by Judith Freudenthal

Natalie was mad enough at Nick to stake him as she entered her apartment.

"Why do I keep letting him do this to me? Why can't we talk certain things through. I am a big girl after all." She fumed as she slammed the door shut.

She headed for her bedroom to change. Once changed she headed for her kitchen and broke into her dark chocolate stash, needing it's comfort. She headed into the living room and grabbed the remote, sticking in her favorite movie.

Meanwhile at the loft, Nick angrily tossed a bottle of blood at the brick wall across the room.

"Why can't I tell her some things. Why can't I remember she's a big girl who can make her own decisions with the proper information?"

He turned on the radio and sulked, until he heard a song that said what he wanted to tell her, but can't. He grabbed his coat and headed for the car.

He entered the music store and bought the album containing the song, with a little help from the salesperson.

Back at home, Nick burned the song to his hard drive, then emailed it to Natalie, hoping she would listen.

After her movie, Natalie decided to check her email. She booted up her computer and signed on. She saw the mail from Nick and nearly deleted it, but her curiosity won out. She read the email.

"Natalie, I'm sorry. I don't know why certain subjects bring out the worst in us. I'm so sorry I hurt you once again. The attached song says what I want to better than I ever could. I don't know why I become speechless around you sometimes. You're the only one who can make me speechless. With affection, Nick."

She's touched by the apology and not sure whether or not to give in again. She downloaded Lonestar's Amazed and played it.

"Every time our eyes meet
This feeling inside me
is almost more than I can take
Baby when you touch me
I can feel how much you love me
And it just blows me away
I've never been this close to anyone or anything
I can hear your thoughts
I can see your dreams."

Natalie was very touched by the words as she could hear him saying them to her. She kept listening, thankful she didn't go with her first impulse, to delete the email.

"I don't know how you do what you do
I'm so in love with you, it just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life, with you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby I'm amazed by you."

She wondered if he truly meant that, as well as how they could do that as long as he refused to bring her across or even discuss it.

"The smell of your skin
the taste of your kiss
the way you whisper in the dark
your hair all around me, baby you surround me
you touch every place in my heart
oh, it feels like the first time every time
I wanna spend the whole night in your eyes."

Tears came to Natalie's eyes as she heard that, wanting to do the same. She was surprised, yet pleased, he admitted they wanted the same exact thing. They just had to figure out how to achieve it and not keep fighting as they figured it out.

"Every little thing that you do
I'm so in love with you
it just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life, with you by my side
forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
oh, every little thing that you do
baby i'm amazed by you..."

As soon as the song ended she wiped a tear from her cheek and replayed the song as she emailed Nick.

At the loft, Nick checked his email. He wasn't sure what to expect when he saw her reply. He hesitantly opened it and read it.

"Nick, thank you for the beautiful song. It expresses my feelings as well. If only we could find some way to say it face to face. Find some way to spend forever together. I'm willing to listen whenever you're willing to talk. Love, Natalie.

About half an hour later there was a knock on Natalie's door. She peered through the keyhole and didn't recognize the person.

"Who are you?"

"A Mr. Knight sent me over to pick you up and bring you to his loft. He said to tell you he's ready to talk, if you have the time to listen."

"I'll be right with you."

Natalie turned off her TV and VCR before grabbing her coat and purse.

A few minutes later, Nick heard the lift come to life. Nick met her at the lift with a cup of hot chocolate with lots of mini marshmallows. When the lift stopped he opened the door. She entered and took the offered mug from him with a smile.

"Thank you for coming over." He kissed her on the lips before leading her to the couch. "I'm going to try and explain to you why being a vampire is so bad. Please bear with me. I want you to really listen to what I'm saying."

"I will. I hope you'll listen to me when it's my turn. Truly listen."

"I will."

"Our hunger for blood is always there, except for right after we've fed. I guess the closest analogy is that of an addict. The main difference is drugs kill, but blood is what keeps us alive. We have sex by sharing blood as it contains our entire life history. A single drop tells your life story."

"I see why it's so hard, so important."

"When someone brings you across, an eternal mental connection is made. No matter how far you run, you can never escape. Not only can you track each other, but you feel what they're feeling." Nick looked at her and saw she was listening as she finished off her hot chocolate. "You give new meaning to the 'don't let them see you sweat' phrase as you sweat blood. You already know that the body fluids are blood. You have to be careful not to let others see you're faster and stronger than they are, that all your senses are sharper. It's harder than you think to explain food allergies severe enough to prevent eating around anyone else, yet be well enough to work. People don't easily believe a sun allergy or a food allergy. It's easier than you think to accidentally be faster or stronger than you should be, or see, hear, feel, or smell things no one else can."

Nick grabbed a mug of blood as he continued. "It's very hard to be a fledgeling as all of your senses are magnified beyond belief. In my day people were more isolated so it was easier to learn control without being overwhelmed. I would not want to be a fledgeling today with all the sensory overload as a mortal. It's a constant struggle for control, especially if you're in contact with mortals as much as I am."

"Thank you for being honest with me. I know it won't be easy, but I could handle it. We could go away somewhere if we decided to do it. Somewhere remote."

"You'd still consider it after all you heard? Why?"

"Because I love you. Because I'm not afraid of it." Off his reaction she continued. "I'm not afraid because you'll be there for me as I learn the rules. There's a whole world to explore, and I'd have the time to do so."

"And I'd show you anywhere, anything, you wanted to see. I love you more than you'll ever know."

The end

Forever Knight Index