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Verbrennen: the Writer

Originally published March-June 2003 in a 3 part series

Doctor Nastassia Chase walked into the cold, damp room. The smell of death lingered in the air sickeningly. She sighed to herself. After all, when you're the head of the autopsy department of the FBI, whom else are you going to sigh to?

Dr. Chase opened the drawer containing the new cadaver. It was one of those strange bodies; didn't have a name, didn't have a listed possible cause of death, didn't have any paperwork outside of "white male, about 6'9", average build, dark hair, blue eyes." She swore under her breath. She was a doctor, why was she stuck in a room with dead, unidentified FBI bodies? Her assistant, Andrew Parker entered the room.

"Yeah, that one is from like, Amsterdam or something crazy like that." He said. "Kind of a scary looking fellow, don't you think?"

"Germany, and no, he's just tall, probably quite handsome when he had a bit of color in his flesh." Nastassia replied. "He has that Eastern European giant look. Sexy beast." She tapped the cheek of the cadaver and turned to her table of gadgets.

"Too much phenlyalanine for you." Andrew said sarcastically. Dr. Chase turned back around with a syringe and pushed it into the neck of the cadaver. She pulled back but drew no blood.

"What the hell..." Nastassia tried various veins and arteries around the chest and neck of the corpse and came up unsuccessful. She tossed away the syringe with disgust and grabbed the scalpel off of the table. "I hate doing this the dirty way." She muttered, plunging the scalpel into the breastbone of the body. Dr. Chase opened the chest cavity and stood back in awe.

"It looks bone dry." Andrew Parker said. "Like there's not a drop of blood in the poor bastard's body."

"Close it up."


"You heard me. Stitch the body closed. This is getting sent back, it's out of my league." Nastassia ordered. "I'll put in the fax later for it to be picked up." She leaned down to examine the teeth of the cadaver. As she did so, Andrew spun around, needle and scissors at hand, and accidentally cut a long gash along Nastassia's forehead while turning. Before she had time to react, blood dripped from her forehead onto the lips of the corpse.

"Oh my god Dr. Chase, I am so sorry, I totally just was careless and I, geeze, I'm sorry, I'll clean this up" Andrew apologized. She stood still, silent. "Dr. Chase?"

"It moved."

"It can't have moved, it's a dead guy." Andrew remarked. The body twitched again.

"Andrew, go get the blood bags from the closet and hurry." He ran. The body went from twitching to shuddering. "Hurry!" She yelled with a tinge of fear tainting her voice. He returned with the bags. Dr. Chase quickly poured the blood into an IV bag and jabbed the needle into the arm of the cadaver she was no longer sure was a cadaver. The eyelids of the man flew open as he began convulsing. She struggled to hold him down on the table. "Go upstairs and get somebody down here now!" Andrew bolted for the elevator. Blood oozed from the incision on the chest of the man and within seconds healed the laceration.

The body stopped moving as instantaneously as it had started. Suddenly, the man sat up and grabbed the doctor, holding her so she could not escape and her head was tilted to one side, exposing her neck. She forced back tears.

"Who are you?" The man growled. He breathed along the nape of her neck.

"Dr. Nastassia Chase, I'm a mortician for the FBI. Let me go. Please." Her voice became a squeak by the time she was finished. "Who are you? What are you?"

"My name is Damian. I think you know what I am. As long as you keep everybody else in the FBI from finding out, I won't hurt you, so calm down." He told Nastassia. Her breathing calmed down and he released his grip on her body. She slid away from the table and walked to the blood closet. Dr. Chase took out two bags and walked them back over to Damian, still shaking. He took them from her hands and held on. She struggled to get away. "Shh, shh, relax." Damian whispered to her. He felt her hand and arm. "You're so warm."

"Yeah, I'" Nastassia hesitated, unsure of whether or not it was wise to be witty with the vampire sitting in front of her. He laughed and drank the bags, tossing the empty ones into the nearby trash can.

"So let me get this straight," Damian started. "You cut up dead people for a living?"

"I didn't use to. And I don't exactly cut them up..."

"Right, you cut up dead people." He continued. "And you were going to cut me up too, yes?"

"No, I was going to send you back to Europe."

"Mmm Hmm. Right." He sighed. "And why would you do that?"

"Because you were a creepy unidentified corpse I couldn't get a drop of blood out of to test."

"Aww, I'm not so creepy, you hurt my feelings." Damian pulled the paper sheet of the table over his lower body. "Almost forgot for a second that I was naked." Dr. Chase rose from her chair and dug a large lab coat from the coat closet. "That'll do." Damian said. Andrew reentered the room, followed by three doctors and two uniformed individuals.

"There, that's the dead guy. Who's not dead. I guess. Maybe." Andrew said, pointing towards Damian.

"I can explain." Dr. Chase recovered quickly. "He has a condition that causes his body to go into deep sleep for long a duration then revive." She paused. "Actually, I'd like to study the effects and take him as my patient for the time being."

"Whatever, as long as you have the report on my desk by Monday." One of the uniformed men said, waving her off. "Take one of the labs on the 8th floor. And for god's sake, get the man something besides a lab coat to wear."

"Thank you sir." Nastassia replied, grateful that Damian's secret would remain just that for the time being. Everybody except the doctor, Andrew, and Damian filed out of the room. "Andrew, take the rest of today and tomorrow off, nothing's going to get done anyway." Dr. Chase said, placing a hand on her bloody forehead. "And get somebody down here for clean up while you're leaving." She tossed off her lab coat and grabbed her Ids and keys from her desk. "Damian, come with me." He followed her to the elevator and into a lab. She slid her card through and the door opened. "That room is yours, this room is the exam whatever room, that's my room, I'm going to bed, goodnight. Good morning. Whatever. I have no idea what time it is." Nastassia said, walking into her room in the lab.

"It's 10:30 AM." Damian remarked.

"Good, I'll be up around 10:30 PM." She started to shut the door.



He paused. "Is there a window in my room?"

"No, I made sure I got a lab that didn't get any sunlight." She replied. "Oh, and don't try to leave the lab without me, you'll get shot and stabbed and beaten down and what have you if you even try." Dr. Chase shut her door, collapsed onto the cot, and fell asleep.

Damian didn't rest. He had no need to. He just slumped down onto the cot in his room and stared at the wall for hours, restless. That wall connects to Nastassia's. Damian thought. I wonder what she looks like when she's sleeping. He shook the thought. Don't be stupid, she'll wake up and catch you spying. A depressed sigh escaped Damian's throat. "Damn," he spoke to himself, "too bad she ain't a vamp, she'd have been a great lay." Human-vampire sex was not uncommon, yet it was still frowned upon by the Vampire community and the human one as well. Damian hated playing by the rules. It had been a while since he'd been with someone, probably the French Revolution, because it was so hard to find a chick vampire worth falling in love with. Female vamps were mostly trashy. Damian hated trashy women. "Doctor Chase." He remarked to himself. "Doctor Chase..."

Damian opened the door to his room and entered the main lab. He turned the doorknob to Nastassia's room and crept inside. She was asleep on her right side, on top of the covers. Damian slowly stepped to the side of Dr. Chase's bed and sat down on the floor next to her. He ran his hand across her face and hair. She stirred as if to wake and he drew his hand back, then left the room, shutting the door behind him. What the fuck did you do that for?! Damian scolded himself. What would you have done if she'd woken up, huh? What would you have done then slick? Dumbass. He glanced at the clock. Six fifteen. Nastassia wouldn't be up for at least another couple of hours. Go in again. Watch her sleep. See how she moves through her dreams. His daring side began to kick in again. Damian once again entered Dr. Chase's room. This time he sat next to her bed, but did not dare to touch her. For about two hours he just watched her expressions change. First she was in a way, euphoric looking. Then she was serious. After she was happy again. Damian liked watching her; it was almost like seeing a movie, only you had to imagine the entire plot. It was eight thirty. She's going to wake up soon, get out of there. He left the room and sat at the table in what appeared to be a very tiny kitchen Good job, you stalked her in her sleep. What's next, spying on her in the shower? Or do you move right up to tying her down and fucking her brains out? Asshole. Now she's never gonna sleep with you. Damian mentally argued with himself. She wouldn't have anyway. I'm a vampire, remember? Wanders in the night, sucks people's blood? She's just taking care of me because she's afraid I'll drink her. Therefore I cannot. I have to protect her so she trusts me. I can be happy with only her trust and friendship. He lied to himself. Damian wanted Nastassia badly. Very badly. He once again checked the clock. Nine o five. Why isn't she awake? She's had nearly eleven hours of sleep. Fear overtook his body. What if you drank her on accident? What if she's lying in there, dead? Go check! Hurry! Damian stood up and burst through the door to Nastassia's room. She was tugging on a clean tank top. Damian nearly keeled over at the sight.

Nastassia looked at him and smiled. "Are you alright?" She asked. Damian quickly scanned her body from head to toe.

"Yeah, just...hungry." He replied. He wanted to see the rest of her. Dr. Chase headed over to the lab door and opened it. A box was outside. She picked it up and set it on the kitchen table. In it was a set of about eight blood bags and a set of men's clothing. She handed the clothes to Damian.

"Go put those on. They'll be a bit short, but for now it's better than a lab coat." Nastassia said with a slight tone to her voice. "You're going to have to curb your appetite to two or three bags a day or people are going to ask questions."

"If you let me out at night I can go hunt and I won't need any." Damian said. Dr. Chase stiffened in her chair a bit and opened her mouth as if to say something, but stopped. "Say it." Damian demanded.


"What you were going to say. You stopped yourself."

"I wasn't going to say anything."

"Yes you were. You were going to say something about it being wrong to drink a living person, dirty to-"

"I wasn't-" Nastassia started.

"It's not any different than a human hunting down a deer or a cow or a chicken. You just like to think it is because you don't like the idea or being prey. You like to feel superior."

Nastassia bit her lip. She hated being yelled at; it reminded her too much of her childhood. "I wasn't going to say anything like that." She retorted.

"Then what?"

She hesitated. "I wanted to say, that if you want to go, you have to take me with you."

"Oh." Damian suddenly felt very bad. Good job gaining her friendship and trust. All she was going to say is that if you wanted to hunt she was going with. Real good job.

"I can take you out after I pick up some stuff at my apartment. Just..." She stopped. "Be very careful. I can lose my job and go to jail for this." He felt a bit of excitement. She's risking her job, her very life for you. That's bragging rights right there. They sat in silence for a moment. "Um, where do you need to go to...hunt? Is there some vampire underground thing where they have people pre-captured or something?"

"Well, yes, but I can't take you there."

"Why not?"

"Because if I intended for you to be drank I'd do it myself. You wouldn't last five minutes in there." Damian spoke truthfully. Both about him drinking her and her not lasting five minutes in the underground. Nobody was going to drink Nastassia, except maybe him. He wasn't even planning on doing so.

"I see." She commented, seeming let down. She wanted to see the underground. It seemed intriguing. "Oh well." Dr. Chase stood up and unlocked the lab door, motioning for Damian to follow. She led him to her car and got in. He followed suit and climbed in the passenger side, bucking his seatbelt. They drove out of the parking dock and headed towards the city.

"Where are we?" Damian asked.

"DC." Nastassia replied. She stopped in front of a large apartment complex and turned off the car. "Come on, you can't stay by yourself." She ordered.

"Ok." Damian replied. He followed her up the complex about two flights of stairs behind. Being dead for a while tends to have negative effects on your overall fitness and Damian was far from being able to keep up with Dr. Chase's lively climb up the stairs. He heard her scream and stopped. The scream was followed by an eerie dead silence. Damian bolted up the stairs to Nastassia. She was pressed against the wall, mouth covered, pants undone, gun to her head. The assailant had only begun to undo his pants. He waved the gun in Damian's direction.

"Back off man, you don't want no piece of this; just go downstairs and run away." He said. Damian laughed. He man stood there, still waving around the gun with one hand and holding Nastassia's mouth with the other. Damian stopped laughing and stood there, staring. The man shook, holding the gun pointed at Damian's temple. Damian swung hard, knocking the potential rapist over, then picked him up and bit into the side of his neck, hard. Within a matter of about two minutes, the man was dead, drained of every drop of blood in his body. Damian dropped the limp body and looked up at Dr. Chase. She stood in the corner, tears staining her face. He approached her slowly so not to scare her. He lowered his hands to the undone buttons of her pants. Nastassia whimpered in protest.

"Shh, it's okay." Damian whispered, fastening the buttons and zipping the zipper. "We have to get out of here now though. Have to be gone if the cops show." She nodded in agreement and led him up the stairs about two feet more, then unlocked the door in front of her. "Your apartment was that close? That's luck for shit."

She smirked and smiled, shoving her shoulder into the door. It pushed open. They stepped inside and shut the door tightly behind them. Damian walked to the porch and slid open the door. The cool night air greeted him. Back inside, Nastassia threw a large assortment of items into a duffel bag and zipped it shut. She stepped into the living room. "Let's go." She said, standing behind Damian. He turned to face her and stared at her moonlit face before stepping inside and shutting the porch door. Dr. Chase locked it and headed to the front door, turning the lock before shutting it behind her and Damian. The body of the assailant was still lying on the ground. She stared blankly at the corpse. Damian snapped his fingers in front of her face.

"It's not the first dead person you've ever seen before, I'm sure. Let's go." Damian pressed, grabbing Nastassia by the arm. They walked silently to the car. After they were back inside, buckled up, and doors locked, Dr. Chase spoke.

"That's the first person I've ever seem whose been bitten by a vampire." She stated.

"You've seen me."

She looked confused. "Huh?" Damian rolled his eyes and took her hand, slowly sliding it along his neck. He stopped and put two of her fingers on two small circular scars by his jugular.

"I wasn't a purebred. Very few vampires are." Damian explained. "I was bitten at camp the night before the battle of Bunker Hill."

"The Revolutionary War?!"

"Yeah, the only reason I joined was because I didn't want to get married. I was expected to marry a merchant's daughter the first fall of the war, so I joined the army."

"Afraid of commitment?"

"No, just not in love." With that they both fell silent. Nastassia started the car and headed back for the FBI med. center/laboratory. "Have you ever been in love, Dr. Chase."

She laughed. "Don't call me that. Call me Nastassia."

"You didn't answer."

She stopped laughing. "Once."

"He obviously hurt you very badly. Do you have any children?"

"No." She replied solemnly. The car once again fell silent. "How about you Damian, what's your life story?" Nastassia questioned.

"Been in love a couple of times. They just didn't love me in return, so it didn't work out. No kids."

"Only a couple?" Nastassia asked. She sensed Damian's confusion. "The only reason I ask is it's just...well...I don't know, I guess I've been under the impression that vampires are passionate, aggressive beings my whole life, so I figured you'd lived your whole life in love."

"Yes, but once the man you loved was gone, you still loved him, didn't you?"


"And you still felt passionate about him, yes?"

She sighed. "I get it. It's not a lack of passion, it's a continuing passion for the one you cannot have until someone new fills the gap, and then your love and passion turns to them."

"Exactly." Damian responded. They arrived at the parking garage and got out of the car. Nastassia paused before unlocking the lab door when they got upstairs and turned to Damian.

"Thank you for rescuing me. Most people wouldn't have." She said. She turned and opened the door. They stepped inside and Nastassia threw the duffel bag onto the table. She dug out a deck of cards. "How's your hand at poker?"

"Better than yours."

"Is that a challenge?"

"It depends on what's at stake."

"That's a loaded question. You have no money to bet and I have nothing worth bidding." Nastassia pointed out.

"Fine, then we shall play for bragging rights." Damian responded. It would have been nice to play strip poker. He thought. She dealt out the cards. They played for an hour or so then flipped on the TV. It was getting close to eight AM.

"Bedtime." Nastassia yawned. "I'll be up again around six..." She left for her room. Damian managed to amuse himself until around noon.

Go watch her sleep again. It'll be fun! Ignoring sense, he followed his mind and walked into her room and stayed there until fiveish when he departed and waited for her to wake up and take him out for the evening. The pattern repeated for several days. Sometimes Nastassia would run some tests and such after they returned from hunting and turn in complicated reports Damian couldn't begin to comprehend the next day.

Two weeks Damian and you're still living single. Over the days Damian's desire had turned to obsession, his want to need, and so on. He hated being away from Nastassia with ever fiber of his being. Even more he hated the fact that she did not love him as he loved her. But most of all, it was killing him that he could never have her.

"You've been here a bit over two weeks Damian, you'll be released soon." Nastassia said one evening. He froze.

"Excuse me?"

"Released. You know, like free to go and get away from this place."

Damian felt sick. He was soon going to lose Nastassia forever and there was nothing he could do about it. "Wow." He said, faking happiness. He walked around the room. An object he'd never seen before caught his eye. "What's this?" He asked, reaching towards the switch.

"Don't!" Nastassia cried out. It was too late. Damian flicked on the solar lamp and screamed. Nastassia shoved it over, breaking the bulbs. Damian lay on the ground, moaning. Nastassia looked over his wounds, knowing that they would likely be fatal. "Damian, tell me what to do to save you, please." She began to cry.

"Blood." He croaked out, fading in and out of consciousness. Nastassia vigorously searched the rooms and came up empty-handed. They had exhausted their blood supply. She cried and slumped down next to him. Suddenly, it dawned on her. Damian needed her blood. Far more than she did.

Nastassia grabbed a scalpel from a nearby drawer and cut into her neck. She held the cut to keep it from gushing and leaned back, placing her neck against Damian's teeth. She let go of the cut and closed her eyes.

Damian drank steadily and paused once he was healed enough to remain conscious. The blood was sweet and made him feel slightly giddy. His eyelids fluttered open, yet his vision was shady. The blood was unusually warm compared to the blood he had drank from bags previously and he felt weighted down, perhaps from weakness. He reached up to push the bag back to his mouth and instead felt the soft lukewarm skin of Nastassia's neck. Damian quickly sat up and focused his eyes. To his horror Nastassia was laying on his lap, nearly dead. A small gash connecting two small puncture wounds was visible on her neck.

"No!" Damian howled, clutching her limp body to his. He panicked. "What the fuck did you do Nastassia, what the fuck did you do..." Her body let out a soft moan and she rolled her head forward and looked at Damian with glazed eyes. He looked back, shaking. "Do you have any idea what you have done? Did you not ever read as a child?" Damian stopped for a moment and pressed his forehead to hers. "If you live an hour more you'll recover, but not as a human. How could you do this to me? How can you give me the guilt of knowing that you are a vampire because of my own error, of knowing that you intended to have me kill you because of my own error?" He pulled her into his arms, cradling her fragile life, pressing her face into his shoulder. For about 10 minutes the room was silent.

Nastassia gasped for air and rolled her head back into Damian's arms. "I'm sorry." She choked out, teary-eyed. "I...I just wanted you to be okay."

Damian held her close and said nothing for a while. "You need the feed soon or you'll dry up like I did before you brought me back." He slid a finger along her lips and pushed them open to examine her fangs. Damian smiled. They were beautiful; white, not too long, not too thin or thick, and as sharp as a razor. He looked at the watch Nastassia had given him. They only had a half an hour until sunrise. "Nastassia, we have to leave now to get to an underground. You have to stay awake and tell me what key goes where and all that." She nodded in reply and Damian picked her up. He walked towards the door.

"Green card." Nastassia murmured. He slid the card through the slot.

"Big key with the black top."

"Number 13692356."

"Black Camaro, medium silver key."

Damian followed every direction and set Nastassia into the passenger seat of her car then climbed into the driver seat. He started the car.

"At the gate the code is 55."

They drove downtown. Over the horizon Damian saw the early lights of the sun beginning to rise. Near each building he slowed down and stared at the sidewalk in front for some type of marking. He found the building he wanted and parked in front. "This is it." Damian told Nastassia.

"This is the Lincoln Memorial." Nastassia said quizzically.

"Just look for something."

"Like what?"

"I don't know, something." Damian shifted Nastassia in his arms. "There." He walked towards a block on the sidewalk in front of Lincoln. The sun was close to rising over the building.

"Hurry Damian." Nastassia pressed. He kneeled down and traced an invisible sign on the ground and the sidewalk panel slid away. Damian picked up Nastassia and quickly galloped down the stairs just as the sun peeked over the building. The panel slammed shut. An angry man approached them.

"What in the hell were you doing out this close to daylight?" He asked with a heavy British accent.

"Please, Errol, she must feed now..."

"Who is she? She does not look familiar..."

"Because she is not, I'll explain later, but now she must feed or she will need no explaining."

Errol sighed and waved for them to follow. He led them to a room of prisoners drugged to unconsciousness and strapped to tables, waiting to be drank.

"They're all slayers. Guilt-free feeding." Errol said and left the room. Damian slid a chair next to a table and sat down, propping Nastassia up of his lap.

"I can't do this." She whined.

"You have to, now close your eyes and I'll lead you." She did as she was told. Damian leaned forward and pressed Nastassia's pale lips to the neck of one of the slayers. He slid his hand to the back of her head and pushed. Nastassia bit. The blood seemed to flow by itself without her trying to suck it out so she relaxed and opened her eyes. After a minute she felt full and backed her teeth away from the neck. "Finish." Damian ordered.

"I'm not hungry."

"He'll wake up hungry if you don't."

"But I can't. I can't drink any more." Nastassia protested. Damian sighed and bit in, quickly finishing the slayer off. Damian knew slayer was a delicacy if there was one; in a few years Nastassia would come to appreciate what she'd been given. Not everybody gets to feed on a slayer in his or her lifetime. "So this is the underground of DC." Nastassia sighed.

"A small part of it. One of several hundred rooms."

"Show me your world." Nastassia requested, turning to look at Damian. He stared at her and slowly leaned forward for a kiss.

"Oh for Christ's sake, not in a feeding room." Errol remarked, standing in the doorway. "At least register the poor girl first. And re-register yourself too I suppose. You're the first chap to come back from the death in quite a while." Nastassia and Damian stood up from the chair and followed Errol into the halway.

"So how's your wife?" Damian asked.

"Pregnant." Errol replied.

"I'm sorry man, when's she due?"

"Two days."

Nastassia was confused. "Wait, what's there to be sorry about, aren't babies usually good things?" Errol laughed at her.

"Well, no." Damian responded. "Things work...differently."

"Differently how?"

"You only carry for nine days." Damian started. "And you feel close to death the whole time. Usually if the mother lives, the baby dies and if the baby lives, the mother dies. Most of the time the mother wins. Which is why very few vampires are purebreds. Purebreds don't live through being born. This is Riona's first, right?"

"Yes." Errol answered. "I doubt it will be her last though. Crazy woman is bent of having a baby, whether it's for the esteem of having a purebred or for some other reason I have no idea." He opened a door to what appeared to be a large library. "You can do your own Damian. The girl will come with me." He placed an arm on Nastassia's back and led her to a desk. "Name as you wish it to be?"


"Age at time of conversion?"


"Good age to be converted. Do you intend to travel out of the country ever?"

"Yes, I suppose."

"Preferred blood type?"

"I have no idea."

"Pick one."


"If you know, give the name of who bit you."


Errol smirked. "Hilarious. He's a good guy, you'll have fun with him." He winked. Nastassia smiled weakly, not sure if it was a sincere comment or if he was joking. Damian walked up behind her.

"Let's go." He said.


"Anywhere, lets just get there. Where do you want to go?"

"Wherever you're going." Nastassia answered, shooting him a killer glance of bedroom eyes. Damian devoured the look.

Errol rolled his eyes. "Until you buy housing you can stay in Riona and my room. She'll be in the sick room for a few more days, might as well be used by someone." Damian needed to hear no more. He picked up Nastassia, carried her off to Errol's apartment, and unlocked the door.

Damian flung Nastassia down on the bed and kneeled above her, running his lips along her face and neck. They stripped down to nearly nothing and kissed passionately, grinding together between undergarments. Not being able to stand it anymore, Damian removed the last barrier between him and Nastassia and pushed inside of her. She moaned and ran her nails down Damian's back. He moved his arm underneath her lower back for leverage and leaned down to press his lips to her chest. Nastassia gently grabbed Damian's hair and pulled his face to hers. The nails of her other hand dug into his back leaving small cuts and welts deep in the muscular flesh of his back. He bit her lip playfully.

"Mmm, Damian, harder, don't stop." Nastassia breathed into Damian's ear. He obeyed. She let out a sharp gasp and arched her back. Knowing he had her, Damian gave one final push and let go, collapsing onto the bed exhausted. He kissed Nastassia's forehead and looked deeply into her eyes.

"Nastassia," he whispered, "I love you."

Nastassia rolled over, facing Damian. He was asleep, though he had no reason to be. Sleep was more of a lazy-bored activity than an actual necessity. She felt unusual, like her whole body was shrinking up. This brought her to a panic.

"Damian, Damian, wake up." Nastassia said, shaking him awake. "I think I'm sick or something." His eyes fluttered open.

"You look dead." Damian croaked.

"I feel like a sponge."

"A sponge, huh? You probably just need to eat."

"Whatever." Nastassia sighed. "Carry me, I feel weak." Damian smirked, rolling Nastassia into his arms and standing up. He walked toward the door. "Wait!" Nastassia cried out. "I'm naked!"

"So what? I've got you, nobody's gonna grab at you or anything The whole 'vampire rapist' thing is bullshit anyway."

"I'd feel awkward."

"Too bad." He shoved open the door. Nastassia struggled to cover herself up with her arms. "Knock it off, I want to see you."

"I don't care."

"You know, I don't have to carry you." Damian threatened. Nastassia sighed and gave up. Damian ducked into a room down the hall. There were bodies on tables, some of them being drained. "That one." He said, pointing out a feed body.

"It's a fucking kid."

"Naw, she's at least 17."

"That's sad."

"Shut up and drink." He set Nastassia down next to the table. She sat there. "Drink." Damian demanded. She took a deep breath and bit in. Her eyelids fluttered shut. Damian smiled and sat down behind Nastassia. "Do you know how beautiful you are when you feed?" He teased. "The only time you're prettier is when you're lying on a bed moaning. Do you know how much I want you right now?" She sensed his growing desire to be back in the bedroom.

"Enough of your flattery, heathen, I want to see the night," she said to him with a smile. "Show me your world." They returned to Errol's room and dressed.

"Where'd you want to go?" He asked.

"To a party or a club or something wild like that. Something that can raise my heartbeat a little," she replied.

"That's completely and utterly impossible. You couldn't get your heartbeat up if your very existence depended on it," Damian pointed out.

Nastassia pondered this for a moment. "I'd forgotten that I'm clinically dead. I guess that changes a few things." He led her out of a door somewhere she'd never been before. "Where is this place?"

"Downtown, just not a part of town you'd be in. Not your crowd."

"Oh?" Nastassia pressed, "What is my crowd?"

"Oh this is now," Damian stated, "but when you were alive you were far too good to be hanging around people like this."

"And now that I'm like you I'm not good anymore, right?" Tension filled the air.

"I didn't say that," he growled in response, "What kind of people do you think want anything to do with you anymore now that you're 'like me'? Only the freaks, only the people who wish they were like you and your own kind. For the rest of your 'life' you and the rest of the society are utterly alone. I didn't ask for you to be here, I didn't ask for you to be a vicious bloodsucking heathen like me. I would have accepted and end to all this shit; to this endless fucking cycle. You kept me here and got yourself here by your own accord."

She stared back at him with hurt and shock. "I...I didn't mean...I don't know what I mean. Just forget I said anything. I don't know, just let it go. I can't fight with you." Nastassia turned and moved silently into the building. Damian followed, not daring to break the silence. They moved past the bar where a pretty blonde was draining a dark haired skinny boy about 25 years old and onto the crowded dance floor. A gorgeous male with a pair of long, pearly fangs quickly snatched Nastassia up for a dance. He parted her lips and nodded in approval.

"Never seen you here before, " the stranger said in a thick European accent, "who are you?"

"I'm Nastassia," she replied half-heartedly, "Im new here."

"I'm Dirk," he smiled coyly, "new by travel or just new?"

"Less than a day old." Nastassia answered.

"I like fresh meat," Dirk said seducingly, "been introduced to wild, vampire sex yet?"

She aimed to shoot him down. "Oh yes, several times, several ways, in several places. See the guy who's taller than everyone else in the room, by the bar? I'm his lay, and only his."

"Such a tease," Dirk smirked, "Damian doesn't deserve such a beautiful piece of ass." He departed and left Nastassia alone under the flashing strobe lights pounding to the music. She moved behind Damian and slid her palm around his side and up his torso. He spun to see who it was and without saying a thing pulled her onto the bar so she was sitting facing him.

"What did Dirk want?" Damian asked, running his lips across Nastassia's lips and neck.

"He wanted to fuck my brains out," she answered, "and I really think you need to make it known what belongs to you, right here, right now." She kissed him and started undoing his black cargo pants.

"Nastassia there's at least two hundred people in here." Damian breathed, sliding his hands underneath her shirt and bra and over her head, revealing bare flesh.

"They all want to see, who are we to protest the want of the masses?" Nastassia mused, removing Damian's shirt as well. A crowd was beginning to build around then, crowding close and pushing to be in the front. He pushed Nastassia's skirt up around her waist and untied her underwear. "Make it so amazing they're jealous."

"We are never going to be able to go here again," Damian laughed. Not that I really care! Nastassia flicked her tongue across his lips and pulled him forward inside of her. Guess she doesn't care either. Hey, does this mean we're not fighting anymore? The crowd roared with excitement and cheers. Nastassia moaned loud enough for the bystanders to hear, further sending them into a frenzy.

"Oh Damian..." Nastassia's voice trailed off with a deep sigh. Damian could hold back no longer and with a final groan came. He sat down on a barstool with Nastassia still in his arms. She set her head in his shoulder and planted a small kiss on his neck. Damian pulled his shirt back on and handed Nastassia hers. She put it on and leaned back on his shoulder.

"You have to get off eventually, I can't carry you home riding my dick." He said.

"Sure you can, I don't mind," Nastassia joked.

"I don't think I'd have the physical ability though," Damian laughed, "but I promise when we get an apartment all we'll ever do is eat and have sex." He pushed Nastassia back despite her protests and pulled the front of his pants back up. She pulled her skirt back down and stood up. The room erupted in applause. Damian and Nastassia looked at each other with wide smiles.

The music shutoff and a horn sounded. The room moved into a panic.

"Damian, what's happening?!" Nastassia screamed over the noise. She clung on to him, afraid of what was going to happen.

"Just a raid, cops come down here for supposed 'drug busts' all the time and never find a thing, they're just looking for proof that there is such thing as the undead," Damian consoled her. "It's nothing really, just be calm, but stay over here and play scared in my arms because it doesn't look suspicious." She curled up in his arms and pressed her face into his chest to escape the pandemonium. Despite her efforts to remain calm Nastassia began to cry. Damian locked his arms around her in a tight embrace. He would have rested his forehead on her head for comfort but it was too far down to be reached. Nastassia was much shorter than Damian has previously thought, due to the fact that every time he saw her out of heels she was laying or sitting down. He pressed one hand to the back of her skull and wove his fingers through her hair. Armed personnel who looked like SWAT team members walked through the room, forcing people to the floor and asking questions to anyone who looked suspicious. Several were moving towards Damian, but he was used to it. They always picked the tallest, most dangerous ones out first.

"You, get down on the floor, face first, hands on your head, get with the program," one of them said. Damian didn't move. "Hey asshole, we're not messing around here, get on the floor."

"Nastassia, sit down, it's going to be fine, I'm not going to leave you, no matter what, but we have to listen to them." Damian whispered to her. She started to move but stopped.

"I feel weak Damian, I'm going to pass out," Nastassia said. She was critically pale. He wasn't feeling so fell himself. Damian glanced at the bar and downed the nearest glass, then moved to the floor with Nastassia. He kissed her and pushed most of the thick warm liquid into her mouth. Damian put his hands on his head and lay down, but Nastassia curled up along side him. He knew that neither of them had a whole lot of time left before they'd be in dire need to feed; glancing around the room he saw that many people needed to drink soon. But until the cops had left and were long gone nobody was safe. Another alarm sounded in twenty short chimes, like a loud clock.

"Twenty minutes until sunrise," an officer said, "thirty minutes until shift change, ought to head back in a few minutes, Captain."

The captain moved across the room, examining his legal captives. "Let them go, check anyone suspicious at the door." Everyone rose from the floor and moved towards the doors. Damian quickly made his way to the front with Nastassia.

"You look drugged," Damian said, looking at Nastassia. "Try to perk up at the door." They made it through the doors, only to notice police outside. We're going to turn to ashes out in the sun. We can't get back to the underground here and the nearest entrance it at least ten miles away. Damian shuddered at the idea of burning, helpless in the streets. We'll starve before we burn. And our bodies will burn as we starve.

"Damian, where can we go, we have to hide..." Nastassia questioned weakly. Damian looked into her eyes and stared silently for a few moments.

"Nastassia...if we make it through this, I'm going to marry you," he paused, "and if we don't, know I had intentions to."

And very quickly, everything became black.

"Mama, she's waking up!" a small voice rang through Nastassia's ears. She sat up, panicked. Damian was nowhere in sight. A little girl with long black hair stepped up to the side of Nastassia's bed. "My mommy says you're one of the ones who goes to the bad place and comes home with a new man every night. Do you really?"

Nastassia sat for a minute, attempting to piece the past few hours together. "No, no, this is only my third day as a vampire, I don't know anything about the place I was at last night," she finally responded.

"Is the tall man your husband?" The little girl asked.

"No, not yet," Nastassia said with a smile. She moved to the edge of the bed and sat near the girl. "My name is Nastassia, what's your name? Can you tell me where the tall man is? Can you tell me how the tall man and I got here?"

"I'm Halli. Daddy carried you here. The tall man passed out on the sofa. Mommy said you were both really sick but you would probably die," Halli responded solemnly. A tall black haired woman stepped into the room.

"Halli go tell daddy that the girl has woken up," she said to the child. She sat down next to Nastassia and waited for Halli to depart. "You're lucky to be alive. A lot of the others out last night aren't."

"What happened?" Nastassia asked with worry.

"In the paper this morning it says that several died from reactions to a bad batch of tear gas, but in reality the riot police released some sort of gaseous supercoagulant into the streets and everybody just dried up then incinerated in the sun. A few humans were out there, those are the only bodies they have," the woman said. "My husband was coming back from work and got you and your...companion...inside before you were exposed to too much of the gas," she paused. "I don't mean to intrude, but what relation are you to the man you were traveling with?"

"I know what you think about the club but we're not like that, really. He's my fiancée," Nastassia responded. "Is Damian...ok? Is he awake?"

"He's been drifting in and out of consciousness, mostly just asking for you and rambling on about everything being his fault," she replied. "He seems to care for you very much."

"I would like to see him if that's all right." Nastassia stated. The woman nodded and got up from the bed. Nastassia followed her downstairs and into the den where Damian was stretched out on the sofa. She ran to him and kissed him on the forehead. "Mein Geliebter..." she whispered.

"Schätzchen," Damian breathed, opening his eyes. "Damn, you have no idea how much I've wanted to be by your side, to make sure you hadn't left me alone just yet." He pulled Nastassia onto the couch and held her in his arms. "I've never hurt so bad before, suffering physically, knowing that you weren't suffering only because you were unconscious and far too close to succumbing to illness, knowing I couldn't help you or hold you."

"We both almost just died. These people saved us and I don't even know their name. I don't know where we are and I barely know how we got here. I feel like I'm a walking corpse, I want to go home, and I never, ever want to go to that place again." Nastassia said, struggling to hold back tears.

"Calm down," Damian said. "We're fine now, their name is Reat, who gives a damn how we got here, and we'll go back to the underground when the sun falls. Everything is going to be okay, I promise."

When the sun fell they thanked the Reats and departed back to the underground. Errol, along with many others, greeted them. "Oh we were so sure you both had gotten caught in the raid. But perhaps it was better you had..." his voice trailed off.

"What do you mean by that?" Damian snapped.

"I mean that the story after the raid on the paper is about a doctor from the FBI being kidnapped by one of her patients, that's what. You're wanted dead or alive." Errol replied in a cool tone.

"Why would they put a dead or alive price for my return, I'm not a high-ranking official or anything. I don't even understand why they'd put that I was missing in the paper at all," Nastassia pondered.

"Either way, I'd recommend neither of you leave the underground at all for quite a while. Oh yes, and your apartment is ready," Errol finished

Damian and Nastassia walked into their apartment. "I have to go back," she turned to him. "I have to prove that I'm alive and that you didn't kidnap me."

"Are you crazy?!" Damian shouted at her. "First of all you're not going to have an easy time proving you're still alive, second of all you don't really know what their after, and third I absolutely will not let you go."

"Well what do you think they want? What are we going to do, live beneath the earth forever? I can't do that," Nastassia retorted.

"Did it ever occur to you that they already know you're dead, and they know exactly what you are, and they're just trying to lock you away in a cell to study you and torture you until the end of time? You aren't Doctor Chase anymore, you're a vampire, a threat to society and the human way of life," Damian said, pressing her against a wall.

"I am a human!" She yelled.

"You lie to yourself," he growled. He forced her into a kiss she fiercely resisted to no avail. Nastassia submitted to his lips and relaxed her tensed muscles. They parted. Damian looked down at Nastassia strangely. "You know a week ago I never would have dreamed I'd actually get to feel you the way I do now," he said, lifting her legs around his hips while still pressing her to the wall. "You'd have never been with me because you knew you weren't like me," he whispered into her ear. "I would watch you sleep in the day and imagine what it was like to run my hands across your body," he did so, "and torture myself with the thought of what it would be like to lie on top of you and fuck your pretty little brains out," finally, a thrust.

"And now that you are doing just so, is it what you thought it would be? Is it worth it?"

"Every second..." he trailed off, moving in and out of her. "But I often wonder if you wouldn't have done it now that you know what living like me is like."

Nastassia opened her mouth as to give a response but instead let out a loud sigh and pressed her head against Damian's shoulder, digging her nails into his back. "Yes," she gasped. "Now that I've had you I cannot live without you...oh Damian..."

Damian slid down to the floor and rocked Nastassia back and forth. He shuddered and pulled her close. "Don't ever leave me," he murmured. They sat there, silent.

"What do we do now?" Nastassia questioned.

"We try to find out why they want you back, together, or we just leave. Go live somewhere in Europe or something," Damian answered.

"How will we leave?"

"We can take an evening flight and then-" he stopped. " need ID and a passport to buy a plane ticket."

"And you'd better believe your face is on every FBI fax to airports, docks, and rest stops in the entire country," Nastassia sighed.

"You know, having personally fought for independence in this country, Im quite upset with has become. It harder to live now than it was 200 and some odd years ago under Crown rule," Damian remarked. "So we will stay."

"Damian, what if I have a baby? Then what will we do?" Nastassia asked, worried. "If it's a lab rat they're looking for then our baby certainly wouldn't be safe."

"You won't have a baby, I seriously doubt your body could nourish a child at this point. We will make everything ok, I promise," Damian consoled her. "Not even you could take you away from me."

They showered and changed their clothes. Nastassia buckled her overalls and sighed. She felt strange, almost unpleasant. They departed from their apartment. Damian stopped at a door and knocked. Errol answered. "Eh there Damian, looking better since this morning. What do you need?" he asked.

"We need the number and address of the place that wants Nastassia back," Damian answered.

"I'm not giving it to you if you're seriously considering going," Errol smirked. "That's suicide."

"Not considering at all," Damian mused. "Just curious." Errol sighed and lifted the newspaper off the table.

"You're a bad liar but Ill give it to you anyway," Errol joked, handing the paper over to Damian. "But you're a good friend...and you've got a good woman by your side...don't do anything stupid or daring. Just let things blow over."

Damian ripped out the article. "Thanks Errol, we'll be fine, I promise," he smiled.

"May I suggest a plan, since I know you do plan on going to the location?" Errol questioned. Nastassia and Damian nodded. "Give them a body."

"A what?!" Nastassia exclaimed.

"You can get in if you play being murdered. Then you can get what files you need and get out," Errol explained. "It will be easier if Nastassia goes, she knows how government things work, places to avoid, that sort of thing."

"She's not doing anything alone," Damian proclaimed. "If she goes, I go."

"You'd be a bigger threat to her than a help. The best thing you can do is help her plan and be waiting with a car shortly before sunrise," Errol commented. Nastassia nodded in approval and they left to go plan in their apartment.

"The building is on Sixth Street," Nastassia stated. "It runs a 24 hour clock so we can arrive as soon as the sun goes down and have a good eight or nine hours before sunrise. I think I should plan to be...discovered at about nine at night and done by about one in the morning. So if I'm not there by three then leave and come back for me the next night at nine."

"I'm not leaving you there to be dissected. If you're not out by three I'm coming in to find you," Damian said.

"And what will you say to security, pray tell? 'My murdered fiancée isn't really dead, I have to go get her body?' That'd do you a whole lot of good," she said sarcastically. "Neither of us would ever see each other or the stars again. Please just go with it...please?"

"Okay, but I don't like it," he gave in.

"We'll go tomorrow," she offered.

"No," Damian said. "We'll get married today, honeymoon in our apartment tomorrow, and go the day after. I love you to much to let you go without marrying you first."

"Then let's go get married," Nastassia smiled.

The ceremony was short and simple, more of a formality than a wedding. Damian just wore slacks and a plain button-down, Nastassia wore a straight fitted black dress that trailed out in the back. They looked very plain, yet beautiful in a serene way. Errol and Riona, as well as a small group of Damian's other friends gathered to witness. After the ceremony was complete Damian and Nastassia withdrew to their bed.

"Hey do you think we could put mirrors on the ceiling?" Nastassia asked. Damian looked at her and lifted an eyebrow.


"Well it would be fun and sexy," Nastassia pointed out.

"It would be fun and sexy to see the bed sheets move around a bit and the mattress shake?"

"No, no, it-" she stopped. "No reflection...right..."

"You know, for being smart, you're pretty dumb," Damian teased.

"Ah shaddup," Nastassia said, pulling the covers over their heads.

"Do you think it's possible to have sex for 24 hours straight?" he questioned.

"Not for you," she giggled. "But you're welcome to prove me wrong."

Nastassia rolled out of bed the next day feeling awful. Damian brought her breakfast. "Drink a lot," he said. "It's got to last you a while. Do you feel okay?"

She smiled at him. "Yes," she replied. She knew it was silly to lie to Damian, but she didn't want him to worry. "I'm just a little nervous about being in an FBI building in a couple of hours for who knows how long."

"You'll do fine, it won't be long at all, this whole thing will be easy," Damian said comfortingly. "It'll all be over with soon. Let's go get you ready."

The task of getting Nastassia ready was gruesome. She needed an obvious cause of death and an overall beaten, dead appearance. Head wounds were out of the question. Chest wounds were too risky. Eventually they decided on a neck wound. Damian hesitated.

"I can't do this," he sighed, putting down the knife.

"It won't be so bad," Nastassia tried to talk him into it.

"It will, you'll be in a lot of pain and you're going to have a hard time maintaining deathly stillness because of it," Damian said. "Im getting Errol." Errol came and drew a short, thick gash along the side of Nastassia's neck with a large serrated knife. She ground her teeth trying not to cry out.

"There. Now all you have to do is beat her around a bit and smear lots of blood on and around her neck," Errol said, wiping off the knife.

Damian carried Nastassia to the blood pool, afraid to look down at her. He sat down with her lying across his lap, cupped his right hand, and dipped it into the warm vat of blood. He smeared it across Nastassia's neck, hair, and shirt to make it look like she'd actually been slaughtered, careful not to look her in the eyes. Damian knew Nastassia had a look of pain painted across her face, he just wasn't prepared to handle it. "Damian?" Nastassia croaked out in a trembling voice. He winced and looked at her. Nastassia's formerly rosy-porcelain skin was now a sickly pale gray and smudged with blood, her lips looked cracked and dry. Tears slid down her pale cheeks from glazed over eyes and made little rivers through the dried blood. Damian grabbed a goblet from the pool ledge and filled it, then pressed it to Nastassia's lips. She finished two glassed and denied a third. "No more..."she murmured.

She still looked as if she was about to decay. Damian gently kissed Nastassia on the forehead. "I love you," he whispered into her ear. "You need to keep drinking so you've got enough stored. It's time to leave soon." Fear crawled across Damian's skin. Nastassia drank another three glasses and closed her eyes.

"I'm ready," she breathed.

Errol and Damian walked to a car waiting outside the underground. Damian sat in the passenger side with Nastassia cradled in his arms. "When the time comes you have to literally toss her out, you can't be gentle about it," Errol said. "It has to be quick and violent."

Damian stared out the window. "She looks too dead to just be faking it. She looks too dead to be reacting to just the neck wound," his worry was taking over.

"As soon as we turn this corner I'm going to slam on the breaks and you have to throw her onto the curb," Errol instructed. He turned and jolted the car to a halt. Damian opened the door, shoved Nastassia away from the road towards the building, and got back in the car. Errol took off.

Nastassia heard the pavement rushing towards her. She felt her ribs crack on impact but did not make a single sound. A woman's scream rang through her eardrums followed quickly by a "Holy fuck, get her in here, quick!" Shortly thereafter Nastassia felt a crowd gather around her. Someone kneeled down and checked for a pulse.

"She's dead. Already cold," the person said. She was rolled onto a board and covered in a sheet.

"Wait!" A voice rang out. The sheet flipped down. "This woman is FBI property, we've been searching for her. Take her inside." The sheet flipped back up. Nastassia blinked. She was in.

Back at the underground Damian was practically in a fury. He paced around a clock at the apartment. He heard a knock at the door. A woman from the medical office was standing outside. "What?" he asked.

"We have some lab results for a Nastassia Chase," said the woman. "Are you her husband?"

"Yeah...what kind of lab tests?" He asked, grabbing the envelope.

"Confidential, I really don't know," the woman answered. Damian motioned for her to leave and shut the door. He opened the seal and quickly scanned the papers inside. The final paragraph made his eyes widen:

"Following careful analysis of your tests, Ms. Chase, we have concluded that you have in fact tested positive. Judging by the results the child was conceived on Friday-"

He dropped the letter and ran out the door

Nastassia was slid onto a metal table and shoved into a drawer. She opened her eyes to see the cold metal chamber she was in. She silently rolled over and gently nudged the door of the drawer open to hear what was going on in the room.

"Swanson says not to autopsy the body...something about it not being sure if she's really dead," voice one said.

"Did she have any ID on her?" Voice two asked.

"Didn't need any, she was put on the missing list a few days ago, everyone knows it's Doctor Chase," voice one replied.

"Well I think she looks pretty goddamn dead, you can't get any more dead without being decapitated or something," voice two joked.

"Chase is clinically dead, no questions asked, I don't think that's what they mean," voice one conjured.

"How else can you be alive?" Voice two snorted.

"I don't have a clue in hell, but obviously someone else does," voice one answered. Nastassia heard people enter the room and rolled back over. She shut her eyes just before they opened her door. Her table slid out and she was rolled onto a gurney. "I don't understand what you could possibly need a dead body for," the first voice questioned.

"Top secret, Doctor," a man replied. "And I already told you, she isn't dead."

"How can you tell me that body is not dead?!" The first voice pressed.

"Ever seen a dead girl flinch from pain?" The man asked. Nastassia felt the sheet being lifted up to show her feet. The man pushed a burning cigar into the arch of her left foot. Nastassia tried to hold back her nerves but her toes curled anyway. The man smirked. "Like I said, not quite as deceased as you think she is." He lifted the sheet to pat her head. Nastassia wanted to bite him on the hand, soak up just enough blood to leave him dizzy and a vampire, but she knew that would be the end of her. She was rolled out of the room.

Damian shoved open the door to Errol's apartment without knocking. Errol looked up from a book. "Can I help you?" he asked snottily.

"We have to go get Nastassia right now," Damian yelled. "She looked so sick because she's at the beginning of her second trimester. She's going to die in there."

"If we go it will be a blessing for her to die in there very quickly," Errol fumed. "If we go any suspicion about her will be confirmed and she will be tortured for information. No, she'll be tortured to get information out of you."

"I wouldn't speak a word," Damian promised. "I have to go to her."

"Are you prepared to watch her suffer for hours on end, barely being kept alive while they wait for you to crack and tell everything about the undergrounds across the world? Could you watch her go into labor and scream and die and still keep silent?" Errol said.

Damian knew he couldn't. He got up to leave. Errol drove a sword through Damian's shoulder and into the door. "I cannot allow you to go, Damian, the price is far too great," Errol spoke softly. "I'm very sorry, you don't know how sorry I really truly am but this is how it has to be."

"Do you know what pain is, Doctor Chase?" The man asked. She remained motionless. Nastassia heard him grab something off the table and wind up. She clenched her teeth and prepared for the blow.

The man, who was known as Derek Swanson, flicked the switch of his pocket-sized sun lamp.

Damian kicked hard to get Errol to let go of the sword. He grabbed the blade and yanked it from his shoulder, tossing it to the ground. Damian darted from the room with Errol following not far behind. "Stop him, he will betray us!" Errol cried out running down the corridors after Damian.

Nastassia screamed with a force loud enough to shatter glass. Derek turned the light back off. "Good to see you've decided to speak, Miss Chase. Or is it Mrs. Malinger now?"

She was shocked. If they knew who Damian was all along, why wasn't it on the report that came with him to the morgue? Nastassia blinked and smiled, but said nothing.

"Nastassia I have no problem with burning you to crispiness if that's what you'd prefer," he flicked on the light. "But I do believe you don't want that to happen. Now tell me, have you married the vampire?" She screamed out a yes. Swanson turned off the light. The area previously covered in blood was now burnt. Nastassia cried silently and twitched on the table.

Damian ran out into the night air. He kept running, knowing he had an angry city behind him and a good two miles in front of him.

He ran to exactly what they expected him to run to.

"You're going to tell us everything. Everything you've seen, everything you've done," Swanson whispered into Nastassia's ear. "Actually, we really don't expect you to tell us much at all," Derek admitted. "But we do expect your hubby to tell us details we don't even ask for once he sees what we can do to you." She rushed forward to attack him but was stopped by the bindings that held her to the gurney. The side of her flimsy paper lab gown tore up to her bikini line. He slid a hand up her leg. "There's many things we can do to you to make him talk."

Damian burst through the doors of the FBI building. He was quickly taken down and tied to a gurney. Someone picked up a radio. "Swanson, our guest has arrived."

Nastassia was moved onto a tilted gurney so she was half-standing, half-laying. She was tied at the wrists, ankles, and waist. Guards wheeled Damian in and tied him to a wall, facing Nastassia. Nastassia panicked. "Spricht nicht!" she cried out to him before being batted across the head. Damian tried to move but could not. He felt sick. They'd walked into a perfect trap.

"Mr. Malinger...if I can even call you a Mr." Swanson smirked. "Couldn't be content with your own kind, had to steal one of ours." He hit Damian in the stomach with the bat. "No matter anymore I guess, she's just as low and disgusting as you are now. But that is all your fault, isn't it? She tasted good, didn't she?" Derek moved towards Nastassia. "Damian, I did ask you a question." He stayed silent. Swanson dug his fingers into the cut on Nastassia's neck. She bit her lips together to keep from screaming as tears flowed down her face. He twisted until she finally cried out, then laughed. "It's so easy to torture people when they don't bleed all over you, ya know?" He moved his hand across her breasts and pushed down, pressuring her cracked ribs. "You know, that's all your fault too, from throwing her out of the car the way you did. I bet there are eight or nine cracked ribs in there, plus I get to squeeze those fabulous tits. I'd stop if only you were man enough to answer the fucking question..."

"Yeah I bit her," Damian answered.


"And she tasted good, she was sweet," he finished. Swanson let go of Nastassia.

"Good, good," he grinned. "You can be reasoned with," Derek paused. "It's a damn pity you didn't have any children, from the looks of it I don't think little miss Nastassia over there is ever going to be well enough to carry a baby and live ever again." He picked up a long wooden spike from the table and again approached Nastassia. "She wouldn't happen to be pregnant right now, would she? She certainly looks to be rounder in the middle." Swanson stood in front of her and pressed the point of the stake against her swollen stomach. "Tell me Damian, you didn't get the little whore pregnant, did you?"

"He doesn't know, I swear even if I was I wouldn't have told him!" Nastassia pleaded. Damian remained silent, staring at the floor.

"I'll give you and ultimatum, if you tell me she's pregnant, she doesn't take the stake in the gut unless you're lying, then she takes it in the chest. If you say she's not, she takes it in the gut, a little pain but she'll be fine, unless you're lying, then I kill your child and your wife. Now does the whore got a bun in the oven or not?" Swanson pierced the skin on Nastassia's belly with the stake. She whimpered.

"She's pregnant, she's pregnant!" Damian admitted, starting to cry. "They gave me the lab results at the apartment, that's why I came."

"Pathetic," Swanson snarled. "No bitch is worth crying for, what kind of a man are you?" He slapped Nastassia. "What kind of a man cries over a useless whore like her?"

"A man wouldn't because humans have no passion," Damian retorted angrily. Derek glared.

"I want you to tell Nastassia exactly what you did every day as she slept while you were here. Every last detail," he smirked. "And if you lie or leave something out, I'm going to turn on this little light over here until you get it right." The light appeared to be a desk lamp aimed at Nastassia, but Damian knew it had a solar bulb inside. "Let's start from the beginning."

"I...I watched you sleep the first day. And I touched your hair and your face. I was in there for about 3 hours, watching you dream," he stopped. "You're so beautiful when you're asleep. That was all the first day." Swanson flicked on the light. Nastassia's back bridged up like she was having a seizure. "Ok, um, after I left I though I drank you on accident!" He stammered. Derek turned the light off and Nastassia relaxed with a pained moan. "So I went back in and I saw you topless and I just about fell over," Damian paused. "Please just let me hold her for a minute, she's hurting so bad..."

"Finish your story and maybe I'll consider it," Derek Swanson said with an arrogant tone.

"And for the whole two weeks I did the same thing, I went into your room and watched you sleep and fantasized about you in some pretty kinky ways," Damian said, determined. He knew Nastassia wasn't even listening, at this point it was just about humiliation and weakening his mind. He knew what was going to be asked next.

"And what did you do before she woke up?" Swanson smiled.

Bingo! He hated being right. "I went in the shower and jerked off, what the hell else was I supposed to do?" This gave way to laughter amongst the guards in the room.

Swanson cracked a grin. "Ok. We'll put her in a room, completely untied, with you in the same room, fully bound. You get five minutes," he laughed at his cruel joke.

They wheeled him into the room. Nastassia was already on the floor, motionless. The guards shut the door and set a timer for 5 minutes. She moved to her knees as if to stand up, but instead undid the belts binding Damian's ankles. "Honey, no," Damian said. "You just rest and listen to me and talk to me, ok?" She pulled herself up using the leg of his pants and collapsed against him. "Nastassia, no, you're too weak," Damian pleaded with her. She balanced herself and undid the latches on his wrists and waist. He scooped her up into his arms and sat down. "I am so sorry," he gasped. She moaned and tried to crack a small smile. He hugged her closely but delicately. Nastassia made a gasping noise and moved her hand to Damian's face.

"I love you," she whispered very faintly. The door flew open and a blood bag hit the floor. Damian bit the top open and pushed it into Nastassia's mouth. When she tried to quit he forced her to keep drinking until she let out a small cry for him to stop it and finish the bag. He drank the last swallow left and tossed the plastic across the floor.

"Your paper dress is falling apart," Damian said, removing his clothes. He put his pants back on, but dressed Nastassia in his socks, boxers, and T-shirt. Her left side from the neck to the collarbone and her left arm were burned very badly. Her face remained free of burns. "Despite the fact that you look as if you died from three or four separate causes at the same time, I still think you're beautiful," Damian smiled. He leaned down and gave Nastassia a deep, passionate kiss. "And I love you very much." The door opened once again.

"Time's up," Swanson said cheerily. "Step back against your restraining wall and don't move until you're latched in or I'll make her wish she died under the sun lamp." He smiled. Damian didn't resist at all, but Nastassia twitched and shook whenever someone tried to touch her. Derek sighed, annoyed, and twisted a dagger into Damian's stomach. He gave a loud swear and she stood still. "It's funny, if I threatened to pull you both apart limb by limb you'd both be mute until I threatened to do it to the other one." They were put back in the interrogation room. "Nastassia dear, when are you due?" Swanson asked.

"I don't know. I didn't know I was pregnant until you did," she sighed

"Damian?" He questioned, looking over a strange metal weapon of some sort.

"Nine days from last Friday," Damian offered.

"How can you be nine days from being due and not know you're pregnant? How can you not be fat with child, if you are due Sunday?"

"Gestation only lasts nine days for vampires because infant mortality is almost 90%."

"What?! You mean to tell me her child will not even live?" Derek was obviously angered by this news. He left the room briefly. "Kill them both," he said solemnly upon returning. "They are useless to me."

"No!" Nastassia screamed.

"You're right," Derek said. "Throw them in a cell with one of the interns to use for food and wait until she gives birth. If the child dies then just wait until they starve and throw then on the roof to become ashes."

They were dragged into a small room with one light hanging high on the ceiling. After three days, when they were both near final death, a young woman was tossed into the room. Her nametag said Stephanie. She screamed when the door was locked behind her. "Let me out, you can't do this!" Stephanie yelled. But it was useless. Despite his weakened state Damian quickly rendered her unconscious. He sat down next to Nastassia to feed.

"You drink first," he ordered.

"I did before, you first," she challenged.

"Fine you went first, now it's baby's turn to go first, I'll go first next time," Damian retorted. "Now drink, baby's getting hungry." He patted Nastassia on the head.

"There won't be a next time," she sighed, biting into the woman. Nastassia was hungry and weak; it felt good to have fresh blood. She drank until she felt full and her burns were healed. "I'm done," she said. Damian drank what little blood was left and carried the body over to the door. He curled up on the floor with Nastassia and held her.

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

"Because I didn't know, I'd have told you when I got the lab results got back. I didn't want to say I was and then be wrong," Nastassia defended. The room was silent. "If we don't go somewhere safe...I'll die trying to have this baby, won't I?" She questioned. "I'd give up too much blood, right?"

"No," Damian lied. "You'll be fine, the baby will die though, don't get too attached."

"But if it dies we will too."


Nastassia paused. "So if I die...the baby will probably be okay?"

"For a little bit."

"Why just a little bit?"

"It can't live without one of its birthparents," Damian told her.

"You'd be here," she said.

Damian sighed. "No...I don't think I would. I wouldn't have a will to live, I'd die pretty quickly."

"So no matter what, we are all going to die."

"It's very likely."

"So why don't we try to leave?" Nastassia asked. "What harm can it be, if we are going to die anyway?" Damian thought.

"If you can think of a way to get out of this room we could try. 'Tis better to die trying," he replied. Nastassia giggled.

"'Tis, eh?" Nastassia smiled at Damian. She pulled at the zipper of his pants.

"No, babe, no way," He said.

"I'm trying to rip off the tab to jack the door, darling, keep your dirty mind to yourself," Nastassia joked. She twisted off the metal piece and stood up by the door. She examined the lock. "Dumbfucks put a knob on the inside." Nastassia took off one of her earrings and jammed it into the top of the lock. She used the zipper tab to turn the lock and opened the door.

The first mistake of the guard was to turn the corner crossbow first, revealing his weapon and projected aim. A dive and some swift maneuvering removed the lethal object from the guard's possession. The second was trying to shoot his attackers, which he knew was useless anyway.

"Silver arrows and wooden shafts, I'm quite impressed," Damian remarked. Nastassia removed the guard's gun from his hand as well as a round from his belt.

"Let's go," Nastassia pressed.

"Drink up, I don't know when you'll get another opportunity."

"When we get to the underground."

Damian remembered he had neglected to tell Nastassia about Errol. "We can't go back, I'll explain later. Just drink." She did, then covered Damian as he finished the guard off. They ran down the corridors, half the time with Damian pulling Nastassia along. Gunshots, arrows, and crucifixes flew in their direction. Damian paused at a corner to return fire.

"Crosses, how quaint," he commented, loading another arrow into the crossbow. "That old wives tail shit pisses me off to no end. It's almost as ridiculous as the garlic bullshit." Nastassia wasn't listening, she was too busy aiming and firing at their followers. "Let's go!" He grabbed her by the wrist and ran again. They made it to the front and halted.

Dozens of armed personnel blocked the doorway. "Drop your weapons," one demanded.

"Fuck off, we've got nothing to lose," Nastassia retorted. Damian looked at her.

"We cannot win this," he whispered.

"I don't care if I lose as long as they don't win either," she said, tears rolling down her cheeks. "Listen to me...if we can get two hostages and go back to back out the door with them in front of us then we can take enough shots to make a run for it."


"Damian I love you," Nastassia bit her lip and stared at him. He stared back.

"The two on the left.!" They ran and grabbed the two nearest guards. Shots flew in every direction, instantly killing the hostages. They pushed towards the doors and outside, dropped the bodies and ran with shots ringing out behind them. Damian quickly spotted a parked, running car and threw the driver out. Nastassia jumped in and they sped off.

"They're going to follow us," Nastassia said.

"We've got a full tank of gas and it's only eight o'clock, let them follow us," Damian challenged. "Can you swim?"

"Well yeah, why?"

"If all else fails we drive into the ocean and swim 20 or so miles along the coast," Damian answered. "It will be difficult but it can be done. We'll swim to New England and I'll show you where I was born. Like, birth born not bitten born."

"How do you know it's still there?"

"Well Boston is still standing, right?" He smirked. Shots pierced through the metal top of the car. Nastassia screamed. "What?" Damian asked.

"My leg. They've hit my leg," she said. He glanced over and kept driving.

"Well you'd better take care of it, you're eight days pregnant, baby, you can't afford to lose any blood," Damian pointed out. Nastassia shuddered and jammed her fingers in the bullet hole. "Where's the tunnel from here?"

Nastassia thought. "About a mile or so ahead, why?"

"Because that's where we'll lose them if they're just following us by chopper," Damian answered. They sped along, dodging other cars and gunfire from the chopper above. They made it to the tunnel and stopped.

"What are you doing?" Nastassia asked. Damian took the gun from her and stopped another car going the opposite direction.

"Get in that car," he pointed to the one they'd been driving, "and drive," he ordered the other car's passengers. He and Nastassia got into the new car and sped off in the opposite direction. She smiled at him.

"Where are we going?" she questioned.

"A church," he replied. "It's the last place they'd look for us." The drove a few more miles into the city and parked the car in front of a random building. "We feed here and then run a few miles to that big cathedral." The stopped three or four passers in an alley and drank, then ran. Nastassia stopped in front of the church.

"Don't we have to be invited in?" she worried.

"We will be, if you saw yourself you'd know you look pretty helpless, they'll take us in," he assured her. Damian picked Nastassia up and carried her to the back door of the church and lifted the heavy door knocker several times before someone answered. "Please, let us in, my wife is soon to have a child and we have nowhere to go," he pleaded with the priest.

"Come in, my child," the priest opened the door. "I will have some clean clothes brought down for you; there is a bath through the hall in the second building."

"Thank you, thank you very much," Damian smiled. He carried Nastassia to the bath and filled it with hot water. She lay down and soaked off all the dried blood and dirt. Damian took a cloth and washed her tear stained face. Nastassia took his hand and slid it across her belly.

"Can you feel him?" She asked with a faraway look in her eyes. "I know it's a boy, I know it is." He smiled at her and nodded. Damian knew that if the child Nastassia so obviously loved lived she would not and he preferred not to think about it. He knew she would be devastated if her baby died. The associate priest knocked on the door and brought in towels and clothes, then silently withdrew. Damian changed into jeans and a shirt that was far too large and yet too short; Nastassia put on a long black dress with an empire waist.

"You look so beautiful," he smiled at her, planting a kiss on her forehead. She stared up at him, parted her lips as if to cry out, and collapsed to the floor.

Damian sat down beside Nastassia and gripped her hand. "It hurts so bad," she whispered between tears.

"Shhh, it's going to be okay, you can do this honey, I promise, just relax," Damian said. Premature birth was unheard of. He knew something was very wrong. They sat there on the floor in utter silence besides the occasional moan or scream, until finally the boy infant arrived. Damian wanted to panic, wanted to run to the underground and scream for help, but there was nothing he could do. Nastassia needed him and more importantly, needed to believe that everything was going to be alright. He moved to cut the cord and in turn, the infant's only supply of blood, but was stopped.

The door slammed open without warning. The associate priest stepped in with a fiery look and quickly jabbed Nastassia in the chest with a wooden stake. She screamed loud enough to shatter glass and then fell back, motionless. The murderer ran from the room. Damian sat there, holding his son and dead wife and without a word. Nastassia moaned and rolled her head back. "I'm not dead yet," she choked out. "Not yet."

"The stake didn't go all the way in then, you can live, you have to live," he said frantically. He gripped the wood to remove it from her chest. Nastassia grabbed his wrist.

"No," she ordered. "Let him take my blood, let him live," she touched the tiny baby. Damian nodded and sat for a few minutes until the infant was rosy and squirming. He cut the cord holding the baby and Nastassia together and wrapped him in a towel. Damian held her and sobbed as she took her son in her arms. Nastassia's color was quickly fading; her skin went from a pale pink to white to bluish until she was a ghostly gray with purple lips. "Damian," she whispered. "Take good care of him, be strong for him, please."

"I love you, please don't go," he cried, kissing her. "Please..." Nastassia gave Damian one final kiss. He sat perfectly quiet until the baby began to cry. He rose with them both in his arms and walked out into the church itself. Damian took Nastassia up to the altar and laid her down so the sun would rise and the window would allow her body to be taken. He closed her eyes and gently kissed her forehead. With that, Damian took his son, Chase, and walked out into the night.

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