence of the penthouse made Xandra uneasy. She took the pistol off the nightstand into her hand, but could not grip to shoot anyway. With a cry of desperation Xandra hurled the gun into the bed. "Hadrian where are you," she sobbed to no one. "How could you leave me here alone and helpless?" Xandra dressed and sat down at the table in the kitchen. "You could find him Kristos, I know you can," she touched her abdomen. "I need him, we need him." Xandra stared bitterly at her ring. She departed from the penthouse out in to the night. The cold air chilled Xandra to the bone, but she walked on, determined. Intuition, or better mental guidance from Kristos, led her to a warehouse rave. Xandra moved though the room unnoticed by the melodically moving crowd. She went out the back door into a dank, dismal alley. "Hadrian?" Xandra called out softly. No answer came. "Hadrian?" she repeated a bit louder. Discouraged, Xandra sat down on a pile of garbage bags. She rested her head against her chest. When she looked up a small crowd of about six people had formed around her. Xandra stood up, scared.

"What are you doing out so late by yourself, little lady," one of the people smirked. "Do you not know of things like demons and vampires and werewolves that haunt the night looking for young girlies like you?"

"There is no such thing as werewolves, do not be absurd," Xandra replied defiantly. "Let me be."

"Ah yes, but you see," another person started, "if we let you be, then soon we will not be."

"I have no idea what you are talking about," Xandra lied.

"You lie, woman," an alien-like shadowy figure pushed to the front of the group. "But, since your child will be in distress if you are, and since every true parent can sense the pain of their young, perhaps it would be best to take you where no one can hear you scream and tear your pretty face apart. Just to see if lovie dear comes to save you. But from the looks of it he seems to have had his fun with you already. Perhaps it would be better to just kill you."

"No!" Xandra exclaimed. "Let me go, I have not done a thing to any of you, just leave me be, please."

"What are you more afraid of, my dear abused lady Warrick, death or pain?" The shadowy figure asked. "Do you wish to suffer at your incompetent husband's hand until the end of eternity or die in an alley way? I would be doing a favor to end it for you now."

"Hadrian would never hurt me," Xandra hissed.

"Then I suppose your hand is shattered and your face blends in with the night because you are clumsy, yes?"

"Yes," Xandra replied.

The dark shadowy figure laughed mockingly. "Forgive me, my name is Tyson. I am a fire breather from the first ordinance sent out to kill you and your child. I find you quite amusing Xandra; it almost makes me sad I have to kill you. But alas, it is time to find your hubby so he may watch the penalty of his sin die in terrible agony," Tyson said.

"I do not know where he is," Xandra pleaded. "Let me go; kill me some other evening."

"Please, he would never leave you alone to protect his son. You are far too weak. Even if he does beat you I doubt he would kill you before the child was born," Tyson sighed. "But if you insist on being stubborn we will just have to leave you bleeding in the alley until he finds you." He thrust a dagger into Xandra's shoulder. She screamed in agony and fell to her knees. Tyson removed the knife. "Now stay here and cry while we hide in the shadows for your Hadrian," he smiled cruelly. Xandra lay on the pavement, shivering, bleeding, and crying. She heard footsteps and looked up, but her vision was dizzy and blurred from blood loss. Tyson moved from the shadows with his gang and picked up Xandra roughly.

"Tyson, let her go, you know she had no choice in all of this. It is not fair to kill her for something she had no knowledge she was doing," Hadrian moved towards them.

"The only reason she is not dead already is because I wanted you to suffer for your dishonesty by watching her die," Tyson said.

"I never lied to Xandra, not once," Hadrian looked at her. Xandra stared back with icy glazed over eyes. She looked horrible with the accumulation of her injuries.

"I know that is a lie, but in not telling her the truth from the very beginning is in itself a form of lying. It may be unfair to kill her, but it was far more unfair for you to bed the little girl without telling her what the consequences of her actions would be. You are responsible for her dying than she or I will ever be," Tyson mused. He drew a line across Xandra's collarbone with the dagger. She winced as a thick line of blood oozed from the cut.

Hadrian rushed forwards but was halted by Tyson's group. They punched, kicked, stabbed, and otherwise beat him into a mess. Tyson pushed Xandra against a wall and separated the crowd to see Hadrian face to face. "You are a failure in both worlds," Tyson hissed. While this was happening, Xandra took the dagger she had found from her front pocket. She curled her good hand around the handle and shoved it though Tyson's spine. He yelled just before melting into a puddle of smoldering tar. The gang turned their attention from Hadrian to Xandra. Hadrian pulled his gun from his jacket and shot four of them as Xandra stabbed the final demon. She stood dagger still at hand, shaking. Hadrian slowly arose from the ground and faced Xandra. She stepped back from him, ready to knife his body to pieces.

"Xandra, it is okay, you can put that away now-"

"No it is most certainly not okay!" Xandra interrupted. "Look at me, my face, my hand, my shoulders. Every single one of these is your fault! You left me to suffer and die!"

"I did no such thing," Hadrian said. "I have to eat too you know."

"That is not what I mean," Xandra replied. She backed up a little further and stared at him silently. Instantly, Xandra shoved the dagger back into her pocked and took off at a full sprint. Hadrian followed behind her. She ran at full speed back to the penthouse and bolted the door behind her. He banged on the door.

"Xandra let me in or I will break it down; you know I will," Hadrian called out to her. Before Xandra had a chance to protest or respond she collapsed, unconscious. Blood continued to rush from the knife wounds. "One, two, three!" Hadrian broke the lock and opened the door. "We need to talk Xandra, there is-" he stopped himself. "Xandra?" Hadrian looked about and noticed her feet sticking out from behind the counter. He darted to her side. Blood was starting to pool on the tile floor. "Xandra, no," Hadrian panicked. "Please no." He took her into his arms.

"I am not dead yet," she breathed, fluttering awake. Tears flowed down her cheeks. "Not quite yet. Though I might feel better if I was."

"No, I am not going to let you die today," Hadrian said.

"I am going to bleed to death Hadrian, it will not stop bleeding," Xandra touched her shoulder, shaking. "I think he hit a pretty big vein. There is no way to stop it." They sat silently.

"Where is your sewing kit?" Hadrian asked, brushing away tears.

"On my nightstand," Xandra told him. Hadrian stood to retrieve it. "No Hadrian don't leave me!" Xandra cried out.

"I have to get the sewing kit, I will come right back, I promise," Hadrian assured her. Xandra sobbed. He sat back down with the kit and a small carving knife from the kitchen.

"What are you doing to me?" Xandra whimpered.

"I have to try and make it stop bleeding but I have to cut away some tissue so I can see the vein," Hadrian explained. "This is going to hurt really bad but you can not scream."

"No," Xandra pouted. "I would rather die."

"Well it is a good thing you are incapacitated and I am the one with the knife," he clenched his teeth and sliced off a thick chunk of skin from each side of the wound, leaving a giant, gaping hole quickly filling with blood. Xandra passed out. Hadrian threaded the needle. He sucked the blood from the wound and quickly stitched together the two ends of gushing tubing. Xandra's blood made him feel dizzy for some reason unknown to even Hadrian himself. He shook his head and continued working. Having cut away a large portion of the skin and other tissue from around the wound Hadrian had nothing to stitch back together. He grabbed a pair of clean socks from the laundry and stuck it in the hole. He wiped the blood from his mouth and re-threaded the needle to stitch the cut along Xandra's collarbone. Once Hadrian was finished he carried Xandra to the bathroom to sponge bathe her wounds and dress her in clean clothes. He filled her shoulder with gauze and antibiotic ointment. She moaned softly sometimes, but did not awaken. Hadrian placed her on the couch just as the sun arose. He turned away from the window.

"I do not deserve to see, because I have failed," Hadrian said aloud to himself. "I promised to protect something far more beautiful than any sunrise, but here she lies, clinging to life on a thread she does not even wish to maintain. I failed as a human, a son, a friend, a student, a loyal vampire, and now I have failed as a husband and a father." He sat down on the floor beside Xandra. "Do I even deserve to be here if she awakens? Indeed it will be my fault if she does not awaken at all! And because of my own inability to forgive and to ask to be forgiven she is broken in body, heart, and soul. Oh Xandra, why can I never understand you? I never wanted to hurt you, and even after I deceived you I swore I would never hurt you again yet here I am." Hadrian sobbed on Xandra's chest. "Forgive me for my failures, my dear wife, and I will deny you nothing again until the end our days on this earth."

Hours later Xandra's eyelids slowly creased open. She swallowed hard and blinked. Being in too much pain to move her neck, Xandra felt around hoping to find Hadrian's hand. She grasped a handful of hair and breathed a sigh of relief. "Hadrian," Xandra struggled to whisper. "Hadrian..."

He awoke and lifted his head. "Oh God I was so afraid I was going to lose you," Hadrian said, gently hugging her. "Tell me I have not."

"I can not tell you that Hadrian," Xandra spoke softly. "I know that I still love you but sometimes love is not enough. And who knows if I shall not die from infection yet."

"You will not die because you can not die; I will not allow you to be taken from me by death," Hadrian comforted her.

"You make no argument for me to stay," Xandra sighed.

"Because you should not. I am negligent, selfish, stubborn, and I have been uncaring. I have failed every promise I have ever made to you except that I have and will love you forever. And I will do anything for you to continue by my side," Hadrian took Xandra's hands into his and kissed them. "Anything."

"I want to walk with you unchanging through time," Xandra demanded.

"Once Krist is born you will, I swear you will," Hadrian kissed her. She cried out.

"It hurts so bad to move," Xandra explained. "It is like every movement connects to my shoulder somehow."

"Then do not move. You have no need to; I will meet your every need," Hadrian assured her.

"Carry me to bed and lay with me," Xandra requested. "Do not leave me alone. I fear being alone."

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